Start the Year Off with Good Dental Habits | Snohomish Dentist

ToothbrushNow that we are in a brand-new year, we are all ready to make the necessary changes to live our best lives. We hit the gym, we eat healthier and try to improve all of the other aspects in our lives that need help. But is your smile on that list?

Here is a list of healthy habits for the best smile possible. Take a look, and if you find you aren’t doing everything you can, consider adding these tips to your list of resolutions:

Proper dental hygiene. Keeping bacteria that causes cavities, gum disease and other dental issues is not only done in a dentist chair but at home as well. Brush, floss and rinse frequently – the longer bacteria have to nestle into your mouth’s crevices, the worse off your dental checkups will be.

Don’t judge a tooth by its color. Not having the brightest smile doesn’t necessarily mean that you have poor dental habits. Teeth come in lots of different shades. But avoiding over-consumption of foods and drinks that stain your teeth can have an effect if dental hygiene isn’t practiced.

Take preventative measures. It is important that you don’t skip out on your dental visits. Not only does your dental professional give your pearly whites a deep cleaning that they need, but they also check your mouth for any issues that may be developing, including an oral cancer screening. If caught early, treatment can be given to eliminate the issue, so make sure to keep your appointments.

If you would like more information about dental hygiene habits, call Dr. Cindy Du, Dr. Joseph Szabo or Dr. Haines in Snohomish, WA at 360-568-8577 or visit www.duandszabo.com.

Drs. Du, Szabo & Haines proudly serves Snohomish and all surrounding areas.

Sugar Awareness Week: What You Need to Know

As we try to stay on task with our new year’s resolutions of good health, chances are you are curbing your diets toward the healthiest items available and away from the ones that aren’t so good for us. For many of us, this includes sugary sweets. January 22-26 is known as National Sugar Awareness Week – let’s celebrate by taking a deeper look at our favorite candies and how they affect our teeth.

There are a multitude of ways to monitor candy consumption that can satiate your cravings without affecting your health resolve. The better you are about limiting the intake of sweets, the better your oral health will turn out.

Both your overall and oral health are affected by your choice in sweets. When choosing the right kinds of candy to eat, it is wise to stay away from the sticky ones, especially if you have dental fixtures like implants or braces. This is because they tend to stick to teeth and are very difficult to remove. The longer they are stuck in the crevices of your teeth, the more harm they will do to your smile. Same thing with hard candy – because they take so long to dissolve, there is a lot of time for cavity-causing bacteria to find a place in your mouth to wreak havoc. If you have a sweet craving, grab chocolate bar. Not only is it consumed quickly, but dark chocolate actually has health benefits.

After all sweet indulgences, make sure to practice proper dental hygiene in order to remove the plaque that will begin to form from leftover residue. The more proactive you are, the healthier your smile will remain.

If you would like more information about the Tooth Fairy, call Dr. Cindy Du, Dr. Joseph Szabo or Dr. Haines in Snohomish, WA at 360-568-8577 or visit www.duandszabo.com.

Drs. Du, Szabo & Haines proudly serves Snohomish and all surrounding areas.

Pucker Up: The Downside to Sour Candy | Snohomish Dentist

When it comes to candy, we all have our favorites. From chocolates to lollipops, the candy options are so vast, there is something for everyone. And they may be a sweet treat, but too much of a good thing can not only lead to a tummy ache, but future dental issues if you have poor dental hygiene. And while you may think sugar is sugar, so all candy is the same, there are some types of candy that are worse than others.

There is good news for chocolate lovers, because research has shown that cocoa beans have antioxidants that prevent cavity-causing bacteria from sticking to your teeth and microorganisms that can infect your gums and cause tooth decay. While there are three varieties (dark, milk and white), dark chocolate is the least processed, making it the healthiest option for your teeth.

Hard candy, like lollipops and butterscotch, take longer to dissolve in our mouths, which leaves bacteria plenty of time to set up camp inside your mouth. And if you have a tendency to bite these candies, they can cause problems with dental appliances you may have, like braces or implants.

But there is one culprit in the bunch that is worse than them all – sour candy. They draw you in with their tart sugar coating, but that sour candy is so acidic that it attacks your mouth almost instantly. This acid will weaken and wear away your tooth enamel, making them prone to tooth decay and other future dental issues. So, while you are celebrating National Sour Candy Day on July 18th, make sure you limit this sour confection and practice proper dental hygiene afterwards.

If you would like more information about the effects of sour candy on your teeth, call Dr. Haines, Dr. Cindy Du or Dr. Joseph Szabo in Snohomish, WA at 360-568-8577 or visit www.tedhainesdds.com.

Dr. Haines, Du & Szabo proudly serves Snohomish and surrounding areas.

Have You Smiled Today? | Snohomish Dentist

It’s tough to deny the fact that a smile is contagious. If you’re in a bad mood, something as simple as a smile can lift your spirits. And if you have the smile on your face, the world just seems to feel a little bit brighter. Yes, our smile is one of the most powerful tools we have to make the world a better place. In fact, a smile is so powerful that June 15th is National Smile Power Day.

Because our smile is so important, it is vital that we take care of it with proper daily dental hygiene and a healthy, balanced diet. Make sure to brush at least twice a day for a minimum of two minutes, floss to get into those areas missed by your toothbrush, and rinse thoroughly to remove any of those cavity-causing bacteria.

A healthy balanced diet is not only good for our overall health, but also for our teeth. Fruits and vegetables are a great way to get vital nutrients into our systems, but there are some in particular that add a dental boost. Crunchy foods like apples and carrots increase saliva production, which is our mouth’s natural cleanser. Dairy products include lots of calcium, which is ideal for strong teeth and gums. Staying away from excessive sweets and junk food is also going to help keep your grin the brightest it can be.

So, before you start your day, take a moment to put a smile on your face. Not only will it help your general disposition, but it can spread to everyone you meet.

If you would like more information about a healthy smile, call Dr. Haines, Dr. Cindy Du or Dr. Joseph Szabo in Snohomish, WA at 360-568-8577 or visit www.tedhainesdds.com.

Dr. Haines, Du & Szabo proudly serves Snohomish, Monroe, Lake Stevens, Everett, Mill Creek, Woodinville, and surrounding areas.

Keep Your Teeth White During National Salad Month | Snohomish Dentist

With summer just around the corner, we are beginning to start preparing our bodies for the fun activities these warmer months have in store. One great way to slim down and get healthy is to have a salad. And with so many varieties, it is a great way to get your good foods in, without getting bored of the same ol’ thing. But did you know you are also brightening your smile at the same time? It’s true!

When it comes to salad, everyone thinks of vegetables. Carrots are packed with great vitamins and the crunchiness will gently scrub your teeth as you eat. In fact, all crunchy veggies are great for your teeth because it will initiate saliva production. Saliva production is our first line of defense to rinse your mouth of cavity-causing bacteria. Celery is a great veggie that has a high-water content and, if you think about it, also acts like a floss. And doesn’t broccoli look like a toothbrush? Munching on these little “brushes” will not only give you some iron but will give your teeth a quick scrub as well.

But salads aren’t all made of vegetables. What about fruit salads? Crunchy fruits, like apples, are fantastic for our overall health, but its crispiness helps strengthen your gums and its juice produces saliva., which clears out all of that bacteria that gives us cavities. And believe it or not, the malic acid in strawberries acts like a whitening agent.

So, while you are preparing yourself for some fun in the sun with those fresh salads, smile – you are keeping that smile summertime ready too!

If you would like more information about natural teeth whitening, call Dr. Haines, Dr. Cindy Du or Dr. Joseph Szabo in Snohomish, WA at 360-568-8577 or visit www.tedhainesdds.com.

Dr. Haines, Du & Szabo proudly serves Snohomish, Monroe, Lake Stevens, Everett, Mill Creek, Woodinville, and surrounding areas.

Keep It Clean: Toothbrush Edition | Snohomish Dentist

ToothbrushIt is unnecessary to state that we need to keep our teeth clean – but what you use to keep them clean is somewhat of a mystery. No, we’re not talking about the products you use. Those are a personal choice. We mean how do you keep these tools keeping your teeth clean, clean? Bacteria is always going to be present in our mouths, but are you adding insult to injury by not keeping your toothbrush in a clean environment?

Now don’t panic – the human body can generally protect itself from bacteria. There is no real evidence that sitting the toothbrush in a toothbrush holder is causing any real harm, but keep in mind, most bathrooms are small. And in many homes, the toilet is very close to the bathroom sink. If you store your toothbrush on the sink, a spray of bacteria into the air has the chance to reach your toothbrush every time you flush. Here are a few tips to keep your brush as germ-free as possible:

Keep it rinsed. Rinse your toothbrush thoroughly with hot tap water every time you use it.

Keep it dry. Bacteria love moist environments, so avoid using toothbrush covers and allow it to dry between uses.

Keep it upright. Store your toothbrush upright in a holder, rather than lying down.

Keep it to yourself. No matter how close you are, never share toothbrushes with anyone. Don’t even store your toothbrush side-by-side in the same cup with other people’s brushes. Whenever toothbrushes touch, they can swap germs.

If you would like more information about your toothbrush, call Dr. Haines in Snohomish, WA at 360-568-8577 or visit www.tedhainesdds.com.

Dr. Haines proudly serves Snohomish, Monroe, Lake Stevens, Everett, Mill Creek, Woodinville, and surrounding areas.

Will Having a Baby Affect My Dental Health? | Snohomish Dentist

Having a baby is a magical time in a woman’s life. Not only will you bring another life into the world, but your body goes through a tremendous amount of changes while cooking that bun in your proverbial oven. But did you ever think it would affect your smile? Believe it or not, pregnancy does indeed affect your smile.

We know that hormones play a major role in a pregnancy, but when it comes to your teeth, these hormones can intensify the way gum tissue reacts to plaque. Plaque build-up turns into gingivitis, and if not treated, can progress to periodontitis. If you find out you have developed gingivitis, don’t worry – “pregnancy gingivitis” is a common issue. Another dental complication pregnant women are at risk of developing is pregnancy tumors. Pregnancy tumors are inflammatory, non-cancerous growths that develop when swollen gums become irritated. It sounds scary, but these tumors usually shrink on their own after baby is born but may be removed if it affects your dental hygiene.

As with any other time in your life, your dental hygiene practices play a part in not only your oral health, but your overall health as well. When you are carrying a baby, it is necessary to be proactive with your health, both oral and overall. If oral health is neglected, bacteria can enter the bloodstream through the gums and travel to the uterus developing the production of chemicals called prostaglandins which can induce premature labor. If you are expecting, take a trip to the dentist to make sure you are doing everything you can to stay healthy.

If you would like more information about dental health during pregnancy, call Dr. Haines in Snohomish, WA at 360-568-8577 or visit www.tedhainesdds.com.

Dr. Haines proudly serves Snohomish, Monroe, Lake Stevens, Everett, Mill Creek, Woodinville, and surrounding areas.

Kiss Me, You Fool: Valentine’s Day Dental Tips | Snohomish Dentist

snohomish dentistAhhh yes, Valentine’s Day is upon us. The time of year we take the time to show the ones we love that we care. Some use giant showers of affection, some prefer tiny actions that are more sentimental. But there is one thing we know for sure – if we have a significant other, we’re almost guaranteed a kiss in some for or fashion. It’s time to prepare for that smooch with a handful of dental tips, so we have the best pucker possible.

Because kissing produces saliva, and saliva washes away bacteria, kissing prevents cavities. The problem is cavities are contagious, so if you or your partner don’t have good dental health, it could become an issue in the future. Keep up with your dental hygiene to prevent that from happening. Brush for two minutes and floss every day.

We all want fresh breath, but it’s especially important when we are going to kiss someone. Anti-bacterial mouthwash and sugar-free gum are both great, and handy, solutions to have Valentine’s Day.

It is amazing to be in a healthy happy relationship, but don’t become so close that you share your toothbrush. Not only is it unsanitary, but it can cause future dental issues. Keep your smooches close, but your toothbrushes apart.

There are a few habits that we have, like smoking or drinking coffee and/or wine, that will gradually stain your teeth, making your smile less than perfect. Quitting these habits can help, but there are also teeth whitening procedures, both over-the-counter and in-office, that can improve your staining. Visiting your dentist regularly will also help you have the best smooch possible.

If you would like more information about dental hygiene, call Dr. Haines in Snohomish, WA at 360-568-8577 or visit www.tedhainesdds.com.

Dr. Haines proudly serves Snohomish, Monroe, Lake Stevens, Everett, Mill Creek, Woodinville, and surrounding areas.

New Year, New Me: Dental Hygiene Edition | Snohomish Dentist

ToothbrushHere we are…another year is upon us and with that, so is another list of new year resolutions. Yes, now is the time we take a step back to take a look at ourselves, so we can improve upon the things we feel we need work on. Why not throw our dental health in the mix? We should always try to keep our smiles healthy and bright, and now is the time to do it. Here are a few dental hygiene tips to help you brighten that smile and keep you on your dentist’s good side:

Brushing. The rule of thumb is pretty well-known – brush your teeth twice a day, for at least two minutes. Start your day off right with fresh, clean breath and wrap up your day with a quick brush before bed to prevent cavities from forming while you snooze. Choose a soft-bristled toothbrush and brush in rounded strokes to keep your gums healthy as well.

Flossing. It’s one of the least favorite tasks on the list of dental hygiene tasks. The problem is, flossing not only removes stuff stuck deep between each tooth, but it also keeps your gums healthy by preventing bacteria from getting inside and causing infection.

Rinsing. Rinsing is not only a quick way freshen breath, but it also adds an additional layer of protection from plaque and cavities. We have been taught to rinse with mouthwash after brushing, but doing it beforehand can loosen any particles you may have, making your brushing more effective.

If you would like more information about dental hygiene, call Dr. Haines in Snohomish, WA at 360-568-8577 or visit www.tedhainesdds.com.

Dr. Haines proudly serves Snohomish, Monroe, Lake Stevens, Everett, Mill Creek, Woodinville, and surrounding areas.

Nothing Says the Holidays like a Gingerbread House | Snohomish Dentist

Hansel and Gretel got themselves in a pickle because they couldn’t resist the temptation. And quite frankly, who can blame them? Gingerbread houses are not only delightful to look at, but are even more delightful when you gobble them up. The problem is, if you happen to get the pleasure of consuming one, make sure you have a toothbrush handy because these sugary shelters are jam-packed with cavity-causing confections. So, how do you properly celebrate this indulgent time of year while saving your smile from future dental issues? In honor of National Gingerbread House Day, let’s take a look at a few teeth-friendly tips to have your ginger “cake” and eat it too:

The structure. Gingerbread may be the original version of the house’s skeleton, but there are other ways to build a house. Try using graham crackers instead. Graham crackers are slightly less sweet than gingerbread and there are lots of flavors to choose from. There are also healthier recipes for gingerbread floating around on the internet if you can’t give up that spicy flavor.

The decorative details. This is where you not only add your personal touches to your home, but where most of the sugary culprits are located. After all, the more colorful the house, the more festive it looks. Instead of adding handfuls of sticky gumdrops or hard candies, get creative and go a bit healthier for some of the little touches. Dried fruits, slivered almonds, banana chips and pretzels are just a few options that can turn your candy castle into a cavity-free zone.

If you would like more information about healthy dental options, call Dr. Haines in Snohomish, WA at 360-568-8577 or visit www.tedhainesdds.com.

Dr. Haines proudly serves Snohomish, Monroe, Lake Stevens, Everett, Mill Creek, Woodinville, and surrounding areas.