Just How Bad Are Your Favorite Drinks? | Snohomish Dentist

When choosing what to drink, do you often opt for the sugary variety? Chances are the answer is yes. After all, that’s why they are made – to entice you to choose it. Unfortunately, even fruit juices are bringing extra sugar to your mouth, and that sugar is getting ahold of your smile and causing cavities. The best option for hydration is always going to be water, but just how bad are those drinks for your teeth?

Fruit juice. It is important to have lots of fruit and vegetables in our diets because of their vital nutrients. The problem is, juices made of citrus fruits like orange, lemon and grapefruit are very acidic and this acid has been proven to wear down your tooth enamel. A wise rule of thumb is to limit these juices to once or twice a day to get your vitamin C boosts. If you have a straw handy, even better.

Sports drinks. Sports drinks and energy drinks have made a drastic impact on our lives for a couple of reasons. They help to hydrate your body quickly after a hard workout and gives us an energy boost when we need it most. New York University College of Dentistry conducted a study that shows sports drinks contain high levels of acids that may be linked to a condition called erosive tooth wear.

Soda. I think we all know that soda is bad for us, yet we still decide to drink copious amounts of it. According to the American Dental Association, Americans drink more than 53 gallons of soft drinks per person per year. This can lead to dental erosion caused by the carbonic, citric and phosphoric acids.

If you would like more information about the affects of drinks on your teeth, 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.

How Stress Can Affect Your Smile | Snohomish Dentist

Stress is a feeling few can say they’ve never felt. As life progresses on, it seems we add more stressors into our life. The unfortunate thing is, it is very difficult to overcome the sense of dread that comes with stress, and if left untreated, can lead to further health issues. But did you know that too much stress can also be affecting your mouth, teeth, gums as well?

Mouth sores. While we aren’t sure of the causes of canker sores, many experts have attributed them to a weakened immune system, bacteria, or viruses. The good thing is, they aren’t contagious. Cold sores or fever blisters, on the other hand, are caused by the herpes simplex virus and are contagious. Times of emotional stress can trigger an outbreak, but they also can happen with a fever, sunburn, or a skin abrasion. Treatment for both is available, including over-the-counter remedies and prescription antiviral drugs.

Teeth grinding. Beyond the typical headaches, one of the natural outcomes of stress is clenching and/or grinding of your teeth. While it can happen at any time of the day, it typically happens at night, so many don’t even know it’s happening. If left untreated, temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorder can occur by grinding your teeth, so a night guard may be recommended.

Gum disease. Stress can cause an increase in dental plaque, even when the high stress levels are short-term. Long-term stress can boost your risk of bleeding gums, or gingivitis, which can progress to serious gum disease. It is important that you keep up your daily dental routines in order to offset these symptoms from progressing.

If you would like more information about the affects of stress on your smile, 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.

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.

Why We Think George Washington Had Wooden Teeth | Snohomish Dentist

George Washington – great leader and forefather of our nation. Also, doesn’t lie, not a fan of cherry trees and is the proud owner of wooden teeth. This is the gist we know about President Washington growing up. And of all of these things, the strangest fun fact was the wooden teeth. Unfortunately, this fun fact has been proven to be a mere myth. George Washington never had wooden teeth. In honor of President’s Day, let’s take a look at the myth behind George Washington’s wooden teeth…

Back in the 1700’s dental technology was basic at best. We obviously didn’t have the best dental care, nor the best dental habits. Because of this, dental problems were incredibly common to everyone. Because George Washington was a leader in the military, he had even less chance to get to a dentist if something happened in the midst of battle. This caused him to lose all but one tooth by the time he made his First Inaugural Address in 1789. To remedy this affliction, Washington had various dentures made of ivory, gold and lead – no wood. Why? Wood was never used to make dentures.

So, where did we get wood idea? Well, dental scientists and historians have a theory. Just like our teeth, dentures will begin to stain over time. They believe that it was the staining of his ivory set that gave the impression of wood. Funny, right?

Lesson? Remember to keep up with your dental hygiene so no one says you have wooden teeth.

If you would like more information about dentures, 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.

Why Root Canals Aren’t All That Bad | Snohomish Dentist

 

snohomish dentistGoing to the dentist is always a cause for concern because you never know what is going on in our mouths. When a checkup goes swimmingly, you know you’ve been taking good care of your teeth. But if you find out you’ve developed some tooth decay, there is cause for concern – you’re going to need a root canal.

A root canal is a surgical procedure that will try to save what’s left of your dying tooth, allowing the dentist to preserve the tooth’s shell and root with the help of fine drills. Once the decayed pulp is removed, the dentist will replace it with a synthetic resin that will add strength to the tooth roots, providing a base for a crown that will act like a normal tooth, without the need for a bridge or implant.

After the root canal, the dentist will have a lab create a crown, which will be cemented onto the resin built up within the root. And there you have it – a brand-new tooth restoration so natural looking, you won’t even know it is a fake. Bonus? Because the nerve tissue is removed, it will feel no pain, and because the crown is synthetic, it will not decay.

Root canals aren’t fun, but they serve a purpose – they remove damaged, dying tooth pulp from within the tooth, allowing the patient to keep the tooth in place, minimize bone loss, and prevent infection or decay from spreading. You may take great care of your teeth, but when something unpreventable arises, it’s nice to know you have alternatives.

If you would like more information about root canals, 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.

 

He Sees You When You’re Brushing | Snohomish Dentist

The holiday season is a in full-force, which means we are busier than ever. Between the hustle and bustle of shopping, decorating and holiday celebrations, there is little time to look after one’s self. It is especially easy to lose track of your dental health. It seems everywhere you look, there is another sweet treat to indulge in and who are we to say no? The problem is, if we aren’t looking after our teeth, we may have an issue in the new year. So, how do we ensure our smiles are in tip-top shape for all of our holiday pictures? Follow these helpful tips:

Carrots over candy. We know there are plenty of sugary treats available, especially at holiday parties. And it is perfectly fine to enjoy them all, just keep things in moderation. Mixing veggies and proteins with your cookies and cakes will help keep saliva production active, which helps wash away cavity-causing bacteria. In fact, drinking lots of water will do the same thing if a toothbrush isn’t handy.

Keep your routines. It may be a busy time of year, but that’s no reason to forget about your daily routines. Brushing, flossing and rinsing will not only brush away all of your holiday eats, but will also ensure a happy dental visit in the future.

Check up on things. The holidays are a fun time to be had by all. But after all the fun has been had, it’s time to get back to business. Take the time to visit the dentist to make sure your celebrating didn’t cause any harm.

If you would like more information about holiday dental tips, 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.