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.

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.

Let’s Celebrate Fresh Fruits and Vegetables | Snohomish Dentist

It’s that time of year where the weather is getting warmer and we want nothing more than to be outside, basking in the summer heat. We have traded our hot cocoa for iced tea and our cozy comfort foods are swapped out for lighter fresher options. And it’s just in time too – because June is National Fresh Fruit and Vegetables Month. Not only are these fresh foods good for our overall health, but they are also excellent for our smiles. And let’s face it – this is the time of year we have our biggest smiles, so why not indulge in these delicious and nutritious foods with a giant salad?

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, our first line of defense against 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. There are so many bonuses to eating veggies, right?

Not in the mood for a veggie salad? Opt for a fruity version. Crunchy fruits, like apples and pears, are fantastic for our overall health, but the crispiness helps strengthen your gums and the 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.

If you would like more information about the effects of eating fruits and vegetables 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, Monroe, Lake Stevens, Everett, Mill Creek, Woodinville, 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.

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.

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.