Lessen the Sweets, Lower the Issues | Snohomish Dentist

It is said that diabetes affects so many today, it is becoming one of the worst epidemics in not only the country, but the world. Because our diets aren’t exactly the healthiest at times, it is easy to develop diabetic tendencies without even knowing. The main component of diabetes is sugars in our system, and sugars are also the main causes of our dental issues, so it shouldn’t come as much of a surprise that these two conditions are closely linked. November National Diabetes Awareness Month – let’s celebrate with knowledge.

We know too much sugar causes cavities. Glucose, or the sugars in your blood from diabetes, can cause pain, infection, and other problems in your mouth, according to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases. If glucose levels aren’t controlled, bacteria have time to settle into the crevices in your mouth and wreak havoc. If your dental habits are poor, these bacteria develop into cavities or a more advanced form of gum disease. Not only are people with diabetes more susceptible to serious gum disease, and high glucose levels can affect blood glucose control and contribute to the progression of diabetes, making this a cyclical progression as it worsens.

Overconsumption of sugar could be the main reasons gum disease and diabetes are so prevalent in our country. The average American consumes around 85 grams of sugar every day; the recommended sugar intake is 12 grams a day for children, 22 – 36 for adults. In order to not only maintain better overall health, but to prevent any future health conditions, stick to these parameters and practice proper oral hygiene.

If you would like more information about diabetes & dental health, call Dr. Cindy Du, Dr. Joseph Szabo and Dr. Haines in Snohomish, WA at 360-568-8577 or visit www.duandszabodds.com.

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

Let the Floss Be the Boss | Snohomish Dentist

I know – the title is misleading. Who wants floss to be the boss of anything we do? While flossing isn’t the most fun part of our dental days, it plays a pretty important role in our dental health. Still not convinced? November 23rd is National Flossing Day. How’s that for important? To celebrate, let’s take a moment to become a little bit more familiar with that sleeping hero we call dental floss…

Floss was said to be invented in 1819 by Levi Spear Parmly, a dentist in New Orleans, who advised to run a piece of waxen silk thread between your teeth to dislodge anything stuck that a toothbrush cannot get to, but it wasn’t implemented into our daily dental routines until the 1970’s.

It is recommended that you should floss at least once a day to loosen any particles stuck in our teeth and allow the fluoride in our toothpaste to do its job in all those crevices. It isn’t a difficult procedure, but it is one that most dread doing. Unfortunately, dental visits aren’t very fun without regular flossing, so it is important to make sure to take the time to do it in order to maintain a healthy smile and help combat gum disease and other dental issues from developing.

Cut yourself a piece of floss about 18 inches long and wrap both sides around your fingers. Pull it taut between your thumb and index finger and guide the floss in between each tooth in a gentle zigzag motion to gently scrub down all the space between your teeth that your toothbrush can’t reach. See? Not so difficult, and the benefits are worth it. Happy flossing!

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

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

 

Creepy Crawlies: Your Guide to Halloween Treats | Snohomish Dentist

As we prepare to visit our favorite Halloween haunts to collect a sack full of sugary treats, we need to take a moment to think about our dental health. Sure, not the first thought we have during this spooky season, but the bacteria hiding in your mouth can’t wait until you get home with your candy haul and overindulging your sweet tooth will result in a poor dental checkup. To prevent this from happening, let’s take a look at the effects various sweets have on your teeth. This may help when deciding which Halloween treat to choose:

Chocolate. Good news – it’s the best bet for health, especially if it’s dark chocolate. Not only does it have a health benefit, but chocolate is easier to clean off your teeth than other candy options, making it the one you’ll want to reach for.

Gummy candy. Many of these are made with fruit juice, but because of the stickiness, gummy treats are tough on your molars. Limit these, especially with dental work. Sticky candy can also pull off braces and other dental treatments.

Hard candy. Be particularly careful when enjoying these treats. Not only can they stick to dental appliances you may have in your mouth, but they can also chip a tooth if you aren’t careful. Try not to bite into these candies as you suck on them.

Sour candy. Your children are going to be particularly drawn to this type of sweet, but these have to be the worst culprit in your sack of treats. Not only can the sour coating dissolve the outer coating of your teeth, but if they are sticky as well, they can wreak havoc on those pearly whites.

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

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

Why We Should Thank Johnny Appleseed for Our Smiles | Snohomish Dentist

snohomish dentistWe all love a good story. It begins as children and it follows us through our entire lives. But the stories that seem to be classic and everlasting are those built on a little bit of reality, otherwise known as a tall tale. There are many folklore heroes in our American quilt of tall tales, but there is one hero that sticks out in the dental world, and his contribution to the fabric of America is still apparent today. That hero? Johnny Appleseed.

Born as John Chapman, Johnny Appleseed was single-handedly responsible for 100,000 square miles of apple trees throughout the Midwest in the early 1800’s. Johnny would travel through Pennsylvania, Ohio and Illinois planting acres of apple trees, then selling the orchards to traveling settlers. And since September 26th is also known as Johnny Appleseed Day, let’s take a look at just how much his apples are keeping our smiles healthy and bright.

An apple a day keeps the doctor away” is a proverb that touts the apple as the ideal food for your health. Not only do apples provide a helping of vitamins and nutrients, but apples help with dementia, cancer, cholesterol, diabetes and weight loss. If that’s not reason enough, snacking on apples will also improve your smile!

It’s true. Because apples are both juicy and crisp, each crispy bite helps wash away any debris left on your teeth, which in turn prevents cavity-forming bacteria from doing damage. And because of their juicy goodness, snacking on apples will increase saliva production, adding another natural line of defense while also whitening your smile. So, for this, we thank you, Mr. Appleseed.

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

How Saliva Saves Our Smile | Snohomish Dentist

We have all seen something and thought it was so fantastic it’s drool-worthy. Not that we literally have saliva dropping from our lips, but it has captured our attention so completely, we can’t be expected to keep our bodily functions intact. And if it’s that amazing, chances are it makes us smile. But, did you know that that drool-worthiness is HELPING our smiles? It’s true. Saliva is our front line of attack against cavity-causing bacteria.

Saliva is mainly produced in your mouth from three pairs of glands — the parotid, submandibular and sublingual glands. Now, saliva is pretty much just water, but it also contains some mucus, salt, enzymes, antibacterial compounds and chemicals that buffer acid. But that’s not all. In addition to providing lubrication and killing harmful bacteria, saliva helps to digest starchy and fatty foods. It is typically produced when we taste, smell or think of food, saliva can be released at all times of the day and night.

If you aren’t producing enough saliva, you can develop other health issues. Not only is the lack of saliva giving you dry mouth, but it can also cause bad breath, dental infections or even gum disease. To help this process along, make sure you are hydrated at all times. Sour fruits will produce more saliva than a sweet version, so enjoy a piece before a meal. Popping in a stick of sugar-free gum is also a great way to get those juices flowing. If these don’t naturally help, it’s time to see a dental professional.

If you are seeking help to improve your saliva production, 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.

Don’t Let Thanksgiving Ruin Your Smile | Snohomish Dentist

Happy Thanksgiving wooden blocks against a rustic wood background with pumpkins and autumn leaves
Happy Thanksgiving wooden blocks against a rustic wood background with pumpkins and autumn leaves

Thanksgiving is a holiday all about giving thanks and breaking bread with the people in your life. We stuff ourselves to the gills without any regard of what it could be doing to their waistlines. But what about our teeth? Unfortunately, we rarely consider our dental health when we celebrate these holidays but we really should. Our mouths are susceptible to much more because of it is where we ingest almost everything into our bodies, both good and bad.

So, what do we do to prepare ourselves for this gluttonous holiday? Here are a few things to keep in mind while you are celebrating:

Keep things short and sweet. We all know that this holiday is an all-day event. Between the pre-meal snacks and the post-meal desserts, it’s impossible to not fall victim to grazing the entire day. Keep this to a minimum. The longer you allow the acids in foods to hang out in your mouth, the easier it is for cavity-causing bacteria to invade your teeth and set up camp. Spend more time visiting with your loved ones than you do munching on snacks. And when you do snack, mix healthy snacks with the unhealthy ones to counter-balance any ill effects. Sticky foods, like cranberry relish and pecan pie do a number on your teeth. Keeping acidic foods, like tomatoes or wines, to a minimum will also help. The acid breaks down your teeth’s enamel, making them more susceptible to issues brought on by cavity-causing bacteria. Don’t deprive yourself of these holiday delights. It’s all about moderation.

Stay hydrated. As you consume your holiday meal, keep a glass of water handy. Staying hydrated will not only help with digestion, but drinking plenty of water will also wash away any food debris still lingering around in your mouth. Saliva is your mouth’s natural defender against the bad bacteria in your mouth.

Keep your routine. We can’t forget to pay special attention to our teeth during this delicious holiday. They work overtime for you during times like these. Make sure you brush, floss and rinse the way you normally would. Scratch that, pay more attention to them. Your teeth don’t know you’re celebrating. After the holidays, be sure to make an appointment for a quick dental check-up. You never know what your celebrating has done to your mouth. It’s always better to catch any issues before they turn ugly.

For more information regarding cavity prevention during the holiday season, contact Dr. Ted Haines, DDS in Snohomish, WA at 360-568-8577 or visit www.tedhainesdds.com for additional information.

Dr. Ted Haines proudly accepts patients from Snohomish, Monroe, Lake Stevens, Everett, Mill Creek, Woodinville, and surrounding areas.

Save Your Child’s Teeth From Summertime Sweets | Snohomish Dentist

480865629It’s that time of year again…summertime. The kiddies are out of school, it’s tremendously hot, and everywhere you look, someone is touting the next greatest summertime snack craze. And there is nothing your child wants more. It’s the three months of the year that is a parent’s roughest. Sugary sweets are running rampant and your child’s teeth are their victims. So how does one keep an eye on the oral health of a little human during this sweetest of seasons? It takes some smooth talking, but it can be done.

First thing first: You have to water little humans. They all hate water, but it is the most important drink they can have during the scorching summer heat. They will ask for soda or juice. Do your best to keep it to a minimum, like during a meal so they have to finish it in one sitting. If they can’t carry it around with them, sugary bacteria won’t have time to cling on to their teeth to cause cavities. Chewing also produces saliva, which is your mouth’s natural superhero against cavity-causing bacteria, so meals is actually a great time to indulge in a sweet treat. Flavor up the water by adding different fruit combinations. Not only will it taste better, but it may also get everyone into the habit of drinking it more often.

When it comes to the sweet snacks, keep the same rule of thumb in mind. They don’t need a bag of candy they can munch on all day. Opt for a singular snack they have to eat at once, like a candy bar or an ice cream sandwich. When it comes to snacks, there are loads of options that not only taste yummy, but also help fight against cavity-causing bacteria. The act of chewing automatically produces saliva production, so handy snacks like popcorn or pretzels are great options when you just want to have something to nosh on. Fruits and veggies with high water content, like pears and celery, are also great at keeping our mouth’s healthy. Protein is also excellent at getting rid of the acids in your mouth so pack turkey sandwiches, cheese & nuts to your heart’s content. There are so many tasty options to divert their attention away from the junk food, at least for a moment. They are still kids!

When you think about it, it all comes down to balance. You don’t want to deprive yourself and your family of the magical food delights only this season can offer. But you also don’t want to deal with a ton of dental bills in the autumn. So make sure you are trading some healthy options into your family’s summer snack wheel. You CAN have too much of a good thing, so take the time and read the labels. Make sure what you’re giving your child isn’t the world’s worst option. Moderation. And remember: Summertime is the hottest time of year so it’s easy to dehydrate. Sugars also deprive your body from its necessary hydration. The more you dehydrate, the easier things can go wrong internally. So keep those sugary treats to a minimum. Enjoy the summer!

If you would like more information on family oral health care tips, contact Dr. Ted Haines, DDS in Snohomish, WA at 360-568-8577 or visit www.tedhainesdds.com for additional information.

Dr. Ted Haines proudly accepts patients from Snohomish, Monroe, Lake Stevens, Everett, Mill Creek, Woodville, and surrounding areas.