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.

 

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.

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.

 

Why Diabetes Is Tough on Dental Issues | Snohomish Dentist

Believe it or not, but diabetes affects more than 29% of Americans. In fact, it affects us so much November has been designated National Diabetes Awareness Month. And we generally correlate it to a blood sugar thing, there are plenty of dental issues that can arise from not taking care of yourself. Recent research has shown that periodontal diseases are among the serious problems that can be caused from diabetes. Unfortunately, tooth loss is a likely result of not looking after things. The problem is, diabetics aren’t the greatest candidates for dental implants. But what classifies a viable candidate?

There has been research done to find out why implants don’t work and the results have shown that it all depends on how you maintain your diabetes. The restoration has worked well among patients who took care of themselves well, but those who didn’t had an added failure risk.

Diabetic patients have an automatic increased chance of developing periodontal disease, which is an unfavorable condition for dental implant surgery. Because an incision is made in the gums during dental implant surgery, if gums have any sort of infection, the bacteria can spread to the bone and into the blood stream. Patients who maintain controlled levels may be considered for the surgery. And because healing takes a bit longer for diabetic patients, postoperative care is crucial for diabetic patients after the dental implant surgery, so make sure to follow all guidelines given. Proper maintenance of oral hygiene, quitting smoking and periodic dental visits can decide the success of the implant – but it ultimately lies in your hands.

For more information regarding your diabetic dental issues, 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.

Protect Yourself from Oral Cancer | Snohomish Dentist

Did you know that close to 50,000 patients are diagnosed with oral cancer every year? And that’s just in the U.S. If caught quickly, there is a good chance it can be taken care of, but prevention is key. Because April is Oral Cancer Awareness Month, let’s take a quick look at how we can stay on top of our health.

First there are risk factors to keep in mind. Excessive use of tobacco products is already bad for you, but if you have this particular habit, paying close attention to any sores or patches in your mouth. Alcohol use and poor diet also play into oral cancer signs. Physical trauma and exposure to infectious disease are also ways you may develop symptoms.

The best way to stay on top of your oral health is to give yourself a quick exam every month. With a bright light and a mirror, follow these guidelines:

  • If you wear dentures, remove them.
  • Look and feel the insides of your lips and front of your gums
  • Tilt your head and check out the roof of your mouth
  • Tug your cheek so you can analyze the surfaces and back of your mouth
  • Inspect all areas of your tongue
  • And feel your lymph nodes to make sure they aren’t getting enlarged and there are no lumps

You are trying to find any type of persistent sores or growths that may cause you to have issues eating, speaking. If you feel you may have symptoms of oral cancer, make an oral cancer screening appointment with your dental professional.

To find out more about oral cancer screenings, 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.

February 9th Is National Toothache Day | Snohomish Dentist

In honor of National Toothache Day, it seems only fitting to take a moment to talk about these painful oral issues. After all, toothaches are some of the worst pains because we use our teeth on such a regular basis. When one of them is in pain, it’s hard to ignore. But what exactly is a toothache?

First things first, there are triggers that let you know you have a toothache – and they are just normal everyday things we all do. Biting down on something hard, sweets and/or hot and cold drinks are likely to send a shooting pain through you, signaling you may need to make a dentist appointment.

Not only will pain be involved in your achy tooth, but there are a few physical symptoms your mouth will use to let you know that your tooth is not doing so hot. A throbbing pain in your mouth, swollen painful gums, a headache or even a fever are all symptoms that something is wrong in your mouth and should get checked asap. It may not always be a toothache; but leaving it untreated will not only increase the issue, but may make things much worse.

Because the tooth pain is an issue within the soft center of the tooth, inflammation can be caused by various dental issues. Cavities, infected tooth roots and gums, broken teeth and damaged fillings are all issues that need to be taken care of in a dental office during your regular checkups in order to prevent a toothache from developing.

For more information regarding toothaches, 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.

Is Bad Breathe Hindering your Life? | Snohomish, WA

 

Have you noticed friends or co-workers stand further away than necessary to talk to you? Do you receive daily offers of gum and mints? If the answer is yes to any of these questions … you probably have bad breath, also called halitosis.

Your body uses a process called acclimation to filter out its own scents so you can use your nose to detect outside smells. This means your nose is used to whatever odor is emitting from your mouth. Even if you cup your hand and breathe into it, you probably won’t detect foul aromas. So, how can you tell if you have halitosis?

The easiest test for determining if your breath is rank is to ask someone. Friends or family members will probably be more than happy to render an honest opinion. Another way to test for bad breath is to wipe your tongue with a cotton ball and give it a whiff. Or go to a mirror, stick out your tongue, and see if it looks whitish. Ew! That’s accumulated bacteria, which produces the sulfur compounds that create halitosis.

Why do I have bad breath?

The most common reason people have bad breath is decaying food particles and bacterial growth in the mouth, especially on the tongue. If you have poor oral hygiene habits, the accumulation of food and bacteria will make your breath smell bad.

There are other reasons for bad breath. Gum disease and cavities can produce halitosis, and so can systemic illnesses such as diabetes, acid reflux (GERD), and sinus infections. In fact, if you have chronic bad breath that doesn’t respond to any of your freshening and cleansing attempts—you may have a larger health concern, and should make an appointment with your dentist.

How do I avoid bad breath?

Keeping a daily oral hygiene routine can go a long way to prevent halitosis. Brushing and rinsing in the mornings and evenings, and flossing at least once a day, can remove the food and bacteria that are the main causes for bad breath. And you can brush after meals, too, to ensure any strong-smelling foods you’ve eaten are eradicated from your teeth and gums. Other measures you can take to prevent halitosis are:

  • Drink plenty of water. Water loosens and rinses away food particles and also encourages saliva production.
  • Chew gum that’s either sugar-free or sweetened with Xylitol. Chewing also encourages saliva production, and minty flavors help freshen breath.
  • Rinse with an antibacterial mouthwash. Your dentist may have suggestions for the best over-the-counter mouthwashes, and may also give you a prescription oral rinse.
  • Use a tongue scraper. These devices are designed to remove the bacteria and food debris that cling to your tongue’s surface.
  • Invest in an electric toothbrush. Studies have shown that electric toothbrushes are better at removing plaque, and since most of them are designed to turn off after a specified time, people tend to brush for a longer period.
  • Go to your regular checkups. Attending your regular exams with both your dentist and your medical doctor ensures your health issues will be addressed at their earliest appearance.

Make sure you have a clean healthy mouth and avoid bad breathe. Schedule an appointment today with Dr. Ted Haines DDS of Snohomish, WA 360-568-8577 or www.tedhainesdds.com.

Tips for the Prevention of Dental Disease | Snohomish, WA

Keeping your gums in a healthy state is a lot more important than you may think. In addition to brushing and flossing, a healthy diet can also help you maintain healthy gums and the prevention of dental disease.

By eating properly, you are providing vitamins, minerals, and nutrients for your gums and teeth, which can help keep your gums and teeth healthy. Not everyone knows this, but Fluoride is found naturally in some foods, so by consuming them, you are effortlessly helping contribute to tooth decay prevention. Fluoride, also found in your water supply (in most areas), can help reduce cavities by up 60%. Also, a non-fluoride alternative are rinses with xylitol.

While on the topic of food, it is important to point out that certain foods can be very detrimental to the health of your gums and teeth especially foods high in sucrose (also known as granulated sugar). Although very tasty, it is the leading cause of tooth decay.

Here are a few more ways to help keep your gums healthy:

  • Brush often – Whenever you eat, you are leaving behind bacteria in your mouth that, if left alone, can cause plaque.
  • Floss daily – It is best to floss 2-3 times a day. Flossing is essential to getting rid of all the bacteria that is trapped between your teeth (the areas your tooth brush cannot reach). You can also use Stim-U-Dents or Soft-Picks.
  • Use non-alcohol mouthwash – Not only does it leave your mouth feeling fresh and clean, it also helps get rid of bacteria. If you can, use it after every meal. It is important to note that mouthwash is not nearly as effective as brushing or flossing.

To help in the prevention of dental disease, contact Dr. Ted Haines DDS of Snohomish, WA for an appointment to ensure your teeth and gums are at their healthiest. Call today 360-568-8577 or www.tedhainesdds.com.

7 Ways to Beat Dry Mouth and Tooth Decay | Snohomish, WA

Are you constantly in need of a drink of water to moisten your dry mouth? Always, looking for gum or mints throughout the day to keep your mouth moist? You may be suffering from a medical condition called dry mouth or xerostomia. You might think it’s just an uncomfortable situation that you can learn to deal with. What you don’t know is that it can lead to tooth decay. According to Dr. Haines DDS of Snohomish, WA, there are things that can be done to beat your dry mouth and prevent tooth decay.

Why do I have dry mouth?

  • Naturally occurring: predisposed to having inadequate or sticky saliva
  • Medication induced: there are over 3,000 medications listing dry mouth as a side effect
  • Cancer treatment: radiation and chemotherapy
  • Genetic disorders: Sjogren’s Syndrome
  • Mouth breathing

A lack of saliva reduces your body’s ability to fight cavities. Saliva neutralizes the acids from food and acidic bacteria.

7 Easy Ways to beat dry mouth:

  1. Use xylitol gum or alkaline saliva substitutes. It stimulates saliva productions and reduces acid production.
  2. Use a 0.05% sodium fluoride rinse with xylitol and neutralizing pH.
  3. Limit sugary foods and acidic beverages (soda, coffee, tea and alcohol).
  4. Drink plenty of water.
  5. Look for alternative medications that do not leave the mouth dry.
  6. Brush and Floss regularly.
  7. Use only alcohol free mouth rinses.

Contact Dr. Haines and inquire about the CariFree products he offers that can help combat dry mouth and tooth decay. Office:360-568-8577 or www.tedhainesdds.com.

Periodontal Disease linked to Cardiovascular Disease

Current research shows a link between periodontal disease and cardiovascular disease in some patients. Though there is not concrete evidence as of yet, health-care providers and patients should not ignore the risks gum disease contributing to heart disease.

Dentists are encouraged to communicate to their patients the association between cardiovascular disease and periodontal disease.

Patients should be getting a comprehensive periodontal evaluation from their dental professional at least once a year. This should entail a full examination of teeth and gums, overall health status and age. Patients who are diagnosed with periodontal disease should inform their health care provider to reassure better incorporation of their care.

According to Pamela McClain, DDS, president of the American Academy of Periodontology , “There is no compelling evidence to support that treating periodontal disease will reduce cardiovascular disease at this time,” McClain said, “but we do know that periodontal care will improve your oral health status, reduce systemic inflammation and might be good for your heart as well.”

Schedule your next dental checkup today, don’t wait until it’s too late. Contact Theodore D. Haines DDS360-568-8577 or visit his website www.tedhainesdds.com