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.

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.

Will Becoming Vegan Affect My Smile? | Snohomish Dentist

In this day and age, everyone is trying to keep their bodies in the best shape they can in order to last a little longer on the planet. And it is a great idea to be healthier, but it is important to know how a diet change will affect your body in the long run to make sure it is the right choice for you. Because November is  World Vegan Month, let’s take a look at how switching to a plant-based diet will affect your oral health.

The first thing one would think about having a plant-based diet is the loss of dairy – don’t we need calcium for strong bones and teeth? The answer is still yes, but you can get calcium into your system without dairy products. You can go the health store route and use supplements, but you can also get these important nutrients through nuts, fruits and vegetables. In order to get every bit of calcium you can, you also need fat-soluble vitamins A, D and K. Sound complicated? It’s not – and can also be handled by food.

Vitamin A. Vegans focus on beta-carotene to get their vitamin A. It can be found in supplements, but also in foods like carrots, pumpkin, sweet potato and squash.

Vitamin D. The best source of vitamin D is the good ol’ sun and soaking it in as much as possible is ideal, but if you are looking for a yummy substitute, choose the mushroom.

Vitamin K. Keeping our teeth bright and healthy is important and that is where the greens come into play. Get your salads out – it’s the kale, spinach and broccoli are the stars in this category.

If you would like more information about vegan 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.