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.

How to Care for Your Braces | Snohomish Dentist

When someone decides to straighten their teeth, it can be a very exciting time. Not only will they have a fantastic smile at the end of it all, but they will no longer need to feel self-conscious about smiling in general. But in the process, a lot of changes will likely take place in the day-to-day while they are being straightened. Directions will be given to properly maintain braces, depending on the type of braces decided on. In honor of Orthodontic Health Month, here are a few tips to ensure the best experience during this transformative time:

Keep objects out. A general rule of thumb for everyone is if it doesn’t belong in your mouth, don’t put it in there. Not only can they damage your teeth but can also damage your braces.

Wear a mouth guard. If you are an active person, wearing a mouth guard will not only keep your device safe, but will save your teeth and gums.

Dietary changes. A big change that will happen when you get braces – your mouth is going to be sore as your teeth begin to move. Stick to soft foods during these times. Once your mouth heals, it is important to avoid sticky or hard foods that can break off brackets or wires. Candied apples, popcorn balls and caramel chews are just a few of the Halloween treats you are going to need to refrain from.

Preventative measures. Accidents happen. If a wire snaps, have some dental wax handy to save your mouth from injury. If a rubber band snaps, know how to replace them.

Daily dental hygiene. Your dental hygiene will basically remain the same but will require special toothpaste or floss to keep your teeth clean.

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

Drs. Du, Szabo & Haines proudly serve 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.

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.