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.

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.

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.