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.

 

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.

Enhancing your Smile with Teeth Whitening | Snohomish, Wa Dentist

177406608Patients looking to enhance their smile often ask dentists about cosmetic dentistry – procedures such as bonding can help correct gaps, braces can help correct alignment, and veneers can help adjust the size, shape, and color of teeth. While all of these procedures have their uses, one of the cheapest and easiest way to enhance a smile is simple tooth whitening.

There are a wide variety of options available for patients considering tooth whitening. Most use a similar active ingredient – typically hydrogen peroxide – as a bleaching agent to remove stains and provide a shiny white appearance. The nature of the product determines how strong the peroxide product can be – mild products can be used nearly every day, but the strongest whitening products must be used under dental supervision.

Here’s a quick guide to the type of whitening available today:

Whitening toothpaste is typically low risk, and contain a very mild whitening agent and a polishing agent to help remove stains from the surface of the teeth. They are typically capable of a few shades of whitening, but may take weeks or months to achieve a noticeable whitening change.
Whitening strips often use a peroxide gel to coat the teeth, and are typically worn for 30 minutes at a time, repeated several times for maximum impact. Strips will work faster and achieve more whitening than toothpaste, but are more time consuming for users.
Tray based whitening products are available either over the counter or by prescription from your local dentist. These products use a stronger peroxide product, and are typically used at home in longer durations than whitening strips (potentially 60 minutes, but some products may be worn overnight – check with the instructions for details). Because these often have a stronger peroxide gel, they tend to provide a better result than strips, but may be more expensive or require a dentist visit to obtain.
The most dramatic change will be obtained using in-office whitening procedures, where the dentist can protect the tissue around the teeth and use a much stronger bleaching product. Some of these products are light activated (a UV light or laser will be shone into the patient’s mouth to activate the whitening agent), others are chemical-activated (two gels that are mixed together to activate). The procedure generally takes about an hour, and the dentist will adjust the strength of the product and duration to match the level of staining present on the teeth and the whitening desired by the patient.

If you’re interested in enhancing your smile, talk to your dentist about whitening options. Whether you’re considering strips, trays, or in-office treatments, your dentist can help guide you into making an informed decision, and help set realistic expectations regarding the end result.

 

Call Dr. Ted Haines DDS for more information on whitening make an appointment today at 360-568-8577 or visit the website at tedhainesdds.com.

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

The Benefits of Mouthwash | Snohomish, Wa Dentist

Beautiful Smile

Hopefully you have a good oral care routine at home, one that includes a mouthwash. Mouthwash is a highly beneficial add-on to your regular brushing and flossing. In fact, rinsing with mouthwash can make a big difference win your oral health.

People use mouthwash for a variety of reasons: to freshen breath, to help prevent or control tooth decay, to reduce plaque and even to prevent or reduce gingivitis, to reduce the speed that tartar forms on the teeth, or to produce a combination of these effects.

What ingredients are commonly found in mouthwash?

Basic ingredients include water, alcohol, cleansing agents, flavoring ingredients and coloring agents. Active ingredients vary depending on the type of mouthrinse, but they can be placed into four general groups:

  • Antimicrobial agents act directly on oral bacteria to help reduce plaque, decrease the severity of gingivitis and control bad breath.
  • Fluoride helps reduce tiny lesions (tooth decay) on tooth enamel and make teeth more resistant to decay.
  • Astringent salts can serve as temporary deodorizers that mask bad breath.
  • Odor neutralizers act by chemically inactivating odor causing compounds(Source: ada.org).

Mouthwash can also keep gum disease at bay. Gum disease mainly develops when we’ve slackened on our oral care. When gum disease is in the early stage, the solution is simply upgrading your routine to wash away grime. Brushing after meals, flossing and swishing with antiseptic mouthwash twice daily can stop gingivitis in its tracks.

Mouthwashes should not be used as a substitute for brushing and flossing, and only used in conjunction with good hygiene habits. A complete plan for daily dental hygiene is centered around twice-daily tooth brushing and flossing, but you may want to consider oral rinses.

Call Dr. Ted Haines DDS for more information on oral health or to make an appointment today at 360-568-8577 or visit the website at tedhainesdds.com.

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

 

What to Expect During an Overdue Dental Appointment | Snohomish, Wa Dentist

Tooth and dental equipment on white background.

Has it been a while since you’ve been to the dentist? If you’re wondering what’s in store for you as a patient, rest easy – modern dental visits are fast, easy, and will be much less painful than in years past.

Most dental visits will follow a similar path, and knowing what to expect can help lower anxiety, so here’s a basic explanation:

– You’ll almost certainly start with X-rays. X-rays allow dentists to get an understanding of the state of your mouth. Not only will they be able to see large problems like misaligned, missing or cracked teeth, they’ll also be able to see small cavities caused by decay, and even problems such as bone loss in the jaw caused by periodontal disease. Most dentists will conduct a number of X-rays – some of them may be uncomfortable, but they shouldn’t be painful.
– Once the X-rays are complete, the dentist will likely check your teeth manually for anything that they noticed when reviewing the X-ray, and also check the health of gums for signs of gingivitis or periodontal disease. If you haven’t been in a while, the dentist may also check your head, neck, and mouth for signs of oral cancer – this may seem unusual, but it’s a great way to find problems early.
– If you’re complaining of a specific problem – perhaps a toothache – it’s likely the dentist will identify the cause in his examination. Depending on time, the dentist may be able to treat the problem immediately – in the case of minor cavities, this typically means a local anesthetic to numb the area, followed by a brief period of drilling to remove decay, and then a filling using composite resin. Once the resin is set and cured, the dentist will polish and shape the resin with the dental drill (handpiece).
– Depending on the length of your appointment, your dentist or dental hygienist may follow your examination with a thorough professional cleaning. In some cases, this can be done in the same appointment – in others, scheduling may dictate that you come in for a follow-up, when more time is available. If you haven’t seen a dentist in quite some time, the professional cleaning may be more involved, with techniques such as periodontal scaling (cleaning the roots beneath the gum line), which can take multiple visits.

Dentistry has come a long way – if you’ve been putting off seeing your dentist because you’re anxious about the pain, rest assured that modern dentistry involves far less pain than you may remember. Talk to your dentist when you arrive if you’re nervous, and let them know – they’ll be happy to go slower, and explain what they’re doing to help keep your mind at east. Remember that visiting the dentist early and often can help catch minor problems before they become major problems, which means fewer and faster dental visits in the future.

Call Dr. Ted Haines DDS for more information on oral health or to make an appointment today at 360-568-8577 or visit the website at tedhainesdds.com.

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

Dental Drills | Snohomish, Wa Dentist

Close-up of dental tools

Many people associate trips to the dentist with the sound of the dental drill. While for many the sound is a source of anxiety, the drill itself is a highly advanced instrument that enables dentists to treat patients quickly and painlessly. Known by many dentists as simply a handpiece, these high tech tools have some interesting characteristics.

First, for health and safety, the dental drill is subject to sterilization after each patient. For safety, this means it’s heated to over 250 degrees with pressurized steam, and kept at that temperature for 15 minutes. This requires extreme engineering to enable – the constant heating and cooling is difficult on metals, but dental drills can withstand this punishment many times a day.

The drills spin at up to 250,000 RPM – more than 4,000 times each second. The heat created by this speed could easily crack a tooth or permanently damage the nerves within a tooth, but to prevent this, dental drills shoot a cooling mist of water as they spin. This cools the tooth, preventing damage.

Dentists will use both a high-speed drill and a low-speed drill – the high speed is often used for removing decay, where the low speed can be used for polishing teeth. While your dentist will use a modern, high speed, high tech handpiece, the original dental drills were first used over 9000 years ago. Hopefully knowing a bit more about the drill may make the sound less disturbing, but if you’re ever worried about the noise, consider asking your dentist about options to minimize anxiety, such as music, earplugs, or television.

Call Dr. Ted Haines DDS for more information on sedation or to make an appointment today at 360-568-8577 or visit the website at tedhainesdds.com.

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

What is Sleep Dentistry? | Dentist in Snohomish, WA

Girl lying on the grass

Sleep dentistry is preferred by some patients who may experience only slight anxiety to a severe dental phobia. For those with such conditions, sleep dentistry also allows your dentists to work more quickly and effectively. However, there are a number of different types of sleep dentistry.

So what are the different types of sleep dentistry?

-Oral Moderate sedation is typically given in the form of a pill in the same family as Valium. As a result, you’ll be very drowsy, but still often awake. A larger dose may be used to allow you to fully sleep, though you can often be awakened with a gentle shake.

-Light sedation, typically inhaled, often nitrous oxide – ‘laughing gas’  – takes effect quickly, wears off quickly, and allows you to answer questions during the procedure. You’ll likely remember most of the procedure, but will feel little pain or discomfort.

-Deep sedation / general anesthesia is an option for some patients and procedures. With deep sedation, the patient is fully asleep, and must be closely monitored. The patient cannot be awoken quickly or easily. In many cases, a dentist may have an anesthesiologist available to administer anesthesia and monitor the patient while the dentist focuses on the oral procedure.

-IV Moderate sedation is given through a vein, and typically aims for effects similar to oral moderate sedation – anywhere from very drowsy to light sleep.

You should speak to your dentist about which may be right for you. The answer will depend on your medical history, level of anxiety, the length and nature of the procedure, and occasionally your budget or insurance. As is always the case, if you have any questions, Dr. Haines is here to guide you.

Call Dr. Ted Haines DDS for more information on sedation or to make an appointment today at 360-568-8577 or visit the website at tedhainesdds.com.

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