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.

Are Fairies Taking Care of Our Children? | Snohomish Dentist

Losing your first tooth has become almost a rite of passage for tiny humans. Not only are they getting bigger, but when it is time for your tooth to start wiggling around in your mouth, you are guaranteed a ticket to “big kid” town. Yes, it is truly hitting the big time. And not only are you becoming a big kid, but you can expect some type of treat after you tuck that tooth under your pillow before bedtime. But why has this tradition come to pass? In honor of August 22nd being National Tooth Fairy Day, let’s take a closer look at why we have the Tooth Fairy ever-present in our childhoods…

Believe it or not, the Tooth Fairy is just one of a group of fairies that were created in the 1920’s to teach our tiny humans lessons to stay in good health. There were fairies for everything – bath fairies and tooth whitening fairies – all of which taught our children to eat their veggies or go outside and play outside in the fresh air. In 1927, Esther Watkins Arnold created an 8-page playlet that brought what we know as the Tooth Fairy to life and was performed by children the following year. To knock in the fairy idea home, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle published pictures of two little girls surrounded by “verified” fairies he claimed were real. Add a touch of Disney with their creations of Pinocchio and Cinderella and you have a perfect mythical character to help ease your child into the new world of losing their teeth and becoming a big kid.

If you would like more information about the Tooth Fairy, 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 all surrounding areas.

The ABCs of Implant-Supported Dentures | Snohomish Dentist

There comes a time in our lives that we may be faced with the idea that we are going to need dentures. And while we assimilate dentures with the sets of teeth sitting in a glass next to your bed, this doesn’t have to be your only option with implant-supported dentures.

An implant-supported denture is a type of overdenture attached to and supported by implants. So instead of having traditional dentures, these are more stable for those that have issues with bone loss in the jaw because they don’t rest on the gums.

There are two types of implant-supported dentures: bar-retained and ball-retained. While they have similarities, there are subtle differences. Bar-retained dentures consists of two to five jawbone implants with a thin metal bar attached to the said implants. Ball-retained dentures are composed of metal attachments in the jawbone that are fitted onto the sockets found on the denture.

The whole process can take as short as five months to more than a year because of the two surgeries involved in the process. The first one is for the placement of the implants in the jawbone. The second, which comes three to six months after the first, then exposes the tops of the implants.

Fortunately, implant-supported dentures are much more stable than regular dentures, making them well worth the risk. They’re also more comfortable to wear and less likely to interfere with how you speak or eat so there is no need to make any major changes to your day-to-day. And while you may think you are home free as far as dental care, hard or sticky foods are still prohibited.

If you would like more information about implant-supported dentures, 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 all surrounding areas.

Major Advantages to Dental Crowns | Snohomish Dentist

When it comes to our smile, we do our best to keep is as healthy and bright as possible. But there are times when we need a little bit of help from some cosmetic dentistry. Dental crowns are some of the most versatile options to treat your smile. Let’s take a moment to break down the six major reasons your grin can be saved by this multi-faceted treatment option…

  • Undergoing a dental crown procedure can improve the look of broken or cracked teeth. If you are suffering from tooth loss, dental crowns are the solution to replace any missing teeth.
  • Dental crowns look extremely natural because the porcelain and composite resin crowns match the exact shade of your natural teeth, making them discreet.
  • For those who are consistent coffee drinkers, dental crowns are perfect because they are stain-resistant. This is because they are made from porcelain, a material that is not prone to discoloration.
  • Due to the durable materials used for your dental crowns, they can last up to 15 years. Not only are they durable, but patients can go about their daily routines without constantly worrying about them falling out of place.
  • Dental crowns are restorative and preventive measures that can not only improve missing or damaged teeth but can also drastically decrease the amount of bacteria build-up that can lead to the loss of more teeth.
  • Having a flawed smile can lead to confidence issues. If you are embarrassed of your missing or damaged teeth, dental crowns are the perfect solution to build your confidence.

If you would like more information about dental crowns, 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 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.

How Chewing Gum Helps Whitened Tooth Sensitivity | Snohomish Dentist

Taking chewing gumHave you ever noticed that our teeth seem to feel extra sensitive after we get our teeth whitened? Sure, they look great but at what cost? We know they do a great job, but what about the whitening process makes our mouths feel this way and how can we get it to stop? The remedy to this tooth sensitivity is as simple as popping a piece of chewing gum into your mouth.

Before getting into the evidence to support this theory, let’s take a quick look at what constitutes sensitive teeth. A tooth can become sensitive for a different reasons. When we get our teeth whitened, we are polishing up enamel that has gotten a little dull. As our day-to-day lives cause tooth enamel to wear, teeth become increasingly prone to pain when drinking or eating certain foods. Receding gums can also play a major role in causing your teeth to become sensitive and there are lots of reasons gums can recede. Dentin exposure can cause your teeth (and their roots) to no longer have all of the protection our gums and tooth enamel provide. It is this that causes the pain we feel.

Now that we know a little bit more about what could cause the sensitivity, let’s get back into what can help relieve it. A study was published in the British Dental Journal stating 88 patients were broken into three groups prior to receiving an in-office teeth whitening. The groups were as follows: patients without chewing gum, patients with sugar-free gum, and patients with sugar-free gum that also included Recaldent, a product that helps strengthen tooth enamel by adding calcium & phosphate to its list of ingredients. After the procedure, those patients with gum were asked to begin chewing. Surprisingly enough, those that chewed on a piece of chewing gum had significantly less pain than the group that went without.

But why? Why did the gum-chewing patients feel so much more relief than those that didn’t? Scientists aren’t exactly sure. They have theorized that perhaps the increased saliva production gave the patient some type of relief. Or perhaps, the act of chewing gum made the patient forget about the pain altogether. What they did find is that the version of chewing gum that helped to remineralize teeth did not make a difference in the experiment whatsoever. If the patient had gum, the patient felt some relief, despite its ingredients.

So make sure to pick up a pack of sugar-free gum on the way to your next teeth whitening appointment. Not only will it help prevent cavities, tooth decay and bad breath, but it will also help relieve any sensitivity the whitening procedure may cause.

Save Your Child’s Teeth From Summertime Sweets | Snohomish Dentist

480865629It’s that time of year again…summertime. The kiddies are out of school, it’s tremendously hot, and everywhere you look, someone is touting the next greatest summertime snack craze. And there is nothing your child wants more. It’s the three months of the year that is a parent’s roughest. Sugary sweets are running rampant and your child’s teeth are their victims. So how does one keep an eye on the oral health of a little human during this sweetest of seasons? It takes some smooth talking, but it can be done.

First thing first: You have to water little humans. They all hate water, but it is the most important drink they can have during the scorching summer heat. They will ask for soda or juice. Do your best to keep it to a minimum, like during a meal so they have to finish it in one sitting. If they can’t carry it around with them, sugary bacteria won’t have time to cling on to their teeth to cause cavities. Chewing also produces saliva, which is your mouth’s natural superhero against cavity-causing bacteria, so meals is actually a great time to indulge in a sweet treat. Flavor up the water by adding different fruit combinations. Not only will it taste better, but it may also get everyone into the habit of drinking it more often.

When it comes to the sweet snacks, keep the same rule of thumb in mind. They don’t need a bag of candy they can munch on all day. Opt for a singular snack they have to eat at once, like a candy bar or an ice cream sandwich. When it comes to snacks, there are loads of options that not only taste yummy, but also help fight against cavity-causing bacteria. The act of chewing automatically produces saliva production, so handy snacks like popcorn or pretzels are great options when you just want to have something to nosh on. Fruits and veggies with high water content, like pears and celery, are also great at keeping our mouth’s healthy. Protein is also excellent at getting rid of the acids in your mouth so pack turkey sandwiches, cheese & nuts to your heart’s content. There are so many tasty options to divert their attention away from the junk food, at least for a moment. They are still kids!

When you think about it, it all comes down to balance. You don’t want to deprive yourself and your family of the magical food delights only this season can offer. But you also don’t want to deal with a ton of dental bills in the autumn. So make sure you are trading some healthy options into your family’s summer snack wheel. You CAN have too much of a good thing, so take the time and read the labels. Make sure what you’re giving your child isn’t the world’s worst option. Moderation. And remember: Summertime is the hottest time of year so it’s easy to dehydrate. Sugars also deprive your body from its necessary hydration. The more you dehydrate, the easier things can go wrong internally. So keep those sugary treats to a minimum. Enjoy the summer!

If you would like more information on family oral health care tips, 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, Woodville, and surrounding areas.

Does Dental Anxiety Keep You From Having Your Best Smile? | Snohomish Dentist

ThinkstockPhotos-464323669We all know we need our dentist if we want to maintain our healthy smiles. In fact, it is expected that we visit them twice a year. But what if you have an actual fear of these visits? How are you supposed to be able to not only sit through one visit a year, but two? The idea sounds impossible as every fear you have about this appointment flashes through your mind. So you cancel your appointment. Or just skip out on the idea altogether and just deal with the pain. You aren’t alone. Of all the health professionals feared most by adults, the dentist is at the top of the list. So much so, Dental Anxiety (DA) is an actual diagnosis for this fear. For one reason or another, dental professionals everywhere are puzzled at the idea that their patients would rather do their taxes than keep a check-up appointment.

Fear not, the dental industry is listening. And they have been busy making huge strides in order to calm those fears. It is called sedation dentistry.

To break it down simply, sedation dentistry is the way your dentist relaxes you enough to handle the dental procedure through the use of medication. There are various levels that you can be sedated, ranging from minimal sedation to the completely unconscious general anesthesia. What you receive will depend on your fear and the recommendation made by your dentist. In addition, you will likely receive a numbing agent to the area that will be worked on. This will alleviate any pain you may have caused by the procedure. The idea is to make you as comfortable as possible as they do their job and to make recovery time minimal. Thankfully, there are many ways your personal “relaxation” can be administered.

If you aren’t in need of a lot to relax you, chances are you will be receiving nitrous oxide, or laughing gas. It is given to you as you breathe through a mask, so zero pain is involved. Because it is not a long-lasting option, you will have the option to drive home afterwards.

If you need to be calmed with a bit more than a little gas, the next option would be an oral sedative. Similar to a valium, the pill should be taken about an hour before your procedure so it has time to take effect. It will make a patient groggy, but you will be awake during the procedure. It is also possible to be sedated via an IV. It takes affect a lot quicker but the dentist also has the ability to adjust the amount as needed.

For the more invasive procedures, a deeper sedation will be required. Administered by medications prior to your procedure, this deep sedation method will render you unconscious and unable to be awakened easily, unlike the other lighter versions. General anesthesia is similar in that you will need it to wear off in order to be awakened because you will be in a very deep sleep.

It is important that you discuss all of your options with your dental professional before any procedure. They will know which method will be best for you and your fears while in their care. Mention your medical history or any other vital information that will help decide. Find out the risks. Find out how much experience your dental professional has had with your procedure. The more you know, the calmer you will feel when it’s time to get things done.

If you feel that you may benefit from sedation dentistry,  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, Woodville, and surrounding areas.