Did You Know?

Why Are My Teeth Getting Stained?

We whiten a lot of teeth at our Lynnwood dental clinic, and many patients want to know what they can do to keep their teeth white.  Many of them are already aware of the bigger threats to their enamel: they eschew smoking, coffee, candy and soda, and yet they still routinely find themselves with a lackluster smile.  The unfortunate truth is that it’s hard to completely avoid tooth-staining substances, for even many of our healthier options can have a tendency to leave a mark on your pearly-whites.  Consider this list of tooth-stainers:

  • Berries.  This includes both whole berries and berries that have been processed into pies, jams, wines, and the like.
  • Colorful sauces, like soy sauce, tomato sauce, and curry.
  • Tea, even herbal teas and white teas, may have at least as much staining potential as coffee.
  • Sports drinks and energy drinks.

Obviously, you can’t be expected to cut all of these out of your diet.  Some represent foods that a good nutritionist would advise you to eat on a daily basis, and you shouldn’t be denying yourself a healthy diet to preserve the whiteness of your teeth.

What you can do, however, is adopt habits to minimize tooth stains.  Drinking certain drinks through straws can reduce their staining potential, and brushing soon (but not too soon!) after staining meals can eliminate staining agents before they settle in.  And of course, no matter what may happen, you can always count on Song’s dental center to put the sparkle back into your grin.

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Plaque and Tartar: What’s the Difference?

When you go in for a cleaning with our Lynnwood dental clinic, you’ll probably hear the words “plaque” and “tartar” a lot. Some people make the mistake of thinking that these terms are interchangeable, and this shows an unfortunate lack of understanding in the harmful build-up that afflicts your mouth.

In simple terms, plaque is a sticky film that grows on your teeth. This is where bacteria is mingling with the food you eat and producing the acids that can break down your teeth and gums. The good news is that it’s easy to remove; a gentle, twice-daily brushing and flossing is all you need to keep plaque down to manageable levels.

When plaque isn’t dealt with quickly enough, it will eventually turn into tartar. Tartar is similar to plaque in that it continues to contribute to tooth decay, but now it’s a hard shell that cannot be removed with normal brushing. This is the substance that your dentist needs to scratch away during your regular cleanings.

The process of removing tartar deposits is called scaling, and only a dental professional should attempt it. If you attempt to scale your own teeth, you might dig into your enamel and damage your tooth. So keep up your regular brushing to manage your plaque, and leave the tartar to Song’s Lynnwood dental center.

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When Canker Sores Go Bad

We all get canker sores every now and then.  They usually appear without apparent reason, only to disappear just as easily within a few days.  But when does a canker sore turn into a problem?  Look out for these warning signs for when it’s time to bring your sore to Song’s Lynnwood dental clinic:

  • You have a sore that persists for more than two weeks.
  • Your sore is more than one centimeter in diameter.
  • You have a high fever that appeared when your sore appeared.
  • Your sore is unbearable, particularly if it makes it difficult to drink.
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The Ins and Outs of Teething

Got a new baby? Not looking forward to the teething? Your Lynnwood dental clinic can help. It can be a tough phase for an infant, but there are ways for you to help your little one to ride it out in comfort and make sure that he or she has a good and healthy start with his or her new teeth.

For most babies, teeth will begin to erupt anywhere between three and twelve months, most often around the six month mark. Be on the lookout for the signs: irritability, drooling, gumming, loss of appetite, a fever or a change in bowel movements can all indicate that a tooth is coming in.

If your baby appears to be in pain, try massaging the gums for two minutes at a time using a clean finger or a cool, clean cloth or teething ring. Some babies can benefit from chewing on a teething ring or teething biscuit, though you should supervise such activity to prevent a choking hazard. If your baby is having particular problems, you may consider an age-appropriate painkiller; be sure to consult your doctor for any medication you want to give your baby.

If your baby develops a rash during teething, this is likely due to the excessive drooling he or she is doing. Keep your baby clean to minimize this problem.

A tooth will usually erupt about three to five days after symptoms of teething start, and symptoms should go away quickly thereafter. If a tooth is not erupting, or if symptoms persist longer than they ought to, call your doctor.

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The Myth About Root Canals

Are you facing a root canal? The common wisdom may be “Just have the tooth pulled! A root canal is painful!” If anybody tries to tell you this, however, then they clearly have never been to Song’s Lynnwood dental clinic.

The truth is that the public notion of root canals is astonishingly dated. Older techniques were such a grueling experience that people who have never had them are willing to avoid them like the plague based on secondhand rumor alone. In the modern dental world, with all our latest equipment and scientific know-how, many patients are finding that root canals are quicker, easier, and more effective than they ever could have hoped.

Most root canal patients report not experiencing any pain at all during their procedures. The process is also shorter than it used to be, often taking only one or two appointments to complete. You’d be surprised how easily you can be free of your crippling toothache!

Some people also believe that root canals can make you sick. This fear leads back to research conducted between 1910 and 1930. Not only has medical science progressed far throughout the last eighty years, but the studies that established the dangers of root canals have not been successfully reproduced.

If you need a root canal, don’t put up with the pain for another day! Call our Lynnwood dentist and make an appointment for a modern, hassle-free procedure that will put your mouth back in working order in no time!

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How Pregnancy Affects Your Oral Health

Are you pregnant? Congratulations! Call your parents, call your friends, and then be sure to call your Lynnwood dental clinic. Dental care may not be first on your list of priorities when you’re expecting, but pregnancy has a bigger impact on your oral health than you may expect.

First and foremost, you’ll want to make sure that your dentist plans your treatment around your pregnancy. There are certain procedures that may put your baby-to-be in unnecessary danger. If you can, tell your dentist if you’re planning to get pregnant before the pregnancy occurs so that you can have your regular x-rays or any other treatments done in advance.

On top of this, you will want to take extra care throughout your pregnancy to avoid tooth decay and gum disease. Your body goes through changes during pregnancy, and some of these changes compromise your ability to fight dental problems. Combine this with the increased consumption of sugary foods that many pregnant women go through, and it adds up to a seventy percent rate of women experiencing some form of gum problem while pregnant.

A healthy mouth means a healthy body, and a healthy body means a healthy baby. If you would like to learn more about how to handle your oral hygiene during pregnancy, contact Song’s Lynnwood dental center today.

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Watching for Gum Disease

In many ways, the health of your gums is more important than that of your teeth.  Gums are fragile and harder to repair, and when they’re compromised your entire mouth can suffer.  This is why our Lynnwood dental clinic offers extensive periodontal care, and encourages you to watch out for these warning signs of gum disease:

  • Your gums bleed easily, particularly after proper brushing or flossing.
  • The gums are inflamed, changing color and swelling up to an unusual size.
  • Pus appears in between your teeth and gums.
  • Your gum line is retreating from your teeth, exposing the roots of the teeth.
  • You experience bad breath that doesn’t go away..
  • You have a bad taste in your mouth that you cannot account for.
  • Your teeth no longer fit together the way they used to.
  • Your teeth are coming loose.

Gum disease is among the leading causes of tooth loss among adults, but it is easily treated if it is caught in its early stages.  If you experience any of these warning signs, don’t hesitate to call Song’s Lynnwood dental center.

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Do You Need to Remove Your Wisdom Teeth?

Wisdom teeth are frequently the last teeth to erupt in your mouth, generally appearing as you enter adulthood. Our Lynnwood dental clinic offers wisdom tooth extractions, which are common and simple procedures that many adults have to go through. However, the idea that wisdom teeth must necessarily be removed is a common misconception.

If you have wisdom teeth, consider the impact they have on your mouth. Have they come in crooked? Are they crowding your other teeth, throwing your bite out of alignment or putting strain on your jaw? Finally, how easy is it for you to care for these teeth? If their position makes brushing and flossing an ordeal, they could quickly turn into a hotbed of bacteria that could ruin your entire mouth. Any of these conditions can make you a candidate for a wisdom tooth removal. If you think you could live comfortably with your wisdom teeth, however, then you may very well be one of the lucky ones.

Call our office to schedule your own wisdom tooth extraction, or to explore your options with your wisdom teeth.

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White Fillings: the Clear Choice over Silver

At Song’s Lynnwood dental clinic, we favor the newer, composite fillings over amalgam. Not only do they look better, blending in with the white of your teeth, but they’re also a lot less controversial.

The biggest issue regarding the silver amalgam fillings is their mercury content. These fillings are generally about fifty percent mercury, which is by itself a highly toxic material. For a long time the FDA maintained that the mercury in amalgam fillings is safe, but in light of recent lawsuits in the past decade they have been forced to acknowledge that mercury vapors that may be released in the process of installing an amalgam filling could have a harmful effect on developing fetuses or anyone with a particular sensitivity to mercury.

Though controversy continues on the topic, and amalgam continues to be used in about thirty percent of dental fillings, Song Dental Center is happy to offer a safe and effective alternative to you and your family. When it’s time to go under the drill, make the secure choice and call our Lynnwood dentist for a composite filling.

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