Flossing Through History

Do you love learning about the history of people, places and products? If so, you might be interested in learning about where and when dental floss became an essential part of our everyday dental hygiene routines. Did you know that the American Dental Association says that up to 80 percent of plaque in your mouth can be eliminated simply through da...
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Teeth Beware: Pumpkin Spice Lattes Are Back

​ What is the most well-known sign that fall is coming these days? Starbucks' Pumpkin Spice Latte! Even though the official start to fall isn't until September 22, this year, Starbucks' Pumpkin Spice Lattes have returned early to give the social media world plenty to talk about. When the fall favorite was rolled out August 28, it was still 90 degre...
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Keep Teeth Healthy This School Year

​ It's August and back-to-school season is in full swing across the nation. Everyone is filling their shopping carts with markers, pencils and new backpacks. Parents are taking children to get haircuts and physicals and eye exams in preparation for the new school year. But, one thing that often gets overlooked when it comes to back-to-school time i...
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DIY Dentistry Can Be Dangerous and Ridiculous

It’s no secret that YouTube is full of dumb and dangerous ideas, considering the recent Tide Pod challenge that made headlines. One such idea is so dangerous that teens have lost their teeth because of it.

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May Is Better Sleep Month

Every May, the Better Sleep Council, or BSC, sponsors Better Sleep Month with an aim to raise awareness about how poor sleep, especially on a regular basis, can negatively affect our lives and our health. The organization also places an emphasis on all the benefits of getting better sleep to improve our daily lives and overall health.

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Choosing the Right Tools for Your Teeth

Your smile is one of the first things people notice about you. It’s also probably one of the first things you notice about others. Taking care of your teeth is so important. After all, you only get one set of adult teeth to last a lifetime. With so many products on the market, it can be confusing trying to decide exactly which tools you need and how to choose the best of each one. Here, Dr. Amy Norman, a leading adult and cosmetic dentist in Everett, Washington, talks about which tools are essential and how to choose them wisely.

"There are a few must-haves for any oral health routine such as a toothbrush, toothpaste, floss and a dentist you can trust," she said. "Choosing what kind of each product is best can be a little more challenging."

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Yoga Spreads Relaxation All the Way Down to DNA

Americans are busier than ever. Today’s modern professionals are all juggling more than ever before. Pressures run high to be the best, the brightest, the most qualified for the job all while trying to balance a personal life, which for some includes the relationships and needs of spouses and children.

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Dental X-Rays Help Identify Vitamin D Deficiencies

Research published in the International Journal of Paleopathology from McMaster University has shown that dental X-rays can now be used to help spot vitamin D deficiencies by showing the state of the pulp inside teeth. The research team was searching for a way to study vitamin D deficiencies in archaeological specimens without destroying each aged tooth by cutting it open. Their findings could now help identify potential deficiencies in adults and children, which can then be confirmed with a simple blood test.

"Studies are continuing to shed light on the fact that oral health is connected to our overall health in so many ways," said Dr. Amy Norman, DDS, a leading dentist in Everett, Washington.

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Is Flavored Water Really a Healthy Alternative?

According to the consulting firm Beverage Marketing Corp., in 2016 Americans drank more bottled water than carbonated soft drinks for the first time in recent history. The research showed that on average, the average consumer drank 39.3 gallons of bottled water and 38.5 gallons of soft drinks throughout the year.

Soda contains excessive calories that come directly from added sugars. According to the USDA, a standard 12 oz. can of soda has close to 150 calories. A few of those a day can quickly push the consumer over the recommended daily calorie intake. In fact, one soda a day can easily add up to 15 pounds a year.

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This New Toothbrush is Taking the Internet by Storm

The world’s first, fully automatic toothbrush is here and it’s taking the popular crowdfunding site Kickstarter by storm. The revolutionary toothbrush concept, Amabrush, has raised over $1.4 million after setting an initial goal of $57,052.  

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A Dental Visit Before Cancer Treatment Can Help Prevent Infection

Radiation therapy is one of the most common treatments used by medical professionals to eliminate cancer cells. The National Cancer Institute says that nearly half of all cancer patients are treated with radiation at some point in their treatment cycle. It works by damaging the cells’ DNA in order to stop them from dividing and destroy them.

There’s a lot of information available for patients regarding what to expect when faced with this intense treatment option, but not much on how it affects the teeth and mouth of patients.  Head and neck radiation can cause a number of complications when it comes to oral health. These include:

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Swedish Researchers May Have the Key to Treating Canker Sores

Recurrent aphthous stomatitis. Known also as canker sores. Those red, painful spots or ulcers that appear on the inside of the lips, on the tongue or inside the cheek and make talking and eating painful or difficult. Sufferers of canker sores know the pain of this condition all too well. Researchers at the Sahlgrenska Academy at the University of Gothenburg in Sweden are working to change how canker sores are treated by identifying potential causes of the condition

Treatments for the condition usually include topical analgesics to reduce or numb the pain, and in many cases, just waiting for the sore to go away on its own. Canker sores are also hard to distinguish from cold sores. As a result, they are also often treated with the same antiviral medications used for the treatment of cold sores. 

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Can Chewing Your Food Fight Against Illness?

Researchers at the University of Manchester in the United Kingdom report that the act of chewing food stimulates the body to produce cells critical to the body’s defense system against infection and illness. These cells, known as T helper 17 or Th17 cells are part of the body’s adaptive immune system, which fights off harmful disease causing bacteria. Researchers have known that these Th17 cells are produced in the digestive system and the skin amid good bacteria, but they did not know how or why these cells were produced in the mouth.

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Fluoridated Water Benefits

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are encouraging dentists across the country to review annual water quality reports for the communities they serve. The CDC is encouraging dentists to review the reports in order to understand the fluoride levels that their patients are exposed to through drinking water. Understanding fluoride level exposure in the drinking water of patients gives dentists insight into their patients’ oral health.

Fluoride is a naturally occurring mineral found in rocks, soil and water. Fluoride was first added to the drinking water system in Grand Rapids, Michigan, in 1945. Since then, it has been added to many public water drinking systems across the United States as a preventative against tooth decay. Seventy-five percent of cities and other municipalities across the US have fluoride in their public drinking supply. This translates to over 200 million Americans receiving fluoride when they turn on the tap.

The fluoridation of public drinking water is considered one of the top 10 medical advances of the 20th century, according to the CDC. Fluoride helps to remineralize teeth against bacteria that cause tooth decay. Teeth are demineralized by acid formed when the bacteria found in dental plaque and sugars in the mouth left behind from food meet. This acid attacks and weakens the tooth’s enamel, leaving it susceptible to decay.

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5 Habits Wrecking Your Teeth


Grinding Your TeethAlso known as bruxism, grinding your teeth is one of the worst things you can do to your mouth. Grinding wears your tooth enamel down gradually, which can cause pain and increase sensitivity. Tooth grinding typically happens at night, and usually a result of stress. You can prevent grinding by wearing a mouth guard at night.Chomping on Candy Crunching away on hard candy can definitely damage teeth – for two reasons. The first is the pressure exerted on the tooth from crunching the hard candy, and second, sugary foods encourage bacterial growth in the mouth. Gummy candies and chewing gum aren’t exactly safe, either. They are also full of bacteria-loving sugar and can cause damage to restorations like fillings by pulling them out of place.Using Your Teeth as Tools Your teeth are for chewing. They are not for opening packages, cracking hard shells, or opening bottles. Using your teeth in place of scissors or other tools can cause teeth to crack or break.Bad BeveragesYou already know that sodas and other beverages can cause damage by promoting bacterial growth or causing staining, but there are other drinks that can cause damage, too. Fruit juices and sports drinks may seem health but are often full of sugar. Skip these sugary options and opt for plain water instead.Leaving Your MarkChew marks that is. Chewing on pens, pencils, and other objects not designed to be chewed on can damage your teeth and cause them to break and crack.

For more information on these and other dental damaging habits, talk to Dr. Norman at your next check up. Be sure to schedule your next appointment today by calling 425.212.1975.

Are E-Cigs All That Safe?

E-cigs, or electronic cigarettes, are a popular choice for people who have given up smoking cigarettes, but are they really safe? The e-cig device vaporizes a liquid, which is then inhaled by the user. This is commonly known as vaping. The vapor is made up of nicotine, water, glycerin, the food preservative propelene glycol, as well as flavor oils. The vapor replaces smoke and other toxic carcinogens that are found in regular tobacco cigarettes. Because the e-cig eliminates the exposure to smoke and other cancer-causing agents, users possibly lower their risk of contracting lung and other smoking related cancers. Even though e-cigs may be a healthier option than cigarettes and tobacco use, they still have a negative effect on the mouth. Dr. Norman cautions patients about the use of e-cigarettes.

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Can Selfies Improve Your Smile?

An August 2016 Case Western Reserve University School of Dental Medicine study suggests that recording video selfies of brushing one’s teeth may help some individuals improve their oral hygiene practices.

Before the study began, the brushing habits of each participant were reviewed. Each individual was given instruction to correct their technique until they were brushing in the methods prescribed by the American Dental Association. These methods include holding the toothbrush at a 45-degree angle, brushing the inside of the teeth, then the outside and then the chewing surface.

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Study Confirms Substance Abuse Damages Teeth

Recreational drug use is showing an impact on the oral health of users, according to a March 2017 review published in Addiction, the scientific journal of the Society for the Study of Addiction. Study findings show that dental patients using recreational drugs have increased rates of tooth decay and gum disease compared to peers who do not use drugs.

There are approximately three million new drug users per year. The review’s findings came from 28 studies performed across the globe and included the data from 4,086 dental patients who used recreational drugs, and 28,031 patients in the control group.

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Did You Know that Menopause can Affect Your Mouth?

Many menopausal women find that estrogen therapy is helpful in managing any menopause related conditions, but a big benefit other this hormone treatment protocol has recently been seen to benefit the teeth and gums. Estrogen levels decrease during menopause, which leaves women susceptible to losing minerals, like calcium, that are necessary for healthy, dense bones and teeth. Additional complications from the decrease in estrogen levels include gum inflammation and periodontal disease. In fact, every 1 percent of bone density loss translates to a 4 percent increase in periodontal disease, according to the Cleveland Clinic. The Cleveland Clinic also reports that low bone density in the hips, wrist, and lumbar vertebrae show a correlation to low bone density in the jaw.

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Before You Scuba, Stop and See Your Dentist.

Cold winter temperatures may have people dreaming about warmer climates and beach vacations. Before heading off to island destinations, individuals looking to scuba dive may want to stop by their dentist first, according to research from the University of Buffalo. New studies show that scuba diving increases the development and occurrence of some painful dental symptoms.

According to the UB study, performed in conjunction with the University of Rochester, 41 percent of scuba divers experience feeling dental symptoms under water. These symptoms include jaw pain, pain in the gums and even loosened dental restorations like crowns and fillings. Researchers believe this is a result of individuals clenching their jaw to hold a breathing regulator apparatus in their mouth in combination with the pressure exerted on the body underwater. Some patients even experience a condition known as barodontalgia, a painful feeling that occurs as a result of barometric pressure. This condition also happens to many individuals when they ride on airplanes, and even in some patients as a result of weather changes or sinus pressure and infection.

Although there are no recommended dental health requirements for scuba diving participants, a trip to the dentist for a checkup before heading out on vacation may be in a patient’s best interest. During this checkup, the dentist will be able to identify and treat potential areas of concern and ensure restorations are in good repair.

The study surveyed 100 recreational scuba divers, and results of the survey yielded 42 percent of participants reporting symptoms of barodontalgia, while 24 percent experienced jaw pain as a result of holding their breathing apparatus in their mouth. Other participants reported broken fillings and loosened crowns.

The research study also found that the majority of its participants had tooth pain in their molars, and the individuals with the most pain were those who participated in shallow water dives versus those who enjoyed diving in deep water conditions. This is because the pressure exerted on the body in shallow water fluctuates more frequently than the pressure of deep water.

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