M 7am-4pm|Tu 10am-7pm|F 7am-4pm|Sa 9am-2pm   18323 98th Ave NE #2, Bothell, WA 98011
   425​-​354​-​3138

All Posts in Category: Healthy Living

Celebrating Earth Day Every Day – Our Practice’s Focus on Sustainability

Earth day is April 22 and marks the anniversary of the beginning of the modern environmental movement. Each year this day represents the opportunity to reflect on how we can better serve our environment and reduce our impact. For our practice, environmental stewardship and sustainability is something we consider as part of our daily operations. There are several ways we strive to reduce our eco-footprint and in many cases this improves efficiency for patients as well.

Paperless Practice 

Do you remember the shelves of colorful, alphabetized files in your dentist’s office? Our practice utilizes a dental software that allows us to electronically store all patient files and perform paperless charting. All information is securely stored on our servers and protected in accordance with Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) guidelines. This not only eliminates paper waste, but it also makes it easy to send over records to specialists when needed via email. We also offer text message reminders for patients providing a quick and easy alternative to reminder postcards that create additional paper waste.

Focus on Natural Light

When designing our space, Dr. McCauley worked with our contractor to remove low ceilings to let in natural light from the windows that span the front of our office. This allows us to minimize the need for additional lighting and helps us to reduce our electricity use. Additionally, each treatment room features one wall of windows allowing patients to enjoy natural light (and hopefully sunshine) during their appointment.

CEREC Same-Day Crowns 

We are proud to offer our patients same-day crowns through the technology of our CEREC (Chairside Economical Restoration of Esthetic Ceramics) machine. The CEREC machine works like a 3D printer and allows us to mill the crown in-office while you wait. The milled porcelain used by the CEREC machine, in addition to being more accurate, is actually far less energy-intensive than conventional lab work. It is also earth-friendly as it prevents lab material from ending up in landfills. Additionally, this technology eliminates the need for multiple appointments and saves our patients time which in turn reduces carbon emissions.

Digital Images

Our x-rays and intraoral camera capture digital images that provide superior imaging with less radiation exposure. These files are also stored electronically in our patient files saving time and reducing waste materials from traditional x-ray development. Digital x-rays also allow us to adjust the contrast of images to detect bone loss and cavities.

 Recycling and Compost Program

We also work to reduce our landfill contributions by participating in both a recycling and compost program. Many dental products need to be shipped and we strive to combine shipments and recycle to cut down on cardboard waste.

We hope these small changes add up to a large benefit for our planet. Let us know what changes you’ve made to reduce your impact or how you are celebrating Earth Day this year!

Dr. Amanda McCauley, DDS

Read More

Everything You Need to Know About Dental Sealants

Today we’re focusing on one the most important ways you can prevent cavities in your children’s teeth. Despite modern technology and the number of dental care products on the market, cavities are the most common chronic disease for children ages 6-19 according to the Center for Disease Control (CDC).

The good news is that cavities are almost completely preventable with the proper care.  While the first step is instilling healthy brushing and flossing habits early on, parents can also give their children an advantage by talking to your dentist about sealants. Let’s walk through everything you need to know about sealants and provide answer to some of the most common questions we receive.

What is a Sealant?

While flossing and brushing can help control plaque, our molar teeth have deep grooves that help us grind our food.  While this is great for enjoying our favorite foods, debris can get stuck in these areas making teeth vulnerable to decay and cavities.   Dental sealants are a coating that is applied to the surface or occlusal of the teeth to provide a barrier to protect teeth from food and future decay.

Do Sealants Really Make a Difference?

Yes, they do! According to recent research published in the Journal of the American Dental Association, sealants on permanent molars are shown to reduce the risk of cavities by 80%. Since kids don’t always brush as thoroughly as we would like them to, sealants are a great first line of defense to protect your children from cavities.

How are Sealants Applied?

Since most sealants are applied to children, the process is designed to be quick and painless.  To achieve the greatest benefit from sealants, they should be applied shortly after permanent teeth arrive. For most children, this occurs around age 6.  The dentist or hygienist begins by polishing each tooth to prepare it for the sealant application. Once it is free of any plaque or debris, they apply a liquid material that fills into the valleys of the tooth.  After a few minutes, the material has set and after final inspection, your child will be able to eat immediately after their appointment.

Glass Ionomer Sealants and their Benefits

There has been recent concern regarding the potential health impacts of Bis-Phenol A (BPA) found in resin sealants.  Research has shown that only trace amounts of BPA are found in resin sealants – including less than in the air we breathe.   The ADA’s infographic below illustrates exactly low the risk is.

Our practice uses glass ionomer sealants that do not contain Bis-Phenol A (BPA) or Bis-GMA.  The sealants are part of the GC America’s family of products that met strict ISO quality standards.  Additionally, GC America’s products have the CE mark in Europe, are registered with Health Canada, and have received FDA Pre-Market Notification clearance for sale in the United States under section 510(k) of the Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act.

Glass ionomer sealants have several advantages including:

  • The ability to be placed on a partially erupted tooth for earlier protection than a resin sealant
  • Moisture-tolerant which allows for easy placement
  • High release of fluoride – which provides additional protection against decay
  • Quick setting – the glass ionomer sealants only take a few minutes to set making for a shorter appointment to get you and your child on your way

We hope this information answers any questions you had about sealants. If you have additional questions please don’t hesitate to contact us at (425) 354-3138 and we’d be happy to chat more about them!

Dr. Amanda McCauley, DDS

Read More

First Day of Winter

While it’s felt like winter around here lately, today is the first official day of the winter season! The change of seasons is a great time to swap out your old toothbrush for a new one as they tend to wear out after a few months of use. If you’re still shopping for stocking stuffers, it’s a great opportunity to pick up some toothbrushes and add them to their stocking!

Read More

Ideas and Quick Tips to Get You Started Flossing

Over the course of my career as a dental hygienist, I constantly hear from patients that they don’t enjoy flossing. I tell them I don’t care what you use between your teeth as long as you use something! I realize flossing isn’t everyone’s favorite activity but research has suggested a link between oral and heart health. When your mouth is healthy, so is your heart.

In people with periodontal disease, brushing can release bacteria into the bloodstream. It’s also possible that inflammation in the mouth can lead to inflammation throughout the body including hardened arteries, also known as atherosclerosis. Atherosclerosis is a condition that makes it hard for blood to flow to the heart. This condition is a serious concern and puts you at greater risk for heart attacks and strokes. If you’re curious to learn more you can find additional information at http://www.health.harvard.edu/press_releases/heart-disease-oral-health.

Even if you haven’t been an avid flosser, it’s never too late to start! I have always preferred using Listerine Woven floss because it gets out so much food and plaque caught in between my teeth. I enjoy hearing that squeaky noise as I floss my teeth because it means I’m disrupting the colonization of bacteria.

Below are three additional interdental tools that will also help remove food and bacteria:

  • Soft picks – They come in two sizes, original and wider spaces. I like them because they fit so easily in your purse and they are perfect for life on the go!
  • Gum Proxabrush– comes in a variety of sizes (ultra-tight, tight, moderate, severe). These are great for people who have wide spaces between their teeth and get that extra impacted food that floss just won’t reach.
  • Floss holders – Although not my preferred first choice because adaptability around the tooth is limited, but they are a wonderful tool for children and believe or not, men with large hands.

I hope these help give you some other ideas to help keep your gums healthy! If you are wondering which tool might be best for your mouth ask me at your next appointment.

Tiffany Washburn, RDH

Read More
Soda Free August

Soda Free August

Participating in Soda Free August (‪#‎SodaFreeAugust‬) is a great choice for your teeth which will avoid all the sugars found in sodas. If you’re still looking for a carbonated beverage – check out the top picks from Food52’s recent taste test for some of the best sparkling water options out there!

Food 52 Taste Test

Food52 tested six sparking waters (Whole Foods Italian Sparkling Water, Poland Spring, Mountain Valley, La Croix, Voss, and San Benedetto), five seltzer waters (Boylan, Polar, Fairway brand, Hal’s, and Adirondack), two club sodas (Whole Foods 365, Q-Club), and four carbonated mineral waters (Perrier, Gerolsteiner, San Pellegrino, and Selters). Everyone agreed the drinks tasted different, but the testers couldn’t agree on how they tasted! If you don’t have tooth sensitivity, try drinking the water at colder temperatures to improve the taste.

Dr. McCauley’s choice for Soda Free August

Dr. McCauley’s prefers Refreshe, sold by Safeway, even though it didn’t make the cut in the taste test. Since Dr. McCauley doesn’t often drink soda, she likes to have Refreshe as a refreshing alternative. The carbonation is a good alternative if you’re trying to cut back on soda. Remember that flat or distilled water is still the best option for healthy teeth!

Sparkling water isn’t only for the rich and famous

Good sparkling water doesn’t have to break the bank. One taste tester thought the more cost-effective Whole Foods 365 brand tasted more expensive. Surprisingly, the more expensive waters like Perrier and San Pellegrino didn’t stand out. In that case, Dr. McCauley recommends giving a grocery store brand a try!

Call us today (425) 354-3138, fill out an appointment request on our website http://mccauleydentistry.com or ZocDoc, or email us at [email protected].

Dr. Amanda McCauley, DDS

Read More

Keep Your Family Happy and Healthy this Summer

Summertime is finally here! For many families that means school is out and kids are home on summer break.  While most parents prepare for summer activities with sunscreen, bug spray, and first aid kits, it’s important to consider your child’s dental health as well.  Below are some tips for keeping your kids’ smiles healthy this summer.

Keep up Good Oral Hygiene Amidst Schedule Changes 

With schedules changing from school days to time at the beach, pool, summer camp, and vacation, it can be easy to fall out of our usual dental care routines.  Encourage your children to keep up their healthy habits despite the shift in schedules.  It’s ok if that’s at 7:00 am before swim practice or at 9:30 pm after enjoying s’mores as long as they are brushing twice and flossing at least once per day!

You can also put our office goodie bags to good use by pulling together the travel size dental essentials (toothpaste, floss, toothbrush, mouthwash) and creating a portable travel bag for your children that can easily be transferred from their swim bag to overnight bag as needed.

On a long road trip without a brushing opportunity on the horizon?  Be sure to drink water instead of sugary drinks and sodas and try to rinse after eating to help remove any starches or acids from your teeth.

The Beginning of Summer is the Best Time to Schedule Your Child’s Check-up

According to a 2015 survey conducted by Delta Dental on U.S. students, more than 30 percent of parents said their children between the ages of 6 and 12 had to miss school due to an oral health problem.   Make life easier and schedule dental check-ups during summer vacation when you don’t have to coordinate with their academic calendar.

Many parents wait until August to schedule their children’s check-ups before the start of the school year, the beginning of the summer is actually the best time to get your kids scheduled.  By having Dr. McCauley clear your children of any issues before the start of summer, you can relax knowing you won’t have any dental surprises during a weekend camping trip or while you’re out of town.   If there are any issues to address, it’s easier to take care of them during the summer instead of when you’re getting organized for a new school year.

Prevent Dental Emergencies

We know summer means more time outside playing basketball, baseball, swimming, biking, and enjoying other outdoor sports.  While all these activities are part of the fun of summer, they can unfortunately result in a dental injury. Here’s some tips to prevent some common accidents.

According to the Academy of General Dentistry, many summer oral injuries are the result of a pool accident.  Your kids may roll their eyes at the pool rules of “no running on the deck” or “no excessive horseplay” but slippery decks and hard ledges present two opportunities to chip or knock a tooth loose.  Remind your children why the rules are in place and encourage them to play and swim safely.

Feel like you’ve spend your summer at the pool?  Don’t be surprised if you notice discoloration on your children’s teeth. Swimmers who spend more than six hours a week in chemically treated water may be at risk for developing stains on their teeth.  Pool water contains chemicals that give the water a higher pH than saliva.  As a result, salivary proteins break down quickly and form organic deposits on teeth. These hard, brown deposits, known as “swimmers’ calculus,” appear most frequently on the front teeth.  Parents should be aware but not alarmed; swimmers’ calculus can normally be removed by a professional dental cleaning.

Know how to React When Accidents Happen

Despite our best efforts, accidents happen!  It’s important to know what to do in case of a dental emergency to minimize your child’s pain, chance of infection, and increase their chances of a quick recovery.  If your child chips or loses a tooth, first clean the area with warm water and apply an ice pack to reduce the swelling.  Apply gauze to stop any bleeding, clean the tooth of any debris, check the orientation of the tooth, and try to replace a lost permanent tooth back in the mouth.  If that’s not an option, use saltwater or milk to keep it moist for the ride to the dentist.  It’s important to get to the dentist’s office as quickly as you can so they can assess the tooth and take immediate action.

I also recommends a dental emergency kit to take with you on your summer adventures.  It can be as simple as a bag that includes gauze, a small container with a lid, ibuprofen, and our office contact information (425) 354-3138 or [email protected]. Enjoy your summer and comment below to let us know about your summer travels!

Dr. Amanda McCauley, DDS

Read More

Teeth Brushing Basics to Save You Money – 2 Minutes Twice a Day

Your Morning Routine

What does your morning routine look like? You wake up, stretch, think about the day ahead and remember the dozens of things you have to do before you leave the house. Even on your most hectic days, your teeth, your dentist, and your wallet will thank you if you remember your teeth brushing!

If you’ve ever felt an uncomfortable texture on your teeth or in your mouth, chances are it was related to plaque build-up. Plaque is a sticky film of germs and food that forms on your teeth and gums after eating and even while you sleep! Leaving plaque on your teeth by not brushing twice a day and flossing once a day can lead to cavities and gum disease, not to mention bad breath. Bacteria thrives on plaque and food particles and processes the sugar, carbohydrates, and starch, converting them to acid.  You want to protect your healthy tooth structure for your whole life, and good oral hygiene is the way to do that.

If you remember teeth brushing, you’ll leave the house feeling refreshed and ready to take on the day!

Teeth Brushing Basics:

  • Use a soft toothbrush. This will be kind to your enamel and gum tissue.
  • Place a pea size amount of fluoride toothpaste on your brush.
  • Place your tooth brush at an angle toward your gums.
  • Move the brush in an elliptical motion gently and in short strokes.
  • Brush the tops and the sides of the teeth.
  • Count to thirty for each quadrant. You should be brushing a total of 2 minutes. The electric toothbrushes are timed to last the full 2 minutes so you don’t have to count!
  • Remember to brush your tongue to remove germs and freshen your breath!

Your Evening Routine

Before heading to sleep after a long day, it’s tempting to skip brushing and hop right into bed.  Between cooking dinner, catching up with family, wrapping up emails, and heading to the gym – we know there’s not much energy left!  Try to think about what you’ve eaten over the course of the day (three meals, snacks, and drinks).  By not brushing, you’re allowing bacteria in your mouth to start turning those carbohydrate and starches into cavity-causing sugars.  It only takes a couple minutes to STOP the bacteria in its tracks and remove the plaque before it damages your teeth!

An extra two minutes in the morning and two minutes at night will save you money on dental work and trips to the dentist. Remember to schedule your 6-month professional cleaning and check-up to ensure problems are caught when they are small and easy to fix!

Just realized it’s time for your next visit?  We have convenient early morning, late evening, and weekend hours that simplify scheduling without any need to take time off from work or school.

Call us today (425) 354-3138, fill out an appointment request on our website http://mccauleydentistry.com, or email us at [email protected]

Dr. Amanda McCauley, DDS

Read More

Kids Toothpaste Basics

Even though those teeth are tiny, it’s important to begin dental care as soon as possible! The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD) recommends starting your child’s dental care as early as a few weeks after birth.  At this point you don’t need kids toothpaste but can clean your child’s gums with a soft infant toothbrush or cloth and water. After their first baby teeth appear, switch to brushing twice daily with a soft, age-appropriate sized toothbrush.

Children under three years of age only need a small amount of toothpaste – think as small as a grain of rice. For children 3 to 6 years old, the amount should be increased to a pea-size dollop.  By dispensing the toothpaste, you’re preventing them from swallowing too much. Little ones don’t have the ability to brush their teeth effectively on their own so it’s important for parents to help out and encourage healthy habits your kids will continue for a lifetime.

Children’s toothpastes come in a variety of fun flavors and packaging but be sure to make sure the one you pick has fluoride and the American Dental Association’s Seal of Acceptance.  Happy Brushing!

Dr. Amanda McCauley, DDS

Read More

5 Tips for a Bright Smile

Valentine’s Day is right around the corner, and everyone wants to make sure they have a bright smile! With an upcoming holiday focused on romance, I start thinking about prepping for date night. One of the first things that people notice when they initially meet you is your smile. Having a bright, white smile is an easy way to make a great first impression, and it will make you appear younger and happier. Whitening aside, increasing your home care and maintaining a healthy mouth will help prevent cavities and gum disease, sprucing up your fresh breath!

Here are 5 Steps to a bright smile:

1. Focus on Flossing. To whiten your smile, start with basic oral hygiene. Healthy pink gums are the backdrop of a beautiful smile and will make your teeth appear brighter. Also, if you don’t floss, you actually miss 35% of each tooth surface! Allowing food, plaque, and bacteria to build up between your teeth will make it easier for food, drinks, and tobacco to accumulate and stain your teeth.

2. Use Over the Counter or In Office Whitening Products. There are a wide variety of whitening products that have been released over the years. Some over the counter products do work, but many provide very small signs of improvement. Whitening toothpastes have chemical and polishing agents that increase stain removal, but they do little to change the base shade of the tooth. If you desire a bigger change, dentist-supervised tooth whitening remains the safest and most effective method. A dentist can provide you with a properly fitting mouth tray that keeps whitening gel from leaking, increasing the effectiveness of the treatment.

3. While Whitening, Watch Out for Food and Drinks that Stain. Carbamide peroxide and similar whitening agents open up pores in your teeth, which means they will easily absorb anything. Stay away from coffee, red wine, tea, ketchup, mustard, and chocolate during your whitening regimen. Once you’ve reached your ideal shade, you may resume your coffee consumption. Remember, though, staying away from these foods and drinks will keep your teeth whiter for longer!

Veggie

4. Consume Crunchy Foods & Snacks. Snacking on hard, raw fruits or vegetables (like apples and carrots) helps produce more saliva. Saliva helps wash away food and bacteria from between your teeth. Saliva battles the effects of acidic foods and beverages, keeping your teeth looking bright. Drinking plenty of water throughout the day will help as well.

5. Make It Lighter with Lipstick. To instantly have a bright smile, shades of lipstick with a blue undertone (instead of yellow or orange) will contrast the yellow hue in your teeth and make them appear bright.

Lipstick

Remember to talk with your dentist. Depending on the hue of your teeth, certain whitening procedures will work easier for you than others. Also, teeth with crowns and fillings will not whiten with the rest of your teeth. Your dentist can help you understand the best way to whiten your smile and make your teeth sparkle! If you take care of your teeth, your smile will stay brighter for a year or two after whitening. With proper at home touch-up whitening, your smile will stay brighter for even longer.

If you are interested in professional, in-office whitening we are offering a promotion during the month of February for half off the regular price of Philips Zoom Whitening.  For $275 (regularly $550) and a hour and half appointment you can achieve noticeable results.  Call us to learn more at  (425) 354-3138.  You can also request an appointment through our website at http://mccauleydentistry.com.

Dr. Amanda McCauley, DDS

 

Read More

Get Ready for Valentine’s Day with Our Whitening Special

What’s on your calendar for Valentine’s Day? Are you still looking for a last minute gift idea? We know patients want to look and feel their best this month which is why we’re happy to offer a limited time promotion on Zoom Whitening for $275 ($550 value). This professional whitening method delivers results and only requires one appointment.  You can stop in, sit back, relax and walk out with sparkling teeth just in time for Valentine’s Day.  This promotion is open to both new and existing patients. For new patients, we are conveniently located in Downtown Bothell right next to the library.

Questions?  We’d be happy to answer them! Call us to learn more or to schedule your appointment at (425) 354-3138.  You can also request an appointment through our website at http://mccauleydentistry.com.

Read More

18323 98th Ave NE #2, Bothell, WA