February 21st, 2017
Why do teeth become tender and sensitive? Why can some people bite into a nearly sub-arctic temperature ice cream treat with no issue, while others wince in pain, or avoid the treat all together? Can you avoid this happening to you? Eliminating some of the reasons tooth sensitivity develops can help lessen your pain or help you avoid this problem developing.
Here are some of the reasons teeth become sensitive:
Brushing Too Hard
Using a hard-bristled toothbrush or brushing with too much force can start to wear and tear on your teeth and gums. This excess force and friction wears down the protective enamel layer of your teeth, which can eventually expose more sensitive tissue or nerves. These habits can also cause gum damage or recession, exposing the very sensitive root tissue below the gum line. Avoid these issues by switching to a soft bristled brush and brushing in a circular, gentle motion along your teeth. Often times, people brush too hard because they are in a hurry. Slow down and show your teeth some TLC (1,2).
Eating Too Many Acidic Foods
If your teeth have already become sensitized, and nerve or root tissue is exposed, acidic foods will irritate these areas and cause a lot of pain and discomfort. Acidic foods include things like tomato sauce, citrus fruits, kiwis, pickles, sour candies, and soft drinks. Avoiding these foods can help you avoid the painful stimulation they cause (1).
Grinding Your Teeth
Grinding your teeth, which most commonly occurs at night during sleeping, wears down the enamel and can damage the gum tissue, leading to gum recession. Just like with brushing too hard, exposing the more porous middle layer of the tooth under the enamel means unprotected nerve fibers can be reached by irritants. If you think you’ve been grinding your teeth, or you’ve been told you are a grinder, schedule an appointment with Dr. Hagen to discuss finding a mouth guard to prevent the grinding (1).
Using Certain Toothpastes
Certain toothpastes can lead or further promote sensitivity. Because people can react differently to the same product, some people might develop sensitivity from a paste that another person is not bothered by. If you noticed the sensitivity start after switching to a new whitening paste, you should switch to a different brand of paste, a different product that doesn’t contain any whitening agents, or ask us if you have questions.
Mouthwash is a good part of your oral hygiene habits. However, some people overuse their mouthwash, leading to enamel wear, dentin exposure, and sensitivity of the teeth. If you think this is the cause of your sensitivity, try cutting back to swishing just once or twice a day, or try a brand that is alcohol free. And don’t forget to be proactive with your brushing and flossing so that you don’t miss the extra mouthwash rinses. (Once again, ask us for more guidance specific to you.)
Gum recession, gum inflammation (gingivitis), and other forms of gum disease can all present with tooth sensitivity. In this case, you most likely will notice the sensitivity at the gum line, where unprotected tooth tissue is exposed to the elements: anything you eat and drink. In the case of gum issues, it is vital to schedule your next dental appointment right away, so that Dr. Hagen can help get your gum disease under control and talk to you about treatment options to deal with the gum disease, or procedures to seal the exposed tooth.
A Recent Dental Procedure
Procedures such as root canals, extractions, or crown placement can all cause sensitivity after the event. However, these symptoms should only be temporary. If the sensitivity persists, be sure to schedule a follow up visit to rule out infection or other complications (1).
A Cracked Tooth
A cracked or even chipped tooth can cause pain. This pain can vary, but is typically severe enough that it feels worse than just sensitivity. In a case like this, Dr. Hagen will need to analyze the issue to determine what type of treatment will be available to fix or remove the cracked or chipped tooth (1).
Contact Hagen Dental Practice for All Your Oral Health Needs
Do you think one or more of the issues listed above relates to you? Call us at (513) 251-5500 to learn more about how to prevent, deal with, or end your tooth sensitivity!
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February 13th, 2017
There are so many reasons why this time of year people start thinking about teeth whitening again. Maybe you are getting ready for Spring break, an upcoming vacation, or you just know you have weddings, graduations, barbecues and other parties to attend in the coming months.
Here we break down some of the top misconceptions about teeth whitening options, and then we look at Zoom! Whitening in further detail. Be sure to ask us if you have any questions specific to you as a patient!
Myth #1: In-office whitening treatments are only for those with sensitive teeth.
This is not necessarily true! Store-purchased, at-home whitening kits have varying levels of success for people in terms of how much they whiten, and that is partially due to how they are applied and how much peroxide they have in them. How long you have the treatment on, how much peroxide they have, and the way those treatments are applied to your teeth are going to change how much tooth sensitivity you experience.
Because of these factors, at-home treatments can result in just as much teeth sensitivity (or more or less) as in-office treatments! Recall with Zoom! Whitening we do make sure the gum is protected during the treatment, but that still doesn’t guarantee that there is not any teeth sensitivity experienced during or after your treatment.
Myth #2: Whitening toothpastes can do just as much as professional whitening treatments.
Whitening toothpastes help keep your teeth white on the surface, for the most part! On the other hand, professional or store-bought bleaching kits are applied differently to be more effective in getting to deep stains and whitening the teeth.
Consider how we use Zoom! Whitening: we apply hydrogen-peroxide formula to teeth—again, covering up the surrounding gum to avoid any sensitivity you may have, and then there is ultraviolet light shined onto the teeth. This entire process gets rid of DEEP stains on your teeth, unlike whitening toothpastes which look to remove surface stains via gentle polishing, chemical chelation, or other non-bleaching methods.
Myth #3: Professional teeth whitening will damage your enamel.
Because we are using a safe treatment here at Hagen Dental, we are not harming your enamel when whitening your teeth by using Zoom! What’s more is that the FDA has to approve these ways of teeth whitening, which just means that they have to pass rigorous testing to be sure that it is safe for people to use.
With that said, the American Dental Association does suggest that before using any bleaching product, you see your dentist and talk over your current oral health so that can you know what is best for you. After this consultation, you can have confidence that any crowns, fillings, very dark stains or anything specific to your health is taken into consideration. This will help to ensure you follow a plan that is both safe and effective.
Myth #4: At-home options are totally unsafe.
While there may be products for sale that are unsafe, ask us about at-home options you can use that are both safe and effective. Of course any time you use whitening products, if you feel pain that doesn’t seem normal, it may be best to stop your treatment.
While we can’t make any generalizations, there are at-home treatment options that are safe and that we can point you towards. Two rules of thumb: 1- Don’t ignore the advice of your dentist when it comes to using whitening products in general, and 2-Don’t continue use of teeth whitening products when you are in pain! Those two rules will go a long when way it comes to using at-home treatments for whiter, brighter teeth.
Ready for A Brighter, Whiter Smile?
You can whiten your teeth in our office, use products we send home with you, or you can get over-the-counter options to whiten your smile. Either way, there are 5 things to consider when it comes to your teeth whitening treatment:
- Your current tooth color—light to dark
- Whether or not you have tooth sensitivity at all
- How much time you want to spend whitening your teeth (less than one hour up to 4 weeks, for example)
- Where you want to do your treatment (at home vs. at our practice)
- The current state of your oral health and anything specific to your mouth/gums/teeth
The answers to these questions can help us decide, in part, what is an ideal treatment for you.
Zoom! Whitening is the #1 professional whitening brand that’s been used by more than 10 million people. That’s right: it’s an easy and quick, in-office procedure that takes just under an hour, on average. If you are a candidate, it is safe, effective, pain-free and sustainable choice for whitening your teeth.
Just as the celebrities who mention the advanced power of Zoom! Whitening, you can also benefit from the it: Dr. Hagen can give you the same brilliantly white teeth, removing stains and darkness, in just one visit. As mentioned, one of the great things about it is that we first protect your gums and soft tissue. Then we also put a protective layer on your gums—again to protect your gums and to help deal with sensitivity.
The last step: we put the powerful whitening on the surface of your teeth, and of course turn the ultraviolet light on! Depending on just how white you want your teeth, we’ll check the progress and then it’s time to look at your great results. We then suggest that you avoid red or dark foods that are prone to staining your teeth during the first 48 hours after getting your Zoom! Whitening treatment done.
Maintaining Your Healthy Smile
Whether it is teeth whitening, dental veneers, Invisalign, or tooth contouring—we welcome you to our practice and we can’t wait to help you keep a healthy smile for your lifetime! We’re committed to providing you with quality care that you can trust. Read some of our reviews here and give us a call today at (513) 251-5500.
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February 6th, 2017
Life can get busy. And as the minutes and days and activities and events pass by, bad habits can start to form as we fall into our routines – sometimes before we are even aware of them. Let’s dive into some of the most common tooth-related negative habits, so you can avoid these pitfalls and keep your teeth strong and healthy.
Chewing on ice weakens the enamel and surface areas of your teeth. Because ice is so hard, chewing on it repeatedly leads to uneven wear and tear, and long term will cause permanent chips and cracks in the teeth, which will damage the underlying tooth structure. Eventually, the cracks become large enough that you will require a trip to the dentist for repair. Ice isn’t the only culprit for this type of damage!
Habitually chewing on other hard items like pens, pencils, bobby pins, or paperclips can cause the same damage. If you need to break this habit, try keeping these items out of reach, substitute your chewing urge for sugarless gum, or avoid putting ice in your drinks while you learn to resist the urge (1, 2).
Using Your Teeth As ‘Tools’
Are you in the habit of using your teeth to crack open bottle caps, rip off clothing tags, hold heavy objects, or even as a replacement for scissors when trying to open those tough plastic bags? These and similar actions put traumatic pressure on the bones in the mouth, increasing your likelihood for weakened teeth, chips and cracks in the bone. Try to remember that teeth are there for eating (and smiling!); they are not meant to be used as a substitute for knives, scissors and hands (1,2).
Skipping Your Nighttime Brushing
Late nights out, bedtime snacks, or falling asleep in front of the television can all lead to one bad habit: skipping or forgetting your night time brushing routine. All the sugars and particles from the food and beverages you had since your last brushing session will be left to wreak havoc on your gums and enamel all night long. If you are guilty of this habit, try starting your bedtime rituals a little bit earlier – before you get too sleepy. Once you have brushed, don’t eat or drink anything else except water.
Sugary drinks, especially soda, bathe your teeth in an acidic and sugary environment. This dangerous combination creates the perfect environment for erosion, bacteria growth and decay. Sodas aren’t the only culprit, however. Fruit juices, sports drinks, and alcoholic beverages, especially mixed drinks, can contain surprising amounts of sugar and acids as well. Cut back your sugary drinks to a minimal number – or avoid them all together – and when you do indulge, drink through a straw and rinse your mouth with plain water in between drinks until you can get home and brush (1,2).
Playing Sports Without A Mouth Guard
According to the American Dental Association, an estimated 5 million teeth are knocked out every year during sports activities and competitions. Mouth guards successfully prevent approximately 200,000 sports-related mouth injuries each year. How many more could be prevented if participants were more diligent about wearing mouth guards? Rough play during high impact sports can occur at any time. Mouth guards are recommended for the following sports: basketball, football, lacrosse, water polo, hockey, softball, skateboarding, rugby, mixed martial arts and soccer. The guard helps cushion rapid or hard blows to the teeth and jaw, lessening your risk for soft tissue injury or tooth loss (2).
If you still smoke or chew tobacco, here’s another petition for you to find a way to quit. Nicotine yellows your teeth and can contribute to or cause oral cancers. Tobacco products also dry out your mouth and increase the amount of plaque buildup around your teeth. Smokers have a higher risk of gum disease and tooth loss because of these changes in the conditions of the oral cavity. If you have questions about quitting, discuss them with Dr. Hagen at your next appointment (1,2).
Give Us A Call at Hagen Dental Practice
Need help or advice on how to kick any of these habits, or ensure you don’t have damage already? Call us at (513) 251-5500 to learn more about your dental needs and how to develop positive oral habits!
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January 24th, 2017
We grow up hearing so many things about smiles:
“It takes more muscles to frown than it does to smile.”
“When you smile, the whole world smiles with you.”
“Turn that frown upside down.”
“Don’t cry because it’s over; smile because it happened!”
So what exactly happens when we smile?
- You’ll End Up With A Better Mood
When you smile, your mood is elevated. Psychologists have found this holds true whether you are feeling grumpy or happy before you smile. The positive impact of a smile helps reduce your stress levels, resulting in a happier disposition (1,2).
- Your Immune System Will Get A Boost
Your body relaxes, stress decreases, and energy becomes more positive when you smile. These contribute to good health and a stronger immune system. Frequent smiling causes your body to produce more white blood cells, an important component of your immune system in helping fight and prevent illness (1). Smile your way through the cold season this year!
- Your Stress Levels Go Down
Learning to smile in tough or stressful situations can be a challenge, but doing so results in dramatic health benefits by lowering stress and anxiety. People who smile while recovering from a stressful situation are found to have lower heart rates and a calmer presence (1).
- You’ll Probably Cause Someone Else To Smile
Smiles really are contagious. Research shows that seeing someone smile activates the area of the brain that controls facial movement. Thus, the smilee becomes the smiler! A study in Sweden found that people had difficulty frowning when they looked at smiling subjects; their muscles started twitching into smiles (1,2).
- People Will Find You More Confident, Trustworthy And Attractive
Smiles are the most easily recognized facial expression, recognized around the globe as a sign of happiness and acceptance. Smiles make a person seem more attractive, personable, empathetic and confident. Research found that smiles rank higher in attraction than makeup! A study published in the European Journal of Social Psychology found that smiles do indeed make you more attractive to those you smile at. A smile is an inviting expression that lets people know you are friendly and willing to talk, and helps people trust you more readily (1,2).
- Endorphins Are Released
When you smile, a chemical reaction occurs in the brain, releasing endorphins. Endorphins are chemicals that help you feel happier. Endorphins are those molecules in the body that are released during exercise and running as well, causing “runner’s high” (1,2).
- You’ll Feel More Comfortable
Smiling can make you feel more comfortable, even in situations in which you might otherwise feel awkward. Smiling also takes less effort than frowning. Easier facial expressions are a more comfortable option. Smiles also make you more approachable. If others around you feel more comfortable, it will help you feel more comfortable, too (1,2).
Call Hagen Dental Practice so That You Can Keep Smiling with Confidence
Hagen Dental wants you to feel great about your smile – so you can show it off to the world and enjoy these physical and emotional benefits! Give us a call to learn more: (513) 251-5500
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January 20th, 2017
Imagine living in a time when modern conveniences, inventions, hygiene and healthcare were not just luxuries; they were non-existent. Sure, the simplicity of our ancestors’ lifestyle may have had some benefits. But we should all be thankful for modern dentistry, and the convenience of items like toothbrushes, floss and mouthwash. Not to mention the training of dental professionals.
Over the course of humankind, people have been testing and trying things they had access to in an attempt to keep their mouths and teeth clean. Twigs and sticks, powdered concoctions from eggshells and ox hooves, pig’s neck bristles, salt, chalk, and rough cloths make the list of historical dental instruments and tools that people tried and used in an attempt to keep their teeth free of debris (1).
Recently, researchers have discovered clues that tell us how cavemen cleaned their teeth. Karen Harder, a researcher, took a deeper look at calcified plaque from some of the oldest human remains in Europe. How was she able to analyze plaque from thousands of years ago?
As she explained: “The dental plaque is a film that covers your teeth and that’s why you have to brush your teeth every day. If not, it hardens and becomes calcified. Within about 10 days, it’s attached onto your tooth as this extremely hard material that you can’t get off unless you go to the dentist.” Since the caveman had no dentist to speak of, Harder was able to chisel off and analyze this material for further insight into the caveman’s lifestyle.
This analysis of the calcified dental plaque gave insight into the diet and environment of this archaeological specimen. She was able to determine that people in his era ate grasses, seeds, plants and meat. All of these items were eaten raw (2,3).
Grooves between the teeth, combined with indigestible wood fibers she found between the teeth, suggest rudimentary toothpicks that were jammed into the teeth to clean between them as a type of oral hygiene activity (2,3).
What Did The Cavemen Have Going For Them?
The evidence Harder found showed the caveman’s diet included mostly starchy plants and meat consumption. Their teeth were actually in pretty great shape despite not having access to today’s toothbrushes, toothpastes and floss.
This is because the processed, sugary and carbohydrate-laden foods and drinks that are so abundant in our society today were not present in his surroundings. This means the cavemen were not as predisposed to things like sugar and acid-related tooth decay, bacteria growth or inflammation, as we are with today’s typical diet (3).
Our teeth are whiter and straighter than our ancestors’ teeth were, but we are still more likely to develop cavities because of the sugars, processed carbohydrates and dietary and lifestyle differences. This means we can’t rely on toothpicks (or sticks) to keep our teeth clean. We must stay diligent with good oral hygiene practices and habits. Thankfully, our dental health practices have progressed into the 21st century, giving us access to skilled dental care and tools and resources for fresh breath and healthy mouths, without having to rummage for and rely on twigs or homemade toothpastes.
Call Hagen Dental Practice Today
Are your oral hygiene habits backsliding into those of a caveman? Give Hagen Dental a call at (513) 251-5500 and we will help you achieve a healthy smile!
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January 11th, 2017
The New Year is here in full swing! Many of us partake in New Year’s resolutions – goals to make this year our best yet. Did you make any for 2017? Have you been sticking to them?
Often times our resolutions relate to healthy lifestyle choices. We inherently know that healthier habits keep us feeling better and enjoying life longer. Check out this list of resolutions that will help keep your smile healthy and your oral health on track – this year and always!
1. Brush Daily
One of the most important commitments you can make this year – if you aren’t already – is to brushing twice per day. Brushing cleans and protects your teeth from decay and your gums from disease and inflammation. Brushing is also helpful to maintain fresh breath and a bright smile.
The best part? It only takes a few minutes per day! Without brushing regularly, plaque and bacteria build up in your mouth, increasing your risk of inflammation, infection and decay (1, 2).
2. Floss Daily
Flossing is equally as important as brushing! Flossing removes plaque between the teeth and below the gum line, where brushing can’t reach. These areas account for approximately 35% of the surfaces that need cleaning and can’t be reached with brushing alone, and they are often the places where decay and gum disease first begin (1).
3. Make Water Your Beverage Of Choice
Water is the best beverage for your smile’s health for many reasons. First, it rinses away sugars and food particles after a meal or snack. It also helps restore and maintain a proper pH level in your mouth.
Acidity in the mouth from things like coffee, soda, sugars and other food items weakens your teeth and makes it more prone to disease. Water helps to neutralize the pH level. Lastly, staying hydrated helps to avoid dry mouth and the potential bad breath that can accompany it.
4. Opt For Whole Foods Over Processed Options
Eating well is vital to your dental health. Poor nutrition affects your gums, immune system, inflammation levels, and tooth strength. Processed foods tend to have more sugars, starches and additives that are harmful for your overall health as well as your oral health.
Whole foods contain more vitamins and minerals to support and strengthen your teeth and gums. As a bonus, crisp fruits and raw veggies such as apples, pears, carrots and celery help to keep your teeth cleaner and plaque at bay because of their fibrous quality (1, 2).
5. Switch To A Soft-Bristled Brush
A firmer toothbrush might sound like a better scrubber, but it’s actually not the best choice. Harder bristles irritate the gums, can lead to gum recession, and even sensitive teeth. A soft-bristled brush works just fine; stick to brushing for 2 whole minutes (don’t rush!) and it will get the job done effectively – and most importantly – safely.
6. Avoid Using Your Teeth As “Tools”
Our jaws are strong, and our bones are tough. Because of this, it’s not uncommon for some people to use their teeth for tasks around the house: tearing open a bag of snacks or other tricky plastic containers, twisting open a beer bottle, using a bite grip to open that stubborn bottle of nail polish, or ripping a tag off clothing. But these seemingly simple “jobs” are very hard on your teeth. Even though your teeth are strong, these are not tasks they were meant to perform.
These types of activities place trauma and pressure on the bones and jaw, and can cause a weakened tooth to chip or fracture. Keep scissors, pliers and rubber grips handy so that you can easily reach for those tools when frustrated with that plastic, metal or paper – instead of defaulting to your teeth (3, 4).
7. Double Check Your Calendar
Has it been over 6 months since your last dental checkup? If so, it’s time to give us a call! It’s always surprising how fast the weeks and months fly by. It’s a good idea to check and make sure it hasn’t been longer than you realized since your last appointment. Consistent visits to our office will allow us to prevent or detect problems early – before they become painful, expensive, and tough to treat. And our examination will help let you know if there are any habits you can change to enhance your oral health.
Call Hagen Dental Practice Today
We want you to succeed in all your oral health resolutions so that you can love and maintain a healthy smile! Give us a call today at (513) 251-5500.
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December 21st, 2016
Baby teeth typically start erupting between the ages of 6 months and a year. This starts the fun and adventurous path of being able to eat more foods and textures, late night teething pain, drooling and chewing on everything in sight, and of course, dental hygiene training.
Kids can go for their first dental checkup as soon as they get a tooth, but anytime before age 3. Because tooth decay in children is on the rise, we recommend the sooner the better; closer to 18 months! You can read more about why HERE.
When kids are ready to erupt their permanent (adult) teeth, the baby teeth start to wiggle, loosen and fall out. This starts the fun adventures of tooth fairy tales, showing off those wiggly teeth, and stories and challenges for getting those stubborn baby teeth out! The top and bottom central incisors (those four teeth front and center in your kid’s toothy smile) are amongst the first to fall out as the permanent teeth grow in and replace them. This typically happens between 6 and 8 years of age.
If this milestone occurs in late fall or early winter, your child has the unique opportunity for the classic Christmas song, “All I Want For Christmas Is My Two Front Teeth” to apply to him or her.
There’s something charming about this song, and that toothless open center space as your little one flashes their grin at you. Kids have all sorts of fun while they wait for their central incisors to re-emerge: sipping through a straw without opening their jaw, learning new ways to whistle, pronouncing words in funny and different ways, and poking the tip of their tongue through that little hole.
A child’s early years are a very impressionable and important period to take the time and teach them proper and consistent dental hygiene habits. How can you do this as a family?
Make Tooth Time fun
Brushing as a family can make getting ready for bed a fun activity for everyone to participate in. Make up a brushing song or dance, or make silly faces in the mirror. If your child has a positive experience, they will enjoy it and have good memories associated with this habit for years to come.
Make Tooth Time Consistent
Make brushing a routine: every day, twice a day. Don’t skip out on brushing certain days just because your schedule is a little different or the kids are cranky. Consistency is the key to building good brushing habits. This goes for flossing too! Kids who learn to floss everyday won’t forget this important component of oral hygiene as teens and adults.
Incorporate Kid-friendly Products
Colorful toothbrushes splashed with their favorite characters, light-up timers, flossing picks, a stool to reach the sink, kid-friendly paste flavors and easy squeeze tubes all make for a more kid-friendly experience. It is amazing what products are available at your local convenience store.
Check out fun toothpaste flavors like Tom’s of Main Silly Strawberry. You can try something like these light-up timer toothbrushes from Firefly, so your kids know when 60 seconds of brushing has elapsed. Brands like DenTek make some great kid-friendly flosser picks so your kids don’t have to hassle with maneuvering regular floss before they are ready. (These are just ideas; please ask us for more specific information for your child.)
Schedule Regular Dental Visits for Everyone
Introducing your children early to the dental chair helps alleviate fears and anxieties associated with checkups. Keeping YOUR dental checkups regular each year means your kids will learn this is a normal, habitual routine for both you AND them. And keeping up to date on exams for the whole family means if any dental problems arise, we can catch them early to minimize any painful or potentially scary procedures for your little ones.
No matter what your family situation or how many teeth are present or missing, we wish you a very healthy and Merry Christmas from all of us at Hagen Dental!
Call Us Today
Are you ready to make Hagen Dental your family’s dental home? Give us a call with questions about care for you or your kids, or to schedule your next checkup: (513) 251-5500
Sources and Ideas Taken From:
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December 20th, 2016
The holiday season is upon us! And with it, a host of office Christmas parties, invitations to dinners, white elephant exchanges with your friends, and ugly sweater get-togethers.
Mistletoe can be hiding in the eaves of any social gathering, so it is a great time of year to ensure your breath is fresh, whether you want to be ready for a quick peck under the mistletoe with your crush, or a long smooch with your spouse. Use these dental hygiene and better breath tips as part of your holiday-ready routine!
The Quick-Fix Options
Carrying a small travel (or even disposable) toothbrush and small tube of toothpaste is a great option, especially if you’re planning on going straight to a holiday get-together right after a long day of work or school. Even if you forget the paste, brushing with just water can offer a little bit of help to reduce the microbes collecting in your mouth after meals.
Flossing with a mint flavored dental floss helps remove food particles from your recent meal. Flossing on the go can be made more realistic with products such as disposable floss picks.
Gargle with an anti-bacterial mouthwash for 20-30 seconds. Many mouthwashes come in small travel-sized bottles that will fit in your pocket, purse, car or desk. This will help fight bacteria in the mouth that contribute to bad breath and give you an instant odor freshener (1).
Chew on a stick of sugar-free or natural gum. Since dry mouth can lead to bad breath, and gum stimulates saliva production, gum is a helpful choice. As an added bonus, gum can remove some of the food particles left in small gaps in your teeth. Find a nice peppermint flavor for an instant odor cover-up (1).
Chew on a sprig of mint. This herb doesn’t clean your teeth, but will offer a strong minty smell to cover up bad breath temporarily. Just be sure to check the mirror for any stray remnants of the green leaf before heading into the party.
Chew on nuts. This option works well if you are already at the party, and have none of the other options available to you. Nuts have a strong aroma. Additionally, the abrasive texture of nuts will help remove residue or food particles from the teeth, tongue and gums (2).
Order your water with lemon or lime. This acidic, citrusy combination is a powerful tool against bad breath. The moisture of the water keeps your mouth from getting too dry, which helps minimize odor. The acidity of the citrus fruit combats bacteria and masks the odor with its fresh flavor (1).
The Long Term Story: How to Prevent Breath Issues
Once the party is over, it is important you take a step back and find out the underlying cause of your bad breath. Was it just a garlic-laden lunch? Or is the halitosis (bad breath) something you deal with regularly? It could be your oral hygiene habits need a tune-up, or something more serious at play.
Proper dental hygiene habits, such as consistently using floss, mouthwash, and brushing regularly are your best defense against bad breath. These daily habits serve to keep bacteria, food particles and inflammation to a minimum. Ensuring you stick to a regular dental checkup schedule will help keep teeth clean and serve to catch any underlying problems as early as possible, or before they become a big problem.
Staying hydrated is also important to prevent dry mouth induced bad breath. Drinking hot tea after a meal helps to remove food particles, and also contains polyphenols which discourage the growth of bad breath causing bacteria.
However, if bad breath is already a frequent problem, call us to schedule an examination. Chronically foul smelling breath can be a sign of gingivitis, periodontitis, plaque buildup, infections, cavities, gastritis, or poor brushing habits. It is imperative that you consult with Dr. Hagen to discover and eliminate the offender before it affects your long term health.
Worried About Getting Too Close?
We never want your dental health concerns to get in the way of your personal relationships. Call Hagen Dental practice today to discuss how we can help! (513) 251-5500
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December 15th, 2016
Good dental health prevention helps to avoid cavities, gum disease, enamel wear, and other oral diseases, dysfunctions and issues. What does this mean for you? Fresher breath, a healthy and comfortable mouth, less trips to the dentist for surgeries, and less money spent!
Preventive dentistry is simply the practice of caring for your teeth to keep them healthy, rather than waiting for a problem to arise.
Here are the top seven ways you can make preventive dentistry part of your normal routine:
1. Brush Your Teeth Daily
This is up there as one of the most important preventive habits. Brush your teeth and tongue twice daily to remove bacteria, germs and food particles from your mouth, and freshen up your breath (1).
2. Brush Properly
The WAY you brush is as important as how OFTEN you brush. Take your time, gently brushing in a circular motion to remove plaque and debris. Cross friction and brushing too hard can lead to gum erosion. Brushing too hurriedly can mean missing spots or removal of debris (2).
3. Floss Daily
Flossing cleans out the tight spaces between the teeth, stimulates the gums, reduces plaque, and lowers inflammation in the area. This is just as important as brushing! Want to make sure you’re flossing the correct way? Ask us at your next dental appointment to ensure you’re getting the full flossing benefit.
4. Consider Mouthwash
Mouthwash helps in several ways: It reduces the acidity of the mouth, cleans harder-to-brush areas in and around the gums and base of teeth, and helps to re-mineralize the teeth.
5. Visit Your Dentist
You should see us at least twice per year for your oral exam and cleanings. Dental cleanings allow our dental professionals to clean your teeth more effectively than what you can accomplish at home. At least one of those visits should include an exam to check for early signs of problems in your teeth or gums.
The examination takes a deeper look at the health of your oral cavity: x-rays to detect early issues or changes, oral cancer screenings of the surrounding tissues, and comparative checkups to ensure continued oral health. Early detection of disease or dental issues is critical to keeping problems to a minimum.
6. Eat a Balanced Diet
Just like the rest of your body, your teeth need proper nutritional building blocks and vitamins to stay healthy. Limiting your sugars, simple carbohydrates, acidic foods and acidic beverages are important choices to help lower your risk of infections and tooth wear (1,2).
7. Drink More Water
It is very important to stay hydrated for overall health, and oral health is no exception. Drink plenty of water throughout your day. This can help neutralize negative effects of various sticky or acidic foods and beverages (1,2).
Preventive dentistry habits save you time, money and toothache (literally) by helping you avoid or lessening the effects of cavities, gingivitis, tooth decay and enamel loss, and periodontitis. Prevention is more fun – and much less costly – than tooth extractions, cavity fillings and root canals. The most effective way to ensure optimal dental health is to defend against and stop disease before it even starts. Now that is something to smile about!
Give Us A Call At Hagen Dental Practice
Are you ready to give yourself the gift of better dental health this holiday season? Call us at (513) 251-5500 to learn more about your preventive dental needs!
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December 7th, 2016
The short answer is that yes, gum recession can happen in a mouth that is otherwise ”healthy.”
Gum recession is the process during which the margin of gum tissue surrounding the teeth wears away or pulls back. This process causes exposure of more of the tooth’s surface, or even the tooth’s root.
Gaps can form between the teeth and gum line, creating an easy place for bacteria to build up. If left untreated, the teeth can become severely damaged, cause extreme discomfort, and even lead to tooth loss.
How Does it Happen?
Gum recession usually happens gradually. Signs include tooth sensitivity or noticing a tooth that seems to have “gotten longer”. There can also be a noticeable notch where the tooth meets the gum. It’s important NOT to ignore these signs. Prevention (when possible) and early treatment are the keys to repairing the gum and tooth and prevent further damage.
What Causes Gum Recession?
Part of the reason that gum recession can happen, even if you have good oral health habits, comes down to how it happens. Here are a few scenarios that can lead to recession:
Insufficient Dental Care: Skipping or slacking on your regular dental hygiene habits makes it much easier for plague to turn into tartar. This hard substance builds on and between your teeth, and can only be removed at a professional dental cleaning. Tartar increases the likelihood of gum recession. So keep up your daily habits like regular brushing, flossing and rinsing with antibacterial mouthwash to keep tartar buildup to a minimum.
Periodontal Disease: Bacterial infections can destroy gum tissue and the supporting boney tissue that hold the teeth in place. Regular checkups, healthy dietary choices, and proper oral hygiene routines are paramount to preventing gum infection.
Remember this: even if you have an otherwise healthy mouth, and stay regular with your oral hygiene, there are many other factors that can cause your gums to start receding:
Genetics: Some people are more susceptible to gum disease. Some people have thinner or weaker gum tissue to start with. Others have larger, more prominent roots. Some studies show that approximately 30% of the population are predisposed to gum recession, regardless of how well they care for their teeth (1,2).
Brushing Too Hard: Aggressive tooth brushing creates a high risk for gum recession. This includes several components: Trauma to the gum tissue associated with brushing too hard, using too hard a toothbrush, or cross friction as you brush sideways across the gums. These factors can cause the enamel on the teeth to wear away, and irritate the gums, causing them to recede. The safest way to brush is gently, with a soft-bristled brush, in an up and down motion (1,2). Remember how we’ve talked about the benefits of flossing and using an electric toothbrush? It’s all making sense now since we don’t typically brush as hard when using an electric toothbrush.
Hormonal Changes: Women are more susceptible to gum recession related to hormone fluctuations. Across the course of a woman’s life, changes that accompany puberty, pregnancy and menopause can make gums more sensitive and vulnerable to gum recession.
Tobacco Products: Tobacco users develop sticky plaques on their teeth, which also can lead to gum recession.
Grinding and Clenching: The added forces and pressure placed on the teeth that are associated with clenching and grinding of the jaw serve to irritate the gums at their attachment site on the bone, causing the gum tissue to recede from the base of the tooth. A custom-made mouth guard can be helpful for night bruxism. (Ask us for more information specific to you.)
Crooked Teeth and Misaligned Bite: If teeth don’t come together evenly, increased and imbalanced forces are placed upon the gums and bones, increasing the probability that the gums will recede (1, 2). Invisalign is a great alternative to braces to help straighten issues with crooked teeth or bite.
Lip or Tongue Piercings: Jewelry in or around the oral cavity can cause repetitive irritation or rubbing of the gums, leading to wearing away of the affected gum tissue.
Trauma to the Gum Tissue: Traumatic injury to the teeth or gums from events such as accidents, fights, sports injuries or falls can lead to gum recession.
Call Hagen Dental Practice Today for all Your Oral Health Needs
Do you have questions about the prevention or treatment of gum recession? We’d love to answer any of the questions you have regarding your gums or your dental health! Schedule your next visit with Hagen Dental by calling us at (513) 251-5500.
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