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October 13th, 2017

6 Truths About Piercings In Your Mouth

Category: dental health

In today’s society, body art has become a form of self-expression for many people. From old to young, people adorn themselves with tattoos, colorful hair, or piercings – some of which may find themselves in the tongue, on the lips, on the cheeks, or around the mouth. What do these trends mean for your oral health?

hagen dental cincinnati

What You Should Know About Piercings In The Mouth

  1. Oral piercings pose a health risk because the mouth contains millions of bacteria, which live and thrive in this type of moist environment. Painful infection and swelling can result from these piercings if they are not properly cared for and cleaned. An infection due to a piercing can quickly become life threatening if not treated quickly. Oral piercings have also been identified by the National Institute of Health as a possible factor in the transmission of hepatitis (1, 2).
  2. Oral piercings can have dangerous side effects. A piercing can cause swelling of the tongue, which could potentially block the airway and restrict breathing. Allergic reactions can also occur due to hypersensitivity to the metals in the mouth (1).
  3. Piercings of the tongue, lips or uvula can interfere with speech, the ability to chew properly or normal swallowing motions. These issues can make typical daily activities and communication more difficult (1, 2).
  4. Oral piercings can create excessive drooling issues. Foreign objects in the mouth can increase the body’s natural saliva production (1).
  5. Piercings in the mouth can cause damage to the gums, teeth or even fillings. Many people with oral piercings develop a habit of “playing” with the piercing, or chewing and biting them. This can injure the gum tissue, causing it to recede. When this happens, the teeth are at an increased risk for decay, and the gum tissue itself can become irritated or infected. The jewelry can also even crack, chip or scratch the teeth, as well as damage fillings and crowns, creating the need for costly and painful repair (1, 2).
  6. Nerve damage can occur with a tongue piercing. Typically, the numbness caused by this damage is temporary, but in some cases results in permanent sensation or taste loss (1, 2).

hagen dental cincinnati

If You Have A Piercing, Be Smart!

An oral piercing is a responsibility you should not take lightly. It requires upkeep, attention and maintenance to ensure safety and cleanliness. We recommend speaking to your dentist prior to having any part of your mouth pierced.

If you already have a piercing or do decide to get one, contact your dentist or a doctor right away if you develop signs of infection, such as swelling, pain, fever, or chills.

Keep the piercing site clean. One of the best ways to do this is to use a mouth rinse or mouthwash after every time you eat something. Handle the jewelry only with clean hands.

Avoid chewing, biting or clicking on the piercing. Regularly check the jewelry to be sure it isn’t loose or damaged. Smaller jewelry is safer than larger alternatives. A smaller barbell, for example, has less potential to damage the teeth than a larger one.

Remove the jewelry for activities such as playing sports, eating, and even sleeping. These activities pose greater threat for damage to the teeth, choking hazard, unintentional injury or infection risk. Taking the jewelry out of your piercing for this time will reduce your risk of adverse reaction. You can use a plastic ring retainer to plug the hole while it is removed.

Lastly, be sure to always practice healthy dental hygiene by flossing daily and brushing twice a day. Keep up to date with your regular dental checkups. And contact your dentist at the first sign of an issue (1, 3).

Call Hagen Dental Practice Today!

Do you have a question about your oral piercing? Are you considering a piercing and want advice? We are here for you! Give us a call at (513) 251-5500.

 

Sources:

1. http://www.mouthhealthy.org/en/az-topics/o/oral-piercings

2. http://www.colgate.com/en/us/oc/oral-health/basics/threats-to-dental-health/article/oral-piercings

3. https://www.deltadentalins.com/oral_health/oral-piercings.html

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October 3rd, 2017

INFOGRAPHIC: Flossing vs. Waterpik® Water Flosser

Category: cincinnati dentist

Effectively Remove Plaque From Your Teeth

 

You can see the PDF version of this infographic here. 

Give Hagen Dental Practice a Call Today

We value ensuring that you feel relaxed and comfortable during your visit just as much as we value the health of your pearly whites—and we’ll do everything we can to make you feel at home. Give us a call today at (513) 251-5500 to schedule a visit!

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September 28th, 2017

Tooth Abscess or Gum Abscess? Everything You Want to Know

Category: cincinnati dentist

protect your teeth from dental abscess hagen dental practice in cincinnati

Do you have what can be best described as a severe ache in your tooth? Or are you avoiding eating on one side of your mouth because of the awful pain you have in that area when you chew?

Or…do any of these symptoms sound familiar?

  • Swollen gums
  • Bad taste in your mouth
  • Sensitive lymph nodes (of your jaw and/or neck area in particular)
  • Pain while chewing in one area of your mouth
  • A throbbing feeling that just won’t go away in your mouth
  • Discomfort near your jaw, neck, or ear
  • Draining sore
  • In some cases, a fever
  • Slight swelling in your face or cheek (1)

While it’s best for you to come in and see us for a diagnosis, these are the symptoms of an abscess…

What’s An Abscess?

loose tooth hagen dental practice in cincinnatiA tooth abscess is an infection in or around the root of your tooth, and typically it’s painful, although not always in its beginning stages. Many times when you hear someone has an “abscess” it actually means one of two scenarios:

  1. Gum abscess. Just as you may guess, this is caused by an infection that exists between your tooth and your gum. You may also hear this called a “periodontal abscess.” So, the question is: How can this happen? A couple ways.Generally, if food is trapped between the gum and tooth, it can cause an infection or if there is a great deal of bacteria build up, it can also lead to infection. That just makes you want to floss, doesn’t it!

  2. Tooth abscess. The other kind of abscess is inside your tooth (which is what we first described). Again, this can happen when the tooth’s nerve is dead or it is dying. The tooth’s root is where the issue starts and then it spreads to the surround bone. This kind of abscess is also referred to as a “periapical abscess,” but we don’t expect you to remember that!

Put simply, if the soft tissue in your mouth, inside the root canal dies and then becomes inflamed—by definition—you have a tooth abscess! Most of the pain you experience is because either kind can be left unchecked, meaning it worsens (1).

Because abscesses can form quickly (in just one or two days after you have an infection), if you have any of the symptoms described below, take note. After all, even if it’s not an abscess, it probably signals something is wrong in your mouth!

Fast Facts About Abscesses

Here are 5 more quick facts that you should know about abscesses:

  1. If the infection is in your tooth, in many cases, a hole will need to be made in the tooth to drain the abscess. This could entail a root canal treatment.
  2. We can see an abscess on a dental x-ray!
  3. Most ARE painful, which is why many people will in fact deal with them right away.
  4. Because it’s an infection, it can spread to other parts of your body, which shows you just how serious it is!
  5. Abscesses can lead to a “tunnel” (sometimes called a “sinus tract”) that forms through the bone and skin, which allows the pus to drain (2).

Think You May Have an Abscess?

Think you may have an abscess? Depending on how severe or how it’s progressed, there are several options for your infection. Antibiotics are often used to control the infection and to kill the bacteria; the infection could be drained and the area cleaned; in some cases root canal treatment may be needed (3).

tooth abscess hagen dental practice in cincinnati

Dental Care in a Relaxing Environment 

We value ensuring that you feel relaxed and comfortable during your visit just as much as we value the health of your pearly whites—and we’ll do everything we can to make you feel at home. Don’t be afraid to pick up the phone and ask us a question or be sure to ask us when you’re in for your next appointment.

Give us a call today at (513) 251-5500 to schedule a visit!

Sources:

  1. https://www.verywell.com/pain-relief-for-an-abscessed-tooth-remedies-1059316
  2. http://www.colgate.com/en/us/oc/oral-health/conditions/dental-emergencies-and-sports-safety/article/abscess
  3. http://www.mouthhealthy.org/en/az-topics/a/abscess

 

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September 18th, 2017

Everyday Things That Can Harm Your Teeth

Category: cincinnati dentist

Everyday Things That Can Harm Your Teeth cincinnati dentist hagen dental practice

Your teeth reveal so much about you: including your age, what you eat, what you drink and they tell us a lot about your state of overall health. Did you know your teeth also can shed light on stressors in your life and even illnesses you’ve endured? Put simply, your teeth give us a bit of a “personal history” when it comes to your entire health and well-being.

Your daily habits make up your health…so that’s why we’re taking a look at some of the habits you might not realize are taking a toll on your teeth.

Taking a Fresh Look at Your Habits

Biting your nails. If you bite your nails, it may be time to really hunker down and quit the habit. Yes, it might be hard to quit as many folks who say they bite their nails realize they do it because of nerves or stress…but here’s good reason to quit: Long story short, biting your nails—in place of using a nail clipper—can put a lot of pressure on certain teeth in your mouth.

And, not surprisingly, it can lead to broken dental restorations, fracturing your teeth, chipping your teeth or simply damaging your teeth over time! There’s even evidence that biting your nails can cause or worsen TMJ symptoms (1). 

Opening that bag with your teeth. Do you ever use your teeth in place of a knife or scissors? Maybe you are opening a bag with your teeth or you’re ripping off a price tag on your new shirt?!

In addition to not biting your nails, put simply, you ALSO want to avoid using your teeth in place of a knife, scissors, or any kind of “tool.”

That’s because your teeth really weren’t meant to be put in that position; using them this way can lead to injury, to say the least. A general rule of thumb: If you don’t want to chip or crack your teeth, remember that they aren’t scissors!

Using the hardest tooth brush. Okay, so you’re brushing your teeth…that’s a great habit! But are you brushing your teeth too hard each day? Part of the problem could also be made worse if your tooth brush is not a soft one or electric one.

Ask us about your options so you can tweak this habit into purely a positive one.

Chewing on pencils or pens. Sure, you’re saying – ew, that’s gross! As gross as it may be, it’s true that many folks mindlessly chew on the end of their pencils. In many cases, we’re guessing they don’t even know they are doing it; whatever the case may be, if you know you end up chewing on the ends of your pens, know it’s time to kick the habit.

Not only is it potentially harmful to your enamel, it can cause stress fractures in your teeth. Knowing that chewing on that pencil can be bad for your oral health is surely enough reason to find another way to release that stress!

Too much snacking and sipping of beverages throughout the day. Snacking or hydrating/drinking beverages itself is not the problem; but what can be a problem is when someone snacks, throughout the day, and doesn’t brush or floss in between these snacks.

Think about it this way: even if you’re eating healthy snacks or drinking a healthy beverage, you can end up with food (or food debris) that stays in your mouth much longer than you intended. Over time, that leads to buildup and plaque in your mouth and along your gums.

In the case of unhealthy snacking (think: foods that are loaded with added sugars), the scenario is made even worse because sugar can really stick to the surface of your teeth and quickly do damage. The takeaway: if you want to snack and drink a lot of beverages, by all means, go ahead; but just be sure to fit in time for brushing your teeth, flossing, or at minimum – drinking a lot of water!

Gummy sweets. Fruit Gems? Twizzlers? Jelly Beans? Sour Patch Kids? Swedish Fish? Okay, you get the idea! High-fructose corn syrup found in many such sweet treats has more than a couple of downsides, one major one being that it tends to stick to your teeth long after you eat it. Because of the long-lasting, damaging effects it can have (despite often being just a quick treat!) gummy candies are KNOWN for being cavity-causers.

Not wearing a mouth guard. Did you know at least 5 million teeth are knocked out every year because people aren’t wearing mouth guards when playing sports or exercising? That doesn’t even include all the other mouth-related INJURIES that occur. That can include soft tissue injury, teeth that become loose, tooth loss, cracked teeth, and jaw issues!

One of the best habits you can adopt is wearing a mouth guard in any contact sport. They’re even becoming popular in other sports that don’t necessarily include contact, since hard blows to the mouth can still occur. Ask us about options for your custom fit mouth guard.

Drinking alcohol. Alcohol often increases your sugar intake, it can dehydrate you, and it can stain your teeth, in many cases. Those are reasons why too much alcohol aren’t going to be a positive for your oral health.

Second, know that gum disease, tooth decay, and mouth sores have been shown to be more likely for very heavy drinkers—more reason to just be aware of what you’re consuming on a regular basis (2, 3).

Chomping on ice (or even some frozen treats). Do you find yourself chomping on ice at any point throughout the day? That’s something many people do without even realizing it—whether it’s at their work desk, when they are out to eat for lunch, or just while watching TV.

Believe it or not, chewing on ice can result in cracked teeth. It can also damage your tooth enamel, without you even realizing it.

Just think of how good of a job you’re doing on your oral health habits, and how much damage this can STILL do to your teeth! Another problem we see is that when people chomp on ice, it can lead to problems related to existing work in their mouth. Needless to say, try to avoid chomping on that crushed ice! Your teeth and gums will thank you.

Sucking your thumb. Okay, sure, most folks reading this blog post are of course not thumb sucking and/or using a Pacifier! But, in the case of our children, it can be a habit that we want to be aware of and keep an eye on.

While thumb sucking can be a natural tendency for our kids, remember that after our children’s permanent teeth arrive, sucking can hold back proper growth of the mouth, and in some cases, it can cause alignment issues with teeth. Ask us for more information if you’re concerned about your child’s habit!

Chewing too much gum… with added sugar. Ever see the baseball players on TV who are chewing big wads of gum? Depending on the type of gum you’re chewing, be sure to watch just how much you chew each day. After all, some have added sugars that aren’t going to help your oral hygiene habits. Stick with sugar-free and don’t go overboard!

A lack of a bed-time routine. Okay, so maybe this is the opposite of a habit—either way, if you or a family member has NO bedtime routine (time for brushing and flossing!), it can be hard to stay consistent with our oral health habits. Be sure to model the way when it comes to good oral hygiene each night with your family. When needed, to a random check-up on kids’ mouths to make sure they are brushing at night, and brushing the right way.

Eating a lot of hot, and a lot of cold foods. It’s not to say that hot and cold foots inherently are bad for your teeth or damage your teeth; rather, eating a combination or a “rollercoaster” of very hot and very cold foods/drinks CAN mean you experience tooth sensitivity.

Keep in mind if you experience lingering pain, or sudden or sharp pain, that’s something worth checking out, as it could be a sign of a more severe problem like advanced decay or even a cracked tooth.

Major dehydration. Okay, so maybe you find yourself running from meeting to meeting, and after a long day, you realize just how dehydrated you are! Or maybe you work out in the morning and don’t tend to re-hydrate until noon.

Whatever the situation may be, if you are someone who is regularly dehydrated, know that it can also negatively impact your teeth. In simple terms, when we are dehydrated, we can develop dry mouth, and if it persists, it can contribute or accelerate the formation of cavities and/or tooth decay in the mouth.

Because we haves less “natural” saliva in the mouth if we’re dehydrated, bacteria have an easier time thriving. In summary, making sure we are consistency hydrated is what’s key here.

hagen dental keep your teeth as healthy as possible

Looking for a New Dentist? Give Hagen Dental Practice a Call

We value making sure you feel relaxed and comfortable during your visit just as much as we value the health of your pearly whites—and we’ll do everything we can to make you and your entire family feel at home. We hope to see you and your family for your next appointment. Give us a call today at (513) 251-5500 to schedule a visit!

Sources/References

  1. https://www.humana.com/learning-center/health-and-wellbeing/healthy-living/nail-biting
  2. http://oralcancerfoundation.org/understanding/alcohol-connection/
  3. http://www.healthline.com/health/dental-and-oral-health/what-does-alcohol-do-to-your-teeth#overview1
September 7th, 2017

Dental Anxiety? Here’s How to Cope

Category: cincinnati dentist

dental tips from hagen dental practice in cincinnati

Ever feel uneasy while at the Dentist? Or are you nervous about your next visit? If this sounds familiar, you may be experiencing dental anxiety—and you’re certainly not alone…But the good news is we’re here to help you through your nerves!

In addition to shedding some light on the roots of dental anxiety, we’re going to provide a few options to consider to help you cope with your fear so that you can be comfortable before and during your visit.

It’s important to understand that there’s absolutely nothing to be afraid of while you’re visiting us, although you’ve probably heard that before, but it’s true!

What Causes Dental Anxiety?

Although everyone is different, there are a few common fears that patients with dental anxiety tend to share.

Negative experiences in the past – Ever eat at a restaurant and get sick the next morning? It’s safe to assume you’re probably never going back there…or at least not for awhile, right? It’s common to want to avoid something that gave you a negative experience in the past. Anyone who has experienced discomfort or pain during a past dental procedure is prone to be a little anxious at their next visit.

Concern for pain – If you’ve never been to the dentist, or if you visited the dentist before the “pain-free” era of dentistry, you might fear that your procedure will hurt, and thus have some anxiety about it.

Embarrassment – The mouth is one of the more private areas of your body. Some folks might feel embarrassed or uncomfortable when a stranger examines it, or even feel self conscious about how it looks (1).

It’s worth noting that you should never feel a sense of shame or embarrassment when coming to see us. We’re on your team and we’re here to help you improve your health, no matter where you are at today.

More On That Thought…So How Do You Cope?

Whatever your reason for experiencing dental anxiety, there are many different ways that you can cope with your fear so that you can become more comfortable—and ideally relaxed—during your visit.

Communicate with Us

If you don’t speak up, we won’t know that you’re feeling uneasy. Again, don’t be embarrassed at all to tell us your state of oral health, your health in general, or any concerns you are having.

We want to make your visit as comfortable and as relaxing as possible—so let us help you! This way, our dentists and dental team can better tailor our treatment to your needs. This tip might be the most important on the list so that we can help you!

When you schedule your appointment, mention to the receptionist that you experience anxiety at the dentist. When you arrive for your visit, remind the dental staff and dentist about your feelings.

Ask questions. If you’re unsure about something, ask. Knowing what’s going on inside your mouth can give you some peace of mind.

Take breaks. If you need a break during any time of your dental visit, it’s okay to say so! We want you to be comfortable, and sometimes it’s easier to jump back in after a little mental break.

You shouldn’t feel any pain, so let us know if you do! We always work as a team to make sure you are not in pain! If you feel pain, signal to us to stop. Some patients are embarrassed to tell us if they experience pain, or don’t want to interrupt the process. Keeping you comfortable is our first priority, so don’t be afraid to speak up! If you have any questions about this before your visit, give us a call or ask us as soon as you come in.

be sure to tell us if you have dental anxiety

Discuss Anesthetic Options with Us 

We can help soothe your fears with nitrous oxide sedation. Just ask us to learn more about the options that we have that are right for you. For many patients, these sedation options allow you to relax. In order to fully eliminate pain, local anesthetic can be administered in conjunction with nitrous oxide. Because the effects of this medication wear off quickly, you’re able to safely drive yourself home after your procedure without calling a ride.

Recall that our office also has the Wand™, a computerized system that applies anesthesia without any pain or sensitivity for the patient. That’s right that means you have a painless administration of anesthesia. No more fears of injection at our practice!

Utilize Mindfulness Techniques

Anxiety is often a mental battle. If you can calm your mind, your body will follow…For those that believe this could help consider these two tips:

Relax one muscle at a time. Concentrate on relaxing your entire body, one part at a time. You can do this slowly from head to toe. Start by focusing on relaxing your forehead, your jaw, and your neck—and continue down your body.

Breathe deep and count your breaths. Inhale and exhale deeply and slowly. Do this five times while you wait in the waiting room, and repeat during breaks of your dental visit. It will help calm your body (3).

hagen dental practice offers relaxing dental care in a caring environment

Dental Care in a Relaxing Environment

We value ensuring that you feel relaxed and comfortable during your visit just as much as we value the health of your pearly whites—and we’ll do everything we can to make you feel at home. Don’t be afraid to pick up the phone and ask us a question or be sure to ask us when you’re in for your next appointment.

Give us a call today at (513) 251-5500 to schedule a visit!

Sources:

  1. http://www.colgate.com/en/us/oc/oral-health/basics/dental-visits/article/what-is-dental-anxiety-and-phobia
  2. http://www.webmd.com/oral-health/easing-dental-fear-adults#1
  3. http://www.mouthhealthy.org/en/az-topics/a/anxiety
  4. http://www.thewand.com

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September 1st, 2017

Tips to Remedy Bad Dog Breath

Category: cincinnati dentist, dental health

Bad Breath Dog

Ever notice that your dog has…well, bad breath?

You may normally love giving your dog kisses, but bad dog breath is one thing that’s going to keep you from doing so!

Believe it or not, while we may think of dog breath as “just bad dog breath,” there’s still reason behind the smell and foul odor, and it’s preventable. Just like with the health of our mouth, there are things you can do to either promote or take away from a dog’s oral health.

Habits That Can Contribute To Bad Breath In Our Dogs

When there’s a lot of bacteria, plaque, and/or tartar in a dog’s mouth, cavities and periodontal disease can occur. Sound familiar? That’s right—once again, that’s just like with us! But even if there are no cavities or tooth loss yet, all that inflammation and/or bacteria can still lead to bad breath.

Let’s dig deeper to see some of the top habits and factors that can contribute to poor oral hygiene in our dogs.

Diet. It may come as no surprise that a dog’s diet can negatively impact their oral hygiene, and also be a contributing factor to recurring bad breath! Does your dog routinely eat from the trash? Do you find on walks they are eating or seem interested in food or waste products they shouldn’t be getting into? Do you catch them eating or sniffing decomposing animal remains or bugs or even cat poop? (1) It’s more common than you may think.

We may cringe at the idea of what our dogs are snacking on—and for good reason—but keep a closer watch on what your dogs are eating since that can directly lead to bad breath.

Diabetes. Often times the state of our dog’s oral health tells us about their OVERALL health, too. If you notice an abnormal, almost sweet breath coming from your dog, it could be indicative of diabetes. Talk with your vet if you’re concerned this is an issue! Just like with humans, diabetes can have symptoms in the mouth, but it can also complicate your dog’s oral health and put it at greater risk.

Disease. It can be a bit gross to think about, but if your dog’s breath smells similar to urine, it can be a sign they have kidney disease. In other cases, if your dog’s breath is so bad it’s alarming and downright disgusting, it could be a sign of a liver problem, in extreme cases (1).

Once again, it’s proof that you want to take note of anything abnormal (and contact your vet!) when it comes to your dog’s breath. Bad dog breath can be a sign of poor oral health AND it can be a sign your dog’s oral health is getting worse.

Habits That Promote Better Oral Hygiene In Our Dogs

Professional teeth cleaning. Talk to your vet about the benefits of a professional deep cleaning for your dog. At the same time, your vet will be able to search for cavities, any infections or signs of infection, tissue abnormalities, tooth loss, or any other issues you should be aware of (2).

Vet-recommended chew bones and chew toys. Have you ever used chew toys that have been designed to promote oral health? Some even come with dog-safe toothpaste inside! Many of these bones or chew toys help to strengthen and support your dog’s gums and teeth. These alone won’t prevent bad breath, but they can help over time.

You want to be sure that the toy is actually intended for this purpose, and that it’s vet-approved, so that way you are not harming your dog’s teeth, putting them at risk, or wasting your money on products that aren’t effective at promoting good dental hygiene (3).

Brushing your dog’s teeth at home. One of the best ways to combat bad breath in our canine friend’s is to brush their teeth at home. Be sure to consult your vet, but know that you never want to use HUMAN toothpaste when brushing your dog’s teeth.

In most cases, you’ll end up using a toothbrush designed for dogs; like with humans, it’s basically a brush with bristles on the end. (Again, ask your vet if there’s a toothbrush or alternative to a toothbrush that is a better fit for your dog!)

There are multiple brands of pet-friendly toothpaste, which is great to use because it’s digestible and won’t do ANY harm to your dog’s stomach if they do swallow it!

How to Clean Your Canine's Canines

A few other tips that you might also hear from your vet include:

  • When possible, start when your dog is young so they get used to good oral health habits like you brushing their teeth
  • If they are an adult dog, slowly introduce new habits to your dog…that way it’s not a lot of change at once!
  • Don’t forget to run any toothbrush (or gauze/cotton swabs) by your vet before trying at home
  • Reward your dog just like you would in other scenarios when they allow you to brush their teeth
  • Aim to reach the upper molars and the canines (no pun intended!) when brushing their teeth
  • Know it’s difficult to get access to and clean the inside of your dog’s teeth; that’s normal and just getting the out-ward facing (cheek-facing) surfaces will still go a long way
  • When possible, lift their lip so you get access to much of their gum and teeth (2)

Your vet can also give you specific recommendations on how often you want to have your adult dog’s teeth professionally cleaned. A good rule of thumb: when in doubt, see your vet! It’s one more chance for your vet to make sure everything is looking as it should in your dog’s mouth (2).

Call Hagen Dental Practice to Maintain YOUR Healthy Smile

Just like with your dog, bad breath CAN indicate an infection or another problem in your mouth. One of the best ways to manage your oral bacteria (and your oral hygiene) is to schedule regular check-ups with Hagen Dental Practice. Teeth cleanings and oral examinations help to identify risks for tooth decay and gum disease. We want to help you maintain a healthy smile—so give Hagen Dental Practice a call today at (513) 251-5500!

Sources/References

  1. http://www.akc.org/content/health/articles/stanky-dog-breath/
  2. https://www.banfield.com/pet-healthcare/additional-resources/article-library/dental/do-i-need-to-brush-my-dog-s-teeth
  3. https://www.cesarsway.com/dog-care/dental-care/7-tips-for-doggie-dental-care

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August 20th, 2017

10 Must-Know Facts About Dental Hygienists

Category: dental health

Part of the smiling team you’ll always see at Hagen Dental is our Dental Hygienists!

Curious about what dental hygienists do?

During the past 100 years, the dental hygiene profession has drastically evolved.

Starting back in 1906, the position originally only consisted of providing thorough dental cleanings. Now, in addition to administering preventative care, dental hygienists are also responsible for much more (1). Let’s take a closer look…

10 must know facts

They’re Different from Dental Assistants

Sometimes mistaken for the same profession, there is a difference between dental hygienists and dental assistants, although many people do use the wording a bit interchangeably. Dental assistants typically work as a direct aide to a dentist, while dental hygienists provide one-on-one care to patients, generally speaking!

They Do More Than “Just” Clean Your Teeth

In addition to scrubbing your pearly whites, they also perform more advanced tasks. Initially, many of these tasks were only done by dentists. Dental hygienists perform patient history reviews, vital checks, risk assessments, periodontal examinations, and much more!

They Are Very Well Educated

Becoming a dental hygienist isn’t necessarily easy (but of course we’d like to think it’s worth the time it takes!)

To enroll in a dental hygiene program, a student must have already taken human anatomy, sociology, chemistry, and sociology (not the easiest courses, huh?) Dental hygiene programs can vary in length, depending on the institution. Most range from 2-4 years. After schooling, they must take a standardized exam and acquire state licensure in order to perform patient care!

The Job Outlook is Positive

Did you know?! From 2014-2024, the job outlook for dental hygienists is calculated to grow 19 percent, which is much faster than the average job outlook. Demand for preventative care by hygienists will grow as research continues to uncover the strong correlation between oral and overall health. We like to think it’s because more and more people are interested in helping people with their oral and overall health!

did you know dental hygienists

They’re Absolutely Essential In Our Dental Office

Dental hygienists perform much of the “behind-the-scenes” tasks, but they definitely receive much praise in our office for helping so much—and for making patients feel comfortable and at home!

Even though you don’t always see it firsthand, the team members in a dental office work diligently together to provide you with excellent oral care.

Without hygienists taking on roles involving the business side of a dental office (attending meetings, maintaining equipment, updating health histories, and much more!) it wouldn’t run quite as smooth. Essentially, think of Dental Hygienists as helping take care of you, the patients, and helping to keep all the detail you don’t see running smoothly—all with a smile of course.

…But They Don’t Just Work in Dental Offices

Did you know that dental hygienists aren’t only needed in dental offices? They also work in hospitals, nursing homes, community clinics, and schools—so it’s not just the people you see when you go to visit the Dentist.

And, in some cases, they might not always be working directly with teeth. Some dental hygienists find work as researchers, administrators, entrepreneurs, or educators (3, 4).

They Are Not All ‘9-5’ers

You might think that dental hygiene is always a full-time profession, but that’s not always true either. In fact, plenty of dental hygienists work within a flexible schedule. Weekend, evening, and part-time schedules aren’t out of the ordinary. That’s another reason so many find it as an attractive career option.

They Are Your First Aide in Early Detection

Dental hygienists are your first line of defense in preventing and identifying oral health issues. Examining your mouth and jaw area by feeling for abnormalities and taking X-rays, they can help detect oral cancer, periodontal disease, TMJ, and more (6). (Clearly, they deserve our appreciation!)

They Rank High on Career Satisfaction

“Do what you love, and you’ll never work a day in your life.” Fortunately for the majority of dental hygienists, they actually feel this way. More specifically, about 84 percent of folks in this profession are satisfied with their career and feel that they made the right choice in becoming a dental hygienist.

With nearly half of Americans feeling unsatisfied with their jobs, this is a promising statistic for those considering dental hygiene as a profession! (8, 9)

Not Only Will They Take Care of Your Teeth, But They’ll Teach You How to Take Care of Your Teeth

Sure, dental hygienists will help to give you a thorough teeth cleaning and examination while you’re at your check-up…but, most of the time, it’s you who’s taking care of your teeth!

After helping to give your mouth a deep clean, they’ll be able to suggest at-home maintenance tips specific to your needs. For example, if you’re experiencing bleeding gums, they’ll suggest a distinct regimen using specific products in order to minimize the bleeding! (And, of course, Dr. Hagen will want to speak to you about any issues you’re having as well.)

Come Meet Our Dental Hygienists

Want to meet some of the best dental hygienists around that are sure to make you feel comfortable and at ease? Give Hagen Dental Practice a visit! We want the best for your oral health, so don’t be afraid to pick up the phone and schedule your next appointment.

Give us a call today at (513) 251-5500 to schedule a visit today.

Sources:

  1. http://www.rdhmag.com/articles/print/volume-30/issue-1/feature/our-remarkable-role.html
  2. https://www.concorde.edu/blog/dental-assistant-vs-dental-hygienist
  3. http://www.allalliedhealthschools.com/dental-assisting/how-to-become-dental-hygienist/
  4. https://www.monster.com/career-advice/article/dental-hygienists-surprising-facts
  5. https://www.wku.edu/dentalhygiene/facts_dentalhygiene.php
  6. http://www.firstchoicedental.com/blog/your-dental-hygiene-visit-more-cleaning
  7. https://www.bls.gov/ooh/healthcare/dental-hygienists.htm
  8. http://www.dentistryiq.com/articles/2015/02/career-satisfaction-dental-hygienists-are-satisfied-yet-still-daydream.html
  9. http://www.pewsocialtrends.org/2016/10/06/3-how-americans-view-their-jobs/

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August 11th, 2017

Are Flavored Waters Bad for Your Teeth?

Category: cincinnati dentist, dental health

flavored waters bad for your teeth?

Are flavored waters bad for your teeth?!

With the recent emergence of many flavored water options, it’s tough to know whether or not they’re actually good for you—and more specifically, are they good or bad for your teeth?

Good news for you: we’re here to help you uncover what you need to know.

What’s the Skinny on Flavored Water?

 There’s many different flavored water brands on the market, and they’re evolving quickly. Some brands, such as La Croix, steer more towards light flavors with a bubbly taste (thanks to carbonation). Other brands, like SoBe Water and Vitamin Water, enhance their water with minerals and stronger added flavors—and often times, that can come with added ingredients.

Companies are getting creative with their flavors—not only sticking to fruity flavors, but also experimenting with unconventional flavors like basil, mint, and sage, and more (1, 2, 3).

Glass of Water

Check Out the Label

Because they typically contain carbonation and added flavors, flavored waters also can be acidic. Although flavored waters aren’t always guilty in terms of sugar, this acid can still be harmful to your teeth. Recall that acid can wear down and erode your enamel, which is the outermost layer of your teeth that helps protect them (2, 3, 4).

Sugars, along with artificial sweeteners and colors are other key—and not-so-great-for-your-health—components in many flavored waters.

That’s why step one in determining how “healthy” flavored water is for you is to look at the nutrition label to see what it’s made of.

When you look closer at the ingredients label, no matter your beverage, it can still have added ingredients, whether it be for flavor or for body. It’s good to know those added ingredients (even if just for preserving the drink!), make flavored waters—again, generally speaking—not quite as healthy as pure, good ol’ fashioned, “unflavored” water (3, 4, 5).

Flavored Waters vs. Pop

So flavored water is probably, in most cases, not quite as heathy as “regular” water. But what about as an alternative to pop?

If you’re a Mountain Dew or Dr. Pepper lover, flavored waters are typically a better option than that soda habit! A little carbonation (although not great for your mouth) can go a long way to help curb that craving.

The major upside to many flavored waters: they typically lack the high sugar content found in soda! They’re also slightly less acidic than soda. Artificial flavorings, colorings, and sugars used in soda can cause serious damage to your teeth, especially if you’re an avid soda drinker, so this CAN be an alternative in many cases.

The takeaway here: just be sure if you chose flavored water over soda that you know if your “flavored water” really is…well, water!

The Verdict: Stick to Water (When You Can)

Slanted Glass of Water

 You don’t need to avoid “flavored water” altogether by any means…just be sure to look at the nutrition label to be aware of what you’re drinking. If you’re craving a little more jazz than water has to offer, it’s a great treat.

Also consider getting a glass of water and adding in some unsweetened, organic fruit or even a vegetable such as a cucumber; that way, you get a little added taste, but you know exactly what is in your water!

Whenever possible, refresh with “regular” water since it’s very kind to your teeth, and you know exactly what’s in it, and that the pH is good for your entire mouth! A glass of water not only helps hydrate your body, but it also strengthens your teeth. Without any of the additives found in some if not many flavored waters, regular water is always a safe, healthy choice for your teeth and body.

Call Hagen Dental Practice for a Healthier Smile

We want you to have a healthy smile that you can be confident and proud of! In addition to shedding some light on the right beverages for your teeth and OVERALL health, we also have plenty of other tips on how to properly take care of your teeth from home. Don’t hesitate to call and ask us a question or schedule your next visit.

Give us a call today at (513) 251-5500 to schedule a visit!

Sources:

  1. http://www.batchelor-dentistry.com/blog/how-bad-is-soda-for-your-teeth
  2. http://www.delish.com/food-news/news/a54020/flavored-sparkling-water-tooth-enamel/
  3. https://www.trendhunter.com/slideshow/25-examples-of-flavored-waters-from-bananaflavored-waters-to-kidfriendly-fr
  4. http://www.easywater.com/the-5-worst-ingredients-in-flavored-water/
  5. http://www.knowyourteeth.com/infobites/abc/article/?abc=d&iid=303&aid=7363

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July 27th, 2017

Top 7 Foods That (Can) Damage Your Teeth

Category: cincinnati dentist, dental health

 

Young Girl Brushing Teeth

In addition to regularly practicing healthy oral hygiene habits, it’s also important to maintain a healthy diet for the sake of your teeth!

You probably aren’t surprised to hear that sugary candy can damage your teeth, but you might not know what other (even healthy, anti-inflammatory) foods can damage them.

Luckily, you don’t need to avoid these foods entirely; we’ll give you some tips on how to protect your teeth while enjoying them in moderation.

Woman Smiling

1. Chewy Candy

You might already know that chewy candy is not great for your teeth! Candy, in general, contains a high volume of sugar that can play a key role in tooth decay. Chewy candy, however, poses a bigger problem: Because it’s chewy, it tends to stick to your teeth longer. This means that the sugar has more time to make itself at home and do its damage on your teeth. This same rule applies to other sticky/chewy foods, not just candy (1).

2. Peanut Butter

Uh-oh! Who doesn’t love peanut butter?! The good news is we aren’t saying don’t eat it—just be cautious when you do.

Similar to chewy candy, most peanut butters have a tendency to stick to the roof of your mouth, allowing time to feed the bacteria that causes wear and tear to your enamel. (Another factor is that sometimes our kids have snacks that have peanut butter in them, but are also LOADED with sugar which is part of the problem. Think: peanut butter cookies, etc.)

Not only do some of those snacks have a lot of sugar, but some peanut butter brands themselves have a lot of extra sugar added in, which is also part of the problem. The solution: Find a natural peanut butter without added sugars and be sure to take care of your teeth after eating peanut butter.

3. Sports Drinks & Energy Drinks

Although most sport and energy drinks are marketed to be healthy, they typically aren’t. In fact, in most of these drinks, sugar is at the very top of the ingredient list. Unless you’re an athlete engaging in prolonged, intense exercise, you can probably do without these because they just “sit” on your teeth, doing damage in the process (2).

4. Ice

We’re not saying you need to drink all of your beverages warm, but you should refrain from chewing the leftover ice at the end of your drink. Because of its extremely cold temperature and hard texture, mindlessly munching on ice can chip away at your enamel or even CRACK your teeth!

5. Popcorn

Be careful with that big tub of popcorn at the movies. Although tasty, popcorn creates lactic acid in your mouth, which is damaging to your pearly whites. Everyone knows that popcorn gets stuck in your teeth easily, and this gives it time to do its detrimental work.

Another downside to popcorn is its pesky friends, the un-popped kernels. It’s easy to pop a few in your mouth on accident, which can quickly cause a cracked tooth (3). Yikes!

6. Bread

This one is surprising to most people but when possible, consider your intake of bread. With its light color, soft texture, and lack of sugar, what could go wrong? Unfortunately, most white breads are full of refined carbohydrates that cause your mouth to break down starches into sugars. To help avoid this, stick to whole wheat bread (5). If you can’t avoid bread, be sure to drink a lot of water and to keep up with your other oral health habits!

7. Citrus

Fruits are typically the culprit here, but citrus can also be found in lots of juices and drinks. Although healthy and full of Vitamin C, most fruits and fruit juices are full of acid that can erode your enamel. The most acidic of fruits are lemon and grapefruit (5).
By no means are we saying avoid these fruits entirely—it’s most about making sure we don’t let them “sit” on our teeth or we avoid drinks that are full of sugar and/or acid!

What Can You Do to Protect Your Teeth?

 Enjoy these foods in moderation. Again, you don’t need to eliminate these foods from your diet—part of this is just about being aware that over time, these CAN become an issue. In the case of chewing ice and candy, these are things we CAN avoid, if at all possible.

Brush your teeth after every meal. Brushing helps get deep in between your teeth to remove food particles from your mouth. The less time the food has to sit inside your mouth, the better.

Rinse your teeth with water through your meal and after your meal. While you’re eating, it’s important to drink water to help rinse away the food particles. If you can’t make it to the sink to brush your teeth after a meal, this is the next best thing.

 

Putting Toothpaste on Toothbrush

We’ll Help You Improve Your Oral Health

We want you to have a healthy smile. Don’t be afraid to pick up the phone and ask us a question or simply schedule your next check-up. We’ll not only help you protect your teeth, but also provide you with information on how you can protect them from home.

Give us a call today at (513) 251-5500 to schedule a visit!

 

Sources:

  1. http://www.healthline.com/health/dental-and-oral-health/worst-foods-for-your-teeth#1
  2. http://www.mouthhealthy.org/en/nutrition/food-tips/9-foods-that-damage-your-teeth
  3. http://www.sagedentalcare.com/blog/2013/11/20/8-foods-that-damage-your-teeth/
  4. https://mydental.guardianlife.com/blog/2016/03/8-surprisingly-damaging-foods-for-your-teeth/
  5. https://nano-b.com/blogs/news/the-25-worst-food-and-drinks-for-your-teeth-and-gums

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July 19th, 2017

6 Questions You Can Ask Your Dentist

Category: cincinnati dentist, dental health

questions to ask your dentist

In addition to those who neglect to visit a dentist at all, there are also many people who are afraid to ask questions while at the dentist. Our advice: don’t be afraid to ask us any and ALL of your questions! In fact, that’s important so that you can get the most out of your every visit to see us!

Said another way, we’re advocates for your oral health—and your total health—so take advantage of their knowledge at your next check-up! Asking questions will help you better understand your mouth and how to keep it healthy.

Here are a few ideas of what’s important to know, what we hear from patients, and what’s important to ask if it’s on your mind!

1. “What’s the Best Way to Take Care of My Teeth at Home?”

Most of the time, you’re the one taking care of your teeth! Professional teeth cleanings are clearly important, but it’s ultimately up to you to do the heavy lifting with your day in and day out habits and oral hygiene. So, it’s important to find the best at-home regimen for a healthy smile.

Everyone’s health regimens are different. You may need to do more or less than someone else to maintain a healthy smile. Your dentist is able to examine your mouth in its entirety, which means he or she will have a better idea on how you should be taking care of it. Be sure to ask your dentist, who can provide you with a personalized care plan, built around your ongoing needs, AND they can give you instructions on how to properly follow it (1).

2. “How Does Nutrition Impact The Health of My Gums & Teeth?”

Your oral hygiene habits aren’t the only key player in the health of your teeth. Your diet also plays a large role in maintaining a healthy smile. Foods with strikingly high levels of sugar are still very predominant, and can pose a problem to many of us—not just for our oral hygiene, but for our overall health.

Taking into account the rest of your medical history and stats, we can help work with you to answer this question.

In general, with very little nutritional value, high-sugar foods can actually harm your teeth. Your dentist can typically tell if you’ve been indulging in foods with high sugar or high acidic content. He or she should be able to recommend foods to stay away from (or enjoy in moderation), and also tell you which foods are good for your teeth (2,3). (It’s worth saying that this isn’t medical advice; be sure to talk to your dentist for more information!)

3. “What Information Should I be Relaying to You from My Family Physician/Pediatrician?”

It’s important that your dentist knows about any changes in your overall health status. Remember that your body works as a unit. Changes in health conditions, new medications, or even changes in your lifestyle can affect your teeth, and that’s ALSO part of why we ask YOU about any changes to your health or about any medications you are taking.

4. “Why are Dental X-Rays Important and Why Should I Choose to Have Them Taken?”

Your dentist can gather quite a bit just by looking into your mouth and examining its insides. However, there are some things that a dentist cannot see just by a visual exam. The X-Rays can give your dentist a thorough, more detailed picture of your pearly whites and their home. These photos aid in the early detection of any problems. Put another way, we use them as diagnostic tools!

(Also know that our dental x-ray machines are quite sensitive, so you don’t need to worry about the amount of radiation needed to use them! For comparison’s sake, you get more radiation from your every day background radiation.)

X-rays show decay and infections beneath the surface, which is why they are so important. We’re better able to see any issues with bone loss, your jaw, and anything unusual happening with the soft tissues. If you have a cavity or tooth decay, for example, it shows up as darker on your radiograph.

5. “How Do I Make My Teeth Whiter?”

Almost everyone strives for a whiter smile; the question is in how to achieve it. There are countless products on the market that promise white teeth, and you should find out which products are reliable and which ones aren’t. Knowing what your goals are and knowing about any teeth sensitivity can help your dentist help YOU to make your teeth whiter—whether that be with professional teeth whitening OR just by eliminating foods that tend to stain the teeth over time.

Some people will have more surface stains than others, requiring a stronger method of whitening, which is why your dentist can help you navigate the decision. Your dentist will suggest which products might work best for you, and which ones aren’t a fit for you.

6. “Why Are My Teeth Sensitive?”

Ever bit into a spoonful of ice cream and had shivers shoot through your teeth? This is called tooth sensitivity; people with tooth sensitivity feel pain when they eat something that is hot or cold, or sweet or acidic.  This is a result of thinning enamel, which is the outer layer of your teeth that protects them.

If you’re experiencing tooth sensitivity, you should notify your dentist and ask why you’re experiencing it. He or she should be able to narrow down various factors to find the root of your sensitivity, and then walk you through a routine to help fix it or eliminate it as much as possible.

It’s great when you tell us about things going on inside your mouth—such as any tooth or gum sensitivity—that way we can come up with a solution or plan on how to proceed together.

We’re Happy to Answer Any & All Of Your Questions

happy to answer your questions

We want to answer any and all questions you have about your smile. Don’t be afraid to pick up the phone and ask us a question or discuss your concerns with us at your next check-up!

Give us a call today at (513) 251-5500 to schedule a visit!

Sources:

  1. http://www.colgate.com/en/us/oc/oral-health/basics/dental-visits/article/top-10-dental-questions-you-should-ask-1015
  2. http://www.colgate.com/en/us/oc/oral-health/basics/nutrition-and-oral-health/article/ada-04-food-choices-affect-your-oral-health
  3. http://www.foxnews.com/health/2014/06/11/questions-should-be-asking-your-dentist.html
  4. http://www.besthealthmag.ca/best-you/oral-health/5-questions-to-always-ask-your-dentist/

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