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August 20th, 2016

Minerals and Vitamins for a Healthy Smile

Category: cincinnati dentist, dental health

the health of your teeth hagen dental

Good oral hygiene practices are essential for a healthy smile. But have you ever wondered if your diet supports the best building blocks to keep those teeth strong? Mineral deficiencies can lead to weak bones and teeth. Calcium, phosphorus, magnesium and vitamin D are all important minerals and vitamins when it comes to preventing tooth decay and oral health issues. Check out these lists of foods that support you in your quest for strong, healthy teeth.

Calcium — Your teeth and jaw are formed and kept strong with the use of lots of calcium. Regular intake of this mineral helps keep your teeth enamel and jaw bones strong and healthy. Most of the body’s calcium is stored in the bones (teeth included!), while some circulates in the bloodstream for other uses. Consuming too little calcium can put you at risk of gum disease and tooth decay, and you will leech calcium from the bone to use for other body functions.

Sources of Calcium: Kale, tofu, chia seeds, sardines, canned salmon, green leafy vegetables such as collard greens, spinach and kale, dairy products, cauliflower, cabbage, almonds, bok choy, figs, and sesame seeds.1, 6

Phosphorus — Calcium and phosphorus work together to maximize the strength of bones and teeth. Without phosphorus, calcium can’t do it’s job properly. The combination of these two minerals is essential in children, whose bones and teeth are developing and forming their hard structure.

Sources of phosphorus: Pumpkin seeds, romano cheese, salmon, shellfish, almonds and other nuts, pork, beef, tofu, eggs, grapes, citrus fruit, cucumbers, tomatoes, beans and lentils.4, 8

your teeth health hagen dental cincinnatiMagnesium — Magnesium helps to build strong enamel for your teeth, as well as proper tooth formation. It also helps prevent the formation of cavities. Magnesium also works well alongside calcium for many functions.

Sources of Magnesium: Dark chocolate, green leafy vegetables like spinach, kale and swiss chard, black beans, almonds, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, brown rice, cashews, salmon, raisins and avocado.2, 3, 7

Vitamin D — Vitamin D regulates the body’s balance of calcium and phosphorus and can promote their absorption. Vitamin D also helps to decrease inflammation of gums which is associated with periodontal disease.

Sources of Vitamin D: Natural sunlight (your body produces vitamin D with exposure to sun! This is your BEST source of D), shellfish, fish such as salmon, catfish and mackerel, eggs and butter.4, 5

These lists aren’t the only places to find these great bone builders, but they are a great place to start. See something new? Be adventurous this week and try a new recipe. Try to incorporate some of these foods in your regular diet alongside your other dental care routine. You’ll enjoy them knowing you are helping build and maintain a healthy smile.hagen dental cincinnati ohio

Set Up Your Next Dental Visit at Hagen Dental Practice

Have any questions you want to know the answer to? We’d love to answer any of the questions you have! Schedule your next visit with Hagen Dental by calling us at(513) 251-5500.

Sources/References used directly in this article:









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August 11th, 2016

This Is the Surprising History of Dental Floss

Category: dental health

Just how long have humans been flossing? According to the ADA, only 12 percent of us floss, even today… but our species has been flossing in some capacity for quite a while (6).

The earliest signs of floss were seen in prehistoric times. Grooves from food removal items were found in the mouths of prehistoric humans. Researchers and anthropologists think that horse hair was used as a rudimentary floss and twigs or pointed sticks as types of toothpicks. Our ancestors were creative!

Fast forward to the 19th century: In 1815, an American Dentist from New Orleans by the name of Levi Spear Parmly suggested that silk thread be used as floss for cleaning between teeth. He went on to publish a book emphasizing the importance of brushing and flossing daily! He was on to something (2, 4, 5)!

Half a century later, in 1882, the Codman and Shurtleff Company mass-produced and sold unwaxed silk floss. In 1896, Johnson and Johnson threw their hat in the ring with a silk floss made from the same type of silk that doctors used for stitches. In 1898, the first dental floss patent was granted to Johnson  & Johnson (2, 4, 5).

surprising dental factsChanges and advancements made their way into the 20th century. People were becoming dissatisfied with the tendency for the silk floss to shred. Couple that with the rising costs of silk during World War II, and an adaptation was imminent.

Dr. Charles Bass helped develop a new floss, in which nylon replaced silk as the main material. This floss had a more consistent texture and was resistant to shredding, making it a huge improvement over earlier versions. The use of nylon also allowed for the development of a waxed version of floss. In the 1980’s, interdental brushes were invented. These brushes are comprised of narrow bristles, but available in different widths to help clean the spaces between the teeth. This was touted as an alternative to flossing (1, 2, 3).

hagen dental in cincinnati ohio top dentist

So Many Choices!

Today, we have the luxury of enormous variety and choice when it comes to flossing. No more do we have to wander outside for the perfect twig or smelly horse hair to remove that kernel of corn or plaque buildup. Check out our diverse options:

Unwaxed floss – great for getting in tight spaces, but more likely to fray.

Waxed floss – more resistant to breaking, but harder to get into tight spaces. (Sometimes, it comes down to preference!)

Gore-Tex floss – made from high-tech synthetic fiber, and useful for cleaning around gums.

Dental tape – broader floss; most effective for cleaning between teeth that are not tightly spaced.

Super floss – the stiffer ends of this yarn-like floss can be guided through dental work, such as braces or implants.

Floss holder – a Y shaped plastic tool that holds floss between two prongs, making flossing easier for users. This is great for kids!

Toothpick – useful for cleaning around gums or dislodging trapped food, but has the potential to hurt the gums if pressed too hard. Just be careful you do not do damage to your teeth or gums. And it’s also not a good idea to have young family members try to use a toothpick!

Irritation devices – these motorized units flush debris from crevices and appliances, but do not completely remove plaque.

flossing is always a good choice_hagen dental

With all the great choices available to us to take care of our teeth, we really have no excuse not to incorporate some form of flossing into our daily routine! Find what works for you and aim to be consistent.

We Can’t Wait to Meet You & Your Family

Have any questions you want to know the answer to? We’d love to answer any of the questions you have! Schedule your next visit with Hagen Dental by calling us at (513) 251-5500.



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August 6th, 2016

Hagen Dental Practice: Take a Look at Our Patient Experiences

Category: dental health

hagen dental cincinnati dentist1. “I couldn’t be happier with Dr. Hagen and the wonderful staff at Hagen Dental Practice. I lost my front tooth at 24 years old and everyone gave the best care to remedy the situation.” – Dani

2. “I’ve been a patient of Hagen Dental Practice since 2002 and always leave my visits healthier than when I arrived. They also identified my gum recession early in my time as a patient and have helped me stave off further recession. Viva Hagen Dental Practice!” – Dan

3. “I have been very happy at Hagen Dental. They have a friendly and experienced staff and I enjoy my smile due to Hagen Dental.” – George

4. “Hagen Dental Practice is great! I’m greeted with smiles as soon as I walk in the door. I have been seeing Dr. Hagen for a long time now and he is very easy to talk to about any concerns I may have. He makes procedures as painless as possible and is very good with any special needs I may have. I’m 68 and still have all my teeth including a baby tooth that I never lost. I attribute my good dental health to Dr. Hagen and all of his caring staff. If you are looking for a good dentist try Hagen Dental Practice. I’m sure you will love them too.” – Dianne

5. “I have been a patient here my entire life and would not consider going to another dental practice. They have a great staff, great equipment, and Dr. Hagen is a great guy who really cares about his patients.” – Craig B.

6. “I’ve been a patient for a number of years. The staff is very accommodating and friendly. The equipment is state of the art. Enjoy making visits.” – Diane

7. “I have been a patient over 25 years. Dr. Hagen and all his staff are always professional, caring people. They help me take good care of my teeth. Visits to the dentist are a pleasure. They keep up with the latest in dental care. I don’t live in the area and drive across town to continue to be a patient.” – Regina

8. “I always feel like I get the most up to date care possible with the latest techniques and technology. Dr. Hagen and his staff are always friendly and extremely competent!”– Mike

9. “When I come here I feel like a celebrity, important. I always brag about the entire staff…” – Ken

10. “I have been coming to Dr. Hagen’s office for about 8 years now. He is always so caring and so welcoming. The staff at the desk are very friendly and I have noticed not only do they know me by name, but they know almost everyone by their name. I can’t remember the last time I had to say who I was, with my daughters or myself, when checking in. I love that personal connection. I always have a wonderful experience and now I bring both my daughters to his office as well. My 2-year old had her first visit today and she did not cry at all! I highly recommend him to any and everyone. Best service you will ever get.” – Wanda

11. “Almost 15 years ago I had major dental problems and unfortunately needed a lot of work done. Dr. Hagen and team put in more than a half dozen crowns over a short period, all of which I still have today! All of that work, and all of those years and I never once had an issue. That is rare quality and rare peace of mind.” – Adam

12. “Staff is efficient, personable. The front desk is accommodating with appointments. Have had excellent results. Office is state of the art.” – Betty

13. “This is the dentist that restored my faith in dentists. I am very anxious about dental visits and Dr. Hagen and his staff are the best at making me feel comfortable. They have helped me turn around all of my issues with my teeth. I would give them my highest recommendation without reservation.” – Bob

14. “Hagen Dental has given me the best dental care I’ve ever had. I’m just sorry I didn’t discover them sooner.” – Barb

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August 3rd, 2016

What to Snack On While You Watch the Big Summer Blockbuster

Category: cincinnati dentist


dental health and movie snacks

The sticky, gooey, sugary, crunchy and sweet snacks for sale at the movie theater might taste great along with the newest flick, but all that sugar and acid sitting on your teeth for the duration of the movie is a big no-no when it comes to your oral health. (Not to mention that hard candies can result in a broken or chipped tooth, too!)

So how can you enjoy the summer blockbuster without forgoing the snacks entirely? Check out these ideas:

  1. Fresh fruits and raw veggies: Things like oranges, melons and apples can be peeled and sliced to munch on while you watch the movie. Berries are also great bite-sized delights, and contain natural sugars to satisfy your sweet tooth. Vegetables can pop just as satisfying a crunch as a bowl of popcorn or candy. Things like celery, carrots, or cucumbers are fresh and won’t leave your teeth covered in sugar. Make it fun! Dunk them or spread peanut butter on these veggies for some added flavor.
  2. Craving something salty? Look no further than nuts and seeds: A bag of sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, or nuts in any combination can be a great accompaniment to the film. The best part? No sugar build-up on your teeth compared to that bag of Mike and Ikes! Even more good news: No sugar crash later.
  3. Oven-baked chips. This might take a bit more of your time, but some kinds of DIY chips can be made in less than an hour! Try oven-baked sweet potato chips or even thinly-sliced apple chips. Or, if you are more adventurous, you can try the super-trendy kale chips or really push the envelope with zucchini chips! The benefit is that these are healthy options that still give you a crispy, delicious treat! Plus, it’s hard to eat “too many” kale chips. Depending on the kind of chip you make (and where you are watching your movie), you can pair your chips with hummus or another healthy dip. At the least, you can use seasoning (such as cinnamon for the apple chips) to pack-in the flavor.healthy summer snacks for your teeth
  4. But what to drink? As you’ve heard us mention, sugary drinks like sodas, juices and sports drinks pack a lot of sugar in a small dose. Left on the teeth, these acidic and sweet beverages lend a perfect environment to the bacteria and decay you want to avoid. Your best bet? Drink water! You can still feel refreshed and quench your thirst with an icy cold bottle of water.Ever think that water is “too boring”? If you really want to, add a few strawberries or berries of choice to your water with some ice. It will give it a little extra “pop” without all that added sugar. The more you drink water this way (or without anything added at all), the more you’ll find that you will crave water without all that added flavor.

Plan for Success

Going to the theater or watching a movie at home with friends or family? Choose items from this list that you can purchase at the theater, when that’s possible. Or, if you feel comfortable doing so, pack up things they don’t sell – such as the fruits and veggies – and bring them with you to the theater in small containers that open quietly. Of course at home, you can be fully prepared by planning a bit beforehand.

Another benefit of doing a bit of planning ahead of time for your healthy treats? You will be a role model for your kids. If you want your kids to develop good eating and oral hygiene habits, you’ll have to do the same. Teach your kids how delicious and fun fruits and veggies can be instead of candy; if they understand why these are smarter choices, they can learn to make healthier choices themselves. They will also learn that the best part of movie night is togetherness and entertainment, not the candy!

healthy summer snacks

You Can Involve the Family, Too!

Involve the family when planning for your movie night so that you are sure to make some snacks that they will enjoy. Let the kids pick the movie – AND the snacks! Give them a list of approved snacks, but let them make the ultimate choice. This can help teach them about the difference between sugary and healthy snacks.

So whether it’s date night or family movie night…or whether you are renting from Redbox or heading to the big screen, you can enjoy snacks alongside your featured show – just plan ahead with these simple tips to make a choice that your teeth will thank you for.

Call Hagen Dental Today

Have any questions you want to know the answer to or just want to schedule your next visit to the dentist? We’d love to answer any of the questions you have! Schedule your next visit with Hagen Dental by calling us at (513) 251-5500.

References/Sources for more information:


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July 25th, 2016

9 Dental Myths That People Still Believe

Category: cincinnati dentist

9 Dental Myths That People Still BelieveYou hear a variety of things all the time about your oral health – from friends, your family, the media, from advertisements, and more…so how do you know what to believe and what to ignore? Finally, here are answers to your questions! In this post, we separate fact from fiction and drill down on those dental myths.

Myth #1: Brushing and flossing extra well before your dental appointment will hide the fact that you haven’t been keeping up with your regular brushing and flossing habits.

Ramping up your brushing and flossing a few days before you visit the dentist doesn’t mean you can “undo” the months where your oral hygiene habits were lacking! In fact, adding in extra oral hygiene after letting it go for a while has the potential to actually inflame your gums, making them swollen, red and more likely to bleed.

Your dentist will know your secret! There’s nothing that can substitute for regular care in between your dental visits. (1).

Myth #2: If your gums bleed, you should stop brushing and flossing.

It turns out, the opposite is true: you don’t want to stop brushing or flossing if you notice your gum is bleeding or irritated! Plaque build-up and food debris on the teeth are the culprits behind gum bleeding. Regular brushing and flossing is the best way to remove plaque build-up and food from the mouth. If the plaque build-up is too severe, getting a dental cleaning is the best choice to get the problem under control (1, 2). If your gum is bleeding abnormally or doesn’t stop, you want to let us know, too.

myth bustingMyth #3: Brushing MORE will always improve the health of your teeth.

More is not better in this case—especially if you tend to brush too hard. Over-brushing your teeth can wear the enamel down due to the abrasive properties of your toothpaste. Rinsing your mouth out after eating is a safe alternative to extra brushing sessions. Using a soft bristled brush also helps avoid problems from those prone to brushing too hard (1, 2).

Myth #4: Babies don’t need to go to the dentist.

We now recommend bringing in your toddler at around 18 months. This is typically about the time when some, but not all, of their baby teeth are in. The checkup will also allow you to ask questions and get any advice on how you can continue to promote a healthy dental routine for your baby—for life!

Myth #5: Dental treatment and visits to the dentist should be avoided during pregnancy.

Very false! During pregnancy, blood flow, hormones, and often a woman’s diet will change. This can cause an increase in bacteria in your mouth, which leads to an increased likelihood for dental issues such as gingivitis, bleeding gums, or development of cavities over the course of the pregnancy.

Be sure to keep that dental check-up during pregnancy! X-rays will likely be avoided, unless absolutely necessary, but many dental procedures, including cleanings are completely safe for pregnant women and can help prevent inflammation. It’s also very important to maintain good oral health to avoid adverse effects on your developing baby (1, 5).

Myth #6: If there is no visible issue in your mouth, you don’t need to see your dentist.

Just because you can’t see a problem, doesn’t mean you should skip your regular dental checkup. Your dental cleanings and exams each year help ensure your teeth STAY healthy! It’s also important to find any dental problems early so they don’t become serious (2). Don’t forget that your dentist visit also includes oral cancer screenings, too.

Myth #7: Teeth whitening will damage your enamel.

New technology has made teeth whitening much safer! (Zoom! Whitening, anyone?) You can stick with professional whitening for the safest options, and ask us any questions you have about the process (2)!

Myth #8: Losing baby teeth to tooth decay is okay – that’s what adult teeth are for, right?

False! Losing a baby tooth to tooth decay is not insignificant. This can result in damage to the developing crowns of the permanent teeth just below the baby tooth. It could also mean the child is not developing proper dietary and dental health habits to promote healthy teeth down the line (3).

Myth #9: You’ll know when you have a cavity.

Sometimes you’ll know when you have a cavity or an issue of some kind…but many times you won’t! And by the time you can feel the discomfort of a cavity, it has probably spread to a larger area than it would have if it had been caught at a regular dental cleaning and examination (4).

Have More Questions About Your Dental Health? We Can’t Wait to Meet You & Your Family

Have any questions you want to know the answer to? We’d love to answer any of the questions you have! Schedule your next visit with Hagen Dental by calling us at (513) 251-5500.




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July 15th, 2016

Foods (And Drinks) That Damage Your Enamel

Category: cincinnati dentist

Did you know? Your tooth enamel health is directly related to what you are eating, including those beverages you are drinking!

Keeping your teeth healthy involves more than just brushing and flossing.

foods and drinks that can damage your enamel hagen dental

Your enamel is the hard outer layer of your teeth. In fact, it’s the hardest substance in the human body—and for good reason! This surface layer helps protect the sensitive inner parts of the tooth from decay and damage. However, even enamel is subject to harm if not treated well. It is normal for some wear and tear to occur, but by focusing on what you are feeding your body (and thus putting into your mouth) you can keep that outer barrier of your teeth stronger (5).

Maintain the Health of Your Enamel

Here are some foods to avoid or minimize for optimum enamel health:

Sugary Foods: Increased sugars feed bacteria in your mouth. Left unchecked, these bacteria produce acidic byproducts, which can soften and slowly wear away at your enamel. Candy, especially sour candies, which are sugar-filled and acidic, are the least friendly combo for your teeth! But sugar doesn’t just hide in candy…Check your food labels on condiments, cereals, and other desserts and snacks for high amounts of added sugar (1, 2).

Sugary Beverages: Just like sugary foods, beverages can be a sneaky source of sugar and acid, ready to harm your enamel! Soda is especially bad, because not only is it sugary, it has additional acidic components. Coffee is high in acidity, and people often load it with syrups or sugars, too! Just imagine what happens if a highly acidic, sugary drink sits on your enamel for hours on end. Try cutting back on that cup of joe, or leaving out the sweetener. Frequent use of sports drinks in recent years, especially in children, has also been shown to harm enamel since the sugar sits on their teeth during activity, in many cases. Even fruit juices should be taken in moderation, because they are high in simple sugars and acid as well (1, 2, 6).enamel facts hagen dental

Foods that give you heartburn: Severe heartburn means stomach acid is moving up the esophagus. Those stomach acids that escape the stomach can reach your mouth and erode the enamel as well. So if you have certain foods that trigger heartburn, avoid them (1).

Ice: Simply put, ice is for chilling, not chewing! But isn’t water good for you? Yes! And ice is fine in your beverages – but avoid chewing on it! Chewing on hard substances such as ice can damage the enamel. The same is true for very hard candies that you crunch on (3, 6).

Citrus Fruit: Fruits are an excellent choice for incorporating more vitamins into your diet, especially the citrus variety. But heed this warning: frequent exposure to acidic foods, such as citrus fruits like oranges, grapefruits, limes and lemons, can erode your enamel over time. Your best bet? Eat these foods as part of a meal, rather than by themselves (3, 6).

Sticky Foods: Sticky foods, such as sticky candies, taffy, caramels, or even dried fruit such as raisins, can leave residue in your teeth, which means the sugar will sit on the enamel, leaving a food source for bacteria, which will in turn release enamel-damaging acid (2, 3, 6). Limit your intake of these foods to avoid potential damage to your enamel over time.

Starchy Foods: Starch-filled foods, such as potato chips, cookies, cakes, muffins and other starchy, processed snacks, tend to get trapped in your teeth. These starchy carbohydrates stay in your mouth and breakdown into sugar and acid more slowly, thus creating a longer period of sugar and acid threat to the teeth. Bacteria in your mouth love to feed on the left-behind sugars from these foods (3, 4, 6).

Protect Your Enamel

Analyze your diet over the next few weeks to discover which of these simple, daily changes you could make to ensure better health and protection for your enamel! Call Hagen Dental at (513) 251-5500 or visit our website here to learn more.




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July 9th, 2016

Solving Sleep Apnea

Category: dental health

sleep apnea cincinnati

What should you do when you’ve addressed your sleep hygiene, and you are still having problems with sleep?

Sleep apnea is a type of sleep disorder in which a person has pauses in breathing, or shallow or infrequent breathing during sleep. This pattern results in a less restful sleep cycle, and can mean you wake up tired!

Since sleep is a very important part of our lives, for rejuvenation, healing, and rest, sleep apnea is a serious problem for your overall health. Airway obstruction during sleep impairs breathing, which can lead to craniofacial malformation, improper bite, and jaw deformation. If left untreated, this can cause further breathing issues, sleep disorders, poor health or even chronic disease!

Addressing your sleep apnea as soon as possible will add both quality and quantity to the years of your life.

There are many factors that contribute to sleep apnea, and the causes are different for everyone. Factors include:

  • Anatomical factors, such as anomalies present at birth, enlarged adenoids or tonsils, and retruded jaw bones (top or bottom)
  • Weight factors (both over or under weight)
  • Neurological components
  • Medications, such as anti-depressants or pain medication

What Happens In Your Airway While You Sleep

Normally, the muscles that control the tongue and mouth hold the airway open for continuous breathing during sleep. In people who snore, these same muscles tend to relax and the airway narrows too much. This narrowing can lead to snoring, as well as breathing difficulty. In people with obstructive sleep apnea (also called OSA), the muscles relax even more, and the airway can actually collapse and block the airway from normal breathing!

Historical Treatment For Sleep Apnea

So what is the goal when you look for a way to treat sleep apnea or related sleep disorders? Normalize your sleep patterns and sleep cycle so that you can feel rested, energized and full of life. Treating your sleep apnea can improve the quality of your sleep, and often improve snoring.

Correcting the issues causing the sleep disturbances also lowers your risk for further health complications from the sleep apnea.

oral appliance therapyA Better Way to Treat Sleep Apnea

CPAP has historically been a common treatment for this condition. But the mask and air pump machine is bulky, noisy and uncomfortable—which is why many wanted to use it. Hagen Dental offers small, lightweight alternative devices, known as Oral Appliance Therapy. Oral Appliance Therapy devices are effective treatment options for snoring and obstructive sleep apnea.

They are custom-fit, non-invasive, quiet, easy to wear, and portable enough to be convenient for travel. The goal is to support the jaw and tongue in a forward position to help maintain an open airway. Take a look at some of the options:

Mandibular Advancement Device (MAD) – This is an appliance, comparable to an athletic mouth guard, that is custom formed to the individual. The device brings the lower jaw forward, thus allowing an increased space for the tongue to position further forward in the mouth, rather than back against the throat. This change in tongue position decreases airway blockage by the tongue. The MAD is worn at night during sleeping hours, plus additional day time hours, depending on the patient’s needs.

Tongue Retaining Device (TRD) – This is a splint appliance that helps hold the tongue in place during sleep. This device stabilizes and retains or holds the tongue forward during sleep to prevent it from obstructing the airway. The TRD is worn during sleeping hours. At Hagen Dental, we know that each patient has a unique set of symptoms and concerns. With the oral appliance options and ability to customize for the individual, we are able to see astounding results! Over 90 percent of our patients who use them have had successful improvement. Even better, these appliances are more comfortable and less cumbersome than a CPAP therapy machine. Now that’s something you can rest easy about!

Be sure to call us today at (513) 251-5500 to set up your appointment with Dr. Hagen. We can discuss your sleep patterns and provide sleep appliances that can restore your quality of sleep!


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June 24th, 2016

10 Ways to Improve Your Quality of Sleep!

Category: cincinnati dentist

sleep quality in cincinnati Hygiene: those simple practices and routines we make a part of our day to preserve our health and prevent health issues. There are many habits we can embody as part of our personal hygiene to enhance our preventative measures and invest in our future health.

Let’s take a closer look!

One such habit is sleep hygiene. Have you heard of it? Sleep hygiene, simply put, is a variety of habits and practices that are necessary to ensure normal, quality nighttime sleep, followed by full daytime alertness.

Have you ever tossed and turned, laid awake at night, or awoken groggy and unrested? Do you often find you are unfocused, tired, run down, and needing an afternoon pick-me-up? These are signs you should make some changes to your sleep hygiene habits!

Why Sleep is Important to Our Health

Sleep is meant to be restful and restorative. It is that time during which we can heal and repair from the previous day and prepare and rejuvenate for the coming day. We can perform at our best when our sleep is healthy.

But if your sleep becomes disrupted, fragmented, or un-restful, your health can suffer. During a normal sleep cycle, your body enters several different stages of sleep. The most important of these is Stage R.E.M. (Rapid Eye Movement). This is the stage of sleep that keeps us happy and healthy, literally! Check it out — stage REM has many functions

  • The REM stage is when your body creates the serotonin that acts as a natural anti-depressant for your brain
  • REM sleep recharges your “battery” so to speak, so that you can make it through the next day without excessive daytime sleepiness
  • During the REM stage, your body optimizes your metabolism, and works to suppress your appetite naturally by using the body’s natural fuel, instead of craving caffeine and carbs that lead to the classic energy high followed by a crash. People without proper REM sleep tend to gain weight and are unable to lose it
  • REM sleep allows for the production of melatonin, the substance that helps you sleep (naturally) 

When your sleep cycle is interrupted or fragmented, and characterized by instances of pauses in breathing or shallow breathing, this is termed sleep apnea.

Dr. Hagen is in a unique position to recognize signs and symptoms of sleep apnea and initiate early treatment for better outcomes.

dentist for better sleep hagen dental

“How Do I Improve My Sleep Hygiene?”

The most important part of proper sleep hygiene is maintaining a regular wake and sleep pattern, seven days a week. Check out these other examples of good sleep hygiene:

  1. Avoid napping during the day.
  2. Avoid stimulants such as caffeine and nicotine too close to bedtime.
  3. Avoid alcohol too close to bedtime (this causes disruption of sleep while the body breaks down the alcohol).
  4. Regular exercise promotes a good sleep cycle. But schedule your vigorous exercise in the morning or afternoon; try a more relaxing exercise, such as yoga, prior to bedtime to initiate a restful night’s sleep.
  5. Avoid large meals close to bedtime. Allow a few hours to digest your food before climbing into bed.
  6. Spend time during the day and your waking hours around natural light. This helps your body maintain a healthy sleep-wake cycle.
  7. Establish a regular relaxing bedtime routine. Just like it works with a toddler, a routine helps us wind down, and our body recognizes the cues that bedtime is near.
  8. Avoid emotionally upsetting conversations or activities, such as violent news outlets or high intensity TV programs right before trying to sleep.
  9. Does your mind race with thoughts, things to do, things you want to remember for tomorrow, or other worries as you try to fall asleep? Keep a notepad and pen on your nightstand. Write your thoughts down, then let them go.
  10. Make your bedroom pleasant and relaxing; a comfortable bed and pillow, temperature, and environment.

Better Quality Sleep

Think you might have a quality of sleep problem? Or do you think you might have shallow breathing throughout the night?

If you suffer from extremely loud snoring, you always feel tired when you wake up, or you’ve been diagnosed with health conditions that include diabetes, hypertension, or obesity, or have other issues, be sure to call us today to set up your appointment with Dr. Hagen. Dr. Hagen’s training in sleep dentistry also allows him to offer alternative treatments for sleep apnea for better overall health. We can discuss your sleep patterns and provide sleep appliances that can restore your quality of sleep!

Facts used in this blog courtesy of Dr. McKnight, sleep specialist

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June 11th, 2016

Your Child’s First Dental Visit: When Should It Be?

Category: cincinnati dentist, dental health

Did you know? While in previous years, we would have recommended children to have their first dental visit around age 3, we now advise parents to come visit us earlier than that age!

hagen dental dds

We now recommend bringing in your toddler at around 18 months. This is typically about the time when some, but not all, of their baby teeth are in!

Why The Change Now?

We like to see your children to make sure that everything in the mouth is normal! Most children’s baby teeth, also known as primary teeth or even milk teeth, come in with no problems, but sometimes lifestyle factors can affect the health of those teeth…

Let’s dig deeper!

More and more frequently in recent years, for a number of different reasons, the rate of tooth decay in young children is rapidly increasing.

In fact, in recent years, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, about 42 percent of children, from age 2 to 11, have had cavities in their baby teeth. This high percentage of children with dental decay is much higher than in previous years.

family dentist in cincinnati

Why Is This Happening?

This rapid increase in early childhood caries – or ECC – is actually being called an “epidemic” because of just how prevalent it has now become. Early childhood caries (which in the past has also been called baby bottle tooth decay) can develop with infants or toddlers who go to sleep with a bottle in their mouth. Other children might get into the habit of walking around with a “sippy” cup or using a similar kind of cup, where they expose their teeth, for long periods of time, to sugary liquids or foods – such as sugary or starchy foods. That habit can also lead to decay, especially when it happens day after day.

hagen dental in cincinnatiAnother contributing factor is more widespread use of bottled water and the lack of fluoride. Fluoride helps prevent tooth decay because it increases the rate of re-mineralization in the mouth and it slows down the breakdown of enamel in our children’s mouth as well.

Because many children are drinking more water without fluoride, they aren’t experiencing those same benefits.

As mentioned, historically, this kind of tooth decay was not present to the same degree, and therefore most dentists would recommend a child’s first dentist be around age 3. Now you can put a reminder on your calendar to be sure you come in and see us around 18 months!

Your Child’s First Visit to Dr. Hagen: Timing is Everything!

Before getting worried, remember that tooth decay is preventable and bringing in your child earlier to see us is also a key preventative measure you can take. Bringing your child into the dentist can make sure that children’s teeth are coming in as they should!

taking your child to the dentist cincinnati ohio

It’s also an opportunity to talk about any habits that the baby may have that could be contributing to tooth decay.

Clearly, a healthy mouth is something we all want for our kids. When we have a healthy mouth we promote the ability to chew properly, which in turn, impacts a child’s ability to maintain good nutrition. Healthy teeth from a young age also help encourage speech development, it ensures a space for permanent teeth, and it promotes confidence in the long-term.

Starting young helps promote a lifetime of healthy and bright smiles.

Be sure to bring your child in around 18 months so that we can examine their teeth and gums and help you know the proper oral hygiene methods and techniques for their oral health. Before then, be sure that you are giving your children nothing but water at bedtime so that you can avoid sugary liquids or carbohydrates being exposed to teeth all night long. 



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June 5th, 2016

What to Know About Composite Fillings

Category: dental health

what to know about composite fillings

What happens when you visit the dentist for a filling?

To start, often times you may be given local anesthesia so that the area can be numbed. Generally, the next step will be to remove the decay from your actual tooth!

During this stage a drill or a laser may be used. Once this decay is removed, it’s time to shape the space and prepare it for your filling.

Depending on the filling, the preparation will vary. There are many options available today for fillings, with the most common including gold, porcelain, silver amalgam, glass ionomer, zinc oxide and eugenol, composite resin fillings.

Composite Resin Fillings

So what are composite resin fillings – and why is it called “composite resin”?

It’s referred to as composite resin because the material consists of a combination of glass and tooth-colored plastic and other materials. Composite fillings are commonly used to reshape disfigured teeth in the mouth or as a material to bond to your teeth – with the benefit being that they can match the exact color of your existing teeth.

Because composites can bond to your teeth, they can help support your remaining tooth structure, which can help prevent further breakage on teeth. It can also be used as a “buffer” on the tooth, serving to insulate your tooth from temperature change. People like composite resin fillings because they can look so natural in the mouth.

composite fillings hagen dental cincinnati dentist

But back to the process of getting a filling: at this stage, depending on the kind of filling, sometimes a base is placed to protect your nerves. Often times that is made of composite resin!

After a few more steps, certain fillings will be hardened using light applied to the area. Once the material has hardened, you’re almost ready to go. After shaping and polishing, your composite is placed.

cosmetic dentistrySo how do you know what kind of filling is right for you?

There are many factors that help your dentist know what kind of filling is right for you. These factors include:

  • The size of the decay
  • The location of the decay in the mouth
  • Aesthetics
  • Bonding to your tooth structure
  • Versatility (for example, if used for broken or chipped teeth)
  • Other health and lifestyle factors

From simple fillings to full crowns to veneers, CEREC is also an option that many people turn to – again – depending on the specific needs of the situation. Keep in mind we can help you decide what’s best for you based on the extent of the decay, aesthetics, durability, your insurance, and of course how the option is suited for your mouth.

Before you have the need for any fillings, aim for prevention. Brush your teeth at least twice a day, floss every day and visit Dr. Hagen regularly.

natural looking fillings cincinnati dentist


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