Phone (513) 251-5500
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. 

Sources/References

http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2014/03/02/cavities-children-teeth/5561911/

 

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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

Sources/References

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June 4th, 2016

These 10 Facts About Toothpaste May Surprise You

Category: dental health

facts about toothpaste

Toothpaste we use every day is easily taken for granted, but in fact, it comes with quite a story…

Here are 10 facts that might surprise you about your toothpaste.

did you know toothpaste facts_hagen

1. Toothpaste’s Egyptian ties.

The earliest tooth cleaners were invented by the Egyptians 5000 years ago, and included abrasives like ground burnt eggshells. These ancient ingredients remained as effective at cleaning teeth as anything used until until about a century ago (although some other remedies were easier on the gums).

the egyptians and toothpaste

2. Even Royalty had rotted teeth…

In medieval times, the ancient remedies were forgotten, and people didn’t clean their teeth. As a result, even royalty like Queen Elizabeth I ended up with black and rotted teeth!

3. Toothpaste becomes smoother.

In 1824, a dentist named Peabody added Soap to toothpaste for better cleaning. That was used until around 1945, when other ingredients replaced it – notably sodium lauryl sulphate, which makes a smoother paste. This is still a common toothpaste ingredient.

4. Toothpaste vs. tooth powder.

Tooth cleaners were almost all powders, not pastes, until around World War One.

5. Fluorides are added to the formula.

Fluorides were first added to the cleaners in the early 1900s, to prevent tooth decay.

6. What we can thank Astronauts for…

Edible toothpaste was invented in 1987, not for children, as most people might believe, but for Astronauts – because spitting into a zero-gravity environment on a space ship is not pleasant.

tooth & oral health facts

7. Even more varieties!

Today toothpastes come with a variety of special ingredients to whiten teeth, remove plaque, freshen breath and prevent gum disease. Herbal toothpastes like Tom’s brand are an alternative to fluoride, and contain ingredients like peppermint oil, myrrh and plant extracts.

8. Gluten-free toothpaste comes along.

Gluten-free toothpaste has been developed recently, for users who suffer from celiac disease. Fortunately, there is an abundance of gluten free toothpaste options available for such people, so finding them on store shelves isn’t difficult nowadays. Gluten free toothpastes usually contain cellulose gum, a natural alternative to other thickening agents. Using gluten free toothpaste twice a day, in addition to daily flossing, will help to maintain your oral care without that gastric interference.

9. Today’s toothpaste.

Today’s active ingredients include xylitol, baking soda and calcium phosphate. Xylitol helps prevent cavities and it also promotes saliva! If you have dry mouth, that is especially important to promote more saliva in your mouth.  Many know how baking soda is an ingredient in toothpaste – and it’s used to neutralize acid, as well as to combat stains on our teeth.Calcium phosphate can help with tartar control in the mouth. Other common ingredients include a combination of water, sorbitol, fluoride, cellulose gum and natural flavorings.

10. Not just for our teeth!?

Toothpaste also some fascinating uses, for the resourceful among us! Those uses include:

  • It can polish silver coffee service or silver jewelry, leaving a bright sheen…But the experts say not to use it on pearls!
  • A gel toothpaste can be used to adhere a bow to a baby’s hair. It washes out, and does not pull out the hair.
  • Just a small dab on your skin takes the sting and itch out of bug bites.
  • Clean your running shoes with white toothpaste!
  • Finally, Mom and Dad, you can remove crayon from walls – simply rub white toothpaste on the crayon marks with a damp cloth, then you can rinse the cloth, and wipe away any residue.

We Can’t Wait to Meet You & Your Family

We’d love to have you as a patient at Hagen Dental Practice! You and your entire family deserve a healthy smile that can last a lifetime. Whether it is for a cosmetic consultation or for your regular check-up, see our smile makeover services, information about Invisalign, or read about one-visit crowns. Give us a call today at (513) 251-5500 to schedule a visit for you or your children.

Resources used directly in this blog:

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May 27th, 2016

Gum Disease? Here’s What to Know About Scaling & Root Planing

Category: cincinnati dentist

At any given time, we’re all developing some degree of plaque in our mouths. But when we brush, floss, and get regular dentist cleanings, we help to make sure it doesn’t become a problem.

So what is plaque?

Plaque is a biofilm, mostly made of bacteria, that adheres to the surface of our teeth. Plaque has an organized structure and its components – glycoproteins and polysaccharides – make it impossible to remove with water or by just using mouthwash.

In as little as a day, the biofilm that is in our mouth can transform from the soft and removable kind of plaque into a hard state – also called tartar – and that is much harder to remove.

The bacteria in dental plaque is what can lead to periodontal disease. (“Peri” means around, and “odontal” refers to our teeth.)

root planingOur bodies strive to get rid of the bacteria we have in our mouth, and therefore the cells of your immune system have an inflammatory reaction. This inflammatory reaction is how and why our gums then become swollen and can bleed. The more that nothing is done to fight off this bacteria, the more this can become a problem, and the more the bacteria will thrive.

And that’s where scaling & root planing come in…

Scalers are a tool that your dentist uses during – you guessed it – scaling and root planing. These are special tools that are used professionally in order to fight this bacteria build-up. The scaler can come in a couple of different sizes, but generally, it is a tool that is narrower at the tip. No matter what the tool looks like, they are simply specialized tools used to remove tartar and plaque.

scaling removes plaque

And what exactly does the scaling and root planing treatment involve?

The treatment works towards fighting periodontal disease – both on the teeth and the roots of your teeth. First, your teeth and gums are numbed so that all the plaque and tartar can be removed without any discomfort. Next, the professional tools are used to remove calculus. That may be by ultrasonic, sonic scaler, or power scaler.

After the bacteria is removed beneath the gum line, then teeth are smoothed and cleaned so that the gum tissue not only properly heals, but so it “reattaches” to your teeth. Part of the reason teeth can be smoothed is to get rid of surfaces and areas where bacteria are trapped or held – the same places where that bacteria would otherwise be much more likely to thrive. That’s also part of the treatment designed to get your gums back to their healthiest state.

Certain patients may have additional steps as part of their scaling and root planing treatment, depending on their vulnerability to gum disease and their medical history.

For example, there is ARESTIN®, which allows antibiotics to be slowly released over time in your mouth. Your dentist simply adds ARESTIN® to the your most vulnerable areas in the mouth – the pocket between your gum and tooth. This means that not only have you killed a great deal of bacteria during scaling and root planing, but you are now killing bacteria left behind after your procedure.

arestin hagen dental

Who benefits from scaling and root planing?

Your dentist will be able to recommend and tell you if you have periodontal disease, including any appropriate treatments – such as scaling and root planing – that can help you get back your healthy smile. Your dentist will not only take into account the current state of your teeth, but also your entire health history. Typically, if your dentist determines that you have gum disease that has progressed to a certain stage where bone loss is more likely to occur, he or she may recommend this kind of treatment.

Getting Your Teeth & Gums Feeling – and Looking – Healthy Again

Does your infection go away forever thanks to this treatment? The answer is that it is important to know that just because you have scaling and root planing, doesn’t meant you should go back to and bad oral health habits. Rather, the treatment is going to be maximized only if brushing, flossing and regular dentist visits (among other behaviors you want to avoid such as smoking) are kept up after your treatment. With that said, scaling and root planing does greatly support those looking to regain healthy-looking, firm gums.

In the end, the entire procedure can be done in an environment in which you are comfortable, and it can typically be done in a single visit. For some people, after the treatment, the mouth may be tender. In certain scenarios, the treatment can be broken into several visits when requested by a patient.

Want to learn more about scaling and root planing or ARESTIN®? Whether it is for a cosmetic consultation, scaling and root planing, or your regular visit, we’d love to see you. Read more about Dr. Hagen and the team, including our state-of-the-art dental methods and technologies, and give us a call today at (513) 251-5500.

keep up with oral habits hagen dental

Sources/References

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April 24th, 2016

9 Famous Toothpaste Slogans That’ll Make You Smile

Category: dental health

Think you know toothpaste? How many of these taglines do you recognize?

1. “Brings Mouths to Life”

1

2. “Look Ma, No Cavities”

2

3. “Clean to the Extreme”

3

4. “No One Will Ever Know”

4

5. “The Fountain of Youth”

5

6. “Gets You Noticed”

6

7. “Take AIM at Cavities”

7

8. “Brusha…brusha…brusha”

8

9. “Until They Gleem”

9

Source/References:

http://www.buckybeaver.ca/buckys_story.php

http://www.thinkslogans.com/slogans/advertising-slogans/toothepaste-slogans/

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April 23rd, 2016

Did You Know? 4 Facts About Hagen Dental Practice That Will Surprise You

Category: cincinnati dentist

facts about hagen dental in cincinnati

You may think you know a lot about Hagen, but did you know these 4 things?

1. Hagen was the second dentist in Cincinnati to use the CEREC machine and terminology!

CEREC uses ceramic materials to restore any tooth that is decayed or broken, a procedure that can be done in just one-visit. What’s great is that it also preserves your tooth structure, and it lasts for a long, long, long time – if not forever.

But did you know that Dr. Hagen was one of the first to do this – in the region?

Assuming you are a candidate for a CEREC restoration, we examine a number of factors including the tooth itself, and the tissue around it. We then get an optical impression of the tooth. A reflective powder is applied to the tooth, and a picture is taken and viewed on our computer screen. That’s all done so we can make the perfect restoration!

Then we use our CEREC machine to create the restoration. After we have our 3-dimensional, virtual model of the tooth, Dr. Hagen designs the custom-fit restoration you’ll eventually have inside your mouth. That means that – as you might have guessed by now – we’ve been doing a form of 3D printing, right in our office, for years!

Next Dr. Hagen will bond the crown to the remaining tooth structure. This ceramic, tooth-colored restoration is not only cut out and shaped perfectly but we make sure you have a proper fit and a comfortable bite when it’s in your mouth. Not only has Dr. Hagen been doing one-visit CEREC crowns for years, but he was one of the first to even call it by that name.

CEREC technology _dentist offerings

2. Hagen Dental Practice has 202 combined years of experience across our staff.

If you’ve been to Hagen Dental Practice, you know we do everything we can to make sure you are as comfortable as possible. We keep you smiling – not just with our excellent treatment, but with the unusually friendly and caring manner with which care is provided.

But did you know that our team has 202+ combined years of experience? We want our team members to be both technically competent and personally warm, and we feel fortunate to have found such people! See the team on our website here.

serving patients for more than 200 years3. Hagen Dental Practice offers Snap-On Smile™.

Snap-On Smile™ brings you an affordable, pain-free, non-invasive cosmetic way to get a beautiful smile.

Looking to close a gap you have in your teeth? Or maybe you are looking to cover your existing crooked teeth? Another way that Hagen Dental Practice is leading the way is with the ability to get a smile makeover in our office. With Snap-On Smile™, there is no drilling or extractions necessary. Let’s explore further.

Once we know if you are a candidate, we talk aesthetics. Then, a pain-free impression of your teeth is made, and on your next visit with Hagen, you will have your new smile fitting!

The fitting is just what it sounds like: we make sure that your new smile fits just as it should, and you get to walk out with your beautiful smile! Your smile makeover can be just that easy and quick, and your fitting can last as long as 5 years. That’s right: Snap-On Smile™ requires no shots and no drilling! Ask us for more information if you’d like to learn more about this life-changing solution.

4. Hagen Dental Practice’s patients’ ages range from 3 to 100.

When you come in to Hagen Dental Practice, a hygienist professionally cleans your teeth, helping to keep your teeth free of cavities and your gums free of bacteria. In turn, this lessen the risk of serious health conditions.

On your own, regular brushing helps combat plaque and tartar build-up, but that’s also what we look to remove when you come in to see us. Regular cleanings keep serious problems from developing and they help you keep your natural teeth for a lifetime. Just ask any of our patients – which certainly range from brand new teeth to teeth that have lasted for decades!

Speaking of teeth that last for a lifetime, did you know that Hagen Dental Practice’s patients range from 3 to 100 years old?
We are proud to be able to offer services to children at their first visit and to 100 and beyond!

Your Family Will Love Our Friendly & Relaxed Office

No matter your age, we’d love to come see you! After all, you and your entire family deserve a healthy smile that can last a lifetime. If you are thinking about bringing the younger kids in, know that we can relieve fears in children of all ages and put them at ease for every visit. Whether it is for a cosmetic consultation or for your regular visit, we’d love to see you. Read more about Dr. Hagen and the team, including our state-of-the-art dental methods and technologies, and then give us a call today at (513) 251-5500 to schedule a visit for you or your children.

 

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April 13th, 2016

Do You Have Your Custom Mouth Guard Yet?

Category: cincinnati dentist

Spring has sprung and that means we are back outdoors and back into sports seasons including baseball, lacrosse, field hockey, soccer and more.

As we head back outdoors – and even for indoor sports – it’s time to consider getting a custom-fit mouth guard.

hagen dds

Did you know that the great majority of high school athletes – about 3 out of 4 – dental injuries that happen during sports occur in people who aren’t wearing a mouth guard? (Source.) Just think if those athletes had been wearing a protective mouth guard! You can see why some states are now mandating athletes in high school wear mouth guards. 

A Small Habit That Helps Us Avoid Major Damage

Athletic mouth guards absorb shock that you can get while playing sports, whether it be an elbow to the face, a ball, or because of an accidental collision. That means, if we are wearing a mouth guard, that the shock your teeth and jaw would normally receive is less damaging to the mouth.

Wearing a mouth guard can save your teeth – both teeth loss and cracks, prevent major damage to your jaw and face, and it’s an easy habit once you start doing it. If kids are still resistant to the idea, be sure to let them know that these injuries will sideline them for quite some time. In other words, wearing a properly fitting mouth guard can help them stay out on the field!

For many sports – not just contact sports – we also see that mouth guards protect us against the following:

  • Dental fractures
  • Lacerations of lips, tongue, and cheeks
  • Avulsions
  • Luxations (joint dislocation, in this case, the jaw)
  • Concussions

The benefit of a mouth guard we make you is that it will fit just right (you don’t want it to be too loose, and it CAN be comfortable!), it will still allow you to speak, and perhaps most importantly, you will be able to breathe properly.

Tim Hardaway Jr., Mason Plumlee, Matthew Dellavedova, Amir Johnson, Blake Griffin, Cole Aldrich, Rajon Rondo, Alan Anderson, and even Stephen Curry – who has a habit of playing with his mouth guard at times – are just a few pro athletes who regularly wear their mouth guards.

LeBron James is another advocate of wearing a mouth guards. He’s even worn a mouth guard habitually since high school. In fact, these pro athletes think of mouth guards as just another part of their uniform.

hagen dental

I’m Convinced. So How Do I Care for My Mouth Guard?

Now that you’re convinced you want to wear a mouth guard to protect your soft tissue, tongue, mouth, jaw and lips – the question is, how do I take care of my custom mouth guard?

First, when you wear your mouth guard made at Hagen Dental, be sure not to just wear it during games or competitions – you want to get into the habit of wearing it all the time, even at practice. That’s because injuries to the face, mouth and jaw are just as likely to happen in a game as at practice or during “unorganized” sports activities. By wearing it all times, you’re protecting your mouth as much as you can.

You will also want to check it at least once a year to make sure it still fits properly. Next, when storing it, be sure to clean it as much as possible – meaning after every use – and keep it away from heat. Yes, that means throwing it in your sports bag and letting it sit in the summer heat in your car is not a great idea!

lawrence hagen custom mouth guards

Good Dental Hygiene Habits Include Wearing a Custom Mouth Guard

If you have specific questions about how your mouth guard will work with your retainer or braces, let us know. Ready to get your custom-made mouth guard? Give us a call today at (513) 251-5500 to schedule a visit for you or your children!

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March 23rd, 2016

Hoppin’ Facts About Bunny Teeth

Category: cincinnati dentist

hagen and easter

Easter often brings a combination of gift baskets, dyed Easter eggs, candy…and of course, the Easter Bunny!

Let’s take a quick look at the Easter bunny…and rabbits in general.

So what exactly does the Easter bunny have to do with Easter? It’s said that the tie-in with Easter is based some in myth, in particular, that a bunny is a symbol of both spring renewal and fertility. Springtime coincides with Easter each year, so that is part of where the tradition comes from.

The real source of the Easter – Easter bunny connection may be from German folklore in particular, with Ostara, the German goddess of springtime. It was said that the German’s “Oschter Haws” (or “Easter Hare”) laid a nest of colored eggs as gifts for the kids who were well behaved!

There’s a few other stories about the Easter Bunny and its origins, but let’s take another look at rabbits – and their teeth!

“Carrots are devine… You get a dozen for a dime, It’s maaaa-gic! – Bugs Bunny

Bugs Bunny, one of the most famous bunnies of all time, once said these words when giving praise to carrots.

But do rabbits really eat carrots?

The answer, is – well, yes! Rabbits are herbivores, so they don’t eat meat. Instead, they eat a combination of grass, clovers, wild flowers and farm crops, including carrots and other root vegetables, at least when they are in the wild.

To chew their food, they have 28 teeth – and, believe it or not – these teeth actually never stop growing. Other members of the rodent family also have this trait, also known as “teeth that are open-rooted” and it actually helps them thrive in the wild.

Why Do Rabbits’ Teeth Keep Growing?

The teeth themselves are somewhat similar to horse teeth – they have 4 large incisors (also known as front teeth) as well as the other, smaller teeth. Many people just think they have 4 large teeth, but the smaller teeth (also called peg teeth) are what help them grind their food into smaller pieces before swallowing.

Being that they are similar to horse teeth, rabbit teeth are designed to break down fibrous veggies. But what happens if a bunny is unable to get enough weed, twigs, grasses or forage in her diet?

If a wild rabbit isn’t able to get that fiber in her diet, she won’t wear down her teeth naturally, meaning the teeth will grow beyond the desirable length. If this happens, the visible section of the tooth will grow higher and meet the other tooth abnormally (instead of where it would properly be worn down). This can lead to abnormal wear for the rabbit, and the teeth can form sharp edges that can be harmful.

Just imagine if your teeth started to shape in a way where they had sharp points – you could imagine the accidental damage your tongue and cheeks could endure!

The same is true for rabbits if this happens, which is part of why they are prone to dental issues. Because rabbits in the wild aren’t always able to get the right kind of diet to wear down the teeth, this can happen more often than you’d think. In some cases, the rabbit’s teeth can become impacted and inflamed, and it can even lead to an infection in the bone.

If a rabbit is a household pet, they are also not always getting the extreme amount of fiber their teeth were designed to break down. In those cases, people can usually take their domesticated rabbits to a vet in order to cut down the teeth on a regular basis.

You Mean Bunny Teeth…Can Be Similar to Ours?

Even if your pet is getting enough fiber to keep their teeth worn down as they would naturally be in the wild, vets recommend taking your bunny in to see the doctor for regular check-ups about twice a year, unless they tell you otherwise.

Just like for us humans, these check-ups can ensure everything in the mouth – even what we can’t see – is as it should be. People may think their bunny is eating normally and isn’t showing signs of pain, but there could be an issue going on, and it’s better to catch it early than have any disease progress. In fact, did you know that rabbits are actually known for being able to hide their pain and illnesses well! Who knew! 

hagen dental dds blogWe Support Your Entire Health: Give Hagen Dental a Call Today

At Hagen Dental, we are here to partner with you so you can improve your total health. Have questions?We’d love to answer them! Give us a call today at (513) 251-5500 to schedule a visit for you or your family.

Sources/References

  1. http://www.kidsplayandcreate.com/fun-bunnyrabbit-facts-for-kids/
  2. http://www.mybunny.org/info/dental-care/
  3. http://www.thedailymeal.com/7-things-you-never-knew-about-easter-bunny/4714

 

 

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March 23rd, 2016

Why Does My Dentist Need to Know If I Have Diabetes?

Category: cincinnati dentist

diabetes and your smile and oral health

When you have diabetes, you are more likely to develop problems in your mouth, and you also less equipped to heal after dental surgery.

And, according to the American Diabetes Association, the most common problem affecting gums and teeth for people with diabetes is gum disease.

Think of your dentist as someone who is an advocate for your total health and well-being.

If we don’t know you are living with diabetes, we aren’t knowledgeable about the state of your health, and we may not be able to be as proactive in contributing to your treatment strategy.

Because diabetes makes you prone to other mouth problems – not “just” gum disease – if we know your health status, we are able to ensure that you are taking all the steps to best manage your blood sugar. Additionally, there are medications that can result in drastic and impactful changes in the mouth.

For instance, certain medications can drastically reduce the amount of saliva you have in your mouth, which can greatly impact your ability to “naturally” cleanse your teeth. As a result, we can see a drastic, and immediate change in the amount of harmful bacteria (and plaque) in your mouth – if you were to do nothing to manage this change in the mouth. All of this can happen relatively quickly, but with greater communication around your medications, we can come up with a strategy and plan to encourage a healthy mouth.

All in all, when we know the medications you’re taking, we’re better equipped to give you recommendations that take your entire health into account.

medication and diabetes

Mouth Problems: What to Know

In an ideal situation, we have a plan, and we manage our blood sugar levels, stay on a healthy nutrition plan, and continue daily, good oral health habits. If we also see a dentist regularly we can prevent problems, but if a problem occurs, we can catch it early!

When we have poor blood sugar control, we see an increase in the risk for gum problems. Just like with other infections, gum disease can cause our blood sugar to rise. And then, as a result, diabetes can be harder to manage because you are less able to fight bacteria and even more susceptible to infections.

If Our Blood Sugar is Uncontrolled…

If our blood sugar becomes uncontrolled, we may experience dry mouth and bad breath. What’s worse is that we can end up with thrush, inflammation in our gums and infections in the mouth.

Warning signs that you have an oral infection include:

  • Swelling or pus around the teeth or gums – even if small
  • Pain in your mouth that doesn’t go away
  • Pain when chewing
  • Dark spots in your teeth
  • The appearance of holes in your teeth
  • White or red patches on your gum tissue or anywhere in the mouth

Call us if you have diabetes and any of the signs or symptoms listed above.

Keep Taking Care of Your Teeth

The Canadian Diabetes Association says that, “Because periodontal disease is an infection, bacteria produce toxins that affect the carbohydrate metabolism in individual cells. It is also thought that the host response to periodontal bacteria can increase insulin resistance and, therefore, blood glucose levels.” Said another way, there is evidence to suggest (although cause and effect is not quite determined) that there is a two-way link between the state of your mouth and your management of diabetes (1).

If anything, this assertion just reinforces the idea that we have to be proactive in taking care of our mouths. Step one? Telling your dentist this major lifestyle change – that way we can work together to reduce your risk of complications and prevent gum and mouth infections or gum disease.

keep your teeth healthy

We Support Your Entire Health: Give Hagen Dental a Call Today

We want you to help you manage your diabetes – in a way that is as comfortable as possible. We’re here to partner with you so you can improve your total health.

Have questions? We’d love to answer them. Hagen Dental is supportive no matter where you are on your health journey. Give us a call today at (513) 251-5500 to schedule a visit for you or your family.

Sources/References

  1. http://www.besthealthmag.ca/best-you/oral-health/5-reasons-why-oral-care-matters/
  2. http://www.diabetes.org/living-with-diabetes/treatment-and-care/oral-health-and-hygiene/more-on-the-mouth.html
  3. http://www.mouthhealthy.org/en/az-topics/d/diabetes

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