March 1st, 2015
Many people are fans of juicing for enhanced nutrition. The kind of juicing we’re talking about is the process where vegetables and fruits are put into a juice machine, and the juice is extracted. The fiber and the pulp are separated from the resulting nutrient-packed drink.
Juicing has become a popular way for people to efficiently absorb immune-boosting nutrients. We agree that safe juicing can be a great way to get many more fresh fruits and vegetables—and more nutrients—into our diet.
But is juicing potentially bad for our teeth?
The simple answer is that if you drink acidic juice, your teeth and gum are exposed to that acid. With that said, the typical juices people consume from their juice machine are not as hard on the teeth as something such as pop or a tall bottle of commercial orange juice.
It is true that many of these juices (or blends) are acidic in nature—but that doesn’t mean you should pass up on your juicing routine!
Consider your habits leading up to, and after, you juice.
It can seem contrary to what you’ve been taught, but avoid brushing your teeth directly after drinking your fresh juice. That’s because directly after you juice, if you do have acid on your teeth, you can add further damage to your enamel. Look to drink a glass of water, or rinse out your mouth out with water instead of reaching for the toothbrush. For those who juice at night, allow enough time to still be able to brush your teeth so that any excessive acid isn’t exposed to your teeth all night while you sleep.
Next, many people choose to drink their fresh juice with a straw in order to minimize the effects of acid that may be exposed to the teeth.
Also consider the kinds of juices you are drinking: generally speaking, the more greens you are able to add, the less acid in your juice. Try not to go overboard with any added lemons or citrus fruits if you are a frequent juicer.
Last, if you are a heavy juicer and you tend to use juices with a high amount of fruits, pay attention! If you do feel that your teeth or gums are becoming sensitive, or feel different than normal, let us know.
Responsible and safe juicing, combined with a diverse whole foods diet—and followed by a good oral health regime—will minimize any damage of drinking your juice.
Are you at a higher risk of cavities or teeth erosion, but love to juice? Be sure to let us know. Have more questions, or are you ready for your appointment with Hagen Dental? Give us a call today!
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February 9th, 2015
Can you believe that 35 million heart-shaped boxes of chocolates are received as gifts for Valentine’s Day each year? And, at least 8 billion candy hearts are bought to celebrate the holiday.
Remember our oral health impacts our entire health, including our risk of heart disease. We can control many gum and cardiovascular disease risk factors, including how much we exercise, our nutrition, our living spaces, how well we take care of our teeth, and how well we manage conditions such as high blood pressure and diabetes.
No matter if it’s sugar or chocolate, the heart is surely a symbol of love during this time of year. It’s not surprising to hear that February is also American Heart Month, a time where we focus on preventing heart disease.
Being that this month has such a focus on hearts, we ask the question: what’s the link between our oral heath and our heart health?
Insight #1: research has shown how people with gum disease are more likely to also have heart disease.
Did you know that cardiovascular diseases (heart disease, stroke and high blood pressure) is actually the number one killer of women and men in the US today?
Insight #2: our state of oral health tells us about our overall state of health.
Let’s take a closer look at that last statement.
Many of the risk factors for gum disease are also risk factors for heart disease.
Those risk factors for both gum disease and cardiovascular disease that we can control include the following:
- Physical activity
- Tobacco use
- High blood pressure
- High cholesterol
Knowing this connection, it isn’t surprising to see how people who have chronic gum disease are people who are at a higher risk for a heart attack. But remember—that’s a list of risk factors we can control and manage through good habits.
Beyond Brushing and Flossing: Steps to Protecting Our Heart
Regular dental exams and cleanings are very important to remove the bacteria, plaque and tartar that build up in our mouths, and that’s even if we are flossing and brushing each day. In this way, visiting your dentist can keep you proactively work to maintain your oral health.
If you have abnormal bleeding, teeth that are loose, chronic bad breath, or gums that are red, tender, or swollen gums, let us know, since these can be signs of gum disease. Not only are regular cleanings best for removing plaque build-up, but they are critical to ensure gum disease does not go unnoticed, therefore further serving to protect your heart. For more on Hagen Dental, visit us here.
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February 5th, 2015
Cincinnati Magazine approached more than 5,000 physicians and asked them the question: who would you turn to if you, a family member, or a friend needed medical attention?
And the result? Dr. Hagen has been selected as a Top Doctor in Cincinnati, Ohio by his peers!
So what are the just a few of the reasons Dr. Hagen is a Top Dentist in Ohio?
- Dr. Hagen and all of the Hagen Dental team are dedicated to your total health. That approach is reflected in our warm and welcoming atmosphere. Ask Hagen Dental patients and they’ll tell you how your visit will be both comfortable and enjoyable. We’re always smiling here in the Hagen Dental office!
- Dr. Hagen is passionate about oral care. Dr. Hagen continues his postgraduate education on an ongoing basis, and he is committed to offering the latest and greatest services to patients. (Did you know that Dr. Hagen attended St. Xavier High School and Xavier University before earning his dental degree from The Ohio State University School of Dentistry?)
- Dr. Hagen is connected to the community. Just a few of the ways Dr. Hagen is involved in the community include his role as president of the Greater Cincinnati Dental Study Club, and a member of the American Dental Association, Ohio Dental Association, and Cincinnati Dental Society. Dr. Hagen and his wife Jennifer have six beautiful children and you can often find Dr. Hagen cycling in the Cincinnati area.
- Think quality and a caring approach. Hagen Dental Practice involves you in decision-making, and we fully inform you about what you (or your children) need to know as it relates to your dental care. From one-visit crowns to CEREC to Zoom! Whitening, we want you to be fully informed and completely confident as you take care of your health.
- Dr. Hagen has extensive experience. Dr. Hagen has in-depth knowledge about sleep dentistry, whole mouth rehabilitation, crown and bridge restorations, CEREC, and much, much more. Dr. Hagen constantly evaluates emerging dental methods and technology so that our patients have the best results, all in the least invasive manner.
Find out more about Hagen Dental Practice.
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January 22nd, 2015
What’s the first thing people notice about someone else’s appearance?
If you guessed someone’s smile, then you are right. Our smile is usually the first thing someone else notices when they first see us. Beyond having that healthy smile that can look great, there are quite a few other benefits of having straight teeth that can leave us feeling great as well. Here are some of those benefits:
Having straightened teeth impacts how we actually think and view ourselves. Beyond just vanity or increased confidence, crooked teeth can cause speech impediments, or just make us extremely self-conscious.
How straight our teeth are also impacts how we are perceived as well.
Did you know that people who have straight teeth are perceived as more successful, smarter and as having more dates? Having straight teeth also means you are more likely to be hired! You can see why how other people’s perceptions of us help shape our social and psychological wellbeing.
Increased ability to clean teeth.
Overlapping teeth can trap food particles, whereas straight, aligned teeth can mean the surface area is easier to both brush and floss effectively. Straighter teeth also translate to an easier and more smooth flossing and brushing experience—which means we’re also more likely to brush and floss each day. Talk about a win-win!
Overall healthier teeth and gums.
When we have teeth that stick out or protrude, these teeth are more likely to break or see cracks. Additionally, overly crowded teeth can wear unevenly, and this uneven wear can result in headaches. Crooked teeth can push against the soft tissues we have in our mouth, making cuts, sores, and infections more likely. Last, if we’re better able to fight bacteria build-up with straighter, more properly aligned teeth, we’re also better able to avoid gum disease.
“I’m ready for straighter, more symmetrical teeth.”
You’re ready for the chance to smile with confidence. Or maybe your teeth have just moved as you’ve grown older, and you’re ready to do something about it. One of the reasons Invisalign is popular is that the aligners used are nearly invisible. These clear aligners are also removable, and you can still eat food as you normally would.
Here are a few of the top things to know about Invisalign—whether you are a teen or adult:
- You’re able to continue to floss and brush like normal (just take off your aligners!)
- Trays are smooth and comfortable, and easy to take off
- Ideal for a busy person
- Fast and convenient compared to other methods of teeth straightening; typical people use a new aligner every two weeks
With our mouth being a window to the health of our entire body, it is no wonder that our smile says so much about us. Ready to learn more about Invisalign? Contact us to hear more about why parents, teens, and even brides are so excited about using Invisalign.
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January 11th, 2015
Gum disease, also called periodontal disease, is a bacterial infection. Gum disease can do damage to our gums, tissue, and even the bone around our teeth. When we lose and destruct the tissue and bone in this way, pockets tend to form around our teeth. This is when ARESTIN can be utilized to better the health of your mouth and gumline.
What is ARESTIN?
ARESTIN is an antibiotic you can receive through your dentist. ARESTIN works to kill the bacteria—right at the root of the problem—without any pain.
ARESTIN is made up of the antibiotic known as minocycline hydrochloride; this is what kills your bacteria, over time, so that your gums can heal quicker and more effectively than they would otherwise.
Why use ARESTIN?
As you know, bacteria is what causes gum disease and bacteria often build up around our gumline. ARESTIN is a targeted gum disease treatment that directly helps this combat this buldup. We would tell you if you were a candidate for this treatment.
In other words, ARESTIN is just one more proactive way you can reverse the damage and prevent future damage to your mouth.
How does ARESTIN work?
Getting ARESTIN is an easy process. Your dentist will place ARESTIN in the pockets below your gumline, which lets you have an optimal potency right where you need the treatment. After that point, your dentist will tell you if you need more treatments, and how often.
What happens after my ARESTIN treatment?
ARESTIN will dissolve on its own so there is no removal required. You’ll also want to keep any other future appointments we have with you to make sure your gums are as healthy as possible.
Once your gums have been treated, you want to maintain a good oral health routine. For about 10 days, it is best to avoid using floss or any kind of picks that are normally used to clean between the teeth. We will discuss these, and other guidelines for taking care of your teeth when using ARESTIN with each individual person.
In general, after those first 10 days, this may mean we need to get in the habit of regular, daily flossing. It also means keeping up with your regular brushing habits. We can help you with other decisions that can help your oral health, and overall health. Ready to treat your gum disease head on? Tell us you are interested in this antibiotic today.
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January 3rd, 2015
Each New Year’s, one out of every two of us will make New Year’s resolutions. (Sources: Psychology Today and Journal of Clinical Psychology.) According to researchers, usually the first two weeks of starting any new new at this time of year, goes pretty smoothly.
Then, after just four weeks—by February—people start so slip, and old habits start to creep back in.
Maybe it is quitting smoking, eating healthier foods, starting to floss regularly, losing weight, or starting to exercise. Whatever the change in behavior may be, how come it can be so difficult to keep our resolutions?
1. We actually aren’t intrinsically motivated to change our behaviors.
Professor of Psychology Timothy Pychyl explains how sometimes, resolutions are a bit of cultural procrastination. In certain situations, he argues that we make a resolution to show that we are committed to changing certain behaviors. In reality, we don’t yet have the real, intrinsic motivation required for long-term change.
In other words, Pychyl asserts that we create a resolution to motivate ourselves, instead of being motivated, and then changing our behaviors as a result. With a real lack of motivation at the core of our intentions, we end up failing to break our habits.
2. We set unrealistic goals or expectations.
Another concept for why we can fail to keep resolutions has been deemed the false hope syndrome. Psychology professor Peter Herman and colleagues assert that we make goals that can be greatly out of alignment with our real view of ourselves. In some cases, the resolution just may be significantly unrealistic.
In the end, making a goal that we can only hope for doesn’t mean we give ourselves a chance to really change our ingrained habits.
So what should we do to fight these two common traps people often fall into?
First, be realistic with your goals. If you aren’t exercising at all, don’t expect yourself to be able to exercise 5 days a week. Also, set yourself up for decision-making so you can ease yourself into making the right choices each day.
For example, if you are giving up soda, perhaps gradually give it up, instead of going “cold turkey.”
Have a friend or colleague help you set goals that can be accurate, and that can be adjusted over time as you incrementally find success. Remember that the more you believe you can effect and maintain change, the more success you are likely to have, a concept that’s backed by science.
Next, be sure to choose a resolution you truly find value in.
If you aren’t ready to start eating vegetables every day, it’s going to be hard to maintain change over time. Consider writing down all the underlying reasons why you want to change a certain aspect of your life, and that can help narrow down a worthy behavior change.
Start preparing, and then acting on, your intentions.
Approach any resolution as a process. Just like your oral hygiene and other health-related habits, habits and our resulting sustainable lifestyle choices are what we do over time. One day off, or one day without a certain activity, doesn’t “make or break” our routine. By seeing our resolution as a process of change, we are better able to enter the actual “action” stage that comes with so many of our resolutions.
Ready to have better oral hygiene this year? Give us a call today.
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December 10th, 2014
The winter holidays are a time filled with family, gift giving, and a time to enjoy some of our favorite foods and treats. During this season, we also see a few common food offenders that can result in dental emergencies.
Take a look at the biggest offenders:
Maybe you’ve snacked on Grandma’s caramel popcorn, or even received some gourmet popcorn as a gift. Either way, popcorn makes the list because of the “shells” that seem to wedge their way into hard-to-reach areas near and around your gum. Sometimes we don’t even know a “shell” is in our gumline or between our teeth. Also, popcorn can be problematic because of the risk of chomping down on a piece that has not fully popped. Imagine how we can shock the teeth as we bite down—pretty hard in many cases—on what the mouth feels is soft food. Unknowingly, we can come across a hard, un-popped piece, and crack or damage our teeth in the process. If you do have to eat your share of caramel popcorn this year, try to be careful as you chew. Also be sure to floss and brush after to remove those “shells” that you might not even realize are in or around your gum and teeth.
2. Baguettes or Biscotti.
It’s no secret that many people like to indulge in pastries during this time of the year. The only problem when you sink your teeth into a hard or extra crisp pastry, is that you run the risk of cracking or damaging your teeth as a result. Just think of it as one hard surface hitting another hard surface. Aim to make sure your bites are small so you don’t compromise your fillings. Sometimes ensuring you do not eat your pastry too fast can also help.
3. Sticky and gooey desserts and candies.
Peanut brittle anyone? Or maybe it’s that bowl of jelly beans laying out at the office party? Or maybe Grandmas’ brownies with caramel on top? Whatever your favorite winter or holiday treat is, often times it’s something gooey or sticky! Realize these hard or sticky substances can stick to your teeth, and then pull out (or partially remove) a crown, bridge, or a filling. Other treats can actually get stuck in between your teeth. If you eat any of these this holiday season, continue your good oral hygiene habits, including brushing your teeth and flossing.
4. Jerky or other “tough” snack meats.
Even though our teeth’s enamel is extremely strong, we still get ourselves into trouble when we snack on chewy, dry meats—most notably beef or turkey jerky. Sometimes people can be guilty of treating their teeth as if they were determined to rip apart a piece of tough jerky. Well, our teeth can’t be treated like tools. They may be strong, but we still shouldn’t be reckless as we eat. Instead, look to savor food, which means chewing and biting off smaller size bites. If your jerky is too tough to eat comfortably, you know you might have to look for a more tender kind of meat to snack on.
This year for the holidays, be mindful as you select your holiday treats—meaning what you choose to eat, and how you go about eating it!
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November 25th, 2014
Back in 1620, when the Mayflower landed on the shores of Cape Cod, people did not have the access, or information, that we have in terms of our overall health and wellbeing. In fact, the life expectancy of people during this time was anywhere between 35 and 40 years, on average. Today our average life expectancy is around 78.
Oral hygiene routines were much different for our ancestors.
Today we call the settlers who landed on Plymouth Harbor the Pilgrim Fathers, or simply the Pilgrims. Back then, the pilgrims did not have toothpaste, or even what we’d recognize as a toothbrush (more on that to come!). In fact these two core components of good oral hygiene habits had not entirely been refined yet. Nylon toothbrushes were only created in the 1930s and fluoride-enriched toothpaste came in the 1950s.
Having a reliable way to clean teeth would have been a luxury then, although Pilgrims did learn some from the Native Americans.
Pilgrims would use salt, sticks or other objects they had access to in order to do their best to clean their teeth. According to some historians, some even used hog’s hair, or other animal hair, to make what would resemble a toothbrush.
These brushes were an effort to try to clean at the buildup on their teeth. Knowing all of this, it probably wouldn’t surprise you to know that Pilgrims faced mouths full of decay!
How did Native Americans Compare to the Pilgrims When it Came to Dental Health?
Compared to Pilgrims, it has been reported the Native Americans had less plaque and dental decay, generally speaking.
Some Native American tribes took care of their teeth by using combinations of herbs and sage—they used these in ways comparable to how we use toothbrushes today. Also, a tarragon and sage combination worked as a breath freshener for the Native Americans. It’s also been recorded that certain Native American tribes took the Cucacua plant and made a paste that was used in a way similar to our current-day toothpaste.
And what else contributed to the difference in oral health between the two groups?
Diet! Recall that these first Pilgrims had just come across the Atlantic, on a ship where they had relied on food that could be preserved as long as possible. Compare that to how Native Americans were maintaining a steady diet off the land, or more of what we might see as whole foods today. When you compare the salted dried meat, dried fruits and hardtack (the Pilgrims’ diet) to that of meat, nuts, berries, and other vegetables (the Native Americans’ diet), you can see why the Native Americans were better at combating gingivitis and tooth decay.
You can see how far we’ve come since the time of the Pilgrims and the Wampanoag Indians’ harvest celebration, or what we know of as the “first Thanksgiving.” We know one thing: we sure are thankful this Thanksgiving to have good teeth care in reach!
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November 15th, 2014
Dental erosion: it’s when acids wear away at the enamel on our teeth.
Eating lots of acidic foods is one of the major reasons we see erosion. Once this erosion occurs, the teeth can look shiny and a bit deficient compared to the parts of our teeth that do not have erosion.
When we lose or damage our enamel, it cannot be brought back. This erosion is a problem because our enamel is what gives our teeth their structure, and shape. We then see the underlying dentin being exposed.
It’s safe to say that most of us want to avoid any loss of tooth structure. So what are some signs you may have tooth erosion? Here are a few:
- Change in tooth form/shape
- Cracks in the edges of teeth
- Small dent-like appearances on your teeth
- “Transparent” looking teeth
Knowing that acid reflux directly contributes to teeth erosion, let’s examine acid reflux a bit more.
What’s acid reflux and how does it happen?
We have a muscular ring between the end of our esophagus and our stomach. This ring is what helps keep our day-to-day stomach acid within the stomach, where it helps us digest properly. In some situations, this sphincter muscle does not work as it should, and as a result, our stomach acid comes up into our esophagus. (Sometimes you’ll hear this muscle called the LES, short for the lower esophageal sphincter muscle.)
But is this muscle all to blame as the cause of acid reflux? The answers is that as much as 90 percent of most heartburn cases are due to the foods/beverages we eat, meaning that for many of us, we are able to avoid or keep our heartburn to a minimum.
Besides being a major culprit for teeth erosion, acid reflux also contributes to bad breath. That’s just one more reason to be aware of how we to work to avoid acid reflux.
One of the ways to avoid tooth erosion (and of course the discomfort) that come with acid reflux is to look at the foods you are eating, as well as when you are eating them.
Although it varies from person to person, we compiled a list of some of the biggest offenders.
- Meats, with especially acid sauces or chicken/buffalo wings
- Grains, especially those with tomato sauces added
- Dairy, including sour cream and even ice cream
- Specialty drinks such as coffee, liquor, wine or tea
- Fats, certain oils, and sweets. This can be chocolate, donuts, butter cookies, or even potato chips.
This list shows that across all categories of food, we can find highly acid foods and drinks that can contribute to acid reflux.
So what’s missing from this list?
You guessed it: juices, fruits, and vegetables. Most of us recognize how orange juice, lemons, lemonade, grapefruit juice, cranberry juice, tomato or raw onions are some of the foods that are also on this list.
In general, look to neutralize the acid in your stomach when acid reflux does occur, and also be sure to tell us if you are having a problem. If you do have extreme gastric-related issues, or a chronic problem with acid reflux, we can also help. Also be sure to tell us if you smoke, since that’s a major contributor to acid reflux that leads to teeth erosion for many people. Link to hagendds.com
Look to cut back on the number of acidic foods you are snacking on throughout the day. This way, you are minimizing the amount of time acid is exposed to your teeth.
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November 4th, 2014
Do you want to live until you are 100?
Take a moment and imagine the state of your teeth and overall health at that age…
Truth be told, it can be hard for us to even imagine life at that age, let alone the state of our oral health at that point.
Start by imagining the current state of your teeth. Let’s imagine you are cavity-free and have healthy teeth and gums. Also imagine that you have very little tooth sensitivity, you have good daily oral health habits, and you feel confident about your smile each day.
Now just envision how much longer we want this state of oral health to last. With that in mind, let’s examine how we can maintain a healthy smile for a lifetime.
Childhood: Setting Our Families Up For Good Health
One of the great reasons you have a family dentist is the guidance we can provide you for your baby as she grows. You will truly lead the process for children until they take over the daily oral hygiene process for themselves.
One tip is keeping beverages away from young children at night. Bottles and sippy cups leave sugar or other substances exposed to our children’s teeth…all night long if they take it with them to bed! When our baby’s teeth are exposed to that sugar or beverage all night it can speed up decay.
Adolescence: Adult Teeth Are In
These are the years that many of us get our wisdom teeth removed. Also at this stage, we have our adult teeth fully in, and we’ve become accustomed to taking care of them. We’re starting to create dietary habits that can have a lasting impact on our health, including our oral health, at this time.
Flossing can seem like a pain to children who haven’t yet made it a part of their routine, but the bacteria in-between teeth is just as important to get rid of as the bacteria we’re removing when we brush. Let children know that 30-40 percent of our teeth’s surface area is in-between teeth.
During this stage of life, many people are moving away from home to go to college, or to start a career. It’s during some of these transitions that we sometimes see lapses in regular dentist visits. Just as you’d look for a new physician or other doctor, make it a point to continue caring for your mouth during these exciting times.
Midlife: Our Past Habits Become Increasingly Evident
Unfortunately for some, it’s at this point in many people’s lives when there can be some regret about a lack of oral hygiene in one’s past. That’s because at this age, those habits have really caught up to us. (Of course our blog readers are far less likely to have to worry about that!)
Luckily, Hagen Dental has the latest and greatest when it comes to technology and services to be sure you have the smile you deserve. We make sure you still can have a healthy mouth you can be proud of at any age.
Over the years, it’s possible that our gums have receded. It’s also possible that certain medications we’ve taken over time have lessened the saliva in our mouths. Our saliva helps naturally “clean” our mouths, so over time, some of those medications may have negatively affected our teeth and gum by this stage in our lives.
Beyond inflammation or tenderness, we also see bone loss at this stage.
If gum disease eats away at the bone enough, our faces can change in appearance. If the tooth is gone, the bone reacts as if it has no reason to be in that space. That’s when we see some notable changes in the lips and cheeks area of seniors.
With longevity in mind, the best thing we can do is to regularly see a dentist to prevent and to manage what we can for the sake of our total health. Second, and just as important, is a commitment to protect our teeth each day, especially if we want them to last for the long haul.
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