Phone (513) 251-5500
June 14th, 2018

Hagen Dental Practice: Featured Services

Category: cincinnati dentist

Take a look at a few of featured services below.

hagen dental featured services

You can view the PDF version of this infographic here.

Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

May 29th, 2018

Dental Emergency 101 [Infographic]

Category: cincinnati dentist

What do you do when you have a dental emergency? And what is a dental emergency, anyway? This infographic has your answer:

Dental Emergency 101 hagen dental practice Infographic

You can see the PDF version of this infographic here.

Tags: , , , , , , ,

May 16th, 2018

How Is Floss Made?

Category: dental health

Flossing daily is an important component of regular oral hygiene and dental health upkeep. Including floss in our daily routine is now considered a mandatory habit for excellent oral health. Without flossing, we leave as much as 30-40 percent of our tooth’s surfaces uncleaned!

So, how much do you know about this handy little cleaning tool? Read on to discover how floss came about and how modern floss is produced!

The History Of Floss

Anthropologists and historians have determined that even in ancient times, interdental cleaning was sought after – by the use of pointed sticks or horse hair, for example. It’s long been a natural desire to want to remove food suck between the teeth and keep our mouth clean and tidy (1, 2).

cincinnati dentist

Most sources agree that a New Orleans dentist named Dr. Levi Spear Parmly should be credited for starting the trend of advising patients to use a thin silk thread to clean between their teeth. This happened circa 1815, and the idea became a popular one. Dr. Parmly later went on to publish a book called “A Practical Guide to the Management of Teeth”, in which he advocated for maintenance habits of brushing and flossing daily (1, 2).

In 1882, a company called Codman and Shurtleft Company from Massachusetts, produced and marketed an unwaxed silk dental floss for purchase.  In 1896, Johnson and Johnson jumped on board when they began offering their first dental floss. Johnson and Johnson took out a patent in 1898 for a type of floss made from the same materials doctors used at the time for silk stitches (1).

During the 1940’s, due to rising costs of silk during World War II, nylon became a replacement for silk as the main component of floss. This also improved upon silk’s tendency to shred (2).

Dental Floss In Recent Years

Since the initial introduction of dental floss products, the dental floss industry has expanded to use new materials such as Gore-Tex, and to offer various textures, flavors, and alternative options, such as floss picks (1, 2).

These improved features have made flossing easier for the consumer, depending on their needs. There are soft or spongy options for consumers with sensitive gums, and options with thicker ends for use around braces or dental equipment. And the development of single use fun flossers for kids can help children learn the importance of flossing at a young age, in a fun and easy-to-use way (3).

hagen dentist cincinnati

How Is Floss Made?

Modern day floss is typically made out of one of two synthetic compounds: nylon or Teflon. Nylon is a synthetic polymer that results in a fiber-forming substance. Teflon is the trade name of a specific chemical polymer compound. Floss may also contain wax, flavors, or other ingredients, depending on the manufacturer and finishing options (3).

Floss From Nylon

The polymer used in making nylon flossed is prepared and poured out as a ribbon, then cut into small pellets or flakes. These pieces are blended, re-melted, and pumped through spinning machines to form filaments. As the nylon cools, these filaments solidify to form a yarn and are combined to create a strand of floss. Proper twisting during the process adds strength to the floss and reduces the chances of fraying or breakage. Because nylon floss is composed of many small filaments, it can be created in different weights, or thicknesses (3).

Floss Made With Teflon

Teflon floss comes from a specific polymer called polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE). This polymer is melted into a paste and then stretched into a long, thin strand. Next, the polymer is expanded into different directions.

This stretching process gives this type of floss substantial strength. The substance is cut, forming various thicknesses and weights. PTFE is a monofilament, has excellent tensile strength, and does not shred or break easily. Twisting is not required for the Teflon floss process (3).

Finishing Touches: Coating Process

The finishing touches allow for diversity in customer preference. Manufacturers differentiate their products by adding unique and proprietary coatings. The coating process takes place in emulsion baths. This bathing process allows additives such as waxes, flavors, or any other coating options to be applied in a consistent manner (3).

Product Packaging

Flosses are packaged into bobbins for easy spooling and unspooling. They can be packaged in a cylindrical shape or a roll-type shape. Winding the floss for consumer use requires equipment that transfers the yarn onto a spool.

Cylindrical bobbins are used in tube or rectangular shaped floss packages. This type of bobbin can accommodate the highest amount of yardage. The roll bobbin is more traditional and is dispensed through flat containers. Wow…pretty cool, we must say!

floss, dentist, ohio

Other Fun Facts About Floss

  • Floss in ribbon form is great for kids or people with larger spacing between their teeth
  • Floss in string form is helpful for people with tightly spaced or crooked teeth
  • Floss comes in a variety of wax options: lightly waxed, waxed, or un-waxed
  • Today, Americans use more than 2.5 million miles of dental floss each year (3)
  • Your toothbrush can’t reach into the fine spaces between the teeth, which is why dental floss is so important
  • Recent innovations include additives to floss that can help with whitening efforts (4)

Let Us Help You With Your Dental Health

Dental floss helps to remove plaque and bacteria from and between teeth and below the gum line. Without flossing, this plaque can turn to tartar and lead to gingivitis, infection, or cavities. Unfortunately, according to the ADA, only about 12 percent of Americans are diligent about flossing daily (2). We can help you determine your risk for complications and offer tips on flossing at your next dental appointment! Schedule today by calling (513) 251-5500 or click the Online Scheduling button on our website.

Sources:

  1. https://oralb.com/en-us/oral-health/dental-floss-history
  2. http://www.speareducation.com/spear-review/2013/01/a-brief-history-of-dental-floss
  3. http://www.madehow.com/Volume-2/Dental-Floss.html
  4. http://www.intelligentdental.com/2011/07/20/what-is-dental-floss-made-of/

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

May 3rd, 2018

Here’s The Surprising Truth About Cavities in Toddlers & Preschoolers Today

Category: dental health

cavities in kids how to prevent them hagen dental

Cavities in toddlers, and even preschoolers, has been on the rise.

It’s not just slightly up in recent years: in fact, many of the preschoolers in the study had six to ten cavities, or more! That’s a huge jump up from historic numbers, and signals a real shift in oral health habits (1, 2).

The statistics appear to also be carrying over to kids who are just a bit older, too. Here are two other stats that we’re watching:

  • Roughly 28 percent of kids 2 to 5 have untreated decay in their teeth (5)
  • Roughly 20 percent of kids 5 to 11 have at least one untreated decayed tooth
  • Roughly 13 percent of kids 12 to 19 have at least one untreated decayed tooth (3)
  • Children 2 to 11 have an average of 1.6 decayed teeth and 3.6 decayed surfaces (5)

The problem is that tooth decay is one of the most chronic conditions for our children in the US right now. When we don’t help our little ones take care of their teeth like they should, it can negatively shape other behaviors in their life. It can negatively impact how they learn, play, eat and even how they speak (1, 2).

Let’s take a closer look at what you should know about taking care of your toddlers and preschoolers oral health.

Tags:

April 24th, 2018

20 Little Known Facts About Bad Breath

Category: dental health

bad breath and your mouth

Here are 20 things you may not know about bad breath.

1. Many times, bad breath is treatable. That’s because in many cases, foul-smelling breath is caused by the breakdown of food (and the presence of bacteria) in the mouth! If you think about it, that’s actually good news…

2. That said, periodontal disease (aka gum disease), also causes bad breath. That’s less of an issue of just brushing your teeth or flossing to get rid of food debris and bacteria; That’s reflective of poor oral health habits resulting in disease in the mouth. All in all, that’s a condition that occurs over time, as you can imagine.

3. Ever heard of “garlic breath”? It’s a term coined from how you can have less-than-desirable breath after eating garlic. Research has actually shown that part of the reason garlic breath can happen is actually due to digestion.

4. Similar to garlic, bad breath can also be caused by onion, which is another member of the allium family. Even if you rush for your toothbrush after eating onion (especially raw), when digested, it will cause distinctive gasses to be released. In turn, your breath can become smelly, even despite any efforts to brush and floss post-meal! (1)

5. People following a low-carb nutrition plan can be surprised by…well, different smelling breath. That’s because, in extreme cases, certain chemicals can be released as the body burns fat in a state that’s also called ketosis. In turn, we can smell that on people’s breath.

6. Ever wonder why someone with bad breath doesn’t do something about it? Part of the reason may be because people can become nose blind to their own bad breath!

7. Caffeine and coffee can give you breath that you can almost…well, taste! Since coffee and caffeine can end up drying out the mouth, you really can have latte breath. Combat this by drinking plenty of water and brushing and flossing your teeth. And, of course, keep up your regular professional cleanings and check-ups.

8. It may surprise you to learn that issues with you ear, nose and throat, and even your kidneys can end up giving you bad breath.

9. Drinking water won’t get rid of your bad breath, but it can help you fight dry mouth, which can give you bad breath. (And, keep in mind dry mouth can lead to an increase in gum disease and tooth decay, too.) The takeaway: drinking a lot of water can help you combat dehydration and dry mouth, helping you moisturize the mouth and neutralize acids.

10. Dentures can be the source of your bad breath. If you have removable dentures, be sure to keep up your regular oral health habits and clean them every night.

11. One way to guarantee better smelling breath? Giving up smoking. Not to mention it will benefit your entire health, not just your oral health.

12. One thing is clear: people want to avoid bad breath! It’s been reported that nearly three billion dollars a year is spent on gum, mints, and mouth rinses.

13. About 50 percent of the population suffers from bad breath that is caused by something other than food, drinks, or smoking cigarettes (2).

14. The name given to people who think they have bad breath, but others don’t notice it is “pseudohalitosis.” This is when someone thinks they have bad breath…but they really don’t! (2, 3)

15. Have you heard that you can check the smell of your own breath by breathing on your hand…and then smelling it? Well, believe it or not, that “test” may work in some cases, but it won’t always tell you whether or not you truly have bad breath.

16. About 60 percent of women and 50 percent of men say that they use breath freshening products.

17. Bad breath is, and can be found, in people at ANY age.

18. Infections such as strep throat, tonsillitis, and sinusitis can actually give you bad breath. Said another way, even if you’re brushing your teeth and keeping up with your oral habits, these infections can wreak havoc on your breath.

19. When you’ve done all you can and you still feel like you have bad breath, be sure to tell us! Don’t be embarrassed, as it’s just a sign of something going on with your health. We can help discover the cause, whether it is a gum-issue, infection, cavities, gum disease, due to medication, dry mouth, nutrition, illness, or another issue entirely.

20. Using a tongue scraper is a great way to eliminate odor-causing bacteria that seems to stick to your tongue. Ask us for more information.

 

bad breath hagen dental practice blog

Schedule Your Next Appointment with Hagen Dental Practice

Your dream smile is within reach! Please call (513) 251-5500 or click the Online Scheduling button on our website to schedule your next visit. Be sure to see our new patient specials here. We’re looking forward to earning your trust with personalized care!

Sources/References:

  1. https://www.healthline.com/health/get-rid-of-garlic-onion-breath
  2. https://www.colgate.com/en-us/oral-health/conditions/gastrointestinal-disorders/bad-breath-from-stomach-problems-0714
  3. https://www.colgate.com/en-us/oral-health/conditions/bad-breath/halitosis

Tags:

April 19th, 2018

How Does Your Dental Health Add Up? [Infographic]

Category: dental health

How does your dental health add up?

dental health cincinnati ohio how does yours add up

April 11th, 2018

How to Stay Healthy When Traveling

Category: dental health

stay healthy while traveling hagen dental blog

So you’re going to be traveling in the coming year, and you’re wondering what you can do to stay healthy? Here’s what to know.

1. Prepare, prepare, prepare!

Depending on where you are headed, be sure to research the destination before you go. This is especially true if any of the following are true:

  • You’re traveling with kids
  • You have a chronic disease
  • You’ll be on a cruise
  • You will be on an extended stay
  • You are classified as immune-compromised/weakened immune system
  • You are pregnant
  • You are doing a mission trip or you are a part of disaster relief effort

…Even if you are “just” visiting friends and family, it’s still worth doing the research ahead of time!

After all, traveling out of the country, in particular, can bring with it some risk! Whether or not the location is considered risky, you can also set up travel alerts just to stay informed.

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention has some valuable resources available where you can search, by destination, to see information that can help you prepare for a trip. Visit their Destination page and then select the locations which you will be visiting to learn a wealth of information.

healthy traveling hagen dental practice in cincinnati

2. Create a healthy travel packing list and stick to it

One of the key ways you can stay healthy is by sticking to your “normal” healthy routine.

When you’re able, bring healthy food that you can eat during your trip. Otherwise, do research on where you’ll be able to find food. If someone in your group has a specialty diet, write down what you’ll need so that they can eat and/or snack on the trip.

You can also prepare when and how you will work out on the trip. Add things you’d normally do to your list, such as medications and supplements, so that you don’t forget anything.

3. Create a travel health and medical journey to help you plan ahead

Check your health insurance plan to see what is covered and what isn’t in the places you will be traveling in. If appropriate, determine if you need to purchase additional coverage. In some cases, medical evacuation insurance could be appropriate.

Be sure to do this for every person in your group and consider keeping the information in a folder or in a secure place where you can quickly access the information.

You can also find a list of doctors and and hospitals in the country you are visiting on Embassy and Consulate websites. Doing this research before anything happens can help you save time (and money) later. The International Association for Medical Assistance To Travelers is also a place to turn to for contacts. Specific to Europe, you can find information on the American Dental Society of Europe here. You could even consider saving the information in your phone!

Additionally, you can find out more information about what to bring and how to best prepared by visiting the US’ Your Health Abroad website online.

4. Consider seeing a doctor, and us, before you travel!

Depending on your current health status and the duration of your time traveling, it may be wise to schedule a visit to see your doctor. When it’s possible, also be sure to plan ahead by coming in to see us, too! That way your care team is aware of your trip and we can help you as needed.

There are also doctors that specialize in travel medicine, so depending on where you are headed, that could be an option.

This is the same for your children who could be impacted differently or have a different health status than you.
Examples of information you may share with them could include:

  • What countries you are going to and how you are traveling between locations
  • Activities you plan on doing (which could impact your health or increase the risk of doing something that could impact your health)
  • Any recent injuries, illnesses, or sicknesses you’ve had they may be unaware of
  • The length of the trip itself

If they don’t know your medical history, of course that’s important for them to know as well. Don’t wait until the last minute to get your appointment scheduled because sometimes you’ll learn steps you need to take—such as medications you’ll want to have with you, or vaccines that could be recommended before you depart.

5. Stay aware during the trip

So you’ve done the researched, you’ve packed to help make sticking to healthy habits easier, and now you’re on the trip!

During the trip, don’t ignore anything with your health that seems abnormal. If you do in fact feel sick or get injured, utilize the list you brought to seek medical care.

Be sure to also avoid oral health habits that could cause an emergency. In other words, stick to your dental routine as close as you can!

Examples of behaviors you really want to avoid include:

  • Using your teeth as if they are like scissors/knife/tool (to open things, or to cut tape, for example)
  • Chewing on ice
  • Chewing on popcorn kernels
  • Chewing on hard candy or other extremely hard pieces of food
  • Playing sports or doing activities where balls or other things can hit the mouth (where you aren’t wearing a mouth guard)

While this may sound extreme, it can go a long way in cutting down the chance for emergency while you travel.

follow your normal health routine

6. Take the right steps if a dental emergency happens!

First and foremost, if you have any kind of emergency (injury, unexplained bleeding, diarrhea, high fever, or symptoms of certain diseases that are known risks in your area), be sure to seek medical attention immediately. Unless your research tells you otherwise, if you are unsure of who to call, you can contact people at the Embassy or Consulate, which are often available at all times of the day (1).

If you have a dental-related emergency—that is, something that requires immediate attention—seek medical attention as well.

Here’s a list of situations when it’s best to get urgent attention:

  • Puncture wounds or lacerations to the cheeks, tongue or lips
  • Bleeding in the mouth
  • Severe and unusual pain
  • Large bulges on the gum tissue
  • Foreign object stuck in teeth or gums (potential emergency)
  • Sudden swelling in the mouth or gums
  • Loose teeth
  • Knocked out teeth, loose and/or misaligned teeth and fractured teeth

7. Watch your health when you return

People can become sick or ill many weeks after returning home from travel. Not only does travel introduce us to potential illnesses and diseases, but it can fatigue the body and suppress our immune system.

When returning from any trip, be sure to stay as hydrated as possible. If you were required to take certain medications while traveling (such as in a malaria-infested area), be sure to keep taking that medicine as prescribed!

Fuel your body with whole foods and try to avoid sugar as much as possible. If you have any flu-like symptoms or any irregular symptoms, again, be sure to see a medical professional.

Traveling abroad soon? Remember, this list is not comprehensive, so be sure to visit the CDC’s website to learn more.

Dental Health for Your Entire Family

One this is clear: If you are going to be traveling for quite some time, or even if just for a brief trip, it is a good idea to prepare for any medical emergency ahead of time.

You can schedule an appointment with us by calling (513) 251-5500 or click the Online Scheduling
button on our website to schedule your next visit!

Sources:

  1. https://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/page/sick-during-trip

Tags: ,

April 3rd, 2018

Eating Disorders & Your Oral Health

Category: dental health

cincinnati dentist

Over 10 million Americans are seriously affected by eating disorders. According to the National Eating Disorders Association, this category of health concerns includes anorexia, bulimia, and binge eating.

Eating disorders have a negative effect on an individual’s overall health, their quality of life, self-image, relationships with friends and family members, their performance in school or work, as well as their oral health (1).

There are several ways eating disorders can impact oral health.

Your Gums & Soft Tissue Health

Eating disorders can lead to malnutrition in the affected individual. Without proper vitamins, minerals, and nutrients, the gums and soft issues inside the mouth can become red, swollen, or more likely to bleed easily. Nutritional deficiencies can also make the individual more prone to canker sores of the soft tissue.

Additionally, saliva glands can become swollen, painful, and dysfunctional, leading to chronic dry mouth or bad breath. A chronically dry mouth also increases the likelihood tooth decay will occur. Dehydration secondary to an eating disorder can exacerbate these issues and also cause redness, dryness and cracking of the lips.

Excessive purging and vomiting can lead to redness, scratches and cuts inside the mouth, especially on the upper palate (the roof) of the mouth (1, 2).

Your Tooth Health

Eating disorders that involve frequent vomiting create serious damage to the enamel of the teeth. Repeated exposure to stomach acid in the mouth harms the enamel, causing color changes or even shape or length changes.

This is termed dental erosion. Teeth can become weak, thin, translucent, brittle, and prone to breakage. It is also common to develop temperature sensitivity when the enamel becomes worn from regular vomiting.

Nutritional deficiencies can promote tooth decay and gum disease. For example, food restriction often leads to deficiency in calcium, iron, vitamin D and the B vitamins – nutrients that are key in tooth and oral health (1, 2, 3).

Your Joint Health

It is not uncommon to develop degenerative arthritis within the temporomandibular joint (TMJ) of the jaw when an eating disorder is present. TMJ arthritis can lead to pain in the joint area, chronic headaches, or problems with opening and closing the mouth and chewing (2). (We’re able to help in this area—regardless if the cause is an eating disorder—so if this sounds like a problem for you, let us know immediately.)

cincinnati dental

Is The Damage Permanent?

The damage and changes of the mouth from eating disorders can cause long-term or even permanent changes. Early detection of these changes – as well as early diagnosis of the eating disorder itself – are crucial to more successful recovery period for both the body and the mouth!

Oral Care For Those Suffering From Eating Disorders

If you suffer from an eating disorder, there are several habits you can maintain to reduce the amount of oral health problems that could develop:

  1. Maintain extremely good oral health hygiene practices, including brushing and flossing regularly. It’s important to develop meticulous habits due to the added stress on the oral tissues.
  2. If you do throw up, rinse with baking soda to help neutralize the effects of the stomach acid, PRIOR to any brushing of the teeth. This will help to avoid additional damage to the enamel. Brushing right after vomiting can increase erosion or increase likelihood for decay. (Please speak to us further; this is not medical advice, this is a general recommendation.)
  3. Consult with your healthcare provider and your dentist about specific needs. Every case is different, and should be managed with appropriate support and treatment!
  4. Maintain regular dental visits. Hagen Dental Practice is a safe place for you to disclose your struggles with an eating disorder and progress positively towards recovery.

Schedule An Appointment with Hagen Dental Practice

Eating disorders arise from a variety of physical, emotional and social issues. Remember that the information in this blog isn’t medical advice; If you suffer from an eating disorder, it’s very important to talk with your health care provider to address the issues and prevent or treat these disorders. You can also contact the National Eating Disorder Helpline at (800) 931-2237 for support, resources and treatment options.

It’s also vital to stay up to date with regular dental health checkups to catch signs of damage and disease early. Please call (513) 251-5500 or click the Online Scheduling button on our website to schedule your next visit.  Or, give us a call at (513) 251-5500 today!

Sources:

  1. https://www.mouthhealthy.org/en/az-topics/e/eating-disorders
  2. https://www.nationaleatingdisorders.org/dental-complications-eating-disorders
  3. https://www.ada.org/en/member-center/oral-health-topics/dental-erosion
  4. https://www.nationaleatingdisorders.org/help-support/contact-helpline

Tags: , , , ,

March 19th, 2018

Is Sparkling Water Bad For My Teeth?

Category: dental health

hagen dental cincinnati

A carbonated drink, such as sparkling water, contains that satisfying fizz and crisp popping feeling that many of us love. But are those carbonated bubbles putting you at risk for tooth decay or dental issues? We’ve been asked that question, so let’s take a look at the answer!

Dental Erosion

As you likely know, erosion can be caused by many things both inside and outside the body. Factors such as vomiting and reflux, as well as acidic or harmful foods and beverages top the list. Carbonation gives beverages a lower pH, or in other words, a higher level of acidity (1).

So it begs the question – does that then mean that sparkling water can weaken your enamel, like other acidic foods and beverages?

What We Know About Sparkling Water & Your Teeth

The short answer: It turns out sparkling water is fine for your teeth!

That’s also backed by the American Dental Association, for those who are interested.

Studies have looked into how sparkling water compares to regular water, including how it can impact your teeth. The two forms of water—regular and sparkling—used in the commonly cited study showed no difference in their effect on the tooth enamel. This suggests that even with the increased acidity of sparkling water compared to flat water, there is no difference to your teeth.

So Where Can You Run Into Trouble?

The real danger to your teeth is in drinks that are sugary AND acidic, such as carbonated, sugary sodas or fruit drinks. The sugars found in these drinks increase likelihood of cavities, bacteria, and decay, on top of the risk of the higher acidity.

Another reason sugary, carbonated drinks are so much more potentially dangerous than flat or sparkling water is the high frequency in which they are consumed. The increased exposure to these elements erodes and damages the enamel over time (1, 2).

hagen dental cincinnati

Adding lemon or lime juice to your sparkling water, or drinking sparkling water that contains citrus flavors will have higher levels of acidity than plan water or unflavored sparkling water. This could increase the risk for damage to your tooth enamel, over time, more than unflavored sparkling water (2).

hagen dental cincinnati

Drink Safely

Plain drinks, such as water, or drinks containing high concentration of calcium, such as milk, can help reduce the risk of erosion. Water with fluoride naturally helps fight cavities, washes away food debris, and keeps to maintain a moist, healthy environment inside the mouth (2).

Another tip is to drink the beverage all in one sitting or with a meal, rather than sipping on the drink all day long, which increases the acidic exposure time to your teeth. All-day sipping should be left to regular water! (We don’t even have to mention how that’s also probably best for your waistline!)

Mineral water contains additional mineral content of nutrients like calcium phosphate. These added minerals can help neutralize the potential damage of drinking the slightly more acidic sparkling beverage (3).

Last, if you do opt to drink beverages containing sugar, be sure to avoid and limit how many and how often you indulge in this practice. Limiting the frequency of which you drink flavored sparkling or carbonated soda and fruit drinks will help minimize the potential for erosion and damage (1).

Your Aim: Avoiding Too Much Acidity in Your Mouth

Your best dental health option is to avoid too much acid in the mouth. Plain water is the best choice when it comes to safe beverages for your oral health. But if you are choosing between a soft drink and sparkling water, the sparkling water is a much safer choice, and much more similar to plain water, than something with the sugar content of a soda or juice (3). Be sure to ask us if you have ANY questions.

Watch For Warning Signs

No matter what your dietary and beverage choices, it’s a smart idea to keep an eye out for warning signs that enamel erosion is occurring. Symptoms like tooth sensitivity to cold or hot temperatures, changes in color, or notches on the tooth can indicate weakening of this hard outer layer. Although tooth erosion is a gradual process, it’s problematic for the long-term health of your teeth, so be sure to tell us at the first sign of trouble.

Schedule An Appointment With Hagen Dental Practice 

Do you have concerns about how your nutrition impacts your oral health? If you see any warning signs of cavities or enamel erosion, schedule an appointment right away. We are here to help with all your dental needs! Please call (513) 251-5500 or click the Online Scheduling button on our website to schedule your next visit!

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

Sources:

  1. https://www.ada.org/en/member-center/oral-health-topics/dental-erosion
  2. https://www.mouthhealthy.org/en/nutrition/food-tips/the-truth-about-sparkling-water-and-your-teeth?source=promospots&content=rotator&medium=sparkling_water
  3. https://www.today.com/health/sparkling-water-bad-your-teeth-dentists-weigh-t70761

Tags: , , , , ,

March 13th, 2018

The Legend of the Shrine of St. Patrick’s Tooth

Category: cincinnati dentist

all about st patricks day tooth

Are you celebrating St. Patrick’s Day this year?

Many people know of the holiday, St. Patrick’s Day, but are just as many people familiar with the patron saint of Ireland himself? Let’s briefly look at who St. Patrick really was, and then let’s dig deeper to learn about the legend of the “Shrine of St. Patrick’s Tooth.”

Get to Know The Patron Saint of Ireland

Saint Patrick was a Christian missionary, and he’s the one that helped to convert Ireland to Christianity back around the 5th century (approximately).

Here’s what surprising: St. Patrick himself was actually not Irish, and there’s much debate on what his birthplace was and when exactly he was born. It is believed, however, that his parents were Romans who lived in Britain (1).

According to many history books, his birth name was Maewyn Succat—quite the mouthful compared to a name that’s pretty common today, Patrick! When he entered the priesthood, that’s when he took on the name Patrick.

In his teenage years, he was taken prisoner by people who had attacked the estate where he was living. In the following years, in Ireland, he was a slave. That’s when he embraced his religion and became a devout Christian.

Once he escaped slavery, he pursued religious education, eventually becoming a priest and a bishop. When he then was sent to Ireland, he ministered Christian and worked on converting other Irishmen to Christianity (2). And of course, over a period of about 40 years, he had a lot of influence, integrating Irish traditions with religion, many of which still are celebrated today! The official date for when Ireland was converted to Christianity is 432, according to the history books! (1)

legend has it about st patricks tooth

The Legends & the Great Debates Around St. Patrick

There are quite a few legends and quite a few debates when it comes to the history of St. Patrick. For example, many debate over when and where he actually died. Some say it was March 17, 460, in Downpatrick, which is part of why St. Patrick’s Day holiday is on March 17th. Others argue that’s actually his day of birth, not the date of his death (2, 3).

The Beloved Tooth of St. Patrick is Lost

Another much-talked about part of history related to St. Patrick: The Shrine of St. Patrick’s Tooth. Legend says this ornate shrine contained an actual tooth of St. Patrick’s—a tooth that was lost while he visited the Church of Killaspugbrone.

This Church was the oldest church of the Barony of Carbury. Its name comes from three words: Kill from cill, meaning church; aspug from easbog, meaning bishop,; and Brón was the name of St Patrick’s disciple (4).

Some versions of the legend claim that while on a visit to the Church, St. Patrick tripped and fell. In doing so, when he landed on the ground, he lost a tooth. As a sign of friendship and goodwill, the legend claims he then gave the tooth to Bishop Bronus (who was a native of that area). In turn, after that, it’s said that Bronus is the one who enshrined that gift in the church (5).

Then, in the 14th century, the legend says that a wooden box was created to hold the tooth. The box was made of a combination of gold, silver, and amber, among other materials. On the backside of the shrine, there is an image of King David playing the harp. That also has a lot of meaning as music meant a great deal to people during the time period this was made.

As for the front of the shrine, there is an inscription that says how the shrine was decorated for Thomas de Bermingham, Lord of Athenry (5).

But, much to the disappointment of many, the tooth that was once inside…has since entirely disappeared. Another point that’s up for debate is how the tooth was lost.

Interestingly, the box itself, meant to hold the tooth, is still around today. (See a photo of the shrine here.)

That beautiful box, despite missing the tooth, is at the National Museum of Ireland. Many come each year in order to get a glimpse, and it was even used in past years to cure sick animals!

Legends Continued…

Despite such a great deal of mystery about his life, there are other intriguing facts and stories about St. Patrick. A few include:

  • His tombstone. Historians say he was buried in Northern Ireland, and probably around the Down Cathedral (which now claims to be his burial site). Today there is a stone placed, in his memory, to mark the approximate location on the church’s grounds. That stone was actually taken from the Mourne Mountains which are nearby (2).
  • The shrive of his hand. You read that right…even his hands were seen as worthy of a dedicated shrine! Legend says that after he died, a silver holster was created in a way to replicate St. Patrick’s hand. The relic had been passed around quite a bit (among Bishops and others), and supposedly somewhere along the way, it was lost.
  • Reproductions of his tooth shrine. Today, there are even reproductions of his tooth shrine. That goes to show just how important this is to people and how much artifacts connected to St. Patrick are valued.
  • The Confession of St. Patrick. There was a letter that St. Patrick is believed to have written late in his life. It begins, “My name is Patrick. I am a sinner, a simple country person, and the least of all believers…” What it goes on to say includes his beliefs on religion, and more details that reveal some of his biography. Just like many artifacts with St. Patrick, there is much debate on this letter. Speculation exists that says he probably penned the piece when he was defending his good name after some in power had attached him (6).

Many artifacts and stories surrounding St. Patrick are speculative and there’s lots of unknowns, that’s for sure!

But it’s definitely interesting to hear how much value was placed on having one of his teeth…and having a place fully dedicated to saving that tooth–even if the tooth is now lost! 

looking forward to seeing you

Come in & Visit Hagen Dental Practice

Do you have questions about your oral health? We want to help you on your health journey, no matter where you are at today.
We’re here to help with all your dental needs. Please call (513) 251-5500 or click the Online Scheduling button on our website to schedule your next visit!

Sources:

  1. http://www.saintpatricksdayparade.com/life_of_saint_patrick.htm
  2. http://english-zone.com/holidays/st-pat.html
  3. http://mentalfloss.com/article/55485/7-artifacts-supposedly-connected-st-patrick
  4. http://gostrandhill.com/explore/history/killaspugbrone/
  5. https://stpatricksstrandhill.ie/killaspugbrone-circa-500ad/
  6. http://www.ccel.org/ccel/patrick/confession/confession.html

Tags: