April 15th, 2014
1. Why are we supposed to go to the dentist every six months?
By visiting the dentist twice a year, we’re ideally able to catch issues before anything potentially serious changes with our oral health.
Over time, most of us have grown accustomed to hearing how twice a year, or every six months, we need to visit the dentist! The reality is, no two patients are alike, and we all have a different health background, so this isn’t always what’s recommended…
In certain cases, we will actually recommend people to come in and see us more often, but the typical duration between visits is 6 months. (For those who need to visit more than twice a year, keep this in mind: your health and wellness should not be determined solely by what your dental plan covers!)
We do this so we are able to combat the tartar buildup during that timeframe, and use our diagnostic tools to make sure nothing is abnormal.
2. Hagen Dental offers the latest technology, including Zoom! Teeth Whitening. What’s the difference between this form of whitening and the store-purchased, at-home kit?
As you may or may not know, store-purchased, at-home kits have varying levels of success for people in terms of how much they whiten. Your whitening toothpastes help keep your teeth white on the surface, for the most part! Store-bought bleaching kits do have a stronger amount of bleach in them than whitening toothpastes.
However, when we use the Zoom! Whitening, we apply hydrogen-peroxide formula to teeth, covering up the surrounding gum to avoid any sensitivity you may have. (That’s a key difference right there!) Next, we shine ultraviolet light onto the teeth. It’s an ideal choice for those of you who are busy, but still want the latest and greatest to fight discoloration.
We are happy to offer this procedure, since in just over an hour, you can have a safe and effective tooth whitening procedure that gets rid of the DEEP stains on your teeth, unlike certain, store-bought, at-home kits. Ask us if you still have questions about the safety or efficacy of an at-home whitening kit bought from a store.
3. Hagen also offers CEREC. What is CEREC and what can it do for me?
CEREC is the term that stands for the ceramic reconstruction of your teeth. CEREC is the only method that offers single-visit chair-side restoration—meaning you can just come in once and be done with your procedure. That’s pretty big news for a lot of us!
Because only one procedure is needed, it’s ideal because it is fast, safe, and provides a natural-looking restoration that will stand the test of time. How so? Well, as you may have guessed, it is made of ceramic materials. If you have a decayed or broken tooth, this offers a metal-free solution, and no need to wait 2-4 weeks to get it!
Last, many people are excited about CEREC since it will match the color of your teeth. So your teeth will look great and they will last longer with this technology!
4. What should I know about my child’s oral health?
One of the great things about starting dental care early is that your children will be accustomed to the process sooner! Typically it is recommended to have your first dental visit around age 3. At Hagen, we make sure your child is as comfortable as possible—we know they might be anxious when they first come in.
We like to say that if your child has not been to the dentist yet, but is old enough to know how to tie their shoe, you should know your child also has the ability, and should know how to brush their teeth as well.
5. Why do we need X-rays at the dentist?
Recall that X-rays are a form of electromagnetic radiation. For dentists, we see them as another diagnostic tool to watch the ongoing status of your oral health. (For those worried about radiation specifically, as a comparison, you can get more radiation from your every day background radiation that you would get from an average X-ray today in our office. That’s because we use digital X-rays which have less radiation than traditional X-rays.)
X-rays are an extremely effective way to show decay and infections beneath the surface. We’re better able to see any issues with bone loss, your jaw, and anything unusual happening with the soft tissues with X-rays. If you have a cavity or tooth decay, for example, we are able to see this when we read your X-ray. Again, how often you need them will vary by patient, especially if you have any issues going on with your oral health/jaw, or if you tell us you are having any specific problems.
6. I’m an athlete. Why do you recommend I wear a mouth guard?
It’s not just a coincidence that NBA players and other professional athletes wear mouth guards—they do this because a mouth guard can save your teeth!
While losing a tooth might be the worst outcome you can imagine, actually other dental injuries from sports include broken teeth, nerve damage, concussions, and you can even break your jaw. Wearing a mouth guard today is becoming more and more of the norm because of these potential consequences.
Now, on to the part that is a little less scary…mouth guards—which we can make right here in the office—greatly absorb the shock that your teeth or jaw can encounter in sports. Having the right kind of mouth guard, and making sure it fits are really the crucial things you need to know.
Part of what sets Hagen apart is our comfortable, but positive, environment where people feel safe to ask any questions they have. When you come here you can feel it!
And what about questions you should ask YOURSELF before visiting the dentist? Just make sure you ask yourself if you are willing to do your part to make sure your mouth stays—or gets back to—being healthy! So what do we mean by this statement? This translates to being proactive and telling us when something is wrong, justly preparing for any procedures, or just being honest about your health when we ask. We have a feeling this isn’t a problem for our readers. For more on our services, visit our Services tab here.
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April 6th, 2014
Americans will eat more than 700 million marshmallow Peeps and bunnies this Easter!
In fact at Easter time, the marshmallow treats will actually outsell jelly beans.
This year for Easter, we thought we’d go over some of the better choices for treats to eat while celebrating Easter, as well as some explanation as to why these are actually better for your health.
First, let’s take a brief look at some of the not-so-great treat choices.
The sticky, hard kind of candy quite literally sticks to our teeth. This also means they stay suck to all the crevices and grooves we have in our teeth, which happen to be the places where we are most likely to get decay and plaque buildup. Just imagine the acid and sugar are “sitting” on your teeth when you eat these hard candies…
Beyond sticky candy such as taffy, candy that is filled with caramel or coconut, or any other fillings, are also bad for the teeth. A good rule of thumb to consider is that the longer the food can stick to your teeth, the longer the bacteria can feed on it.
Hard candies can also be a problem since we end up sucking on them. Again, we are exposing ourselves to the acid and sugar for longer periods of time.
So What Can I Do For Some Substitutes?
Here’s an excuse to reach for that chocolate bunny: the chocolate (without those fillings!) is not going to stick to your teeth as much. While eaten in excess it surely isn’t good for your teeth either, it’s an option that you might say is better than some of the others!
Consider other “treats” altogether.
You can also consider other sweet or delicious things to cater to your sweet tooth without all the negative effects on your teeth. For example, what about a cheese plate for the family to share? Cheese can actually work to protect your enamel and keep away the bad bacteria!
Another fun treat can be to eat a few hard-boiled eggs, and the whole family can help make them if you make deviled eggs. Many of us are dying them for an Easter activity, so why not eat an egg or two while we are at it?
In general, in the baked goods we eat at this time of year, you can also look to substitute whole-wheat flour for the standard flour.
How come, and why is this a good move for your teeth? White flour quickly breaks down into simple sugar. In fact, this process occurs while the food is still in your mouth. And, as you probably guessed, bacteria in your mouth feast on this sugar! Then what we see is that acid is produced and in turn, works at breaking down your enamel…On the other hand, whole wheat flour does not produce simple sugar as quickly as white flour does.
Another way to get rid of some of the processed sugar in your diet is select Greek yogurts, (unsweetened) applesauce, bananas or even things like prunes to add the sweetening without the processed sugar. If it fits your diet, look for recipes that use these ingredients instead of just refined sugar.
Another option is to consider choosing candies with Xylitol if you can find them. Assuming you do not have any sensitivity to Xylitol, these candies do not have the sugar that leads to cavities!
“Well, I’m going to eat a few candies this Easter, even if it isn’t ideal…”
You may be saying that you are still going to have a Peep or two, and that’s fine!
At least wait an hour before you brush your teeth after you devour all that candy in your Easter basket this year! That may seem counterintuitive, but that’s because the acid is sitting on your teeth, and you actually could worsen the harmful effects by brushing the acid onto your teeth when you brush.
So instead of reaching for the brush immediately, a simple and effective way to clean your teeth after you sit down for a few Peeps this year is “swishing” your mouth out with water. This helps flush out the acid and sugar.
Don’t be afraid to try something new and give a few dental products in your Easter basket this year. Yes, candy can be eaten, but we can also take care of ourselves so that we have a great smile for years to come!
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March 30th, 2014
You may have heard the myth that “one tooth is lost with every pregnancy.”
Although it really is a myth, there are changes that can occur in your oral health for an expecting mother. You probably already guessed why: your change in hormones, specifically the estrogen and progesterone in your body.
You already know how a build-up of plaque on your teeth, at any point in your life, can lead to gingivitis. If you go into your pregnancy with gingivitis, then the gingivitis is in fact likely to get worse. (Recall that if you do not treat gingivitis, you can get gum disease that is more serious.)
Do not fret: it can be common for pregnant women to have some bleeding of their gums, especially when brushing and flossing!
We don’t want to scare you, but research has suggested that there is a link between gingivitis and pre-term and/or lower birth weight babies. Again, we simply want to avoid this situation because excessive bacteria can enter your bloodstream. The result is that bacteria can go to your uterus and act as a catalyst, many physicians believe, for inducing premature labor.
What’s the best way to avoid teeth and gum issues during a pregnancy?
With all the changes and excitement that comes with a pregnancy, the health of teeth can get a bit overlooked if you are not careful. But for most of us, we just need to continue to keep our teeth as clean as possible by brushing regularly and flossing.
For some, morning sickness becomes a problem. Our solution is to rinse your mouth out with water or with anti-plaque mouthwashes.
Do not put off any dental work until after pregnancy unless we tell you to do so. Of course any time there is a serious dental problem in your mouth during pregnancy, we would help you make the right decision for you. Your obstetrician would also be the part of any dental emergency.
Remember, if any of these symptoms occur, you want to call us immediately:
- Increased bleeding or excessive bleeding of gums
- Painful gums or teeth
- A tooth is loose or you lose a tooth
- Your bad breath will not go away
- Lump or a growth in your mouth
Have any questions for us? Let us know on Facebook.
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March 17th, 2014
Because it’s Sleep Awareness Month, we wanted to cover a few things that many people do not know about sleep.
Here are 6 things you should know about sleep:
1. We are one tired nation!
Less than 10 percent of adults are getting 8 hours of sleep—the recommended amount—
Since most of us are doing our best to get sleep, this just goes to show how important our quality of sleep needs to be on those days we can get more than 6 hours of sleep.
2. Getting those ZZZs: it is about quality.
When people have sleep-related issues, they may be speaking about the ability to fall asleep. They can also have trouble when it comes to staying asleep, which is related to the overall idea of our quality of sleep.
So while we may think we are getting a solid 6-8 hours of sleep each night—sleep-related disorders can influence our actual quality of sleep in a very negative way.
3. Many of us don’t know how simple it can be to increase our quality of sleep.
If you are someone who snores, has sleep apnea, or a combination of the two, is to have a custom-fit dental sleep appliance made for you. As recommended by The American Academy of Sleep Medicine, this is a treatment often given to those with snoring or mild to moderate sleep apnea. (Remember, “sleep apnea” comes from the Greek word meaning “without breath” or often translated as, “want of breath.”)
We are here to help!
4. Snoring? We can help that, too!
As many as 45 percent of people snore—with one forth of us being regular snorers.
At Hagen Dental Practice we can construct the appropriate sleep appliance that is best for you. The Mandibular Advancement Device, also known as MAD, is comparable to an athletic mouth guard. The Tongue Retraining Device, TRD, is a splint that will hold your tongue in place while you sleep.
The goal of both devices is to keep your airways open as much as possible throughout the night. Over time, these devices are adjusted as needed by us. Besides seeing an improvement in sleep in many those who wear the devices, many are also able to reduce or eliminate their snoring. (Sounds like this might be an article to pass along to a loved one!)
5. Sleep: it’s even affecting our waistline.
The average person could lose more than 14 pounds per year if they slept one more hour each day instead of watching TV. Just think of the difference getting a custom-made sleep appliance could make in all areas of your health.
6. Just one night without…
Can you believe that just one night without sleep will leave you acting as if you have a blood alcohol content of .08? That points to the restorative power of sleep!
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, then call us today to set up your appointment with Dr. Hagen. We can discuss your sleep patterns and next steps in determining if you do have sleep apnea.
There is a good night’s sleep in your future!
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March 10th, 2014
We are lucky to have quite the variety of toothpastes to choose from today.
There is a toothpaste for almost any feature we could want, from teeth whitening, to sensitivity, to fresh breath, to cavity protection (and the combination of some of these features!)
We just blogged about how some of the toothpastes that help whiten our teeth can contribute to tooth sensitivity…
But beyond those, another class of toothpastes you may not have been aware of are prescribed toothpastes. These have higher-than-normal amounts of fluoride, which in turn help us fight cavities.
So while it is true we are lucky to have quite a selection of toothpastes today, did you also know that flavors such as chocolate, vanilla mint spark, and lime spearmint are now available?
“Got an adventurous spirit or a sweet tooth?” Crest asks consumers.
Well, if the answer for you is yes, then you can surely gives these flavors a try!
You may be wondering: can chocolate-flavored toothpaste really pass along the nutrition-related health benefits of cocoa?
In general, yes, the antioxidants and anti-inflammatories found in chocolate are beneficial to our health…but these toothpastes just have chocolate flavoring.
What other flavors are out there? So-called gag gift items include pickle-flavored toothpaste and even bacon-flavored! Other flavors include:
So why do companies such as Crest bring us these flavors?
Crest actually points to how consumers said they wanted new flavors so that they would be able to add excitement to their favorite daily health regimen.
We don’t want to diminish the difference between types of toothpastes, but just know that if a brand has the American Dental Association Seal of Acceptance, it has passed testing to ensure it is high quality and is effective!
What toothpaste flavors have you tried, or which flavors would be your favorite? Let us know!
March 1st, 2014
Ever have a bit of tooth sensitivity when you drink something cold?
No need to start worrying just yet: your teeth may be temperature-sensitive without there being any problems…but that doesn’t mean we don’t want to make choices that can lessen that tooth sensitivity! After all, sensitivity is a signal that the tissue below your tooth’s enamel has been exposed.
One of the biggest issues relating to tooth sensitivity is caused by teeth whitening products. Although they have become less harsh over the years, they do cause periods of sensitivity for many of us.
Generally speaking, 10 percent for peroxide levels is a low peroxide level. Once you pass that percentage in your teeth whitening products, you are looking at greatly increasing the chances of having teeth sensitivity!
Are you experiencing frequent teeth sensitivity?
A quick and easy way to see if you need to come in and tell us about your tooth sensitivity is to try and cut back on your whitening toothpaste, which many of us use today. By using these kinds of toothpastes only every other day, you will give your teeth a bit of a break. (And if that doesn’t do the trick, yes, come in and see us.)
Here’s a quick checklist of don’ts when it comes to any tooth sensitivity:
- Don’t ignore the advice of your dentist when it comes to using whitening products in general;
- Don’t continue use of teeth whitening products when you are in pain!
- Don’t brush too hard, which can actually wear away at your enamel over time;
- Don’t use a hard-bristle brush if your teeth are already sensitive!
- Don’t over-do it with the cold and hot drinks, or even pop, especially if you already have any degree of sensitivity!
And, speaking of beverages, if you find that you often drink pop, fruit juice such as orange juice, or red wine, recognize that this could be contributing to any sensitivity you have.
Be sure to brush your teeth about 20 minutes after drinking anything on this acidic beverage list, but also know that if you brush your teeth any earlier you can actually do more damage to your enamel.
If following some of these guidelines doesn’t make your sensitivity go away, definitely let us know! Sensodyne toothpaste, an over-the-counter brand, is great for sensitivity. We also offer prescription toothpaste that has a stronger fluoride in it that alleviates pain in more extreme cases of sensitivity.
But remember: we aren’t giving out specific recommendations here on the blog—come in and see us to find out your best next steps! You might have major gum recession, you could be grinding your teeth, or cavities could be a factor in your discomfort. Since dentin can become exposed due to a variety of reasons, we want to get to the root of the cause. (Pun intended!)
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February 20th, 2014
Here are seven things you may not know about Dr. Hagen:
1. Dr. Hagen is an athlete! Dr. Hagen has participated in the Blood, Sweat & Gears bike race for four years. The Blood, Sweat & Gears title given to the race is not an exaggeration by any means—it’s a grueling, 100-mile ride taking place in North Carolina’s High Country annually.
Dr. Hagen takes several months to prepare to tackle this ever-changing—but definitely beautiful—race. The cumulative climbing elevation of the ride is 8,800 feet, if you can believe it! One of the best parts: the climb up to the gap that’s at Snake Mountain, which reaches about a 20 percent grade near the top.
2. He’s a proud Cincinnatian and Buckeye. You’ll be happy to hear that Dr. Hagen graduated from St. Xavier High School, Xavier University and The Ohio State University College of Dentistry. Go Bucks!
3. Dr. Hagen knows the latest and the greatest, and he’s a true pioneer when it comes to dental technology. Watch this video to see him explain how he’s seen technology that improves our quality of life progress over time.
4. Morning or night person? If he had to choose, Dr. Hagen would be a nighttime person!
5. Dr. Hagen has helped people smile…around the world. For many years, Hagen Dental has done a candy buyback program. After Halloween, Hagen Dental would buy candy from people in the community for $1 per pound. Then we would send the candy to troops in Iraq and Afghanistan. More than 20,000 pounds of candy have been collected in the past! We did this because it was one way to show our dedication and support of the servicemen and women who serve our country.
6. His favorite food is Sea Bass! (You weren’t expecting it to be something sweet were you!?)
7. He isn’t just a Dentist–he is also a caring father and family man. Dr. Hagen is the proud father of 4 daughters and 2 stepsons!
January 29th, 2014
Ever brush your teeth but still feel like you have bad breath just a short while later?
Your tongue could be responsible!
A “coated tongue” can happen because of an overgrowth of bacteria on our tongue. Believe it or not, this is often what’s responsible for rotten-smelling breath…
We actually have the majority of bacteria in our mouth on our tongue. This problem also has to do with the type of bacteria that live on our tongue…
That smell we all want to avoid stems from the actual waste products of the bacteria that feast on bits of food in our mouth. The bacteria called “gram-negative bacteria,” the kind that is below our gum line, is the smelliest kind! It increases more bad-smelling compounds than the type of bacteria that mostly lives above our gum line.
These “gassy” bacteria communities are what thrive in the hard-to-reach crevices of our tongues. To break it down–the bacteria that live in and around our tongue are truly the bad-smelling offenders in our mouths.
This sure makes us want to clean our tongues daily, and that’s a good idea. Don’t forget that brushing your tongue can also help remove plaque and bacteria each day.
Also know that tongue scraping can be helpful in the short-term. But you probably know what we are going to say next—just know that overall mouth hygiene here is what really helps over time because it combats the overall growth of the bacteria communities in your mouth.
Also remember to take a minute to check out your tongue. This way, you can notice changes if they ever do occur.
Have you seen a strange change in your tongue? Your immune system or allergy could be the cause!
Have you seen a sore on your tongue? Or do you see different-looking white areas or bumps you’ve never noticed? Please let us know so we can take a look if this is the case.
Any smoking, excessive dry mouth, or certain medication use , can also be major contributors to keeping that bacteria alive (and smelly)!
Still have bad breath?
Assuming you are not ill or haven’t been ill recently, you are consuming enough water regularly (to combat dry mouth), and you don’t have any new or different medication you are taking, it can be troublesome if you continue to have long-term bad breath.
One last time, ask yourself or a loved one with this problem these questions: are you using a tongue scraper and also brushing your teeth and tongue each day? Are you also flossing? If you can’t figure out why your bad breath is a problem, let us know. Many times bad breath can be a sign of something larger going on with your health. We are here to help you find out what that is!
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January 16th, 2014
X-Rays: Why We Use Them As Diagnostic Tools
X-rays are a form of electromagnetic radiation. They were discovered way back in 1895.
We use them as diagnostic tools since they can penetrate our body tissues. Because different tissues in our body (gums versus our bones, for example) are penetrated at different degrees, we see “shadows” on the film produced by X-rays, as a result.
Our dental x-ray machines are quite sensitive, so you don’t need to worry about the amount of radiation needed to use them as a tool in this way! For comparison’s sake, you get more radiation from your every day background radiation.
As you know, we can see a lot when you come in to visit us by just examining your teeth, but X-rays show decay and infections beneath the surface. We’re better able to see any issues with bone loss, your jaw, and anything unusual happening with the soft tissues. If you have a cavity or tooth decay, for example, it shows up as darker on a radiograph.
So, How Often Are They Needed?
How often we need to get x-rays depends on your age, your ongoing oral health status, your risk level and of course if you have had any issues you report to us.
In general, we advise patients to have bitewing X-rays (see below for more!) every year, and Panorex X-rays every three years. A simple cavity between your teeth can turn into a root canal if not detected—so we simply work to prevent this from happening.
Keep in mind when you are a new patient at a dental practice, it may be recommended to get X-rays to know the status of your gums and teeth. Think of this as your new baseline!
If those X-rays were just done by another dentist, they can simply be forwarded to your new dentist.
Then What Are the Types of X-Rays I’m Receiving?
Bitewing: these show the upper and lower back teeth. They are usually done to check for any bone loss and decay between our teeth and to show how well our upper and lower teeth are lining up.
Periapical: with a person’s first visit to the dentist, these might be done. These show the entire tooth, and they can show if there are any infections/disease, specifically any issues below our gum line or in our jaw.
Occlusal: these who the roof and the floor of our mouth. Any cysts or abnormal growths would be evident through this kind of x-ray.
Panoramic: when a wide-range view of the health of our mouth is needed—jaw, teeth, sinus, and nasal area—this is used. If there are fractions, infections, cysts, bone abnormalities or some kind of growth, it would be shown here.
Ready to get your dentist appointment setup at Hagen Dental? Get in touch with us today.
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December 21st, 2013
The holidays bring cherished time with the family and some of the year’s most-anticipated treats and food indulgences.
But with all the sought after entrees, yummy appetizers, and of course decadent desserts, we still want you to keep your teeth healthy over these next few weeks.
Here are 6 tips we’ve come up with to make sure your teeth stay healthy into next year:
1. Make a conscious effort to drink water.
Getting enough water each day will make sure you help work to “rinse out” the mouth after consuming sweets. But more importantly, by mixing up the orange juice, eggnog, or hot cider with the occasional good old glass of water, you’ll also cut down on the amount of sweet beverages you are consuming altogether.
2. Limit the hard candy.
Hard candy sticks to our teeth—as it sits there, in as little as 20 minutes, it is doing damage to your teeth! Once your protective teeth enamel is weakened, you are much more prone to tooth decay. Considering have only one or two, and leaving the rest for Santa!
3. …And the same goes for chewy candy and treats!
Yes, that means the caramel sweets and treats! If you can, rinse your mouth out with water and brush your teeth when you have a chance.
4. Don’t get too nutty!
Those nuts that are out on the table at all those holiday parties: go ahead and eat them, since they are packed with iron, magnesium, Vitamin E, and more. But just don’t crack the nuts with your teeth.
5. Don’t forget your routine.
If you are traveling, don’t forget to bring your floss along with you. If you do end up forgetting it, remind yourself that your teeth make up less than a third of the surface area of your mouth—so that means brushing your teeth is truly not enough…
Just know that keeping up with your regular flossing can make a big difference to combat all the holiday treats! Even if you’re busy this holiday season (and who isn’t?), it’ll be worth the couple of minutes it takes you each day!
6. Don’t take your teeth for granted!
Have you ever popped-open a bottle with your teeth? Or maybe you have ripped a tag of a new t-shirt, or off of a new gift of some kind, using your teeth. People have even been known to bend their forks or to try to open containers like nail polish using their teeth, believe it or not! Well, our teeth shouldn’t be treated in this way.
This holiday season, don’t forget your common sense—using your teeth as if they were tools can crack your teeth, or in some cases, break the edge of a teeth if that teeth is already weak. That’s not exactly the kind of holiday memory you want to have this year!
Want a White Christmas this holiday season? Ask us about Zoom! Teeth Whitening
—by using Zoom!, you can pick out YOUR desired shade of white…white teeth, that is! We wish you and your family a happy holiday season this year. If we don’t see you this month, we will see you in the New Year.
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