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May 28th, 2015

What Do the Results of X-rays Really Mean?

Category: cincinnati dentist, dental health

what to know about your x-rays by Hagen Dental DDS

Dentists use x-rays as a diagnostic tool for in-depth demonstration of your entire oral health.

Everyone’s mouth and state of oral health is different, but that’s why typically you have bitewing X-rays done once a year, and Panorex X-rays once every three years. (See more on that here.) If you have decay or periodontal disease that is detected or another known issue or risk factor, that might affect frequency of your x-rays.

Then what do the results of your x-rays really mean or show?

1. We have a baseline for the state of your oral health.

X-rays provide us with a complete demonstration of everything going on in your mouth. Remember x-rays allow us to see how decay and infections below the surface. This can help us as we work together to see a plan that ensures you are comfortable, and have confidence with all aspects of your oral health and smile.

If we can precisely determine and detect the amount of tooth decay you have, we are also able to watch that change over time. Digital X-rays will capture images of your entire mouth and those images are immediately available on our computer screen. With no development necessary, we can compare current images to older images, meaning we can see even the smallest changes that have occurred in your mouth.

2. We can see what the eye can’t always see.

Yes, we look at your tongue, teeth and gum when you visit us, but a clinical exam does not have the full power of a dental radiograph. When we use x-rays, we can better determine decay or cavities before they are visible to the naked eye. Here is a list of what x-rays allow us to better evaluate or uncover:

  • Developing or missing (or extra!) teeth
  • Abnormalities to the teeth
  • Tumors or cysts
  • Jaw issues
  • Hidden dental decay
  • Dental abscesses
  • Any bone loss from periodontal disease
  • Tarter build-up
  • The state of current fillings, crowns, etc.
  • Determine if there is enough bone for any necessary dental implants

What you could call a “normal” x-ray can show us that someone has no tooth decay, no damage to their bones, and no injuries to their teeth. Additional “normal” results show no cysts or signs of growths or anything such as an abscess. If we see tooth decay, signs of bone loss, cavities, any sort of damage to the bone, jaw fractures, changed in teeth placement, or any growths, we will be sure to talk about it with you. X-rays can save much time and unnecessary discomfort by seeing changes or problems early.

Want to learn more about our digital X-rays to make sure the pictures of your teeth, bones and soft tissues are up-to-date? Give us a call at (513) 251-5500 or visit our website here

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May 11th, 2015

The Ultimate Guide for Oral Health During Your Pregnancy

Category: cincinnati dentist, dental health

what to expect for your teeth when you are expecting
Did you know that having good dental hygiene habits during your pregnancy contributes to your baby’s health?

It’s true: oral care for expectant mothers is important for both you and your baby. With so much to think about during pregnancy, here is a guide detailing what you should know during your pregnancy.

1. Tell Dr. Hagen you are pregnant!

When you come to visit us, let us know the great news that you are expecting. When you let us know that you are pregnant, we’re able to walk you through the optimal oral care for the remainder of your pregnancy.

Typically, as a precautionary measure, specific dental treatments are adjusted, or altogether avoided, during your first trimester and the second half of your third trimester. Depending on the nature of the dental work, certain procedures may be recommended during points of your pregnancy if it will reduce the chance of an infection that can negatively affect your baby’s health or your pregnancy. Elective dental procedures, such as teeth whitening, should be postponed until after you have your baby.

2. Don’t skip your regular dentist check-ups with us.

Preventative dental care during pregnancy has been proven to protect you and you’re your baby’s health. If possible, come in to see us during your first trimester—but do not worry if that period has passed—it is still worth it to come in and see us!

Your dental visit will allow you to ask us any questions you have on how to handle tender gums, and we will also make sure you are working to prevent the plaque bacteria that can be a problem during this time.

3. “Pregnancy Gingivitis” is not a myth—but it is preventable.

You are well aware that there are hormone level changes during pregnancy. Your changing hormones often cause gums to swell or bleed abnormally, which is why the condition even has been termed Pregnancy Gingivitis. As much as 40 percent of women will develop gingivitis at some point during pregnancy.

For those that have gingivitis going into their pregnancy, they may also find that gums become even more tender and swollen. In some cases there can be severe bleeding that comes with Pregnancy Gingivitis.

Another possibility is “tooth mobility” during pregnancy, where bone and ligaments that support your teeth can be temporarily loosened. Several studies have suggested there a link between gum disease and premature birth, so when in doubt, come in and see us. When you do come in to see us for preventive dental work, it helps you avoid problems associated with gum disease, or any oral infections.

4. Don’t forget good daily care.

It goes without saying that brushing and flossing are important during this time, especially with the increased risk of gum irritation and/or inflammation. Talk to us about solutions that can help if you have trouble with morning sickness. Depending on your specific challenge, one solution might be a bland toothpaste during your pregnancy. We can recommend the ideal brand for you based on your entire oral health!

5. Don’t neglect your nutrition.

Phosphorus, Vitamins A, C, D, calcium, protein, and more… these are just a few of the vitamins and nutrients that are important to a health smile for your baby!

It’s no secret that during pregnancy you are eating nutritious meals. The principles of great nutrition are the same during your pregnancy, and absorption of those nutrients translates into positive growth and development for your baby. Your baby’s teeth begin to develop between the third and sixth month of your pregnancy, so eating a nutrient-filled diet is inherently good for your teeth, and also important for your baby.

6. After your baby is born, continue your good habits.

Continue your good oral health habits after you give birth. Because tooth erosion or an inflammatory response may have occurred during your pregnancy, oral health habits after you give birth are just as important. If you had any problems during pregnancy or if any treatments were delayed due to your pregnancy, be sure to come back and see us as scheduled.

Have any questions? Keep in mind you should ask us if you have any specific questions so that we can have your unique periodontal health evaluated. Schedule an appointment with us today.

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April 29th, 2015

The Top 2 Surprising Mistakes Parents Make With Their Kids’ Teeth

Category: cincinnati dentist, dental health

The number one chronic childhood illness today is tooth decay in children, or as we might call it, pediatric dental disease.

Decay in our children’s teeth can cause issues with eating, speaking, and even learning. It also can result in bacterial infections or in certain cases, malnourishment. We probably don’t have to tell you that pediatric disease can negatively impact kids’ confidence and self esteem, their growth, and of course their quality of life.

Here we explain two major mistakes parents may accidentally be making when it comes to helping support kids’ teeth health and development.

1. Giving a baby a bottle overnight—or right before bed!

Baby’s first teeth are important because they help ensure adult teeth come in as correctly as possible.

You may be surprised to learn that when a baby takes a bottle to bed, the milk sugars can cause serious tooth decay. The upper teeth can be affected, but also other teeth as well. This can be a major problem at any time, but is often seen in toddlers between one and two. It can be an even trickier problem with those who refuse to give up their coveted nighttime bottle!

The good news is that early childhood caries is preventable.

The first step to take is to no longer let baby fall asleep with her bottle. Consider this: the protective coating of baby teeth is only half the thickness of an eggshell! Even if you do not notice any signs of tooth decay, there may be issues occurring along the gum line.

Even if a baby does not take her bottle to bed, but simply goes to sleep after her bedtime bottle, there can still be tooth decay that occurs. That’s because of two contributing factors. One, there is reduced saliva while the baby sleeps, which is our body’s natural way of “rinsing” the mouth. Second, the milk sugars, even if she isn’t sleeping with the bottle in her mouth, can still be settled on the teeth, all night long.

To help cut down on the sugar being exposed to your baby’s teeth, consider watering down the formula a bit with water. Over time, more and more of the drink can be water. In some cases, parents will actually have the baby get used a drink that is made up of more and more water, mixed with the formula, before bedtime. In those cases, the “regular” formula can be given a bit earlier in the evening. If you have no luck with doing so, at least try to give your baby a bit of water after she drinks her normal bottle. Water does not hurt the teeth enamel and will help cleanse the teeth!

Another possibility is to take a small piece of gauze in your hand, and very gently “wipe” the baby’s teeth with your finger holding the gauze. Then, you can brush her teeth in the morning after the first feeding of the day. It might not always be practical, but it can surely cut down on so-called “bottle mouth.”

 hagen dental2. Too many sports or energy drinks—even if they claim to be healthy!

Especially during the spring and summer months, we want to make sure our kids stay hydrated, whether they are playing outside, or on a sports team. Most of us would not give our young children a Coke while they play sports, but surprisingly, some of the most common sports drinks we do give them can be just as sugar-filled, and just as harmful to their oral health.

Harvard School of Public Health compared a can of cola to an energy drink brand and found that the energy drink brand still had a whopping 21 grams of sugar. The leading brand of cola had 42 grams of sugar. Many nutritionists recommend no more than 16-17 grams of sugar per day for a child.

Another way of looking at it: 40 grams of sugar is about 10 teaspoons of sugar.

When our kids consume these beverages, often times, the sugar settles on their teeth for hours after. If they really are a bit dehydrated, this short-term dry mouth can further accelerate the impact sugar has on their teeth. Even though it can be difficult, check out the label when in doubt so you can choose hydrating options that have little or no sugar in them.

Instead of cutting out all sports, juice, or “energy” drinks suddenly, try to slowly encourage the switch, and pack water for kids so that they don’t see the transition as so sudden or as “boring.”

Here is a breakdown of some other common drinks—not just sports drinks—and how much sugar they have:

  • Coca-Cola: 10 teaspoons
  • Pepsi: 10 teaspoons
  • Mountain Dew: 11 teaspoons
  • Welch’s 100% Grape Juice: 15 teaspoons
  • Minute Maid Orange Juice: 10 teaspoons
  • Capri Sun-Fruit Juicy Red: 11 teaspoons
  • Snapple Iced Tea Peach: 8 teaspoons
  • Glaceau Vitamin Water Essential: 5 teaspoons
  • Odwalla Serious Focus-Apple Raspberry: 14 teaspoons
  • Starbucks Mint Mocha Chip Frappuccino with whipped cream: 14 teaspoons

(Source: The Nutrition Source.)

Looking for more information on your children’s health, including their oral health? Set up your next dentist appointment with us today—we can’t wait to meet you and your family.

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April 12th, 2015

7 Famous Smiles We Love

Category: cincinnati dentist, dental health

famous smiles a blog by hagen dental

It takes 43 muscles to frown, but only 2 to smile.

With that said, we wanted to highlight a few of the most well known smiles!

1. Mona Lisa

You’ve probably heard of Leonardo Da Vinci’s Mona Lisa painting, since after all, it’s been called the most famous smile of all time. The Mona Lisa smile is one of the most intriguing and talked about smiles of all time, despite how she’s not even showing any teeth! It’s said that the “Mona Lisa” is actually a spelling error, and it should be “Monna Lisa,” which in Italian, is a short form of Madonna.

The painting lives in a dedicated, climate-controlled room that cost $7 million to build within the Louvre museum of Paris. Reports claim the painting is considered priceless, so it can’t be insured. The most popular belief is the woman Leonardo painted is Lisa Gherardini.

If you look close, the 24 year old has no eyebrows! A much-talked about question is why (or how) Mona Lisa appears to be smiling one moment, but the next she appears to be serious.

Is the Mona Lisa smile magical or can it be vanishing right in front of our eyes?

The answer is that much of what we see depends on lighting, visual pathways and even where we look on the painting.

2. Shirley Temple

Shirley Temple began her career at age 3, and won over people’s hearts in movies such as Heidi and Curley Top. She also sang the song “You Gotta Smile to be Happy,” which could make just about anyone smile. President Franklin D. Roosevelt once said, “As long as our country has Shirley Temple, we will be all right.” She will be remembered as the first child star and for her radiant smile.

3. Princess Diana

Very full of life and known to be shy, Princess Diana of Wales had a beautiful smile. The so-called “People’s Princess” was a fashion icon and also a philanthropist. She was very much covered in the media and many photographers aimed to get a photo of her bright smile.

4. George Clooney

No list of famous smiles would be complete without actor and director, George Clooney. George is frequently named as one of the most good-looking men in the world, and his smile helps him earn such honors.

5. Michael Jordan

“Air Jordan,” as he is sometimes called, is surely one of the best basketball players of all times—and he also has a great smile. With so many athletic accolades to his name, it is no wonder so many of MJ’s photos on the court and off, show him smiling!

6. Audrey Hepburn

Both an actress and humanitarian, Audrey Hepburn is one of the top fashion icons of all time. We think part of what makes her so fashionable, even to this day, is her one-of-a-kind smile.

7. Julia Roberts

No such list would be complete without Julia Roberts. Her smile has garnered so much attention because it is natural, symmetrical, and she has healthy, enviable gums.

Looking to increase your confidence when it comes to your smile? Give us a call at (513) 251-5500. Find our website here.

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March 31st, 2015

The Complete Guide to Dry Mouth: What You Need to Know

Category: cincinnati dentist, dental health

Dry Mouth

“It seems like my mouth is drier than normal.”

This is what someone may think or say when they are experiencing abnormal dry mouth.

Chronic dry mouth, also called xerostomia, is when we have a lack of saliva or when we have a reduced amount of saliva.

While the actual incidents of chronic dry mouth increase as people age, dry mouth is not a normal part of aging.

Symptoms of Dry Mouth

Dry mouth is a sticky, parched and potentially gritty feeling in the mouth.

But also know that the following are other symptoms of dry mouth:

  • Bad breath
  • Different sense of taste (or a taste disorder)
  • Lipstick sticking to teeth
  • Increased need to drink water
  • Inflamed tongue
  • Cracked lips
  • A red or raw tongue
  • A dry feeling in your throat
  • Abnormal difficulties in chewing or speaking

There are many reasons why we can experience dry mouth, and dry mouth is more common than you would think. The simplest explanation for dry mouth is an inadequate function of our salivary glands.Why Dry Mouth Occurs

Over the counter and prescription drugs can impact the saliva in our mouths. Take for example blood pressure medications and antihistamines, just two examples—of as many as 400 medications—that can alter the saliva level in the mouth.

But there are other health-related reasons that can result in dry mouth:

  • Radiation treatment for head and neck cancer
  • Salivary gland disease
  • Emotional stress
  • Autoimmune disease
  • Chemotherapy
  • Nerve damage
  • Snoring or breathing through your mouth
  • Other medical conditions including diabetes, HIV/AIDs and Sjogren’s syndrome

Talk with your dentist about the medications you are taking and any other changes in your health to help determine the cause of your dry mouth. Remember that when we age, particularly over the age of 50, our body’s thirst sensation may reduce. If we aren’t drinking enough water each day, this can contribute to dry mouth.

The Negative Effects of Dry Mouth

Saliva helps us chew, start digestion, protects our teeth from decay, and helps heal sores that are in our mouths. It also helps prevent infection by controlling bacteria and fungi in the mouth. Accelerated tooth decay can develop if we have dry mouth, and our ability to digest properly can also be affected if we have trouble chewing.

What We Can Do

Do you feel a sticky or (abnormal) dry feeling in your mouth? When it’s out of the norm, be sure to tell us about it. Not only is dry mouth uncomfortable, but it can lead to serious health consequences and it can also signal a health condition you need to be aware of. When you see us, we can take a look at any medications you share with us to help determine the cause, as well help you with steps to ensure you are careful and protective of your teeth. We can also potentially suggest a prescription-strength fluoride gel that can help prevent dental decay.

Before you come in to see your dentist, be sure to also:

  • Avoid drinks with caffeine which can further dry the mouth out
  • Drink water and sugarless drinks
  • If you have a humidifier, use it at night
  • Avoid tobacco and alcohol which dry out the mouth
  • Be careful with spicy or salty foods which can cause pain in a dry mouth

Want to know more about Hagen Dental? Visit us here or give us a call at (513) 251-5500.

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March 15th, 2015

Green Tea: Good or Bad for Our Teeth?

Category: cincinnati dentist, dental health

is green tea good or bad for teeth

The short answer is that brewed, unsweetened tea (in moderation) is good for our teeth. 

According to the General Dentistry, a clinical, peer-reviewed journal of the Academy of General Dentistry, drinking green tea does not lead to any teeth erosion.

This is quite different from when we drink pop, certain energy drinks, or sports drinks which are packed with enamel-damaging acids. (More on dental erosion here.)

Less Tooth Decay and Less Inflammation

This same study also supported the finding that green tea can have a positive effect on our gums, too. Specifically, drinking green tea every day resulting in less gum recession and less gum bleeding. A separate German study found that people even saw greater gum health when they simply chewed green tea extract! (We’ll just stick with a glass of green tea!)

Better Smelling Breath

Green tea also cuts down on microbes that contribute to bad breath. In fact, in one study, green tea was better at reducing bad breath when compared to mints, chewing gum and even parsley.

What are some of the other benefits of green tea? After all, it’s been called one of the healthiest beverages we can consume…

The Other Health Benefits of Green Tea

Green tea has many important nutrients, including compounds known as polyphenols. These are natural plant compounds and they include catechins, theaflavins, tannins, and flavonoids. These polyphenols have been shown to have positive benefits on our health, including being powerful antioxidants.

In part, this means they can help reduce the formation of free radicals in our body, which can help protect cells and molecules from damage. Assuming we choose a quality brand, these compounds we get from green tea can also support enzyme function and help stimulate our cell receptors. Studies have shown that flavonoids can help improve our insulin sensitivity as well.

While you can almost never go wrong with water as your beverage of choice, green tea in moderation is an alternative with health benefits that much research has supported.

Sources for this blog:




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March 6th, 2015

Happy National Dentist Day

Category: cincinnati dentist, dental health

It’s our kind of day today! We hope you have a day full of smiles.

Hagen Dental Cincinnati Happy National Dentist Day

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March 1st, 2015

Is Juicing Bad For Your Teeth?

Category: cincinnati dentist, dental health

Hagen Dental juicing and your teeth
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

The Link Between Our Heart & Our Mouth

Category: cincinnati dentist, dental health

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.

hagen dds cincinnati dentist

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 Montha 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:

  • Diabetes
  • Diet
  • Physical activity
  • Tobacco use
  • Obesity
  • 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

Dr. Hagen, DDS Has Been Named as One of Cincinnati’s Top Doctors

Category: cincinnati dentist, dental health

Top Dentist in Cincinnati

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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