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November 20th, 2017

4 Things to Know About Acid Reflux

Category: dental health

what is acid reflux hagen

Acid reflux: it’s when small amounts of our stomach acid travel into the esophagus or even our mouth.

Symptoms of acid reflux include heartburn which is best described as a burning pain and discomfort in your throat area, chest area or around your abdomen. Other symptoms include a sour or bitter taste in your throat (also called regurgitation).

Other symptoms people experience include bloating, a feeling that food is stuck in your throat, burping, black stools, dry cough, sore throat, hoarseness for no reason, and more.

Gastroesophageal reflux disease, also known as GERD, is a more serious form of reflux. Although a medical professional can diagnose you either way, GERD includes more persistent heartburn. It is heartburn that is sometimes also accompanied by coughing, wheezing, chest pain and possibly regurgitation. Sometimes the symptoms get worse at night.

Here are 4 more things to know about acid reflux.

#1: Acid reflux can have a negative effect on your teeth.

Both acid reflux and GERD can put you or your child at greater risk for tooth erosion and periodontal issues.

That’s because the acid can damage the enamel—as well as the dentin. Just like acid from foods can, over time, damage your teeth, so can acid that comes from your own body. Stomach acid can also irritate the esophagus.

#2. But you can do something if you have acid reflux!

First, follow your doctor’s advice to reduce symptoms and to get to the cause of your issue. This may include avoiding trigger such as spicy foods, tomato, citrus fruits, raw onions, alcohol and coffee, just to name a few (3).

Next, be sure to let us know! We can help you come up with a plan to combat the acid that may be coming in contact with your teeth.

Even our little ones can get acid reflux! If your child has acid reflux, let us know, including any changes in their medication related to acid reflux. It may even require an additional visit or two to the dentist so that their teeth can be properly watched.

Since kids don’t always know what is “normal” in terms of acid reflux, or not having acid reflux, they might not be able to report that they are having it. Or they can simply be too young to tell you! If you spot any signs, be sure to ask them or take them to their doctor.

A general rule of thumb if your child has a history of acid reflux: be sure to take extra special care of their teeth! After all, a recent student found that kids with reflux are about six times more likely to experience damage to their enamel compared with kids who do not have acid reflux (1, 2, 3). That’s where fluoride and prescription toothpaste can help.

Don’t forget: we can help spot signs and symptoms of acid reflux (and tooth erosion) in your mouth.

#3. Look at your diet if you have symptoms of acid reflux.

Can dietary changes help ease or get rid of the symptoms? In some cases, yes! A first step can be to eliminate sugar from your diet. Then reduce how much soda you drink and cut back on fruit or other acidic drinks. n some cases, if you drink something acidic, you can benefit from rinsing out your mouth after. Another tip: stay hydrated with water, since water (and your saliva) supports the natural way of getting rid of enamel-eating acids.

Other lifestyle factors that can contribute to, or worsen, acid reflux include:

Smoking (just one more reason to quit!)

  • Size of meals
  • Posture and way of sleeping
  • Certain clothes (if they are super tight around the waist)
  • Being overweight
  • Certain medications (1, 2, 3) 

fighting acid reflux hagen dental practice

 

#4. Foods can also ease acid reflux, in some cases.

It’s true that so many foods can worse, or create, acid reflux issues or symptoms. But, your diet can also help take away the discomfort, too.

Foods that can sometimes ease acid reflux include:

  • Green vegetables
  • Many lean meats
  • Oatmeal
  • Non-citrous fruits like melons or bananas (1, 2, 3)

Dental Health For Your Whole Family

Talk to us if you believe you or a child has symptoms of acid reflux. Regular checkups with Dr. Hagen are crucial to maintaining a healthy mouth! Have questions or need to schedule your next appointment? Give us a call at (513) 251-5500.

References

  1. http://www.colgate.com/en/us/oc/oral-health/conditions/gastrointestinal-disorders/article/acid-reflux-a-dental-disaster-in-the-making-1013
  2. https://www.aarp.org/health/conditions-treatments/info-2017/foods-help-acid-reflux-fd.html
  3. http://www.colgate.com/en/us/oc/oral-health/conditions/gastrointestinal-disorders/article/ada-12-acid-reflux-and-dental-health

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November 7th, 2017

Diabetes Prevention Is In Your Hands…And Your Mouth!

Category: dental health

Sugar and nutrition are the culprits behind many health concerns. You’ve heard us talk about limiting sugar for your oral health: cleaning up your diet and incorporating healthier lifestyle choices makes sense for your dental hygiene as well as your entire body’s future health!

Diabetes: Here’s What to Know

There are many reasons to attempt to avoid developing diabetes. Diabetes puts you at risk for additional health concerns, such as heart disease, stroke, and kidney disease. Another complication is an increased risk for gum problems, since poor blood glucose control makes gum problems more likely. In fact, the relationship goes both ways. New research suggests that gum disease can also affect blood glucose control and contribute to the progression of diabetes. To make matters worse, those with diabetes are more likely to develop thrush, dry mouth, and experience tooth loss (1, 2).

Type 2 diabetes is now the most common – and preventable – type of diabetes. Making lifestyle choices that support your health and prevent this disease is the best and biggest way to take a step towards prevention (3). It might surprise you to learn that sugar intake isn’t the only cause of diabetes: it’s actually a multi-factorial issue.

Tips To Preventing Diabetes

If you are overweight, have a family history of diabetes, lead a sedentary lifestyle, or currently include high amounts of sugar in your diet, you should make diabetes prevention a priority. Check out these prevention tips from the American Diabetes Association (3). Not only will these tips help prevent diabetes; they will help you maintain great oral health in the process. And we think that is win-win!

1. Aim to Eat More Nutrient Dense Foods

You have heard us talk about the health concerns of too much sugar in your diet. Sugar can sit in your mouth after eating, causing increased bacteria growth, decay, and damage to your teeth and gums. But it is also the culprit behind many health conditions. Excess sugar intake can lead to blood sugar control problems as well as weight gain, both of which are risk factors for developing Type 2 diabetes.

Increasing your fiber intake brings prevention into your hands and mouth in several ways. It helps improve your blood sugar control, it lowers your risk of heart disease, and it promotes weight loss by helping you feel full for longer. In addition, fibrous food’s rough quality helps keep your teeth cleaner – a perk we are on board with!

What foods are high in fiber? Think roughage foods – vegetables, beans, fruits, whole grains and nuts. These foods pack a lot of bulky substance as well as nutrition. We call these nutrient-dense foods, compared to their more “empty calorie” high-sugar, low-fiber counterparts, such as processed candies, crackers, cookies and snacks.

Whole grains also help reduce your risk of diabetes and maintain blood sugar levels. Unlike refined sugar products, whole grains take longer to digest, thus dumping sugars into your blood more slowly (3).

2. Become More Physically Active

Regular exercise helps you lose weight, or maintain a healthy weight. It also burns calories and lowers your blood sugar – that energy currently in your blood waiting to be used or stored as fat for later. Exercise has also been found to boost your sensitivity to insulin. Insulin sensitivity is necessary to transfer sugar out of your blood into cells and helps keep your blood sugar within a normal, healthy range.

hagen dental health

ALL types of exercise help control diabetes! But the very best benefit comes when your fitness routine includes both cardio and resistance training. So mix it up! But most importantly, get moving: A sedentary lifestyle means increased risk for diabetes (3).

3. Lose A Few Extra Pounds

Being overweight also increases your risk of Type 2 diabetes. Don’t be overwhelmed if you feel like you have a long way to go! Every pound you lose can improve your health status. A recent study found that those who decreased their weight by just 7% saw a 60% reduction in diabetes risk. However, avoid fad diets. Lifestyle changes, such as diet changes and exercise, are the safest and most effective tools to achieving long-lasting weight loss and health benefits (3).

dental health cincinnati

Your Oral Health and Overall Health Are Connected

The Surgeon General’s “Report on Oral Health” reminds us that good oral health is vital to our body’s general health. Regular brushing, flossing, and a conscious effort to eat healthfully make a huge impact – not only in your mouth – but for your other body systems as well (2).

Working towards the lifestyles changes mentioned above can reverse prediabetes, lower your risk of having a heart attack or stroke, improve your health overall, help you feel more energetic, and reduce your chances of diabetic-related oral health issues (4).

Keep Us In The Loop!

People with diabetes have special needs. All of us at Hagen Dental Practice are equipped to meet those needs, so be sure to tell us if you have diabetes! Keep us informed of any changes in your condition, as well as about any medication you might be taking.

Good Dental Health For All

Whether you are diabetic, pre-diabetic, or neither, regular checkups with Dr. Hagen are crucial to maintaining a healthy mouth and detecting oral health concerns early. Have questions or need to schedule your next appointment? Give us a call at (513) 251-5500.

Sources:

  1. http://www.diabetes.org/living-with-diabetes/treatment-and-care/oral-health-and-hygiene/
  2. http://www.diabetes.org/living-with-diabetes/treatment-and-care/oral-health-and-hygiene/diabetes-and-oral-health.html
  3. https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/type-2-diabetes/in-depth/diabetes-prevention/art-20047639
  4. https://www.cdc.gov/diabetes/prevention/prediabetes-type2/preventing.html

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November 2nd, 2017

Do You Know the Top 5 Risk Factors for Oral Cancer?

Category: dental health

what to know oral cancer

Oral cancer: it’s a serious subject, and for good reason!

Cancer, as you may or may not know, is when cells in our body begin to grow in a way that is out of control. Really, any cell in our body can become cancerous.

So what about cancer of the mouth or “oral cancer”?

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October 27th, 2017

Spookily Healthy Halloween Treats (That Aren’t Bad For Your Kids’ Teeth!)

Category: dental health

Don’t want to be spooked by cavities? Then it’s time for some healthy treats for you and your family this Halloween! We rounded up 10 ideas that are good for you but still taste like a treat!

1. Frankenstein Kiwi

healthy recipes for halloween hagen dental practice

Take a vegetable peeler and cut off part of the kiwi skin, as shown. Then you can use your hands to pull back more of the skin to make it “jagged,” shaping the Frankenstein’s hair in the process.

Next, you can also cut part of the kiwi off so that it can sit flat. Then add small, dried blueberries or mini chocolate chips for eyes (or something else you have handy!). Poke in pretzel sticks for a mouth and “arms,” and your Frankenstein Kiwi is complete!

Image and Recipe via Two Healthy Kitchens

2. Spooky Spider Dip

Ftomatoes healthy recipe for your teethirst, pick out a large pepper that you can cut, hollowing it out. You want to cut it so that it will resemble a spider-body-shape. For eyes, consider using black olives that have been cut into triangles. Next cut out slivers of your pepper and set aside; Those will be your 8 spider legs that you will add once you’ve added your dip to the bowl.

For your dip, consider edamame hummus or another kind of dip your family loves. Edamame hummus is great because it’s green. Then set it up with a bowl, and add vegetables such as celery, carrots, or tomatoes for dipping on your tray. Spooky…but delicious!

Image and Recipe via Two Healthy Kitchens

3. Carrot Pumpkins

For the skilled slicer, this snack is for you! Super large carrots make this one easier. First, taking your knife, make slits lengthwise down your carrot. The distance between cuts will determine and shape the width of your pumpkin stem. The depth of your cut will shape the height of the stem.

You’ll then make a precise, perpendicular cut from the edge of the carrot until it just intersects the first cut you made. Then repeat on the other side. To make your pumpkin round, then you can round out the corners if needed. Then make all your pumpkin slices, completing your pumpkins!

Image and Recipe via Little Dairy on the Prairie

4. Spooky Banana Ghosts

healthy banana recipe hagen dental practice

All you need for this one is bananas, peanut butter or a nut butter alternative, dark chocolate chips or even raisins! Simply slice your bananas in half and then use your peanut butter (or nut butter) to create a spooky mouth and your eyes! Then, place your raisins or chocolate chips onto to the banana, right on top of the peanut butter so they will stick. Boo! You’re done.

Image and Recipe via Nutri Savings Blog

5. Frankenstein Green Smoothie

healthy hagen dental recipes Frankenstein Green SmoothieThis is one treat more likely to be loved by the adults, but it’s still fun for everyone! If you have plastic glasses, use some black cardstock and tape to create a Frankenstein-like look. You can even use stick googly eyes if you have them.

For the green drink itself, use two cups of leafy greens (spinach, kale, collards, bok choy or another), 2 cups liquid (water, almond milk, coconut water, etc.) and then 3 cups of ripe fruit (kiwi, banana, mango, berries, peach, pear, grapes or a combination!)

Of course depending on the exact fruit you use, it may be more or less green!

Images and Recipes via The Ot Tool Box and 100 Days of Real Food

6. Fun…Yet Frightening Fruit Plate

Here’s one that can be quick but is sure to make everyone smile. Take fruit like dried apricots, strawberries, grapes, mini oranges, small apples or whatever else you have on hand. After washing and drying, add some candy eyeballs. (Wilton eyeballs is one brand you can search for on Amazon.) If you have it, you can use edible glue! If not, consider using a nut butter to “stick on” your eyes.

Image and Recipe via Modern Parents Messy Kids

banana recipe healthy recipe for hagen dental practice cincinnati7. Pirate Bananas (Argh!)

If you have a bunch of bananas, consider using pen to make pirate faces right on the peel.

Then you can use a bit of fabric, tied around the banana’s “waist” to complete your pirate outfit!

Photo and Recipe via Grubby Little Faces

8. Devil(ed) Eggs

deviled eggs healthy recipe for hagen dental patientsStart with your traditional recipe for deviled eggs. For example: 6 hard boiled eggs, cut in half, and then mix .25 cup mayonnaise, 1.5 sweet pickle relish, 1.4 teaspoons yellow mustard, .25 teaspoons garlic powder, and add a pinch of salt.

Here’s where you get to be creative: take a six ounce can of whole, pitted black olives (be sure to get the whole canned black olives to allow you to shape your spider body).

Have some fun cutting the olives in half into a spider body—then you can slice your half olives long-wise, for 4 legs. Next: simply arrange around your olive halves to form a spider on top of your egg!

Image and Recipe via A Side of Sweet blog

pumpkin recipe for hagen dental9. Pumpkin Plate

All you need here is a bunch of baby carrots, some cauliflower, your choice of hummus or another dip and some lettuce to use as garnish!

Simply shape into a pumpkin, and you are ready to serve. Put your pumpkin on a cutting board or a plate.

Image via Pinterest

10. Mummified Apple Sauce

 Mummified Apple SauceTake your favorite brand of apple sauce pouch, some googly eyes, and then get some white crepe paper.

Using scissors, cut crepe paper about 2 yards long.

Then start to make your mummy by wrapping your pouch! Seal the end with glue. Add the googly eyes and you are ready to serve!

Image and Recipe via See Vanessa Craft

Hagen Dental Practice: Your Choice for Trusted Dentistry

Looking to set up your next dentist appointment with us? Give us a call at (513) 251-5500.

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October 13th, 2017

6 Truths About Piercings In Your Mouth

Category: dental health

In today’s society, body art has become a form of self-expression for many people. From old to young, people adorn themselves with tattoos, colorful hair, or piercings – some of which may find themselves in the tongue, on the lips, on the cheeks, or around the mouth. What do these trends mean for your oral health?

hagen dental cincinnati

What You Should Know About Piercings In The Mouth

  1. Oral piercings pose a health risk because the mouth contains millions of bacteria, which live and thrive in this type of moist environment. Painful infection and swelling can result from these piercings if they are not properly cared for and cleaned. An infection due to a piercing can quickly become life threatening if not treated quickly. Oral piercings have also been identified by the National Institute of Health as a possible factor in the transmission of hepatitis (1, 2).
  2. Oral piercings can have dangerous side effects. A piercing can cause swelling of the tongue, which could potentially block the airway and restrict breathing. Allergic reactions can also occur due to hypersensitivity to the metals in the mouth (1).
  3. Piercings of the tongue, lips or uvula can interfere with speech, the ability to chew properly or normal swallowing motions. These issues can make typical daily activities and communication more difficult (1, 2).
  4. Oral piercings can create excessive drooling issues. Foreign objects in the mouth can increase the body’s natural saliva production (1).
  5. Piercings in the mouth can cause damage to the gums, teeth or even fillings. Many people with oral piercings develop a habit of “playing” with the piercing, or chewing and biting them. This can injure the gum tissue, causing it to recede. When this happens, the teeth are at an increased risk for decay, and the gum tissue itself can become irritated or infected. The jewelry can also even crack, chip or scratch the teeth, as well as damage fillings and crowns, creating the need for costly and painful repair (1, 2).
  6. Nerve damage can occur with a tongue piercing. Typically, the numbness caused by this damage is temporary, but in some cases results in permanent sensation or taste loss (1, 2).

hagen dental cincinnati

If You Have A Piercing, Be Smart!

An oral piercing is a responsibility you should not take lightly. It requires upkeep, attention and maintenance to ensure safety and cleanliness. We recommend speaking to your dentist prior to having any part of your mouth pierced.

If you already have a piercing or do decide to get one, contact your dentist or a doctor right away if you develop signs of infection, such as swelling, pain, fever, or chills.

Keep the piercing site clean. One of the best ways to do this is to use a mouth rinse or mouthwash after every time you eat something. Handle the jewelry only with clean hands.

Avoid chewing, biting or clicking on the piercing. Regularly check the jewelry to be sure it isn’t loose or damaged. Smaller jewelry is safer than larger alternatives. A smaller barbell, for example, has less potential to damage the teeth than a larger one.

Remove the jewelry for activities such as playing sports, eating, and even sleeping. These activities pose greater threat for damage to the teeth, choking hazard, unintentional injury or infection risk. Taking the jewelry out of your piercing for this time will reduce your risk of adverse reaction. You can use a plastic ring retainer to plug the hole while it is removed.

Lastly, be sure to always practice healthy dental hygiene by flossing daily and brushing twice a day. Keep up to date with your regular dental checkups. And contact your dentist at the first sign of an issue (1, 3).

Call Hagen Dental Practice Today!

Do you have a question about your oral piercing? Are you considering a piercing and want advice? We are here for you! Give us a call at (513) 251-5500.

 

Sources:

1. http://www.mouthhealthy.org/en/az-topics/o/oral-piercings

2. http://www.colgate.com/en/us/oc/oral-health/basics/threats-to-dental-health/article/oral-piercings

3. https://www.deltadentalins.com/oral_health/oral-piercings.html

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October 3rd, 2017

INFOGRAPHIC: Flossing vs. Waterpik® Water Flosser

Category: cincinnati dentist

Effectively Remove Plaque From Your Teeth

 

You can see the PDF version of this infographic here. 

Give Hagen Dental Practice a Call Today

We value ensuring that you feel relaxed and comfortable during your visit just as much as we value the health of your pearly whites—and we’ll do everything we can to make you feel at home. Give us a call today at (513) 251-5500 to schedule a visit!

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September 28th, 2017

Tooth Abscess or Gum Abscess? Everything You Want to Know

Category: cincinnati dentist

protect your teeth from dental abscess hagen dental practice in cincinnati

Do you have what can be best described as a severe ache in your tooth? Or are you avoiding eating on one side of your mouth because of the awful pain you have in that area when you chew?

Or…do any of these symptoms sound familiar?

  • Swollen gums
  • Bad taste in your mouth
  • Sensitive lymph nodes (of your jaw and/or neck area in particular)
  • Pain while chewing in one area of your mouth
  • A throbbing feeling that just won’t go away in your mouth
  • Discomfort near your jaw, neck, or ear
  • Draining sore
  • In some cases, a fever
  • Slight swelling in your face or cheek (1)

While it’s best for you to come in and see us for a diagnosis, these are the symptoms of an abscess…

What’s An Abscess?

loose tooth hagen dental practice in cincinnatiA tooth abscess is an infection in or around the root of your tooth, and typically it’s painful, although not always in its beginning stages. Many times when you hear someone has an “abscess” it actually means one of two scenarios:

  1. Gum abscess. Just as you may guess, this is caused by an infection that exists between your tooth and your gum. You may also hear this called a “periodontal abscess.” So, the question is: How can this happen? A couple ways.Generally, if food is trapped between the gum and tooth, it can cause an infection or if there is a great deal of bacteria build up, it can also lead to infection. That just makes you want to floss, doesn’t it!

  2. Tooth abscess. The other kind of abscess is inside your tooth (which is what we first described). Again, this can happen when the tooth’s nerve is dead or it is dying. The tooth’s root is where the issue starts and then it spreads to the surround bone. This kind of abscess is also referred to as a “periapical abscess,” but we don’t expect you to remember that!

Put simply, if the soft tissue in your mouth, inside the root canal dies and then becomes inflamed—by definition—you have a tooth abscess! Most of the pain you experience is because either kind can be left unchecked, meaning it worsens (1).

Because abscesses can form quickly (in just one or two days after you have an infection), if you have any of the symptoms described below, take note. After all, even if it’s not an abscess, it probably signals something is wrong in your mouth!

Fast Facts About Abscesses

Here are 5 more quick facts that you should know about abscesses:

  1. If the infection is in your tooth, in many cases, a hole will need to be made in the tooth to drain the abscess. This could entail a root canal treatment.
  2. We can see an abscess on a dental x-ray!
  3. Most ARE painful, which is why many people will in fact deal with them right away.
  4. Because it’s an infection, it can spread to other parts of your body, which shows you just how serious it is!
  5. Abscesses can lead to a “tunnel” (sometimes called a “sinus tract”) that forms through the bone and skin, which allows the pus to drain (2).

Think You May Have an Abscess?

Think you may have an abscess? Depending on how severe or how it’s progressed, there are several options for your infection. Antibiotics are often used to control the infection and to kill the bacteria; the infection could be drained and the area cleaned; in some cases root canal treatment may be needed (3).

tooth abscess hagen dental practice in cincinnati

Dental Care in a Relaxing Environment 

We value ensuring that you feel relaxed and comfortable during your visit just as much as we value the health of your pearly whites—and we’ll do everything we can to make you feel at home. Don’t be afraid to pick up the phone and ask us a question or be sure to ask us when you’re in for your next appointment.

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

Sources:

  1. https://www.verywell.com/pain-relief-for-an-abscessed-tooth-remedies-1059316
  2. http://www.colgate.com/en/us/oc/oral-health/conditions/dental-emergencies-and-sports-safety/article/abscess
  3. http://www.mouthhealthy.org/en/az-topics/a/abscess

 

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September 18th, 2017

Everyday Things That Can Harm Your Teeth

Category: cincinnati dentist

Everyday Things That Can Harm Your Teeth cincinnati dentist hagen dental practice

Your teeth reveal so much about you: including your age, what you eat, what you drink and they tell us a lot about your state of overall health. Did you know your teeth also can shed light on stressors in your life and even illnesses you’ve endured? Put simply, your teeth give us a bit of a “personal history” when it comes to your entire health and well-being.

Your daily habits make up your health…so that’s why we’re taking a look at some of the habits you might not realize are taking a toll on your teeth.

Taking a Fresh Look at Your Habits

Biting your nails. If you bite your nails, it may be time to really hunker down and quit the habit. Yes, it might be hard to quit as many folks who say they bite their nails realize they do it because of nerves or stress…but here’s good reason to quit: Long story short, biting your nails—in place of using a nail clipper—can put a lot of pressure on certain teeth in your mouth.

And, not surprisingly, it can lead to broken dental restorations, fracturing your teeth, chipping your teeth or simply damaging your teeth over time! There’s even evidence that biting your nails can cause or worsen TMJ symptoms (1). 

Opening that bag with your teeth. Do you ever use your teeth in place of a knife or scissors? Maybe you are opening a bag with your teeth or you’re ripping off a price tag on your new shirt?!

In addition to not biting your nails, put simply, you ALSO want to avoid using your teeth in place of a knife, scissors, or any kind of “tool.”

That’s because your teeth really weren’t meant to be put in that position; using them this way can lead to injury, to say the least. A general rule of thumb: If you don’t want to chip or crack your teeth, remember that they aren’t scissors!

Using the hardest tooth brush. Okay, so you’re brushing your teeth…that’s a great habit! But are you brushing your teeth too hard each day? Part of the problem could also be made worse if your tooth brush is not a soft one or electric one.

Ask us about your options so you can tweak this habit into purely a positive one.

Chewing on pencils or pens. Sure, you’re saying – ew, that’s gross! As gross as it may be, it’s true that many folks mindlessly chew on the end of their pencils. In many cases, we’re guessing they don’t even know they are doing it; whatever the case may be, if you know you end up chewing on the ends of your pens, know it’s time to kick the habit.

Not only is it potentially harmful to your enamel, it can cause stress fractures in your teeth. Knowing that chewing on that pencil can be bad for your oral health is surely enough reason to find another way to release that stress!

Too much snacking and sipping of beverages throughout the day. Snacking or hydrating/drinking beverages itself is not the problem; but what can be a problem is when someone snacks, throughout the day, and doesn’t brush or floss in between these snacks.

Think about it this way: even if you’re eating healthy snacks or drinking a healthy beverage, you can end up with food (or food debris) that stays in your mouth much longer than you intended. Over time, that leads to buildup and plaque in your mouth and along your gums.

In the case of unhealthy snacking (think: foods that are loaded with added sugars), the scenario is made even worse because sugar can really stick to the surface of your teeth and quickly do damage. The takeaway: if you want to snack and drink a lot of beverages, by all means, go ahead; but just be sure to fit in time for brushing your teeth, flossing, or at minimum – drinking a lot of water!

Gummy sweets. Fruit Gems? Twizzlers? Jelly Beans? Sour Patch Kids? Swedish Fish? Okay, you get the idea! High-fructose corn syrup found in many such sweet treats has more than a couple of downsides, one major one being that it tends to stick to your teeth long after you eat it. Because of the long-lasting, damaging effects it can have (despite often being just a quick treat!) gummy candies are KNOWN for being cavity-causers.

Not wearing a mouth guard. Did you know at least 5 million teeth are knocked out every year because people aren’t wearing mouth guards when playing sports or exercising? That doesn’t even include all the other mouth-related INJURIES that occur. That can include soft tissue injury, teeth that become loose, tooth loss, cracked teeth, and jaw issues!

One of the best habits you can adopt is wearing a mouth guard in any contact sport. They’re even becoming popular in other sports that don’t necessarily include contact, since hard blows to the mouth can still occur. Ask us about options for your custom fit mouth guard.

Drinking alcohol. Alcohol often increases your sugar intake, it can dehydrate you, and it can stain your teeth, in many cases. Those are reasons why too much alcohol aren’t going to be a positive for your oral health.

Second, know that gum disease, tooth decay, and mouth sores have been shown to be more likely for very heavy drinkers—more reason to just be aware of what you’re consuming on a regular basis (2, 3).

Chomping on ice (or even some frozen treats). Do you find yourself chomping on ice at any point throughout the day? That’s something many people do without even realizing it—whether it’s at their work desk, when they are out to eat for lunch, or just while watching TV.

Believe it or not, chewing on ice can result in cracked teeth. It can also damage your tooth enamel, without you even realizing it.

Just think of how good of a job you’re doing on your oral health habits, and how much damage this can STILL do to your teeth! Another problem we see is that when people chomp on ice, it can lead to problems related to existing work in their mouth. Needless to say, try to avoid chomping on that crushed ice! Your teeth and gums will thank you.

Sucking your thumb. Okay, sure, most folks reading this blog post are of course not thumb sucking and/or using a Pacifier! But, in the case of our children, it can be a habit that we want to be aware of and keep an eye on.

While thumb sucking can be a natural tendency for our kids, remember that after our children’s permanent teeth arrive, sucking can hold back proper growth of the mouth, and in some cases, it can cause alignment issues with teeth. Ask us for more information if you’re concerned about your child’s habit!

Chewing too much gum… with added sugar. Ever see the baseball players on TV who are chewing big wads of gum? Depending on the type of gum you’re chewing, be sure to watch just how much you chew each day. After all, some have added sugars that aren’t going to help your oral hygiene habits. Stick with sugar-free and don’t go overboard!

A lack of a bed-time routine. Okay, so maybe this is the opposite of a habit—either way, if you or a family member has NO bedtime routine (time for brushing and flossing!), it can be hard to stay consistent with our oral health habits. Be sure to model the way when it comes to good oral hygiene each night with your family. When needed, to a random check-up on kids’ mouths to make sure they are brushing at night, and brushing the right way.

Eating a lot of hot, and a lot of cold foods. It’s not to say that hot and cold foots inherently are bad for your teeth or damage your teeth; rather, eating a combination or a “rollercoaster” of very hot and very cold foods/drinks CAN mean you experience tooth sensitivity.

Keep in mind if you experience lingering pain, or sudden or sharp pain, that’s something worth checking out, as it could be a sign of a more severe problem like advanced decay or even a cracked tooth.

Major dehydration. Okay, so maybe you find yourself running from meeting to meeting, and after a long day, you realize just how dehydrated you are! Or maybe you work out in the morning and don’t tend to re-hydrate until noon.

Whatever the situation may be, if you are someone who is regularly dehydrated, know that it can also negatively impact your teeth. In simple terms, when we are dehydrated, we can develop dry mouth, and if it persists, it can contribute or accelerate the formation of cavities and/or tooth decay in the mouth.

Because we haves less “natural” saliva in the mouth if we’re dehydrated, bacteria have an easier time thriving. In summary, making sure we are consistency hydrated is what’s key here.

hagen dental keep your teeth as healthy as possible

Looking for a New Dentist? Give Hagen Dental Practice a Call

We value making sure you feel relaxed and comfortable during your visit just as much as we value the health of your pearly whites—and we’ll do everything we can to make you and your entire family feel at home. We hope to see you and your family for your next appointment. Give us a call today at (513) 251-5500 to schedule a visit!

Sources/References

  1. https://www.humana.com/learning-center/health-and-wellbeing/healthy-living/nail-biting
  2. http://oralcancerfoundation.org/understanding/alcohol-connection/
  3. http://www.healthline.com/health/dental-and-oral-health/what-does-alcohol-do-to-your-teeth#overview1
September 7th, 2017

Dental Anxiety? Here’s How to Cope

Category: cincinnati dentist

dental tips from hagen dental practice in cincinnati

Ever feel uneasy while at the Dentist? Or are you nervous about your next visit? If this sounds familiar, you may be experiencing dental anxiety—and you’re certainly not alone…But the good news is we’re here to help you through your nerves!

In addition to shedding some light on the roots of dental anxiety, we’re going to provide a few options to consider to help you cope with your fear so that you can be comfortable before and during your visit.

It’s important to understand that there’s absolutely nothing to be afraid of while you’re visiting us, although you’ve probably heard that before, but it’s true!

What Causes Dental Anxiety?

Although everyone is different, there are a few common fears that patients with dental anxiety tend to share.

Negative experiences in the past – Ever eat at a restaurant and get sick the next morning? It’s safe to assume you’re probably never going back there…or at least not for awhile, right? It’s common to want to avoid something that gave you a negative experience in the past. Anyone who has experienced discomfort or pain during a past dental procedure is prone to be a little anxious at their next visit.

Concern for pain – If you’ve never been to the dentist, or if you visited the dentist before the “pain-free” era of dentistry, you might fear that your procedure will hurt, and thus have some anxiety about it.

Embarrassment – The mouth is one of the more private areas of your body. Some folks might feel embarrassed or uncomfortable when a stranger examines it, or even feel self conscious about how it looks (1).

It’s worth noting that you should never feel a sense of shame or embarrassment when coming to see us. We’re on your team and we’re here to help you improve your health, no matter where you are at today.

More On That Thought…So How Do You Cope?

Whatever your reason for experiencing dental anxiety, there are many different ways that you can cope with your fear so that you can become more comfortable—and ideally relaxed—during your visit.

Communicate with Us

If you don’t speak up, we won’t know that you’re feeling uneasy. Again, don’t be embarrassed at all to tell us your state of oral health, your health in general, or any concerns you are having.

We want to make your visit as comfortable and as relaxing as possible—so let us help you! This way, our dentists and dental team can better tailor our treatment to your needs. This tip might be the most important on the list so that we can help you!

When you schedule your appointment, mention to the receptionist that you experience anxiety at the dentist. When you arrive for your visit, remind the dental staff and dentist about your feelings.

Ask questions. If you’re unsure about something, ask. Knowing what’s going on inside your mouth can give you some peace of mind.

Take breaks. If you need a break during any time of your dental visit, it’s okay to say so! We want you to be comfortable, and sometimes it’s easier to jump back in after a little mental break.

You shouldn’t feel any pain, so let us know if you do! We always work as a team to make sure you are not in pain! If you feel pain, signal to us to stop. Some patients are embarrassed to tell us if they experience pain, or don’t want to interrupt the process. Keeping you comfortable is our first priority, so don’t be afraid to speak up! If you have any questions about this before your visit, give us a call or ask us as soon as you come in.

be sure to tell us if you have dental anxiety

Discuss Anesthetic Options with Us 

We can help soothe your fears with nitrous oxide sedation. Just ask us to learn more about the options that we have that are right for you. For many patients, these sedation options allow you to relax. In order to fully eliminate pain, local anesthetic can be administered in conjunction with nitrous oxide. Because the effects of this medication wear off quickly, you’re able to safely drive yourself home after your procedure without calling a ride.

Recall that our office also has the Wand™, a computerized system that applies anesthesia without any pain or sensitivity for the patient. That’s right that means you have a painless administration of anesthesia. No more fears of injection at our practice!

Utilize Mindfulness Techniques

Anxiety is often a mental battle. If you can calm your mind, your body will follow…For those that believe this could help consider these two tips:

Relax one muscle at a time. Concentrate on relaxing your entire body, one part at a time. You can do this slowly from head to toe. Start by focusing on relaxing your forehead, your jaw, and your neck—and continue down your body.

Breathe deep and count your breaths. Inhale and exhale deeply and slowly. Do this five times while you wait in the waiting room, and repeat during breaks of your dental visit. It will help calm your body (3).

hagen dental practice offers relaxing dental care in a caring environment

Dental Care in a Relaxing Environment

We value ensuring that you feel relaxed and comfortable during your visit just as much as we value the health of your pearly whites—and we’ll do everything we can to make you feel at home. Don’t be afraid to pick up the phone and ask us a question or be sure to ask us when you’re in for your next appointment.

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

Sources:

  1. http://www.colgate.com/en/us/oc/oral-health/basics/dental-visits/article/what-is-dental-anxiety-and-phobia
  2. http://www.webmd.com/oral-health/easing-dental-fear-adults#1
  3. http://www.mouthhealthy.org/en/az-topics/a/anxiety
  4. http://www.thewand.com

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September 1st, 2017

Tips to Remedy Bad Dog Breath

Category: cincinnati dentist, dental health

Bad Breath Dog

Ever notice that your dog has…well, bad breath?

You may normally love giving your dog kisses, but bad dog breath is one thing that’s going to keep you from doing so!

Believe it or not, while we may think of dog breath as “just bad dog breath,” there’s still reason behind the smell and foul odor, and it’s preventable. Just like with the health of our mouth, there are things you can do to either promote or take away from a dog’s oral health.

Habits That Can Contribute To Bad Breath In Our Dogs

When there’s a lot of bacteria, plaque, and/or tartar in a dog’s mouth, cavities and periodontal disease can occur. Sound familiar? That’s right—once again, that’s just like with us! But even if there are no cavities or tooth loss yet, all that inflammation and/or bacteria can still lead to bad breath.

Let’s dig deeper to see some of the top habits and factors that can contribute to poor oral hygiene in our dogs.

Diet. It may come as no surprise that a dog’s diet can negatively impact their oral hygiene, and also be a contributing factor to recurring bad breath! Does your dog routinely eat from the trash? Do you find on walks they are eating or seem interested in food or waste products they shouldn’t be getting into? Do you catch them eating or sniffing decomposing animal remains or bugs or even cat poop? (1) It’s more common than you may think.

We may cringe at the idea of what our dogs are snacking on—and for good reason—but keep a closer watch on what your dogs are eating since that can directly lead to bad breath.

Diabetes. Often times the state of our dog’s oral health tells us about their OVERALL health, too. If you notice an abnormal, almost sweet breath coming from your dog, it could be indicative of diabetes. Talk with your vet if you’re concerned this is an issue! Just like with humans, diabetes can have symptoms in the mouth, but it can also complicate your dog’s oral health and put it at greater risk.

Disease. It can be a bit gross to think about, but if your dog’s breath smells similar to urine, it can be a sign they have kidney disease. In other cases, if your dog’s breath is so bad it’s alarming and downright disgusting, it could be a sign of a liver problem, in extreme cases (1).

Once again, it’s proof that you want to take note of anything abnormal (and contact your vet!) when it comes to your dog’s breath. Bad dog breath can be a sign of poor oral health AND it can be a sign your dog’s oral health is getting worse.

Habits That Promote Better Oral Hygiene In Our Dogs

Professional teeth cleaning. Talk to your vet about the benefits of a professional deep cleaning for your dog. At the same time, your vet will be able to search for cavities, any infections or signs of infection, tissue abnormalities, tooth loss, or any other issues you should be aware of (2).

Vet-recommended chew bones and chew toys. Have you ever used chew toys that have been designed to promote oral health? Some even come with dog-safe toothpaste inside! Many of these bones or chew toys help to strengthen and support your dog’s gums and teeth. These alone won’t prevent bad breath, but they can help over time.

You want to be sure that the toy is actually intended for this purpose, and that it’s vet-approved, so that way you are not harming your dog’s teeth, putting them at risk, or wasting your money on products that aren’t effective at promoting good dental hygiene (3).

Brushing your dog’s teeth at home. One of the best ways to combat bad breath in our canine friend’s is to brush their teeth at home. Be sure to consult your vet, but know that you never want to use HUMAN toothpaste when brushing your dog’s teeth.

In most cases, you’ll end up using a toothbrush designed for dogs; like with humans, it’s basically a brush with bristles on the end. (Again, ask your vet if there’s a toothbrush or alternative to a toothbrush that is a better fit for your dog!)

There are multiple brands of pet-friendly toothpaste, which is great to use because it’s digestible and won’t do ANY harm to your dog’s stomach if they do swallow it!

How to Clean Your Canine's Canines

A few other tips that you might also hear from your vet include:

  • When possible, start when your dog is young so they get used to good oral health habits like you brushing their teeth
  • If they are an adult dog, slowly introduce new habits to your dog…that way it’s not a lot of change at once!
  • Don’t forget to run any toothbrush (or gauze/cotton swabs) by your vet before trying at home
  • Reward your dog just like you would in other scenarios when they allow you to brush their teeth
  • Aim to reach the upper molars and the canines (no pun intended!) when brushing their teeth
  • Know it’s difficult to get access to and clean the inside of your dog’s teeth; that’s normal and just getting the out-ward facing (cheek-facing) surfaces will still go a long way
  • When possible, lift their lip so you get access to much of their gum and teeth (2)

Your vet can also give you specific recommendations on how often you want to have your adult dog’s teeth professionally cleaned. A good rule of thumb: when in doubt, see your vet! It’s one more chance for your vet to make sure everything is looking as it should in your dog’s mouth (2).

Call Hagen Dental Practice to Maintain YOUR Healthy Smile

Just like with your dog, bad breath CAN indicate an infection or another problem in your mouth. One of the best ways to manage your oral bacteria (and your oral hygiene) is to schedule regular check-ups with Hagen Dental Practice. Teeth cleanings and oral examinations help to identify risks for tooth decay and gum disease. We want to help you maintain a healthy smile—so give Hagen Dental Practice a call today at (513) 251-5500!

Sources/References

  1. http://www.akc.org/content/health/articles/stanky-dog-breath/
  2. https://www.banfield.com/pet-healthcare/additional-resources/article-library/dental/do-i-need-to-brush-my-dog-s-teeth
  3. https://www.cesarsway.com/dog-care/dental-care/7-tips-for-doggie-dental-care

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