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

Tuesday, March 13th, 2018

all about st patricks day tooth

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

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

Get to Know The Patron Saint of Ireland

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

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

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

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

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

legend has it about st patricks tooth

The Legends & the Great Debates Around St. Patrick

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

The Beloved Tooth of St. Patrick is Lost

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Legends Continued…

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

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

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

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

looking forward to seeing you

Come in & Visit Hagen Dental Practice

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

Sources:

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

How to Fight Aging Through Your Smile

Saturday, March 3rd, 2018

fight aging through your smile at hagen dental

You usually hear that your eyes can show your age, but did you know that your mouth can also say a whole lot about your age?

Just like other parts of your body, as you age, your smile changes!

Luckily, we’ve got some tips and tricks to keep your smile looking radiant over the years. And, we’ll share some reasons as to why you should keep smiling—it’s good for you!

The Benefits of Smiling 

A smile can go a long way. In fact, there are a number of scientifically proven benefits that come from smiling. Time to show off those pearly whites!

It Can Improve Your Mood

Did you know that the physical act of smiling can actually help you feel better? Because your brain associates smiling with happiness, smiling on purpose (even when you’re not feeling cheery) can actually improve your mood. It causes a change in your brain chemistry, and will leave you feeling more joyful (2). Pretty cool, huh?

It Makes You Appear More Youthful

According to a German study, happy people are found more youthful than people with neutral expressions; 150 participants were shown over 1,000 photos of different people, and were asked to guess their age. Those who were smiling were estimated (on average) 2-3 years younger than their counterparts (3)!

It’s Good for Your Immune System

What?! Smiling is good for your immune system? Yes! When you smile, your body releases endorphins. In addition to making you happier, endorphins also help strengthen your immune system (4). Win-win.

keeping your smile young at hagen dental

Tips to Keeping Your Smile Young

As you age, your teeth change. They appear darker, duller, and even have a greater chance of chipping. In turn, this can lead to an older looking smile (1). But don’t fret! There are plenty of ways to keep your smile looking radiant, longer.

Keep Your Pearly Whites…White!

One of the guiltiest culprit for an aging mouth is yellowing or stained teeth. As you get older, your enamel deteriorates. This causes the appearance of a duller, yellow smile. Luckily, there are plenty of ways to improve the whiteness of your teeth.

We feature in-office power whitening along with traditional take-home whitening! Discuss whitening options with us to find the best route for your smile (1).

Pay Attention to Gum Recession

Receding gums are another clear indicator of age since they tend to recede over time. Through the years, your gums may recede due to aggressive brushing, poor hygiene habits, or simply the reduction of collagen production. To prevent this, be sure to engage in good hygiene practices and consider switching to an electric toothbrush to reduce the harms of aggressive brushing (1).

Also keep in mind that if you have advanced periodontitis, and you lose teeth, your facial appearance can be impacted. When teeth are lost or there is bone loss, here’s what can happen:

  • Facial angles can change: When teeth are lost, you can decrease the angle by your lip – and that, in turn, can worsen the vertical lines on your face.
  • Your bite can change: when bone loss happens, your bite relationship can worsen, causing the mouth, over time, to have a “scowl” appearance.
  • Your lips can change shape: Put simply, when teeth are lost, the lips can thin because they don’t have that same kind of “support” behind them. Additionally, the upper lip can look more pronounced in those who have bone loss.
  • Your jowl can change: With bone loss, the surrounding muscles in your jaw can change and even sag. This can look like an entire lack of jaw or even what’s called a “witch’s chin.” (5)

Do Away with Your Metal Fillings

Silver-mercury amalgam has been the standard in filling material in decades past.

The downside: the very noticeable dark filling in light teeth, which can take away from your mouth looking young! Although some practices still continue using this material, we offer modern composite resin fillings without metals. They bond tightly to teeth, which can strengthen them, and are virtually unnoticeable.

This filling material matches the shade of your teeth, so they are aesthetically pleasing while at the same time reducing the chance of future dental decay.

Be sure to ask us whether or not replacing old tooth restoration pieces with newer ones is a good idea for you so you can have a more natural-looking option!

…And Don’t Forget About Dental Makeovers!

Let’s face it: as we age, we can have a lot happen to our teeth. It could be discoloration but it could be gaps or missing teeth, too!

Using veneers, whitening, bonding, crowns, and more, we can alter your smile to the ideal you have always wanted. In other words, we can actually restore (or totally revamp) your smile, which helps to take years off your appearance.

These procedures are faster and easier than you might think, and are more affordable than ever. Take for example veneers, which are able to quickly and painlessly adjust crooked teeth. Made of tough, durable dental ceramic, these thin coverings are bonded to teeth.

They can also be used to correct chipped, cracked, or worn-down teeth and will match the natural white shade of your other teeth. These beautiful veneers will make you not want to stop smiling and will have people saying, “Wow, you look younger!”

hagen dental practice family dentistry in cincinnati

Keep Coming In To Hagen Dental Practice!

We can help you find exactly what it is that your smile needs to stay looking its best. Along with maintain proper dental hygiene practices, scheduling regular cleanings and examinations will help your smile in the long run! (1)

Schedule an Appointment with Hagen Dental Practice

We want to help you fight the signs of aging by keeping your smile healthy and radiant! Do you have questions about your oral health? We are here to help with all your dental needs! Call (513) 251-5500 or click the Online Scheduling button on our website to schedule your next visit!  Or, give us a call at (513) 251-5500 today!

Sources:

  1. https://www.prevention.com/beauty/9-anti-aging-tricks-for-a-younger-smile
  2. http://kidshealth.org/en/teens/smiling.html
  3. http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/2011/11/10/smiling-makes-you-look-two-years-younger_n_1085672.html
  4. http://douglewisdmd.com/7-ways-a-healthy-smile-makes-you-look-younger/
  5. https://www.pittsburghdentalimplants.com/new-patients/education/tooth-loss-aging-and-facial-collapse/

Thumb Sucking & Your Child’s Teeth: What We Want You To Know

Tuesday, February 20th, 2018

It’s normal to have concerns and worries when it comes to our kids! When it comes to thumb sucking or finger sucking, it’s no different! You may be wondering if it’s going to have lasting impact on their teeth, whether or not it is harmful, and how to encourage them to stop thumb sucking past a certain age! Let’s take a closer look.

what is normal when it comes to thumb sucking in our children

What’s ‘Normal’ When it Comes to Thumb Sucking?

The answer is, yes, it’s a normal part of our kids development! In fact, did you know that thumb sucking can often be seen in the womb as a baby develops? That just goes to show how natural it really is for our little ones.

Said another way, rest easy because thumb sucking (or finger sucking) is acceptable for infants!

As a natural reflex at that age, it helps to give your baby comfort and it can be soothing for them. When babies are away from parents, it can also show up more often, in some cases, since the baby is dealing with a bit more anxiety than normal. Last, you may notice your baby doing more thumb sucking when tired; that’s also normal because it can help induce sleep in our kids (1). The idea is to be mindful of their thumb sucking, but not to worry too much.

Thumb Sucking & Development

Most kids, between the ages of 2 and 4, start to give up pacifiers and thumb sucking. In many cases, pacifiers are easier to give up. In many cases, peer pressure also kicks in for the school-aged kids which helps them kick the tendency.

While you want to talk to your pediatrician, generally speaking, by age 4 you want to discourage thumb sucking. At this point, you don’t want excessive, rigorous thumb sucking to get in the way of jaw and teeth development (1, 2).

If The Habit Persists, Here Are the Oral Effects

For some kids, it helps them to know what the harmful side effects can be if they continue to suck their thumb past a certain age. At a certain age (approximately 5 or 6), the sucking motion can make the front teeth jut out. They can also impact the way your child bites and how the upper and lower teeth come together (or don’t come together!)

The takeaway: you don’t want any skeletal changes at this point in their life to kick in in a negative way, impacting the proper alignment of their permanent teeth (1). Be sure to ask us for information specific to your child.

steps to cut down on thumb sucking

Steps for Cutting Down on Thumb Sucking

Even if your child is around the age of four, it’s not always room for concern. Often times, parents have success just by ignoring the behavior!

As said, many times social settings help kids to naturally kick the habit, which helps as they age.

Of course nagging our kids to stop doesn’t necessarily help! A few ways to help your child with prolonged or rigorous thumb sucking past a certain age include:

  • Dig deeper. Learn more about the times of day when thumb sucking kicks in; if it’s night time or a certain time where anxiety is high, explore what you can do during those times to comfort your child. Of course you never want to shame your child, but this can help make sure you know more about why they are turning to this habit.
  • Use rewards. A reward system to help track progress when encouraging them to stop can help in some cases!
  • Try praise, too. Praising and encouraging your child when you see less of the behavior is always a good idea.
  • Take advantage of your care team. While we know you know your child best, ask us for other ways to help! We can also explain to your child what happens if they keep sucking their thumbs. We won’t scare them, but it can help them to have someone else – other than their parents – explain how this habit can hurt their teeth. You can also visit your pediatrician to get guidelines specific to your child (1, 2).

Earning Your Trust With Personalized Care at Hagen Dental

We believe the best dentistry will happen when there is a bond of trust with each patient! We’re pleased to provide a full range of dental care services to you and your entire family. Give us a call today at (513) 251-5500 or click the Online Scheduling button to schedule your next visit!

Sources

  1. https://www.colgate.com/en-us/oral-health/life-stages/childrens-oral-care/thumb-sucking-the-good-the-bad-and-the-normal-0514
  2. http://www.dentistryforchildrennw.com/treatment/thumb-sucking-and-your-child-s-teeth

This Is Why Cold Weather Can Hurt Your Teeth

Monday, January 22nd, 2018

Did you know 1 in 8 people have tooth sensitivity?

Many people notice more tooth discomfort in the cold winter months than the warmer spring and summer seasons. The cold temperatures and chilly, windy air of wintertime are here to stay for a few more months and could be to blame for some of this stinging and zinging pain.

But why? Read on as we explore some of the factors involved in this cold weather phenomenon (1).

Taking a Closer Look at Cold Weather

Your teeth are very sensitive to temperature, and can vary up to 120 degrees when exposed to different hot or cold environments as well as hot or cold foods and beverages. Like most material, teeth actually expand and contract slightly as they change temperature.

hagen cincinnati

Teeth contract with exposure to cold temperature, and then expand as they warm back to body temperature. Your teeth are able to adapt to some extent, but tiny cracks and fissures can form over time due to the stress of this movement. The cracks shouldn’t affect the integrity of your teeth, but they can cause a lot of discomfort when cold air or liquid comes into contact!

Amalgam fillings (those made of mixed metal) will actually expand and contract more rapidly than the natural bone of teeth, meaning teeth with metal fillings could hurt even more than other teeth in the bitter, cold weather (1, 2).

Exposed Layers

The enamel is the outer, protective layer of your teeth. If the enamel has started to wear away, the next layer – the dentin – becomes exposed. Dentin is very sensitive due to the nerve endings found in this layer. This layer of the tooth can sense extreme changes in temperature more readily, and will create nerve irritation without the full shelter of the enamel that is typically covering it.

Dentin exposure can be caused from the tiny cracks mentioned above, damage to the tooth, long term wear and tear from rough brushing, home whitening kits, or even highly acidic foods (1, 2).

Root exposure will also cause abrupt pain when this part of the tooth comes in contact with cold air or liquid. The root of the tooth can become exposed by brushing too hard or with cross friction. They can also become exposed due to gum recession from grinding or gum disease. Dr. Hagen can help with determining the cause of gum recession, as well as give tips on proper brushing motions (3).

Jaw Tension

It’s not uncommon to unconsciously clench your jaw in colder weather. Some people have a tendency to tighten up their muscles (often the arms, shoulders, jaws, etc.) in an attempt to keep warm. This can put unnecessary and painful pressure on your jaw and the teeth (1).

Sinus Pressure

Seasonal allergies and sinus issues can show up during cold months. Sinus infections, fluid backup and pressure in the sinuses will often cause tooth pain because of their proximity to the oral cavity and teeth. Many people will mistake this feeling as tooth pain when it is really the referral from nearby tissues. Figuring out the cause of the sinus issue will help alleviate the oral pain in this case (1).

cincinnati dentist

What to Do About Sensitivity or Pain

Tips for reducing cold weather tooth pain start with protection and prevention. Try breathing through your nose instead of your mouth, or wearing a scarf or mask over your mouth while you’re out in the elements (4).

Good oral hygiene habits are of upmost importance when it comes to preventing sensitive teeth and other painful tooth difficulties. Be sure to brush and floss regularly to reduce your risk of decay or infection.

Hagen Dental is your resource for figuring out the cause of your tooth pain. We can perform an examination and do x-rays, if needed, to discover the issue. Switching to sensitive toothpaste can often help ease the discomfort. Other times, we may recommend painting a protective varnish on any teeth that show wear and tear of the enamel and are particularly sensitive.

Though many times the pain can be an easy fix, it is extremely important to get checked. Pain, whether temperature related or not, can signal more serious underlying issues with the health of your teeth and mouth. Tooth pain can be caused from defective fillings, recessed gums, tooth grinding, infection, cavities and other problems. Often times, the cold will just exacerbate the pain that was actually caused by one of those issues.

We want to catch cavities, infection, damage, or other disease sooner than later in order to keep you healthy. Let us know if you have any pain, discomfort or other issues so that we can help!

Schedule An Appointment with Hagen Dental Practice

We are excited to meet you and your family. Please call (513) 251-5500 or click the Online Scheduling button on our website to schedule your next visit!  Or, give us a call at (513) 251-5500 today!.

Sources:

  1. http://thedentistsofficefallon.com/burr-is-cold-weather-making-your-teeth-hurt/
  2. https://www.deltadentalins.com/oral_health/tooth-sensitivity-in-cold-weather.html
  3. http://www.familycedarrapidsdentist.com/cold-weather-effects-your-teeth
  4. https://www.carefreedental.com/resources/24-your-teeth/58-how-does-the-winter-affect-your-teeth

 

New Year, New Brush Head

Wednesday, January 17th, 2018

toothbrush facts and oral health hagen dental practice in cincicnnati ohio

Can you remember the last time you changed out your toothbrush?

Maybe it was when you came in to see us!

Whether or not that was the last time you replaced your toothbrush head, here are a few of the things we think you should know about toothbrush care…

Toothbrush Replacement: Here’s What to Know

Did you know that there’s millions of bacteria growing in your mouth!? And, of course your toothbrush is a fertile breeding ground many of those viruses and bacteria, including ones that make you feel…well, not so great!

The American Dental Association recommends that you change out your toothbrush (or brush head) every 3-4 months, at minimum. If you see that the bristles look worn, its definitely time to trade out your toothbrush for a new one so it’s still working as well as it should (1)!

Here’s just a few more reasons to remember to trade out that toothbrush:

  • Your toothbrush is typically stored in the bathroom, a place with a ton of germs! By regularly switching out your toothbrush, you can help avoid some of microorganisms that may come and go in your bathroom environment. (Yes, a little gross when you stop and think about it!)
  • If you find that you often are that person getting sick in the winter, you might even want to change out your toothbrush more often than that recommendation! After all, your putting your toothbrush right in your mouth…and you are still brushing your teeth when you don’t feel great. It’s an easy step to take to stay healthy!
  • Sharing toothbrushes has been shown to also share illness and germs. That’s not too surprising! But what is surprising is that so many of us put our toothbrushes right next to another toothbrush (such as in a toothbrush holder). Because of this, you can, in theory, be exposing yourself to even more germs. Long story short: if you store your toothbrush close to someone else’s toothbrush, it’s all the more reason to regularly change out both of your brushes!

blog post hagen dental practice in cincicnnati ohiCleaning Your Current Toothbrush: The Takeaways

Although it’s not guaranteed to work or to kill off all germs, you can also clean your toothbrush itself. Some people will:

  • Use a UV toothbrush sanitizer. Now…is that the easiest route? Probably not, but it’s a choice!
  • Soak your toothbrush in antibacterial mouthwash. Before you use it again, you’ll want to rinse it off. Ask us for more details, but just know that this does not guarantee you will kill off all germs.
  • Run your toothbrush through extremely hot water for 3 minutes. The water needs to be hot enough to kill germs, so be careful that you don’t burn yourself! (Hey, if you really don’t want to buy a new brush, it’s worth a try!)

Not Even Sure Which Toothbrush Type Is Right For You?

So…you are ready to buy a new toothbrush to replace your old one?!

When it comes to a manual toothbrush versus electric, lots of people have a personal preference for one or the other, and that’s okay!

If you are thinking you might want to try or switch to an electric toothbrush, consider the Sonicare toothbrush, one that we recommend and that you can purchase from us.

With this toothbrush, you are able to improve how you clean beyond the “reach” of each of the bristles.

Thanks to its oscillating power brush, the bristles create a motion that better allows the toothbrush to get into those hard-to-reach places throughout your mouth. You can think of the technology powering the Sonicare toothbrush in two ways: First, you have a scrubbing action that keeps the surface area of your teeth as bacteria free as possible.

dentistry hagen dds blog cincinnati ohio dentist(This is the same as your manual brush.) But then there’s the second component—how the bristles are vibrating. That cleans in a way that your traditional, manual brush cannot. Imagine this: the Sonicare brush head vibrates more than 30,000 brush strokes per minute you brush! That’s more than a manual brush delivers in a month of brushing, just to compare.

A Recap On What You’ve Learned

So, to recap, it’s best to change out whatever kind of toothbrush head you have every 3-4 months. A few more tips: Don’t share your toothbrush and thoroughly rinse your toothbrush after each use. You also want to avoid covering your toothbrush regularly, which traps in germs, and it can create a moist environment where microorganisms thrive.
Have any more questions? We’d love to answer them! Keep up with your consistent professional cleanings and dental exams to ensure we can catch issues early and do our part to keep your teeth, gums, and mouth! Give us a call to schedule your next appointment at (513) 251-5500.

Source:

  1. http://www.ada.org/en/about-the-ada/ada-positions-policies-and-statements/statement-on-toothbrush-care-cleaning-storage-and-

What Your Tongue Says About Your Health (INFOGRAPHIC)

Friday, January 5th, 2018

Hagen-Infographic-What Your Tongue Says About Your Health

See the PDF version of the “Your Tongue Can Indicate Your State of Health” infographic here.

Pucker Up! Don’t Make This Mistake Under the Mistletoe

Tuesday, December 12th, 2017

What’s The Mistletoe Tradition All About?

Did you ever wonder how the custom of kissing under mistletoe came to be? This tradition has roots that stem way back, and today’s tradition was shaped over time from several historical beliefs and practices surrounding the little herb.

Several ancient cultures touted the healing properties of mistletoe for various ailments, lending to its popularity. In the first century, it became a romantic symbol of vivacity and fertility amongst Celtic Druids, because it could blossom even during the cold of winter (1).

During Medieval times, mistletoe was thought to possess mystical powers that would bring good luck and ward off evil spirits during the month of December. It became a popular December decoration due to the beliefs about its power (2).

cincinnati dentist

Mistletoe was also considered and declared a symbol of love and friendship in Norse mythology, which led to the tradition of “stealing a kiss” under the mistletoe.

The tradition of kissing under the mistletoe is said to have caught on in England. Before Christmas trees were popular, a common decoration was a “Kissing Bunch”, or “Kissing Bough”. These were wooden hoops, composed of holly, ivy, rosemary, bay, fir, or other evergreen plants, and shaped into a ball. Apples, candles or ribbons were often used to decorate these boughs. The finishing touch on these bunches was a large mistletoe hung from the bottom (3).

The original custom stated that before you kissed someone, you had to pick a berry from the sprig of mistletoe. Once all the berries were gone, no more kissing was allowed (2)!

Don’t Be Caught With Bad Breath Under The Mistletoe

No matter where the tradition stemmed from, it’s engrained in our culture today. And with the holiday season upon us, you just might find yourself standing under a sprig of mistletoe at your next social gathering! We have tips to help you avoid being caught off guard with bad breath so that you’ll be ready for your next smooch under the mistletoe!

kissable breath dental tips

10 Ways To Stay “Kiss-ably” Fresh

The easiest way to stay fresh and “kiss-ready” is to adopt great oral hygiene habits and keep your oral cavity healthy. This prevention-minded attitude will help you maintain the freshness of your mouth and avoid problems that can creep up and lead to smelly breath. Check out this list of tips to keep your breath fresh (4)!

1. Brush Daily

You should always brush your teeth twice a day, for at least two minutes each time. This removes plaque, debris and harmful bacteria before it can accumulate and cause damage.

2. Floss Daily

Flossing reaches the third of the tooth’s surface that can’t be reached by brushing alone. If food and debris isn’t removed from between teeth, bacteria will grow and odors will develop.

3. Brush Your Tongue

Brushing or scraping your tongue will keep the folds and taste buds on the surface of the tongue clean and free of residue.

4. Mouthwash

Rinsing with mouthwash can help decrease the amount of odor-causing bacteria in the mouth. A mouth rinse can also temporarily mask the odor of an underlying dental issue. Keep in mind that we can help determine the cause of the odor and offer treatment if needed.

5. Visit Us

Regular visits to your dentist are crucial in maintaining proper oral health. These exams also give us a chance to detect any oral hygiene issues that could cause or lead to bad breath early on.

6. Avoid Tobacco

Tobacco products contribute to bad breath, dry out your mouth, and leave unpleasant smells that linger – even after you’ve brushed your teeth. We recommend quitting your use of tobacco.

7. Stay Hydrated

Dry mouth conditions can lead to bad breath. Staying hydrated with plenty of water will not only keep your mouth from becoming too dry; it will also help wash away food particles and bacteria that would otherwise lead to bad odors.

8. Chew Sugarless Gum

Wondering what to do if you are stuck somewhere and unable to brush before a social event? Sugarless gum can help stimulate saliva production and wash away food debris.

9. Munch On Fiber

Fibrous foods such as carrots, celery, apples and nuts are great low-sugar snacks to help keep teeth clean and increase your saliva production, minimizing bad breath.

10. Quick Rinse

Swishing with a quick rinse of water is another option if you are unable to brush after eating or drinking a particularly sugary meal or beverage. Swishing water is not a replacement for brushing, but can help knock down sugar buildup that would otherwise help feed odor-causing bacteria in the mouth until you are home and able to brush your teeth properly.

Regular Dentist Appointments Are Important, Too!

Keeping consistent with your professional cleanings and dental exams ensures we can catch issues early and do our part to keep your teeth, gums, and tongue healthy and ensure your breath stays fresh – all year round! Give us a call to schedule at (513) 251-5500.

 

Sources:

  1. http://www.history.com/news/ask-history/why-do-we-kiss-under-the-mistletoe
  2. https://www.whychristmas.com/customs/mistletoe.shtml
  3. https://www.whychristmas.com/customs/hollyandivy.shtml#kissingbough
  4. https://www.deltadentalins.com/oral_health/fighting-bad-breath.html

Mouth Sores: The Basics You Should Know

Monday, December 4th, 2017

cincinnati dentist

True dental health involves the entire mouth, so we’re trained to examine and identify problems with all the tissues of the mouth! Sores and irritations are common occurrences in the mouth.

Read on to learn about the most common oral sores, some of their causes, what you can do, and more.

Causes Of Mouth Sores

Sores in the mouth can stem from a variety of causes, including:

  • Infections from bacteria, viruses or fungus (1).
  • Irritation from a broken tooth, filling, piercing, loose orthodontic wire or other sharp appliance, or a denture that doesn’t fit (1).
  • Sores can be a symptom of a greater disease or disorder (1).
  • Immune system challenges and problems (2).

cincinnati dentist

The Most Common Mouth Sores

1. Canker Sores:

Canker sores develop in the soft tissues of the mouth, including the tongue, gums, uvula, or insides of the cheeks. They are typically white or gray sores with a red border. The good news about canker sores is they are NOT contagious. Their cause is hard to pinpoint, but could be related to other immune issues, oral hygiene issues, food irritation, stress, bacteria, viruses, or even trauma to the soft tissue (2).

Canker sores will typically heal on their own; however, it can take several days up to two weeks. If they are painful or causing problems with eating or talking, over-the-counter mouthwashes and pain killers designed for this type of sore can provide relief and help during the healing process. While a canker sore is healing, spicy, acidic, and overly salty foods should be avoided to minimize irritation and pain (2).

 2. Cold Sores:

Cold sores are also known as fever blisters. They present as a group of fluid-filled blisters around the lips, under the nose, or even around the chin. Cold sores are caused by the herpes simplex type 1 virus, and are VERY contagious. The initial infection of this virus will often be confused with a cold or flu. The main difference is that painful sores and lesions will emerge throughout the mouth (3).

Once a person is infected, the virus stays in the body and will cause periodic attacks. Some people notice that stress or other immune challenges can bring on an eruption. Cold sores will usually heal in about a week by themselves. If the blister is painful, over-the-counter topical medications can provide some pain relief. If the breakouts are severe or frequent, we can also prescribe antiviral drugs (3).

3. Thrush:

Thrush is a fungal infection that occurs when the yeast known as Candida albicans becomes overgrown in the oral cavity. It can reproduce rapidly in large numbers, causing an overgrowth and subsequent thrush infection (4).

Thrush is most common in people with weakened immune systems, in which the body’s own defenses can’t keep the Candida albicans in check. This population includes the very young, the elderly, or those who are affected by other diseases, such as diabetes or leukemia. Dry mouth syndromes and denture use both also make thrush more likely. Another risk factor is antibiotic treatment, which decreases the normal bacterial flora in the mouth, and gives Candida yeast a chance to flourish (4).

The best way to prevent and control thrush is focusing on good oral hygiene as well as controlling or preventing the conditions that make Candida more likely to reproduce rapidly (4).

cincinnati dentist4. Leukoplakia:

Leukoplakia are patches that form on the inside of the cheeks, gums or tongue. They are thick and whitish in color. They are caused by excessive cell growth (5).

Leukoplakia can result from irritations in the mouth, such as ill-fitting dentures or appliances, or in the case of people who are in the habit of chewing on the insides of the cheeks. These lesions are also common among tobacco users. Leukoplakia can, in some cases, be associated with oral cancer. We need to evaluate the lesion and might recommend a biopsy if the leukoplakia patch looks dangerous (5).

Removing and quitting those irritations that can result in leukoplakia are the first steps in treatment. For example, quitting tobacco or replacing anything ill-fitting appliances in the mouth are one of the first recommendations when dealing with leukoplakia from these causes (5).

We Are Here To Help!

While none of this is medical advice, these are some of the basics to know about when it comes to mouth sores. All mouth sores that last longer than a week should be examined by a dentist! Have you noticed new or recent sores in your mouth? Do you have a question about an unusual change in your oral soft tissue? It’s important that you have us analyze and take a look to rule out anything sinister or life-threatening. Whether for your next appointment or for another reason, be sure to give us a call at (513) 251-5500.

Sources:

  1. http://www.mouthhealthy.org/en/az-topics/m/mouth-sores
  2. http://www.mouthhealthy.org/en/az-topics/c/canker-sores
  3. http://www.mouthhealthy.org/en/az-topics/c/cold-sores
  4. http://www.mouthhealthy.org/en/az-topics/t/thrush
  5. http://www.mouthhealthy.org/en/az-topics/l/leukoplakia

Understanding Your Teeth: Each Tooth Has A Job To Do!

Wednesday, November 29th, 2017

Have you ever wondered why we have so many varied teeth? What are all the types of teeth that make up our smile? These different shapes and sizes aren’t by accident – they all play a role! Teeth are important for and have various roles in chewing and digesting food, support aspects of our facial structure, and play a part in our speech and language capabilities (1,2).

cincinnati dentist

Types of Teeth

A full set of adult teeth include 32 permanent teeth, including the four wisdom teeth. These 32 teeth can be divided into four categories: incisors, canines, premolars, and molars (3).

Incisors

Incisors are the thin teeth with a sharp biting surface located in the front of the mouth. There are four on the top and four on the bottom. They are the teeth that comprise the majority of our visible smile (1,4).

These front teeth are used primarily for taking initial bites of food, cutting or shearing food into smaller chewable pieces, and pulling the food into our mouths. They also play an important role in proper speech and pronunciation as we speak. Additionally, they support the lip tissues (2, 3, 4).

Incisors are also the very first to arrive in the mouth, both in their primary form (baby teeth) and permanent, adult form (1, 4).

Canines

Canines are also known as Cuspids, or “fangs” for slang. These are located just behind the incisors, at the “corners” of the dental arches, and are our longest type of tooth. There are two canines in the top row and two on the bottom – one on each side, respectively. These are the sharpest of all the teeth, with very jagged, pointed biting surfaces. Their function is to grip food and tear it apart, as well as help guide the mouth and jaw into the best biting position (1,3,4).cincinnati dentist

Premolars

Moving further back into the mouth, we get to the premolars, which are also known as Bicuspids. These teeth have a flatter biting surface. They are used primarily for tearing, crushing, and grinding food during chewing. This part of the chewing process makes food more easily consumable and more easily swallowed. There are a total of eight premolars (1, 3, 4).

Molars

There are a total of twelve molars, including the wisdom teeth. They come in sets of four and are termed “first molars”, “second molars”, and “third molars”. Molars are the largest of all the teeth. Similar to the premolars, they have a large, flat biting surface. The function of all twelve molars is to chew, crush and grind food (1,3).

The wisdom teeth are the four molars which are often termed “third molars”, since they erupt into the mouth last; typically in the late teen years (although some people never develop them at all)! Many people get their wisdom teeth removed if they do not have enough room for them; they are located so far back in the jaw that they can cause crowding issues or bite misalignments if they are left to grow in (1, 4).

Some people consider wisdom teeth to actually be a fifth category of tooth. However, for functional classification, wisdom teeth fall into the “molar” category. For those who have room to allow their third molars to grow in, these teeth are used for chewing, crushing and grinding food – just like the other eight molars (1, 3).

A Clean And Healthy Mouth Is Good For Your Body!

Oral health is not only important for a great looking smile! The health of your teeth plays a role in ensuring ease of eating and digestion, proper speech, proper facial structure, and of course and plays a part in your overall health. At Hagen, we know the importance of keeping all your teeth healthy and strong – no matter what their shape or size. Give us a call at (513) 251-5500.

Sources:

  1. https://www.everydayhealth.com/dental-health/basics/types-teeth-how-they-function/
  2. http://www.colgate.com/en/us/oc/oral-health/basics/mouth-and-teeth-anatomy/article/four-different-types-of-teeth-plus-more-0115
  3. https://www.dentalhealth.ie/children/toothdevelopment/types.html
  4. https://aci.edu/five-types-human-teeth-function/

 

INFOGRAPHIC: Flossing vs. Waterpik® Water Flosser

Tuesday, October 3rd, 2017

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!