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6 Questions You Can Ask Your Dentist

Wednesday, July 19th, 2017

questions to ask your dentist

In addition to those who neglect to visit a dentist at all, there are also many people who are afraid to ask questions while at the dentist. Our advice: don’t be afraid to ask us any and ALL of your questions! In fact, that’s important so that you can get the most out of your every visit to see us!

Said another way, we’re advocates for your oral health—and your total health—so take advantage of their knowledge at your next check-up! Asking questions will help you better understand your mouth and how to keep it healthy.

Here are a few ideas of what’s important to know, what we hear from patients, and what’s important to ask if it’s on your mind!

1. “What’s the Best Way to Take Care of My Teeth at Home?”

Most of the time, you’re the one taking care of your teeth! Professional teeth cleanings are clearly important, but it’s ultimately up to you to do the heavy lifting with your day in and day out habits and oral hygiene. So, it’s important to find the best at-home regimen for a healthy smile.

Everyone’s health regimens are different. You may need to do more or less than someone else to maintain a healthy smile. Your dentist is able to examine your mouth in its entirety, which means he or she will have a better idea on how you should be taking care of it. Be sure to ask your dentist, who can provide you with a personalized care plan, built around your ongoing needs, AND they can give you instructions on how to properly follow it (1).

2. “How Does Nutrition Impact The Health of My Gums & Teeth?”

Your oral hygiene habits aren’t the only key player in the health of your teeth. Your diet also plays a large role in maintaining a healthy smile. Foods with strikingly high levels of sugar are still very predominant, and can pose a problem to many of us—not just for our oral hygiene, but for our overall health.

Taking into account the rest of your medical history and stats, we can help work with you to answer this question.

In general, with very little nutritional value, high-sugar foods can actually harm your teeth. Your dentist can typically tell if you’ve been indulging in foods with high sugar or high acidic content. He or she should be able to recommend foods to stay away from (or enjoy in moderation), and also tell you which foods are good for your teeth (2,3). (It’s worth saying that this isn’t medical advice; be sure to talk to your dentist for more information!)

3. “What Information Should I be Relaying to You from My Family Physician/Pediatrician?”

It’s important that your dentist knows about any changes in your overall health status. Remember that your body works as a unit. Changes in health conditions, new medications, or even changes in your lifestyle can affect your teeth, and that’s ALSO part of why we ask YOU about any changes to your health or about any medications you are taking.

4. “Why are Dental X-Rays Important and Why Should I Choose to Have Them Taken?”

Your dentist can gather quite a bit just by looking into your mouth and examining its insides. However, there are some things that a dentist cannot see just by a visual exam. The X-Rays can give your dentist a thorough, more detailed picture of your pearly whites and their home. These photos aid in the early detection of any problems. Put another way, we use them as diagnostic tools!

(Also know that our dental x-ray machines are quite sensitive, so you don’t need to worry about the amount of radiation needed to use them! For comparison’s sake, you get more radiation from your every day background radiation.)

X-rays show decay and infections beneath the surface, which is why they are so important. We’re better able to see any issues with bone loss, your jaw, and anything unusual happening with the soft tissues. If you have a cavity or tooth decay, for example, it shows up as darker on your radiograph.

5. “How Do I Make My Teeth Whiter?”

Almost everyone strives for a whiter smile; the question is in how to achieve it. There are countless products on the market that promise white teeth, and you should find out which products are reliable and which ones aren’t. Knowing what your goals are and knowing about any teeth sensitivity can help your dentist help YOU to make your teeth whiter—whether that be with professional teeth whitening OR just by eliminating foods that tend to stain the teeth over time.

Some people will have more surface stains than others, requiring a stronger method of whitening, which is why your dentist can help you navigate the decision. Your dentist will suggest which products might work best for you, and which ones aren’t a fit for you.

6. “Why Are My Teeth Sensitive?”

Ever bit into a spoonful of ice cream and had shivers shoot through your teeth? This is called tooth sensitivity; people with tooth sensitivity feel pain when they eat something that is hot or cold, or sweet or acidic.  This is a result of thinning enamel, which is the outer layer of your teeth that protects them.

If you’re experiencing tooth sensitivity, you should notify your dentist and ask why you’re experiencing it. He or she should be able to narrow down various factors to find the root of your sensitivity, and then walk you through a routine to help fix it or eliminate it as much as possible.

It’s great when you tell us about things going on inside your mouth—such as any tooth or gum sensitivity—that way we can come up with a solution or plan on how to proceed together.

We’re Happy to Answer Any & All Of Your Questions

happy to answer your questions

We want to answer any and all questions you have about your smile. Don’t be afraid to pick up the phone and ask us a question or discuss your concerns with us at your next check-up!

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/top-10-dental-questions-you-should-ask-1015
  2. http://www.colgate.com/en/us/oc/oral-health/basics/nutrition-and-oral-health/article/ada-04-food-choices-affect-your-oral-health
  3. http://www.foxnews.com/health/2014/06/11/questions-should-be-asking-your-dentist.html
  4. http://www.besthealthmag.ca/best-you/oral-health/5-questions-to-always-ask-your-dentist/

What You Should Know About The Bacteria In Your Mouth

Saturday, July 15th, 2017

Ever wonder what’s really floating around inside your mouth? Besides housing your pearly whites, your mouth serves as a home to many different microorganisms.

More specifically, there are more than 700 different strains of oral bacteria that exist. Don’t worry–for the most part, these tiny little guys do no harm. Additionally, most people only host roughly 60 different kinds of these bacteria (1).

 

Not All Bacteria is Bad

‘Bacteria’ tends to have a negative connotation, and people usually perceive the word as harmful. However, that’s not always the case. Some of your oral bacteria is actually good bacteria. These bacteria help protect your oral health in a number of different ways:

1. They Help Digest Your Food

It’s not just your stomach that digests your food—the digestion process actually begins in your mouth. Microorganisms called probiotics are responsible for triggering the enzymatic reaction that produces saliva, which in turn begins digestive action (2).

2. They Fight Oral Disease

Because these bacteria stimulate and improve saliva production, they play an important role in your oral health. Saliva helps wash away sugar, food bits, and unwanted germs—all of which can be harmful to your mouth’s health. This process aids in fighting off oral diseases such as periodontal disease, oral candida, and dental caries.

3. They Battle Bad Breath

Who wants to have bad breath? The answer: nobody. Good bacteria in your mouth fight the more aggressive bacteria that feed on food particles and produce an unwanted odor. So, you can thank these bacteria for keeping your breath fresh (2).

Some Bacteria is “Bad”

Unfortunately, there are some harmful bacteria, which can play a role in tooth decay and gum disease. There are two main harmful bacteria:

1. Porphyromonas Gingivalis

Although this is typically not found in healthy mouths, it can lead to a serious disease called periodontitis. This is a severe, progressive disease that attacks the alveolar bone and tissues that support your teeth. Periodontitis not only produces severe pain within the tooth, but can even lead to tooth loss!

2. Streptococcus Mutans

There are bad bacteria in a healthy mouth, too. You may already know about streptococcus mutans. These microorganisms are present in your mouth and are triggered by starches and sugars in your diet. Acting as the leading cause of tooth decay, streptococcus mutans produce an acid that erodes your enamel—which is the outer layer that protects your teeth (2).

 

How to Control the Bacteria

You can help your mouth fight off the bad bacteria by maintaining healthy oral hygiene habits.

Harmful bacteria form most predominately on the gum line and in between the teeth. This is why it’s imperative to floss (daily!) in these areas. In addition to flossing, brushing your teeth after each meal is also very important to fend off unwanted germs. This helps remove food particles, which is what the harmful bacteria feed on. Using an anti-bacterial mouthwash is another tool to strengthen your healthy oral bacteria while fighting off the bad.

Your diet also affects your oral bacteria. Avoiding starchy and sugary foods can help minimize the fuel source for harmful bacteria (2).

We Care About Your Total Health

One of the best ways to manage your oral bacteria is to schedule regular check-ups with your dentist. Teeth cleanings, oral examinations, and the eye of a professional are all tools in identifying risks for tooth decay and gum disease. We want to help customize your oral hygiene regimen to ensure you maintain a healthy smile!

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

Sources/References

1. http://www.colgate.com/en/us/oc/oral-health/basics/mouth-and-teeth-anatomy/article/oral-bacteria-what-lives-in-your-mouth-0513

2. http://www.colgate.com/en/us/oc/oral-health/life-stages/adult-oral-care/article/mouth-bacteria-friend-or-foe-0316

What to Expect At a Dentist Visit

Wednesday, July 5th, 2017

What to Expect At a Dentist Visit

Wondering if you should see a dentist? The answer is yes! No matter your age, your oral health is very important. Regular checkups will help you maintain a healthy smile. However, not everyone knows this. In fact, each year, 100 million Americans neglect to see a dentist, believe it or not (1).

Here’s why you should see a dentist, and what to expect when you do see one.

Why Should You See a Dentist?

Other than keeping your teeth clean, seeing a dentist has multiple benefits. Regular check-ups help improve your oral health, prevent any possible problems, and keep you in-check for your dental habits…for example, have you flossed today?

Second, your oral health is just one part of your TOTAL health—which is what we care about.

Dentists like Dr. Hagen complete a four-year bachelor degree, and then go on for an additional four years in dental school. There, dentists learn about the anatomy of the mouth, proper procedures to clean teeth, practice clinical procedures, how to examine the mouth for abnormalities, or other issues.

Dr. Hagen also has training in whole mouth rehabilitation, CEREC™ one-visit restorations, alternative treatments for sleep apnea, and crown and bridge restorations (and more!), allowing him to provide you with the state-of-the-art options for obtaining the smile of your dreams. This commitment to knowing the latest and greatest in our field ensures the highest level of care, both today and tomorrow.

So, when it comes to your smile, needless to say, dentists (and the entire dental team!) know what they’re talking about!

Now that you know why you should see a dentist, here’s what you can expect on your first dental visit:

complete cleaning at hagen dental

1. A Complete and Thorough Cleaning 

In order to keep anything in good condition, it needs to be cleaned regularly. The same goes for your teeth. Did you know a “teeth cleaning” does more than just clean your teeth?

Removing plaque is absolutely essential to preserve your teeth. It builds up on the tooth surfaces and between the teeth. Brushing and flossing are what you do at home—but a professional cleaning by your dentist removes bacteria, calculus (tartar), and debris, especially along your gum line.

A dental hygienist is someone professionally trained to perform teeth cleanings, among other responsibilities within the dental practice.

Again, he or she will use special instruments to scrape away excess tartar and plaque which can be harmful to your oral health. Cavities, oral disease, and bad breath can all be results of built-up plaque. Your hygienist will also scrape below the gum line to achieve a thorough cleaning. You’ll be able to feel the scraping, but it will not hurt (1).

2. A Full Oral Examination

Dentists and hygienists are the first line of defense in detecting something wrong with your oral health. After your teeth are squeaky clean, they’ll fully examine your mouth, searching for disease or other problems. The first step in treating any problem (minor or serious) is early detection—and that’s their goal with regular examinations (1).

These examinations are especially important in regards to checking for oral cancer. Did you know that each year in the US, approximately 30,000 people are diagnosed with oral cancer? Worldwide, the problem is far more severe, with new cases annually approaching 300,000. In the US alone, someone dies from oral cancer each hour on each day. If you add the sub category of laryngeal cancers, the rates of occurrence (about 10,000 additional new cases per year) and death are significantly higher. However, the good news is, oral cancers have an 80 to 90% cure rate when detected early.

The process of checking for oral cancer includes a few different techniques. Your dentist or hygienist will thoroughly examine your tongue, checking the top, bottom, and sides. He or she will also check the roof of your mouth, the insides of your cheeks, and your gum tissues, ensuring there are no unusual lesions or abnormalities. Finally, your dentist or hygienist may feel around your jaw and neck to examine your lymph nodes for unusual swelling (2).

3. X-rays

Depending on how old you are and your risk for disease, your dentist or hygienist may suggest X-rays. X-rays can capture a detailed picture of your teeth and jaw structure, allowing your dentist to achieve a more thorough look at your mouth. Impacted teeth, jawbone damage, decay between teeth, tumors and cysts, and abscesses are all examples of problems that can be detected through an X-ray, which may not have been easily detected just by visual examination (1). In some cases, if you just had X-rays, we might access those and not do more X-rays in our office.

How Often Should You Visit the Dentist?

If your mouth and teeth are in healthy condition, it’s recommended that you see a dentist every three-six months. If you need further treatment after a checkup, you may need to visit the dentist sooner, and should make your next appointment while at your checkup. This includes treatment for cavities, wisdom teeth removal, broken teeth or crowns. And remember, every time you see us we are also screening for issues like oral cancer!

hagen dental practice caring team

Expect to See Friendly Faces at Hagen Dental Practice

Choosing a dentist is an important decision—so make sure you pick the right one! When you come to Hagen, you can expect to interact with a knowledgeable, warm, and friendly staff. We’re here to help you maintain your healthy smile, but we’re also here to make your experience enjoyable.

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

Sources

Is Your Baby Teething? Here’s Everything You Need to Know

Monday, June 12th, 2017

baby teething 101

Wondering if your little one is teething yet? Most babies have their first tooth by the time they are six months old, and the symptoms of teething can begin two or three months prior to the first appearance of a tooth.

It’s common for the very first teeth to be the two bottom center teeth, and appearing next is usually the top two center teeth. After that, the teeth tend to grow outward (1).

Teething can be a tough time for your baby, so it’s important that you know the signs of teething and how to help soothe your little one.

top signs your baby may be teething

What Are the Signs?

Although the teething process varies from infant to infant, there are a couple of common symptoms to look out for. If a few or all of these signs stand out to you, your infant could be teething already!

Crankiness and Irritability

It’s normal for babies to fuss every now and again, but excessive crankiness may be a sign of teething. It’s hard to be cheerful when you’re not feeling well. So understandably, your baby might be irritable when he or she is experiencing an achy mouth (1).

Biting

With new teeth ready to poke through their gums, babies will feel aches and discomfort in their mouth. This pain can be counteracted by biting and chewing, which may indicate why your baby suddenly has a knack for biting more often (1).

Drooling

Yes, drooling is pretty common with many littles ones, but it can also be an indicator of teething, too! Teething stimulates saliva in the mouth, which means that your baby might drool more often than usual. If you’re finding excessive drool on your baby’s shirts, pillows, or toys, it might be a sign that he or she is teething (1).

Trouble With Their Sleeping Patterns

Have you finally gotten your baby sleeping on a normal schedule? Well, not so lucky for you, your baby will probably deviate from this sleep pattern when teething begins. Due to the discomfort caused by the teething process, your baby will most likely wake up earlier and nap less (2).

Ear Pulling

You may find your baby tugging on his or her ears. Because the ears are located closely to the jaw, pulling on them creates counter pressure that helps soothe mouth pain (2).

Puffy or Swollen Gums

When the new teeth are about to appear, your baby’s gums might appear red or swollen. Unless your little one took a tumble and bruised his or her mouth area, this is usually a telltale sign of teething (3).

How Can You Help?

In addition to extra hugs and kisses, there are a few ways you can help sooth your baby’s pain! Always defer to your dentist and/or your doctor, but here are a few ideas as well.

Pressing a frozen washcloth against your infant’s mouth will help alleviate some of the pain, and even numb sore gums (3).

Distracting your baby is another way to ease the pain. Just like a mild headache or tummy ache, a distraction helps get the mind off the pain (3).

Serving your baby cold food and water can also help alleviate the aching; it serves as a numbing agent to a sore mouth. Some ideas include yogurt, applesauce, or even frozen fruits (1).

Because chewing offers counter pressure to aches inside the mouth, rubber teething toys are another key for soothing the pain. Teething toys and wet washcloths can help distract your baby and alleviate the aches (1).

hagen dental practice total family care

We Care About Your Child’s Dental Health

Your entire family deserves a healthy smile! When those pearly whites finally do come in for your infant, we want to help keep them healthy. We enjoy their first visits as early as age 3.

Give us a call today at (513) 251-5500 to schedule a visit for everyone in the family.

Sources

  1. http://www.whattoexpect.com/first-year/teething/
  2. https://www.mamanatural.com/7-signs-your-baby-is-teething/
  3. http://www.parenting.com/article/guide-teething-symptoms

Genes & Your Teeth: What Did You Inherit From Your Mother?

Wednesday, May 10th, 2017

Mother’s Day is fast approaching. And while we love to spend this day in celebration for all our mothers have done for us over the years, one can’t help but wonder… What genetic features did I inherit from my mom – both “good” AND “bad”?

Features That ARE Related To Genes

Genes play a major role in the size and layout of your jaw. This means things like overcrowding of teeth, gaps, overbites, underbites and other misalignment issues can run in the family (1).

Gum disease, though not completely controlled by genetics, does seem to have a hereditary factor. Basically, some people in the population are more predisposed and are naturally at a higher risk for inflamed gums than others (1,2). Like any genetic predisposition, it does NOT guarantee your fate. It just means you might have to work a little harder than others. Proper hygiene habits can still keep gum disease at bay, so keep up your healthy dental behaviors!

cincinnati dentist

The color of your teeth is in part related to genetics. Genes play a role in the tint of your teeth, as well as how likely your teeth are to becoming stained. This is because the porous nature of the enamel is an inheritable trait. The more porous your enamel, the more likely stains can occur. Keep in mind that lifestyle and dietary choices will also play a factor here. Drinks like coffee, tea and red wine, along with certain medications can change the color of your teeth (3).

Problems That Are NOT Related To Genes

Although it’s tempting to blame our dental problems on our parents, things like cavities, decay, and gum disease from poor dental habits are more a lifestyle factor than a heredity issue. Anyone can develop cavities, decay, and inflammation in their mouth if they don’t stick to regular and proper oral hygiene practices.

Oral cancer is only minimally related to genetics, so if this one runs in your family, don’t stress. Lifestyle choices such as tobacco and alcohol use are the top risk factors for oral cancer. This means you can help prevent oral cancers by quitting tobacco, cutting back on alcohol, and eating a balanced diet (1).

Take Control: What You Can Do

Be thankful for traits and characteristics that you inherited that you love. After all, these are things that make you uniquely you!

Accept things you cannot change, and investigate options for the things you can. If crooked teeth or misalignments run in your family, ask us about corrective techniques such as Invisalign. If you are unhappy with the color tint of your teeth, talk to us about cosmetic dental procedures to whiten the enamel safely.

Keep your stress low. Taking steps to reduce your stress levels can positively impact your overall health, as well as the health of your teeth and mouth, which will minimize inflammation and disease (2).

No matter what your age or dental health history, start taking your proper dental hygiene habits seriously today! This is the best way to prevent more issues in the future and keep your teeth and mouth healthy for the rest of your life.

healthy teeth tips

Poor oral hygiene increases your risk for dental issues and oral disease no matter what your genetics. Although some individuals are more predisposed to develop tooth decay and issues than others, no one is immune from taking good care of their teeth. This means regular flossing and brushing, plenty of hydration, regular dental checkups, and reducing your overall sugar intake.

These habits and lifestyle choices play a much larger role in the long term outcome of your oral health than the genes you inherited from Mom or Dad. So let Mom off the hook this weekend, and have fun celebrating!

Call Hagen Dental Practice Today

Ready to schedule your next checkup? Or have a question about Invisalign, dental health, or teeth whitening services? We are here for you! Give us a call at (513) 251-5500.

Sources:

1. https://www.deltadentalins.com/oral_health/are-oral-health-issues-genetic.html

2. http://www.rdhmag.com/articles/print/volume-20/issue-1/feature/genetics-periodontal-disease.html

3. https://www.newbeauty.com/hottopic/blogpost/6038-ask-an-expert-do-genetics-make-your-teeth-more-prone-to-stains/

 

12 Interesting Facts About Smiling

Wednesday, April 26th, 2017

1. Babies Are Born With The Ability To Smile

Babies can smile very early in life – even in utero! Unlike many things a baby has to learn, a smile is inborn and doesn’t have to be copied from those around them. They are just reflex smiles at that young age, not an intentional response to your jokes; however, it’s still a wonderful thing to see when your newborn curves those lips upwards.

Between 6 and 12 weeks of life, babies begin to give REAL smiles – a genuine reaction in response to a stimulus they like (1).

healthy smiles cincinnati

2. You Have 43 Muscles In Your Face

These 43 muscles are important in conveying emotion and facial expression, such as that which happens when we smile. A minimum of 10 of these muscles are engaged in the simplest of smiles, but many more can be recruited during the motion of a smile.

The number ranges dramatically depending on the individual, and the intensity of the smile. For instance, in a simple smile, only a few muscles around the mouth are engaged, but in a larger sincere smile, muscles around the eyes may become activated (2).

3. Fixing A Crooked Smile Is Faster And Easier Than Ever

Have you heard of Invisalign? These invisible aligners help straighten teeth in just 9-15 months. While they can’t correct every smile’s problem, they ARE effective for many conditions: gapped teeth, overbites, crossbites and underbites, as well as overcrowding. A computer designs and plans the entire treatment plan that will take you through the process to your new smile. Dr. Hagen oversees and monitors the progress.

4. A Smile Is A Universal Expression

A smile is a universally accepted expression of happiness. Almost all cultures recognize this facial expression. Some studies even suggest that smiling is contagious.

As humans, we have the ability to detect a smile from more than 300 feet away, helping us distinguish between friends and enemies (3, 4).

5. Smiling Makes You Feel Better

Smiling can improve your mood. And there is science behind this one, too! The mechanism of smiling releases endorphins, which are feel-good neurotransmitters that your brain interprets as an increase in mood.

These chemicals relax your body and reduce pain sensation as well. This works even if you fake a smile. So the next time you feel down, try “faking it until you make it” and see if you feel a little happier (3).

6. Smiling Keeps You Healthier

Big, genuine, and honest smiles give your immune system a boost. They also decrease the stress hormone cortisol in your body. This has the effect of making you healthier and better at fighting off illness (4)!

 7. Try A Smile Makeover Instead Of Hiding Your Smile

We offer many different makeover options when it comes to your smile. No longer do you have to hide a smile that you don’t love. Talk to us about our aesthetic options for obtaining the smile of your dreams! The procedures are often less time consuming than you might think, and very affordable. A smile makeover to help fix misshapen teeth, discoloration, or unsightly gaps can offer you the confidence to share your smile with the world.

8. Smiling Makes You More Attractive

Studies show that a majority of people find smiling faces to be better looking and more attractive than faces without smiles (4).

9. There Is A Guinness World Record For The Largest Human Smiley

The largest human smiley was achieved by 8,018 people in Manila, Philippines on May 30, 2015. This was an organized event as part of the AIM Global 9th company anniversary. Attendees wore yellow or black shirts and gathered in the shape of the smiley to set the record (5).

best cincinnati dentist

10. There Are 19 Different Types Of Smiles

A researcher from UC-San Francisco identified 19 different types of smiles. These range from polite “social” smiles which engage a fewer number of muscles, all the way to more sincere “felt” smiles that use a much larger number of muscles and engage more of the face (6).

11. Smiling Helps You Stay Positive

A smile sends a message to the brain that “life is good”. So even if you are going through a tough time, a smile will help you see the silver lining. Help reduce depression, stress and general worry by increasing your time spent smiling (7).

12. Our Priority Is The Health Of Your Smile

Our team is working together towards the common goal for our practice members to gain and maintain healthy teeth and gums and a beautiful smile. We do this by earning your trust and offering the best dentistry we can provide!

health teeth and gums

Ready To Talk More About Your Smile?

Contact us with questions about Invisalign, smile makeovers, or regular maintenance and oral health to ensure your smile is the best it can be. We are here to help and can’t wait to meet you! Call us at (513) 251-5500

Sources:

  1. http://www.parents.com/baby/development/laughing/when-do-babies-start-smiling/
  2. http://science.howstuffworks.com/life/inside-the-mind/emotions/muscles-smile1.htm
  3. http://www.infobarrel.com/10_facts_about_smiling
  4. https://www.buzzfeed.com/smiletrain/facts-about-smiles-you-never-knew?utm_term=.yk6q2X2kQd#.tqgdpYpEmD
  5. http://www.guinnessworldrecords.com/world-records/largest-human-smiley/
  6. http://www.laughteronlineuniversity.com/15-fascinating-facts-smiles/
  7. https://www.verywell.com/top-reasons-to-smile-every-day-2223755

Occlusal Cavities: What To Know And How To Prevent Them

Monday, April 17th, 2017

Have you ever heard us use the term occlusal cavity? An occlusal cavity is the term we use to describe the tooth decay that occurs on the chewing surface of a tooth.

cavities cincinnati dentist

Everyone has peaks and valleys in their teeth, which creates grooves of varying depths, depending on the tooth. These grooves can be more susceptible to damage, bacterial growth and tooth decay, especially when the grooves are deep. Molars tend to have the deepest grooves, which is one of the reasons they tend to get more occlusal cavities than the other forward teeth (1).

Bacterial overgrowth in the mouth leads to a breakdown of both the enamel and the dentin. These holes lead to the decay and cavities of teeth that we all dread so much. Keeping bacteria and food out of these grooves is the best way to avoid occlusal decay (2).

How Can I Prevent an Occlusal Cavity?

So what are the best ways to keep bacteria at bay and avoid the havoc it wreaks on teeth? Make your mouth an environment in which bacteria doesn’t want to live! You can help minimize your chances of developing an occlusal cavity by incorporating these five daily habits:

  1. Brush daily: Twice a day, at least two minutes each time. Ensure your toothbrush is not more than three months old, and invest in a great paste that you love. Make this part of your morning and night routines!
  2. Floss daily: This is important to keep the parts of your teeth clean that brushing alone doesn’t reach. This includes crevices between the teeth and the areas near the gum lines. Many people slack on flossing, but it’s as important as daily brushing!
  3. Avoid sugar and sucrose: Bacteria feed on all foods, but especially love sugars. Sucrose is a specific type of sugar that is found in simple carbohydrates: things like candies, cookies, sugary drinks, and white flour products such as breads and cereals. To make matters worse, the breakdown of these foods also produces acid, which adds to the potential for damage and decay of the teeth (1,2).

  4. Check nutrition labels: This is a great habit to incorporate when you shop. Many processed foods, fat-free foods and even dairy products contain hidden sugars. You might be surprised to find you are ingesting more sugars than you originally thought (1)!
  5. Increase your water intake: Drinking water throughout your day helps remove sticky residues and food particles that would otherwise stick to your teeth. Swishing the water around your mouth is an effective way to clear the occlusal surfaces of your teeth after meals and snacks, when access to brushing and flossing might otherwise not be available (1,2,3).

Start incorporating these 5 tips into your day to avoid getting a cavity altogether. After all, prevention is the best medicine.

What If I Develop An Occlusal Cavity?

If you already suffer from an occlusal cavity – don’t stress. One of the reasons for regular dental checkups and cleanings is so that we can detect and treat these issues right away (3).

You never want to delay having an occlusal cavity filled: while they are typically painless, if you wait for pain to occur, it could mean the decay has spread deeper into your tooth!

Have More Questions About Cavity Prevention?

Contact us at Hagen Dental: 513-251-5500. We are passionate about helping you achieve optimal oral health and prevent decay. We can’t wait to meet you and your family.

Sources:

  1. http://dg-dentistry.com/what-is-an-occlusal-cavity/
  2. http://www.webmd.com/oral-health/guide/dental-health-cavities#1
  3. https://crest.com/en-us/oral-care-topics/general-oral-hygiene/everything-you-need-to-know-about-a-cavity

 

It’s Spring Cleaning Time… Don’t Forget Your Teeth!

Monday, April 3rd, 2017

Spring is upon us in full force! Birds are chirping, the grass is starting to green, critters and wildlife are coming out of hiding, and plants everywhere are budding out. It’s a great time of year to start fresh: clean out your closets, open the windows, dust that shelf you’ve ignored all winter, sweep out the garage, fill trash bags with things you don’t want, and make trips to donation centers.

Spring naturally instills in us a desire for a fresh start. It’s a new season, the days are getting longer, the entire world seems to be waking up and emerging from the cold winter, and we look forward to the energy and excitement of the upcoming seasons. Wouldn’t it be nice if we could channel some of this energy into renewed zest for self-care?

Over the winter, there is a lot to distract us from proper oral health: the various holidays, travel to new places, family get-togethers, sweets and treats that accompany the celebrations and parties, school work, sporting events, and the goals of our New Year’s resolutions. The renewal mindset that comes along with the spring season offers us the perfect opportunity to check in on our oral health. We have a chance to start anew with our positive self-care habits to prevent dental issues in our future.

Check In With Your Daily Habits

Are you brushing regularly? You should brush at least twice per day, approximately two minutes each time. Use a soft bristled brush in a gentle up and down motion. Avoid cross friction or overly hard brushing.

Do you floss? Up to one third of your tooth’s enamel can’t be properly cleaned with brushing alone. Floss helps to clean debris and tartar buildup from between your teeth and closer to the gum line. Take this habit as seriously as brushing!

Check In With Your Food And Beverage Intake

Do you eat sugary or acidic foods? These types of foods create a breeding ground in your mouth for bacterial growth, decay, and plaque buildup. Make a commitment this year to renew your diet and load up on proteins, vegetables and fibrous foods. Minimize your sugar and snack consumption, and avoid acidic beverages like soda.

How is your hydration? Water is essential for many body functions, including proper oral health. Water intake helps keep saliva levels normal, minimize bad breath away, reduce tartar, and clean debris from your mouth.

Check In With Your Tools

Is your toothbrush more than three months old? It’s time to break open a new toothbrush! Spring is a great reminder to “start fresh”. Are you running low on floss or mouthwash? Stock up the next time you head to the store. Good habits are best supported by proper supplies.

Is it time to try something new? Perhaps you’ve been considering switching to an electronic toothbrush or a water flosser? These tools can add value and convenience to the way you clean your teeth at home. Confused or don’t know where to start? Ask us! We are here to help.

Check In With The Hagen Team

Take the opportunity this spring to “deep clean” your personal habits and health choices to benefit you in the years to come. We look forward to seeing your progress in our office at your next checkup and cleaning!

Do you need to get your next appointment on the books? Give us a call at Hagen Dental Practice at (513) 251-5500 and we will find a time that works best for you!

The Future of Dentistry is Here!

Monday, March 27th, 2017

“Dentistry” as we know it has come a long way since its ancient origins. Over hundreds of years, oral care, dental knowledge, hygiene practices, cleaning and surgical procedures have developed into the modern day dental advances we know, enjoy and appreciate today.

As you know, Hagen Dental Practice is proud to offer the latest and greatest when it comes to today’s dental innovations!

dentistry innovations

A Long History Full of Improvements

Not surprisingly, the 20th century boasts some of the most meaningful innovations and advancements throughout this long history of dental practice. To start, the 20th century saw the standardization of operative procedures and instrumentation, as well as the improvement of dental training and text books.

Dental practices also started becoming more comfortable during this time. In 1905, a German chemist formulated the local anesthetic now known as Novocain that helps numb feeling in the tissues being worked on. Fifty years later, in 1958, a fully reclining dental chair was introduced to the profession, allowing patients to sit more comfortably during dental appointments.

We know how important it is to have a comfortable and relaxing environment when you come in to see us!

Along with better education for Dentists, the training of dental hygienists was also initiated and improved. Their practice of cleaning teeth was shown to greatly reduce the incidence of cavities among the children being worked on, which launched the dental hygienist movement to complement existing dental practices.

As the century continued, toothpaste and toothbrush quality saw improvements and changes. Nylon was introduced as material for toothbrush bristles, and fluoride was added to paste. New filling materials and bonding resins improved the outcomes of dental work. Lasers were approved for soft tissue work, and the first commercial electric toothbrush went to market.

Moving into Cosmetic Dentistry

In the late 1980’s, home tooth bleaching became a possibility with new commercial products offered on the market. During the 1990’s, dental care expanded to allow for cosmetic accommodations for patients, not just practical or essential dental work. Other innovations included new tooth-colored restorative materials, implants and veneers became available.

tech continues to advance in dentistry

Technology Continues To Enhance The Care We Provide You

In the 21st century, dental advancements and technology developments have not slowed down. We continue to see improvements for patient care, cleaning procedures, restorative processes and preventative care.

Several of these advancements have arisen in the way we perform imaging and cavity detection. At Hagen Dental, we are proud to utilize digital x-ray technology which offers a decreased amount of radiation to our patients, the removal of strong developing chemicals from our office, and faster, more reliable access to the images of your mouth.

We also use a Laser Scanner, which can detect smaller cavities up to years earlier than traditional x-ray and visual examination. This means finding the cause of sensitivity and pain earlier, and allowing more of your natural tooth to remain intact and in your mouth with earlier treatment.

The Best Clean Possible

New cleaning technological advances that are now available mean a better removal of plaque and calculus from your teeth. At Hagen Dental, we offer the best cleaning possible with the use of the Piezo Scaler to more quickly and effectively clean your teeth and gums thoroughly. This tool utilizes high-frequency vibrations to perform the best clean possible.

Detecting serious health issues as early as possible means a better survival and cure rate. Diseases such as oral cancer are more easily cured in early stages. We are thrilled to offer our patients access to a VELscope exam, which is a quick and easy examination designed to effectively identify any abnormal tissues in the oral cavity. By using this efficient technology, we can detect issues much sooner for better outcomes.

Many of the restorative care improvements that have been developed in recent years means better value and time savings for our patients. This is why we love the CEREC technology that was developed in the late 1980’s and has been gaining in popularity in recent years. CEREC stands for Chairside Economical Restoration of Esthetic Ceramics.

The CEREC process allows dentists to design, construct and insert individual ceramic restorations for a tooth that has decayed, is weakened, or is broken. It can also be used to remove and replace old or defective fillings. CEREC is extremely precise and durable, making them the most reliable restorative process currently available in the dental market. They are natural-looking and long lasting. The best part? This restoration process can take place in one visit.

hagen dental in cincinnati

Call Hagen Dental Practice Today

Ready to experience some of the great technological advances available to you at Hagen Dental? Call us today at (513) 251-5500 to schedule your complimentary consultation.

Sources

  1. http://www.ada.org/en/about-the-ada/ada-history-and-presidents-of-the-ada/ada-history-of-dentistry-timeline

What To Know About Water Flossers

Thursday, March 9th, 2017

What Is A Water Flosser?

Water flossers, also known as oral irrigators and interdental cleaners, are an alternative to traditional floss. A water flosser utilizes a stream of pulsating water to remove plaque and food debris between the teeth and below your gum line.

The goal is the same as traditional string floss: to improve your oral and gingival health. Water flossers work fast, gently and effectively to remove 99.9 percent of plaque from treated areas.

They have been shown to improve gum health and even reverse gum inflammation, also known as gingivitis.

Why Floss?

You already know that flossing is a very important component to your daily oral health routine. As much as 30-40 percent of your tooth surface area doesn’t get clean without proper flossing habits!

Flossing helps to clean the areas between the teeth and at the gum line. But some people have trouble or dislike using traditional dental floss because of the difficulty, the awkwardness, or other complications like discomfort, large gaps between their teeth, or braces, which can all make flossing a bigger challenge.

Flossing should be incorporated into your dental routine to prevent plaque buildup, bad breath, gum inflammation, gum disease, dental decay and other preventable oral health issues.

With water flossers, you have an alternative option that gives as effective or better results than the regular manual or string floss.

The Convenience Of Water Flossers

Water flossers, such as the Water Pik Flosser’s line of products, allow users to adjust the flosser’s water pressure to their comfort level and preference. The motor pumps the pulsating water into the mouth as the user guides it to clean the gums and between the teeth.

Believe it or not, the water flosser was invented back in 1962, and has only improved over the last 55 years. These products have become more streamlined, user-friendly, and effective over the years.

Water flossers are offered in a variety of options to fit any person’s needs.

You can purchase anything from a travel flosser, to a flosser with up to 12 accessory tips to allow all your family members to share the same base unit. Yes – these devices are safe for kids to use; some models are even geared towards kid’s usage, but are still effective for adults. Water flossers are extremely effective and convenient for those with braces, who have a hard time cleaning their teeth in many cases.

How To Use A Water Flosser

First and foremost, ask us when you are in for your visit so that you can learn how to use your water flosser the right way.

Using a water flosser is simple and easy to learn.

First, you fill the device’s reservoir with lukewarm water and press the container firmly onto the base. Select your tip and press firmly into the handle. This is the section that can be removed and exchanged for other family members to use. Turn the unit on and adjust the pressure control, starting at the lowest pressure and moving up until you reach your desired jet stream pressure.

Turn the unit back off. Lean over the sink and place the tip in your mouth. Turn the unit on, guiding the stream of pulsating water over your teeth. Allow the used water to flow out of your mouth into the sink. Aim the tip of the water flosser just above the gum line at approximately a 90 degree angle.

Pause briefly between teeth to allow cleaning of the space between the teeth to occur. It only takes a few seconds of water pressure in an area to improve the cleanliness and help those gums become healthier. When finished, turn the unit off and use the tip eject button to remove your tip.

Repeat the next day! Better gum health can typically be seen in 14 days, on average.

Do You Have Questions for the Hagen Dental Team?

We want to help you find the best oral health tools for you and your family. Give us a call at Hagen Dental Practice to schedule your next checkup and we can help you navigate the choices. Call us today at (513) 251-5500.

Sources

  1. http://www.ada.org/en/publications/ada-news/2017-archive/february/waterpik-water-flosser-first-in-its-class-to-earn-ada-seal
  2. https://waterflosserguide.com/
  3. https://www.waterpik.com/oral-health/how-to-floss/
  4. http://dentalcarematters.com/flossing-teeth/