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Tips to Remedy Bad Dog Breath

Friday, September 1st, 2017

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

10 Must-Know Facts About Dental Hygienists

Sunday, August 20th, 2017

Part of the smiling team you’ll always see at Hagen Dental is our Dental Hygienists!

Curious about what dental hygienists do?

During the past 100 years, the dental hygiene profession has drastically evolved.

Starting back in 1906, the position originally only consisted of providing thorough dental cleanings. Now, in addition to administering preventative care, dental hygienists are also responsible for much more (1). Let’s take a closer look…

10 must know facts

They’re Different from Dental Assistants

Sometimes mistaken for the same profession, there is a difference between dental hygienists and dental assistants, although many people do use the wording a bit interchangeably. Dental assistants typically work as a direct aide to a dentist, while dental hygienists provide one-on-one care to patients, generally speaking!

They Do More Than “Just” Clean Your Teeth

In addition to scrubbing your pearly whites, they also perform more advanced tasks. Initially, many of these tasks were only done by dentists. Dental hygienists perform patient history reviews, vital checks, risk assessments, periodontal examinations, and much more!

They Are Very Well Educated

Becoming a dental hygienist isn’t necessarily easy (but of course we’d like to think it’s worth the time it takes!)

To enroll in a dental hygiene program, a student must have already taken human anatomy, sociology, chemistry, and sociology (not the easiest courses, huh?) Dental hygiene programs can vary in length, depending on the institution. Most range from 2-4 years. After schooling, they must take a standardized exam and acquire state licensure in order to perform patient care!

The Job Outlook is Positive

Did you know?! From 2014-2024, the job outlook for dental hygienists is calculated to grow 19 percent, which is much faster than the average job outlook. Demand for preventative care by hygienists will grow as research continues to uncover the strong correlation between oral and overall health. We like to think it’s because more and more people are interested in helping people with their oral and overall health!

did you know dental hygienists

They’re Absolutely Essential In Our Dental Office

Dental hygienists perform much of the “behind-the-scenes” tasks, but they definitely receive much praise in our office for helping so much—and for making patients feel comfortable and at home!

Even though you don’t always see it firsthand, the team members in a dental office work diligently together to provide you with excellent oral care.

Without hygienists taking on roles involving the business side of a dental office (attending meetings, maintaining equipment, updating health histories, and much more!) it wouldn’t run quite as smooth. Essentially, think of Dental Hygienists as helping take care of you, the patients, and helping to keep all the detail you don’t see running smoothly—all with a smile of course.

…But They Don’t Just Work in Dental Offices

Did you know that dental hygienists aren’t only needed in dental offices? They also work in hospitals, nursing homes, community clinics, and schools—so it’s not just the people you see when you go to visit the Dentist.

And, in some cases, they might not always be working directly with teeth. Some dental hygienists find work as researchers, administrators, entrepreneurs, or educators (3, 4).

They Are Not All ‘9-5’ers

You might think that dental hygiene is always a full-time profession, but that’s not always true either. In fact, plenty of dental hygienists work within a flexible schedule. Weekend, evening, and part-time schedules aren’t out of the ordinary. That’s another reason so many find it as an attractive career option.

They Are Your First Aide in Early Detection

Dental hygienists are your first line of defense in preventing and identifying oral health issues. Examining your mouth and jaw area by feeling for abnormalities and taking X-rays, they can help detect oral cancer, periodontal disease, TMJ, and more (6). (Clearly, they deserve our appreciation!)

They Rank High on Career Satisfaction

“Do what you love, and you’ll never work a day in your life.” Fortunately for the majority of dental hygienists, they actually feel this way. More specifically, about 84 percent of folks in this profession are satisfied with their career and feel that they made the right choice in becoming a dental hygienist.

With nearly half of Americans feeling unsatisfied with their jobs, this is a promising statistic for those considering dental hygiene as a profession! (8, 9)

Not Only Will They Take Care of Your Teeth, But They’ll Teach You How to Take Care of Your Teeth

Sure, dental hygienists will help to give you a thorough teeth cleaning and examination while you’re at your check-up…but, most of the time, it’s you who’s taking care of your teeth!

After helping to give your mouth a deep clean, they’ll be able to suggest at-home maintenance tips specific to your needs. For example, if you’re experiencing bleeding gums, they’ll suggest a distinct regimen using specific products in order to minimize the bleeding! (And, of course, Dr. Hagen will want to speak to you about any issues you’re having as well.)

Come Meet Our Dental Hygienists

Want to meet some of the best dental hygienists around that are sure to make you feel comfortable and at ease? Give Hagen Dental Practice a visit! We want the best for your oral health, so don’t be afraid to pick up the phone and schedule your next appointment.

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

Sources:

  1. http://www.rdhmag.com/articles/print/volume-30/issue-1/feature/our-remarkable-role.html
  2. https://www.concorde.edu/blog/dental-assistant-vs-dental-hygienist
  3. http://www.allalliedhealthschools.com/dental-assisting/how-to-become-dental-hygienist/
  4. https://www.monster.com/career-advice/article/dental-hygienists-surprising-facts
  5. https://www.wku.edu/dentalhygiene/facts_dentalhygiene.php
  6. http://www.firstchoicedental.com/blog/your-dental-hygiene-visit-more-cleaning
  7. https://www.bls.gov/ooh/healthcare/dental-hygienists.htm
  8. http://www.dentistryiq.com/articles/2015/02/career-satisfaction-dental-hygienists-are-satisfied-yet-still-daydream.html
  9. http://www.pewsocialtrends.org/2016/10/06/3-how-americans-view-their-jobs/

Are Flavored Waters Bad for Your Teeth?

Friday, August 11th, 2017

flavored waters bad for your teeth?

Are flavored waters bad for your teeth?!

With the recent emergence of many flavored water options, it’s tough to know whether or not they’re actually good for you—and more specifically, are they good or bad for your teeth?

Good news for you: we’re here to help you uncover what you need to know.

What’s the Skinny on Flavored Water?

 There’s many different flavored water brands on the market, and they’re evolving quickly. Some brands, such as La Croix, steer more towards light flavors with a bubbly taste (thanks to carbonation). Other brands, like SoBe Water and Vitamin Water, enhance their water with minerals and stronger added flavors—and often times, that can come with added ingredients.

Companies are getting creative with their flavors—not only sticking to fruity flavors, but also experimenting with unconventional flavors like basil, mint, and sage, and more (1, 2, 3).

Glass of Water

Check Out the Label

Because they typically contain carbonation and added flavors, flavored waters also can be acidic. Although flavored waters aren’t always guilty in terms of sugar, this acid can still be harmful to your teeth. Recall that acid can wear down and erode your enamel, which is the outermost layer of your teeth that helps protect them (2, 3, 4).

Sugars, along with artificial sweeteners and colors are other key—and not-so-great-for-your-health—components in many flavored waters.

That’s why step one in determining how “healthy” flavored water is for you is to look at the nutrition label to see what it’s made of.

When you look closer at the ingredients label, no matter your beverage, it can still have added ingredients, whether it be for flavor or for body. It’s good to know those added ingredients (even if just for preserving the drink!), make flavored waters—again, generally speaking—not quite as healthy as pure, good ol’ fashioned, “unflavored” water (3, 4, 5).

Flavored Waters vs. Pop

So flavored water is probably, in most cases, not quite as heathy as “regular” water. But what about as an alternative to pop?

If you’re a Mountain Dew or Dr. Pepper lover, flavored waters are typically a better option than that soda habit! A little carbonation (although not great for your mouth) can go a long way to help curb that craving.

The major upside to many flavored waters: they typically lack the high sugar content found in soda! They’re also slightly less acidic than soda. Artificial flavorings, colorings, and sugars used in soda can cause serious damage to your teeth, especially if you’re an avid soda drinker, so this CAN be an alternative in many cases.

The takeaway here: just be sure if you chose flavored water over soda that you know if your “flavored water” really is…well, water!

The Verdict: Stick to Water (When You Can)

Slanted Glass of Water

 You don’t need to avoid “flavored water” altogether by any means…just be sure to look at the nutrition label to be aware of what you’re drinking. If you’re craving a little more jazz than water has to offer, it’s a great treat.

Also consider getting a glass of water and adding in some unsweetened, organic fruit or even a vegetable such as a cucumber; that way, you get a little added taste, but you know exactly what is in your water!

Whenever possible, refresh with “regular” water since it’s very kind to your teeth, and you know exactly what’s in it, and that the pH is good for your entire mouth! A glass of water not only helps hydrate your body, but it also strengthens your teeth. Without any of the additives found in some if not many flavored waters, regular water is always a safe, healthy choice for your teeth and body.

Call Hagen Dental Practice for a Healthier Smile

We want you to have a healthy smile that you can be confident and proud of! In addition to shedding some light on the right beverages for your teeth and OVERALL health, we also have plenty of other tips on how to properly take care of your teeth from home. Don’t hesitate to call and ask us a question or schedule your next visit.

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

Sources:

  1. http://www.batchelor-dentistry.com/blog/how-bad-is-soda-for-your-teeth
  2. http://www.delish.com/food-news/news/a54020/flavored-sparkling-water-tooth-enamel/
  3. https://www.trendhunter.com/slideshow/25-examples-of-flavored-waters-from-bananaflavored-waters-to-kidfriendly-fr
  4. http://www.easywater.com/the-5-worst-ingredients-in-flavored-water/
  5. http://www.knowyourteeth.com/infobites/abc/article/?abc=d&iid=303&aid=7363

Top 7 Foods That (Can) Damage Your Teeth

Thursday, July 27th, 2017

 

Young Girl Brushing Teeth

In addition to regularly practicing healthy oral hygiene habits, it’s also important to maintain a healthy diet for the sake of your teeth!

You probably aren’t surprised to hear that sugary candy can damage your teeth, but you might not know what other (even healthy, anti-inflammatory) foods can damage them.

Luckily, you don’t need to avoid these foods entirely; we’ll give you some tips on how to protect your teeth while enjoying them in moderation.

Woman Smiling

1. Chewy Candy

You might already know that chewy candy is not great for your teeth! Candy, in general, contains a high volume of sugar that can play a key role in tooth decay. Chewy candy, however, poses a bigger problem: Because it’s chewy, it tends to stick to your teeth longer. This means that the sugar has more time to make itself at home and do its damage on your teeth. This same rule applies to other sticky/chewy foods, not just candy (1).

2. Peanut Butter

Uh-oh! Who doesn’t love peanut butter?! The good news is we aren’t saying don’t eat it—just be cautious when you do.

Similar to chewy candy, most peanut butters have a tendency to stick to the roof of your mouth, allowing time to feed the bacteria that causes wear and tear to your enamel. (Another factor is that sometimes our kids have snacks that have peanut butter in them, but are also LOADED with sugar which is part of the problem. Think: peanut butter cookies, etc.)

Not only do some of those snacks have a lot of sugar, but some peanut butter brands themselves have a lot of extra sugar added in, which is also part of the problem. The solution: Find a natural peanut butter without added sugars and be sure to take care of your teeth after eating peanut butter.

3. Sports Drinks & Energy Drinks

Although most sport and energy drinks are marketed to be healthy, they typically aren’t. In fact, in most of these drinks, sugar is at the very top of the ingredient list. Unless you’re an athlete engaging in prolonged, intense exercise, you can probably do without these because they just “sit” on your teeth, doing damage in the process (2).

4. Ice

We’re not saying you need to drink all of your beverages warm, but you should refrain from chewing the leftover ice at the end of your drink. Because of its extremely cold temperature and hard texture, mindlessly munching on ice can chip away at your enamel or even CRACK your teeth!

5. Popcorn

Be careful with that big tub of popcorn at the movies. Although tasty, popcorn creates lactic acid in your mouth, which is damaging to your pearly whites. Everyone knows that popcorn gets stuck in your teeth easily, and this gives it time to do its detrimental work.

Another downside to popcorn is its pesky friends, the un-popped kernels. It’s easy to pop a few in your mouth on accident, which can quickly cause a cracked tooth (3). Yikes!

6. Bread

This one is surprising to most people but when possible, consider your intake of bread. With its light color, soft texture, and lack of sugar, what could go wrong? Unfortunately, most white breads are full of refined carbohydrates that cause your mouth to break down starches into sugars. To help avoid this, stick to whole wheat bread (5). If you can’t avoid bread, be sure to drink a lot of water and to keep up with your other oral health habits!

7. Citrus

Fruits are typically the culprit here, but citrus can also be found in lots of juices and drinks. Although healthy and full of Vitamin C, most fruits and fruit juices are full of acid that can erode your enamel. The most acidic of fruits are lemon and grapefruit (5).
By no means are we saying avoid these fruits entirely—it’s most about making sure we don’t let them “sit” on our teeth or we avoid drinks that are full of sugar and/or acid!

What Can You Do to Protect Your Teeth?

 Enjoy these foods in moderation. Again, you don’t need to eliminate these foods from your diet—part of this is just about being aware that over time, these CAN become an issue. In the case of chewing ice and candy, these are things we CAN avoid, if at all possible.

Brush your teeth after every meal. Brushing helps get deep in between your teeth to remove food particles from your mouth. The less time the food has to sit inside your mouth, the better.

Rinse your teeth with water through your meal and after your meal. While you’re eating, it’s important to drink water to help rinse away the food particles. If you can’t make it to the sink to brush your teeth after a meal, this is the next best thing.

 

Putting Toothpaste on Toothbrush

We’ll Help You Improve Your Oral Health

We want you to have a healthy smile. Don’t be afraid to pick up the phone and ask us a question or simply schedule your next check-up. We’ll not only help you protect your teeth, but also provide you with information on how you can protect them from home.

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

 

Sources:

  1. http://www.healthline.com/health/dental-and-oral-health/worst-foods-for-your-teeth#1
  2. http://www.mouthhealthy.org/en/nutrition/food-tips/9-foods-that-damage-your-teeth
  3. http://www.sagedentalcare.com/blog/2013/11/20/8-foods-that-damage-your-teeth/
  4. https://mydental.guardianlife.com/blog/2016/03/8-surprisingly-damaging-foods-for-your-teeth/
  5. https://nano-b.com/blogs/news/the-25-worst-food-and-drinks-for-your-teeth-and-gums

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