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4 Things to Know About Acid Reflux

Monday, November 20th, 2017

what is acid reflux hagen

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

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

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

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

Here are 4 more things to know about acid reflux.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Smoking (just one more reason to quit!)

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

fighting acid reflux hagen dental practice

 

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

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

Foods that can sometimes ease acid reflux include:

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

Dental Health For Your Whole Family

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

References

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

Diabetes Prevention Is In Your Hands…And Your Mouth!

Tuesday, November 7th, 2017

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

Diabetes: Here’s What to Know

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

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

Tips To Preventing Diabetes

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

1. Aim to Eat More Nutrient Dense Foods

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

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

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

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

2. Become More Physically Active

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

hagen dental health

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

3. Lose A Few Extra Pounds

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

dental health cincinnati

Your Oral Health and Overall Health Are Connected

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

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

Keep Us In The Loop!

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

Good Dental Health For All

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

Sources:

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

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

Thursday, November 2nd, 2017

what to know oral cancer

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

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

So what about cancer of the mouth or “oral cancer”? (more…)

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

Friday, October 27th, 2017

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

1. Frankenstein Kiwi

healthy recipes for halloween hagen dental practice

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

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

Image and Recipe via Two Healthy Kitchens

2. Spooky Spider Dip

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

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

Image and Recipe via Two Healthy Kitchens

3. Carrot Pumpkins

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

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

Image and Recipe via Little Dairy on the Prairie

4. Spooky Banana Ghosts

healthy banana recipe hagen dental practice

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

Image and Recipe via Nutri Savings Blog

5. Frankenstein Green Smoothie

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

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

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

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

6. Fun…Yet Frightening Fruit Plate

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

Image and Recipe via Modern Parents Messy Kids

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

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

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

Photo and Recipe via Grubby Little Faces

8. Devil(ed) Eggs

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

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

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

Image and Recipe via A Side of Sweet blog

pumpkin recipe for hagen dental9. Pumpkin Plate

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

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

Image via Pinterest

10. Mummified Apple Sauce

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

Using scissors, cut crepe paper about 2 yards long.

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

Image and Recipe via See Vanessa Craft

Hagen Dental Practice: Your Choice for Trusted Dentistry

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

6 Truths About Piercings In Your Mouth

Friday, October 13th, 2017

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

hagen dental cincinnati

What You Should Know About Piercings In The Mouth

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

hagen dental cincinnati

If You Have A Piercing, Be Smart!

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

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

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

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

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

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

Call Hagen Dental Practice Today!

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

 

Sources:

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

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

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

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/