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May 10th, 2017

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

Category: cincinnati dentist, cosmetic dentistry, dental health

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!

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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/

 

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May 5th, 2017

The Kentucky Derby: Racing with Healthy Teeth

Category: cincinnati dentist

Aaahhhh… Derby Days! This weekend will be filled with celebrations, parties, and horse race watching. Get-togethers will be complete with derby attire, cocktails and lots of delicious food. Gamblers set their sights on their favorite picks…And, this event kicks off the first of the Triple Crown series for the year.

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Preparation For The Derby

An event this huge naturally has days, weeks, months and years of preparation going into it – for everyone involved: the horses, owners, riders, organizers and even the fans. An immense amount of effort and energy goes into keeping the race horses healthy, well trained and primed for these big events. And this includes their dental care and maintenance!

Just like a human needs regular dental care and dentist visits, so too a horse needs regular care by their owners and veterinarians to keep their teeth and mouths healthy. Just like we don’t want oral problems interfering with our day-to-day lives, no one wants to see a tooth problem in a horse affecting their performance on race day!

Regular Dental Care For Horses

Regular dental check-ups for horses are essential, just like they are for humans. For horses, a dental checkup is vital to their overall well-being, and should take place every six months to a year. These check-ups serve to ensure proper hygiene and function in the mouth, and to detect and eliminate any problems as early as possible, to keep the horse comfortable and able to eat and perform. Their dentist will check for teeth and dental abnormalities, potential tartar buildup, signs of infection or other issues, and gum disease (1,2).

How Does A Horse Communicate A Tooth Problem? 

When a horse experiences a tooth problem, it is sometimes mistaken for bad behavior. Signs that a horse could be dealing with a tooth problem could include head tossing, bit chewing, tongue lolling, excess salivation, sluggish chewing, refusing to eat, riding with his head held high, trying to avoid the bit, or problems staying on the bit mouthpiece. Understandably, the horse is trying to express his discomfort (1, 3).

Daily Chewing

Horses have, on average, 36 to 44 teeth, and chew a shocking 40,000 times per day as they eat. The high number of teeth and high usage of these teeth increases the risk that problems could arise with one of them.

For example, during the chewing process, horses normally wear down the chewing surface of the tooth slowly and steadily. As this happens, new tooth material slowly grows up to provide a fresh chewing surface.

However, this process isn’t perfect, and if the wear on the tooth is uneven, the teeth can form sharp edges. These sharp edges can cut into the horse’s cheeks or tongue, causing painful sores. These sharp edges are removed by a dental procedure for horses known as “floating”. In this process, the veterinarian uses specialized tools to smooth the sharp edges of the enamel (1, 3, 4).

Racing And Bits

The bit mouthpiece used in riding should never affect the horse’s teeth. But sometimes horses develop extra teeth called “wolf teeth” or “tushes.” In many horses, these teeth will never cause a problem. Depending on the shape and location of these extra teeth, they could interfere with the bit or become easily irritated. In this case, the horse may need a specialized bit, or the kentucky derby 2017problematic teeth may need to be removed by a veterinarian or equine dentist so they do not become sensitive or infected by irritation from contact with the bit mouthpiece (1, 4).

Keeping Horses In Top Performance

Race horse owners are especially diligent when it comes to dental hygiene for their steeds. Issues with chewing can result in an insufficient food intake, weight loss or difficulty maintaining weight. Pain and discomfort from oral issues in a horse can impact their training, stamina and race-day disposition. And for anyone who owns and loves an animal, the thought of them suffering in pain or discomfort is not a pleasant one (4).

Just like in humans, prevention in horses is typically easier, cheaper and more comfortable than waiting for a problem to occur. That’s why we commend horse owners who keep their regularly scheduled check-ups, AND why we recommend you do the same for you and your family!

Enjoy the Derby this weekend!

Questions for Dr. Hagen and the Hagen Dental Team?

We want to help keep the dental health of you and your family at its best! Call us at (513) 251-5500 to schedule your next visit.

Sources:

  1. https://www.thespruce.com/essential-dental-care-for-horses-1886863
  2. http://www.thehorse.com/articles/14175/brushing-horses-teeth
  3. http://sawpan.com/dental-care-tips-to-keep-your-horses-teeth-healthy/
  4. http://www.thehorse.com/articles/27010/20-things-your-horses-teeth-are-telling-you

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April 26th, 2017

12 Interesting Facts About Smiling

Category: dental health

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).

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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

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April 17th, 2017

Occlusal Cavities: What To Know And How To Prevent Them

Category: cincinnati dentist, dental health

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

cavities cincinnati dentist

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

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

How Can I Prevent an Occlusal Cavity?

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

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

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

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

What If I Develop An Occlusal Cavity?

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

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

Have More Questions About Cavity Prevention?

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

Sources:

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

 

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April 3rd, 2017

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

Category: cincinnati dentist, dental health

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

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

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

Check In With Your Daily Habits

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

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

Check In With Your Food And Beverage Intake

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

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

Check In With Your Tools

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

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

Check In With The Hagen Team

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

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

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March 27th, 2017

The Future of Dentistry is Here!

Category: cincinnati dentist, cosmetic dentistry, dental health

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

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

dentistry innovations

A Long History Full of Improvements

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

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

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

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

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

Moving into Cosmetic Dentistry

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

tech continues to advance in dentistry

Technology Continues To Enhance The Care We Provide You

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

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

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

The Best Clean Possible

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

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

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

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

hagen dental in cincinnati

Call Hagen Dental Practice Today

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

Sources

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

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March 9th, 2017

What To Know About Water Flossers

Category: cincinnati dentist, dental health

What Is A Water Flosser?

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

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

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

Why Floss?

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

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

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

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

The Convenience Of Water Flossers

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

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

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

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

How To Use A Water Flosser

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

Using a water flosser is simple and easy to learn.

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

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

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

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

Do You Have Questions for the Hagen Dental Team?

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

Sources

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

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March 2nd, 2017

Ask the Dentist: What to Know About Sensitivity Toothpaste

Category: cincinnati dentist, dental health

22 percent of American adults experience tooth sensitivity, according to a survey conducted by the American Dental Association (1). Perhaps you are in that 22 percent and you have been a happy customer of sensitivity toothpaste. Or perhaps you’ll need it sometime in the future.

Either way, have you ever wondered how in the world it works? Or what makes it so much more special than regular paste?

Why Tooth Sensitivity Happens

Many causes of sensitive teeth involve enamel erosion, which exposes the dentinal tubules of the underlying tooth tissue. The dentin and dentinal tubules can also be exposed when the gums recede. These tubules lead directly to the nerve endings, found in the inside layer, or pulp, of the tooth.

That means that extreme temperatures (hot OR cold), acidic foods, and other offensive triggers can cause a lot more painful nerve stimulation than usual, and results in what we term “sensitivity” (1,2). Click here to read more about some of the causes of tooth sensitivity.

Sensitivity toothpaste – such as Sensodyne – helps many people with tooth sensitivity. Sensitivity toothpastes work in one of two ways:

Blocking or repairing your exposed dentinal tubules. Examples of this type of paste include Sensodyne Repair and Protect or Crest Pro-Health. The dentinal tubules are very tiny holes that lead to the nerves, but ingredients like strontium chloride or stannous fluoride plugs up these holes. These types of paste build up a repair layer that acts as a substitute enamel to keep the tubules covered up. In this scenario, the tubules are blocked and shielded, so no triggers ever reach the nerve endings, and no painful stimulation occurs.

Desensitizing your nerve endings found in the dentinal tubules. How is this done? The short answer is with potassium nitrate! An example of this type of paste is the Sensodyne 24/7 Protection line of products, such as Sensodyne Deep Clean. Another example of this type of paste is Crest Sensitivity Protection. The potassium ions found in this kind of toothpaste block the nerves from transmitting the sensation of pain.

So even though the offensive trigger reaches the nerve, you don’t feel it because the potassium ion interferes with the nerve signal and soothes the sensitivity. This type of product requires repeat usage before the sensitivity is reduced. Over time, the potassium ions build up in the tubules, providing protection and longer lasting relief from sensitivity if you continue to use the product.

What Else To Know About Tooth Sensitivity

Additionally, sensitivity paste helps overall oral health by working to protect teeth from gingivitis, cavities, tartar buildup and stains. Sensitive toothpastes also contain fluoride, which can strengthen the enamel and prevent tooth decay. These toothpastes can be used by people without sensitivity because they still provide all these oral health benefits. So that means you can still share with your spouse or family!

As a bonus, using them will help to prevent sensitivity if you start to develop tendencies towards the condition. These pastes have been studied and found to be safe, but if you continue to have sensitive teeth after using the products for more than four weeks, you should check with Dr. Hagen. We might need to prescribe you a prescription paste, or perform an examination to look for a more serious underlying problem.

Call Hagen Dental Practice For All Your Family’s Dental Needs!

Just a reminder: don’t substitute sensitivity toothpaste for your regular dental checkups and care; sensitive teeth can be a sign of more serious dental health issues. Finding the root cause is important to prevent further dental issues in the future. Talk to us the next time you are in the office, or call to schedule now! (513) 251-5500

Sources:

  1. https://crest.com/en-us/oral-care-topics/sensitivity/make-your-teeth-happy-with-sensitive-toothpaste
  2. https://www.sharecare.com/health/healthy-oral-hygiene/how-does-desensitizing-toothpaste-work
  3. https://us.sensodyne.com/about-sensodyne/
  4. http://tribecanydentistoffice.com/general/sensitive-toothpaste/
  5. http://news.crest.com/about/faq/faq_crest_pro_health

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February 21st, 2017

The Common—And Not So Common—Causes Of Tooth Sensitivity

Category: cincinnati dentist, dental health

Why do teeth become tender and sensitive? Why can some people bite into a nearly sub-arctic temperature ice cream treat with no issue, while others wince in pain, or avoid the treat all together? Can you avoid this happening to you? Eliminating some of the reasons tooth sensitivity develops can help lessen your pain or help you avoid this problem developing.

Here are some of the reasons teeth become sensitive:

Brushing Too Hard

Using a hard-bristled toothbrush or brushing with too much force can start to wear and tear on your teeth and gums. This excess force and friction wears down the protective enamel layer of your teeth, which can eventually expose more sensitive tissue or nerves. These habits can also cause gum damage or recession, exposing the very sensitive root tissue below the gum line. Avoid these issues by switching to a soft bristled brush and brushing in a circular, gentle motion along your teeth. Often times, people brush too hard because they are in a hurry. Slow down and show your teeth some TLC (1,2).

Eating Too Many Acidic Foods

If your teeth have already become sensitized, and nerve or root tissue is exposed, acidic foods will irritate these areas and cause a lot of pain and discomfort. Acidic foods include things like tomato sauce, citrus fruits, kiwis, pickles, sour candies, and soft drinks. Avoiding these foods can help you avoid the painful stimulation they cause (1).

Grinding Your Teeth

Grinding your teeth, which most commonly occurs at night during sleeping, wears down the enamel and can damage the gum tissue, leading to gum recession. Just like with brushing too hard, exposing the more porous middle layer of the tooth under the enamel means unprotected nerve fibers can be reached by irritants. If you think you’ve been grinding your teeth, or you’ve been told you are a grinder, schedule an appointment with Dr. Hagen to discuss finding a mouth guard to prevent the grinding (1).

Using Certain Toothpastes

Certain toothpastes can lead or further promote sensitivity. Because people can react differently to the same product, some people might develop sensitivity from a paste that another person is not bothered by. If you noticed the sensitivity start after switching to a new whitening paste, you should switch to a different brand of paste, a different product that doesn’t contain any whitening agents, or ask us if you have questions.

Overusing Mouthwash

Mouthwash is a good part of your oral hygiene habits. However, some people overuse their mouthwash, leading to enamel wear, dentin exposure, and sensitivity of the teeth. If you think this is the cause of your sensitivity, try cutting back to swishing just once or twice a day, or try a brand that is alcohol free. And don’t forget to be proactive with your brushing and flossing so that you don’t miss the extra mouthwash rinses. (Once again, ask us for more guidance specific to you.)

Gum Disease

Gum recession, gum inflammation (gingivitis), and other forms of gum disease can all present with tooth sensitivity. In this case, you most likely will notice the sensitivity at the gum line, where unprotected tooth tissue is exposed to the elements: anything you eat and drink. In the case of gum issues, it is vital to schedule your next dental appointment right away, so that Dr. Hagen can help get your gum disease under control and talk to you about treatment options to deal with the gum disease, or procedures to seal the exposed tooth.

A Recent Dental Procedure

Procedures such as root canals, extractions, or crown placement can all cause sensitivity after the event. However, these symptoms should only be temporary. If the sensitivity persists, be sure to schedule a follow up visit to rule out infection or other complications (1).

A Cracked Tooth

A cracked or even chipped tooth can cause pain. This pain can vary, but is typically severe enough that it feels worse than just sensitivity. In a case like this, Dr. Hagen will need to analyze the issue to determine what type of treatment will be available to fix or remove the cracked or chipped tooth (1).

Contact Hagen Dental Practice for All Your Oral Health Needs

Do you think one or more of the issues listed above relates to you? Call us at (513) 251-5500 to learn more about how to prevent, deal with, or end your tooth sensitivity!

Sources:

  1. http://www.everydayhealth.com/dental-health/10-biggest-causes-of-tooth-sensitivity.aspx
  2. https://www.danmatthewsdds.com/5-unusual-causes-tooth-sensitivity/

 

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February 13th, 2017

Brighter & Whiter Smile at Hagen Dental Practice

Category: cosmetic dentistry

There are so many reasons why this time of year people start thinking about teeth whitening again. Maybe you are getting ready for Spring break, an upcoming vacation, or you just know you have weddings, graduations, barbecues and other parties to attend in the coming months.

Here we break down some of the top misconceptions about teeth whitening options, and then we look at Zoom! Whitening in further detail. Be sure to ask us if you have any questions specific to you as a patient!

hagen dental teeth whitening cincinnati

Myth #1: In-office whitening treatments are only for those with sensitive teeth.

This is not necessarily true! Store-purchased, at-home whitening kits have varying levels of success for people in terms of how much they whiten, and that is partially due to how they are applied and how much peroxide they have in them. How long you have the treatment on, how much peroxide they have, and the way those treatments are applied to your teeth are going to change how much tooth sensitivity you experience.

Because of these factors, at-home treatments can result in just as much teeth sensitivity (or more or less) as in-office treatments! Recall with Zoom! Whitening we do make sure the gum is protected during the treatment, but that still doesn’t guarantee that there is not any teeth sensitivity experienced during or after your treatment.

Myth #2: Whitening toothpastes can do just as much as professional whitening treatments.

Whitening toothpastes help keep your teeth white on the surface, for the most part! On the other hand, professional or store-bought bleaching kits are applied differently to be more effective in getting to deep stains and whitening the teeth.

Consider how we use Zoom! Whitening: we apply hydrogen-peroxide formula to teeth—again, covering up the surrounding gum to avoid any sensitivity you may have, and then there is ultraviolet light shined onto the teeth. This entire process gets rid of DEEP stains on your teeth, unlike whitening toothpastes which look to remove surface stains via gentle polishing, chemical chelation, or other non-bleaching methods.

Myth #3: Professional teeth whitening will damage your enamel.

Because we are using a safe treatment here at Hagen Dental, we are not harming your enamel when whitening your teeth by using Zoom! What’s more is that the FDA has to approve these ways of teeth whitening, which just means that they have to pass rigorous testing to be sure that it is safe for people to use.

With that said, the American Dental Association does suggest that before using any bleaching product, you see your dentist and talk over your current oral health so that can you know what is best for you. After this consultation, you can have confidence that any crowns, fillings, very dark stains or anything specific to your health is taken into consideration. This will help to ensure you follow a plan that is both safe and effective.

Myth #4: At-home options are totally unsafe.

While there may be products for sale that are unsafe, ask us about at-home options you can use that are both safe and effective. Of course any time you use whitening products, if you feel pain that doesn’t seem normal, it may be best to stop your treatment.
While we can’t make any generalizations, there are at-home treatment options that are safe and that we can point you towards. Two rules of thumb: 1- Don’t ignore the advice of your dentist when it comes to using whitening products in general, and 2-Don’t continue use of teeth whitening products when you are in pain! Those two rules will go a long when way it comes to using at-home treatments for whiter, brighter teeth.

Hagen DDS in Cincinnati provides teeth whitening

Ready for A Brighter, Whiter Smile?

You can whiten your teeth in our office, use products we send home with you, or you can get over-the-counter options to whiten your smile. Either way, there are 5 things to consider when it comes to your teeth whitening treatment:

  • Your current tooth color—light to dark
  • Whether or not you have tooth sensitivity at all
  • How much time you want to spend whitening your teeth (less than one hour up to 4 weeks, for example)
  • Where you want to do your treatment (at home vs. at our practice)
  • The current state of your oral health and anything specific to your mouth/gums/teeth

The answers to these questions can help us decide, in part, what is an ideal treatment for you.

Zoom! Whitening is the #1 professional whitening brand that’s been used by more than 10 million people. That’s right: it’s an easy and quick, in-office procedure that takes just under an hour, on average. If you are a candidate, it is safe, effective, pain-free and sustainable choice for whitening your teeth.

Just as the celebrities who mention the advanced power of Zoom! Whitening, you can also benefit from the it: Dr. Hagen can give you the same brilliantly white teeth, removing stains and darkness, in just one visit. As mentioned, one of the great things about it is that we first protect your gums and soft tissue. Then we also put a protective layer on your gums—again to protect your gums and to help deal with sensitivity.

The last step: we put the powerful whitening on the surface of your teeth, and of course turn the ultraviolet light on! Depending on just how white you want your teeth, we’ll check the progress and then it’s time to look at your great results. We then suggest that you avoid red or dark foods that are prone to staining your teeth during the first 48 hours after getting your Zoom! Whitening treatment done.

Maintaining Your Healthy Smile

Whether it is teeth whitening, dental veneers, Invisalign, or tooth contouring—we welcome you to our practice and we can’t wait to help you keep a healthy smile for your lifetime! We’re committed to providing you with quality care that you can trust. Read some of our reviews here and give us a call today at (513) 251-5500.

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