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Are Flavored Waters Bad for Your Teeth?

Friday, August 11th, 2017

flavored waters bad for your teeth?

Are flavored waters bad for your teeth?!

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

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

What’s the Skinny on Flavored Water?

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

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

Glass of Water

Check Out the Label

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

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

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

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

Flavored Waters vs. Pop

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

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

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

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

The Verdict: Stick to Water (When You Can)

Slanted Glass of Water

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

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

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

Call Hagen Dental Practice for a Healthier Smile

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

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

Sources:

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

Top 7 Foods That (Can) Damage Your Teeth

Thursday, July 27th, 2017

 

Young Girl Brushing Teeth

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

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

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

Woman Smiling

1. Chewy Candy

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

2. Peanut Butter

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

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

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

3. Sports Drinks & Energy Drinks

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

4. Ice

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

5. Popcorn

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

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

6. Bread

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

7. Citrus

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

What Can You Do to Protect Your Teeth?

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

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

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

 

Putting Toothpaste on Toothbrush

We’ll Help You Improve Your Oral Health

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

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

 

Sources:

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

6 Questions You Can Ask Your Dentist

Wednesday, July 19th, 2017

questions to ask your dentist

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

5. “How Do I Make My Teeth Whiter?”

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

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

6. “Why Are My Teeth Sensitive?”

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

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

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

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

happy to answer your questions

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

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

Sources:

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

What You Should Know About The Bacteria In Your Mouth

Saturday, July 15th, 2017

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

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

 

Not All Bacteria is Bad

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

1. They Help Digest Your Food

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

2. They Fight Oral Disease

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

3. They Battle Bad Breath

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

Some Bacteria is “Bad”

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

1. Porphyromonas Gingivalis

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

2. Streptococcus Mutans

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

 

How to Control the Bacteria

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

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

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

We Care About Your Total Health

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

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

Sources/References

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

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

The Future of Dentistry is Here!

Monday, March 27th, 2017

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

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

dentistry innovations

A Long History Full of Improvements

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

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

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

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

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

Moving into Cosmetic Dentistry

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

tech continues to advance in dentistry

Technology Continues To Enhance The Care We Provide You

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

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

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

The Best Clean Possible

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

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

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

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

hagen dental in cincinnati

Call Hagen Dental Practice Today

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

Sources

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

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

Tuesday, February 21st, 2017

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/

 

6 Habits You Didn’t Realize Were Harming Your Teeth

Monday, February 6th, 2017

Life can get busy. And as the minutes and days and activities and events pass by, bad habits can start to form as we fall into our routines – sometimes before we are even aware of them. Let’s dive into some of the most common tooth-related negative habits, so you can avoid these pitfalls and keep your teeth strong and healthy.

avoid these negative dental habits

Chewing Ice

Chewing on ice weakens the enamel and surface areas of your teeth. Because ice is so hard, chewing on it repeatedly leads to uneven wear and tear, and long term will cause permanent chips and cracks in the teeth, which will damage the underlying tooth structure. Eventually, the cracks become large enough that you will require a trip to the dentist for repair. Ice isn’t the only culprit for this type of damage!

Habitually chewing on other hard items like pens, pencils, bobby pins, or paperclips can cause the same damage. If you need to break this habit, try keeping these items out of reach, substitute your chewing urge for sugarless gum, or avoid putting ice in your drinks while you learn to resist the urge (1, 2).

Using Your Teeth As ‘Tools’

Are you in the habit of using your teeth to crack open bottle caps, rip off clothing tags, hold heavy objects, or even as a replacement for scissors when trying to open those tough plastic bags? These and similar actions put traumatic pressure on the bones in the mouth, increasing your likelihood for weakened teeth, chips and cracks in the bone. Try to remember that teeth are there for eating (and smiling!); they are not meant to be used as a substitute for knives, scissors and hands (1,2).

Skipping Your Nighttime Brushing

Late nights out, bedtime snacks, or falling asleep in front of the television can all lead to one bad habit: skipping or forgetting your night time brushing routine. All the sugars and particles from the food and beverages you had since your last brushing session will be left to wreak havoc on your gums and enamel all night long. If you are guilty of this habit, try starting your bedtime rituals a little bit earlier – before you get too sleepy. Once you have brushed, don’t eat or drink anything else except water.

don't skip your night time brushing

Sugary Drinks

Sugary drinks, especially soda, bathe your teeth in an acidic and sugary environment. This dangerous combination creates the perfect environment for erosion, bacteria growth and decay. Sodas aren’t the only culprit, however. Fruit juices, sports drinks, and alcoholic beverages, especially mixed drinks, can contain surprising amounts of sugar and acids as well. Cut back your sugary drinks to a minimal number – or avoid them all together – and when you do indulge, drink through a straw and rinse your mouth with plain water in between drinks until you can get home and brush (1,2).

Playing Sports Without A Mouth Guard

According to the American Dental Association, an estimated 5 million teeth are knocked out every year during sports activities and competitions. Mouth guards successfully prevent approximately 200,000 sports-related mouth injuries each year. How many more could be prevented if participants were more diligent about wearing mouth guards? Rough play during high impact sports can occur at any time. Mouth guards are recommended for the following sports: basketball, football, lacrosse, water polo, hockey, softball, skateboarding, rugby, mixed martial arts and soccer. The guard helps cushion rapid or hard blows to the teeth and jaw, lessening your risk for soft tissue injury or tooth loss (2).

avoid tooth loss with mouth guard use

Smoking

If you still smoke or chew tobacco, here’s another petition for you to find a way to quit. Nicotine yellows your teeth and can contribute to or cause oral cancers. Tobacco products also dry out your mouth and increase the amount of plaque buildup around your teeth. Smokers have a higher risk of gum disease and tooth loss because of these changes in the conditions of the oral cavity. If you have questions about quitting, discuss them with Dr. Hagen at your next appointment (1,2).

Give Us A Call at Hagen Dental Practice

Need help or advice on how to kick any of these habits, or ensure you don’t have damage already? Call us at (513) 251-5500 to learn more about your dental needs and how to develop positive oral habits!

Sources

  1. http://www.webmd.com/oral-health/features/your-teeth-bad-habits#1
  2. http://www.onhealth.com/content/1/protect_teeth_dental_health

How Cavemen Took Care of Their Teeth

Friday, January 20th, 2017

Imagine living in a time when modern conveniences, inventions, hygiene and healthcare were not just luxuries; they were non-existent. Sure, the simplicity of our ancestors’ lifestyle may have had some benefits. But we should all be thankful for modern dentistry, and the convenience of items like toothbrushes, floss and mouthwash. Not to mention the training of dental professionals.

Over the course of humankind, people have been testing and trying things they had access to in an attempt to keep their mouths and teeth clean. Twigs and sticks, powdered concoctions from eggshells and ox hooves, pig’s neck bristles, salt, chalk, and rough cloths make the list of historical dental instruments and tools that people tried and used in an attempt to keep their teeth free of debris (1).

Recently, researchers have discovered clues that tell us how cavemen cleaned their teeth. Karen Harder, a researcher, took a deeper look at calcified plaque from some of the oldest human remains in Europe. How was she able to analyze plaque from thousands of years ago?

As she explained: “The dental plaque is a film that covers your teeth and that’s why you have to brush your teeth every day. If not, it hardens and becomes calcified. Within about 10 days, it’s attached onto your tooth as this extremely hard material that you can’t get off unless you go to the dentist.” Since the caveman had no dentist to speak of, Harder was able to chisel off and analyze this material for further insight into the caveman’s lifestyle.

This analysis of the calcified dental plaque gave insight into the diet and environment of this archaeological specimen. She was able to determine that people in his era ate grasses, seeds, plants and meat. All of these items were eaten raw (2,3).

Grooves between the teeth, combined with indigestible wood fibers she found between the teeth, suggest rudimentary toothpicks that were jammed into the teeth to clean between them as a type of oral hygiene activity (2,3).

cavemen used sticks as rudimentary toothpicks

What Did The Cavemen Have Going For Them?

The evidence Harder found showed the caveman’s diet included mostly starchy plants and meat consumption. Their teeth were actually in pretty great shape despite not having access to today’s toothbrushes, toothpastes and floss.

This is because the processed, sugary and carbohydrate-laden foods and drinks that are so abundant in our society today were not present in his surroundings. This means the cavemen were not as predisposed to things like sugar and acid-related tooth decay, bacteria growth or inflammation, as we are with today’s typical diet (3).

Our teeth are whiter and straighter than our ancestors’ teeth were, but we are still more likely to develop cavities because of the sugars, processed carbohydrates and dietary and lifestyle differences. This means we can’t rely on toothpicks (or sticks) to keep our teeth clean. We must stay diligent with good oral hygiene practices and habits. Thankfully, our dental health practices have progressed into the 21st century, giving us access to skilled dental care and tools and resources for fresh breath and healthy mouths, without having to rummage for and rely on twigs or homemade toothpastes.

today's oral hygiene depends on daily brushing and flossing

Call Hagen Dental Practice Today

Are your oral hygiene habits backsliding into those of a caveman? Give Hagen Dental a call at (513) 251-5500 and we will help you achieve a healthy smile!

Sources:

  1. http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/04/12/AR2009041202655.html
  2. http://link.springer.com/epdf/article/10.1007/s00114-016-1420-x?shared_access_token=JTuGtofFrWkm76yOABrZt_e4RwlQNchNByi7wbcMAY4elA6FNFLLnlVqGmzv8ewk3pOw-TMnmrQ9de4WZSb2CJufJ81Mpvwv3EQlU56y1Hxk_VJOU3IyR4cRyLfz4j_bTKcJJEJC6Uq7Vv8QuHbX4fcDgI7fMO_V8yf2OAnR2KE=
  3. https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/speaking-of-science/wp/2016/12/19/a-researcher-discovered-how-cave-men-cleaned-their-teeth-it-will-make-you-want-to-brush-yours/?postshare=4671482250662620&tid=ss_tw&utm_term=.ed8f16f9fac6

Be Ready For the Mistletoe With These Breath-Boosting Tips

Tuesday, December 20th, 2016

The holiday season is upon us! And with it, a host of office Christmas parties, invitations to dinners, white elephant exchanges with your friends, and ugly sweater get-togethers.

Mistletoe can be hiding in the eaves of any social gathering, so it is a great time of year to ensure your breath is fresh, whether you want to be ready for a quick peck under the mistletoe with your crush, or a long smooch with your spouse. Use these dental hygiene and better breath tips as part of your holiday-ready routine!

is-your-breath-ready-for-mistletoe

The Quick-Fix Options

Carrying a small travel (or even disposable) toothbrush and small tube of toothpaste is a great option, especially if you’re planning on going straight to a holiday get-together right after a long day of work or school. Even if you forget the paste, brushing with just water can offer a little bit of help to reduce the microbes collecting in your mouth after meals.

Flossing with a mint flavored dental floss helps remove food particles from your recent meal. Flossing on the go can be made more realistic with products such as disposable floss picks.

Gargle with an anti-bacterial mouthwash for 20-30 seconds. Many mouthwashes come in small travel-sized bottles that will fit in your pocket, purse, car or desk. This will help fight bacteria in the mouth that contribute to bad breath and give you an instant odor freshener (1).

Chew on a stick of sugar-free or natural gum. Since dry mouth can lead to bad breath, and gum stimulates saliva production, gum is a helpful choice. As an added bonus, gum can remove some of the food particles left in small gaps in your teeth. Find a nice peppermint flavor for an instant odor cover-up (1).

Chew on a sprig of mint. This herb doesn’t clean your teeth, but will offer a strong minty smell to cover up bad breath temporarily. Just be sure to check the mirror for any stray remnants of the green leaf before heading into the party.

Chew on nuts. This option works well if you are already at the party, and have none of the other options available to you. Nuts have a strong aroma. Additionally, the abrasive texture of nuts will help remove residue or food particles from the teeth, tongue and gums (2).

Order your water with lemon or lime. This acidic, citrusy combination is a powerful tool against bad breath. The moisture of the water keeps your mouth from getting too dry, which helps minimize odor. The acidity of the citrus fruit combats bacteria and masks the odor with its fresh flavor (1).

The Long Term Story: How to Prevent Breath Issues

Once the party is over, it is important you take a step back and find out the underlying cause of your bad breath. Was it just a garlic-laden lunch? Or is the halitosis (bad breath) something you deal with regularly? It could be your oral hygiene habits need a tune-up, or something more serious at play.

Proper dental hygiene habits, such as consistently using floss, mouthwash, and brushing regularly are your best defense against bad breath. These daily habits serve to keep bacteria, food particles and inflammation to a minimum. Ensuring you stick to a regular dental checkup schedule will help keep teeth clean and serve to catch any underlying problems as early as possible, or before they become a big problem.

Staying hydrated is also important to prevent dry mouth induced bad breath. Drinking hot tea after a meal helps to remove food particles, and also contains polyphenols which discourage the growth of bad breath causing bacteria.

However, if bad breath is already a frequent problem, call us to schedule an examination. Chronically foul smelling breath can be a sign of gingivitis, periodontitis, plaque buildup, infections, cavities, gastritis, or poor brushing habits. It is imperative that you consult with Dr. Hagen to discover and eliminate the offender before it affects your long term health.

dont-let-bad-breath-ruin-your-day

Worried About Getting Too Close?

We never want your dental health concerns to get in the way of your personal relationships. Call Hagen Dental practice today to discuss how we can help! (513) 251-5500

Sources:

  • http://www.wikihow.com/Fix-Bad-Breath-on-the-Spot
  • http://www.livescience.com/40052-get-rid-bad-breath.html
  • http://whole30.com/2016/05/whole30-fresh-breath/

10 Reasons to Smile This World Smile Day

Tuesday, October 18th, 2016

world-smile-day-pic

We celebrate World Smile Day in October. World Smile Day is a day designed to help people smile more by performing random acts of kindness and goodwill. Here are 10 reminders of why we should be smiling:

  1. The classic yellow smiley face that we all know and love was created in 1963. It was designed to symbolize good will and good cheer on the planet (1). Although the original smiley doesn’t include teeth, at Hagen Dental we want to keep your teeth healthy so you can bare your pearly whites even if the smiley face doesn’t!
  2. Harvey Ball, the artist who was the creator of the smiley face, became concerned over the years about the over-commercialization of the smiley symbol. This led him to create World Smile Day, so that we would devote a day each year to smiles and kind acts throughout the world. The first World Smile Day was celebrated in 1999 (1).
  3. The smiley face knows no politics, no geography and no religion. Neither does tooth and gum disease. So no matter your race, creed or location, stay vigilant with your oral hygiene habits! Proper diet, daily flossing and brushing, are important to keep issues at bay.
  4. The slogan of the Smile Foundation is, “improving this world, one smile at a time” (2). We can relate to that message at Hagen Dental, since our focus is to help each of our patients keep their oral health up to par, helping them enjoy their mouth and smile. Stay current with your cleanings and checkups so that we can improve your smile and keep it healthy.

reasons-to-smile

  1. We can all use a reason to grin. Hagen Dental gives us a reason: We treat our patients with compassion and understanding, coupled with the latest technology, and the best in dental comfort. In other words, we care about our patients.
  2. Heidi Klum says: “I believe that when you put a smile out there, you get a smile back” (3). Keeping your teeth, gums, and mouth healthy gives you the courage and confidence to share your smile freely and frequently.
  3. The power of a smile has been documented endlessly over the years by authors, activists, singers, photographers, filmmakers, and beyond! (4). Imagine the entertainment business without the great dental technologies and oral hygiene practices that are common today.
  4. Smiles are contagious! Studies show that you can “infect” loved ones with your emotions and facial expressions (5,6). Focus on sharing positive feelings and emotions to keep the world around you in a happier state.
  5. Just as Richelle E. Goodrich says, “A smile is a light that sets your inner self aglow, letting others know you’re home,” (7) your smile and face are a window into your inner self. Put your best self forward by keeping your regularly scheduled dental appointments.
  6. The official message of the World Smile Day is: “Do an act of kindness. Help one person smile.” What can you do this month to help celebrate World Smile Day?

Keep that Smile Bright: Call Hagen Dental Practice Today

Have any questions you want to know the answer to? We’d love to answer any of the questions you have! Schedule your next visit with Hagen Dental by calling us at (513) 251-5500.

Sources:

  1. http://worldsmileday.com/index.php/article-index/item/363-welcome-to-the-world-smile-day-website
  2. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/World_Smile_Day
  3. http://www.ibtimes.com/world-smile-day-2016-quotes-16-happy-sayings-get-you-grinning-2427994
  4. http://www.latintimes.com/world-smile-day-quotes-top-15-famous-sayings-about-power-smiling-401222
  5. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11408051
  6. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12738341
  7. http://answersafrica.com/world-smile-day-2016.html