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Oral Health: Does It Have An Updated Meaning Today?

Thursday, September 22nd, 2016

oral health hagen dental in cincinnati

The World Dental Federation is a worldwide organization for the dental profession, representing over a million dentists across the globe! It’s called the FDI for short, because it was established in Paris as the “Fédération dentaire international” (1).

It’s now located in Geneva, Switzerland. Each year, approximately 300 delegates meet to discuss issues, debate changes, and define the future of dentistry across the world. These members are representatives from over 200 national dental associations and over 130 specialist groups from various countries. One of the missions of the FDI is to “promote optimal oral and general health for all peoples” (2, 3).

Earlier this month, the World Dental Federation launched an updated definition of the term “oral health.”

The term “oral” refers to all the components of your mouth and oral cavity: The teeth, gums, connective tissues, jaw bones, soft palate, mucosal tissue of the mouth and throat, tongue, lips, chewing muscles, salivary glands and the branches of the immune, nervous and vascular systems that supply, protect and nourish these tissues. That part hasn’t changed!

The FDI wanted to bring the definition up to contemporary standards by designating oral health as an integral part of an individual’s general health and well-being. The new definition was created by the Federation’s “Vision 2020 Think Tank”, which includes experts from oral health backgrounds, public health officials, and health economics experts (3).

So What Has Changed?

So what is the main differences between the old definition and the new definitions being used—and why does it matter?

Dr. Michael Click, co-chair of the FDI’s Vision 2020 Think Tank explains: “The old definition lacked a theoretical framework that made assessment and evaluation of oral health hard to measure,” he said. “Furthermore, this new definition moves dentistry from treating disease to treating a person with disease.” He went on to say they created a new definition so it could resonate with more people.

The intention is that more people will be able to understand concepts related to our oral health!

These changes might seem subtle, but they do have big significance. Oral health does not occur in isolation…in other words, the health of your teeth, gums, and entire mouth are a part of and acutely related to, your overall health. These new definitions help to clarify and validate that!

In summary, the main points, as defined by the World Dental Federation:

  1. Oral health is multifaceted. A “healthy smile” is more than being “cavity-free” and we agree with that, too! It includes the ability to speak, smile, smell, taste, touch, chew, swallow and express emotion through facial movements. It means being able to do these things confidently and without pain, discomfort or disease.
  2. Oral health is a fundamental part of health, including both physical and mental wellbeing. Another area we agree with! Oral health and our overall health is influenced by the values attitudes of individuals and communities. This means that although oral health is always important—even if the quality of care varies depending on what country you live!
  3. Oral health is a reflection of the physiological, social, and psychological factors that are essential to the quality of life. That’s a mouthful, but also true! The point is: oral health is engrained in more facets of our lives than we may realize.
  4. Oral health is influenced by a person’s experiences, perceptions, expectations and ability to adapt to circumstances. Our overall health affects our oral health, just as our oral health has effect on our overall health (3).
    oral-health-quote

This broadened definition of oral health serves to update the definition to a complete state of physical, mental and social well-being, rather than just the absence of disease or health issue.

It embodies our understanding that everything in the body is intrinsically connected: oral health and general health go hand in hand, rather than being two separate concepts.

What does this mean for you? You cannot be truly healthy without good oral health! This puts enormous importance on good oral hygiene, positive lifestyle habits, and regular dental visits. At Hagen Dental Practice, we strive to help you achieve oral health, with the understanding that it helps you maintain and enhance your overall health.

We Can’t Wait to Meet You & Your Family

Don’t delay your visit. Early detection saves lives. Call us today to schedule an appointment at (513) 251-5500.

Sources/References:

  1. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/FDI_World_Dental_Federation
  2. http://www.who.int/workforcealliance/members_partners/member_list/fdi/en/
  3. http://www.ada.org/en/publications/ada-news/2016-archive/september/fdi-adopts-new-definition
  4. http://www.nidcr.nih.gov/DataStatistics/SurgeonGeneral/sgr/chap1.htm

 

What to Know About Oral Cancer, Eating Disorders & Decalcification

Thursday, September 1st, 2016

eating disorders and oral health

More than 10 million Americans are affected by serious eating disorders. These disorders can have serious ramifications for your overall health, as well as your oral health!2

A Serious Subject: Eating Disorders & Your Health

Two of the most common eating disorders are bulimia nervosa and anorexia nervosa. Bulimia nervosa is an eating disorder characterized by repeated, excessive eating, followed by self-induced vomiting, also known as purging. Anorexia nervosa is an eating disorder characterized by an extreme fear of gaining weight, a desire to be thin, self-induced starvation, and the inability to maintain a normal weight.

Both conditions deprive the body of crucial vitamins, minerals, proteins and other nutrients required to maintain good health, including oral health. These deficiencies can lead to decalcification of the teeth.3

Decalcification is an early form of tooth decay and damage that can lead to further injuries or breakdown of teeth, more serious tooth decay, and cavities.

Eating disorders can also cause bad breath, tenderness of the mouth and throat, as well as swelling in the salivary glands. These disorders can lead to dry mouth, cracked lips, sores in the mouth, bleeding gums, and sensitivity of the teeth.1,2

The self-induced vomiting that occurs with bulimia nervosa causes powerful digestive acids from the stomach (that normally aren’t found in the mouth) to come in contact with the teeth. This acid attacks and wears away at the tooth enamel, causing erosion. This frequent purging can also change the color, shape, or even length of the teeth!1

Those with anorexia nervosa can experience osteoporosis and severe malnutrition, leading to weakening of the bones. This includes weakening of the jaw bone as well as weakening of the teeth and enamel, or even tooth breakage or loss.1

Long-Term Negative Health Effects

Long term malnutrition from eating disorders can lead to increased susceptibility to infections and other negative health effects.

The repeated vomiting of bulimia can damage the lining of the esophagus because of the repeated contact with the strong stomach acid and the micro-traumas of the tissue associated with the purging. A very small percentage of bulimics can develop bulimia-related cancer due to the damage to the esophagus.4

What to Know About Oral Cancer

Concerned about oral cancer? Early warning signs include lumps or growths in the mouth, throat or neck, patchy areas or lesions in the tissues of the mouth, hoarseness or difficulty swallowing, unusual bleeding, or persistent sores that don’t heal. Recall that when you come in for your regular visit, we look for signs of cancer—after all, we’re trained to do so.

Prevention and regular dental checkups are key when it comes to proper oral health as well as preventing oral cancer! Additionally, a healthy, nourishing diet is important to give your mouth and teeth the building blocks it needs to stay healthy.

prevention at hagen dds practice in cincinnati

Set Up Your Next Dental Visit at Hagen Dental Practice

If you or someone you know suffers from an eating disorder, it is important that you seek professional help as soon as possible. Overcoming the eating disorder is the first step to healing the effects of the acid and nutrient deficiencies that come along with these conditions.

We can help you restore and work with some of the problems created from eating disorders (and that’s part of why we want to know about your health history, too.) 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.

References/Sources:

  1. http://www.yourdentistryguide.com/eating-disorder/
  2. http://www.mouthhealthy.org/en/Teens/concerns
  3. http://medical-dictionary.thefreedictionary.com/decalcification
  4. http://www.bulimiahelp.org/articles/bulimia-and-cancer-what-you-need-know
  5. http://www.atooth.com/oral-cancer/

 

Keep Your Child’s Teeth Healthy: Part One

Sunday, February 7th, 2016

hagen dentalDid you know that February is National Children’s Dental Health Month?

The American Dental Association and the ADA Foundation support the month-long, national health observance as a time where people can become more educated on the benefits of good oral health in our children.

This year the ADA is focusing on awareness around sugar and the negative effects it can have on its teeth. The 2016 campaign shows kids ways they can “defeat” the effects of sugar and maintain good oral health habits through brushing, flossing, rinsing and eating healthy snacks that are low in sugar.

Why the focus on children this month?

According to the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, tooth decay is the most common chronic disease that our kids have—and the increase in sugar in particular is one of the major reasons for this issue.

Consider how, generally speaking, nutritionists recommend that children do not consume any more than 16-17 grams of sugar per day through drinks or through their food. Just think of the negative effects some of the drinks they regularly consume is having on their teeth and their ability to obtain all their required nutrients for optimal growth.

Drinks we may have at our homes or drinks that are available at school are packed with sugar:

  • Coca-Cola: 40 grams of sugar
  • Pepsi: 40 grams of sugar
  • Mountain Dew: 44 grams of sugar
  • Welch’s 100% Grape Juice: 60 grams of sugar
  • Minute Maid Orange Juice: 40 grams of sugar
  • Capri Sun: About 44 grams of sugar

One of the best ways we can help them—for life—is to raise the level of education and awareness they have when it comes to oral health, and that includes knowledge around alternatives they can choose, in this case for beverages, that can support this lifestyle.

Does Your Child Have Their “Dental Home”?

no more dental fears at hagen dental in cincinnati ohioJust think: when your child is around three they should have their “dental home,” or a dentist that they can visit and know is “their dentist.” This helps children know the process of visiting the dentist! Having “their own dentist” to go to also reinforces how important it is to visit the dentist regularly and how it’s part of the process of taking care of our teeth and body. We pride ourselves in making sure that young children are extremely comfortable and enjoy their first (and following) visits to the dentist.

Once you’ve started regularly taking your child to the dentist, another benefit is that the dentist can also help you with your child’s specific fluoride needs. Many parents also enjoy how they can rely on the dentist to offer recommendations involving antibiotics and the impact of those antibiotics on our children’s teeth. For example, discoloration, as well as other issues, can occur from prolonged use of certain antibiotics that our children are taking.

Not only that, but certain children’s medications also have a large amount of sugar in them. Once you have your dentist that is familiar with your situation, those are the kinds of things that can be discussed for preventative care and for the sake of education as they grow.

Check back in next week for part two, which will include other tips on what we can do to make sure our kids keep their teeth healthy. Have questions about your child’s specific dental health? Or are you ready to bring your child in for their first visit to the dentist? Give us a call today at (513) 251-5500 or visit our website here.

Sources

3 Truths About Smoking & Your Health

Thursday, January 28th, 2016

dentist in cincinnati hagen dentalIt’s probably not surprising to hear that people who smoke regularly encounter quite a few negative side effects when it comes to their health.

Not only is your total health affected, but your oral health is also negatively impacted. Here are 3 ways your oral health is impacted when you smoke.

1. Smoking makes your teeth stained and yellow.

Many of us take pride in having that bright and dazzling smile to put on display. Our smile is—after all—what people notice first about us!

It’s not just vanity, though, depending on how you look at it: having a smile we are proud of actually gives us more confidence in social settings. When you smoke it makes it quite a bit harder to have a white, or a healthy-looking smile: specifically, smoking is one of the top ways to stain your teeth. Over time, it is not uncommon for people who regularly smoke to not just have stained teeth, but teeth that are quite yellow!

2. Smoking makes you more susceptible and likely to have gum disease.

Did you know if you smoke, your gums aren’t functioning as they normally would?

When you smoke, the bone and soft tissue in your mouth is impacted. What’s more is that blood flow to the gums can be significantly reduced. Smoking keeps your gum tissue cells from acting as they normally when it comes to our natural way of healing and repairing. That’s part of the reason why people who smoke are actually more prone to getting infections and gum disease.

People ask: are cigars or smoking from a pipe habits that are just as bad for our health?

The answer is that, yes, just like cigarettes, the smoke we expose our bodies to with pipes and cigars leads to more oral health problems, including more gum disease. The Journal of the American Dental Association reports how cigar smokers have bone loss (tooth and jaw) at the same rate as those who smoke cigarettes. Also, those who use pipes to smoke have a similar risk of tooth losstobacco and your oral health

3. …and smoking increases the risk of cancer.

People are aware that smoking puts you at greater risk for lung disease. And, while smoking directly contributes to gum disease (and oral disease in our body), it also puts you at greater risk for throat cancer and oral cancer. The Oral Cancer Foundation reports that if you expand the definition of oral and oropharyngeal cancers to include cancer of the larynx, the numbers of people who get diagnosed increases to about 54,000 individuals per year. What’s more alarming is that there are 13,500 deaths per year in the U.S. alone for those kinds of cancers (1, 2)!

Truths About Smoking

Sure, losing your sense of taste and smell and having bad breath are negative side effects of smoking, but if someone needs more of a deterrent, share this blog with them so they can see the tobacco-oral cancer connection.

In general, more than 20 million Americans have died because of smoking since the first Surgeon General’s Report on Smoking and Health was issued more than 50 years ago (1, 2).

If you want to maintain good overall health—including oral health, you should avoid smoking. For those who already smoke, know that quitting before age 40 can reduce excess mortality attributable to continued smoking by 90 percent (5). Also, quitting before age 30 reduces risk levels by more than 97 percent (5). Those are good figures to know to motivate us into taking steps to quit a habit that has so many negative impacts on our well-being.

References/Sources

  1. http://www.mouthhealthy.org/en/az-topics/s/smoking-and-tobacco
  1. http://www.oralcancerfoundation.org/facts/
  1. https://www.sharecare.com/health/healthy-teeth-and-mouth/can-smoking-irritate-your-gums
  1. http://www.pensacoladentist.us/page/The-Effects-of-Smoking-on-Your-Dental-Health
  1. http://www.dentalhealth.ie/dentalhealth/causes/smoking.html
  1. http://jnci.oxfordjournals.org/content/89/8/572.long
  1. http://www.oralcancerfoundation.org/tobacco/tobacco-as-a-cause.php

What to Know About Microbeads in Your Toothpaste

Sunday, January 17th, 2016

is this safe hagen dental microbeads

“What’s all this I’m hearing about microbeads?”

Microbeads are scrubbing beads that have commonly been used in a variety of exfolianting products. They’ve also been used to provide color in products ranging from soap to gum! Recently, more attention has been garnered for how they are used by popular brands in cosmetics as well toothpaste.

By definition, they are called “microbeads” because they are less than 5 millimeters in diameter—but many microbeads used in toothpaste, lip balm and makeup are much, much smaller.

“…But are microbeads in my toothpaste safe?”

The answer is that the polyethylene microbeads that are used in brands including Crest Toothpaste and others are microbeads that are safe (1). While you can always ask us when you have questions about any toothpaste or oral hygiene product, a general rule of thumb is that products that have the ADA Seal are products that have been independently evaluated by the ADA Council on Scientific Affairs for their safety.

With that said, Crest (the brand receiving most of the attention for its use of microbeads) has committed to removing all microbeads in its toothpastes going forward. They have already removed microbeads in the majority of their toothpastes.

“What exactly is the concern with microbeads in my toothpaste?”

The microbeads used in the majority of toothpaste brands today are in fact safe—however, some people still prefer not to use toothpaste with microbeads as a precaution. The concern is that chemically, these tiny particles are plastic microspheres, and some people would rather see more biodegradable particles in their makeup, personal care products and in their toothpaste.

what to know about MICROBEADS

Taking a step back, know that polyethylene (which is what you would see on the list of ingredients in any product that has these kinds of microbeads) is an FDA-approved food additive. Microbeads are an inactive ingredient and they are not associated with any health risk.

Many of your favorite toothpaste brands have many toothpastes that do not contain any microbeads.

According to the Crest blog, they have a long list of toothpastes that have no microbeads whatsoever. The list includes:

  • Crest Pro-Health Advanced Smooth Mint
  • Crest 3D White Radiant Mint
  • Crest Sensi Repair & Prevent, Crest Pro-Health [HD]
  • Crest Whitening + Scope, Crest Baking Soda Peroxide
  • Crest Extra Whitening, Crest Cavity
  • Crest Tartar + Whitening (1)

You can see that’s quite a long list that offers you microbead-free brushing, if desired—and that is just Crest alone. As mentioned, it was recently announced that due to media attention as well as consumer concern and confusion, Crest is removing all of the microbeads by late February/March of this year. The majority of all Crest products, as well as others available on the shelf, are already microbead-free. Because of a growing consumer sentiment that reflected a preference to remove all microbeads, other brands that also made this pledge include L’Oreal, Neutrogena, Unilever and Johnson & Johnson.

Want to talk more with us about microbeads and whether or not they are safe for you and your family? Contact us online or give us a call today to schedule your next appointment at 513.251.5500.

References/Further Reading

  1. http://crestfaq.tumblr.com/

Happy National Dentist Day

Friday, March 6th, 2015

It’s our kind of day today! We hope you have a day full of smiles.

Hagen Dental Cincinnati Happy National Dentist Day

Dr. Hagen, DDS Has Been Named as One of Cincinnati’s Top Doctors

Thursday, February 5th, 2015

Top Dentist in Cincinnati

Cincinnati Magazine approached more than 5,000 physicians and asked them the question: who would you turn to if you, a family member, or a friend needed medical attention?

And the result? Dr. Hagen has been selected as a Top Doctor in Cincinnati, Ohio by his peers!

So what are the just a few of the reasons Dr. Hagen is a Top Dentist in Ohio?

  • Dr. Hagen and all of the Hagen Dental team are dedicated to your total health. That approach is reflected in our warm and welcoming atmosphere. Ask Hagen Dental patients and they’ll tell you how your visit will be both comfortable and enjoyable. We’re always smiling here in the Hagen Dental office!
  • Dr. Hagen is passionate about oral care. Dr. Hagen continues his postgraduate education on an ongoing basis, and he is committed to offering the latest and greatest services to patients. (Did you know that Dr. Hagen attended St. Xavier High School and Xavier University before earning his dental degree from The Ohio State University School of Dentistry?)
  • Dr. Hagen is connected to the community. Just a few of the ways Dr. Hagen is involved in the community include his role as president of the Greater Cincinnati Dental Study Club, and a member of the American Dental Association, Ohio Dental Association, and Cincinnati Dental Society. Dr. Hagen and his wife Jennifer have six beautiful children and you can often find Dr. Hagen cycling in the Cincinnati area.
  • Think quality and a caring approach. Hagen Dental Practice involves you in decision-making, and we fully inform you about what you (or your children) need to know as it relates to your dental care. From one-visit crowns to CEREC to Zoom! Whitening, we want you to be fully informed and completely confident as you take care of your health.
  • Dr. Hagen has extensive experience. Dr. Hagen has in-depth knowledge about sleep dentistry, whole mouth rehabilitation, crown and bridge restorations, CEREC, and much, much more. Dr. Hagen constantly evaluates emerging dental methods and technology so that our patients have the best results, all in the least invasive manner.

Find out more about Hagen Dental Practice.

How Much Do Straight Teeth Really Matter?

Thursday, January 22nd, 2015

invisalign at Hagen Dental CincinnatiWhat’s the first thing people notice about someone else’s appearance?

If you guessed someone’s smile, then you are right. Our smile is usually the first thing someone else notices when they first see us. Beyond having that healthy smile that can look great, there are quite a few other benefits of having straight teeth that can leave us feeling great as well. Here are some of those benefits:

Improved self-concept.

Having straightened teeth impacts how we actually think and view ourselves. Beyond just vanity or increased confidence, crooked teeth can cause speech impediments, or just make us extremely self-conscious.

How straight our teeth are also impacts how we are perceived as well.

Did you know that people who have straight teeth are perceived as more successful, smarter and as having more dates? Having straight teeth also means you are more likely to be hired! You can see why how other people’s perceptions of us help shape our social and psychological wellbeing.

Increased ability to clean teeth.

Overlapping teeth can trap food particles, whereas straight, aligned teeth can mean the surface area is easier to both brush and floss effectively. Straighter teeth also translate to an easier and more smooth flossing and brushing experience—which means we’re also more likely to brush and floss each day. Talk about a win-win!

Overall healthier teeth and gums.

When we have teeth that stick out or protrude, these teeth are more likely to break or see cracks. Additionally, overly crowded teeth can wear unevenly, and this uneven wear can result in headaches. Crooked teeth can push against the soft tissues we have in our mouth, making cuts, sores, and infections more likely. Last, if we’re better able to fight bacteria build-up with straighter, more properly aligned teeth, we’re also better able to avoid gum disease.

“I’m ready for straighter, more symmetrical teeth.”

You’re ready for the chance to smile with confidence. Or maybe your teeth have just moved as you’ve grown older, and you’re ready to do something about it. One of the reasons Invisalign is popular is that the aligners used are nearly invisible. These clear aligners are also removable, and you can still eat food as you normally would.

Here are a few of the top things to know about Invisalign—whether you are a teen or adult:

  • You’re able to continue to floss and brush like normal (just take off your aligners!)
  • Trays are smooth and comfortable, and easy to take off
  • Ideal for a busy person
  • Fast and convenient compared to other methods of teeth straightening; typical people use a new aligner every two weeks

With our mouth being a window to the health of our entire body, it is no wonder that our smile says so much about us. Ready to learn more about Invisalign? Contact us to hear more about why parents, teens, and even brides are so excited about using Invisalign.

Sources:

  • http://www.invisalign.com/news-and-events/2012/straight-teeth-study
  •  http://keltonglobal.com/invisalign-smile-study
  • http://www.sharecare.com/health/dental-oral-health-teeth/health-guide/dental-health-teeth-gums-mouth/straighten-teeth-with-adult-orthodontics

Everything You Need to Know About the Gum Disease Antibiotic, ARESTIN

Sunday, January 11th, 2015

Gum disease, also called periodontal disease, is a bacterial infection. Gum disease can do damage to our gums, tissue, and even the bone around our teeth. When we lose and destruct the tissue and bone in this way, pockets tend to form around our teeth. This is when ARESTIN can be utilized to better the health of your mouth and gumline.

What is ARESTIN?

ARESTIN is an antibiotic you can receive through your dentist. ARESTIN works to kill the bacteria—right at the root of the problem—without any pain.

ARESTIN is made up of the antibiotic known as minocycline hydrochloride; this is what kills your bacteria, over time, so that your gums can heal quicker and more effectively than they would otherwise.

Why use ARESTIN?

As you know, bacteria is what causes gum disease and bacteria often build up around our gumline. ARESTIN is a targeted gum disease treatment that directly helps this combat this buldup. We would tell you if you were a candidate for this treatment.

In other words, ARESTIN is just one more proactive way you can reverse the damage and prevent future damage to your mouth.

How does ARESTIN work?

Getting ARESTIN is an easy process. Your dentist will place ARESTIN in the pockets below your gumline, which lets you have an optimal potency right where you need the treatment. After that point, your dentist will tell you if you need more treatments, and how often.

What happens after my ARESTIN treatment?

ARESTIN will dissolve on its own so there is no removal required. You’ll also want to keep any other future appointments we have with you to make sure your gums are as healthy as possible.

Arestin and other technology at Hagen DentalOnce your gums have been treated, you want to maintain a good oral health routine. For about 10 days, it is best to avoid using floss or any kind of picks that are normally used to clean between the teeth. We will discuss these, and other guidelines for taking care of your teeth when using ARESTIN with each individual person.

In general, after those first 10 days, this may mean we need to get in the habit of regular, daily flossing. It also means keeping up with your regular brushing habits. We can help you with other decisions that can help your oral health, and overall health. Ready to treat your gum disease head on? Tell us you are interested in this antibiotic today.

Sources:

Top Tips to Avoid a Dental Emergency During the Holidays

Wednesday, December 10th, 2014

The winter holidays are a time filled with family, gift giving, and a time to enjoy some of our favorite foods and treats. During this season, we also see a few common food offenders that can result in dental emergencies.

Take a look at the biggest offenders:

1. Popcorn.

Maybe you’ve snacked on Grandma’s caramel popcorn, or even received some gourmet popcorn as a gift. Either way, popcorn makes the list because of the “shells” that seem to wedge their way into hard-to-reach areas near and around your gum. Sometimes we don’t even know a “shell” is in our gumline or between our teeth. Also, popcorn can be problematic because of the risk of chomping down on a piece that has not fully popped. Imagine how we can shock the teeth as we bite down—pretty hard in many cases—on what the mouth feels is soft food. Unknowingly, we can come across a hard, un-popped piece, and crack or damage our teeth in the process. If you do have to eat your share of caramel popcorn this year, try to be careful as you chew. Also be sure to floss and brush after to remove those “shells” that you might not even realize are in or around your gum and teeth.

hagen dental dental emergencies 2. Baguettes or Biscotti.

It’s no secret that many people like to indulge in pastries during this time of the year. The only problem when you sink your teeth into a hard or extra crisp pastry, is that you run the risk of cracking or damaging your teeth as a result. Just think of it as one hard surface hitting another hard surface. Aim to make sure your bites are small so you don’t compromise your fillings. Sometimes ensuring you do not eat your pastry too fast can also help.

 3. Sticky and gooey desserts and candies.

Peanut brittle anyone? Or maybe it’s that bowl of jelly beans laying out at the office party? Or maybe Grandmas’ brownies with caramel on top? Whatever your favorite winter or holiday treat is, often times it’s something gooey or sticky! Realize these hard or sticky substances can stick to your teeth, and then pull out (or partially remove) a crown, bridge, or a filling. Other treats can actually get stuck in between your teeth. If you eat any of these this holiday season, continue your good oral hygiene habits, including brushing your teeth and flossing.

4. Jerky or other “tough” snack meats.

Even though our teeth’s enamel is extremely strong, we still get ourselves into trouble when we snack on chewy, dry meats—most notably beef or turkey jerky. Sometimes people can be guilty of treating their teeth as if they were determined to rip apart a piece of tough jerky. Well, our teeth can’t be treated like tools. They may be strong, but we still shouldn’t be reckless as we eat. Instead, look to savor food, which means chewing and biting off smaller size bites. If your jerky is too tough to eat comfortably, you know you might have to look for a more tender kind of meat to snack on.

This year for the holidays, be mindful as you select your holiday treats—meaning what you choose to eat, and how you go about eating it!