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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/

Are We Jump-Starting the Day…With Sugary Cereals?

Tuesday, July 8th, 2014

 

Sugary Cereals Impact On Health Hagen Dental Cincinnati

Did you know that cereals marketed towards kids have as much as 85 percent more sugar than those aimed at adults? They also have 65 percent less fiber than those cereals that are “for adults.”

With nearly one third of us eating cold cereals for breakfast, it’s time we examine exactly what we’re “running” on in the morning.

One cereal we can look to as an example is Cocoa Krispies. If we take a look at its first ingredients, we see Rice, Sugar, Cocoa Processed with Alkali, Semisweet chocolate (which means more sugar!), and the partially hydrogenated vegetable oil…we will stop there, but the list of ingredients surely does not!

The list of ingredients goes on, but it’s good to take note of what we’re really feeding our kids for fuel in the morning. And, while we don’t mean to focus only on Cocoa Krispies, it does provide a good example of the problem: “sugar” itself appears three times throughout the ingredients list, and it’s part of the fourth most common ingredient as well.

A serving of this kind of cereal is about ¾ of a cup. But let’s take a closer look at that single serving, assuming that’s all that our children eat in the morning…

A single serving has 120 calories, and 12 grams of sugar in that serving.

12 grams of sugar is the same as 3 teaspoons of sugar. 

Looked at another way, that is actually 39 percent of the cereal by weight.

Some of our most popular cereals that also have alarmingly high amounts of sugar include Reese’s Puffs, Corn Pops, Lucky Charms, Cinnamon Toast Crunch and Cap’n Crunch…to name a few. When we eat processed foods like this with extremely high sugar content, it’s almost like we’re eating candy to start off the day.

When you add several servings, instead of just keeping to 1 ounce, you actually could be doubling or tripling that amount of sugar intake as well.

We know some of the benefits of eating breakfast, in general, include a better memory, more energy, and an increased chance at better concentration.

These are all reasons to eat a nutritious, high fiber breakfast, but when you look at some of the cereals marketed towards children, they are simply highly processed grains that have been sweetened. In some cereals, they even have synthetic vitamins—talk about taking the idea of convenience too far!

Avoid Sugary and Non-Nutricious Cereals, and Better Avoid Harmful Acids on Our Teeth

Treat these often-salty and sugar-filled cereals just like they were candy or a treat: eat them in limited quantities. Also remember that many of the brands described truly lack any nutritional value.

As you know, when sugar and starches like these are left on our teeth, bacteria thrive. The acid that results will destroy our tooth enamel, and we are left with tooth decay.

A Better Breakfast Choice: Full of Vitamins and Minerals, but Also the Macronutrients Needed for Disease Prevention, Overall Health & Growth

Be sure to read your nutritional label, as there are many alternatives that are healthier options that provide vitamins, minerals, and even fiber (without any synthetic or artificial ingredients we may want to avoid) for our children. You could also choose whole foods instead of processed ones, which is sure to increase your nutrition content and be a better choice for your teeth and gums.

Have questions for us about a certain cereal and its effects on your teeth, or about a convenient, but also healthy, breakfast? Let us know and we will answer your questions.

Sources from this article include:

  • http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2009/11/14/ten-worst-breakfast-cereals.aspx
  • http://blog.fooducate.com/2009/07/26/cocoa-krispies-immunity-cereal-40-sugar-by-weight-trans-fats-inside-the-label/

 

Floss–When’s the Best Time: Before or After Brushing?

Saturday, July 5th, 2014

Although many say that dental floss was invented thanks to a dentist in New Orleans back in 1815, others say that the idea of floss really existed much earlier. They point towards anthropological evidence that people used sticks for interdental cleaning hundreds and hundreds of years ago…

Either way, our knowledge about the importance of flossing, and the actual floss we use, has come a long way since then…and it sounds like it has become much gentler on our teeth.

Cincinnati Dentist

Even though we know floss is a great way to get rid of food and bacteria between our teeth, there is a much-debated question: when is the best time to floss—before or after we brush our teeth?

Let’s take a closer look at flossing to answer that question.

First, it’s vital to note that your toothbrush’s bristles simply cannot reach in between your teeth. Of course, that’s why you want to make sure you floss each day.

The grooming habit that’s been called by some as “the most difficult” is really not all that hard at all.

Here’s a breakdown of steps that take only minutes to complete:

  • Start with about 18 inches of your preferred kind of floss
  • Wrap the floss around your middle finger and then the rest of the floss around the opposite hand’s middle finger
  • Taking the floss between your forefinger and thumb,  gently glide the floss in between your teeth
  • As the floss nears your gum, follow your shape of your tooth with the floss. This is done firmly, but still gently
  • Take the floss and use it this way between your teeth, moving it up and down slightly, throughout your entire mouth, including “behind” your molars
  • Over time, be sure to move the floss in your hands so that you can use the portion that has not yet been used between any teeth

Just by taking a few minutes out of your day, you are helping reduce the risk of bacteria entering the bloodstream and triggering inflammation in the arteries; there is evidence that this can occur, and it’s been suggested as a major risk for heart disease.

If you were to follow these steps to floss before you brush, then you would remove the plaque in between teeth. Then, when you brush your teeth, you would be actively removing the plaque on your teeth by brushing.

Flossing first means, in theory, we can utilize the fluoride in your toothpaste in between our teeth as well. (The idea is that since we just flossed, we have a greater chance of being able to “reach” in between the teeth with the toothpaste.)

Many people point towards the idea that brushing would help “wash away” the plaque in between our teeth, again, if you brush your teeth after flossing. In theory, that’s a possibility, but the reality is that flossing before or after you brush is suitable. 

Let’s think about another scenario—where people brush their teeth first. In this case, people brush their teeth and then feel that the entire mouth is clean, so they don’t floss anymore! If that sounds like you, you should be sure to floss first.

Our conclusion: it’s more important that you are flossing at all, and that you are flossing the correct way–rather than before or after brushing.

And, if you are really a star, then yes, go ahead and floss gently more than once a day!

Want to know more about flossing? See our post on types of floss here.