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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

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

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/

How to Make the Most of Your Invisalign Experience

Thursday, November 10th, 2016

Invisalign straightens the teeth using a series of clear, removable aligners. These aligners are custom-made for each patient. Every two weeks, you replace your aligner with a new set to gradually and gently move your teeth towards the final position.

The concept is the same as braces and other orthodontia, with some big differences: Invisalign is more comfortable, less noticeable, and it is removable. A 3-D computer imaging program creates a complete treatment plan that starts at your teeth’s current position and takes you all the way through to the desired outcome in two-week increments (1).

With Invisalign, you can make changes to your teeth and achieve the smile you’ve dreamed of without disruptions to your life.

benefits-of-invisalign

The Many Benefits of Invisalign

 Here are just a few of the benefits you can experience:

  •  Most cases are fairly quick. It typically takes between 9 and 15 months for the Invisalign aligners to correct and straighten a smile.
  • Invisalign aligners can correct issues such as gapped teeth, overbite, crossbite, underbite, and overcrowding
  • Since the aligners are nearly invisible, you can feel more confident smiling and showing your teeth than with the use of traditional braces.
  • The Invisalign is comfortable! Without the metal braces, wires and headgear associated with traditional braces, you avoid irritation to the gums and surrounding tissues.
  • There are fewer trips into the Dentist for evaluation. Your progress is checked every one to two months.
  • You don’t have to sacrifice the things you love! One of the best parts about Invisalign is that you can eat and drink whatever you like (see below for a few caveats). Since the aligners are removable for proper cleaning of your mouth, you do not have to limit your food selection. You wear your Invisalign for most of the day; but you remove them during cleaning, brushing and flossing.

enjoy-your-invisalign-experience

How to Ensure You Have a Great Invisalign Experience


Now that you know the benefits, here is how to make sure you get the most out of the experience:

1. Travel toothbrushes will come in handy! Carry a travel toothbrush and paste with you, and try to brush your teeth after every meal. Because the aligners are placed over your teeth, food particles can become trapped.

The best defense is to keep your teeth clean. Patients who practice excellent dental hygiene habits during their Invisalign treatment are less likely to develop cavities, bad breath, or other problems (2).

2. When your two-week aligner switch date arrives, consider making the change to the new aligner at night. This will help prevent tooth aches and discomfort that can happen if you switch them during the day. The good news is, the changes are so gradual that pain is rare. However, discomfort could occur, especially in your first few sets of aligners.

3. Take good care of your aligners! Avoid discoloration and bad breath by dropping them into a glass of water with a denture cleaning tablet every morning. This helps to keep them fresh, clean, and looking nice and clear.

Avoid cleaning them with toothpaste, since some toothpastes contain abrasive ingredients. Always carry your case with you! This decreases the chances of them getting lost or thrown away while you are out at a restaurant, or need to take them out for some reason.

4. Be cautious in regards to your beverage choices. Water is important to stay hydrated, avoid bad breath, and keep a comfortable mouth. Avoid drinking hot drinks like coffee and tea while you are wearing your Invisalign aligners. The hot temperature could warp or deform them.

Avoid sugary drinks, which increase your risk for tooth decay or unusual buildup or texture on your teeth. Avoid red wines, which can cause yellow staining them.

5. After it’s all over, wear your retainer. Keep in mind that you will still have to wear a retainer for a period of time after your Invisalign treatment is finished. After investing time and money into your newly straightened mouth, you don’t want to backslide from that progress.

Call Hagen Dental Today to Learn More About Invisalign

 Do you want to learn more about Invisalign? Or are you simply overdue for your next dental cleaning? A straighter smile is just a phone call away! Call for a no cost/no obligation consultation at (513) 251-5500 to determine if you’re a candidate for Invisalign.

Sources:

  1. http://hagendds.com/invisalign_dentist_cincinnati_oh.html
  2. http://www.lifehack.org/486860/5-hacks-everyone-with-invisalign-needs-to-know

What to Know About Composite Fillings

Sunday, June 5th, 2016

what to know about composite fillings

What happens when you visit the dentist for a filling?

To start, often times you may be given local anesthesia so that the area can be numbed. Generally, the next step will be to remove the decay from your actual tooth!

During this stage a drill or a laser may be used. Once this decay is removed, it’s time to shape the space and prepare it for your filling.

Depending on the filling, the preparation will vary. There are many options available today for fillings, with the most common including gold, porcelain, silver amalgam, glass ionomer, zinc oxide and eugenol, composite resin fillings.

Composite Resin Fillings

So what are composite resin fillings – and why is it called “composite resin”?

It’s referred to as composite resin because the material consists of a combination of glass and tooth-colored plastic and other materials. Composite fillings are commonly used to reshape disfigured teeth in the mouth or as a material to bond to your teeth – with the benefit being that they can match the exact color of your existing teeth.

Because composites can bond to your teeth, they can help support your remaining tooth structure, which can help prevent further breakage on teeth. It can also be used as a “buffer” on the tooth, serving to insulate your tooth from temperature change. People like composite resin fillings because they can look so natural in the mouth.

composite fillings hagen dental cincinnati dentist

But back to the process of getting a filling: at this stage, depending on the kind of filling, sometimes a base is placed to protect your nerves. Often times that is made of composite resin!

After a few more steps, certain fillings will be hardened using light applied to the area. Once the material has hardened, you’re almost ready to go. After shaping and polishing, your composite is placed.

cosmetic dentistrySo how do you know what kind of filling is right for you?

There are many factors that help your dentist know what kind of filling is right for you. These factors include:

  • The size of the decay
  • The location of the decay in the mouth
  • Aesthetics
  • Bonding to your tooth structure
  • Versatility (for example, if used for broken or chipped teeth)
  • Other health and lifestyle factors

From simple fillings to full crowns to veneers, CEREC is also an option that many people turn to – again – depending on the specific needs of the situation. Keep in mind we can help you decide what’s best for you based on the extent of the decay, aesthetics, durability, your insurance, and of course how the option is suited for your mouth.

Before you have the need for any fillings, aim for prevention. Brush your teeth at least twice a day, floss every day and visit Dr. Hagen regularly.

natural looking fillings cincinnati dentist

Sources/References

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/

Our Founding Fathers: The State of Their Oral Health

Friday, July 3rd, 2015

found

Much of American legend says that George Washington had a set of wooden teeth. The story goes that he lost his first (adult) tooth when he was 22, but by the time he became President, he had just one tooth left! By that time, he was 57 years young.

So how did he actually lose his teeth over the years?

John Adams was said to have claimed it was Brazil nuts that he would crack his teeth on. Today, we know it’s never a good idea to use your teeth as “tools” or to chomp or crunch down on items (food or otherwise) that can traumatize the teeth.

Historians said he could have faced major decay because of mercury oxide as a result of being treated for smallpox and malaria. In all likelihood, it could have been a combination of these factors, as well as a lack of modern oral care and technology.

Although urban myth continues to say he had wooden teeth, he actually had a set of teeth carved likely from dairy cattle, elephant ivory or even hippopotamus. These face-disfiguring dentures were very uncomfortable and apparently were very ill fitting.

When Washington was sworn into office as the first President of the United States, he actually had swollen, burning gums. When his dentures would open and shut, they would clack and creak.

Washington was often in pain due to his oral decay, and it’s believed he would take pain killers (of that age) for this constant pain he experienced. It’s interesting because Presidents of that time were never supposed to show any sort of weakness or signs of pain.

George Washington’s dentures in the collection at Mount Vernon

George Washington’s dentures in the collection at Mount Vernon.

But what about the other Founding Fathers’ oral health and habits?

George Washington wasn’t the only one who lost many of his teeth: so did Benjamin Franklin. Franklin is said to have taken mercury pills for an illness, and as a result, he lost several teeth.

As far as daily oral health habits,  John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, Alexander Hamilton, and James Monroe would have all likely brushed their teeth each day.

People during the 1700s would use a form of mouthwash, and sometimes a tongue scraper. Toothpowders were made of pumice, borax, roots and herbs and sometimes even burnt bread or tobacco! In actuality, these tooth powders could actually destroy the tooth enamel. For the “mouthwash,” our Founding Fathers may have used a solution that was a mix of herbs, resins of balsam, or myrrh.

And one more myth…

It’s a myth that Patrick Henry, famous for his “Give me Liberty, or give me death!” speech actually died of a toothache. In reality, he may have complained of a toothache, but he did not die of a toothache. He actually died due to cancer.

One thing is for sure: we know much more than we did during the time of our Founding Fathers, and we also have greater access to care and state-of-the-art dental technology to keep our smiles looking great for a lifetime.

Sources

http://www.mountvernon.org/research-collections/digital-encyclopedia/article/false-teeth/

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/04/29/upshot/george-washingtons-weakness-his-teeth.html?_r=0&abt=0002&abg=0

Lloyd, John; Mitchinson, John (2006). The Book of General Ignorance. New York: Harmony Books. p. 97. ISBN 978-0-307-39491-0. Retrieved July 3, 2011.

Glover, Barbara (Summer–Fall 1998). “George Washington—A Dental Victim”.The Riversdale Letter. Retrieved June 30, 2006.

Dentures, 1790–1799, George Washington’s Mount Vernon Estate, Museum and Gardens

Mary V. Thompson, “The Private Life of George Washington’s Slaves”, Frontline, PBS

“The Portrait—George Washington:A National Treasure”. Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery. Retrieved January 21, 2011.

The Complete Guide to Dry Mouth: What You Need to Know

Tuesday, March 31st, 2015

Dry Mouth

“It seems like my mouth is drier than normal.”

This is what someone may think or say when they are experiencing abnormal dry mouth.

Chronic dry mouth, also called xerostomia, is when we have a lack of saliva or when we have a reduced amount of saliva.

While the actual incidents of chronic dry mouth increase as people age, dry mouth is not a normal part of aging.

Symptoms of Dry Mouth

Dry mouth is a sticky, parched and potentially gritty feeling in the mouth.

But also know that the following are other symptoms of dry mouth:

  • Bad breath
  • Different sense of taste (or a taste disorder)
  • Lipstick sticking to teeth
  • Increased need to drink water
  • Inflamed tongue
  • Cracked lips
  • A red or raw tongue
  • A dry feeling in your throat
  • Abnormal difficulties in chewing or speaking

There are many reasons why we can experience dry mouth, and dry mouth is more common than you would think. The simplest explanation for dry mouth is an inadequate function of our salivary glands.Why Dry Mouth Occurs

Over the counter and prescription drugs can impact the saliva in our mouths. Take for example blood pressure medications and antihistamines, just two examples—of as many as 400 medications—that can alter the saliva level in the mouth.

But there are other health-related reasons that can result in dry mouth:

  • Radiation treatment for head and neck cancer
  • Salivary gland disease
  • Emotional stress
  • Autoimmune disease
  • Chemotherapy
  • Nerve damage
  • Snoring or breathing through your mouth
  • Other medical conditions including diabetes, HIV/AIDs and Sjogren’s syndrome

Talk with your dentist about the medications you are taking and any other changes in your health to help determine the cause of your dry mouth. Remember that when we age, particularly over the age of 50, our body’s thirst sensation may reduce. If we aren’t drinking enough water each day, this can contribute to dry mouth.

The Negative Effects of Dry Mouth

Saliva helps us chew, start digestion, protects our teeth from decay, and helps heal sores that are in our mouths. It also helps prevent infection by controlling bacteria and fungi in the mouth. Accelerated tooth decay can develop if we have dry mouth, and our ability to digest properly can also be affected if we have trouble chewing.

What We Can Do

Do you feel a sticky or (abnormal) dry feeling in your mouth? When it’s out of the norm, be sure to tell us about it. Not only is dry mouth uncomfortable, but it can lead to serious health consequences and it can also signal a health condition you need to be aware of. When you see us, we can take a look at any medications you share with us to help determine the cause, as well help you with steps to ensure you are careful and protective of your teeth. We can also potentially suggest a prescription-strength fluoride gel that can help prevent dental decay.

Before you come in to see your dentist, be sure to also:

  • Avoid drinks with caffeine which can further dry the mouth out
  • Drink water and sugarless drinks
  • If you have a humidifier, use it at night
  • Avoid tobacco and alcohol which dry out the mouth
  • Be careful with spicy or salty foods which can cause pain in a dry mouth

Want to know more about Hagen Dental? Visit us here or give us a call at (513) 251-5500.

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