Phone (513) 251-5500

Posts Tagged ‘Cincinnati dentist’

How Is Floss Made?

Wednesday, May 16th, 2018

Flossing daily is an important component of regular oral hygiene and dental health upkeep. Including floss in our daily routine is now considered a mandatory habit for excellent oral health. Without flossing, we leave as much as 30-40 percent of our tooth’s surfaces uncleaned!

So, how much do you know about this handy little cleaning tool? Read on to discover how floss came about and how modern floss is produced!

The History Of Floss

Anthropologists and historians have determined that even in ancient times, interdental cleaning was sought after – by the use of pointed sticks or horse hair, for example. It’s long been a natural desire to want to remove food suck between the teeth and keep our mouth clean and tidy (1, 2).

cincinnati dentist

Most sources agree that a New Orleans dentist named Dr. Levi Spear Parmly should be credited for starting the trend of advising patients to use a thin silk thread to clean between their teeth. This happened circa 1815, and the idea became a popular one. Dr. Parmly later went on to publish a book called “A Practical Guide to the Management of Teeth”, in which he advocated for maintenance habits of brushing and flossing daily (1, 2).

In 1882, a company called Codman and Shurtleft Company from Massachusetts, produced and marketed an unwaxed silk dental floss for purchase.  In 1896, Johnson and Johnson jumped on board when they began offering their first dental floss. Johnson and Johnson took out a patent in 1898 for a type of floss made from the same materials doctors used at the time for silk stitches (1).

During the 1940’s, due to rising costs of silk during World War II, nylon became a replacement for silk as the main component of floss. This also improved upon silk’s tendency to shred (2).

Dental Floss In Recent Years

Since the initial introduction of dental floss products, the dental floss industry has expanded to use new materials such as Gore-Tex, and to offer various textures, flavors, and alternative options, such as floss picks (1, 2).

These improved features have made flossing easier for the consumer, depending on their needs. There are soft or spongy options for consumers with sensitive gums, and options with thicker ends for use around braces or dental equipment. And the development of single use fun flossers for kids can help children learn the importance of flossing at a young age, in a fun and easy-to-use way (3).

hagen dentist cincinnati

How Is Floss Made?

Modern day floss is typically made out of one of two synthetic compounds: nylon or Teflon. Nylon is a synthetic polymer that results in a fiber-forming substance. Teflon is the trade name of a specific chemical polymer compound. Floss may also contain wax, flavors, or other ingredients, depending on the manufacturer and finishing options (3).

Floss From Nylon

The polymer used in making nylon flossed is prepared and poured out as a ribbon, then cut into small pellets or flakes. These pieces are blended, re-melted, and pumped through spinning machines to form filaments. As the nylon cools, these filaments solidify to form a yarn and are combined to create a strand of floss. Proper twisting during the process adds strength to the floss and reduces the chances of fraying or breakage. Because nylon floss is composed of many small filaments, it can be created in different weights, or thicknesses (3).

Floss Made With Teflon

Teflon floss comes from a specific polymer called polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE). This polymer is melted into a paste and then stretched into a long, thin strand. Next, the polymer is expanded into different directions.

This stretching process gives this type of floss substantial strength. The substance is cut, forming various thicknesses and weights. PTFE is a monofilament, has excellent tensile strength, and does not shred or break easily. Twisting is not required for the Teflon floss process (3).

Finishing Touches: Coating Process

The finishing touches allow for diversity in customer preference. Manufacturers differentiate their products by adding unique and proprietary coatings. The coating process takes place in emulsion baths. This bathing process allows additives such as waxes, flavors, or any other coating options to be applied in a consistent manner (3).

Product Packaging

Flosses are packaged into bobbins for easy spooling and unspooling. They can be packaged in a cylindrical shape or a roll-type shape. Winding the floss for consumer use requires equipment that transfers the yarn onto a spool.

Cylindrical bobbins are used in tube or rectangular shaped floss packages. This type of bobbin can accommodate the highest amount of yardage. The roll bobbin is more traditional and is dispensed through flat containers. Wow…pretty cool, we must say!

floss, dentist, ohio

Other Fun Facts About Floss

  • Floss in ribbon form is great for kids or people with larger spacing between their teeth
  • Floss in string form is helpful for people with tightly spaced or crooked teeth
  • Floss comes in a variety of wax options: lightly waxed, waxed, or un-waxed
  • Today, Americans use more than 2.5 million miles of dental floss each year (3)
  • Your toothbrush can’t reach into the fine spaces between the teeth, which is why dental floss is so important
  • Recent innovations include additives to floss that can help with whitening efforts (4)

Let Us Help You With Your Dental Health

Dental floss helps to remove plaque and bacteria from and between teeth and below the gum line. Without flossing, this plaque can turn to tartar and lead to gingivitis, infection, or cavities. Unfortunately, according to the ADA, only about 12 percent of Americans are diligent about flossing daily (2). We can help you determine your risk for complications and offer tips on flossing at your next dental appointment! Schedule today by calling (513) 251-5500 or click the Online Scheduling button on our website.

Sources:

  1. https://oralb.com/en-us/oral-health/dental-floss-history
  2. http://www.speareducation.com/spear-review/2013/01/a-brief-history-of-dental-floss
  3. http://www.madehow.com/Volume-2/Dental-Floss.html
  4. http://www.intelligentdental.com/2011/07/20/what-is-dental-floss-made-of/

Eating Disorders & Your Oral Health

Tuesday, April 3rd, 2018

cincinnati dentist

Over 10 million Americans are seriously affected by eating disorders. According to the National Eating Disorders Association, this category of health concerns includes anorexia, bulimia, and binge eating.

Eating disorders have a negative effect on an individual’s overall health, their quality of life, self-image, relationships with friends and family members, their performance in school or work, as well as their oral health (1).

There are several ways eating disorders can impact oral health.

Your Gums & Soft Tissue Health

Eating disorders can lead to malnutrition in the affected individual. Without proper vitamins, minerals, and nutrients, the gums and soft issues inside the mouth can become red, swollen, or more likely to bleed easily. Nutritional deficiencies can also make the individual more prone to canker sores of the soft tissue.

Additionally, saliva glands can become swollen, painful, and dysfunctional, leading to chronic dry mouth or bad breath. A chronically dry mouth also increases the likelihood tooth decay will occur. Dehydration secondary to an eating disorder can exacerbate these issues and also cause redness, dryness and cracking of the lips.

Excessive purging and vomiting can lead to redness, scratches and cuts inside the mouth, especially on the upper palate (the roof) of the mouth (1, 2).

Your Tooth Health

Eating disorders that involve frequent vomiting create serious damage to the enamel of the teeth. Repeated exposure to stomach acid in the mouth harms the enamel, causing color changes or even shape or length changes.

This is termed dental erosion. Teeth can become weak, thin, translucent, brittle, and prone to breakage. It is also common to develop temperature sensitivity when the enamel becomes worn from regular vomiting.

Nutritional deficiencies can promote tooth decay and gum disease. For example, food restriction often leads to deficiency in calcium, iron, vitamin D and the B vitamins – nutrients that are key in tooth and oral health (1, 2, 3).

Your Joint Health

It is not uncommon to develop degenerative arthritis within the temporomandibular joint (TMJ) of the jaw when an eating disorder is present. TMJ arthritis can lead to pain in the joint area, chronic headaches, or problems with opening and closing the mouth and chewing (2). (We’re able to help in this area—regardless if the cause is an eating disorder—so if this sounds like a problem for you, let us know immediately.)

cincinnati dental

Is The Damage Permanent?

The damage and changes of the mouth from eating disorders can cause long-term or even permanent changes. Early detection of these changes – as well as early diagnosis of the eating disorder itself – are crucial to more successful recovery period for both the body and the mouth!

Oral Care For Those Suffering From Eating Disorders

If you suffer from an eating disorder, there are several habits you can maintain to reduce the amount of oral health problems that could develop:

  1. Maintain extremely good oral health hygiene practices, including brushing and flossing regularly. It’s important to develop meticulous habits due to the added stress on the oral tissues.
  2. If you do throw up, rinse with baking soda to help neutralize the effects of the stomach acid, PRIOR to any brushing of the teeth. This will help to avoid additional damage to the enamel. Brushing right after vomiting can increase erosion or increase likelihood for decay. (Please speak to us further; this is not medical advice, this is a general recommendation.)
  3. Consult with your healthcare provider and your dentist about specific needs. Every case is different, and should be managed with appropriate support and treatment!
  4. Maintain regular dental visits. Hagen Dental Practice is a safe place for you to disclose your struggles with an eating disorder and progress positively towards recovery.

Schedule An Appointment with Hagen Dental Practice

Eating disorders arise from a variety of physical, emotional and social issues. Remember that the information in this blog isn’t medical advice; If you suffer from an eating disorder, it’s very important to talk with your health care provider to address the issues and prevent or treat these disorders. You can also contact the National Eating Disorder Helpline at (800) 931-2237 for support, resources and treatment options.

It’s also vital to stay up to date with regular dental health checkups to catch signs of damage and disease early. Please call (513) 251-5500 or click the Online Scheduling button on our website to schedule your next visit.  Or, give us a call at (513) 251-5500 today!

Sources:

  1. https://www.mouthhealthy.org/en/az-topics/e/eating-disorders
  2. https://www.nationaleatingdisorders.org/dental-complications-eating-disorders
  3. https://www.ada.org/en/member-center/oral-health-topics/dental-erosion
  4. https://www.nationaleatingdisorders.org/help-support/contact-helpline

Is Sparkling Water Bad For My Teeth?

Monday, March 19th, 2018

hagen dental cincinnati

A carbonated drink, such as sparkling water, contains that satisfying fizz and crisp popping feeling that many of us love. But are those carbonated bubbles putting you at risk for tooth decay or dental issues? We’ve been asked that question, so let’s take a look at the answer!

Dental Erosion

As you likely know, erosion can be caused by many things both inside and outside the body. Factors such as vomiting and reflux, as well as acidic or harmful foods and beverages top the list. Carbonation gives beverages a lower pH, or in other words, a higher level of acidity (1).

So it begs the question – does that then mean that sparkling water can weaken your enamel, like other acidic foods and beverages?

What We Know About Sparkling Water & Your Teeth

The short answer: It turns out sparkling water is fine for your teeth!

That’s also backed by the American Dental Association, for those who are interested.

Studies have looked into how sparkling water compares to regular water, including how it can impact your teeth. The two forms of water—regular and sparkling—used in the commonly cited study showed no difference in their effect on the tooth enamel. This suggests that even with the increased acidity of sparkling water compared to flat water, there is no difference to your teeth.

So Where Can You Run Into Trouble?

The real danger to your teeth is in drinks that are sugary AND acidic, such as carbonated, sugary sodas or fruit drinks. The sugars found in these drinks increase likelihood of cavities, bacteria, and decay, on top of the risk of the higher acidity.

Another reason sugary, carbonated drinks are so much more potentially dangerous than flat or sparkling water is the high frequency in which they are consumed. The increased exposure to these elements erodes and damages the enamel over time (1, 2).

hagen dental cincinnati

Adding lemon or lime juice to your sparkling water, or drinking sparkling water that contains citrus flavors will have higher levels of acidity than plan water or unflavored sparkling water. This could increase the risk for damage to your tooth enamel, over time, more than unflavored sparkling water (2).

hagen dental cincinnati

Drink Safely

Plain drinks, such as water, or drinks containing high concentration of calcium, such as milk, can help reduce the risk of erosion. Water with fluoride naturally helps fight cavities, washes away food debris, and keeps to maintain a moist, healthy environment inside the mouth (2).

Another tip is to drink the beverage all in one sitting or with a meal, rather than sipping on the drink all day long, which increases the acidic exposure time to your teeth. All-day sipping should be left to regular water! (We don’t even have to mention how that’s also probably best for your waistline!)

Mineral water contains additional mineral content of nutrients like calcium phosphate. These added minerals can help neutralize the potential damage of drinking the slightly more acidic sparkling beverage (3).

Last, if you do opt to drink beverages containing sugar, be sure to avoid and limit how many and how often you indulge in this practice. Limiting the frequency of which you drink flavored sparkling or carbonated soda and fruit drinks will help minimize the potential for erosion and damage (1).

Your Aim: Avoiding Too Much Acidity in Your Mouth

Your best dental health option is to avoid too much acid in the mouth. Plain water is the best choice when it comes to safe beverages for your oral health. But if you are choosing between a soft drink and sparkling water, the sparkling water is a much safer choice, and much more similar to plain water, than something with the sugar content of a soda or juice (3). Be sure to ask us if you have ANY questions.

Watch For Warning Signs

No matter what your dietary and beverage choices, it’s a smart idea to keep an eye out for warning signs that enamel erosion is occurring. Symptoms like tooth sensitivity to cold or hot temperatures, changes in color, or notches on the tooth can indicate weakening of this hard outer layer. Although tooth erosion is a gradual process, it’s problematic for the long-term health of your teeth, so be sure to tell us at the first sign of trouble.

Schedule An Appointment With Hagen Dental Practice 

Do you have concerns about how your nutrition impacts your oral health? If you see any warning signs of cavities or enamel erosion, schedule an appointment right away. We are here to help with all your dental needs! Please call (513) 251-5500 or click the Online Scheduling button on our website to schedule your next visit!

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

Sources:

  1. https://www.ada.org/en/member-center/oral-health-topics/dental-erosion
  2. https://www.mouthhealthy.org/en/nutrition/food-tips/the-truth-about-sparkling-water-and-your-teeth?source=promospots&content=rotator&medium=sparkling_water
  3. https://www.today.com/health/sparkling-water-bad-your-teeth-dentists-weigh-t70761

How To Take Care Of Your Dentures

Tuesday, January 30th, 2018

hagen dental dentures

Dentures are a fantastic option for anyone who has lost some or all of their teeth. Dentures benefit both your appearance and your health in a variety of ways. The loss of teeth can impact daily activities like smiling, eating, and speaking. These things are easy to take for granted until a problem arises.

Dentures improve eating and speaking ability (after some practice) by restoring the dimensions of your oral cavity. They also give the wearer a full set of teeth for a wide, confident smile. They can be made to mimic the look of natural teeth, and serve to support the cheeks, lips, and facial muscles to keep the facial tissues from sagging and creating a more aged look (1).

Caring For Dentures

Just like natural teeth, dentures require good daily oral hygiene habits to keep your mouth free of infection, irritation and complications. Regular cleaning also prevents denture stains and bacteria buildup (2).

Clean Your Dentures Every Day

You wouldn’t skip brushing your teeth daily – nor should you skip brushing and cleaning your dentures! Ideally, you should clean your dentures after each meal, but at a minimum, this should be done when you take them out every night.

To clean, remove the denture from your mouth and rinse off any food particles. Brush the denture gently using denture cleaning and a brush specially designed for cleaning dentures. You could also use a soft-bristled toothbrush. The key is to avoid any damage to the dentures that harder bristles could cause (1).

Avoid Using Toothpaste On The Dentures

Although dentures are used as replacement teeth, they are composed of different material than bone, so different cleaning applications are required. A non-abrasive cleanser – such as gentle liquid dish soap – is effective on dentures. Toothpaste, bleach, and powdered household cleansers, however, often contain abrasive particles that can damage the denture base or the denture teeth, so these should never be used to clean your dentures (2, 3).

Because denture cleaners are not designed to use in the mouth, be sure to rinse the denture well after cleaning or soaking it. Some of the chemicals from the soap may not be suitable for ingestion. We recommend denture cleansers that carry the ADA Seal of Acceptance. This symbolizes safety and effectiveness (1).

Handle With Care

Your dentures can be delicate! Dropping them onto a hard surface can result in cracks, chips, or breakage. We recommend standing over a sink filled with water or over a folded towel while you are cleaning the denture to avoid damage if you accidentally drop it (2).

Keep Your Dentures Wet

While your denture is out of your mouth, store it in water or a denture cleansing solution. Alternatively, you could use a solution of half water and half mouthwash. A denture that dries out can lose its shape, warp, or lose its pliability. Avoid storing it in hot water, which can also warp its shape (2).

Avoid Denture Adhesives

There are instances in which denture adhesive could be helpful. However, a typical denture should seal to the gums with just a light layer of saliva and a good fit. If you find you are requiring adhesive to comfortably wear your dentures, it could signal adjustments or replacement is necessary (2).

Give our office a call to schedule a check-up if this is happening to you.

cincinnati dentist

Caring For Your Mouth When You Have Dentures

Give Your Mouth A Break

To avoid irritation of the tissues covered by dentures, they should NOT be worn 24 hours a day. Typically, a good rule of thumb is to take the dentures out at bedtime and put them back in when you wake up. Ideally, your mouth should get at least 8 hours break from their wear (1, 3).

Check The Fit Regularly

Always pay attention to the fit of your dentures. If something doesn’t feel right, schedule an appointment to have it checked out. Ill-fitting dentures can cause irritation, mouth sores, or infection. We are trained to evaluate and repair any damage to the equipment, and to modify for any changes in the fit of your dentures.

Brush Like Usual

It’s still important to brush your gums, tongue, cheeks, and the roof of your mouth every morning and night, just as you used to brush your teeth. We recommend using a soft-bristled brush. This habit is helpful for increasing circulation in the oral tissues, removing plaque from the mouth, preventing bad breath, and starting the day clean before putting in your dentures (1, 3).

Diet Still Counts

Just as it is important for those with natural teeth to eat a balanced diet and avoid excessive sugars and acids, so too is this habit important for denture-wearers. A healthy diet plays a key role in the health of your mouth, whether you have a full set of natural teeth, a partial set, or a full set of dentures!

Regular Oral Exams

Even if you’ve lost all your natural teeth, regular oral exams are important. The dental examination can detect signs of disease, infection, or any changes in the health of your mouth, neck, throat, and head.

Dentures last about 5 to 10 years, and sometimes need work, alterations, and tune-ups to keep them functioning at their best. Regular dental checkups help to ensure your dentures are working best for you as changes occur in your mouth and as wear and tear happens to your dentures.

Schedule An Appointment With Hagen Dental Practice

Do you have questions about your dentures or your oral health? We are here to help with all your dental and denture needs! Please call (513) 251-5500 or click the Online Scheduling button on our website to schedule your next visit!  Or, give us a call at (513) 251-5500 today!

 

Sources:

  1. http://www.ada.org/~/media/ADA/Publications/Files/ADA_PatientSmart_Dentures.pdf?la=en
  2. https://www.ada.org/en/member-center/oral-health-topics/dentures
  3. https://www.mouthhealthy.org/en/az-topics/d/dentures

This Is Why Cold Weather Can Hurt Your Teeth

Monday, January 22nd, 2018

Did you know 1 in 8 people have tooth sensitivity?

Many people notice more tooth discomfort in the cold winter months than the warmer spring and summer seasons. The cold temperatures and chilly, windy air of wintertime are here to stay for a few more months and could be to blame for some of this stinging and zinging pain.

But why? Read on as we explore some of the factors involved in this cold weather phenomenon (1).

Taking a Closer Look at Cold Weather

Your teeth are very sensitive to temperature, and can vary up to 120 degrees when exposed to different hot or cold environments as well as hot or cold foods and beverages. Like most material, teeth actually expand and contract slightly as they change temperature.

hagen cincinnati

Teeth contract with exposure to cold temperature, and then expand as they warm back to body temperature. Your teeth are able to adapt to some extent, but tiny cracks and fissures can form over time due to the stress of this movement. The cracks shouldn’t affect the integrity of your teeth, but they can cause a lot of discomfort when cold air or liquid comes into contact!

Amalgam fillings (those made of mixed metal) will actually expand and contract more rapidly than the natural bone of teeth, meaning teeth with metal fillings could hurt even more than other teeth in the bitter, cold weather (1, 2).

Exposed Layers

The enamel is the outer, protective layer of your teeth. If the enamel has started to wear away, the next layer – the dentin – becomes exposed. Dentin is very sensitive due to the nerve endings found in this layer. This layer of the tooth can sense extreme changes in temperature more readily, and will create nerve irritation without the full shelter of the enamel that is typically covering it.

Dentin exposure can be caused from the tiny cracks mentioned above, damage to the tooth, long term wear and tear from rough brushing, home whitening kits, or even highly acidic foods (1, 2).

Root exposure will also cause abrupt pain when this part of the tooth comes in contact with cold air or liquid. The root of the tooth can become exposed by brushing too hard or with cross friction. They can also become exposed due to gum recession from grinding or gum disease. Dr. Hagen can help with determining the cause of gum recession, as well as give tips on proper brushing motions (3).

Jaw Tension

It’s not uncommon to unconsciously clench your jaw in colder weather. Some people have a tendency to tighten up their muscles (often the arms, shoulders, jaws, etc.) in an attempt to keep warm. This can put unnecessary and painful pressure on your jaw and the teeth (1).

Sinus Pressure

Seasonal allergies and sinus issues can show up during cold months. Sinus infections, fluid backup and pressure in the sinuses will often cause tooth pain because of their proximity to the oral cavity and teeth. Many people will mistake this feeling as tooth pain when it is really the referral from nearby tissues. Figuring out the cause of the sinus issue will help alleviate the oral pain in this case (1).

cincinnati dentist

What to Do About Sensitivity or Pain

Tips for reducing cold weather tooth pain start with protection and prevention. Try breathing through your nose instead of your mouth, or wearing a scarf or mask over your mouth while you’re out in the elements (4).

Good oral hygiene habits are of upmost importance when it comes to preventing sensitive teeth and other painful tooth difficulties. Be sure to brush and floss regularly to reduce your risk of decay or infection.

Hagen Dental is your resource for figuring out the cause of your tooth pain. We can perform an examination and do x-rays, if needed, to discover the issue. Switching to sensitive toothpaste can often help ease the discomfort. Other times, we may recommend painting a protective varnish on any teeth that show wear and tear of the enamel and are particularly sensitive.

Though many times the pain can be an easy fix, it is extremely important to get checked. Pain, whether temperature related or not, can signal more serious underlying issues with the health of your teeth and mouth. Tooth pain can be caused from defective fillings, recessed gums, tooth grinding, infection, cavities and other problems. Often times, the cold will just exacerbate the pain that was actually caused by one of those issues.

We want to catch cavities, infection, damage, or other disease sooner than later in order to keep you healthy. Let us know if you have any pain, discomfort or other issues so that we can help!

Schedule An Appointment with Hagen Dental Practice

We are excited to meet you and your family. Please call (513) 251-5500 or click the Online Scheduling button on our website to schedule your next visit!  Or, give us a call at (513) 251-5500 today!.

Sources:

  1. http://thedentistsofficefallon.com/burr-is-cold-weather-making-your-teeth-hurt/
  2. https://www.deltadentalins.com/oral_health/tooth-sensitivity-in-cold-weather.html
  3. http://www.familycedarrapidsdentist.com/cold-weather-effects-your-teeth
  4. https://www.carefreedental.com/resources/24-your-teeth/58-how-does-the-winter-affect-your-teeth

 

Don’t Just Dream Of A White Christmas…Do Something About It!

Monday, December 18th, 2017

tooth whitening options

This time of year is often packed with an increase in family fun, get-togethers, vacations, smiles and laughter, and more picture-taking than ever! With all those photo-ops and smiles, it’s easy to start worrying about the state of your smile. Are you dreaming of a whiter smile this Christmas?

Check out these brightening and whitening tips for whiter teeth this year and always!

Simple Tips To Whiten, Brighten, And Minimize Stains At Home

1. Use A Whitening Toothpaste

Today’s whitening toothpastes are not as harsh on your teeth as those in the past. New formulas help to whiten and brighten, as well as prevent new stains from taking hold as you sip on coffee or wine this holiday season! Ask us about specifics based on your oral health.

2. Try An Electric Toothbrush

Did you know that the vibration of an electric toothbrush can help prevent bacteria from sticking to surfaces in your mouth? No matter what brush you’re using, be sure to replace the bristles every three months. (Or sooner if you see signs of wear and tear and bent bristles). Worn bristles don’t clean as well, meaning particles can remain and cause stains or damage to your enamel.

3. Brush Your Tongue, Too!

Your tongue can accumulate bacteria, just like any other part of your mouth. This can contribute to discoloration on teeth surfaces. Be sure to rinse your brush well after brushing, so that it is fresh for next time (1).

4. Rinse After Acidic Foods Or Beverages

Acidic foods and beverages, such as citrus fruits and soda, can leave behind damaging acid on the teeth. Rinse your mouth with cool water to wash away any residue and prevent erosion. Bacteria buildup and damage can also occur from sugary juices and sports drinks, so drink them in moderation and rinse afterwards too.

5. Sip With A Straw

Beverages that have a tendency to stain your teeth, such as iced tea, coffee, fruit juices, or even sodas are a common source of discoloration. The stains these beverages cause occur slowly, over time, and can seem to sneak up on you after years of usage. The next time you’re out shopping, buy some straws – and start sipping through a straw to minimize the contact these drinks have with your tooth enamel (1, 3).

6. Choose Lipstick Wisely

Do you enjoy wearing lipstick or gloss? Color tints containing cherry reds, wine hues, and blue tones give the effect of making teeth look whiter. Stay away from orange undertones in your lip color, which can bring out the yellow appearance of your teeth (1).

7. Fruits And Vegetables

Diets high in fruits and vegetables have been shown to benefit both your body and your teeth. Crunchy, raw fruits and veggies like celery, apples and carrots help rub away plaque as you chew. They also cause increased saliva production in the mouth, which helps neutralize acidity, wash away bacteria, and keep the mouth fresher.

Strawberries and pineapple have been found to be particularly helpful in keeping the teeth white and bright, though studies show they are more helpful for prevention than removal of stains (2, 3).

Professional Tips For Whiter, Brighter Smiles

Professional whitening, depending on your exact needs, is one of the best way to get teeth as white as possible. You’ll see results faster and more fully than with the daily habits and tips we’ve discussed so far. If you want significant results, we recommend getting a professional whitening treatment, then maintaining your results to prevent new stains with the tips listed above for as long as possible. Here is what to expect with a professional whitening service at our office:

Zoom Whitening

Zoom whitening is the top professional whitening procedure for several reasons. It’s fast, easy, and pain-free, and you see results in just one visit. It has been shown to be safe and effective, without harm to the other tissues in the mouth.

Ask us about our whitening program called “Whitening for Life.” With a one-time fee, you will receive custom-fitted whitening trays along with our professional-strength whitening gel! Twice yearly, at the completion of your hygiene visits, you’ll receive free whitening gel for as long as you remain a patient of record.

Here’s what that means: You can have a brilliantly white smile, free from staining or darkness. And the best part is that you will be able to maintain your white smile for a lifetime!

hagen dental cincinnati

Maintain Your Procedure With Healthy Habits

After any whitening procedure, it’s important to keep up with regular dental hygiene habits and maintenance for better and longer results. This means brushing and flossing daily. And don’t forget to rinse with water after dark or staining foods and drinks.

It also means keeping on schedule with your regular professional dental cleanings. And, as described, another benefit of being a practice member at our office: Our “Whitening for Life” program that will keep your teeth oh so white! (4).

We Are Ready To Help You Have A White Christmas & New Year!

merry christmas white teeth

We’re wishing you a Merry Christmas and happy holiday season! We’re here to answer questions, help you make the best decision for your goals, or schedule your next whitening procedure. Give us a call at (513) 251-5500.

Sources:

  1. https://toilettreeproducts.com/11-tips-to-whiten-your-teeth/
  2. https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/whiten-teeth-naturally#section3
  3. https://www.webmd.com/oral-health/ss/slideshow-10-secrets-to-whiter-teeth
  4. https://www.bustle.com/articles/177437-6-teeth-whitening-tips-to-follow-for-a-brighter-smile-according-to-a-celebrity-dentist

Pucker Up! Don’t Make This Mistake Under the Mistletoe

Tuesday, December 12th, 2017

What’s The Mistletoe Tradition All About?

Did you ever wonder how the custom of kissing under mistletoe came to be? This tradition has roots that stem way back, and today’s tradition was shaped over time from several historical beliefs and practices surrounding the little herb.

Several ancient cultures touted the healing properties of mistletoe for various ailments, lending to its popularity. In the first century, it became a romantic symbol of vivacity and fertility amongst Celtic Druids, because it could blossom even during the cold of winter (1).

During Medieval times, mistletoe was thought to possess mystical powers that would bring good luck and ward off evil spirits during the month of December. It became a popular December decoration due to the beliefs about its power (2).

cincinnati dentist

Mistletoe was also considered and declared a symbol of love and friendship in Norse mythology, which led to the tradition of “stealing a kiss” under the mistletoe.

The tradition of kissing under the mistletoe is said to have caught on in England. Before Christmas trees were popular, a common decoration was a “Kissing Bunch”, or “Kissing Bough”. These were wooden hoops, composed of holly, ivy, rosemary, bay, fir, or other evergreen plants, and shaped into a ball. Apples, candles or ribbons were often used to decorate these boughs. The finishing touch on these bunches was a large mistletoe hung from the bottom (3).

The original custom stated that before you kissed someone, you had to pick a berry from the sprig of mistletoe. Once all the berries were gone, no more kissing was allowed (2)!

Don’t Be Caught With Bad Breath Under The Mistletoe

No matter where the tradition stemmed from, it’s engrained in our culture today. And with the holiday season upon us, you just might find yourself standing under a sprig of mistletoe at your next social gathering! We have tips to help you avoid being caught off guard with bad breath so that you’ll be ready for your next smooch under the mistletoe!

kissable breath dental tips

10 Ways To Stay “Kiss-ably” Fresh

The easiest way to stay fresh and “kiss-ready” is to adopt great oral hygiene habits and keep your oral cavity healthy. This prevention-minded attitude will help you maintain the freshness of your mouth and avoid problems that can creep up and lead to smelly breath. Check out this list of tips to keep your breath fresh (4)!

1. Brush Daily

You should always brush your teeth twice a day, for at least two minutes each time. This removes plaque, debris and harmful bacteria before it can accumulate and cause damage.

2. Floss Daily

Flossing reaches the third of the tooth’s surface that can’t be reached by brushing alone. If food and debris isn’t removed from between teeth, bacteria will grow and odors will develop.

3. Brush Your Tongue

Brushing or scraping your tongue will keep the folds and taste buds on the surface of the tongue clean and free of residue.

4. Mouthwash

Rinsing with mouthwash can help decrease the amount of odor-causing bacteria in the mouth. A mouth rinse can also temporarily mask the odor of an underlying dental issue. Keep in mind that we can help determine the cause of the odor and offer treatment if needed.

5. Visit Us

Regular visits to your dentist are crucial in maintaining proper oral health. These exams also give us a chance to detect any oral hygiene issues that could cause or lead to bad breath early on.

6. Avoid Tobacco

Tobacco products contribute to bad breath, dry out your mouth, and leave unpleasant smells that linger – even after you’ve brushed your teeth. We recommend quitting your use of tobacco.

7. Stay Hydrated

Dry mouth conditions can lead to bad breath. Staying hydrated with plenty of water will not only keep your mouth from becoming too dry; it will also help wash away food particles and bacteria that would otherwise lead to bad odors.

8. Chew Sugarless Gum

Wondering what to do if you are stuck somewhere and unable to brush before a social event? Sugarless gum can help stimulate saliva production and wash away food debris.

9. Munch On Fiber

Fibrous foods such as carrots, celery, apples and nuts are great low-sugar snacks to help keep teeth clean and increase your saliva production, minimizing bad breath.

10. Quick Rinse

Swishing with a quick rinse of water is another option if you are unable to brush after eating or drinking a particularly sugary meal or beverage. Swishing water is not a replacement for brushing, but can help knock down sugar buildup that would otherwise help feed odor-causing bacteria in the mouth until you are home and able to brush your teeth properly.

Regular Dentist Appointments Are Important, Too!

Keeping consistent with your professional cleanings and dental exams ensures we can catch issues early and do our part to keep your teeth, gums, and tongue healthy and ensure your breath stays fresh – all year round! Give us a call to schedule at (513) 251-5500.

 

Sources:

  1. http://www.history.com/news/ask-history/why-do-we-kiss-under-the-mistletoe
  2. https://www.whychristmas.com/customs/mistletoe.shtml
  3. https://www.whychristmas.com/customs/hollyandivy.shtml#kissingbough
  4. https://www.deltadentalins.com/oral_health/fighting-bad-breath.html

Mouth Sores: The Basics You Should Know

Monday, December 4th, 2017

cincinnati dentist

True dental health involves the entire mouth, so we’re trained to examine and identify problems with all the tissues of the mouth! Sores and irritations are common occurrences in the mouth.

Read on to learn about the most common oral sores, some of their causes, what you can do, and more.

Causes Of Mouth Sores

Sores in the mouth can stem from a variety of causes, including:

  • Infections from bacteria, viruses or fungus (1).
  • Irritation from a broken tooth, filling, piercing, loose orthodontic wire or other sharp appliance, or a denture that doesn’t fit (1).
  • Sores can be a symptom of a greater disease or disorder (1).
  • Immune system challenges and problems (2).

cincinnati dentist

The Most Common Mouth Sores

1. Canker Sores:

Canker sores develop in the soft tissues of the mouth, including the tongue, gums, uvula, or insides of the cheeks. They are typically white or gray sores with a red border. The good news about canker sores is they are NOT contagious. Their cause is hard to pinpoint, but could be related to other immune issues, oral hygiene issues, food irritation, stress, bacteria, viruses, or even trauma to the soft tissue (2).

Canker sores will typically heal on their own; however, it can take several days up to two weeks. If they are painful or causing problems with eating or talking, over-the-counter mouthwashes and pain killers designed for this type of sore can provide relief and help during the healing process. While a canker sore is healing, spicy, acidic, and overly salty foods should be avoided to minimize irritation and pain (2).

 2. Cold Sores:

Cold sores are also known as fever blisters. They present as a group of fluid-filled blisters around the lips, under the nose, or even around the chin. Cold sores are caused by the herpes simplex type 1 virus, and are VERY contagious. The initial infection of this virus will often be confused with a cold or flu. The main difference is that painful sores and lesions will emerge throughout the mouth (3).

Once a person is infected, the virus stays in the body and will cause periodic attacks. Some people notice that stress or other immune challenges can bring on an eruption. Cold sores will usually heal in about a week by themselves. If the blister is painful, over-the-counter topical medications can provide some pain relief. If the breakouts are severe or frequent, we can also prescribe antiviral drugs (3).

3. Thrush:

Thrush is a fungal infection that occurs when the yeast known as Candida albicans becomes overgrown in the oral cavity. It can reproduce rapidly in large numbers, causing an overgrowth and subsequent thrush infection (4).

Thrush is most common in people with weakened immune systems, in which the body’s own defenses can’t keep the Candida albicans in check. This population includes the very young, the elderly, or those who are affected by other diseases, such as diabetes or leukemia. Dry mouth syndromes and denture use both also make thrush more likely. Another risk factor is antibiotic treatment, which decreases the normal bacterial flora in the mouth, and gives Candida yeast a chance to flourish (4).

The best way to prevent and control thrush is focusing on good oral hygiene as well as controlling or preventing the conditions that make Candida more likely to reproduce rapidly (4).

cincinnati dentist4. Leukoplakia:

Leukoplakia are patches that form on the inside of the cheeks, gums or tongue. They are thick and whitish in color. They are caused by excessive cell growth (5).

Leukoplakia can result from irritations in the mouth, such as ill-fitting dentures or appliances, or in the case of people who are in the habit of chewing on the insides of the cheeks. These lesions are also common among tobacco users. Leukoplakia can, in some cases, be associated with oral cancer. We need to evaluate the lesion and might recommend a biopsy if the leukoplakia patch looks dangerous (5).

Removing and quitting those irritations that can result in leukoplakia are the first steps in treatment. For example, quitting tobacco or replacing anything ill-fitting appliances in the mouth are one of the first recommendations when dealing with leukoplakia from these causes (5).

We Are Here To Help!

While none of this is medical advice, these are some of the basics to know about when it comes to mouth sores. All mouth sores that last longer than a week should be examined by a dentist! Have you noticed new or recent sores in your mouth? Do you have a question about an unusual change in your oral soft tissue? It’s important that you have us analyze and take a look to rule out anything sinister or life-threatening. Whether for your next appointment or for another reason, be sure to give us a call at (513) 251-5500.

Sources:

  1. http://www.mouthhealthy.org/en/az-topics/m/mouth-sores
  2. http://www.mouthhealthy.org/en/az-topics/c/canker-sores
  3. http://www.mouthhealthy.org/en/az-topics/c/cold-sores
  4. http://www.mouthhealthy.org/en/az-topics/t/thrush
  5. http://www.mouthhealthy.org/en/az-topics/l/leukoplakia

Understanding Your Teeth: Each Tooth Has A Job To Do!

Wednesday, November 29th, 2017

Have you ever wondered why we have so many varied teeth? What are all the types of teeth that make up our smile? These different shapes and sizes aren’t by accident – they all play a role! Teeth are important for and have various roles in chewing and digesting food, support aspects of our facial structure, and play a part in our speech and language capabilities (1,2).

cincinnati dentist

Types of Teeth

A full set of adult teeth include 32 permanent teeth, including the four wisdom teeth. These 32 teeth can be divided into four categories: incisors, canines, premolars, and molars (3).

Incisors

Incisors are the thin teeth with a sharp biting surface located in the front of the mouth. There are four on the top and four on the bottom. They are the teeth that comprise the majority of our visible smile (1,4).

These front teeth are used primarily for taking initial bites of food, cutting or shearing food into smaller chewable pieces, and pulling the food into our mouths. They also play an important role in proper speech and pronunciation as we speak. Additionally, they support the lip tissues (2, 3, 4).

Incisors are also the very first to arrive in the mouth, both in their primary form (baby teeth) and permanent, adult form (1, 4).

Canines

Canines are also known as Cuspids, or “fangs” for slang. These are located just behind the incisors, at the “corners” of the dental arches, and are our longest type of tooth. There are two canines in the top row and two on the bottom – one on each side, respectively. These are the sharpest of all the teeth, with very jagged, pointed biting surfaces. Their function is to grip food and tear it apart, as well as help guide the mouth and jaw into the best biting position (1,3,4).cincinnati dentist

Premolars

Moving further back into the mouth, we get to the premolars, which are also known as Bicuspids. These teeth have a flatter biting surface. They are used primarily for tearing, crushing, and grinding food during chewing. This part of the chewing process makes food more easily consumable and more easily swallowed. There are a total of eight premolars (1, 3, 4).

Molars

There are a total of twelve molars, including the wisdom teeth. They come in sets of four and are termed “first molars”, “second molars”, and “third molars”. Molars are the largest of all the teeth. Similar to the premolars, they have a large, flat biting surface. The function of all twelve molars is to chew, crush and grind food (1,3).

The wisdom teeth are the four molars which are often termed “third molars”, since they erupt into the mouth last; typically in the late teen years (although some people never develop them at all)! Many people get their wisdom teeth removed if they do not have enough room for them; they are located so far back in the jaw that they can cause crowding issues or bite misalignments if they are left to grow in (1, 4).

Some people consider wisdom teeth to actually be a fifth category of tooth. However, for functional classification, wisdom teeth fall into the “molar” category. For those who have room to allow their third molars to grow in, these teeth are used for chewing, crushing and grinding food – just like the other eight molars (1, 3).

A Clean And Healthy Mouth Is Good For Your Body!

Oral health is not only important for a great looking smile! The health of your teeth plays a role in ensuring ease of eating and digestion, proper speech, proper facial structure, and of course and plays a part in your overall health. At Hagen, we know the importance of keeping all your teeth healthy and strong – no matter what their shape or size. Give us a call at (513) 251-5500.

Sources:

  1. https://www.everydayhealth.com/dental-health/basics/types-teeth-how-they-function/
  2. http://www.colgate.com/en/us/oc/oral-health/basics/mouth-and-teeth-anatomy/article/four-different-types-of-teeth-plus-more-0115
  3. https://www.dentalhealth.ie/children/toothdevelopment/types.html
  4. https://aci.edu/five-types-human-teeth-function/

 

Is Your Baby Teething? Here’s Everything You Need to Know

Monday, June 12th, 2017

baby teething 101

Wondering if your little one is teething yet? Most babies have their first tooth by the time they are six months old, and the symptoms of teething can begin two or three months prior to the first appearance of a tooth.

It’s common for the very first teeth to be the two bottom center teeth, and appearing next is usually the top two center teeth. After that, the teeth tend to grow outward (1).

Teething can be a tough time for your baby, so it’s important that you know the signs of teething and how to help soothe your little one.

top signs your baby may be teething

What Are the Signs?

Although the teething process varies from infant to infant, there are a couple of common symptoms to look out for. If a few or all of these signs stand out to you, your infant could be teething already!

Crankiness and Irritability

It’s normal for babies to fuss every now and again, but excessive crankiness may be a sign of teething. It’s hard to be cheerful when you’re not feeling well. So understandably, your baby might be irritable when he or she is experiencing an achy mouth (1).

Biting

With new teeth ready to poke through their gums, babies will feel aches and discomfort in their mouth. This pain can be counteracted by biting and chewing, which may indicate why your baby suddenly has a knack for biting more often (1).

Drooling

Yes, drooling is pretty common with many littles ones, but it can also be an indicator of teething, too! Teething stimulates saliva in the mouth, which means that your baby might drool more often than usual. If you’re finding excessive drool on your baby’s shirts, pillows, or toys, it might be a sign that he or she is teething (1).

Trouble With Their Sleeping Patterns

Have you finally gotten your baby sleeping on a normal schedule? Well, not so lucky for you, your baby will probably deviate from this sleep pattern when teething begins. Due to the discomfort caused by the teething process, your baby will most likely wake up earlier and nap less (2).

Ear Pulling

You may find your baby tugging on his or her ears. Because the ears are located closely to the jaw, pulling on them creates counter pressure that helps soothe mouth pain (2).

Puffy or Swollen Gums

When the new teeth are about to appear, your baby’s gums might appear red or swollen. Unless your little one took a tumble and bruised his or her mouth area, this is usually a telltale sign of teething (3).

How Can You Help?

In addition to extra hugs and kisses, there are a few ways you can help sooth your baby’s pain! Always defer to your dentist and/or your doctor, but here are a few ideas as well.

Pressing a frozen washcloth against your infant’s mouth will help alleviate some of the pain, and even numb sore gums (3).

Distracting your baby is another way to ease the pain. Just like a mild headache or tummy ache, a distraction helps get the mind off the pain (3).

Serving your baby cold food and water can also help alleviate the aching; it serves as a numbing agent to a sore mouth. Some ideas include yogurt, applesauce, or even frozen fruits (1).

Because chewing offers counter pressure to aches inside the mouth, rubber teething toys are another key for soothing the pain. Teething toys and wet washcloths can help distract your baby and alleviate the aches (1).

hagen dental practice total family care

We Care About Your Child’s Dental Health

Your entire family deserves a healthy smile! When those pearly whites finally do come in for your infant, we want to help keep them healthy. We enjoy their first visits as early as age 3.

Give us a call today at (513) 251-5500 to schedule a visit for everyone in the family.

Sources

  1. http://www.whattoexpect.com/first-year/teething/
  2. https://www.mamanatural.com/7-signs-your-baby-is-teething/
  3. http://www.parenting.com/article/guide-teething-symptoms