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Genes & Your Teeth: What Did You Inherit From Your Mother?

Wednesday, May 10th, 2017

Mother’s Day is fast approaching. And while we love to spend this day in celebration for all our mothers have done for us over the years, one can’t help but wonder… What genetic features did I inherit from my mom – both “good” AND “bad”?

Features That ARE Related To Genes

Genes play a major role in the size and layout of your jaw. This means things like overcrowding of teeth, gaps, overbites, underbites and other misalignment issues can run in the family (1).

Gum disease, though not completely controlled by genetics, does seem to have a hereditary factor. Basically, some people in the population are more predisposed and are naturally at a higher risk for inflamed gums than others (1,2). Like any genetic predisposition, it does NOT guarantee your fate. It just means you might have to work a little harder than others. Proper hygiene habits can still keep gum disease at bay, so keep up your healthy dental behaviors!

cincinnati dentist

The color of your teeth is in part related to genetics. Genes play a role in the tint of your teeth, as well as how likely your teeth are to becoming stained. This is because the porous nature of the enamel is an inheritable trait. The more porous your enamel, the more likely stains can occur. Keep in mind that lifestyle and dietary choices will also play a factor here. Drinks like coffee, tea and red wine, along with certain medications can change the color of your teeth (3).

Problems That Are NOT Related To Genes

Although it’s tempting to blame our dental problems on our parents, things like cavities, decay, and gum disease from poor dental habits are more a lifestyle factor than a heredity issue. Anyone can develop cavities, decay, and inflammation in their mouth if they don’t stick to regular and proper oral hygiene practices.

Oral cancer is only minimally related to genetics, so if this one runs in your family, don’t stress. Lifestyle choices such as tobacco and alcohol use are the top risk factors for oral cancer. This means you can help prevent oral cancers by quitting tobacco, cutting back on alcohol, and eating a balanced diet (1).

Take Control: What You Can Do

Be thankful for traits and characteristics that you inherited that you love. After all, these are things that make you uniquely you!

Accept things you cannot change, and investigate options for the things you can. If crooked teeth or misalignments run in your family, ask us about corrective techniques such as Invisalign. If you are unhappy with the color tint of your teeth, talk to us about cosmetic dental procedures to whiten the enamel safely.

Keep your stress low. Taking steps to reduce your stress levels can positively impact your overall health, as well as the health of your teeth and mouth, which will minimize inflammation and disease (2).

No matter what your age or dental health history, start taking your proper dental hygiene habits seriously today! This is the best way to prevent more issues in the future and keep your teeth and mouth healthy for the rest of your life.

healthy teeth tips

Poor oral hygiene increases your risk for dental issues and oral disease no matter what your genetics. Although some individuals are more predisposed to develop tooth decay and issues than others, no one is immune from taking good care of their teeth. This means regular flossing and brushing, plenty of hydration, regular dental checkups, and reducing your overall sugar intake.

These habits and lifestyle choices play a much larger role in the long term outcome of your oral health than the genes you inherited from Mom or Dad. So let Mom off the hook this weekend, and have fun celebrating!

Call Hagen Dental Practice Today

Ready to schedule your next checkup? Or have a question about Invisalign, dental health, or teeth whitening services? We are here for you! Give us a call at (513) 251-5500.

Sources:

1. https://www.deltadentalins.com/oral_health/are-oral-health-issues-genetic.html

2. http://www.rdhmag.com/articles/print/volume-20/issue-1/feature/genetics-periodontal-disease.html

3. https://www.newbeauty.com/hottopic/blogpost/6038-ask-an-expert-do-genetics-make-your-teeth-more-prone-to-stains/

 

The Kentucky Derby: Racing with Healthy Teeth

Friday, May 5th, 2017

Aaahhhh… Derby Days! This weekend will be filled with celebrations, parties, and horse race watching. Get-togethers will be complete with derby attire, cocktails and lots of delicious food. Gamblers set their sights on their favorite picks…And, this event kicks off the first of the Triple Crown series for the year.

cincinnati dentist

Preparation For The Derby

An event this huge naturally has days, weeks, months and years of preparation going into it – for everyone involved: the horses, owners, riders, organizers and even the fans. An immense amount of effort and energy goes into keeping the race horses healthy, well trained and primed for these big events. And this includes their dental care and maintenance!

Just like a human needs regular dental care and dentist visits, so too a horse needs regular care by their owners and veterinarians to keep their teeth and mouths healthy. Just like we don’t want oral problems interfering with our day-to-day lives, no one wants to see a tooth problem in a horse affecting their performance on race day!

Regular Dental Care For Horses

Regular dental check-ups for horses are essential, just like they are for humans. For horses, a dental checkup is vital to their overall well-being, and should take place every six months to a year. These check-ups serve to ensure proper hygiene and function in the mouth, and to detect and eliminate any problems as early as possible, to keep the horse comfortable and able to eat and perform. Their dentist will check for teeth and dental abnormalities, potential tartar buildup, signs of infection or other issues, and gum disease (1,2).

How Does A Horse Communicate A Tooth Problem? 

When a horse experiences a tooth problem, it is sometimes mistaken for bad behavior. Signs that a horse could be dealing with a tooth problem could include head tossing, bit chewing, tongue lolling, excess salivation, sluggish chewing, refusing to eat, riding with his head held high, trying to avoid the bit, or problems staying on the bit mouthpiece. Understandably, the horse is trying to express his discomfort (1, 3).

Daily Chewing

Horses have, on average, 36 to 44 teeth, and chew a shocking 40,000 times per day as they eat. The high number of teeth and high usage of these teeth increases the risk that problems could arise with one of them.

For example, during the chewing process, horses normally wear down the chewing surface of the tooth slowly and steadily. As this happens, new tooth material slowly grows up to provide a fresh chewing surface.

However, this process isn’t perfect, and if the wear on the tooth is uneven, the teeth can form sharp edges. These sharp edges can cut into the horse’s cheeks or tongue, causing painful sores. These sharp edges are removed by a dental procedure for horses known as “floating”. In this process, the veterinarian uses specialized tools to smooth the sharp edges of the enamel (1, 3, 4).

Racing And Bits

The bit mouthpiece used in riding should never affect the horse’s teeth. But sometimes horses develop extra teeth called “wolf teeth” or “tushes.” In many horses, these teeth will never cause a problem. Depending on the shape and location of these extra teeth, they could interfere with the bit or become easily irritated. In this case, the horse may need a specialized bit, or the kentucky derby 2017problematic teeth may need to be removed by a veterinarian or equine dentist so they do not become sensitive or infected by irritation from contact with the bit mouthpiece (1, 4).

Keeping Horses In Top Performance

Race horse owners are especially diligent when it comes to dental hygiene for their steeds. Issues with chewing can result in an insufficient food intake, weight loss or difficulty maintaining weight. Pain and discomfort from oral issues in a horse can impact their training, stamina and race-day disposition. And for anyone who owns and loves an animal, the thought of them suffering in pain or discomfort is not a pleasant one (4).

Just like in humans, prevention in horses is typically easier, cheaper and more comfortable than waiting for a problem to occur. That’s why we commend horse owners who keep their regularly scheduled check-ups, AND why we recommend you do the same for you and your family!

Enjoy the Derby this weekend!

Questions for Dr. Hagen and the Hagen Dental Team?

We want to help keep the dental health of you and your family at its best! Call us at (513) 251-5500 to schedule your next visit.

Sources:

  1. https://www.thespruce.com/essential-dental-care-for-horses-1886863
  2. http://www.thehorse.com/articles/14175/brushing-horses-teeth
  3. http://sawpan.com/dental-care-tips-to-keep-your-horses-teeth-healthy/
  4. http://www.thehorse.com/articles/27010/20-things-your-horses-teeth-are-telling-you

12 Interesting Facts About Smiling

Wednesday, April 26th, 2017

1. Babies Are Born With The Ability To Smile

Babies can smile very early in life – even in utero! Unlike many things a baby has to learn, a smile is inborn and doesn’t have to be copied from those around them. They are just reflex smiles at that young age, not an intentional response to your jokes; however, it’s still a wonderful thing to see when your newborn curves those lips upwards.

Between 6 and 12 weeks of life, babies begin to give REAL smiles – a genuine reaction in response to a stimulus they like (1).

healthy smiles cincinnati

2. You Have 43 Muscles In Your Face

These 43 muscles are important in conveying emotion and facial expression, such as that which happens when we smile. A minimum of 10 of these muscles are engaged in the simplest of smiles, but many more can be recruited during the motion of a smile.

The number ranges dramatically depending on the individual, and the intensity of the smile. For instance, in a simple smile, only a few muscles around the mouth are engaged, but in a larger sincere smile, muscles around the eyes may become activated (2).

3. Fixing A Crooked Smile Is Faster And Easier Than Ever

Have you heard of Invisalign? These invisible aligners help straighten teeth in just 9-15 months. While they can’t correct every smile’s problem, they ARE effective for many conditions: gapped teeth, overbites, crossbites and underbites, as well as overcrowding. A computer designs and plans the entire treatment plan that will take you through the process to your new smile. Dr. Hagen oversees and monitors the progress.

4. A Smile Is A Universal Expression

A smile is a universally accepted expression of happiness. Almost all cultures recognize this facial expression. Some studies even suggest that smiling is contagious.

As humans, we have the ability to detect a smile from more than 300 feet away, helping us distinguish between friends and enemies (3, 4).

5. Smiling Makes You Feel Better

Smiling can improve your mood. And there is science behind this one, too! The mechanism of smiling releases endorphins, which are feel-good neurotransmitters that your brain interprets as an increase in mood.

These chemicals relax your body and reduce pain sensation as well. This works even if you fake a smile. So the next time you feel down, try “faking it until you make it” and see if you feel a little happier (3).

6. Smiling Keeps You Healthier

Big, genuine, and honest smiles give your immune system a boost. They also decrease the stress hormone cortisol in your body. This has the effect of making you healthier and better at fighting off illness (4)!

 7. Try A Smile Makeover Instead Of Hiding Your Smile

We offer many different makeover options when it comes to your smile. No longer do you have to hide a smile that you don’t love. Talk to us about our aesthetic options for obtaining the smile of your dreams! The procedures are often less time consuming than you might think, and very affordable. A smile makeover to help fix misshapen teeth, discoloration, or unsightly gaps can offer you the confidence to share your smile with the world.

8. Smiling Makes You More Attractive

Studies show that a majority of people find smiling faces to be better looking and more attractive than faces without smiles (4).

9. There Is A Guinness World Record For The Largest Human Smiley

The largest human smiley was achieved by 8,018 people in Manila, Philippines on May 30, 2015. This was an organized event as part of the AIM Global 9th company anniversary. Attendees wore yellow or black shirts and gathered in the shape of the smiley to set the record (5).

best cincinnati dentist

10. There Are 19 Different Types Of Smiles

A researcher from UC-San Francisco identified 19 different types of smiles. These range from polite “social” smiles which engage a fewer number of muscles, all the way to more sincere “felt” smiles that use a much larger number of muscles and engage more of the face (6).

11. Smiling Helps You Stay Positive

A smile sends a message to the brain that “life is good”. So even if you are going through a tough time, a smile will help you see the silver lining. Help reduce depression, stress and general worry by increasing your time spent smiling (7).

12. Our Priority Is The Health Of Your Smile

Our team is working together towards the common goal for our practice members to gain and maintain healthy teeth and gums and a beautiful smile. We do this by earning your trust and offering the best dentistry we can provide!

health teeth and gums

Ready To Talk More About Your Smile?

Contact us with questions about Invisalign, smile makeovers, or regular maintenance and oral health to ensure your smile is the best it can be. We are here to help and can’t wait to meet you! Call us at (513) 251-5500

Sources:

  1. http://www.parents.com/baby/development/laughing/when-do-babies-start-smiling/
  2. http://science.howstuffworks.com/life/inside-the-mind/emotions/muscles-smile1.htm
  3. http://www.infobarrel.com/10_facts_about_smiling
  4. https://www.buzzfeed.com/smiletrain/facts-about-smiles-you-never-knew?utm_term=.yk6q2X2kQd#.tqgdpYpEmD
  5. http://www.guinnessworldrecords.com/world-records/largest-human-smiley/
  6. http://www.laughteronlineuniversity.com/15-fascinating-facts-smiles/
  7. https://www.verywell.com/top-reasons-to-smile-every-day-2223755

Occlusal Cavities: What To Know And How To Prevent Them

Monday, April 17th, 2017

Have you ever heard us use the term occlusal cavity? An occlusal cavity is the term we use to describe the tooth decay that occurs on the chewing surface of a tooth.

cavities cincinnati dentist

Everyone has peaks and valleys in their teeth, which creates grooves of varying depths, depending on the tooth. These grooves can be more susceptible to damage, bacterial growth and tooth decay, especially when the grooves are deep. Molars tend to have the deepest grooves, which is one of the reasons they tend to get more occlusal cavities than the other forward teeth (1).

Bacterial overgrowth in the mouth leads to a breakdown of both the enamel and the dentin. These holes lead to the decay and cavities of teeth that we all dread so much. Keeping bacteria and food out of these grooves is the best way to avoid occlusal decay (2).

How Can I Prevent an Occlusal Cavity?

So what are the best ways to keep bacteria at bay and avoid the havoc it wreaks on teeth? Make your mouth an environment in which bacteria doesn’t want to live! You can help minimize your chances of developing an occlusal cavity by incorporating these five daily habits:

  1. Brush daily: Twice a day, at least two minutes each time. Ensure your toothbrush is not more than three months old, and invest in a great paste that you love. Make this part of your morning and night routines!
  2. Floss daily: This is important to keep the parts of your teeth clean that brushing alone doesn’t reach. This includes crevices between the teeth and the areas near the gum lines. Many people slack on flossing, but it’s as important as daily brushing!
  3. Avoid sugar and sucrose: Bacteria feed on all foods, but especially love sugars. Sucrose is a specific type of sugar that is found in simple carbohydrates: things like candies, cookies, sugary drinks, and white flour products such as breads and cereals. To make matters worse, the breakdown of these foods also produces acid, which adds to the potential for damage and decay of the teeth (1,2).

  4. Check nutrition labels: This is a great habit to incorporate when you shop. Many processed foods, fat-free foods and even dairy products contain hidden sugars. You might be surprised to find you are ingesting more sugars than you originally thought (1)!
  5. Increase your water intake: Drinking water throughout your day helps remove sticky residues and food particles that would otherwise stick to your teeth. Swishing the water around your mouth is an effective way to clear the occlusal surfaces of your teeth after meals and snacks, when access to brushing and flossing might otherwise not be available (1,2,3).

Start incorporating these 5 tips into your day to avoid getting a cavity altogether. After all, prevention is the best medicine.

What If I Develop An Occlusal Cavity?

If you already suffer from an occlusal cavity – don’t stress. One of the reasons for regular dental checkups and cleanings is so that we can detect and treat these issues right away (3).

You never want to delay having an occlusal cavity filled: while they are typically painless, if you wait for pain to occur, it could mean the decay has spread deeper into your tooth!

Have More Questions About Cavity Prevention?

Contact us at Hagen Dental: 513-251-5500. We are passionate about helping you achieve optimal oral health and prevent decay. We can’t wait to meet you and your family.

Sources:

  1. http://dg-dentistry.com/what-is-an-occlusal-cavity/
  2. http://www.webmd.com/oral-health/guide/dental-health-cavities#1
  3. https://crest.com/en-us/oral-care-topics/general-oral-hygiene/everything-you-need-to-know-about-a-cavity

 

It’s Spring Cleaning Time… Don’t Forget Your Teeth!

Monday, April 3rd, 2017

Spring is upon us in full force! Birds are chirping, the grass is starting to green, critters and wildlife are coming out of hiding, and plants everywhere are budding out. It’s a great time of year to start fresh: clean out your closets, open the windows, dust that shelf you’ve ignored all winter, sweep out the garage, fill trash bags with things you don’t want, and make trips to donation centers.

Spring naturally instills in us a desire for a fresh start. It’s a new season, the days are getting longer, the entire world seems to be waking up and emerging from the cold winter, and we look forward to the energy and excitement of the upcoming seasons. Wouldn’t it be nice if we could channel some of this energy into renewed zest for self-care?

Over the winter, there is a lot to distract us from proper oral health: the various holidays, travel to new places, family get-togethers, sweets and treats that accompany the celebrations and parties, school work, sporting events, and the goals of our New Year’s resolutions. The renewal mindset that comes along with the spring season offers us the perfect opportunity to check in on our oral health. We have a chance to start anew with our positive self-care habits to prevent dental issues in our future.

Check In With Your Daily Habits

Are you brushing regularly? You should brush at least twice per day, approximately two minutes each time. Use a soft bristled brush in a gentle up and down motion. Avoid cross friction or overly hard brushing.

Do you floss? Up to one third of your tooth’s enamel can’t be properly cleaned with brushing alone. Floss helps to clean debris and tartar buildup from between your teeth and closer to the gum line. Take this habit as seriously as brushing!

Check In With Your Food And Beverage Intake

Do you eat sugary or acidic foods? These types of foods create a breeding ground in your mouth for bacterial growth, decay, and plaque buildup. Make a commitment this year to renew your diet and load up on proteins, vegetables and fibrous foods. Minimize your sugar and snack consumption, and avoid acidic beverages like soda.

How is your hydration? Water is essential for many body functions, including proper oral health. Water intake helps keep saliva levels normal, minimize bad breath away, reduce tartar, and clean debris from your mouth.

Check In With Your Tools

Is your toothbrush more than three months old? It’s time to break open a new toothbrush! Spring is a great reminder to “start fresh”. Are you running low on floss or mouthwash? Stock up the next time you head to the store. Good habits are best supported by proper supplies.

Is it time to try something new? Perhaps you’ve been considering switching to an electronic toothbrush or a water flosser? These tools can add value and convenience to the way you clean your teeth at home. Confused or don’t know where to start? Ask us! We are here to help.

Check In With The Hagen Team

Take the opportunity this spring to “deep clean” your personal habits and health choices to benefit you in the years to come. We look forward to seeing your progress in our office at your next checkup and cleaning!

Do you need to get your next appointment on the books? Give us a call at Hagen Dental Practice at (513) 251-5500 and we will find a time that works best for you!

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

Tuesday, February 21st, 2017

Why do teeth become tender and sensitive? Why can some people bite into a nearly sub-arctic temperature ice cream treat with no issue, while others wince in pain, or avoid the treat all together? Can you avoid this happening to you? Eliminating some of the reasons tooth sensitivity develops can help lessen your pain or help you avoid this problem developing.

Here are some of the reasons teeth become sensitive:

Brushing Too Hard

Using a hard-bristled toothbrush or brushing with too much force can start to wear and tear on your teeth and gums. This excess force and friction wears down the protective enamel layer of your teeth, which can eventually expose more sensitive tissue or nerves. These habits can also cause gum damage or recession, exposing the very sensitive root tissue below the gum line. Avoid these issues by switching to a soft bristled brush and brushing in a circular, gentle motion along your teeth. Often times, people brush too hard because they are in a hurry. Slow down and show your teeth some TLC (1,2).

Eating Too Many Acidic Foods

If your teeth have already become sensitized, and nerve or root tissue is exposed, acidic foods will irritate these areas and cause a lot of pain and discomfort. Acidic foods include things like tomato sauce, citrus fruits, kiwis, pickles, sour candies, and soft drinks. Avoiding these foods can help you avoid the painful stimulation they cause (1).

Grinding Your Teeth

Grinding your teeth, which most commonly occurs at night during sleeping, wears down the enamel and can damage the gum tissue, leading to gum recession. Just like with brushing too hard, exposing the more porous middle layer of the tooth under the enamel means unprotected nerve fibers can be reached by irritants. If you think you’ve been grinding your teeth, or you’ve been told you are a grinder, schedule an appointment with Dr. Hagen to discuss finding a mouth guard to prevent the grinding (1).

Using Certain Toothpastes

Certain toothpastes can lead or further promote sensitivity. Because people can react differently to the same product, some people might develop sensitivity from a paste that another person is not bothered by. If you noticed the sensitivity start after switching to a new whitening paste, you should switch to a different brand of paste, a different product that doesn’t contain any whitening agents, or ask us if you have questions.

Overusing Mouthwash

Mouthwash is a good part of your oral hygiene habits. However, some people overuse their mouthwash, leading to enamel wear, dentin exposure, and sensitivity of the teeth. If you think this is the cause of your sensitivity, try cutting back to swishing just once or twice a day, or try a brand that is alcohol free. And don’t forget to be proactive with your brushing and flossing so that you don’t miss the extra mouthwash rinses. (Once again, ask us for more guidance specific to you.)

Gum Disease

Gum recession, gum inflammation (gingivitis), and other forms of gum disease can all present with tooth sensitivity. In this case, you most likely will notice the sensitivity at the gum line, where unprotected tooth tissue is exposed to the elements: anything you eat and drink. In the case of gum issues, it is vital to schedule your next dental appointment right away, so that Dr. Hagen can help get your gum disease under control and talk to you about treatment options to deal with the gum disease, or procedures to seal the exposed tooth.

A Recent Dental Procedure

Procedures such as root canals, extractions, or crown placement can all cause sensitivity after the event. However, these symptoms should only be temporary. If the sensitivity persists, be sure to schedule a follow up visit to rule out infection or other complications (1).

A Cracked Tooth

A cracked or even chipped tooth can cause pain. This pain can vary, but is typically severe enough that it feels worse than just sensitivity. In a case like this, Dr. Hagen will need to analyze the issue to determine what type of treatment will be available to fix or remove the cracked or chipped tooth (1).

Contact Hagen Dental Practice for All Your Oral Health Needs

Do you think one or more of the issues listed above relates to you? Call us at (513) 251-5500 to learn more about how to prevent, deal with, or end your tooth sensitivity!

Sources:

  1. http://www.everydayhealth.com/dental-health/10-biggest-causes-of-tooth-sensitivity.aspx
  2. https://www.danmatthewsdds.com/5-unusual-causes-tooth-sensitivity/

 

New Year’s Resolutions For A Healthier Smile

Wednesday, January 11th, 2017

The New Year is here in full swing! Many of us partake in New Year’s resolutions – goals to make this year our best yet. Did you make any for 2017? Have you been sticking to them?

Often times our resolutions relate to healthy lifestyle choices. We inherently know that healthier habits keep us feeling better and enjoying life longer. Check out this list of resolutions that will help keep your smile healthy and your oral health on track – this year and always!

simple-resolutions-for-a-healthier-smile

1. Brush Daily

One of the most important commitments you can make this year – if you aren’t already – is to brushing twice per day. Brushing cleans and protects your teeth from decay and your gums from disease and inflammation. Brushing is also helpful to maintain fresh breath and a bright smile.

The best part? It only takes a few minutes per day! Without brushing regularly, plaque and bacteria build up in your mouth, increasing your risk of inflammation, infection and decay (1, 2).

2. Floss Daily

Flossing is equally as important as brushing! Flossing removes plaque between the teeth and below the gum line, where brushing can’t reach. These areas account for approximately 35% of the surfaces that need cleaning and can’t be reached with brushing alone, and they are often the places where decay and gum disease first begin (1).

3. Make Water Your Beverage Of Choice

Water is the best beverage for your smile’s health for many reasons. First, it rinses away sugars and food particles after a meal or snack. It also helps restore and maintain a proper pH level in your mouth.

Acidity in the mouth from things like coffee, soda, sugars and other food items weakens your teeth and makes it more prone to disease. Water helps to neutralize the pH level. Lastly, staying hydrated helps to avoid dry mouth and the potential bad breath that can accompany it.

choose-water-over-other-beverages

4. Opt For Whole Foods Over Processed Options

Eating well is vital to your dental health. Poor nutrition affects your gums, immune system, inflammation levels, and tooth strength. Processed foods tend to have more sugars, starches and additives that are harmful for your overall health as well as your oral health.

Whole foods contain more vitamins and minerals to support and strengthen your teeth and gums. As a bonus, crisp fruits and raw veggies such as apples, pears, carrots and celery help to keep your teeth cleaner and plaque at bay because of their fibrous quality (1, 2).

5. Switch To A Soft-Bristled Brush

A firmer toothbrush might sound like a better scrubber, but it’s actually not the best choice. Harder bristles irritate the gums, can lead to gum recession, and even sensitive teeth. A soft-bristled brush works just fine; stick to brushing for 2 whole minutes (don’t rush!) and it will get the job done effectively – and most importantly – safely.

6. Avoid Using Your Teeth As “Tools”

Our jaws are strong, and our bones are tough. Because of this, it’s not uncommon for some people to use their teeth for tasks around the house: tearing open a bag of snacks or other tricky plastic containers, twisting open a beer bottle, using a bite grip to open that stubborn bottle of nail polish, or ripping a tag off clothing. But these seemingly simple “jobs” are very hard on your teeth. Even though your teeth are strong, these are not tasks they were meant to perform.

These types of activities place trauma and pressure on the bones and jaw, and can cause a weakened tooth to chip or fracture. Keep scissors, pliers and rubber grips handy so that you can easily reach for those tools when frustrated with that plastic, metal or paper – instead of defaulting to your teeth (3, 4).

7. Double Check Your Calendar

Has it been over 6 months since your last dental checkup? If so, it’s time to give us a call! It’s always surprising how fast the weeks and months fly by. It’s a good idea to check and make sure it hasn’t been longer than you realized since your last appointment. Consistent visits to our office will allow us to prevent or detect problems early – before they become painful, expensive, and tough to treat. And our examination will help let you know if there are any habits you can change to enhance your oral health.

Call Hagen Dental Practice Today

We want you to succeed in all your oral health resolutions so that you can love and maintain a healthy smile! Give us a call today at (513) 251-5500.

 

Sources/References:

  1. https://www.deltadentalins.com/oral_health/new-year.html
  2. http://www.firstchoicedental.com/blog/5-new-years-resolutions-healthier-smile
  3. http://www.webmd.com/oral-health/do-you-have-these-5-bad-dental-habits#1
  4. http://www.210wpfd.com/5-easy-new-years-resolutions/

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/

Can Gum Recession Happen In An Otherwise Healthy Mouth?

Wednesday, December 7th, 2016

The short answer is that yes, gum recession can happen in a mouth that is otherwise ”healthy.”

Gum recession is the process during which the margin of gum tissue surrounding the teeth wears away or pulls back. This process causes exposure of more of the tooth’s surface, or even the tooth’s root.

Gaps can form between the teeth and gum line, creating an easy place for bacteria to build up. If left untreated, the teeth can become severely damaged, cause extreme discomfort, and even lead to tooth loss.

How Does it Happen?

Gum recession usually happens gradually. Signs include tooth sensitivity or noticing a tooth that seems to have “gotten longer”. There can also be a noticeable notch where the tooth meets the gum. It’s important NOT to ignore these signs. Prevention (when possible) and early treatment are the keys to repairing the gum and tooth and prevent further damage.

what-causes-gum-recession

What Causes Gum Recession?

Part of the reason that gum recession can happen, even if you have good oral health habits, comes down to how it happens. Here are a few scenarios that can lead to recession:

Insufficient Dental Care: Skipping or slacking on your regular dental hygiene habits makes it much easier for plague to turn into tartar. This hard substance builds on and between your teeth, and can only be removed at a professional dental cleaning. Tartar increases the likelihood of gum recession. So keep up your daily habits like regular brushing, flossing and rinsing with antibacterial mouthwash to keep tartar buildup to a minimum.

Periodontal Disease: Bacterial infections can destroy gum tissue and the supporting boney tissue that hold the teeth in place. Regular checkups, healthy dietary choices, and proper oral hygiene routines are paramount to preventing gum infection.

many-factors-that-can-cause-gum-recession

Remember this: even if you have an otherwise healthy mouth, and stay regular with your oral hygiene, there are many other factors that can cause your gums to start receding:

Genetics: Some people are more susceptible to gum disease. Some people have thinner or weaker gum tissue to start with. Others have larger, more prominent roots. Some studies show that approximately 30% of the population are predisposed to gum recession, regardless of how well they care for their teeth (1,2).

Brushing Too Hard: Aggressive tooth brushing creates a high risk for gum recession. This includes several components: Trauma to the gum tissue associated with brushing too hard, using too hard a toothbrush, or cross friction as you brush sideways across the gums. These factors can cause the enamel on the teeth to wear away, and irritate the gums, causing them to recede. The safest way to brush is gently, with a soft-bristled brush, in an up and down motion (1,2). Remember how we’ve talked about the benefits of flossing and using an electric toothbrush? It’s all making sense now since we don’t typically brush as hard when using an electric toothbrush.

Hormonal Changes: Women are more susceptible to gum recession related to hormone fluctuations. Across the course of a woman’s life, changes that accompany puberty, pregnancy and menopause can make gums more sensitive and vulnerable to gum recession.

Tobacco Products: Tobacco users develop sticky plaques on their teeth, which also can lead to gum recession.

Grinding and Clenching: The added forces and pressure placed on the teeth that are associated with clenching and grinding of the jaw serve to irritate the gums at their attachment site on the bone, causing the gum tissue to recede from the base of the tooth. A custom-made mouth guard can be helpful for night bruxism. (Ask us for more information specific to you.)

Crooked Teeth and Misaligned Bite: If teeth don’t come together evenly, increased and imbalanced forces are placed upon the gums and bones, increasing the probability that the gums will recede (1, 2). Invisalign is a great alternative to braces to help straighten issues with crooked teeth or bite.

Lip or Tongue Piercings: Jewelry in or around the oral cavity can cause repetitive irritation or rubbing of the gums, leading to wearing away of the affected gum tissue.

Trauma to the Gum Tissue: Traumatic injury to the teeth or gums from events such as accidents, fights, sports injuries or falls can lead to gum recession.

Call Hagen Dental Practice Today for all Your Oral Health Needs

Do you have questions about the prevention or treatment of gum recession? We’d love to answer any of the questions you have regarding your gums or your dental health! Schedule your next visit with Hagen Dental by calling us at (513) 251-5500.

Sources:

  1. http://www.webmd.com/oral-health/guide/receding_gums_causes-treatments#1
  2. http://health.howstuffworks.com/wellness/oral-care/problems/gums-receding.htm
  3. http://www.colgate.com/en/us/oc/oral-health/conditions/gum-disease/article/receding-gums-and-treatment-and-causes-0214

It’s Wellness Wednesday!

Wednesday, November 30th, 2016

By now you’ve fought through the fierce crowds and lines of Black Friday, loosened your purse strings for Small Business Saturday, and shopped from home while searching high and low for great finds on Cyber Monday.

Hopefully you’ve walked away from it all unscathed, grabbed some good deals, and accomplished much of your holiday shopping! Are you exhausted yet?

its-time-for-wellness-wednesday

We hope you have some energy left, because it’s time for Wellness Wednesday! With all this focus on shopping, potentially a lot of missed sleep, the stress of travelling and visitors, and the anticipation of the holidays, it’s easy for our WELLNESS habits and goals to get lost in the shuffle.

“Is Oral Health Really an Important Part of Our Overall Health?”

Yes! In fact, your oral health gives clues about your overall health. Problems in your mouth can not only affect the rest of your body, but can indicate underlying health issues. Your oral health is more important than you might have even realized.

dental-health-as-a-clue-towards-overall-health

Without proper oral hygiene, the bacteria in the mouth can reach levels that can lead to infections. Natural defenses coupled with regular oral health care help to keep these bacteria under control.

Chronic inflammation of gum disease can play a role in other diseases and inflammation of the body, making both conditions more severe. Inflammatory diseases such as cardiovascular disease can be linked to infections that oral bacteria can cause, according to some research.

Your state of overall health relates directly to your heart health.

Bacteria that enter the body, including through your mouth, can spread through your bloodstream and attach to damaged areas in your heart, leading to endocarditis. Endocarditis is an infection of the inner lining of your heart.

Oral health is important for mom and baby during pregnancy. Inflammation and infection in your mouth has been linked to premature birth and low birth weight.

But That’s Not All…

Certain pre-existing conditions can affect your oral health. Diabetes, for example, reduces the body’s resistance to infection, putting your gums at higher risk for disease. The reverse is true as well: People with gum disease have a harder time controlling their blood sugar levels, so regular dental health care can improve diabetes control. Another example is osteoporosis, in which there is an increased risk for periodontal bone loss and tooth loss, due to the weakness of the bone structure.

Medications, such as decongestants, antihistamines, painkillers, diuretics and antidepressants can all reduce saliva flow. Since saliva is so important for neutralizing acids and washing away food particles, this reduction in saliva can give bacteria a chance to thrive and potentially lead to complications, gum disease, or other inflammatory processes.

The team at Hagen Dental wants to remind you to keep up with your regular dental hygiene. Floss and brush daily, stay hydrated, and try to avoid indulging in too many of the sweets and treats that are so prevalent this time of year. If you have a dental checkup scheduled, don’t skip it! This time of year can get busy, but your health is worth making time for.

Another Wellness Wednesday tip: When was the last time you changed your toothbrush? If it’s been more than 4 months, it’s time to change… so add a toothbrush to your shopping list!

Improve Your Total Health: Call Hagen Dental Practice Today

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

Sources/References to read more:

http://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/adult-health/in-depth/dental/art-20047475