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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

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).

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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.

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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!