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Meet Hagen Dental’s Newest Team Member, Brandi Stemen

Friday, September 18th, 2015

Hagen Dental Cincinnati West Side Dentist

Name: Brandi Stemen. Most my friends and family call e “Brandie Rae.” (Rae is my middle name.)

Role: I am an Expanded Functions Dental Assistant. I would describe my role not only as an EFDA, but as an assistant that can bring quality care to my patients. I love making my patients feel comfortable at all times while they are in the office and giving them a positive experience.

Favorite restaurant in Cincinnati: I have quite a few favorite restaurants in Cincinnati but I think my number one choice would be Wild Mikes (in Delhi).

How long you have lived in Cincinnati? In November, it will be 2 years. I a from a small town outside of Dayton, Ohio, so it was quite an adjustment moving to the big city but I love it.

What do you enjoy doing outside of work? Some things I enjoy doing outside of work are spending time with my friends and family. I also enjoy attending Cincinnati sporting events such as UC football and basketball games, and Red’s games.

How would you describe the Hagen Dental team? The Hagen Dental team is a great team to work on. I knew the moment I walked into the office that I had to work here. The whole team is so warm, welcoming, and made me feel like I had been a part of the team for years. Everyone works as hard as they can to make the office run smoothly while providing quality care for our patients.

Hagen Dental is about total health. How do you stay healthy? To stay healthy, I focus on my fitness quite a bit which includes going to the gym 5-6 days a week. Everyone calls me crazy because I prefer to go to the gym before work so I wake up every morning at 4:30 AM.

What’s your favorite part of your job? My favorite part of my job would be the relationships I am able to build with my patients. I love getting to know my patients, and making them feel comfortable.

Finish this sentence: Hagen Dental patients… Will receive a lifetime of quality care when they step into our office.

Ready to come by our office and meet the Hagen Dental team? Visit our website to find out more or call (513) 251-5550 today. We can’t wait to meet you!

Happy National Dentist Day

Friday, March 6th, 2015

It’s our kind of day today! We hope you have a day full of smiles.

Hagen Dental Cincinnati Happy National Dentist Day

Dr. Hagen, DDS Has Been Named as One of Cincinnati’s Top Doctors

Thursday, February 5th, 2015

Top Dentist in Cincinnati

Cincinnati Magazine approached more than 5,000 physicians and asked them the question: who would you turn to if you, a family member, or a friend needed medical attention?

And the result? Dr. Hagen has been selected as a Top Doctor in Cincinnati, Ohio by his peers!

So what are the just a few of the reasons Dr. Hagen is a Top Dentist in Ohio?

  • Dr. Hagen and all of the Hagen Dental team are dedicated to your total health. That approach is reflected in our warm and welcoming atmosphere. Ask Hagen Dental patients and they’ll tell you how your visit will be both comfortable and enjoyable. We’re always smiling here in the Hagen Dental office!
  • Dr. Hagen is passionate about oral care. Dr. Hagen continues his postgraduate education on an ongoing basis, and he is committed to offering the latest and greatest services to patients. (Did you know that Dr. Hagen attended St. Xavier High School and Xavier University before earning his dental degree from The Ohio State University School of Dentistry?)
  • Dr. Hagen is connected to the community. Just a few of the ways Dr. Hagen is involved in the community include his role as president of the Greater Cincinnati Dental Study Club, and a member of the American Dental Association, Ohio Dental Association, and Cincinnati Dental Society. Dr. Hagen and his wife Jennifer have six beautiful children and you can often find Dr. Hagen cycling in the Cincinnati area.
  • Think quality and a caring approach. Hagen Dental Practice involves you in decision-making, and we fully inform you about what you (or your children) need to know as it relates to your dental care. From one-visit crowns to CEREC to Zoom! Whitening, we want you to be fully informed and completely confident as you take care of your health.
  • Dr. Hagen has extensive experience. Dr. Hagen has in-depth knowledge about sleep dentistry, whole mouth rehabilitation, crown and bridge restorations, CEREC, and much, much more. Dr. Hagen constantly evaluates emerging dental methods and technology so that our patients have the best results, all in the least invasive manner.

Find out more about Hagen Dental Practice.

How Acid Reflux Can Damage Your Teeth

Saturday, November 15th, 2014

Dental erosion: it’s when acids wear away at the enamel on our teeth.

Eating lots of acidic foods is one of the major reasons we see erosion. Once this erosion occurs, the teeth can look shiny and a bit deficient compared to the parts of our teeth that do not have erosion.

When we lose or damage our enamel, it cannot be brought back. This erosion is a problem because our enamel is what gives our teeth their structure, and shape. We then see the underlying dentin being exposed.

Hagen Dental DDS BlogIt’s safe to say that most of us want to avoid any loss of tooth structure. So what are some signs you may have tooth erosion? Here are a few:

  • Sensitivity
  • Change in tooth form/shape
  • Cracks in the edges of teeth
  • Small dent-like appearances on your teeth
  • Discoloration
  • “Transparent” looking teeth

Knowing that acid reflux directly contributes to teeth erosion, let’s examine acid reflux a bit more.

What’s acid reflux and how does it happen?
We have a muscular ring between the end of our esophagus and our stomach. This ring is what helps keep our day-to-day stomach acid within the stomach, where it helps us digest properly. In some situations, this sphincter muscle does not work as it should, and as a result, our stomach acid comes up into our esophagus. (Sometimes you’ll hear this muscle called the LES, short for the lower esophageal sphincter muscle.)

But is this muscle all to blame as the cause of acid reflux? The answers is that as much as 90 percent of most heartburn cases are due to the foods/beverages we eat, meaning that for many of us, we are able to avoid or keep our heartburn to a minimum.

Besides being a major culprit for teeth erosion, acid reflux also contributes to bad breath. That’s just one more reason to be aware of how we to work to avoid acid reflux.

One of the ways to avoid tooth erosion (and of course the discomfort) that come with acid reflux is to look at the foods you are eating, as well as when you are eating them.

Although it varies from person to person, we compiled a list of some of the biggest offenders.

  • Meats, with especially acid sauces or chicken/buffalo wings
  • Grains, especially those with tomato sauces added
  • Dairy, including sour cream and even ice cream
  • Specialty drinks such as coffee, liquor, wine or tea
  • Fats, certain oils, and sweets. This can be chocolate, donuts, butter cookies, or even potato chips.

This list shows that across all categories of food, we can find highly acid foods and drinks that can contribute to acid reflux.

So what’s missing from this list?

You guessed it: juices, fruits, and vegetables. Most of us recognize how orange juice, lemons, lemonade, grapefruit juice, cranberry juice, tomato or raw onions are some of the foods that are also on this list.

In general, look to neutralize the acid in your stomach when acid reflux does occur, and also be sure to tell us if you are having a problem. If you do have extreme gastric-related issues, or a chronic problem with acid reflux, we can also help. Also be sure to tell us if you smoke, since that’s a major contributor to acid reflux that leads to teeth erosion for many people. Link to hagendds.com

Look to cut back on the number of acidic foods you are snacking on throughout the day. This way, you are minimizing the amount of time acid is exposed to your teeth.

From 1 to 100—Taking Care of Our Teeth Throughout Life

Tuesday, November 4th, 2014

Do you want to live until you are 100?

Take a moment and imagine the state of your teeth and overall health at that age…

Truth be told, it can be hard for us to even imagine life at that age, let alone the state of our oral health at that point.

Start by imagining the current state of your teeth. Let’s imagine you are cavity-free and have healthy teeth and gums. Also imagine that you have very little tooth sensitivity, you have good daily oral health habits, and you feel confident about your smile each day.

Now just envision how much longer we want this state of oral health to last. With that in mind, let’s examine how we can maintain a healthy smile for a lifetime.

Childhood: Setting Our Families Up For Good Health

One of the great reasons you have a family dentist is the guidance we can provide you for your baby as she grows. You will truly lead the process for children until they take over the daily oral hygiene process for themselves.

One tip is keeping beverages away from young children at night. Bottles and sippy cups leave sugar or other substances exposed to our children’s teeth…all night long if they take it with them to bed! When our baby’s teeth are exposed to that sugar or beverage all night it can speed up decay.

Adolescence: Adult Teeth Are In

These are the years that many of us get our wisdom teeth removed. Also at this stage, we have our adult teeth fully in, and we’ve become accustomed to taking care of them. We’re starting to create dietary habits that can have a lasting impact on our health, including our oral health, at this time.

Flossing can seem like a pain to children who haven’t yet made it a part of their routine, but the bacteria in-between teeth is just as important to get rid of as the bacteria we’re removing when we brush. Let children know that 30-40 percent of our teeth’s surface area is in-between teeth.

Young Adulthood

During this stage of life, many people are moving away from home to go to college, or to start a career. It’s during some of these transitions that we sometimes see lapses in regular dentist visits. Just as you’d look for a new physician or other doctor, make it a point to continue caring for your mouth during these exciting times.

Midlife: Our Past Habits Become Increasingly Evident 

Unfortunately for some, it’s at this point in many people’s lives when there can be some regret about a lack of oral hygiene in one’s past. That’s because at this age, those habits have really caught up to us. (Of course our blog readers are far less likely to have to worry about that!)

Luckily, Hagen Dental has the latest and greatest when it comes to technology and services to be sure you have the smile you deserve. We make sure you still can have a healthy mouth you can be proud of at any age.

hagen dds cincinnati ohioSenior Years

Over the years, it’s possible that our gums have receded. It’s also possible that certain medications we’ve taken over time have lessened the saliva in our mouths. Our saliva helps naturally “clean” our mouths, so over time, some of those medications may have negatively affected our teeth and gum by this stage in our lives.

Beyond inflammation or tenderness, we also see bone loss at this stage.

If gum disease eats away at the bone enough, our faces can change in appearance. If the tooth is gone, the bone reacts as if it has no reason to be in that space. That’s when we see some notable changes in the lips and cheeks area of seniors.

With longevity in mind, the best thing we can do is to regularly see a dentist to prevent and to manage what we can for the sake of our total health. Second, and just as important, is a commitment to protect our teeth each day, especially if we want them to last for the long haul.  

The Wonders of Xylitol Gum—Is it All True?

Monday, October 27th, 2014

Xylitol Gum

Can tasty chewing gum also be good for our teeth and actually prevent tooth decay? We explore Xylitol chewing gum, and where you can get it.

 

What is Xylitol?

Some of us may have baked with it, and others may have noticed it is an ingredient that’s been added into some children’s toothpaste…Xylitol is a sugar alcohol that is found in small amounts in vegetable and fruit fibers.  

Because it is a sugar alcohol, it isn’t a sugar, or alcohol. You can think of it as a carbohydrate that acts similar to sugar. After all, most of us have heard of, or want to know about Xylitol, because of how it sweetens.

As a sugar substitute, Xylitol has received attention because of how it lacks some of the harmful effects that table sugar has on our health. It’s actually as sweet as table sugar, but it is metabolized as fewer calories. It also has a lower glycemic index than table sugar, which is appealing to people with certain diets, such as people with diabetes. 

Where does Xylitol come from?

As mentioned, it can be found naturally in plants. It also can be manufactured. Because it’s not classified as an artificial sweetener, food or beverages that contain Xylitol can use the words “all natural” on their label.

How does Xylitol benefit our health in comparison to other sweeteners?

Back in the 1970s, researchers looked at typical chewing gum versus Xylitol-sweetened chewing gum. What they found is that the bacteria in our mouth prefer sugar or disaccharides. Xylitol, on the other hand, is non-fermentable and has a 5-carbon structure (most carbohydrates are six-carbon monosaccharides). Researchers saw how Xylitol acted in a way where it actually worked to stop, and actually prevent bacteria reproduction.

In simple terms, that’s partially because of the unique structure it has: the Xylitol does not “link” with the other sugars in our mouth. Combine this factor with how Xylitol acts as a natural way to bring saliva into our mouths, and we have a healthy combination that helps prevent tooth decay.

What else should we know about Xylitol as a substitute for regular chewing gum?

Hagen dental

Xylitol is approved by the FDA as well as the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry. If you’re looking for some of the preventive benefits of Xylitol gum, or maybe looking for a substitute for your Halloween candy this year, here are a few places that carry it:

  • Whole Foods Market
  • Trader Joes
  • Select Kroger stores in the specialty aisle
  • Online, such as Amazon or other health outlets

Be sure to confirm on the nutrition label it is Xylitol-containing gum. When consuming Xylitol, keep in mind some people can have side effects such as an upset stomach, bloating, or diarrhea because of how Xylitol is digested. (Also keep in mind it could take large quantities of consumption in order to have any negative side effects, but speak to us, or your primary care physician if you have any questions.)

Read this PDF on Xylitol for more information.

 

How Bad is Halloween Candy for Your Teeth?

Monday, October 20th, 2014

Just how bad is one night of trick-or-treating?

Some might be thinking about the impact eating a handful of Airheads, Gummy Worms, or Snickers and Milky Way candy bars may have when it comes to their waistlines…and that’s certainly true.

We’ve talked about before how nutrient dense foods often are foods that are also good for our oral health—imagine that!

Actually, most candy we consume on Halloween falls short when it comes to nutrient density, and they have nearly no fiber as well. (For more on the idea of nutrient density and our health, visit here.) When we’re eating a lot of candy in one sitting, it means we’re increasing our caloric intake, without any nutritional benefits, and so we’re also less likely to get in the kind of complete nutrition we should be consuming.

halloween and your teeth hagen dental cincinnati ddsTake for example Candy Corn, which is almost pure sugar. 19 pieces of the Halloween favorite offers 36 grams of carbs and 32 grams of sugar, with 140 calories. (Perhaps the name of this candy is fitting!)

Not all Candy is Created Equal

We’ve covered how candy is not a source of nutrition to fuel our bodies, but we understand that Halloween is about having a treat.

Let’s say we come home from a night of trick or treating with a bag full of Laffy Taffy, Sprees, and Warheads, among other tasty treats…

Consider how our bodies breaks down and metabolize that sugar that makes up those candies…your teeth will be exposed to what can best be described as a very acidic environment. Some of those candies are so acidic they end up burning our gums and cheeks while we chew.

What other kinds of candies create this acid that “sits” on our teeth, you ask? 

Sour Patch Kids, Licorice, Skittles, and any candy that contains caramel (and many more!) are just a few examples of candies that can cause lasting and permanent damage to our teeth.

These treats actually break down the enamel of our teeth in as little as 20 minutes…and remember, if we damage our enamel, our teeth are prone to decay.

The Chewy, Sticky and Hard Truth

But keep in mind the sticky and chewy candies add another layer of potential harm for our teeth. Chewy and/or sticky candies can include Gummy Bears and related candy, Starbursts, or even Swedish Fish.

These chewy candies get stuck and stay even longer on our teeth. Of course the longer that sugar is exposed to our teeth, the more harm it can do. The same holds true for gel or powder-based candies and hard candies, such as lollipops, Jaw Breakers, or Jolly Ranchers. A general rule is that citric acid translates to tartness in our mouth…so you could say that while all sugar-based candy is harmful for our teeth and gum, the fruity flavors in particular can be even worse on our enamel.

If you ever see a candy or snack label that touts that it is fruit-based or fruit-flavored, don’t mistake that candy for being healthy or non-harmful to your teeth. In fact, those fruity flavored treats typically have very high acid levels.

Just think: some of the acid these candies produce is the equivalent of putting battery acid onto our teeth.

Can’t Avoid the Halloween Treats Altogether? Aim for Moderation

We suggest sharing with your family what eating too much candy can do to their teeth.

We don’t want to spook you, but if you want to be cavity-free, keeping the treats to a minimum is best.

Also, if you can, steer those willing to listen away from the hard and chewy candies that can do more damage in a shorter amount of time. Those sweets also happen to be the candies that are harder for our saliva to naturally break down. Look to rinse our your water and then neutralize acids if highly acidic candy has been eaten.

Sugar-free candy or gum with xylitol are examples of some substitutes that can make it feel like you aren’t missing out this year. Xylitol is a naturally occurring sugar which is better for our oral health since it won’t lead to dental erosion. We don’t expect people to completely avoid candy this Halloween. At the very least, however, we’d like our readers to make informed decisions so they know the potential impact they are having on their oral, and total body, health.

Why Should We Consider Using a Powered or Electric Toothbrush?

Thursday, October 9th, 2014

Are electric toothbrushes better than “normal” or traditional toothbrushes?

Talk about the great dental debate!

Putting aside some of the research that has been done in this area, when it comes down to electric versus manual, it’s difficult to say whether one way is (always) better than the other. Since we don’t know your unique mouth, or how you brush and floss your teeth with each approach, we prefer not to make a general statement on which is always best.

The approach you take to your overall health, and the consistency and overall effectiveness of how you take care of your teeth and gums, is really what is going to matter most.

With that said, there are many benefits of using electric toothbrushes. One of the benefits we see with many powered toothbrushes is people become more aware of the length of time that they are brushing. In some cases with a traditional toothbrush, people think they are brushing for two minutes, but less than a minute has actually passed.

Why Use a Powered Toothbrush?

Let’s take a closer look at the Sonicare toothbrush, one that we recommend and that you can purchase from us. This is a newer model of electric toothbrush design where the technology allows the toothbrush to better clean beyond the “reach” of each of the bristles. You know that part of the reason why we floss is that the bristles of a toothbrush can’t get in all the hard-to-reach places—for example, the gaps between our teeth. With the Sonicare toothbrush, thanks in part to the oscillating power brush, the bristles are creating a motion that better allows the toothbrush to get into those hard-to-reach places.

You can think of the technology powering the Sonicare toothbrush in two ways. First, you have a scrubbing action we’ve described. This is helping you keep the surface area of your teeth as bacteria free as possible. (This of course, is the same as your manual brush.) But then there’s the second component—how the bristles are vibrating, which results in a more effective cleaning action beyond the normal scrubbing action with a traditional toothbrush. Imagine this: the Sonicare brush head actually vibrates more than 30,000 brush strokes per minute you brush. That’s more than a manual brush delivers in a month of brushing.

hagen dental examines sonicareThe result is that we are better able to disrupt dental plaque between our teeth, and below the gum line.

This “bristle tip velocity” benefit is not the same with a manual method of brushing. In some situations, we also see that for those who manual brush, they brush too hard, which can be harsh on our gums over time…If that sounds like you, a Sonicare toothbrush can also help eliminate that problem.

Ready for a gentle massage of your gums? Remember there is also a Sonicare toothbrush for children. Ask us about a Philips Sonicare toothbrush and we would be happy to answer any of your questions.