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Posts Tagged ‘clean teeth’

6 Questions You Can Ask Your Dentist

Wednesday, July 19th, 2017

questions to ask your dentist

In addition to those who neglect to visit a dentist at all, there are also many people who are afraid to ask questions while at the dentist. Our advice: don’t be afraid to ask us any and ALL of your questions! In fact, that’s important so that you can get the most out of your every visit to see us!

Said another way, we’re advocates for your oral health—and your total health—so take advantage of their knowledge at your next check-up! Asking questions will help you better understand your mouth and how to keep it healthy.

Here are a few ideas of what’s important to know, what we hear from patients, and what’s important to ask if it’s on your mind!

1. “What’s the Best Way to Take Care of My Teeth at Home?”

Most of the time, you’re the one taking care of your teeth! Professional teeth cleanings are clearly important, but it’s ultimately up to you to do the heavy lifting with your day in and day out habits and oral hygiene. So, it’s important to find the best at-home regimen for a healthy smile.

Everyone’s health regimens are different. You may need to do more or less than someone else to maintain a healthy smile. Your dentist is able to examine your mouth in its entirety, which means he or she will have a better idea on how you should be taking care of it. Be sure to ask your dentist, who can provide you with a personalized care plan, built around your ongoing needs, AND they can give you instructions on how to properly follow it (1).

2. “How Does Nutrition Impact The Health of My Gums & Teeth?”

Your oral hygiene habits aren’t the only key player in the health of your teeth. Your diet also plays a large role in maintaining a healthy smile. Foods with strikingly high levels of sugar are still very predominant, and can pose a problem to many of us—not just for our oral hygiene, but for our overall health.

Taking into account the rest of your medical history and stats, we can help work with you to answer this question.

In general, with very little nutritional value, high-sugar foods can actually harm your teeth. Your dentist can typically tell if you’ve been indulging in foods with high sugar or high acidic content. He or she should be able to recommend foods to stay away from (or enjoy in moderation), and also tell you which foods are good for your teeth (2,3). (It’s worth saying that this isn’t medical advice; be sure to talk to your dentist for more information!)

3. “What Information Should I be Relaying to You from My Family Physician/Pediatrician?”

It’s important that your dentist knows about any changes in your overall health status. Remember that your body works as a unit. Changes in health conditions, new medications, or even changes in your lifestyle can affect your teeth, and that’s ALSO part of why we ask YOU about any changes to your health or about any medications you are taking.

4. “Why are Dental X-Rays Important and Why Should I Choose to Have Them Taken?”

Your dentist can gather quite a bit just by looking into your mouth and examining its insides. However, there are some things that a dentist cannot see just by a visual exam. The X-Rays can give your dentist a thorough, more detailed picture of your pearly whites and their home. These photos aid in the early detection of any problems. Put another way, we use them as diagnostic tools!

(Also know that our dental x-ray machines are quite sensitive, so you don’t need to worry about the amount of radiation needed to use them! For comparison’s sake, you get more radiation from your every day background radiation.)

X-rays show decay and infections beneath the surface, which is why they are so important. We’re better able to see any issues with bone loss, your jaw, and anything unusual happening with the soft tissues. If you have a cavity or tooth decay, for example, it shows up as darker on your radiograph.

5. “How Do I Make My Teeth Whiter?”

Almost everyone strives for a whiter smile; the question is in how to achieve it. There are countless products on the market that promise white teeth, and you should find out which products are reliable and which ones aren’t. Knowing what your goals are and knowing about any teeth sensitivity can help your dentist help YOU to make your teeth whiter—whether that be with professional teeth whitening OR just by eliminating foods that tend to stain the teeth over time.

Some people will have more surface stains than others, requiring a stronger method of whitening, which is why your dentist can help you navigate the decision. Your dentist will suggest which products might work best for you, and which ones aren’t a fit for you.

6. “Why Are My Teeth Sensitive?”

Ever bit into a spoonful of ice cream and had shivers shoot through your teeth? This is called tooth sensitivity; people with tooth sensitivity feel pain when they eat something that is hot or cold, or sweet or acidic.  This is a result of thinning enamel, which is the outer layer of your teeth that protects them.

If you’re experiencing tooth sensitivity, you should notify your dentist and ask why you’re experiencing it. He or she should be able to narrow down various factors to find the root of your sensitivity, and then walk you through a routine to help fix it or eliminate it as much as possible.

It’s great when you tell us about things going on inside your mouth—such as any tooth or gum sensitivity—that way we can come up with a solution or plan on how to proceed together.

We’re Happy to Answer Any & All Of Your Questions

happy to answer your questions

We want to answer any and all questions you have about your smile. Don’t be afraid to pick up the phone and ask us a question or discuss your concerns with us at your next check-up!

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

Sources:

  1. http://www.colgate.com/en/us/oc/oral-health/basics/dental-visits/article/top-10-dental-questions-you-should-ask-1015
  2. http://www.colgate.com/en/us/oc/oral-health/basics/nutrition-and-oral-health/article/ada-04-food-choices-affect-your-oral-health
  3. http://www.foxnews.com/health/2014/06/11/questions-should-be-asking-your-dentist.html
  4. http://www.besthealthmag.ca/best-you/oral-health/5-questions-to-always-ask-your-dentist/

What You Should Know About The Bacteria In Your Mouth

Saturday, July 15th, 2017

Ever wonder what’s really floating around inside your mouth? Besides housing your pearly whites, your mouth serves as a home to many different microorganisms.

More specifically, there are more than 700 different strains of oral bacteria that exist. Don’t worry–for the most part, these tiny little guys do no harm. Additionally, most people only host roughly 60 different kinds of these bacteria (1).

 

Not All Bacteria is Bad

‘Bacteria’ tends to have a negative connotation, and people usually perceive the word as harmful. However, that’s not always the case. Some of your oral bacteria is actually good bacteria. These bacteria help protect your oral health in a number of different ways:

1. They Help Digest Your Food

It’s not just your stomach that digests your food—the digestion process actually begins in your mouth. Microorganisms called probiotics are responsible for triggering the enzymatic reaction that produces saliva, which in turn begins digestive action (2).

2. They Fight Oral Disease

Because these bacteria stimulate and improve saliva production, they play an important role in your oral health. Saliva helps wash away sugar, food bits, and unwanted germs—all of which can be harmful to your mouth’s health. This process aids in fighting off oral diseases such as periodontal disease, oral candida, and dental caries.

3. They Battle Bad Breath

Who wants to have bad breath? The answer: nobody. Good bacteria in your mouth fight the more aggressive bacteria that feed on food particles and produce an unwanted odor. So, you can thank these bacteria for keeping your breath fresh (2).

Some Bacteria is “Bad”

Unfortunately, there are some harmful bacteria, which can play a role in tooth decay and gum disease. There are two main harmful bacteria:

1. Porphyromonas Gingivalis

Although this is typically not found in healthy mouths, it can lead to a serious disease called periodontitis. This is a severe, progressive disease that attacks the alveolar bone and tissues that support your teeth. Periodontitis not only produces severe pain within the tooth, but can even lead to tooth loss!

2. Streptococcus Mutans

There are bad bacteria in a healthy mouth, too. You may already know about streptococcus mutans. These microorganisms are present in your mouth and are triggered by starches and sugars in your diet. Acting as the leading cause of tooth decay, streptococcus mutans produce an acid that erodes your enamel—which is the outer layer that protects your teeth (2).

 

How to Control the Bacteria

You can help your mouth fight off the bad bacteria by maintaining healthy oral hygiene habits.

Harmful bacteria form most predominately on the gum line and in between the teeth. This is why it’s imperative to floss (daily!) in these areas. In addition to flossing, brushing your teeth after each meal is also very important to fend off unwanted germs. This helps remove food particles, which is what the harmful bacteria feed on. Using an anti-bacterial mouthwash is another tool to strengthen your healthy oral bacteria while fighting off the bad.

Your diet also affects your oral bacteria. Avoiding starchy and sugary foods can help minimize the fuel source for harmful bacteria (2).

We Care About Your Total Health

One of the best ways to manage your oral bacteria is to schedule regular check-ups with your dentist. Teeth cleanings, oral examinations, and the eye of a professional are all tools in identifying risks for tooth decay and gum disease. We want to help customize your oral hygiene regimen to ensure you maintain a healthy smile!

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

Sources/References

1. http://www.colgate.com/en/us/oc/oral-health/basics/mouth-and-teeth-anatomy/article/oral-bacteria-what-lives-in-your-mouth-0513

2. http://www.colgate.com/en/us/oc/oral-health/life-stages/adult-oral-care/article/mouth-bacteria-friend-or-foe-0316

How Cavemen Took Care of Their Teeth

Friday, January 20th, 2017

Imagine living in a time when modern conveniences, inventions, hygiene and healthcare were not just luxuries; they were non-existent. Sure, the simplicity of our ancestors’ lifestyle may have had some benefits. But we should all be thankful for modern dentistry, and the convenience of items like toothbrushes, floss and mouthwash. Not to mention the training of dental professionals.

Over the course of humankind, people have been testing and trying things they had access to in an attempt to keep their mouths and teeth clean. Twigs and sticks, powdered concoctions from eggshells and ox hooves, pig’s neck bristles, salt, chalk, and rough cloths make the list of historical dental instruments and tools that people tried and used in an attempt to keep their teeth free of debris (1).

Recently, researchers have discovered clues that tell us how cavemen cleaned their teeth. Karen Harder, a researcher, took a deeper look at calcified plaque from some of the oldest human remains in Europe. How was she able to analyze plaque from thousands of years ago?

As she explained: “The dental plaque is a film that covers your teeth and that’s why you have to brush your teeth every day. If not, it hardens and becomes calcified. Within about 10 days, it’s attached onto your tooth as this extremely hard material that you can’t get off unless you go to the dentist.” Since the caveman had no dentist to speak of, Harder was able to chisel off and analyze this material for further insight into the caveman’s lifestyle.

This analysis of the calcified dental plaque gave insight into the diet and environment of this archaeological specimen. She was able to determine that people in his era ate grasses, seeds, plants and meat. All of these items were eaten raw (2,3).

Grooves between the teeth, combined with indigestible wood fibers she found between the teeth, suggest rudimentary toothpicks that were jammed into the teeth to clean between them as a type of oral hygiene activity (2,3).

cavemen used sticks as rudimentary toothpicks

What Did The Cavemen Have Going For Them?

The evidence Harder found showed the caveman’s diet included mostly starchy plants and meat consumption. Their teeth were actually in pretty great shape despite not having access to today’s toothbrushes, toothpastes and floss.

This is because the processed, sugary and carbohydrate-laden foods and drinks that are so abundant in our society today were not present in his surroundings. This means the cavemen were not as predisposed to things like sugar and acid-related tooth decay, bacteria growth or inflammation, as we are with today’s typical diet (3).

Our teeth are whiter and straighter than our ancestors’ teeth were, but we are still more likely to develop cavities because of the sugars, processed carbohydrates and dietary and lifestyle differences. This means we can’t rely on toothpicks (or sticks) to keep our teeth clean. We must stay diligent with good oral hygiene practices and habits. Thankfully, our dental health practices have progressed into the 21st century, giving us access to skilled dental care and tools and resources for fresh breath and healthy mouths, without having to rummage for and rely on twigs or homemade toothpastes.

today's oral hygiene depends on daily brushing and flossing

Call Hagen Dental Practice Today

Are your oral hygiene habits backsliding into those of a caveman? Give Hagen Dental a call at (513) 251-5500 and we will help you achieve a healthy smile!

Sources:

  1. http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/04/12/AR2009041202655.html
  2. http://link.springer.com/epdf/article/10.1007/s00114-016-1420-x?shared_access_token=JTuGtofFrWkm76yOABrZt_e4RwlQNchNByi7wbcMAY4elA6FNFLLnlVqGmzv8ewk3pOw-TMnmrQ9de4WZSb2CJufJ81Mpvwv3EQlU56y1Hxk_VJOU3IyR4cRyLfz4j_bTKcJJEJC6Uq7Vv8QuHbX4fcDgI7fMO_V8yf2OAnR2KE=
  3. https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/speaking-of-science/wp/2016/12/19/a-researcher-discovered-how-cave-men-cleaned-their-teeth-it-will-make-you-want-to-brush-yours/?postshare=4671482250662620&tid=ss_tw&utm_term=.ed8f16f9fac6

For the Holidays: 10 Fun Facts About Teeth

Wednesday, December 19th, 2012

1. Your teeth’s enamel is (almost!) diamond-hard. With that said, you can still fracture it when you chew ice, or use your teeth to crack open nuts.

2. We have four different types of teeth, and they have four different functions in our mouths: biting, tearing, crushing and grinding.

3. How many teeth do you think the average person has? About thirty two: four wisdom, eight incisors, four canines, twelve molars and eight pre-molars.

4. Way before toothpaste, humans used a combination of charcoal and ground up chalk, ashes, lemon juice, and honey-tobacco mixture to “clean” their teeth.

5. The only living being that does not have jaws and teeth is the anteater, which uses its tongue to eat.

6. We may take care of our teeth so that we don’t lose them, but crocodiles don’t have to worry so much—they keep growing new teeth in to replace their old teeth.

7. It’s been said that more than 70 percent of people would rather go grocery shopping than floss…

8. Staying hydrated (with water) can do some good for your breath. Reason being: when you have a dry mouth, you are more prone to developing bad breath (think of morning breath!). Drinking water throughout the day can help combat all that bacteria.

9. Do you prefer a soft or hard toothbrush? Either way, the average toothbrush contains about 25,000 bristles.

10. The idea of flossing isn’t exactly new…anthropologists have found evidence showing that ancient humans used things like pointed sticks to clean between their teeth. Consider flossing after some of those holiday meals this year!

Have a great holiday season, from Hagen Dental!

Ever have a friend who asked you how you got your smile so bright? Be sure to let them know about Hagen. Or, are you looking for a dentist? Visit our website for more information about how to get in touch. If you already “like” us on Facebook, be sure to also look at our current contest… all you have to do is, well, SMILE! Find out contest details here.