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How Much Do Straight Teeth Really Matter?

Thursday, January 22nd, 2015

invisalign at Hagen Dental CincinnatiWhat’s the first thing people notice about someone else’s appearance?

If you guessed someone’s smile, then you are right. Our smile is usually the first thing someone else notices when they first see us. Beyond having that healthy smile that can look great, there are quite a few other benefits of having straight teeth that can leave us feeling great as well. Here are some of those benefits:

Improved self-concept.

Having straightened teeth impacts how we actually think and view ourselves. Beyond just vanity or increased confidence, crooked teeth can cause speech impediments, or just make us extremely self-conscious.

How straight our teeth are also impacts how we are perceived as well.

Did you know that people who have straight teeth are perceived as more successful, smarter and as having more dates? Having straight teeth also means you are more likely to be hired! You can see why how other people’s perceptions of us help shape our social and psychological wellbeing.

Increased ability to clean teeth.

Overlapping teeth can trap food particles, whereas straight, aligned teeth can mean the surface area is easier to both brush and floss effectively. Straighter teeth also translate to an easier and more smooth flossing and brushing experience—which means we’re also more likely to brush and floss each day. Talk about a win-win!

Overall healthier teeth and gums.

When we have teeth that stick out or protrude, these teeth are more likely to break or see cracks. Additionally, overly crowded teeth can wear unevenly, and this uneven wear can result in headaches. Crooked teeth can push against the soft tissues we have in our mouth, making cuts, sores, and infections more likely. Last, if we’re better able to fight bacteria build-up with straighter, more properly aligned teeth, we’re also better able to avoid gum disease.

“I’m ready for straighter, more symmetrical teeth.”

You’re ready for the chance to smile with confidence. Or maybe your teeth have just moved as you’ve grown older, and you’re ready to do something about it. One of the reasons Invisalign is popular is that the aligners used are nearly invisible. These clear aligners are also removable, and you can still eat food as you normally would.

Here are a few of the top things to know about Invisalign—whether you are a teen or adult:

  • You’re able to continue to floss and brush like normal (just take off your aligners!)
  • Trays are smooth and comfortable, and easy to take off
  • Ideal for a busy person
  • Fast and convenient compared to other methods of teeth straightening; typical people use a new aligner every two weeks

With our mouth being a window to the health of our entire body, it is no wonder that our smile says so much about us. Ready to learn more about Invisalign? Contact us to hear more about why parents, teens, and even brides are so excited about using Invisalign.

Sources:

  • http://www.invisalign.com/news-and-events/2012/straight-teeth-study
  •  http://keltonglobal.com/invisalign-smile-study
  • http://www.sharecare.com/health/dental-oral-health-teeth/health-guide/dental-health-teeth-gums-mouth/straighten-teeth-with-adult-orthodontics

Are We Jump-Starting the Day…With Sugary Cereals?

Tuesday, July 8th, 2014

 

Sugary Cereals Impact On Health Hagen Dental Cincinnati

Did you know that cereals marketed towards kids have as much as 85 percent more sugar than those aimed at adults? They also have 65 percent less fiber than those cereals that are “for adults.”

With nearly one third of us eating cold cereals for breakfast, it’s time we examine exactly what we’re “running” on in the morning.

One cereal we can look to as an example is Cocoa Krispies. If we take a look at its first ingredients, we see Rice, Sugar, Cocoa Processed with Alkali, Semisweet chocolate (which means more sugar!), and the partially hydrogenated vegetable oil…we will stop there, but the list of ingredients surely does not!

The list of ingredients goes on, but it’s good to take note of what we’re really feeding our kids for fuel in the morning. And, while we don’t mean to focus only on Cocoa Krispies, it does provide a good example of the problem: “sugar” itself appears three times throughout the ingredients list, and it’s part of the fourth most common ingredient as well.

A serving of this kind of cereal is about ¾ of a cup. But let’s take a closer look at that single serving, assuming that’s all that our children eat in the morning…

A single serving has 120 calories, and 12 grams of sugar in that serving.

12 grams of sugar is the same as 3 teaspoons of sugar. 

Looked at another way, that is actually 39 percent of the cereal by weight.

Some of our most popular cereals that also have alarmingly high amounts of sugar include Reese’s Puffs, Corn Pops, Lucky Charms, Cinnamon Toast Crunch and Cap’n Crunch…to name a few. When we eat processed foods like this with extremely high sugar content, it’s almost like we’re eating candy to start off the day.

When you add several servings, instead of just keeping to 1 ounce, you actually could be doubling or tripling that amount of sugar intake as well.

We know some of the benefits of eating breakfast, in general, include a better memory, more energy, and an increased chance at better concentration.

These are all reasons to eat a nutritious, high fiber breakfast, but when you look at some of the cereals marketed towards children, they are simply highly processed grains that have been sweetened. In some cereals, they even have synthetic vitamins—talk about taking the idea of convenience too far!

Avoid Sugary and Non-Nutricious Cereals, and Better Avoid Harmful Acids on Our Teeth

Treat these often-salty and sugar-filled cereals just like they were candy or a treat: eat them in limited quantities. Also remember that many of the brands described truly lack any nutritional value.

As you know, when sugar and starches like these are left on our teeth, bacteria thrive. The acid that results will destroy our tooth enamel, and we are left with tooth decay.

A Better Breakfast Choice: Full of Vitamins and Minerals, but Also the Macronutrients Needed for Disease Prevention, Overall Health & Growth

Be sure to read your nutritional label, as there are many alternatives that are healthier options that provide vitamins, minerals, and even fiber (without any synthetic or artificial ingredients we may want to avoid) for our children. You could also choose whole foods instead of processed ones, which is sure to increase your nutrition content and be a better choice for your teeth and gums.

Have questions for us about a certain cereal and its effects on your teeth, or about a convenient, but also healthy, breakfast? Let us know and we will answer your questions.

Sources from this article include:

  • http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2009/11/14/ten-worst-breakfast-cereals.aspx
  • http://blog.fooducate.com/2009/07/26/cocoa-krispies-immunity-cereal-40-sugar-by-weight-trans-fats-inside-the-label/

 

Floss–When’s the Best Time: Before or After Brushing?

Saturday, July 5th, 2014

Although many say that dental floss was invented thanks to a dentist in New Orleans back in 1815, others say that the idea of floss really existed much earlier. They point towards anthropological evidence that people used sticks for interdental cleaning hundreds and hundreds of years ago…

Either way, our knowledge about the importance of flossing, and the actual floss we use, has come a long way since then…and it sounds like it has become much gentler on our teeth.

Cincinnati Dentist

Even though we know floss is a great way to get rid of food and bacteria between our teeth, there is a much-debated question: when is the best time to floss—before or after we brush our teeth?

Let’s take a closer look at flossing to answer that question.

First, it’s vital to note that your toothbrush’s bristles simply cannot reach in between your teeth. Of course, that’s why you want to make sure you floss each day.

The grooming habit that’s been called by some as “the most difficult” is really not all that hard at all.

Here’s a breakdown of steps that take only minutes to complete:

  • Start with about 18 inches of your preferred kind of floss
  • Wrap the floss around your middle finger and then the rest of the floss around the opposite hand’s middle finger
  • Taking the floss between your forefinger and thumb,  gently glide the floss in between your teeth
  • As the floss nears your gum, follow your shape of your tooth with the floss. This is done firmly, but still gently
  • Take the floss and use it this way between your teeth, moving it up and down slightly, throughout your entire mouth, including “behind” your molars
  • Over time, be sure to move the floss in your hands so that you can use the portion that has not yet been used between any teeth

Just by taking a few minutes out of your day, you are helping reduce the risk of bacteria entering the bloodstream and triggering inflammation in the arteries; there is evidence that this can occur, and it’s been suggested as a major risk for heart disease.

If you were to follow these steps to floss before you brush, then you would remove the plaque in between teeth. Then, when you brush your teeth, you would be actively removing the plaque on your teeth by brushing.

Flossing first means, in theory, we can utilize the fluoride in your toothpaste in between our teeth as well. (The idea is that since we just flossed, we have a greater chance of being able to “reach” in between the teeth with the toothpaste.)

Many people point towards the idea that brushing would help “wash away” the plaque in between our teeth, again, if you brush your teeth after flossing. In theory, that’s a possibility, but the reality is that flossing before or after you brush is suitable. 

Let’s think about another scenario—where people brush their teeth first. In this case, people brush their teeth and then feel that the entire mouth is clean, so they don’t floss anymore! If that sounds like you, you should be sure to floss first.

Our conclusion: it’s more important that you are flossing at all, and that you are flossing the correct way–rather than before or after brushing.

And, if you are really a star, then yes, go ahead and floss gently more than once a day!

Want to know more about flossing? See our post on types of floss here.