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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!

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

Be Ready For the Mistletoe With These Breath-Boosting Tips

Tuesday, December 20th, 2016

The holiday season is upon us! And with it, a host of office Christmas parties, invitations to dinners, white elephant exchanges with your friends, and ugly sweater get-togethers.

Mistletoe can be hiding in the eaves of any social gathering, so it is a great time of year to ensure your breath is fresh, whether you want to be ready for a quick peck under the mistletoe with your crush, or a long smooch with your spouse. Use these dental hygiene and better breath tips as part of your holiday-ready routine!

is-your-breath-ready-for-mistletoe

The Quick-Fix Options

Carrying a small travel (or even disposable) toothbrush and small tube of toothpaste is a great option, especially if you’re planning on going straight to a holiday get-together right after a long day of work or school. Even if you forget the paste, brushing with just water can offer a little bit of help to reduce the microbes collecting in your mouth after meals.

Flossing with a mint flavored dental floss helps remove food particles from your recent meal. Flossing on the go can be made more realistic with products such as disposable floss picks.

Gargle with an anti-bacterial mouthwash for 20-30 seconds. Many mouthwashes come in small travel-sized bottles that will fit in your pocket, purse, car or desk. This will help fight bacteria in the mouth that contribute to bad breath and give you an instant odor freshener (1).

Chew on a stick of sugar-free or natural gum. Since dry mouth can lead to bad breath, and gum stimulates saliva production, gum is a helpful choice. As an added bonus, gum can remove some of the food particles left in small gaps in your teeth. Find a nice peppermint flavor for an instant odor cover-up (1).

Chew on a sprig of mint. This herb doesn’t clean your teeth, but will offer a strong minty smell to cover up bad breath temporarily. Just be sure to check the mirror for any stray remnants of the green leaf before heading into the party.

Chew on nuts. This option works well if you are already at the party, and have none of the other options available to you. Nuts have a strong aroma. Additionally, the abrasive texture of nuts will help remove residue or food particles from the teeth, tongue and gums (2).

Order your water with lemon or lime. This acidic, citrusy combination is a powerful tool against bad breath. The moisture of the water keeps your mouth from getting too dry, which helps minimize odor. The acidity of the citrus fruit combats bacteria and masks the odor with its fresh flavor (1).

The Long Term Story: How to Prevent Breath Issues

Once the party is over, it is important you take a step back and find out the underlying cause of your bad breath. Was it just a garlic-laden lunch? Or is the halitosis (bad breath) something you deal with regularly? It could be your oral hygiene habits need a tune-up, or something more serious at play.

Proper dental hygiene habits, such as consistently using floss, mouthwash, and brushing regularly are your best defense against bad breath. These daily habits serve to keep bacteria, food particles and inflammation to a minimum. Ensuring you stick to a regular dental checkup schedule will help keep teeth clean and serve to catch any underlying problems as early as possible, or before they become a big problem.

Staying hydrated is also important to prevent dry mouth induced bad breath. Drinking hot tea after a meal helps to remove food particles, and also contains polyphenols which discourage the growth of bad breath causing bacteria.

However, if bad breath is already a frequent problem, call us to schedule an examination. Chronically foul smelling breath can be a sign of gingivitis, periodontitis, plaque buildup, infections, cavities, gastritis, or poor brushing habits. It is imperative that you consult with Dr. Hagen to discover and eliminate the offender before it affects your long term health.

dont-let-bad-breath-ruin-your-day

Worried About Getting Too Close?

We never want your dental health concerns to get in the way of your personal relationships. Call Hagen Dental practice today to discuss how we can help! (513) 251-5500

Sources:

  • http://www.wikihow.com/Fix-Bad-Breath-on-the-Spot
  • http://www.livescience.com/40052-get-rid-bad-breath.html
  • http://whole30.com/2016/05/whole30-fresh-breath/

10 Reasons to Smile This World Smile Day

Tuesday, October 18th, 2016

world-smile-day-pic

We celebrate World Smile Day in October. World Smile Day is a day designed to help people smile more by performing random acts of kindness and goodwill. Here are 10 reminders of why we should be smiling:

  1. The classic yellow smiley face that we all know and love was created in 1963. It was designed to symbolize good will and good cheer on the planet (1). Although the original smiley doesn’t include teeth, at Hagen Dental we want to keep your teeth healthy so you can bare your pearly whites even if the smiley face doesn’t!
  2. Harvey Ball, the artist who was the creator of the smiley face, became concerned over the years about the over-commercialization of the smiley symbol. This led him to create World Smile Day, so that we would devote a day each year to smiles and kind acts throughout the world. The first World Smile Day was celebrated in 1999 (1).
  3. The smiley face knows no politics, no geography and no religion. Neither does tooth and gum disease. So no matter your race, creed or location, stay vigilant with your oral hygiene habits! Proper diet, daily flossing and brushing, are important to keep issues at bay.
  4. The slogan of the Smile Foundation is, “improving this world, one smile at a time” (2). We can relate to that message at Hagen Dental, since our focus is to help each of our patients keep their oral health up to par, helping them enjoy their mouth and smile. Stay current with your cleanings and checkups so that we can improve your smile and keep it healthy.

reasons-to-smile

  1. We can all use a reason to grin. Hagen Dental gives us a reason: We treat our patients with compassion and understanding, coupled with the latest technology, and the best in dental comfort. In other words, we care about our patients.
  2. Heidi Klum says: “I believe that when you put a smile out there, you get a smile back” (3). Keeping your teeth, gums, and mouth healthy gives you the courage and confidence to share your smile freely and frequently.
  3. The power of a smile has been documented endlessly over the years by authors, activists, singers, photographers, filmmakers, and beyond! (4). Imagine the entertainment business without the great dental technologies and oral hygiene practices that are common today.
  4. Smiles are contagious! Studies show that you can “infect” loved ones with your emotions and facial expressions (5,6). Focus on sharing positive feelings and emotions to keep the world around you in a happier state.
  5. Just as Richelle E. Goodrich says, “A smile is a light that sets your inner self aglow, letting others know you’re home,” (7) your smile and face are a window into your inner self. Put your best self forward by keeping your regularly scheduled dental appointments.
  6. The official message of the World Smile Day is: “Do an act of kindness. Help one person smile.” What can you do this month to help celebrate World Smile Day?

Keep that Smile Bright: Call Hagen Dental Practice Today

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

Sources:

  1. http://worldsmileday.com/index.php/article-index/item/363-welcome-to-the-world-smile-day-website
  2. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/World_Smile_Day
  3. http://www.ibtimes.com/world-smile-day-2016-quotes-16-happy-sayings-get-you-grinning-2427994
  4. http://www.latintimes.com/world-smile-day-quotes-top-15-famous-sayings-about-power-smiling-401222
  5. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11408051
  6. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12738341
  7. http://answersafrica.com/world-smile-day-2016.html

 

Oral Cancer: This Is Why Early Detection Is Critical

Saturday, September 10th, 2016

oral health at hagen dental dds in cincinnati ohio

Almost 50,000 people are diagnosed with oral cancer each year (1). Sounds pretty surprising, doesn’t it? This includes cancers of the tongue, lips, gums, and other soft palate tissues of the mouth or upper throat.

Talking about cancer can be scary, but there is one key component to improved odds: Early detection. Detecting the issue before the cancer has spread to other parts of the body dramatically raises the rate of survival. One of the best ways to ensure early detection is to stay consistent with your dental care and dental cleanings.

Regular dental checkups involve more than just your teeth cleaning. Dr. Hagen’s exam includes a review of the health of your entire oral cavity – teeth, gums, tongue, and palate – for signs of disease, including oral cancer. Even though you may think you know your teeth pretty well, we’re actually able to screen you for cancer when you come in!

What Are We Looking For?oral health risk factors

Dr. Hagen is trained to perform a thorough head and neck examination at your dental visit. This exam detects changes in the tissues of the mouth and surrounding areas that could signal the beginnings of cancer. Dr. Hagen knows what signs to look for, what additional tests or labs to order, and when to refer to a specialist, when necessary.

Here are some of the cancer warning signs we screen for:

  • White or red lesions that are not healing
  • Unusual bleeding
  • Lumps or thickening of the soft tissue, such as the neck or cheek
  • Soreness of the throat, or pain in the mouth that does not go away
  • Chronic feeling that something is stuck in the throat
  • Difficulty chewing or swallowing
  • Difficulty moving the jaw or tongue
  • Persistent ear pain
  • Hoarseness
  • Numbness of the tongue or mouth
  • Swelling of the jaw

Sure, that seems like quite a list, but know that just because you have a symptom on this list, doesn’t mean you definitely have cancer. Because there are so many ranging symptoms, that’s why you need someone qualified to look at your mouth and jaw for early detection.

Also, know that it indicates follow up and further analysis is typically needed, because if you do have cancer, early treatment can make a critical difference in fighting the disease.

symptoms of oral cancerAnd Why is Early Detection So Important?

Which leads us to our next point: if oral cancer is discovered early, the remission rate with treatment is nearly 90 percent (5). (Remission is what doctors use when speaking about cancer to mean that there are no symptoms and no signs of cancer. This is used rather than the word “cure.”)

Approximately 60 percent of those diagnosed with oral cancer will survive at least 5 years, but this number is an average: The 5-year survival rate for those with localized disease (cancer restricted to the mouth) is 83 percent. But if the cancer has metastasized (spread to other parts of the body), the 5-year survival rate is only 32 percent.

Said another way, early detection gives you the best opportunity to diagnose the cancer while it is still localized, and before it spreads to other areas of the body (2).  

Remembering to schedule your regular dental appointment is important. Rest easy knowing we are not only trained to help treat and prevent dental problems, but also to keep a lookout and help spot signs of more serious concerns.

Is it time for your next dental appointment? Don’t delay your visit. Early detection saves lives. Call us today to schedule an appointment at (513) 251-5500.

Sources/References

  1. http://www.healthline.com/health/oral-cancer/warning-signs-of-oral-cancer
  2. http://www.nidcr.nih.gov/OralHealth/Topics/OralCancer/DetectingOralCancer.htm
  3. http://www.atooth.com/oral-cancer/
  4. http://www.dentistry.com/conditions/oral-cancer/mouth-cancer-symptoms-early-warning-signs
  5. https://www.humana.com/learning-center/health-and-wellbeing/healthy-living/oral-cancer

Hagen Dental Practice: Take a Look at Our Patient Experiences

Saturday, August 6th, 2016

hagen dental cincinnati dentist1. “I couldn’t be happier with Dr. Hagen and the wonderful staff at Hagen Dental Practice. I lost my front tooth at 24 years old and everyone gave the best care to remedy the situation.” – Dani

2. “I’ve been a patient of Hagen Dental Practice since 2002 and always leave my visits healthier than when I arrived. They also identified my gum recession early in my time as a patient and have helped me stave off further recession. Viva Hagen Dental Practice!” – Dan

3. “I have been very happy at Hagen Dental. They have a friendly and experienced staff and I enjoy my smile due to Hagen Dental.” – George

4. “Hagen Dental Practice is great! I’m greeted with smiles as soon as I walk in the door. I have been seeing Dr. Hagen for a long time now and he is very easy to talk to about any concerns I may have. He makes procedures as painless as possible and is very good with any special needs I may have. I’m 68 and still have all my teeth including a baby tooth that I never lost. I attribute my good dental health to Dr. Hagen and all of his caring staff. If you are looking for a good dentist try Hagen Dental Practice. I’m sure you will love them too.” – Dianne

5. “I have been a patient here my entire life and would not consider going to another dental practice. They have a great staff, great equipment, and Dr. Hagen is a great guy who really cares about his patients.” – Craig B.

6. “I’ve been a patient for a number of years. The staff is very accommodating and friendly. The equipment is state of the art. Enjoy making visits.” – Diane

7. “I have been a patient over 25 years. Dr. Hagen and all his staff are always professional, caring people. They help me take good care of my teeth. Visits to the dentist are a pleasure. They keep up with the latest in dental care. I don’t live in the area and drive across town to continue to be a patient.” – Regina

8. “I always feel like I get the most up to date care possible with the latest techniques and technology. Dr. Hagen and his staff are always friendly and extremely competent!”– Mike

9. “When I come here I feel like a celebrity, important. I always brag about the entire staff…” – Ken

10. “I have been coming to Dr. Hagen’s office for about 8 years now. He is always so caring and so welcoming. The staff at the desk are very friendly and I have noticed not only do they know me by name, but they know almost everyone by their name. I can’t remember the last time I had to say who I was, with my daughters or myself, when checking in. I love that personal connection. I always have a wonderful experience and now I bring both my daughters to his office as well. My 2-year old had her first visit today and she did not cry at all! I highly recommend him to any and everyone. Best service you will ever get.” – Wanda

11. “Almost 15 years ago I had major dental problems and unfortunately needed a lot of work done. Dr. Hagen and team put in more than a half dozen crowns over a short period, all of which I still have today! All of that work, and all of those years and I never once had an issue. That is rare quality and rare peace of mind.” – Adam

12. “Staff is efficient, personable. The front desk is accommodating with appointments. Have had excellent results. Office is state of the art.” – Betty

13. “This is the dentist that restored my faith in dentists. I am very anxious about dental visits and Dr. Hagen and his staff are the best at making me feel comfortable. They have helped me turn around all of my issues with my teeth. I would give them my highest recommendation without reservation.” – Bob

14. “Hagen Dental has given me the best dental care I’ve ever had. I’m just sorry I didn’t discover them sooner.” – Barb

What to Snack On While You Watch the Big Summer Blockbuster

Wednesday, August 3rd, 2016

 

dental health and movie snacks

The sticky, gooey, sugary, crunchy and sweet snacks for sale at the movie theater might taste great along with the newest flick, but all that sugar and acid sitting on your teeth for the duration of the movie is a big no-no when it comes to your oral health. (Not to mention that hard candies can result in a broken or chipped tooth, too!)

So how can you enjoy the summer blockbuster without forgoing the snacks entirely? Check out these ideas:

  1. Fresh fruits and raw veggies: Things like oranges, melons and apples can be peeled and sliced to munch on while you watch the movie. Berries are also great bite-sized delights, and contain natural sugars to satisfy your sweet tooth. Vegetables can pop just as satisfying a crunch as a bowl of popcorn or candy. Things like celery, carrots, or cucumbers are fresh and won’t leave your teeth covered in sugar. Make it fun! Dunk them or spread peanut butter on these veggies for some added flavor.
  2. Craving something salty? Look no further than nuts and seeds: A bag of sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, or nuts in any combination can be a great accompaniment to the film. The best part? No sugar build-up on your teeth compared to that bag of Mike and Ikes! Even more good news: No sugar crash later.
  3. Oven-baked chips. This might take a bit more of your time, but some kinds of DIY chips can be made in less than an hour! Try oven-baked sweet potato chips or even thinly-sliced apple chips. Or, if you are more adventurous, you can try the super-trendy kale chips or really push the envelope with zucchini chips! The benefit is that these are healthy options that still give you a crispy, delicious treat! Plus, it’s hard to eat “too many” kale chips. Depending on the kind of chip you make (and where you are watching your movie), you can pair your chips with hummus or another healthy dip. At the least, you can use seasoning (such as cinnamon for the apple chips) to pack-in the flavor.healthy summer snacks for your teeth
  4. But what to drink? As you’ve heard us mention, sugary drinks like sodas, juices and sports drinks pack a lot of sugar in a small dose. Left on the teeth, these acidic and sweet beverages lend a perfect environment to the bacteria and decay you want to avoid. Your best bet? Drink water! You can still feel refreshed and quench your thirst with an icy cold bottle of water.Ever think that water is “too boring”? If you really want to, add a few strawberries or berries of choice to your water with some ice. It will give it a little extra “pop” without all that added sugar. The more you drink water this way (or without anything added at all), the more you’ll find that you will crave water without all that added flavor.

Plan for Success

Going to the theater or watching a movie at home with friends or family? Choose items from this list that you can purchase at the theater, when that’s possible. Or, if you feel comfortable doing so, pack up things they don’t sell – such as the fruits and veggies – and bring them with you to the theater in small containers that open quietly. Of course at home, you can be fully prepared by planning a bit beforehand.

Another benefit of doing a bit of planning ahead of time for your healthy treats? You will be a role model for your kids. If you want your kids to develop good eating and oral hygiene habits, you’ll have to do the same. Teach your kids how delicious and fun fruits and veggies can be instead of candy; if they understand why these are smarter choices, they can learn to make healthier choices themselves. They will also learn that the best part of movie night is togetherness and entertainment, not the candy!

healthy summer snacks

You Can Involve the Family, Too!

Involve the family when planning for your movie night so that you are sure to make some snacks that they will enjoy. Let the kids pick the movie – AND the snacks! Give them a list of approved snacks, but let them make the ultimate choice. This can help teach them about the difference between sugary and healthy snacks.

So whether it’s date night or family movie night…or whether you are renting from Redbox or heading to the big screen, you can enjoy snacks alongside your featured show – just plan ahead with these simple tips to make a choice that your teeth will thank you for.

Call Hagen Dental Today

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

References/Sources for more information:

  1. http://www.colgate.com/en/us/oc/oral-health/basics/nutrition-and-oral-health/article/smart-snacks-for-healthy-teeth
  2. http://www.1800dentist.com/20-smart-snacks-for-healthy-teeth/

Foods (And Drinks) That Damage Your Enamel

Friday, July 15th, 2016

Did you know? Your tooth enamel health is directly related to what you are eating, including those beverages you are drinking!

Keeping your teeth healthy involves more than just brushing and flossing.

foods and drinks that can damage your enamel hagen dental

Your enamel is the hard outer layer of your teeth. In fact, it’s the hardest substance in the human body—and for good reason! This surface layer helps protect the sensitive inner parts of the tooth from decay and damage. However, even enamel is subject to harm if not treated well. It is normal for some wear and tear to occur, but by focusing on what you are feeding your body (and thus putting into your mouth) you can keep that outer barrier of your teeth stronger (5).

Maintain the Health of Your Enamel

Here are some foods to avoid or minimize for optimum enamel health:

Sugary Foods: Increased sugars feed bacteria in your mouth. Left unchecked, these bacteria produce acidic byproducts, which can soften and slowly wear away at your enamel. Candy, especially sour candies, which are sugar-filled and acidic, are the least friendly combo for your teeth! But sugar doesn’t just hide in candy…Check your food labels on condiments, cereals, and other desserts and snacks for high amounts of added sugar (1, 2).

Sugary Beverages: Just like sugary foods, beverages can be a sneaky source of sugar and acid, ready to harm your enamel! Soda is especially bad, because not only is it sugary, it has additional acidic components. Coffee is high in acidity, and people often load it with syrups or sugars, too! Just imagine what happens if a highly acidic, sugary drink sits on your enamel for hours on end. Try cutting back on that cup of joe, or leaving out the sweetener. Frequent use of sports drinks in recent years, especially in children, has also been shown to harm enamel since the sugar sits on their teeth during activity, in many cases. Even fruit juices should be taken in moderation, because they are high in simple sugars and acid as well (1, 2, 6).enamel facts hagen dental

Foods that give you heartburn: Severe heartburn means stomach acid is moving up the esophagus. Those stomach acids that escape the stomach can reach your mouth and erode the enamel as well. So if you have certain foods that trigger heartburn, avoid them (1).

Ice: Simply put, ice is for chilling, not chewing! But isn’t water good for you? Yes! And ice is fine in your beverages – but avoid chewing on it! Chewing on hard substances such as ice can damage the enamel. The same is true for very hard candies that you crunch on (3, 6).

Citrus Fruit: Fruits are an excellent choice for incorporating more vitamins into your diet, especially the citrus variety. But heed this warning: frequent exposure to acidic foods, such as citrus fruits like oranges, grapefruits, limes and lemons, can erode your enamel over time. Your best bet? Eat these foods as part of a meal, rather than by themselves (3, 6).

Sticky Foods: Sticky foods, such as sticky candies, taffy, caramels, or even dried fruit such as raisins, can leave residue in your teeth, which means the sugar will sit on the enamel, leaving a food source for bacteria, which will in turn release enamel-damaging acid (2, 3, 6). Limit your intake of these foods to avoid potential damage to your enamel over time.

Starchy Foods: Starch-filled foods, such as potato chips, cookies, cakes, muffins and other starchy, processed snacks, tend to get trapped in your teeth. These starchy carbohydrates stay in your mouth and breakdown into sugar and acid more slowly, thus creating a longer period of sugar and acid threat to the teeth. Bacteria in your mouth love to feed on the left-behind sugars from these foods (3, 4, 6).

Protect Your Enamel

Analyze your diet over the next few weeks to discover which of these simple, daily changes you could make to ensure better health and protection for your enamel! Call Hagen Dental at (513) 251-5500 or visit our website here to learn more.


Sources/References

  1. http://www.webmd.com/oral-health/healthy-mouth-15/beautiful-smile/tooth-enamel-damage
  2. http://www.divinecaroline.com/self/wellness/mind-your-mouth-seven-foods-damage-tooth-enamel
  3. http://www.mouthhealthy.org/en/nutrition/food-tips/9-Foods-That-Damage-Your-Teeth/
  4. http://www.healingteethnaturally.com/foodstuffs-that-can-attack-teeth.html
  5. https://www.humana.com/learning-center/health-and-wellbeing/healthy-living/tooth-enamel
  6. http://www.mouthhealthy.org/en/nutrition/food-tips

 

Your Child’s First Dental Visit: When Should It Be?

Saturday, June 11th, 2016

Did you know? While in previous years, we would have recommended children to have their first dental visit around age 3, we now advise parents to come visit us earlier than that age!

hagen dental dds

We now recommend bringing in your toddler at around 18 months. This is typically about the time when some, but not all, of their baby teeth are in!

Why The Change Now?

We like to see your children to make sure that everything in the mouth is normal! Most children’s baby teeth, also known as primary teeth or even milk teeth, come in with no problems, but sometimes lifestyle factors can affect the health of those teeth…

Let’s dig deeper!

More and more frequently in recent years, for a number of different reasons, the rate of tooth decay in young children is rapidly increasing.

In fact, in recent years, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, about 42 percent of children, from age 2 to 11, have had cavities in their baby teeth. This high percentage of children with dental decay is much higher than in previous years.

family dentist in cincinnati

Why Is This Happening?

This rapid increase in early childhood caries – or ECC – is actually being called an “epidemic” because of just how prevalent it has now become. Early childhood caries (which in the past has also been called baby bottle tooth decay) can develop with infants or toddlers who go to sleep with a bottle in their mouth. Other children might get into the habit of walking around with a “sippy” cup or using a similar kind of cup, where they expose their teeth, for long periods of time, to sugary liquids or foods – such as sugary or starchy foods. That habit can also lead to decay, especially when it happens day after day.

hagen dental in cincinnatiAnother contributing factor is more widespread use of bottled water and the lack of fluoride. Fluoride helps prevent tooth decay because it increases the rate of re-mineralization in the mouth and it slows down the breakdown of enamel in our children’s mouth as well.

Because many children are drinking more water without fluoride, they aren’t experiencing those same benefits.

As mentioned, historically, this kind of tooth decay was not present to the same degree, and therefore most dentists would recommend a child’s first dentist be around age 3. Now you can put a reminder on your calendar to be sure you come in and see us around 18 months!

Your Child’s First Visit to Dr. Hagen: Timing is Everything!

Before getting worried, remember that tooth decay is preventable and bringing in your child earlier to see us is also a key preventative measure you can take. Bringing your child into the dentist can make sure that children’s teeth are coming in as they should!

taking your child to the dentist cincinnati ohio

It’s also an opportunity to talk about any habits that the baby may have that could be contributing to tooth decay.

Clearly, a healthy mouth is something we all want for our kids. When we have a healthy mouth we promote the ability to chew properly, which in turn, impacts a child’s ability to maintain good nutrition. Healthy teeth from a young age also help encourage speech development, it ensures a space for permanent teeth, and it promotes confidence in the long-term.

Starting young helps promote a lifetime of healthy and bright smiles.

Be sure to bring your child in around 18 months so that we can examine their teeth and gums and help you know the proper oral hygiene methods and techniques for their oral health. Before then, be sure that you are giving your children nothing but water at bedtime so that you can avoid sugary liquids or carbohydrates being exposed to teeth all night long. 

Sources/References

http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2014/03/02/cavities-children-teeth/5561911/

 

Gum Disease? Here’s What to Know About Scaling & Root Planing

Friday, May 27th, 2016

At any given time, we’re all developing some degree of plaque in our mouths. But when we brush, floss, and get regular dentist cleanings, we help to make sure it doesn’t become a problem.

So what is plaque?

Plaque is a biofilm, mostly made of bacteria, that adheres to the surface of our teeth. Plaque has an organized structure and its components – glycoproteins and polysaccharides – make it impossible to remove with water or by just using mouthwash.

In as little as a day, the biofilm that is in our mouth can transform from the soft and removable kind of plaque into a hard state – also called tartar – and that is much harder to remove.

The bacteria in dental plaque is what can lead to periodontal disease. (“Peri” means around, and “odontal” refers to our teeth.)

root planingOur bodies strive to get rid of the bacteria we have in our mouth, and therefore the cells of your immune system have an inflammatory reaction. This inflammatory reaction is how and why our gums then become swollen and can bleed. The more that nothing is done to fight off this bacteria, the more this can become a problem, and the more the bacteria will thrive.

And that’s where scaling & root planing come in…

Scalers are a tool that your dentist uses during – you guessed it – scaling and root planing. These are special tools that are used professionally in order to fight this bacteria build-up. The scaler can come in a couple of different sizes, but generally, it is a tool that is narrower at the tip. No matter what the tool looks like, they are simply specialized tools used to remove tartar and plaque.

scaling removes plaque

And what exactly does the scaling and root planing treatment involve?

The treatment works towards fighting periodontal disease – both on the teeth and the roots of your teeth. First, your teeth and gums are numbed so that all the plaque and tartar can be removed without any discomfort. Next, the professional tools are used to remove calculus. That may be by ultrasonic, sonic scaler, or power scaler.

After the bacteria is removed beneath the gum line, then teeth are smoothed and cleaned so that the gum tissue not only properly heals, but so it “reattaches” to your teeth. Part of the reason teeth can be smoothed is to get rid of surfaces and areas where bacteria are trapped or held – the same places where that bacteria would otherwise be much more likely to thrive. That’s also part of the treatment designed to get your gums back to their healthiest state.

Certain patients may have additional steps as part of their scaling and root planing treatment, depending on their vulnerability to gum disease and their medical history.

For example, there is ARESTIN®, which allows antibiotics to be slowly released over time in your mouth. Your dentist simply adds ARESTIN® to the your most vulnerable areas in the mouth – the pocket between your gum and tooth. This means that not only have you killed a great deal of bacteria during scaling and root planing, but you are now killing bacteria left behind after your procedure.

arestin hagen dental

Who benefits from scaling and root planing?

Your dentist will be able to recommend and tell you if you have periodontal disease, including any appropriate treatments – such as scaling and root planing – that can help you get back your healthy smile. Your dentist will not only take into account the current state of your teeth, but also your entire health history. Typically, if your dentist determines that you have gum disease that has progressed to a certain stage where bone loss is more likely to occur, he or she may recommend this kind of treatment.

Getting Your Teeth & Gums Feeling – and Looking – Healthy Again

Does your infection go away forever thanks to this treatment? The answer is that it is important to know that just because you have scaling and root planing, doesn’t meant you should go back to and bad oral health habits. Rather, the treatment is going to be maximized only if brushing, flossing and regular dentist visits (among other behaviors you want to avoid such as smoking) are kept up after your treatment. With that said, scaling and root planing does greatly support those looking to regain healthy-looking, firm gums.

In the end, the entire procedure can be done in an environment in which you are comfortable, and it can typically be done in a single visit. For some people, after the treatment, the mouth may be tender. In certain scenarios, the treatment can be broken into several visits when requested by a patient.

Want to learn more about scaling and root planing or ARESTIN®? Whether it is for a cosmetic consultation, scaling and root planing, or your regular visit, we’d love to see you. Read more about Dr. Hagen and the team, including our state-of-the-art dental methods and technologies, and give us a call today at (513) 251-5500.

keep up with oral habits hagen dental

Sources/References