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Posts Tagged ‘floss’

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.

cavities cincinnati dentist

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

 

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/

Four Teeth Myths Debunked

Monday, March 25th, 2013

Myth or truth? It’s been said that George Washington wore wooden teeth!

Myth #1: If you have great oral hygiene habits, you don’t have to visit the dentist regularly. 

You may consistently floss. You may brush your teeth twice daily. Maybe you even take into account your eating habits and how that can affect your teeth.

Even if you have excellent dental hygiene, and believe you have no issues, it isn’t a good idea to skip a dentist visit. At a regular visit, your dentist doesn’t just look for tooth decay. Dentists will also be looking at your face, neck, lymph nodes, tongue and your jaw. Dr. Hagen is trained to examine your gums to see how they’ve changed, to look for any signs of gum disease, and of course to check on your fillings! We can’t stress enough the importance of early detection when it comes to preventing tooth loss or oral cancer.

Not only is there an examination phase, but most of us are a bit more aware of the dental cleaning phase. The importance of this phase is that it allows your dentist to remove long-term plaque and tartar that even great daily habits can’t totally diminish.

Myth #2: If your gums bleed when you floss, you shouldn’t do it anymore. 

Let’s first start with a refresher on why our gums are so important…it may seem simple enough, but our gum tissue is vital since it holds our teeth in place. Flossing, in turn, helps stimulate our gums.

When you notice that you have bleeding associated with your flossing, it could be a signal of several things. First, it could mean the gum is sensitive (perhaps because it hasn’t been flossed in a while). Or, it may be the first signs of gum disease. The good news is that your teeth will get conditioned to the stimulation of floss… And of course, there’s always floss made to be more sensitive on your gum tissue. We don’t mean to suggest you shouldn’t take bleeding as a serious sign–if you do have excessive and/or abnormal bleeding, it’s a good idea to call your dentist.

Myth #3: Mouthwash can replace flossing.

You see it shown in commercials, and it seems valid enough: mouthwash can get to the places that your toothbrush can’t…so it must be able to replace flossing, right? Wrong!

Sure, the fact that it’s an antibacterial liquid does mean it can kill bacteria around and between your teeth, but recall that flossing not only stimulates your gum, but it acts as a scraper, taking off food, and leftover plaque that is on your teeth. This simply can’t be replaced by using mouthwash.

Myth #4: Root canals have to be a high-anxiety, painful experience.

Let’s define the term that we’ve been taught should make us cringe: a root canal is the procedure done when there is no other way to save a tooth that might be very decayed or infected. Your pulp and nerve are removed from the center chamber of the tooth (the root canal), and then the tooth is cleaned and sealed.

The surprising truth is that most people do not report pain during a root canal procedure! The source of the excessive pain usually comes from the tooth that needs the root canal because it is suffering from an irreversible condition, such as tooth decay, not the procedure itself. So if there is any cringing, it would be before your procedure! Some people compare it to having a filling placed, and most people are back to performing their normal activities just the next day. Remember: the purpose of a root canal is to alleviate pain and salvage your tooth.

Have any other topics you believe could be a dental myth? Let us know on our Facebook page.

The Dreaded Act of Flossing

Wednesday, February 22nd, 2012

Flossing. Hey, we’ve all been there. When we were kids it was bad enough that Mom and Dad made us brush our teeth, let alone floss. Sticking our fingers in our mouths, taking longer in the bathroom – from a kids’ perspective, what’s the point?

It prevents bad breath and gum disease. We can’t always see plaque, bacteria, or food particles between our teeth, and if we’re not in the habit of flossing, we can hardly feel that our teeth are still dirty – even after a good brush.

Our toothbrush bristles cannot reach hidden plaque and other decay-causing bacteria. Floss does. In fact, it cleans 33% of your total tooth surface.

Now we’re not kids anymore and we get the point. But, yet, not everyone flosses. Why is this?

Our patients find that flossing is very easy to forget about, especially if they are not used to doing it every night. Hagen understands that if you don’t floss already, it’s hard to make it a habit. So we’ve provided a few pointers that may help you start:

  • Step one is getting the floss into your home
  • Keep your floss next to your toothbrush – not hidden in a drawer
  • Try to floss at LEAST once a day
  • Floss before you brush. (Rinse with a mouthwash after)
  • Use up to 18 inches of floss each time
  • Don’t cheat by skipping one or two days – make it a habit and it will automatically become part of your routine!

Check out these other flossing tips by the ADHA.

If you have any questions or comments, ask on our Facebook or Twitter, or give us a call at 513.251.5500! We’re always happy to help.

How to Make Sure You Don’t Waste Your Dental Benefits Next Year

Thursday, December 8th, 2011

December – the last month of the year and, arguably, also the busiest when it comes to dental work! For many, you’re well aware of the reason why: insurance coverage does not roll over into the year.

On our end, we’ll do everything we can to make sure we can maximize patient benefits. There are also some steps you can take to do the same. By following these, not only can you work to maximize your benefits, but you’ll be able to spend more of your time before the holidays on last minute Christmas shopping, baking, wrapping…and everything else!

  1. Make sure to schedule ahead for six month check ups. We understand your schedule can change, but it’s better to have an appointment in our books than be on our waiting list!
  2. Ask your dentist if a filling should be replaced in the near future, if so, this may help carve more time out for your next visit!
  3. One way to avoid a root canal is to come get checked out if you think you might have a cavity.
  4. The best way to use benefits to pay for a larger or more complicated appointment is to schedule major work at the end of December and beginning of January. By doing this you use both years benefit value. Keep in mind it is extremely helpful when these appointments are scheduled in advance!
  5. Booking an appointment in October or November will give you more time and more flexibility to come back in if you need more work done.
If you’d like to setup an appointment with Hagen Dental, visit the About Us page on our website or stop in our office. Or, “follow” us on Twitter and “like” us on Facebook! Happy Holidays!