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The Kentucky Derby: Racing with Healthy Teeth

Friday, May 5th, 2017

Aaahhhh… Derby Days! This weekend will be filled with celebrations, parties, and horse race watching. Get-togethers will be complete with derby attire, cocktails and lots of delicious food. Gamblers set their sights on their favorite picks…And, this event kicks off the first of the Triple Crown series for the year.

cincinnati dentist

Preparation For The Derby

An event this huge naturally has days, weeks, months and years of preparation going into it – for everyone involved: the horses, owners, riders, organizers and even the fans. An immense amount of effort and energy goes into keeping the race horses healthy, well trained and primed for these big events. And this includes their dental care and maintenance!

Just like a human needs regular dental care and dentist visits, so too a horse needs regular care by their owners and veterinarians to keep their teeth and mouths healthy. Just like we don’t want oral problems interfering with our day-to-day lives, no one wants to see a tooth problem in a horse affecting their performance on race day!

Regular Dental Care For Horses

Regular dental check-ups for horses are essential, just like they are for humans. For horses, a dental checkup is vital to their overall well-being, and should take place every six months to a year. These check-ups serve to ensure proper hygiene and function in the mouth, and to detect and eliminate any problems as early as possible, to keep the horse comfortable and able to eat and perform. Their dentist will check for teeth and dental abnormalities, potential tartar buildup, signs of infection or other issues, and gum disease (1,2).

How Does A Horse Communicate A Tooth Problem? 

When a horse experiences a tooth problem, it is sometimes mistaken for bad behavior. Signs that a horse could be dealing with a tooth problem could include head tossing, bit chewing, tongue lolling, excess salivation, sluggish chewing, refusing to eat, riding with his head held high, trying to avoid the bit, or problems staying on the bit mouthpiece. Understandably, the horse is trying to express his discomfort (1, 3).

Daily Chewing

Horses have, on average, 36 to 44 teeth, and chew a shocking 40,000 times per day as they eat. The high number of teeth and high usage of these teeth increases the risk that problems could arise with one of them.

For example, during the chewing process, horses normally wear down the chewing surface of the tooth slowly and steadily. As this happens, new tooth material slowly grows up to provide a fresh chewing surface.

However, this process isn’t perfect, and if the wear on the tooth is uneven, the teeth can form sharp edges. These sharp edges can cut into the horse’s cheeks or tongue, causing painful sores. These sharp edges are removed by a dental procedure for horses known as “floating”. In this process, the veterinarian uses specialized tools to smooth the sharp edges of the enamel (1, 3, 4).

Racing And Bits

The bit mouthpiece used in riding should never affect the horse’s teeth. But sometimes horses develop extra teeth called “wolf teeth” or “tushes.” In many horses, these teeth will never cause a problem. Depending on the shape and location of these extra teeth, they could interfere with the bit or become easily irritated. In this case, the horse may need a specialized bit, or the kentucky derby 2017problematic teeth may need to be removed by a veterinarian or equine dentist so they do not become sensitive or infected by irritation from contact with the bit mouthpiece (1, 4).

Keeping Horses In Top Performance

Race horse owners are especially diligent when it comes to dental hygiene for their steeds. Issues with chewing can result in an insufficient food intake, weight loss or difficulty maintaining weight. Pain and discomfort from oral issues in a horse can impact their training, stamina and race-day disposition. And for anyone who owns and loves an animal, the thought of them suffering in pain or discomfort is not a pleasant one (4).

Just like in humans, prevention in horses is typically easier, cheaper and more comfortable than waiting for a problem to occur. That’s why we commend horse owners who keep their regularly scheduled check-ups, AND why we recommend you do the same for you and your family!

Enjoy the Derby this weekend!

Questions for Dr. Hagen and the Hagen Dental Team?

We want to help keep the dental health of you and your family at its best! Call us at (513) 251-5500 to schedule your next visit.

Sources:

  1. https://www.thespruce.com/essential-dental-care-for-horses-1886863
  2. http://www.thehorse.com/articles/14175/brushing-horses-teeth
  3. http://sawpan.com/dental-care-tips-to-keep-your-horses-teeth-healthy/
  4. http://www.thehorse.com/articles/27010/20-things-your-horses-teeth-are-telling-you

12 Interesting Facts About Smiling

Wednesday, April 26th, 2017

1. Babies Are Born With The Ability To Smile

Babies can smile very early in life – even in utero! Unlike many things a baby has to learn, a smile is inborn and doesn’t have to be copied from those around them. They are just reflex smiles at that young age, not an intentional response to your jokes; however, it’s still a wonderful thing to see when your newborn curves those lips upwards.

Between 6 and 12 weeks of life, babies begin to give REAL smiles – a genuine reaction in response to a stimulus they like (1).

healthy smiles cincinnati

2. You Have 43 Muscles In Your Face

These 43 muscles are important in conveying emotion and facial expression, such as that which happens when we smile. A minimum of 10 of these muscles are engaged in the simplest of smiles, but many more can be recruited during the motion of a smile.

The number ranges dramatically depending on the individual, and the intensity of the smile. For instance, in a simple smile, only a few muscles around the mouth are engaged, but in a larger sincere smile, muscles around the eyes may become activated (2).

3. Fixing A Crooked Smile Is Faster And Easier Than Ever

Have you heard of Invisalign? These invisible aligners help straighten teeth in just 9-15 months. While they can’t correct every smile’s problem, they ARE effective for many conditions: gapped teeth, overbites, crossbites and underbites, as well as overcrowding. A computer designs and plans the entire treatment plan that will take you through the process to your new smile. Dr. Hagen oversees and monitors the progress.

4. A Smile Is A Universal Expression

A smile is a universally accepted expression of happiness. Almost all cultures recognize this facial expression. Some studies even suggest that smiling is contagious.

As humans, we have the ability to detect a smile from more than 300 feet away, helping us distinguish between friends and enemies (3, 4).

5. Smiling Makes You Feel Better

Smiling can improve your mood. And there is science behind this one, too! The mechanism of smiling releases endorphins, which are feel-good neurotransmitters that your brain interprets as an increase in mood.

These chemicals relax your body and reduce pain sensation as well. This works even if you fake a smile. So the next time you feel down, try “faking it until you make it” and see if you feel a little happier (3).

6. Smiling Keeps You Healthier

Big, genuine, and honest smiles give your immune system a boost. They also decrease the stress hormone cortisol in your body. This has the effect of making you healthier and better at fighting off illness (4)!

 7. Try A Smile Makeover Instead Of Hiding Your Smile

We offer many different makeover options when it comes to your smile. No longer do you have to hide a smile that you don’t love. Talk to us about our aesthetic options for obtaining the smile of your dreams! The procedures are often less time consuming than you might think, and very affordable. A smile makeover to help fix misshapen teeth, discoloration, or unsightly gaps can offer you the confidence to share your smile with the world.

8. Smiling Makes You More Attractive

Studies show that a majority of people find smiling faces to be better looking and more attractive than faces without smiles (4).

9. There Is A Guinness World Record For The Largest Human Smiley

The largest human smiley was achieved by 8,018 people in Manila, Philippines on May 30, 2015. This was an organized event as part of the AIM Global 9th company anniversary. Attendees wore yellow or black shirts and gathered in the shape of the smiley to set the record (5).

best cincinnati dentist

10. There Are 19 Different Types Of Smiles

A researcher from UC-San Francisco identified 19 different types of smiles. These range from polite “social” smiles which engage a fewer number of muscles, all the way to more sincere “felt” smiles that use a much larger number of muscles and engage more of the face (6).

11. Smiling Helps You Stay Positive

A smile sends a message to the brain that “life is good”. So even if you are going through a tough time, a smile will help you see the silver lining. Help reduce depression, stress and general worry by increasing your time spent smiling (7).

12. Our Priority Is The Health Of Your Smile

Our team is working together towards the common goal for our practice members to gain and maintain healthy teeth and gums and a beautiful smile. We do this by earning your trust and offering the best dentistry we can provide!

health teeth and gums

Ready To Talk More About Your Smile?

Contact us with questions about Invisalign, smile makeovers, or regular maintenance and oral health to ensure your smile is the best it can be. We are here to help and can’t wait to meet you! Call us at (513) 251-5500

Sources:

  1. http://www.parents.com/baby/development/laughing/when-do-babies-start-smiling/
  2. http://science.howstuffworks.com/life/inside-the-mind/emotions/muscles-smile1.htm
  3. http://www.infobarrel.com/10_facts_about_smiling
  4. https://www.buzzfeed.com/smiletrain/facts-about-smiles-you-never-knew?utm_term=.yk6q2X2kQd#.tqgdpYpEmD
  5. http://www.guinnessworldrecords.com/world-records/largest-human-smiley/
  6. http://www.laughteronlineuniversity.com/15-fascinating-facts-smiles/
  7. https://www.verywell.com/top-reasons-to-smile-every-day-2223755

Ask the Dentist: What to Know About Sensitivity Toothpaste

Thursday, March 2nd, 2017

22 percent of American adults experience tooth sensitivity, according to a survey conducted by the American Dental Association (1). Perhaps you are in that 22 percent and you have been a happy customer of sensitivity toothpaste. Or perhaps you’ll need it sometime in the future.

Either way, have you ever wondered how in the world it works? Or what makes it so much more special than regular paste?

Why Tooth Sensitivity Happens

Many causes of sensitive teeth involve enamel erosion, which exposes the dentinal tubules of the underlying tooth tissue. The dentin and dentinal tubules can also be exposed when the gums recede. These tubules lead directly to the nerve endings, found in the inside layer, or pulp, of the tooth.

That means that extreme temperatures (hot OR cold), acidic foods, and other offensive triggers can cause a lot more painful nerve stimulation than usual, and results in what we term “sensitivity” (1,2). Click here to read more about some of the causes of tooth sensitivity.

Sensitivity toothpaste – such as Sensodyne – helps many people with tooth sensitivity. Sensitivity toothpastes work in one of two ways:

Blocking or repairing your exposed dentinal tubules. Examples of this type of paste include Sensodyne Repair and Protect or Crest Pro-Health. The dentinal tubules are very tiny holes that lead to the nerves, but ingredients like strontium chloride or stannous fluoride plugs up these holes. These types of paste build up a repair layer that acts as a substitute enamel to keep the tubules covered up. In this scenario, the tubules are blocked and shielded, so no triggers ever reach the nerve endings, and no painful stimulation occurs.

Desensitizing your nerve endings found in the dentinal tubules. How is this done? The short answer is with potassium nitrate! An example of this type of paste is the Sensodyne 24/7 Protection line of products, such as Sensodyne Deep Clean. Another example of this type of paste is Crest Sensitivity Protection. The potassium ions found in this kind of toothpaste block the nerves from transmitting the sensation of pain.

So even though the offensive trigger reaches the nerve, you don’t feel it because the potassium ion interferes with the nerve signal and soothes the sensitivity. This type of product requires repeat usage before the sensitivity is reduced. Over time, the potassium ions build up in the tubules, providing protection and longer lasting relief from sensitivity if you continue to use the product.

What Else To Know About Tooth Sensitivity

Additionally, sensitivity paste helps overall oral health by working to protect teeth from gingivitis, cavities, tartar buildup and stains. Sensitive toothpastes also contain fluoride, which can strengthen the enamel and prevent tooth decay. These toothpastes can be used by people without sensitivity because they still provide all these oral health benefits. So that means you can still share with your spouse or family!

As a bonus, using them will help to prevent sensitivity if you start to develop tendencies towards the condition. These pastes have been studied and found to be safe, but if you continue to have sensitive teeth after using the products for more than four weeks, you should check with Dr. Hagen. We might need to prescribe you a prescription paste, or perform an examination to look for a more serious underlying problem.

Call Hagen Dental Practice For All Your Family’s Dental Needs!

Just a reminder: don’t substitute sensitivity toothpaste for your regular dental checkups and care; sensitive teeth can be a sign of more serious dental health issues. Finding the root cause is important to prevent further dental issues in the future. Talk to us the next time you are in the office, or call to schedule now! (513) 251-5500

Sources:

  1. https://crest.com/en-us/oral-care-topics/sensitivity/make-your-teeth-happy-with-sensitive-toothpaste
  2. https://www.sharecare.com/health/healthy-oral-hygiene/how-does-desensitizing-toothpaste-work
  3. https://us.sensodyne.com/about-sensodyne/
  4. http://tribecanydentistoffice.com/general/sensitive-toothpaste/
  5. http://news.crest.com/about/faq/faq_crest_pro_health

6 Habits You Didn’t Realize Were Harming Your Teeth

Monday, February 6th, 2017

Life can get busy. And as the minutes and days and activities and events pass by, bad habits can start to form as we fall into our routines – sometimes before we are even aware of them. Let’s dive into some of the most common tooth-related negative habits, so you can avoid these pitfalls and keep your teeth strong and healthy.

avoid these negative dental habits

Chewing Ice

Chewing on ice weakens the enamel and surface areas of your teeth. Because ice is so hard, chewing on it repeatedly leads to uneven wear and tear, and long term will cause permanent chips and cracks in the teeth, which will damage the underlying tooth structure. Eventually, the cracks become large enough that you will require a trip to the dentist for repair. Ice isn’t the only culprit for this type of damage!

Habitually chewing on other hard items like pens, pencils, bobby pins, or paperclips can cause the same damage. If you need to break this habit, try keeping these items out of reach, substitute your chewing urge for sugarless gum, or avoid putting ice in your drinks while you learn to resist the urge (1, 2).

Using Your Teeth As ‘Tools’

Are you in the habit of using your teeth to crack open bottle caps, rip off clothing tags, hold heavy objects, or even as a replacement for scissors when trying to open those tough plastic bags? These and similar actions put traumatic pressure on the bones in the mouth, increasing your likelihood for weakened teeth, chips and cracks in the bone. Try to remember that teeth are there for eating (and smiling!); they are not meant to be used as a substitute for knives, scissors and hands (1,2).

Skipping Your Nighttime Brushing

Late nights out, bedtime snacks, or falling asleep in front of the television can all lead to one bad habit: skipping or forgetting your night time brushing routine. All the sugars and particles from the food and beverages you had since your last brushing session will be left to wreak havoc on your gums and enamel all night long. If you are guilty of this habit, try starting your bedtime rituals a little bit earlier – before you get too sleepy. Once you have brushed, don’t eat or drink anything else except water.

don't skip your night time brushing

Sugary Drinks

Sugary drinks, especially soda, bathe your teeth in an acidic and sugary environment. This dangerous combination creates the perfect environment for erosion, bacteria growth and decay. Sodas aren’t the only culprit, however. Fruit juices, sports drinks, and alcoholic beverages, especially mixed drinks, can contain surprising amounts of sugar and acids as well. Cut back your sugary drinks to a minimal number – or avoid them all together – and when you do indulge, drink through a straw and rinse your mouth with plain water in between drinks until you can get home and brush (1,2).

Playing Sports Without A Mouth Guard

According to the American Dental Association, an estimated 5 million teeth are knocked out every year during sports activities and competitions. Mouth guards successfully prevent approximately 200,000 sports-related mouth injuries each year. How many more could be prevented if participants were more diligent about wearing mouth guards? Rough play during high impact sports can occur at any time. Mouth guards are recommended for the following sports: basketball, football, lacrosse, water polo, hockey, softball, skateboarding, rugby, mixed martial arts and soccer. The guard helps cushion rapid or hard blows to the teeth and jaw, lessening your risk for soft tissue injury or tooth loss (2).

avoid tooth loss with mouth guard use

Smoking

If you still smoke or chew tobacco, here’s another petition for you to find a way to quit. Nicotine yellows your teeth and can contribute to or cause oral cancers. Tobacco products also dry out your mouth and increase the amount of plaque buildup around your teeth. Smokers have a higher risk of gum disease and tooth loss because of these changes in the conditions of the oral cavity. If you have questions about quitting, discuss them with Dr. Hagen at your next appointment (1,2).

Give Us A Call at Hagen Dental Practice

Need help or advice on how to kick any of these habits, or ensure you don’t have damage already? Call us at (513) 251-5500 to learn more about your dental needs and how to develop positive oral habits!

Sources

  1. http://www.webmd.com/oral-health/features/your-teeth-bad-habits#1
  2. http://www.onhealth.com/content/1/protect_teeth_dental_health

7 Surprising Things That Happen When You Smile

Tuesday, January 24th, 2017

We grow up hearing so many things about smiles:

“It takes more muscles to frown than it does to smile.”

“When you smile, the whole world smiles with you.”

“Turn that frown upside down.”

“Don’t cry because it’s over; smile because it happened!”

So what exactly happens when we smile?

  1. You’ll End Up With A Better Mood

When you smile, your mood is elevated. Psychologists have found this holds true whether you are feeling grumpy or happy before you smile. The positive impact of a smile helps reduce your stress levels, resulting in a happier disposition (1,2).

  1. Your Immune System Will Get A Boost

Your body relaxes, stress decreases, and energy becomes more positive when you smile. These contribute to good health and a stronger immune system. Frequent smiling causes your body to produce more white blood cells, an important component of your immune system in helping fight and prevent illness (1). Smile your way through the cold season this year!

  1. Your Stress Levels Go Down

Learning to smile in tough or stressful situations can be a challenge, but doing so results in dramatic health benefits by lowering stress and anxiety. People who smile while recovering from a stressful situation are found to have lower heart rates and a calmer presence (1).

smiles are contagious

  1. You’ll Probably Cause Someone Else To Smile

Smiles really are contagious. Research shows that seeing someone smile activates the area of the brain that controls facial movement. Thus, the smilee becomes the smiler! A study in Sweden found that people had difficulty frowning when they looked at smiling subjects; their muscles started twitching into smiles (1,2).

  1. People Will Find You More Confident, Trustworthy And Attractive

Smiles are the most easily recognized facial expression, recognized around the globe as a sign of happiness and acceptance. Smiles make a person seem more attractive, personable, empathetic and confident. Research found that smiles rank higher in attraction than makeup! A study published in the European Journal of Social Psychology found that smiles do indeed make you more attractive to those you smile at. A smile is an inviting expression that lets people know you are friendly and willing to talk, and helps people trust you more readily (1,2).

cute dog smile through life

  1. Endorphins Are Released

When you smile, a chemical reaction occurs in the brain, releasing endorphins. Endorphins are chemicals that help you feel happier. Endorphins are those molecules in the body that are released during exercise and running as well, causing “runner’s high” (1,2).

  1. You’ll Feel More Comfortable

Smiling can make you feel more comfortable, even in situations in which you might otherwise feel awkward. Smiling also takes less effort than frowning. Easier facial expressions are a more comfortable option. Smiles also make you more approachable. If others around you feel more comfortable, it will help you feel more comfortable, too (1,2).

feel great about your smile

Call Hagen Dental Practice so That You Can Keep Smiling with Confidence

Hagen Dental wants you to feel great about your smile – so you can show it off to the world and enjoy these physical and emotional benefits! Give us a call to learn more: (513) 251-5500

Sources

  1. http://inspiyr.com/9-benefits-of-smiling/
  2. https://www.pickthebrain.com/blog/15-fascinating-facts-about-smiling/

New Year’s Resolutions For A Healthier Smile

Wednesday, January 11th, 2017

The New Year is here in full swing! Many of us partake in New Year’s resolutions – goals to make this year our best yet. Did you make any for 2017? Have you been sticking to them?

Often times our resolutions relate to healthy lifestyle choices. We inherently know that healthier habits keep us feeling better and enjoying life longer. Check out this list of resolutions that will help keep your smile healthy and your oral health on track – this year and always!

simple-resolutions-for-a-healthier-smile

1. Brush Daily

One of the most important commitments you can make this year – if you aren’t already – is to brushing twice per day. Brushing cleans and protects your teeth from decay and your gums from disease and inflammation. Brushing is also helpful to maintain fresh breath and a bright smile.

The best part? It only takes a few minutes per day! Without brushing regularly, plaque and bacteria build up in your mouth, increasing your risk of inflammation, infection and decay (1, 2).

2. Floss Daily

Flossing is equally as important as brushing! Flossing removes plaque between the teeth and below the gum line, where brushing can’t reach. These areas account for approximately 35% of the surfaces that need cleaning and can’t be reached with brushing alone, and they are often the places where decay and gum disease first begin (1).

3. Make Water Your Beverage Of Choice

Water is the best beverage for your smile’s health for many reasons. First, it rinses away sugars and food particles after a meal or snack. It also helps restore and maintain a proper pH level in your mouth.

Acidity in the mouth from things like coffee, soda, sugars and other food items weakens your teeth and makes it more prone to disease. Water helps to neutralize the pH level. Lastly, staying hydrated helps to avoid dry mouth and the potential bad breath that can accompany it.

choose-water-over-other-beverages

4. Opt For Whole Foods Over Processed Options

Eating well is vital to your dental health. Poor nutrition affects your gums, immune system, inflammation levels, and tooth strength. Processed foods tend to have more sugars, starches and additives that are harmful for your overall health as well as your oral health.

Whole foods contain more vitamins and minerals to support and strengthen your teeth and gums. As a bonus, crisp fruits and raw veggies such as apples, pears, carrots and celery help to keep your teeth cleaner and plaque at bay because of their fibrous quality (1, 2).

5. Switch To A Soft-Bristled Brush

A firmer toothbrush might sound like a better scrubber, but it’s actually not the best choice. Harder bristles irritate the gums, can lead to gum recession, and even sensitive teeth. A soft-bristled brush works just fine; stick to brushing for 2 whole minutes (don’t rush!) and it will get the job done effectively – and most importantly – safely.

6. Avoid Using Your Teeth As “Tools”

Our jaws are strong, and our bones are tough. Because of this, it’s not uncommon for some people to use their teeth for tasks around the house: tearing open a bag of snacks or other tricky plastic containers, twisting open a beer bottle, using a bite grip to open that stubborn bottle of nail polish, or ripping a tag off clothing. But these seemingly simple “jobs” are very hard on your teeth. Even though your teeth are strong, these are not tasks they were meant to perform.

These types of activities place trauma and pressure on the bones and jaw, and can cause a weakened tooth to chip or fracture. Keep scissors, pliers and rubber grips handy so that you can easily reach for those tools when frustrated with that plastic, metal or paper – instead of defaulting to your teeth (3, 4).

7. Double Check Your Calendar

Has it been over 6 months since your last dental checkup? If so, it’s time to give us a call! It’s always surprising how fast the weeks and months fly by. It’s a good idea to check and make sure it hasn’t been longer than you realized since your last appointment. Consistent visits to our office will allow us to prevent or detect problems early – before they become painful, expensive, and tough to treat. And our examination will help let you know if there are any habits you can change to enhance your oral health.

Call Hagen Dental Practice Today

We want you to succeed in all your oral health resolutions so that you can love and maintain a healthy smile! Give us a call today at (513) 251-5500.

 

Sources/References:

  1. https://www.deltadentalins.com/oral_health/new-year.html
  2. http://www.firstchoicedental.com/blog/5-new-years-resolutions-healthier-smile
  3. http://www.webmd.com/oral-health/do-you-have-these-5-bad-dental-habits#1
  4. http://www.210wpfd.com/5-easy-new-years-resolutions/

Save Money & Stay Healthy with Preventive Dental Care

Thursday, December 15th, 2016

Good dental health prevention helps to avoid cavities, gum disease, enamel wear, and other oral diseases, dysfunctions and issues. What does this mean for you? Fresher breath, a healthy and comfortable mouth, less trips to the dentist for surgeries, and less money spent!

Preventive dentistry is simply the practice of caring for your teeth to keep them healthy, rather than waiting for a problem to arise.

dental-prevention-prevents-future-problems

Here are the top seven ways you can make preventive dentistry part of your normal routine:

1. Brush Your Teeth Daily

This is up there as one of the most important preventive habits. Brush your teeth and tongue twice daily to remove bacteria, germs and food particles from your mouth, and freshen up your breath (1).

2. Brush Properly

The WAY you brush is as important as how OFTEN you brush. Take your time, gently brushing in a circular motion to remove plaque and debris. Cross friction and brushing too hard can lead to gum erosion. Brushing too hurriedly can mean missing spots or removal of debris (2).

the-way-you-brush-is-important

3. Floss Daily

Flossing cleans out the tight spaces between the teeth, stimulates the gums, reduces plaque, and lowers inflammation in the area. This is just as important as brushing! Want to make sure you’re flossing the correct way? Ask us at your next dental appointment to ensure you’re getting the full flossing benefit.

4. Consider Mouthwash

Mouthwash helps in several ways: It reduces the acidity of the mouth, cleans harder-to-brush areas in and around the gums and base of teeth, and helps to re-mineralize the teeth.

5. Visit Your Dentist

You should see us at least twice per year for your oral exam and cleanings. Dental cleanings allow our dental professionals to clean your teeth more effectively than what you can accomplish at home. At least one of those visits should include an exam to check for early signs of problems in your teeth or gums.

The examination takes a deeper look at the health of your oral cavity: x-rays to detect early issues or changes, oral cancer screenings of the surrounding tissues, and comparative checkups to ensure continued oral health. Early detection of disease or dental issues is critical to keeping problems to a minimum.

early-detection-is-part-of-prevention

6. Eat a Balanced Diet

Just like the rest of your body, your teeth need proper nutritional building blocks and vitamins to stay healthy. Limiting your sugars, simple carbohydrates, acidic foods and acidic beverages are important choices to help lower your risk of infections and tooth wear (1,2).

7. Drink More Water

It is very important to stay hydrated for overall health, and oral health is no exception. Drink plenty of water throughout your day. This can help neutralize negative effects of various sticky or acidic foods and beverages (1,2).

Preventive dentistry habits save you time, money and toothache (literally) by helping you avoid or lessening the effects of cavities, gingivitis, tooth decay and enamel loss, and periodontitis. Prevention is more fun – and much less costly – than tooth extractions, cavity fillings and root canals. The most effective way to ensure optimal dental health is to defend against and stop disease before it even starts. Now that is something to smile about!

Give Us A Call At Hagen Dental Practice

Are you ready to give yourself the gift of better dental health this holiday season? Call us at (513) 251-5500 to learn more about your preventive dental needs!

Sources

  1. http://www.healthline.com/health/preventative-dentistry
  2. http://www.healthline.com/health/dental-and-oral-health/best-practices-for-healthy-teeth
  3. https://www.ada.org/~/media/ADA/Public%20Programs/Files/bringing-disease-prevention-to-communities_adh.ashx

Oral Health: Does It Have An Updated Meaning Today?

Thursday, September 22nd, 2016

oral health hagen dental in cincinnati

The World Dental Federation is a worldwide organization for the dental profession, representing over a million dentists across the globe! It’s called the FDI for short, because it was established in Paris as the “Fédération dentaire international” (1).

It’s now located in Geneva, Switzerland. Each year, approximately 300 delegates meet to discuss issues, debate changes, and define the future of dentistry across the world. These members are representatives from over 200 national dental associations and over 130 specialist groups from various countries. One of the missions of the FDI is to “promote optimal oral and general health for all peoples” (2, 3).

Earlier this month, the World Dental Federation launched an updated definition of the term “oral health.”

The term “oral” refers to all the components of your mouth and oral cavity: The teeth, gums, connective tissues, jaw bones, soft palate, mucosal tissue of the mouth and throat, tongue, lips, chewing muscles, salivary glands and the branches of the immune, nervous and vascular systems that supply, protect and nourish these tissues. That part hasn’t changed!

The FDI wanted to bring the definition up to contemporary standards by designating oral health as an integral part of an individual’s general health and well-being. The new definition was created by the Federation’s “Vision 2020 Think Tank”, which includes experts from oral health backgrounds, public health officials, and health economics experts (3).

So What Has Changed?

So what is the main differences between the old definition and the new definitions being used—and why does it matter?

Dr. Michael Click, co-chair of the FDI’s Vision 2020 Think Tank explains: “The old definition lacked a theoretical framework that made assessment and evaluation of oral health hard to measure,” he said. “Furthermore, this new definition moves dentistry from treating disease to treating a person with disease.” He went on to say they created a new definition so it could resonate with more people.

The intention is that more people will be able to understand concepts related to our oral health!

These changes might seem subtle, but they do have big significance. Oral health does not occur in isolation…in other words, the health of your teeth, gums, and entire mouth are a part of and acutely related to, your overall health. These new definitions help to clarify and validate that!

In summary, the main points, as defined by the World Dental Federation:

  1. Oral health is multifaceted. A “healthy smile” is more than being “cavity-free” and we agree with that, too! It includes the ability to speak, smile, smell, taste, touch, chew, swallow and express emotion through facial movements. It means being able to do these things confidently and without pain, discomfort or disease.
  2. Oral health is a fundamental part of health, including both physical and mental wellbeing. Another area we agree with! Oral health and our overall health is influenced by the values attitudes of individuals and communities. This means that although oral health is always important—even if the quality of care varies depending on what country you live!
  3. Oral health is a reflection of the physiological, social, and psychological factors that are essential to the quality of life. That’s a mouthful, but also true! The point is: oral health is engrained in more facets of our lives than we may realize.
  4. Oral health is influenced by a person’s experiences, perceptions, expectations and ability to adapt to circumstances. Our overall health affects our oral health, just as our oral health has effect on our overall health (3).
    oral-health-quote

This broadened definition of oral health serves to update the definition to a complete state of physical, mental and social well-being, rather than just the absence of disease or health issue.

It embodies our understanding that everything in the body is intrinsically connected: oral health and general health go hand in hand, rather than being two separate concepts.

What does this mean for you? You cannot be truly healthy without good oral health! This puts enormous importance on good oral hygiene, positive lifestyle habits, and regular dental visits. At Hagen Dental Practice, we strive to help you achieve oral health, with the understanding that it helps you maintain and enhance your overall health.

We Can’t Wait to Meet You & Your Family

Don’t delay your visit. Early detection saves lives. Call us today to schedule an appointment at (513) 251-5500.

Sources/References:

  1. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/FDI_World_Dental_Federation
  2. http://www.who.int/workforcealliance/members_partners/member_list/fdi/en/
  3. http://www.ada.org/en/publications/ada-news/2016-archive/september/fdi-adopts-new-definition
  4. http://www.nidcr.nih.gov/DataStatistics/SurgeonGeneral/sgr/chap1.htm

 

9 Dental Myths That People Still Believe

Monday, July 25th, 2016

9 Dental Myths That People Still BelieveYou hear a variety of things all the time about your oral health – from friends, your family, the media, from advertisements, and more…so how do you know what to believe and what to ignore? Finally, here are answers to your questions! In this post, we separate fact from fiction and drill down on those dental myths.

Myth #1: Brushing and flossing extra well before your dental appointment will hide the fact that you haven’t been keeping up with your regular brushing and flossing habits.

Ramping up your brushing and flossing a few days before you visit the dentist doesn’t mean you can “undo” the months where your oral hygiene habits were lacking! In fact, adding in extra oral hygiene after letting it go for a while has the potential to actually inflame your gums, making them swollen, red and more likely to bleed.

Your dentist will know your secret! There’s nothing that can substitute for regular care in between your dental visits. (1).

Myth #2: If your gums bleed, you should stop brushing and flossing.

It turns out, the opposite is true: you don’t want to stop brushing or flossing if you notice your gum is bleeding or irritated! Plaque build-up and food debris on the teeth are the culprits behind gum bleeding. Regular brushing and flossing is the best way to remove plaque build-up and food from the mouth. If the plaque build-up is too severe, getting a dental cleaning is the best choice to get the problem under control (1, 2). If your gum is bleeding abnormally or doesn’t stop, you want to let us know, too.

myth bustingMyth #3: Brushing MORE will always improve the health of your teeth.

More is not better in this case—especially if you tend to brush too hard. Over-brushing your teeth can wear the enamel down due to the abrasive properties of your toothpaste. Rinsing your mouth out after eating is a safe alternative to extra brushing sessions. Using a soft bristled brush also helps avoid problems from those prone to brushing too hard (1, 2).

Myth #4: Babies don’t need to go to the dentist.

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. The checkup will also allow you to ask questions and get any advice on how you can continue to promote a healthy dental routine for your baby—for life!

Myth #5: Dental treatment and visits to the dentist should be avoided during pregnancy.

Very false! During pregnancy, blood flow, hormones, and often a woman’s diet will change. This can cause an increase in bacteria in your mouth, which leads to an increased likelihood for dental issues such as gingivitis, bleeding gums, or development of cavities over the course of the pregnancy.

Be sure to keep that dental check-up during pregnancy! X-rays will likely be avoided, unless absolutely necessary, but many dental procedures, including cleanings are completely safe for pregnant women and can help prevent inflammation. It’s also very important to maintain good oral health to avoid adverse effects on your developing baby (1, 5).

Myth #6: If there is no visible issue in your mouth, you don’t need to see your dentist.

Just because you can’t see a problem, doesn’t mean you should skip your regular dental checkup. Your dental cleanings and exams each year help ensure your teeth STAY healthy! It’s also important to find any dental problems early so they don’t become serious (2). Don’t forget that your dentist visit also includes oral cancer screenings, too.

Myth #7: Teeth whitening will damage your enamel.

New technology has made teeth whitening much safer! (Zoom! Whitening, anyone?) You can stick with professional whitening for the safest options, and ask us any questions you have about the process (2)!

Myth #8: Losing baby teeth to tooth decay is okay – that’s what adult teeth are for, right?

False! Losing a baby tooth to tooth decay is not insignificant. This can result in damage to the developing crowns of the permanent teeth just below the baby tooth. It could also mean the child is not developing proper dietary and dental health habits to promote healthy teeth down the line (3).

Myth #9: You’ll know when you have a cavity.

Sometimes you’ll know when you have a cavity or an issue of some kind…but many times you won’t! And by the time you can feel the discomfort of a cavity, it has probably spread to a larger area than it would have if it had been caught at a regular dental cleaning and examination (4).

Have More Questions About Your Dental Health? We Can’t Wait to Meet You & Your Family

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://www.stlawrencedentistry.com/top-10-dental-myths/
  2. http://www.1800dentist.com/dental-myths-separating-fact-from-fiction-finally/
  3. https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/08/100805103926.htm
  4. http://www.webmd.com/oral-health/features/cavities-myths
  5. http://www.webmd.com/oral-health/dental-care-pregnancy

 

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