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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



The Common—And Not So Common—Causes Of Tooth Sensitivity

Tuesday, February 21st, 2017

Why do teeth become tender and sensitive? Why can some people bite into a nearly sub-arctic temperature ice cream treat with no issue, while others wince in pain, or avoid the treat all together? Can you avoid this happening to you? Eliminating some of the reasons tooth sensitivity develops can help lessen your pain or help you avoid this problem developing.

Here are some of the reasons teeth become sensitive:

Brushing Too Hard

Using a hard-bristled toothbrush or brushing with too much force can start to wear and tear on your teeth and gums. This excess force and friction wears down the protective enamel layer of your teeth, which can eventually expose more sensitive tissue or nerves. These habits can also cause gum damage or recession, exposing the very sensitive root tissue below the gum line. Avoid these issues by switching to a soft bristled brush and brushing in a circular, gentle motion along your teeth. Often times, people brush too hard because they are in a hurry. Slow down and show your teeth some TLC (1,2).

Eating Too Many Acidic Foods

If your teeth have already become sensitized, and nerve or root tissue is exposed, acidic foods will irritate these areas and cause a lot of pain and discomfort. Acidic foods include things like tomato sauce, citrus fruits, kiwis, pickles, sour candies, and soft drinks. Avoiding these foods can help you avoid the painful stimulation they cause (1).

Grinding Your Teeth

Grinding your teeth, which most commonly occurs at night during sleeping, wears down the enamel and can damage the gum tissue, leading to gum recession. Just like with brushing too hard, exposing the more porous middle layer of the tooth under the enamel means unprotected nerve fibers can be reached by irritants. If you think you’ve been grinding your teeth, or you’ve been told you are a grinder, schedule an appointment with Dr. Hagen to discuss finding a mouth guard to prevent the grinding (1).

Using Certain Toothpastes

Certain toothpastes can lead or further promote sensitivity. Because people can react differently to the same product, some people might develop sensitivity from a paste that another person is not bothered by. If you noticed the sensitivity start after switching to a new whitening paste, you should switch to a different brand of paste, a different product that doesn’t contain any whitening agents, or ask us if you have questions.

Overusing Mouthwash

Mouthwash is a good part of your oral hygiene habits. However, some people overuse their mouthwash, leading to enamel wear, dentin exposure, and sensitivity of the teeth. If you think this is the cause of your sensitivity, try cutting back to swishing just once or twice a day, or try a brand that is alcohol free. And don’t forget to be proactive with your brushing and flossing so that you don’t miss the extra mouthwash rinses. (Once again, ask us for more guidance specific to you.)

Gum Disease

Gum recession, gum inflammation (gingivitis), and other forms of gum disease can all present with tooth sensitivity. In this case, you most likely will notice the sensitivity at the gum line, where unprotected tooth tissue is exposed to the elements: anything you eat and drink. In the case of gum issues, it is vital to schedule your next dental appointment right away, so that Dr. Hagen can help get your gum disease under control and talk to you about treatment options to deal with the gum disease, or procedures to seal the exposed tooth.

A Recent Dental Procedure

Procedures such as root canals, extractions, or crown placement can all cause sensitivity after the event. However, these symptoms should only be temporary. If the sensitivity persists, be sure to schedule a follow up visit to rule out infection or other complications (1).

A Cracked Tooth

A cracked or even chipped tooth can cause pain. This pain can vary, but is typically severe enough that it feels worse than just sensitivity. In a case like this, Dr. Hagen will need to analyze the issue to determine what type of treatment will be available to fix or remove the cracked or chipped tooth (1).

Contact Hagen Dental Practice for All Your Oral Health Needs

Do you think one or more of the issues listed above relates to you? Call us at (513) 251-5500 to learn more about how to prevent, deal with, or end your tooth sensitivity!




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!



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!


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.


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.




All I Want for Christmas is My 2 Front Teeth

Wednesday, December 21st, 2016

Baby teeth typically start erupting between the ages of 6 months and a year. This starts the fun and adventurous path of being able to eat more foods and textures, late night teething pain, drooling and chewing on everything in sight, and of course, dental hygiene training.

Kids can go for their first dental checkup as soon as they get a tooth, but anytime before age 3. Because tooth decay in children is on the rise, we recommend the sooner the better; closer to 18 months! You can read more about why HERE.

When kids are ready to erupt their permanent (adult) teeth, the baby teeth start to wiggle, loosen and fall out. This starts the fun adventures of tooth fairy tales, showing off those wiggly teeth, and stories and challenges for getting those stubborn baby teeth out! The top and bottom central incisors (those four teeth front and center in your kid’s toothy smile) are amongst the first to fall out as the permanent teeth grow in and replace them. This typically happens between 6 and 8 years of age.


If this milestone occurs in late fall or early winter, your child has the unique opportunity for the classic Christmas song, “All I Want For Christmas Is My Two Front Teeth” to apply to him or her.

There’s something charming about this song, and that toothless open center space as your little one flashes their grin at you. Kids have all sorts of fun while they wait for their central incisors to re-emerge: sipping through a straw without opening their jaw, learning new ways to whistle, pronouncing words in funny and different ways, and poking the tip of their tongue through that little hole.

A child’s early years are a very impressionable and important period to take the time and teach them proper and consistent dental hygiene habits. How can you do this as a family?

Make Tooth Time fun

Brushing as a family can make getting ready for bed a fun activity for everyone to participate in. Make up a brushing song or dance, or make silly faces in the mirror. If your child has a positive experience, they will enjoy it and have good memories associated with this habit for years to come.


Make Tooth Time Consistent

Make brushing a routine: every day, twice a day. Don’t skip out on brushing certain days just because your schedule is a little different or the kids are cranky. Consistency is the key to building good brushing habits. This goes for flossing too! Kids who learn to floss everyday won’t forget this important component of oral hygiene as teens and adults.

Incorporate Kid-friendly Products

Colorful toothbrushes splashed with their favorite characters, light-up timers, flossing picks, a stool to reach the sink, kid-friendly paste flavors and easy squeeze tubes all make for a more kid-friendly experience. It is amazing what products are available at your local convenience store.

Check out fun toothpaste flavors like Tom’s of Main Silly Strawberry. You can try something like these light-up timer toothbrushes from Firefly, so your kids know when 60 seconds of brushing has elapsed. Brands like DenTek make some great kid-friendly flosser picks so your kids don’t have to hassle with maneuvering regular floss before they are ready. (These are just ideas; please ask us for more specific information for your child.)

Schedule Regular Dental Visits for Everyone

Introducing your children early to the dental chair helps alleviate fears and anxieties associated with checkups. Keeping YOUR dental checkups regular each year means your kids will learn this is a normal, habitual routine for both you AND them. And keeping up to date on exams for the whole family means if any dental problems arise, we can catch them early to minimize any painful or potentially scary procedures for your little ones.


No matter what your family situation or how many teeth are present or missing, we wish you a very healthy and Merry Christmas from all of us at Hagen Dental!

Call Us Today

Are you ready to make Hagen Dental your family’s dental home? Give us a call with questions about care for you or your kids, or to schedule your next checkup: (513) 251-5500

Sources and Ideas Taken From:


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.


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).


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.


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!



It’s Wellness Wednesday!

Wednesday, November 30th, 2016

By now you’ve fought through the fierce crowds and lines of Black Friday, loosened your purse strings for Small Business Saturday, and shopped from home while searching high and low for great finds on Cyber Monday.

Hopefully you’ve walked away from it all unscathed, grabbed some good deals, and accomplished much of your holiday shopping! Are you exhausted yet?


We hope you have some energy left, because it’s time for Wellness Wednesday! With all this focus on shopping, potentially a lot of missed sleep, the stress of travelling and visitors, and the anticipation of the holidays, it’s easy for our WELLNESS habits and goals to get lost in the shuffle.

“Is Oral Health Really an Important Part of Our Overall Health?”

Yes! In fact, your oral health gives clues about your overall health. Problems in your mouth can not only affect the rest of your body, but can indicate underlying health issues. Your oral health is more important than you might have even realized.


Without proper oral hygiene, the bacteria in the mouth can reach levels that can lead to infections. Natural defenses coupled with regular oral health care help to keep these bacteria under control.

Chronic inflammation of gum disease can play a role in other diseases and inflammation of the body, making both conditions more severe. Inflammatory diseases such as cardiovascular disease can be linked to infections that oral bacteria can cause, according to some research.

Your state of overall health relates directly to your heart health.

Bacteria that enter the body, including through your mouth, can spread through your bloodstream and attach to damaged areas in your heart, leading to endocarditis. Endocarditis is an infection of the inner lining of your heart.

Oral health is important for mom and baby during pregnancy. Inflammation and infection in your mouth has been linked to premature birth and low birth weight.

But That’s Not All…

Certain pre-existing conditions can affect your oral health. Diabetes, for example, reduces the body’s resistance to infection, putting your gums at higher risk for disease. The reverse is true as well: People with gum disease have a harder time controlling their blood sugar levels, so regular dental health care can improve diabetes control. Another example is osteoporosis, in which there is an increased risk for periodontal bone loss and tooth loss, due to the weakness of the bone structure.

Medications, such as decongestants, antihistamines, painkillers, diuretics and antidepressants can all reduce saliva flow. Since saliva is so important for neutralizing acids and washing away food particles, this reduction in saliva can give bacteria a chance to thrive and potentially lead to complications, gum disease, or other inflammatory processes.

The team at Hagen Dental wants to remind you to keep up with your regular dental hygiene. Floss and brush daily, stay hydrated, and try to avoid indulging in too many of the sweets and treats that are so prevalent this time of year. If you have a dental checkup scheduled, don’t skip it! This time of year can get busy, but your health is worth making time for.

Another Wellness Wednesday tip: When was the last time you changed your toothbrush? If it’s been more than 4 months, it’s time to change… so add a toothbrush to your shopping list!

Improve Your Total Health: 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/References to read more:



Celebrating Johnny Appleseed Day

Saturday, October 1st, 2016

johnny-1Do you remember hearing stories about “the old settler” Johnny Appleseed? Johnny Appleseed is a folk hero that is based off of the life of John Chapman, an orchardist and nurseryman who was known for planting orchards in the Midwest.

Born on September 26, 1774, in Massachusetts, John cultivated orchards that were used to establish land claims along the frontier. Many of the apples his orchards produced were used to make hard cider at the time! (1) This differs a bit from the story of Johnny Appleseed, whose legend is that he scattered seeds across the country, following a dream to grow so many apples that people would never go hungry. (That legend is in part thanks to a Disney feature, Melody Time, that depicted the fairy tale version of Johnny.)

Needless to say, even if the legend versus the real man differs, John Chapman was also responsible for the cultivation of huge amounts of land over the countryside, and for the development of thousands of productive apple trees (2). This week marks his birthday, and to honor him, we want to celebrate Johnny Appleseed Day!

How to Celebrate Johnny Appleseed Day

Ever heard the expression that an apple a day keeps the doctor away? It’s actually true that eating apples does bring benefit to your health! Here are some other facts that might surprise you:

  • Apples can help to naturally brighten your teeth
  • Apples can help to freshen your breath naturally
  • Apples are the second most popular fruit in America
  • The most-grown apple is Red Delicious (5)
  • Apples are a great source of dietary fiber, flavonoids and even antioxidants
  • Apples can help you naturally fight cholesterol build-up (6)

health-benefits-apples-hagen dental

The best way to celebrate Johnny Appleseed Day—we say—is simply by enjoying some of the delicious apples he helped spread across the United States. The nice part about this holiday is that it falls during apple season, when apples are plentiful, crisp and delicious.

A Healthier Alternative to Other Treats Common This Time of Year

Apples do have a long list of health benefits…Although it’s not a replacement for brushing or flossing, chomping on an apple provides perks for your oral health! The biting and chewing that’s required stimulates saliva production, which in turn lowers bacteria levels and reduces risk of tooth decay. The fiber, combined with the malic acid present in apples, also acts as a mild cleansing astringent, helps dissolve stains of the teeth, and cleans plaque from the roots naturally (3).

If you aren’t in the mood for an apple, check out these other foods that are great for your overall health:

Strawberries: Strawberries actually contain astringent and high levels of vitamin C. These two components work together to naturally help to remove surface stains and clear plaque (3).

Pineapple: Pineapples are high in vitamin C, which prevents plaque formation and is important in maintaining healthy gums. They also contain high levels of an enzyme called bromelain, which acts as both a natural stain remover and a plaque prevention (3).

Carrots and Celery: Similar to apples, the fibers found in carrots and celery work as natural abrasive agents to eliminate dirt and plaque from teeth and gums. This is true for many fresh, crunchy, crisp vegetables. Carrots are also high in minerals that help control bacteria levels in the mouth. The fiber and high water content of celery can actually freshen your breath as well (4).

Cranberries: Fresh cranberries weaken bacteria, preventing it from bonding and forming damaging plaque (4).

The next time you prepare your shopping list, try to include foods from this list. It will feel good knowing you can eat well and keep your teeth healthy and strong at the same time. Be sure to enjoy the apple harvest this fall, and Happy Johnny Appleseed Day!

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.



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.




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.