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Posts Tagged ‘oral health’

Is Your Baby Teething? Here’s Everything You Need to Know

Monday, June 12th, 2017

baby teething 101

Wondering if your little one is teething yet? Most babies have their first tooth by the time they are six months old, and the symptoms of teething can begin two or three months prior to the first appearance of a tooth.

It’s common for the very first teeth to be the two bottom center teeth, and appearing next is usually the top two center teeth. After that, the teeth tend to grow outward (1).

Teething can be a tough time for your baby, so it’s important that you know the signs of teething and how to help soothe your little one.

top signs your baby may be teething

What Are the Signs?

Although the teething process varies from infant to infant, there are a couple of common symptoms to look out for. If a few or all of these signs stand out to you, your infant could be teething already!

Crankiness and Irritability

It’s normal for babies to fuss every now and again, but excessive crankiness may be a sign of teething. It’s hard to be cheerful when you’re not feeling well. So understandably, your baby might be irritable when he or she is experiencing an achy mouth (1).

Biting

With new teeth ready to poke through their gums, babies will feel aches and discomfort in their mouth. This pain can be counteracted by biting and chewing, which may indicate why your baby suddenly has a knack for biting more often (1).

Drooling

Yes, drooling is pretty common with many littles ones, but it can also be an indicator of teething, too! Teething stimulates saliva in the mouth, which means that your baby might drool more often than usual. If you’re finding excessive drool on your baby’s shirts, pillows, or toys, it might be a sign that he or she is teething (1).

Trouble With Their Sleeping Patterns

Have you finally gotten your baby sleeping on a normal schedule? Well, not so lucky for you, your baby will probably deviate from this sleep pattern when teething begins. Due to the discomfort caused by the teething process, your baby will most likely wake up earlier and nap less (2).

Ear Pulling

You may find your baby tugging on his or her ears. Because the ears are located closely to the jaw, pulling on them creates counter pressure that helps soothe mouth pain (2).

Puffy or Swollen Gums

When the new teeth are about to appear, your baby’s gums might appear red or swollen. Unless your little one took a tumble and bruised his or her mouth area, this is usually a telltale sign of teething (3).

How Can You Help?

In addition to extra hugs and kisses, there are a few ways you can help sooth your baby’s pain! Always defer to your dentist and/or your doctor, but here are a few ideas as well.

Pressing a frozen washcloth against your infant’s mouth will help alleviate some of the pain, and even numb sore gums (3).

Distracting your baby is another way to ease the pain. Just like a mild headache or tummy ache, a distraction helps get the mind off the pain (3).

Serving your baby cold food and water can also help alleviate the aching; it serves as a numbing agent to a sore mouth. Some ideas include yogurt, applesauce, or even frozen fruits (1).

Because chewing offers counter pressure to aches inside the mouth, rubber teething toys are another key for soothing the pain. Teething toys and wet washcloths can help distract your baby and alleviate the aches (1).

hagen dental practice total family care

We Care About Your Child’s Dental Health

Your entire family deserves a healthy smile! When those pearly whites finally do come in for your infant, we want to help keep them healthy. We enjoy their first visits as early as age 3.

Give us a call today at (513) 251-5500 to schedule a visit for everyone in the family.

Sources

  1. http://www.whattoexpect.com/first-year/teething/
  2. https://www.mamanatural.com/7-signs-your-baby-is-teething/
  3. http://www.parenting.com/article/guide-teething-symptoms

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?

its-time-for-wellness-wednesday

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.

dental-health-as-a-clue-towards-overall-health

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:

http://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/adult-health/in-depth/dental/art-20047475

 

 

Don’t Neglect Your Dental Health While Away at College

Thursday, November 3rd, 2016

oral health tips while at college

Midterms are in full force, you are deep into your class load, the manager from your part time job is calling to see if you can pick up an extra shift, there are intramural sports to be played, and there’s plenty of partying to be done on the weekend. As a college student, you are busy, and you have all the freedom and independence you want to make your own health decisions. But now is not the time to let your dental health go by the wayside due to your tightly packed schedule.

A 2016 study of dental health practices in US college students found that 76% of students reported having at least one dental exam in the year prior to their survey. But the study also found that dental health care habits and regular dental visits declined annually following the students’ freshman years.

Students cited reasons such as having a healthy mouth and not feeling they needed dental care, not having the time to go to the dentist, and worries about the cost of their visit for the explanations as to why they were missing their regular checkups (1).

Unfortunately, putting your oral health on the backburner is not a good choice. When it comes to your mouth and teeth, prevention is always cheaper and easier than waiting until a problem arises. Regular checkups can allow us to find issues before you show signs of pain and more advanced dental disease.

College students are also at risk for oral health changes because of poor dietary choices, changes in routine, and putting off regular visits to the dentist. Even though there is a lot on your plate and even more on your mind, there is hope!

Try these tips to maintain good oral hygiene while you make your way through your college years!

Keep it real. Eat “real foods” rather than packaged and processed foods to help minimize unnecessary sugars. Snacks such as fresh fruit, vegetables, nuts or seeds are great choices (2).

Keep sugar to a minimum.  Avoid using sugar as a stress reliever. Increased sugar intake increases your risk for decay and cavities.

Watch your late night eating and hygiene habits. Avoid late night snacking, or falling asleep without brushing your teeth. This habit leaves sugars and acids in your mouth to wreak havoc on your enamel until morning. Leftover food particles also become a breeding ground for bacteria. Furthermore, this sets you up for a bad case of morning breath (3).

Remember to exercise! Also be sure to develop regular exercise and good sleep habits. These routines are important and helpful for managing stress levels and maintaining both dental health and overall health during your college years (2).

Look at your entire health. Minimize or avoid alcohol use and smoking. College students sometimes experiment with these two behaviors, both of which cause dry mouth, changes in the pH of the mouth, and an increased risk for tooth decay or gum disease (2). Alcohol abuse also makes it more likely that you will skip or forget your nighttime dental cleaning routine.

Start with water! Choose water over sodas, energy drinks, and other sugary drinks. The acids found in carbonated and sugary drinks are very hard on your enamel (2, 3).

Brush and floss daily. These are time-tested habits that keep your oral health up. Even when you get home late or your schedule feels too busy, be sure to floss and brush. We recommend brushing twice a day with a soft brush, and flossing once a day (4). This investment takes about 5 minutes, which means you only have to dedicate 0.3% of your day to reap the rewards of a healthy smile.

Remember your regular dentist visits! Either find a great dentist near your school, or schedule your dental checkups around visits back to your hometown – over the holidays or school breaks. Don’t leave your next appointment without scheduling your next one!

dental exams

Call Hagen Dental Today

Are you overdue for your next dental cleaning? Or perhaps you are enrolled in school in the Cincinnati area and need to find a great dental practice while you are away from home? Give Hagen Dental a call to answer your questions or to schedule your next appointment at (513) 251-5500.

Sources:

  1. http://digitalscholarship.unlv.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1363&context=jhdrp
  2. http://www.deardoctor.com/articles/10-health-tips-for-college-students/
  3. http://compdentalhealth.com/blog/college-students-oral-health/
  4. http://dental.ufl.edu/patient-care/patient-information/oral-health-tips-for-all-life-stages/

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

 

What to Know About Oral Cancer, Eating Disorders & Decalcification

Thursday, September 1st, 2016

eating disorders and oral health

More than 10 million Americans are affected by serious eating disorders. These disorders can have serious ramifications for your overall health, as well as your oral health!2

A Serious Subject: Eating Disorders & Your Health

Two of the most common eating disorders are bulimia nervosa and anorexia nervosa. Bulimia nervosa is an eating disorder characterized by repeated, excessive eating, followed by self-induced vomiting, also known as purging. Anorexia nervosa is an eating disorder characterized by an extreme fear of gaining weight, a desire to be thin, self-induced starvation, and the inability to maintain a normal weight.

Both conditions deprive the body of crucial vitamins, minerals, proteins and other nutrients required to maintain good health, including oral health. These deficiencies can lead to decalcification of the teeth.3

Decalcification is an early form of tooth decay and damage that can lead to further injuries or breakdown of teeth, more serious tooth decay, and cavities.

Eating disorders can also cause bad breath, tenderness of the mouth and throat, as well as swelling in the salivary glands. These disorders can lead to dry mouth, cracked lips, sores in the mouth, bleeding gums, and sensitivity of the teeth.1,2

The self-induced vomiting that occurs with bulimia nervosa causes powerful digestive acids from the stomach (that normally aren’t found in the mouth) to come in contact with the teeth. This acid attacks and wears away at the tooth enamel, causing erosion. This frequent purging can also change the color, shape, or even length of the teeth!1

Those with anorexia nervosa can experience osteoporosis and severe malnutrition, leading to weakening of the bones. This includes weakening of the jaw bone as well as weakening of the teeth and enamel, or even tooth breakage or loss.1

Long-Term Negative Health Effects

Long term malnutrition from eating disorders can lead to increased susceptibility to infections and other negative health effects.

The repeated vomiting of bulimia can damage the lining of the esophagus because of the repeated contact with the strong stomach acid and the micro-traumas of the tissue associated with the purging. A very small percentage of bulimics can develop bulimia-related cancer due to the damage to the esophagus.4

What to Know About Oral Cancer

Concerned about oral cancer? Early warning signs include lumps or growths in the mouth, throat or neck, patchy areas or lesions in the tissues of the mouth, hoarseness or difficulty swallowing, unusual bleeding, or persistent sores that don’t heal. Recall that when you come in for your regular visit, we look for signs of cancer—after all, we’re trained to do so.

Prevention and regular dental checkups are key when it comes to proper oral health as well as preventing oral cancer! Additionally, a healthy, nourishing diet is important to give your mouth and teeth the building blocks it needs to stay healthy.

prevention at hagen dds practice in cincinnati

Set Up Your Next Dental Visit at Hagen Dental Practice

If you or someone you know suffers from an eating disorder, it is important that you seek professional help as soon as possible. Overcoming the eating disorder is the first step to healing the effects of the acid and nutrient deficiencies that come along with these conditions.

We can help you restore and work with some of the problems created from eating disorders (and that’s part of why we want to know about your health history, too.) 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.

References/Sources:

  1. http://www.yourdentistryguide.com/eating-disorder/
  2. http://www.mouthhealthy.org/en/Teens/concerns
  3. http://medical-dictionary.thefreedictionary.com/decalcification
  4. http://www.bulimiahelp.org/articles/bulimia-and-cancer-what-you-need-know
  5. http://www.atooth.com/oral-cancer/

 

Why Does My Dentist Need to Know If I Have Diabetes?

Wednesday, March 23rd, 2016

diabetes and your smile and oral health

When you have diabetes, you are more likely to develop problems in your mouth, and you also less equipped to heal after dental surgery.

And, according to the American Diabetes Association, the most common problem affecting gums and teeth for people with diabetes is gum disease.

Think of your dentist as someone who is an advocate for your total health and well-being.

If we don’t know you are living with diabetes, we aren’t knowledgeable about the state of your health, and we may not be able to be as proactive in contributing to your treatment strategy.

Because diabetes makes you prone to other mouth problems – not “just” gum disease – if we know your health status, we are able to ensure that you are taking all the steps to best manage your blood sugar. Additionally, there are medications that can result in drastic and impactful changes in the mouth.

For instance, certain medications can drastically reduce the amount of saliva you have in your mouth, which can greatly impact your ability to “naturally” cleanse your teeth. As a result, we can see a drastic, and immediate change in the amount of harmful bacteria (and plaque) in your mouth – if you were to do nothing to manage this change in the mouth. All of this can happen relatively quickly, but with greater communication around your medications, we can come up with a strategy and plan to encourage a healthy mouth.

All in all, when we know the medications you’re taking, we’re better equipped to give you recommendations that take your entire health into account.

medication and diabetes

Mouth Problems: What to Know

In an ideal situation, we have a plan, and we manage our blood sugar levels, stay on a healthy nutrition plan, and continue daily, good oral health habits. If we also see a dentist regularly we can prevent problems, but if a problem occurs, we can catch it early!

When we have poor blood sugar control, we see an increase in the risk for gum problems. Just like with other infections, gum disease can cause our blood sugar to rise. And then, as a result, diabetes can be harder to manage because you are less able to fight bacteria and even more susceptible to infections.

If Our Blood Sugar is Uncontrolled…

If our blood sugar becomes uncontrolled, we may experience dry mouth and bad breath. What’s worse is that we can end up with thrush, inflammation in our gums and infections in the mouth.

Warning signs that you have an oral infection include:

  • Swelling or pus around the teeth or gums – even if small
  • Pain in your mouth that doesn’t go away
  • Pain when chewing
  • Dark spots in your teeth
  • The appearance of holes in your teeth
  • White or red patches on your gum tissue or anywhere in the mouth

Call us if you have diabetes and any of the signs or symptoms listed above.

Keep Taking Care of Your Teeth

The Canadian Diabetes Association says that, “Because periodontal disease is an infection, bacteria produce toxins that affect the carbohydrate metabolism in individual cells. It is also thought that the host response to periodontal bacteria can increase insulin resistance and, therefore, blood glucose levels.” Said another way, there is evidence to suggest (although cause and effect is not quite determined) that there is a two-way link between the state of your mouth and your management of diabetes (1).

If anything, this assertion just reinforces the idea that we have to be proactive in taking care of our mouths. Step one? Telling your dentist this major lifestyle change – that way we can work together to reduce your risk of complications and prevent gum and mouth infections or gum disease.

keep your teeth healthy

We Support Your Entire Health: Give Hagen Dental a Call Today

We want you to help you manage your diabetes – in a way that is as comfortable as possible. We’re here to partner with you so you can improve your total health.

Have questions? We’d love to answer them. Hagen Dental is supportive no matter where you are on your health journey. Give us a call today at (513) 251-5500 to schedule a visit for you or your family.

Sources/References

  1. http://www.besthealthmag.ca/best-you/oral-health/5-reasons-why-oral-care-matters/
  2. http://www.diabetes.org/living-with-diabetes/treatment-and-care/oral-health-and-hygiene/more-on-the-mouth.html
  3. http://www.mouthhealthy.org/en/az-topics/d/diabetes

21 Quick Dental Facts You Won’t Believe!

Friday, August 1st, 2014

You know we bring you fun facts on our Facebook page, and now we bring you 21 more fun dental facts you may not know:

1. You may be more than 10 times more likely to develop breast cancer if you have poor oral hygiene habits.

2. More than 3 million miles worth of floss is purchased each year in the US.

3. Flossing once a day increases your life expectancy by 6 years.

4. Less than 1 mm of original tooth enamel is removed for veneers.

5. Teeth start to form before we are born.

hagen dental cincinnati ohio dentist6. People prefer blue toothbrushes over red.

7. There are more than 100 million bacteria in one drop of saliva.

8. 25 percent of adults in the US have lost all their teeth.

9. Nearly half of all people say the first thing they notice about someone is their smile.

10. If you were to combine the number of children with cavities, that number would be greater than the number of people living in Los Angeles.

11. 3 out of 4 people in the US have at least one cavity before they turn 18.

12. It only takes 30 minutes after you drink soda for the acids to start wearing at your enamel.

13. An Elephant’s tooth can weigh over 6 pounds. They can measure one foot in length.

14. Bacteria from a toilet can go as much as 6 feet from the toilet when you flush…all the more reason to keep your toothbrush away from the toilet!

15. When we are right-handed, we tend to chew food on your right side, and if we are left-handed, we tend to chew on our left (but not always!)

16. In 1994, it’s said that a prison inmate in West Virginia took his floss, created a rope, and then used the rope to escape.

17. We create enough saliva (the natural cleanser in our mouth) in our lifetime to fill two full swimming pools.

18. We spend about 38.5 total days brushing out teeth our lifetime, on average.

19. In China, September 20th is an official holiday that is known as “Love Your Teeth Day.”

20. More than 300 types of bacteria make up dental plaque…makes you want to brush, huh!?

21. A baby’s first primary tooth usually will erupt when she is around 6 months old.

What’s the Connection Between Protein and Our Oral Health (If Any)?

Thursday, July 17th, 2014

cincinnati dentist hagen

Nutrition is extremely important when it comes to tooth formation, and our tooth (and jaw) structure itself. We want to have strong and healthy teeth so they can be resistant to decay.

But how else does nutrition impact our teeth once we are older?

Let’s reflect on our teeth makeup: enamel is on the outside. It is the mineralized “shell” to our teeth. Then we have dentin, also a mineralized layer, beneath our enamel. When our diet has a high nutrient density, we are able to “remineralize” our enamel and dentin. That’s just one reason why we want a “good diet” to be able to do so.

So far, we know a nutrient-dense diet is a good place to start. Some of the foods that deliver high nutrients, while limiting the acid we expose our teeth to, include these foods:

  • Animal foods such as broths, meat, fish, eggs, etc.
  • Vegetables
  • Nuts
  • Limited fruit

What you do not see is processed foods, refined sweets or grains like oatmeal, sugary cereals, or crackers. Again, those are much more likely to lead to tooth decay then what you see above.

Most of those foods are high-protein. So does that mean protein is better for our teeth?

It is true that those foods shown above, with high nutrient densities, in some cases, do have a lot of protein in their macronutrient profile. Foods that don’t have much protein as part of its macronutrient profile can sometimes also be the foods that are worse off for teeth in general due to what else is making up that food, macronutrient-wise.

Let’s examine why that might be.

Take for example a candy bar that’s high in carbohydrates (sugar). It isn’t providing us with much protein, and at the same time, it’s also bad for teeth because of that high sugar content.

But, you can also think of examples that are quite contrary to this: take for example, a high-protein “energy bar.” These might have a high protein makeup, but then the chocolate they are coated in could also sit on your teeth if you were to not brush or floss after eating one. Said another way, it could have high protein, and also have high sugar! You can probably think of other examples.

When sugar is in what we deem a high-carbohydrate food, this is in fact worse on your teeth. On the other end, foods that are high in protein are often times, but not always, going to be better for your teeth as they (sometimes) lack the sugar in their makeup.

To sum it up, you might say that protein is good for your teeth—but another way to look at it is the absence of an excessive amount of (refined) sugar is what’s really good for our teeth!

…and, as stated, avoiding sugar also leaves us with many food choices that, in many cases, do have a protein-punch! Look to maximize mineral absorption and your daily intake of nutrients, both of which can be done through a diet that makes sure to get enough protein.

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.

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Top Ten Tips for Your Dog’s Oral Health

Tuesday, January 22nd, 2013

You probably have most things covered for your dog’s health: regular exercise and good nutrition, for example.

But what about man’s best friends’ teeth and gums?

We decided to have a little fun and bring you the top 10 ways you can make sure your dog has as healthy mouth in 2013:

1. Know the signs of when there could be a problem. Part of making sure your dog has a healthy mouth is being educated about the symptoms of oral disease: bad breath, more drooling than normal, and inflamed gums. Another indicator could be only chewing on one side of their mouth.

2. Think about a massage… Never brushed your dog’s teeth before? Get her comfortable with the idea of brushing by first massaging her lips with your finger. After doing that for up to a minute, once a day, it will be easier to use a real (dog) toothbrush after about a month.

3. Broken tooth? It’s good you are checking! This is a case where you should most likely visit your vet. It’s usually hard for those of us who aren’t doctors to know how to proceed. The options include doing nothing if there is no harm to the dog, the tooth may be extracted, or in some situations, they may need a root canal.

4. Brush up! When dogs get their teeth cleaned professionally, it will often times require anesthesia. But at home you can brush her teeth around twice a month. Step one is getting a toothpaste made for dogs–not the human kind, which can’t be ingested! Never brushed a dog’s teeth before? For your next steps, visit this informative link.

5. Regularly check your dog’s gums. This could require two people in some cases. The key is to lift her lips and examine all her gums. You are looking for healthy gums: pink, versus white or red.

6. Regularly check your dog’s breath. You’ve probably gotten a smell before, and that’s a good baseline. If it’s much worse than normal–which isn’t ever too great, anyway– you know there could be a problem.

7. The not-so-great news… Maybe you see that your dog has bleeding, red or swollen gums. This is one of the top reasons you need to head to your dog’s dentist.

8. …But there is some good news. Even if your canine has red and swollen gums, the beginning signs of periodontal disease, just like with us humans, you can reverse the damage at this stage. With that said, knowing how big of a difference you can make in your dog’s health NOW should motivate you to make the small changes to their oral health and lifestyle so they stay disease-free.

9. Chew toys. Chew toys are not only great to deal with their need to chew, but chew toys can also help make teeth strong. Did you know you can also buy toys that can help combat tarter? Look for toxin-free toys that are nylon or rubber — but ask your vet first.

10. Double check the food! You might already have nutritious meal plans for your dog, but did you know you can also get dry food for your dog that helps slow down plaque and tartar buildup? This might be especially helpful if your dog already has a bit of mouth-related issues. It’s not just her weight that’s affected by those extra treats—it can also be the health of her mouth.

Want to make changes to YOUR oral health? Visit our site at hagendds.com.