Phone (513) 251-5500
February 14th, 2019

Everything You Wanted to Know But Were Afraid to Ask Your Dentist

Category: cincinnati dentist

everything you wanted to know about your oral health but were afraid to ask

Here we break down everything you wanted to know but might have been afraid to ask:

What type of toothpaste do you recommend?

The short answer is…it depends!

Let’s say you are someone who has sensitive teeth or gums.

Then we might suggest a toothpaste such as Sensodyne Repair, Protect, or Crest Pro-Health. Other examples include the Sensodyne 24/7 Protection line of products, such as Sensodyne Deep Clean. The dentinal tubules are very tiny holes that lead to the nerves, but ingredients like strontium chloride or stannous fluoride—which is in certain sensitivity toothpastes—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 example, the tubules are blocked and shielded, so no triggers ever reach the nerve endings, and therefore…less sensitivity on your end!

This example highlights how we want to recommend a toothpaste that is specific to your needs, so be sure to ask us for some potential choices based on your needs.

What’s the benefit of coming (at least) twice per year for my professional cleaning?  

Regular dental visits provide you with a deep ant thorough cleaning you can’t get on your own; a full oral examination for things we’re trained to see and recognize; and you also receive X-rays when they are due.

Think of it this way: in order to keep anything in good condition, it needs to be cleaned regularly. The same goes for your teeth. Did you know a “teeth cleaning” does more than just clean your teeth?

Removing plaque is absolutely essential to preserve your teeth. It builds up on the tooth surfaces and between the teeth. Brushing and flossing are what you do at home—but a professional cleaning by your dentist removes bacteria, calculus (tartar), and debris, especially along your gum line. A dental hygienist is someone professionally trained to perform teeth cleanings, among other responsibilities within the dental practice.

A few of the things we’ll be doing when you come in to visit us include:

  • Examining your face, tongue, tissues inside the mouth, your neck, lymph nodes and jaw joints
  • Examining your gums, making sure gum recession isn’t happening or measuring the gums regardless
  • Checking for (signs of) oral cancer
  • Scaling and root planing
  • Examining you for signs or symptoms of gum disease
  • Looking at the way you bite and alignment of teeth
  • Checking the health of teeth and gums and looking for any changes or checking up on areas we’ve been monitoring
  • Checking on your existing fillings to make sure they are not damaged
  • Doing a deep, professional clean of your teeth, removing plaque and tartar build-up
  • Doing a deep, preventative clean along your gum line to combat recession, decay build-up and gum disease

What’s really the best way to care for my child’s teeth?

Unless we’ve told you otherwise, consider taking your child in to see us starting around age 3.

Don’t forget that your kids will experience teeth that “wiggle.” Typically around age 6, kids will find that their teeth will begin to come loose. Generally speaking a good idea is to let the tooth come out naturally or with a bit of wiggling to help it come out with very little pain.

Cavities are also something to consider during this time. Again, in many cases due to high sugar in the diet, cavities can develop in our children’s teeth. There are steps we can take to make sure that kids reduce the likelihood of cavities, but also are educated on good oral health.

Encourage behaviors such as brushing for two minutes per day. Take your time during this process and be sure that kids are brushing gently. In an ideal scenario, we might spend time brushing after every meal. That may not be possible, so aim for two times per day, at minimum.

On average, many kids have the ability to start brushing their own teeth by themselves at age 4 or 5. It is at this age where they have the dexterity to be able to do so. Not every child will be the same, so trust your judgement or let us know if you have questions.

We recommend that you verbalize, when possible, how good of a job they are doing, why they are brushing their teeth, and even consider brushing your teeth as a family if that helps promote good oral health habits for all.

Also, take a look at nutrition. You can begin to educate your kids on how eating healthy can be delicious and can make them feel great! Emphasize the importance of instilling good dental hygiene habits at an early age.

Since kids are often on the go, encourage healthy snacking from a young age if possible. This may mean planning ahead in order to avoid the more convenient, lower nutrient-dense (and sugar-heavy) snacks. Aim to avoid sugar-added drinks entirely if it’s possible, or keep them at a minimum since you know the damage they can do to teeth and overall health.

Is there any harm in getting a mouth piercing?

The reality is there are many side effects to mouth piercings, some of which can be negative for your oral health. Oral piercings can create excessive drooling issues. Foreign objects in the mouth can increase the body’s natural saliva production and the piercings can cause major damage to your gums, teeth or even fillings.

Many people with oral piercings develop a habit of “playing” with the piercing, or chewing and biting them. This can injure the gum tissue, causing it to recede. When this happens, the teeth are at an increased risk for decay, and the gum tissue itself can become irritated or infected.

The jewelry can also even crack, chip or scratch the teeth, as well as damage fillings and crowns, creating the need for costly and painful repair!

An oral piercing is a responsibility you should not take lightly. It requires upkeep, attention and maintenance to ensure safety and cleanliness.

We recommend talking to us before you get a mouth piercing. If you already have a piercing or do decide to get one, contact your dentist or a doctor right away if you develop signs of infection, such as swelling, pain, fever, or chills.

Why does the dentist ask me what prescriptions and/or medications I am on?

Many common medications (and that includes vitamins and supplements) can have an effect on your oral health, so we want to be as informed as possible as we take a look at your teeth and gums!

For example, a few of the common side effects of medications can include:

Dry mouth: one of the more well-known side effects of certain medications, especially since the effect is noticeable right away for many as they start to take a medicine. In addition, as many as 400 often-prescribed medications can result in dry mouth.

More than discomfort, dry mouth can quicken tooth decay since you are lacking the normal, natural cleansing effects of saliva in the mouth. For this reason, we like to at least know if we should keep a watch—or prescribe a special oral regimen—so that we can be as preventative as possible to lower your risk of severe tooth decay.

Abnormal bleeding: You may have heard that aspirins can help certain people have reduced blood clotting—which is why you hear they may help prevent strokes and/or heart disease. We like to know if you’re taking any of these anticoagulants because it can affect how you bleed during oral surgery, or for certain treatments for gum disease. In other words, we’d like to know of any situations we should be aware of in these cases!

Taste-altering side effects: If you’ve been experiencing what can best be described as a bitter taste in your mouth, that can mean something unusual is going on. At the same time, some medications will cause this bitter or metallic taste—or even the ability to taste in general.

If we know what you’ve been prescribed, we’re better able to tell you what’s the real cause of these changes in your taste.

Gum Reactions: Believe it or not, certain medications have been shown to lead to the development of sores, discoloration, or even inflammation in your mouth’s soft tissues. Other medications, such as certain anti-seizure medications or immunosuppressants, can actually enlarge your gums. If any of these are a problem, we can help set you up on a regimen that can help you manage these problems.

How do I get my child to stop sucking his/her thumb!?

Most kids, between the ages of 2 and 4, start to give up pacifiers and thumb sucking. In many cases, pacifiers are easier to give up. In many cases, peer pressure also kicks in for the school-aged kids which helps them kick the tendency.

Even if your child is around the age of four, it’s not always room for concern. Often times, parents have success just by ignoring the behavior! As said, many times social settings help kids to naturally kick the habit, which helps as they age.

A few ways to help your child with prolonged or rigorous thumb sucking past a certain age include looking into other ways to comfort your child when they turn to their thumb for comfort.

A certain kind of reward system can help to help track progress when encouraging them to stop can help in some cases! Try praise, too.

Last, take advantage of your care team. While we know you know your child best, ask us for other ways to help! We can also explain to your child what happens if they keep sucking their thumbs. We won’t scare them, but it can help them to have someone else – other than their parents – explain how this habit can hurt their teeth. You can also visit your pediatrician to get guidelines specific to your child.

What happens at the beginning of a dental appointment when it comes to measuring my gum tissue?

Healthy gum is not recessed, and it fits tightly around each of your teeth. That’s why we measure the gumline to see its depth. We’re comparing it your last visit to us so that we can see if any deep pockets or recession is happening. Think of it this way: we’re watching the health of your gum.

why do i have bad breath hagen dental cincinnati ohio

Why do I have bad breath?

Bad breath can happen to anyone! Chronically foul-smelling breath can be a sign of gingivitis, periodontitis, plaque buildup, infections, cavities, gastritis, or poor brushing habits. It can also be a sign of disease, infection or it could be because of tobacco use. It can even happen because of certain diets and because of certain medications, acid reflux, or respiratory issues.

Typically, bad-smelling breath is just due to the breakdown of food in the mouth.

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

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

However, if bad breath seems to be a chronic problem for you, and you aren’t sure why, be sure to let us know. We’re here to help. 

How can I ease my dental anxiety? 

We want to make your visit as comfortable and as relaxing as possible—so let us help you! This way, our dentists and dental team can better tailor our treatment to your needs. This tip might be the most important on the list so that we can help you! When you schedule your appointment, mention to the receptionist that you experience anxiety at the dentist.

When you arrive for your visit, remind the dental staff and dentist about your feelings. Ask questions. If you’re unsure about something, ask. Knowing what’s going on inside your mouth can give you some peace of mind.

Also, take breaks. If you need a break during any time of your dental visit, it’s okay to say so!

We want you to be comfortable, and sometimes it’s easier to jump back in after a little mental break. You shouldn’t feel any pain, so let us know if you do!

We always work as a team to make sure you are not in pain! If you feel pain, signal to us to stop. Some patients are embarrassed to tell us if they experience pain, or don’t want to interrupt the process. Keeping you comfortable is our first priority, so don’t be afraid to speak up! If you have any questions about this before your visit, give us a call or ask us as soon as you come in.

We can help soothe your fears with sedation options as well. Just ask us to learn more about the options that we have that are right for you. For many patients, these sedation options allow you to relax. In order to fully eliminate pain, local anesthetic can be administered in conjunction with nitrous oxide.

Because the effects of this medication wear off quickly, you’re able to safely drive yourself home after your procedure without calling a ride. Recall that our office also has the Wand™, a computerized system that applies anesthesia without any pain or sensitivity for the patient. That’s right, that means you have a painless administration of anesthesia. No more fears of injection at our practice.

dental health answers from hagen dental dds

Earning Your Trust – With Personalized Care

At Hagen Dental Practice, we’re happy to provide a full range of dental care services to all members of your family. Setup an appointment online or call us at (513) 251-5500 today!

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