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6 Trends That Can Harm Your Oral Health

Saturday, December 1st, 2018

harmful trends to be aware of word of mouth blog hagen

Ever hear of the Monroe piercing? It’s a piercing that is above the upper left and is named after Marilyn Monroe, who had a beauty spot in that area.

That kind of piercing may or may not appeal to you, but we bring it up because these piercings can damage your gums and put you at increased risk for infection.

The back part of the jewelry can rub against your gum, and the friction can result in tooth enamel damage and gum recession! Now that’s not so great!

That piercing brings to mind other existing and emerging trends we sometimes see. From tongue piercings to dental grills, we’re breaking down a few of the potential health risks that come with these trends:

1. Oral piercings

 Tongue piercings, lip piercings, and other piercings (including the one we’ve mentioned) in and around the month can be quite problematic for your long-term oral health. They change your mouth—forever. Just think: even if people one day take out the piercing, the hole in your cheek or tongue can actually stay for a lifetime in some cases. Plus, the piercings can put you at a high risk for infection.

In other cases, having metal in your mouth can result in accelerated dental decay. Some people tend to “play with” the jewelry in their mouth (whether sub-consciously or consciously) and that can do damage to the enamel or even crack your teeth.

2. Gems on teeth

You read that right: a new trend is to put gems on teeth. Think of it as jewelry ON your actual tooth. The way they are added to teeth involves glue and then hardening the gem in place by using a UV lamp.

So how do you get these little gems off your teeth? You either wait until they fall off…or it’s because of a visit In to us for help to get them off! Potential side effects can include: increased risk for dental decay and bacteria build-up, discoloration of your tooth, weakening or damage to your enamel, or even unintentional grinding of your teeth because of where the gem is placed in the mouth.

3. Lemon juice mixed with baking soda to whiten teeth

Somehow, somewhere, someone posted the idea that you could whiten your teeth with lemon juice combined with baking soda.

The reality is that this is an extremely harsh “DIY” solution that will damage (if not destroy) the calcium and phosphate crystals in your enamel. So what does that mean? By using this home-made solution, you can be doing some irreversible damage to your teeth.

Not only can it result in permanent damage—and some seriously sensitive teeth—but using these acids on your teeth can expose your denton. That makes your teeth look brown or yellow, so you’re really doing yourself a disservice by making your teeth potentially look less white by using such an abrasive combination on your teeth! Stay away and consider yourself warned! (1)

4. Apple cider vinegar

To be clear, apple cider vinegar can have health benefits. But just like anything acidic, beware of when and how you’re drinking apple cider vinegar.

If you let it sit on your teeth for an extended period of time, it can do damage—just like any other acidic beverage or juice can if it sits on your teeth.

trends that can damage teeth hagen dental west side cincinnati

5. Activated charcoal to whiten teeth

Activated charcoal has gotten a good amount of attention lately. In fact, it seems like it is an ingredient popping up in many different beauty and health products, not just teeth-related products! Regardless, right now there are some claims that you can whiten your teeth in a “natural” way if you use activated charcoal.

It’s true it can absorb toxins, so it has its use, but on your teeth it can pose a major problem. Once again, you want to be sure you don’t use something that is harsh and abrasive on your teeth. If you do, you can have long-term, lasting damage to your enamel and your teeth can look more yellow over time.

If you need more proof, just look to the American Dental Association. They have said that the activated kind has not been proven to be effective and it’s not safe (1).

6. Dental grills

Dental grills refer to the cosmetic jewelry—often metal and can be covered in jewels—that was made popular by a number of recording artists starting back in the 1980s. Through the years, you’ve probably seen someone on TV perform with a “grill” in their mouth.

These grills are typically designed to be removable and they actually fit on top of teeth. They can be as inexpensive as $20 but they can also be hundreds of thousands of dollars. Cost-aside, are they good for your mouth and health? The answer is no. Not only can they encourage plaque and bacteria build-up, but they can really irritate your gums. They can be abrasive to the teeth and they can cause gum recession and even teeth discoloration to occur. For the sake of your oral health, it sounds like a piece of jewelry to avoid! (2)

smile makeover cincinnati dentist hagen dental

We Want to Help You Achieve Your Dream Smile

Thinking about getting a tongue piercing or maybe you’ve been interested in another trend shown here? We encourage you to talk to us to learn more information.

We’re here to help you with smile makeovers, full-mouth rehabilitation, cosmetic dentistry, Invisalign, and much more at Hagen Dental Practice. Looking to set up your next dentist appointment with us? Give us a call at (513) 251-5500 or setup your appointment online by clicking the online scheduling button.

Sources:

  1. https://jada.ada.org/article/S0002-8177(17)30412-9/fulltext?__hstc=100419393.98064da206aba54b25889ad27adf4593.1527096078914.1527542971511.1527561344498.6&__hssc=100419393.1.1527561344498&__hsfp=1539253761
  2. https://www.colgate.com/en-za/oral-health/basics/threats-to-dental-health/dental-grills-the-new-trend-affecting-dentistry-and-the-health-of-your-teeth

Movember Mustaches, Beards & Men’s Health: Here’s the Connection

Wednesday, November 21st, 2018

mustaches and mens health this november

Much has been said—perhaps with a bit of humor—about beards and mustaches throughout history. For example, one question has apparently been posed quite a few times: do people really smile less when they have a beard and/or a mustache?

The answer: there is really no connection with having a beard or mustache and smiling more…or smiling less!

What the research has shown: Beards can act as a signal of men’s age and masculinity. The research also suggests that in some cases, full beards can also make men more “attractive for long-term relationships” (1).

Beards, Mustaches, and Men’s Health

You may have heard of Movember, which is a month-long event that occurs each year during the month of November. The word “Movember” comes from a combination of moustache (also often spelled mustache) and November.

The idea is that men can grow mustaches during the month to raise awareness to various men’s health issues, in particular prostate and testicular cancer.

Although some men may just grow a beard and/or mustache for fun this month, there are various charities connected to the campaign. There’s even a Movember Foundation that seeks to educate men on living healthier lifestyles.

“No Shave November” includes positive lifestyle changes that include encouraging men to go on more walks and to take on more physical activity in general.

movember health hagen dental in cincinnati ohio

Quick Tips for Men’s Health This Movember

With this month’s theme in mind, here are a few quick areas you can focus on to better your health:

  • Eat a diet that’s nutrient dense. Choose vegetables, lean meats, fish, fruits and aim to avoid added sugar. Take a look at just how many whole foods you are really consuming.
  • Get moving as much as you can. Exercise can lower risks for cancer and it can help our waistlines. It can be a natural way to boost your mood and it can also lower your risk for heart disease.
  • Quit smoking. Ask your doctor if you need help quitting. After all, tobacco use is the leading cause of cancer and we can prevent it!
  • Limit the alcohol intake. The risk for certain types of cancer, including liver cancer, appear to go up if you drink more than a “moderate” amount.

did you know hagen dental practice practice facts about mens health

Your Health & Your Facial Hair

Movember aside, are there any actual health benefits to having a beard or mustache? Well, it depends…

There are some potential health benefits of beards and mustaches. These include the following:

  • Beards do block out UV rays! So that means, in theory, your beard can protect your skin over time. But just remember to apply sunscreen to the rest of your face! But the fact they can help protect your skin is just one more potential health benefit of your beard.
  • Oh, and they can keep your skin moisturized. Beards and mustaches can help your skin naturally retain moisture (2).
  • Beards have been known to give people more confidence (2, 3).
  • Less allergies, anyone? Beards can help act as a natural filter to help reduce allergens and bacteria from entering your mouth and nose (2, 3).

So are there really any negative potential drawbacks of having beard or mustache? Not exactly.

In theory, beards can be a breeding ground for bacteria. If you don’t follow basic hygiene habits when it comes to your beard, you could be exposed to more germs. But just having a beard doesn’t mean you’ll be more likely to be exposed to bacteria.

Your Dream Smile is Within Reach

As always, remember this isn’t specific medical advice. Be sure to talk to your regular doctor/pediatrician (and us) for more information. We’re here to help you with smile makeovers, full-mouth rehabilitation, cosmetic dentistry, Invisalign, and much more at Hagen Dental Practice.

Looking to set up your next dentist appointment with us? Give us a call at (513) 251-5500 or setup your appointment online by clicking the online scheduling button.

Sources:

  1. https://www.glamourmagazine.co.uk/gallery/why-beards-are-good-for-you
  2. https://www.huffpost.com/entry/beards-are-good-for-you-and-science-says-so_n_560d72f7e4b07681270115c2
  3. https://www.lifehack.org/299301/its-not-just-cooler-but-also-healthier-10-reasons-why-men-should-grow-beards

 

10 Reasons to Be Grateful This Thanksgiving

Wednesday, November 14th, 2018

feeling grateful this thanksgiving hagen dental

Life moves fast, especially around the holidays, so we are sharing 10 reasons to slow down and be grateful this Thanksgiving.

1. The beautiful outdoors

One of the things that’s the easiest to take for granted: going outside. But we should be grateful for the ability to go outside and explore the great outdoors…even if it is getting a little cold this time of year.

There are also health benefits of going outside: restored mental energy, it can be a stress reliever, it can reduce inflammation, and can even help us have sharper, more clear thoughts (1).

2. Time with loved ones and family

The holidays are a time where we’re able to spend time with those we love the most. Consider telling those closest to you just how grateful you are to have them as family!

3. Your team at work

Have a great team at work? Are you thankful for all their hard work and contributions? We thought so! That’s just one more reason to be thankful today.

4. Holiday activities

It might be caroling or it might be making a gingerbread house…or maybe it’s just something as simple as making pies for Thanksgiving dessert. Whatever it may be, we’re lucky to be able to participate in these activities.

5. Free time

Embrace your free time and make the most of it. Be present and enjoy that free time!

6. Your favorite exercise

Ever hear the phrase, “Your health is your greatest wealth.” It’s pretty true! Be grateful your health gives you the opportunity to participate in those physical activities you enjoy most.

7. Modern dentistry

Consider how so many years ago, those at the first Thanksgiving dinner would have used twigs, animal bones, and animal hair to brush their teeth.

Dentistry has come a long way, and that’s something to be thankful for. Today, we have effective and affordable ways to prevent dental disease—at home, and when you come in to visit us.

We have the latest technology to help with diagnosis, smile makeovers, full-mouth rehabilitation, cosmetic dentistry, and much more. Ask us to learn more about solutions such as CEREC one-visit dentistry, overdentures, Invisalign, VELscope, GLO teeth whitening, and more.

8. Time with friends

Friends (and strong social bonds) have been scientifically proven to help us live longer, possibly due in part to the healthy influences they have on us. Your friends stand by you when you need them most. That’s part of why they are another reason to be grateful each and every day (3).

9. Great food

It’s no wonder that giving thanks to food is a practice that happens across so many cultures. Give thanks for all the great food that was prepared with love this season!

10. For your health in general

Whether it’s being able to solve problems (our cognitive abilities) or being able to take a walk with family members outside (our physical abilities), there is so much we can be grateful for when it comes to our overall health.

Our bodies are capable of amazing feats and we’re capable of adapting and dealing with so much that life throws our way!

Today we are able to acknowledge and be thankful for our health.

Being grateful for our well-being also allows us to determine areas we want to continue to work on improving in terms of our health and vitality.

Today we’re thankful for all the little things that our heath allows us to do: whether it be making and then savoring a delicious Thanksgiving meal, running a Turkey Trot, or something as simple as being able to share a story that’s been passed along for generations in our family.

practicing gratitude

Tips to Become Even More Grateful

You don’t have to wait to be grateful. Here are a few quick ways you can practice being even more grateful:

  • That can be in a journal, a prayer routine, or just a time carved out to reflect. Whatever way you see fit, just spend a bit of time each day to think of all the gifts and special things that you’re thankful for each day.
  • Embrace the challenging times. Sometimes it takes a mindset shift to be able to see how failures or hard times resulted in growth or lessons learned. That’s why you can find gratitude in some of life’s hardest moments and experiences.
  • Tell others. Are you thankful for a friend at work? Or maybe you are grateful for your job! Whatever it may, share what you are thankful for. The practice of sharing what we’re grateful for helps us focus in on that positive energy.
  • Make it a promise or goal. Just by making it a goal to be more grateful, it’s been shown that we will actually become more grateful. That’s a win-win! (2)
  • Make it visual. Sometimes visual cues help us to remember to take a moment to be grateful. That could be at home or at work, for example. Maybe you add a post-it note to the fridge or maybe you use something else to help trigger those positive thoughts.
  • Ask others! Ask others what makes them You might not do this every day, but it can be a fun way to mix it up, and to share with others what you are both feeling thankful for. They may even remind you of things you had taken for granted.gratitude as a choice

At Hagen Dental Practice, We’re Grateful for Our Patients

We’re so grateful for all our patients! We believe some of the best dentistry happens when there is a bond of trust with you. We’re blessed to build that trust with each and every one of our patients.

We are excited to meet you and your family. Please call (513) 251-5500 or click the Online Scheduling button on our website to schedule your next visit.

Sources:

  1. https://www.businessinsider.com/11-reasons-you-should-go-outside-2014-4
  2. https://greatergood.berkeley.edu/article/item/ten_ways_to_become_more_grateful1
  3. https://medium.com/thrive-global/top-5-gratitude-quotes-for-friendship-c31c5ae99300

Hagen Dental Infographic: How Oral Health Can Predict Overall Health

Monday, November 5th, 2018

Did you know your oral health also can shed light on the rest of your health? Take a look at this Hagen Dental infographic that explains the connection between your dental health and your overall health.

how oral health can predict overall health hagen dental practice

The Biggest Pregnancy & Oral Health Questions, Answered

Thursday, September 20th, 2018

During pregnancy, your health can certainly be under the microscope as you experience so many things changing in your body. Sometimes women don’t realize all that’s happening in their mouth, as well, during this time.

hagen dental cincinnati ohio

But taking care of your mouth and your teeth is critically important when you are pregnant. Here we answer some of the most common questions on oral health and pregnancy that women have: 

Question: I think I could be pregnant. When should I tell my dentist that I’m pregnant?

Answer: Even if your loved ones don’t yet know the news yet, be sure to let us know as soon as you believe you might be pregnant.

Many women can be at increased risk for oral conditions during pregnancy, so we want to be sure you have all you need to be as healthy as possible during your pregnancy. Second, and just as important, there are certain medications you should avoid while pregnant.

Knowing you are pregnant will help us to make the best decisions for your health and for the health of your baby.

pregnancy oral health dentist cincinnati ohioQuestion: Should I continue to see my dentist during my pregnancy?

Answer: Yes, absolutely! Oral exams and professional teeth cleaning are very important during your pregnancy. You will also have a chance to ask us questions or to bring up any concerns you have when you see us.

As mentioned, you also want to let us know that you are in fact pregnant. Notify us of any medications you have been taking, as well as supplements (1, 2, 3).

Question: I heard pregnant women should not be treated with tetracycline. Why is that?

Answer: Tetracycline can stain your baby’s developing teeth. Again, to avoid any teeth staining—or any other potential issues—you want to be sure to notify us that you are pregnant.

Question: How does my diet during pregnancy tie-in with my oral health?

Answer: Yes, nutrition plays a role in maintaining your oral health, and that’s especially during pregnancy. In an ideal world, you can stick to whole foods that are nutrient-dense, and avoid foods with added sugar.

If you find that you need more snacks than normal, know that this can increase your risk for tooth decay. Just aim to stay hydrated (with water whenever you can) and keep up your oral health habits during this time and brush and floss as regularly as possible (2, 3, 4).

Question: What should I do if I notice something out-of-the-norm with my dental health during my pregnancy?

Answer: Let us know immediately if you believe you are have any oral health issues or changes in your mouth. We want to be sure to address any issues as early as possible.

Question: Is it true that women are more likely to develop gingivitis during pregnancy?

Answer: It is true that you are at greater risk of developing gingivitis during your pregnancy. That’s why if you see signs of swelling or any abnormal tenderness, you should come in and see us.

The reason this can happen is partially because of the hormonal changes your body is going through. If and when your gums swell, this is what can result in what is sometimes called “pregnancy gingivitis.” If left untreated, dental disease can be harmful to your baby, and it can be harmful to you, too.

But don’t fret: if this happens to you, we may have you come in for more frequent teeth cleanings with us. There are also other ways to make sure you combat the plaque and tartar-build-up. Being proactive as possible goes a long way!

In the meantime, be sure to floss every day. Because your gums are swollen, food particles can be more problematic than normal during your pregnancy.

Question: What are “pregnancy tumors”?

Answer: As scary as that might sound, these so-called “tumors” are not cancerous. These little “raspberries” in your mouth can form between your teeth. Sometimes these growths will bleed easily, including when you go to brush your teeth. Once again, hormones are the cause.

In most cases, people can have their dentist remove these lumps if they become an issue. Keep in mind that the growths will also naturally go away on their own after you give birth (2, 3, 4).

Question: I’ve been told I need a tooth pulled. Do I need to worry about how that procedure might affect my baby?

Answer: This procedure is safe, but in some cases, your dentist may feel it’s fine to postpone a certain procedure.

It does surprise many to hear, but radiographs are also safe during your pregnancy. There are also local anesthetics that can be used safely during this time.

Even though preventive and restorative dental treatments are safe for you and your baby, be sure to always let us know you are pregnant, as certain medications can be switched out, among other factors that can be influenced by your pregnancy.

Question: Does morning sickness affect my teeth?

Answer: This is an area many women worry about! Morning sickness can bring acid from your stomach into your mouth. The result is that tooth erosion can happen, and it can happen quickly.

Besides coming in to talk to us about your specific situation, aim to wash out your mouth with water (or with a fluoride mouthwash) first before brushing your teeth after morning sickness. That way, you can get rid of some of the acidity before you brush your teeth.

Ask us about a way to use baking soda that can also help if morning sickness is a recurring problem for you.

Question: Are dental x-rays still safe even though I’m pregnant?

Answer: We tend to do x-rays during when we need to; after all, they are in fact safe. In some cases, we delay the x-ray until after your baby is born. In all cases, we avoid putting you or your baby at risk.

Each person is different and we assess what’s best for your health. No matter what, if x-rays are taken, we do make sure to minimize your exposure to the x-rays.

hagen dental in cincinnati ohio

We Want You to Be As Healthy as Possible During Pregnancy

As always, be sure to come in to see us to get recommendations that are specific to you. Pregnancy is a beautiful journey and really does bring so many changes to your body. We’re here to help support your entire health during this special time. Call us at (513) 251-5500 or clicking the online scheduling button to schedule your professional cleaning today.

Sources:

  1. https://www.ada.org/en/member-center/oral-health-topics/pregnancy#
  2. https://www.ada.org/~/media/ADA/Publications/Files/for_the_dental_patient_may_2011.pdf?la=en
  3. https://www.mouthhealthy.org/en/pregnancy/concerns
  4. https://www.colgate.com/en-us/oral-health/life-stages/oral-care-during-pregnancy/four-things-to-know-about-oral-health-and-pregnancy-1014
  5. https://www.mouthhealthy.org/en/pregnancy

This Is How to Get Stronger Teeth

Monday, September 10th, 2018

hagen dental practice top cincinnati dentist preserve enamel

Strong teeth are often HEALTHY teeth! So how can you keep your teeth as strong as possible?

The answer lies in protecting your enamel.

There are many ways to break down the outer and hardest part of our teeth—that is, your enamel. But…also remember that the enamel is the most highly mineralized substance in your body.  It’s also the hardest material in your body!

With that in mind, let’s take a closer look at what weakens the enamel, and what you can do with this knowledge to make sure your teeth stay strong and healthy for a lifetime.

What Weakens Your Teeth

Let’s take a look at what can WEAKEN your teeth over time. After all, those would naturally be the things and habits we’d like to avoid so that we can keep our teeth as healthy as possible.

Here are some of the culprits that can lead to enamel erosion:

Attrition. Have you been told you grind your teeth? Or do you notice that you’ve developed jaw pain that’s been attributed to bruxism? We all have natural tooth-to-tooth friction, which can be a good thing, but too much can weaken your teeth. It can also “loosen” your teeth and/or stretch periodontal ligaments. Think of it this way: with all that friction, something has to give!

Abrasion. One of the reasons many people choose to use a soft-bristle toothbrush is because they tend to brush too hard. Over time, if you brush too hard, it can serve to break down your enamel.

Additionally, if you don’t floss right or if you bite down on hard objects, the kind of wear and tear you put on your teeth also falls under this category. Another bad habit that falls under the abrasion category: chewing tobacco. It’s probably not too surprising for you to hear that this breaks down enamel over time.

Abfraction. Yep, sounds like a pretty fancy word! This is used when we talk about stress fractures to the tooth. Clearly that’s working against STRENGTHENING your teeth!

Corrosion. When certain materials hit our teeth, it can cause corrosion, which is one of the most damaging things we can do to our enamel in many cases. There can be acids that hit our teeth because of intrinsic reasons—such as excessive vomiting or acid reflux—or it could be other factors—extrinsic ones—like what we eat (1, 2).

Taking Control of the Health of Your Teeth

It’s good to know how we think of tooth erosion, and the terms we use to describe the various causes. Here’s a few other areas that can might contribute to tooth erosion:

  • Drinking soft drinks that have a high amount of citric acid or phosphoric acid;
  • Lack of saliva;
  • Dry mouth;
  • If your diet is high in sugar;
  • If your diet is high in starch;
  • If you have ongoing acid reflux or acid reflux disease;
  • Certain medications (1, 2).

Some areas that might surprise you that you should be aware of:

  • Fruits…and even dried Yes, fruits are great nutrition-wise, but be careful with very acidic fruits;
  • Certain wines where the acid can wear away at your enamel;
  • Aim to brush your teeth 45 minutes after you juice;
  • Gummy, chewable vitamins. If they are sugar-based you can see why it can be a problem;

Enamel’s Role in Your Mouth

Enamel is so important in protecting your teeth from decay. Be sure you do everything you can to protect your enamel and to keep it from eroding. When you do this, you protect your teeth, and you keep a strong barrier in tact that helps the inner layers of your teeth avoid the effects of plaque.

Once the enamel is destroyed, your body can’t re-generate it, unlike things like our skin. In other words, once it’s destroyed, our body does not make more to replace it.

hagen dental blog 5 steps to preserve enamel

Concerned about what to do to keep your teeth as strong as possible? You can take these 5 steps to preserve your enamel. Of course you always want to talk to us about your specific situation.

Step 1: Watch your sugar intake. Recall that includes both beverages AND it includes food. Sugar does A LOT of damage to your enamel. By cutting back on sugar, you can really cut back on the cumulative damage that happens to your enamel over time.

If you don’t know where to start, consider a food journal so you can see all the areas where you are consuming sugar. For example, do you have a latte or coffee with sugar in the morning? You can see how you might not even realize how much sugar is in your current diet!

Step 2: Avoid hard and sticky candies and avoid chewing ice. These are ones you can avoid entirely or, if you can’t give up the hard candies, at least minimize how often you eat them!

Step 3: Maintain positive daily habits. Use toothpaste and floss every day. On top of that, see us regular professional cleanings where we’re able to remove plaque build-up that sits on your enamel. All of these things you can control and have a major impact on preserving your enamel.

Step 4: Whereas things like soft drinks, Gatorade, cookies, or breakfast cereals have acids that “eat away” at minerals in your enamel, there are things you can do to re-mineralize your teeth.

The mineral fluoride is one example, which is why drinking fluoride can really help to combat tooth decay.

Step 5: Let’s say you are flossing and brushing consistently—and with a soft brush—you don’t smoke or chew tobacco, you have a healthy diet that doesn’t contain a lot of sugar, and that you are getting regular check-ups at Hagen Dental. Well done!

At this point, if you still have other factors (which can even be genetic) that mean you have trouble maintaining healthy teeth, let us know your concerns.

We have additional options for areas that are a concern (such as cracked or chipped areas) and we even have the ability to cover your enamel in certain areas that need to be re-strengthened. We can also provide you with toothpaste that is gentler on tooth enamel.

We can also provide you with optimized-fluoride toothpastes that will help to strengthen teeth if we determine you need additional support to combat the effects of acid erosion.

cincinnati dentist west side keep that enamel srong

Build a Strong Foundation for Your Teeth

You can take these steps to keep your enamel strong and healthy…and at the same time, you can keep your teeth looking and feeling great! Give us a call to learn about what steps you can take to prevent dental decay. You can also come in for smile makeovers, full-mouth rehabilitation, cosmetic dentistry, Invisalign, and much more at Hagen Dental Practice!

We invite you to schedule a complimentary consultation or your next regular professional cleaning with Dr. Hagen by calling (513) 251-5500 or clicking the online scheduling button.

Sources:

  1. https://www.webmd.com/oral-health/guide/tooth-enamel-erosion-restoration#1
  2. https://www.ada.org/en/member-center/oral-health-topics/dental-erosion

 

 

A Message to Everyone With A Smile

Wednesday, September 5th, 2018

Smiles are one of the most universally understood facial gestures. A smile can encourage, communicate, inspire, and improve many a situation. Did you know that smiling also has many health and social benefits? Check out these proven benefits to turning that frown upside down.

hagen dental cincinnati

How Smiling Impacts Your Social Life

Better Interactions: People who smile more often are typically treated better. A study from the Journal of Neuropsychologia found that a person watching another person smiling promotes rewarding feelings by the observer, and improves how they act towards you.

Thoughts Towards You: A 2011 study by researchers at the Face Research Laboratory in Scotland found that smiling and eye contact increased both men’s and women’s subjective judgment of attractiveness by the study participants. People tend to view a smiling person as more attractive, reliable, relaxed and sincere (1).

Better Relationships: We are drawn to people who smile more often. Those who smile are considered more likable. Being likable is one of the important components to building and maintaining strong and healthy social bonds and relationships with others. An increase in positive emotions is also linked to better interpersonal skills.

How Smiling Impacts People Around You

Pay it forward with a smile! A smile is considered “contagious”. This is proven analysis of brain activity: The part of your brain that activates when happy and the part that controls the facial expression of smiling reside in an unconscious, automatic response area of the brain called the cingulate cortex. Looking at someone smiling makes your brain want to imitate the expression. Avoiding a return smile is almost impossible to do without making a conscious effort not to do so  (1).

How Smiling Impacts Your Brain

Each time you actively smile, neurons in your brain are activated and send messages to other parts of the brain and body in response to the smile. These specific messages improve your health, your happiness, lower your stress levels, and relax your body. This occurs due to the release of the “feel-good” neurotransmitters, which are dopamine, endorphins, and serotonin (1).

Improved Mood: Just as smiling at someone else can encourage them to smile and feel better, smiling does good for your own happiness too! Smiling will actually activate those happiness centers of your brain due to the neural pathways associated with the expression. This can spur on actual feelings of happiness, and provide you with the perk of an improved mood. Smiles help you genuinely stay and feel happier. It’s a great life hack when you want to try and cheer up (2).

Immune Function: The brain is also intricately connected to your immune system function. Studies show again and again how depression weakens the immune system, while happiness boosts the immune response and disease-fighting systems in our body. This all starts with a smile. The physical action of a smile, with or without emotions of happiness, “tricks” our brain into assuming happiness is happening, and helps to protect our body. The phrase “laughter is the best medicine” carries a lot more importance than we might have originally thought.

Stress Reduction: The brain responds so positively to smiling that it produces both psychological and physical improvements in stress markers. So if you’re feeling stressed, try to squeeze in a few smiles. Your brain responds with the stress-reducing and calming neuron activity, as well as a lowered heart rate, to help you calm down and handle the situation more effectively (3).

positive dentist hagen

How Smiling Impacts Your Body

Lowered Blood Pressure: Smiling and laughing activities create direct physiological changes in the body. These actions are followed by muscle relaxation, decreased heart rate, and decreased blood pressure in the body. These health factors mean a lower risk of heart disease in your future. So smile and laugh every day (2, 3)!

Stress Reduction: The lowered stress levels mentioned above help reduce not only the negative psychological impact of stress, but the physical impact of stress as well.

Pain Relief: Laughter helps the body release its own natural painkillers, increases your pain threshold and leads to a greater tolerance to pain. This can be especially helpful in long term, chronic illness or pain (3).

Longer Life Span: Smiling and positive emotions are associated with longer life spans. That alone is enough reason to find more things to smile about (3).

We Care About Your Smile

We think these benefits prove that smiling more often just makes sense! We want you to not only have a smile you can be proud of, but feel confident about expressing yourself with a grin, enabling you to enjoy these health and life benefits.

At Hagen Dental, our team is dedicated to providing you and your family with excellent dental care. Set up your next appointment with us! Give us a call today at (513) 251-5500. We’re looking forward to meeting you and your family, or welcoming you back again!

Sources:

  1. https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/cutting-edge-leadership/201206/there-s-magic-in-your-smile
  2. https://benefitsbridge.unitedconcordia.com/top-7-health-benefits-smiling/
  3. https://www.nbcnews.com/better/health/smiling-can-trick-your-brain-happiness-boost-your-health-ncna822591

 

These Are the Top Reasons for Toothaches

Monday, August 27th, 2018

top reasons for toothaches hagen dental practice in cincinnati

Toothaches: they are almost bound to happen at one time or another in your life.

But what are some of the common causes of toothaches, anyway? Let’s explore common causes of toothaches together.

Cracked Tooth/Fractured Tooth/Damage to a Tooth

Teeth can accidentally get cracked a number of different ways. Did you suddenly start to have pain? Or are you having problems when biting down on food? You might have damage to your tooth or even a cracked tooth. If and when that fracture makes its way to the middle of the tooth, where nerve endings are, the pain will hit hard.

Tooth Decay

It may not be a surprise to hear how tooth decay can lead to pain. If your tooth decay is significant enough to reach your dentin, that’s probably when you’ll start to feel it. If decay continues, and reaches closer to the center of the tooth, the pain will likely worsen.

Gum Disease

If you have swollen or bleeding gums, combined with pain in your teeth, it could be gum disease. Again, just like all of these, this is one not to ignore!

Infection in Your Tooth

While the abscess could be caused by a number of reasons, you may have a tooth with an infection. If that’s made its way to the root tip or around the root, you could be in a lot of pain—and this is often pain that never quits.

top dentist hagen dental practice in cincinnati deal with pain in your mouth

Diminished Enamel

For whatever reason it may be, if your tooth enamel has eroded, your nerve endings could be extra sensitive. Think of it this way: once your enamel is weakened or damaged, when something like hot liquid or cold liquid hits your tooth, it can actually hit the nerve endings in the dentin layer of your tooth.

Sinus Infection

Believe it or not, it might not be your teeth! If you have nasal congestion, a headache, and are experiencing other signs of a sinus infection—and all of a sudden you also have pain in what feels like your jaw area—it could be pain from your infection.

Grinding Your Teeth

Pressure from clenching or grinding your teeth can add up. In some cases, this can result in nerve pain.

Mouth Cancer

When someone has oral cancer, there can be many signs and symptoms that result. One potential symptom, which also comes with other symptoms, is pain or even numbness in the mouth.

Tooth Eruption

Yep, when little ones are having a new teeth come in, it can really hurt!

Orthodontic Appliance

If you’re in the middle of using a dental alignment system, that can be another reason you feel pain or discomfort in the teeth and gums.

Impacted Wisdom Teeth

When wisdom teeth are impacted, there can be a great deal of pain in both your jaw and gums (1).

‘Just’ Have Mild Discomfort?

Do you “just” have mild discomfort in a tooth? Even if the pain is dull, let us know. If the pain becomes more intense when you eat or drink hot or cool foods, it could be a signal that there is significant decay or even a cavity.

If it’s not a cavity, you could have thinning of your tooth enamel or even receding gums which are causing the pain. Just know you might not have to deal with that discomfort.

Is That Tooth Sensitivity An Issue?

A quick and easy way to see if you need to come in and tell us about your tooth sensitivity is to try and cut back on your whitening toothpaste, which many of us use today.

By using these kinds of toothpastes only every other day, for example, you will give your teeth a bit of a break.

A few other tips:

  • Cut back on cold or hot drinks to see if it makes a difference
  • Ask us about your use of tooth whitening products—even toothpastes—when in doubt
  • Brush gently to be sure you aren’t making your gum recession worse
  • Start using a soft-bristle brush
  • Try to cut back on acidic foods for a week to see if it makes a difference

Schedule an Appointment With Us

If you are having abnormal or unexplained pain in your mouth, be sure to let us know. These might be some of the causes of your pain (which, by the way, might not always be clear), but we want to help you resolve that pain.

healthy smile top cincinnati family dentist

Hagen Dental is Here to Help You Keep That Healthy Smile

As always, this blog isn’t giving any medical advice; if you have any sort of pain in your mouth, be sure to come in and see us so we can evaluate your specific situation. Give us a call to learn about smile makeovers, full-mouth rehabilitation, cosmetic dentistry, Invisalign, and much more at Hagen Dental Practice. We invite you to schedule a complimentary consultation or your next regular professional cleaning with Dr. Hagen by calling (513) 251-5500 or clicking the online scheduling button.

Source:

  1. https://www.colgate.com/en-us/oral-health/conditions/tooth-sensitivity/potential-causes-of-toothaches-its-not-always-a-cavity-0213

Tooth Fairy Traditions From Around the World

Monday, August 13th, 2018

Nearly every culture in the world has some tradition in place for celebrating or disposing of children’s lost baby teeth. Customs and cultural beliefs related to teeth have been in place for centuries, and vary by nation across the world.

tooth fairy traditions hagen dental blog

The United States

The fantasy concept of the Tooth Fairy is the most wide spread and most recent children’s tooth tradition in the United States and in most Western and Western-influenced cultures. The Tooth Fairy as a standard visitor after a tooth falls out is standard tradition for most households in America. In most accounts, the Tooth Fairy is a female character.

As the custom goes, the child places the tooth under the pillow, and once asleep, the tooth fairy stops by, retrieves the baby tooth, and leaves money in its place. In the morning, the delighted child finds the gift in place of the tooth.

The image creation of the gift-bearing tooth fairy was inspired by various European folklore tales – such as the fairies featured in many classic movies, such as the character Tinkerbell from Peter Pan. The current going rate for a lost tooth in America averages at just under $5 (1, 2, 3).

we care about those baby teeth

Hispanic Cultures

Residents of Spain, Mexico, Peru, Chile, Argentina and Columbia have a different folklore character who visits when children’s teeth fall out – a Tooth Mouse named “Raton Perez”. The mouse also goes by the name “El Raton de Los Dientes”. Similar to the Tooth Fair, this Tooth Mouse visits after a child loses a tooth and places it under their pillow.

Raton Perez will replace the tooth with a gift – sometimes monetary in form, but not always – for the child to discover in the morning.

In Argentina specifically, some kids place the tooth in a glass of water instead of under their pillow. Legend has it that the thirsty Perez will drink the water, grab the tooth, and leave the gift in the empty glass (2, 3).

Europe

In Europe during the Middle Ages, there was a custom of burying baby teeth in the ground upon falling out. This custom was thought to ensure the adult teeth would grow in their place and to save the child from hardship in the afterlife.

Today, many of countries in Europe which are primarily English-speaking countries follow a tooth fairy tradition similar to the American custom.

France (and some parts of Belgium) boasts its own version of the Tooth Mouse: “La Bonne Petite Souris.” Children leave their lost teeth under their pillow, and the tiny mouse will stop by the house, retrieve the tooth, and leave money, or oftentimes, sweets and candies.

Italy also has their version of the Tooth Mouse, named “Topolino” (1, 2, 4).

Asia

In some Asian countries such as India, China, Japan and Korea, kids who lose teeth from the lower jaw follow a practice of throwing those teeth onto their home’s roof. Teeth from the upper jaw go on the floor, or are placed under the floor. The idea behind this tradition is the hope that the new, adult teeth will be pulled towards the old tooth.

In areas of Central Asia, such as Mongolia, it is a custom to feed the lost baby tooth to a dog. The tradition stems from the desire to have the adult tooth that follows to grow in as strong as a dog’s tooth. If no dog is available, it is traditional to bury the tooth near a tree so that the new adult tooth will have strong roots like a tree (2).

Middle Eastern Countries

Iraq, Jordan and Egypt residents follow a similar “throwing” tradition as many of the Asian countries. Here, you’ll see a custom where kids throw their teeth into the air towards the sky, sun, or Allah. One hope is that the sunlight will help their teeth grow in faster. This upward-bound tossing of the teeth potentially dates back as far as the 13th century, when it was considered a pre-Islamic offering.

In Malaysia, kids customarily bury their lost baby teeth in the ground, simply as a way to return them to nature.

In Nepal, children bury their lost teeth in a secret, hidden location (2, 3, 4).

tooth fairies traditions and stories found throughout the world

We Care About Your Family’s Teeth

No matter WHAT your baby teeth traditions entail, here at Hagen Dental, we want you to keep all the adult teeth AND all the baby teeth in your family healthy and strong, both for the benefit of the tooth fairy and for your dental health for years to come.

Set up your next appointment with us! Give us a call today at (513) 251-5500. We’re looking forward to meeting you and your family, or seeing you come in again!

Sources:

  1. http://www.childrens-dental.com/blog/the-tooth-fairy-tradition/
  2. http://mentalfloss.com/article/58503/7-tooth-fairy-traditions-around-world
  3. https://www.marcieinmommyland.com/tooth-fairy-traditions-from-around-the-world/
  4. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tooth_fairy

20 Reasons to Smile Today

Friday, July 20th, 2018

hagen dental practice 20 reasons to smile today

Sometimes we can forget how great we have it! And, we can forget a few of the benefits of smiling. For example, smiling and other positive emotions are associated with living longer.

A few other social and health benefits of smiling include:

  • It can be an instant mood-booster
  • It can help you with stress relief
  • It can serve as a natural painkiller (1)

hagen dds in cincinnati smile today

Knowing smiling is good for the brain and good for the body, here are 20 reasons to smile today:

  1. Because of a great workout…or that awesome post-workout feeling.
  2. Because of a smile you are proud of!

smile because of a smile you are proud of

  1. Because of re-runs of your favorite show being on.
  2. Because of a good book (or audiobook).
  3. Because of a healthy choice you made today.
  4. Because of Amazon.
  5. Because smiles are contagious.

In fact, a neuroscientist named Marco Iacoboni found that everyone has what’s called “mirror neurons.” These are cells in our brain that are activated when we perform a certain action. These cells also are activated when we see someone else do something.

When it comes to smiling, our brains react to seeing someone else smile! Iacoboni’s work showed when we see someone smile, we experience “neural activity” that evokes the same feeling we would have when WE smile and it leads to a simulation of the intentions and emotions associated with smiling (2).

Put simply: when we smile, we really do spur a similar display of emotion in others around us.

  1. Because it’s summer!

SMILE BECAUSE it is SUMMER west side cincinnati dentist

  1. Because of FaceTime (or Skype).
  2. Because of a sunset.
  3. Because someone admires you.
  4. Because of the ability to travel.
  5. Because you can find the good in anything.

find the good in anything dr hagen dds in cincinnati

  1. Because smiling helps us be more productive.

In fact in 2010, a researchers found that happiness has a significant and causal effect on productivity. Who knew that smiling can evoke positive emotions and help you get more work done?  (2)

  1. Because of seeing someone else smile!
  2. Because of the ability to set goals.
  3. Because of a home-cooked meal.
  4. Because of ice cream or a cool beverage on a hot summer night.
  5. Because of being able to connect with old friends on Facebook.
  6. Because you are alive!

hagen dds in cincinnati smile because you are alive

We Want You to Have a Smile You Are Confident About

When you smile, you activate neural messaging that benefits your health and your happiness. We want you to be able to smile with confidence each and every day. Give us a call to learn about smile makeovers, full-mouth rehabilitation, cosmetic dentistry, Invisalign, and much more at Hagen Dental Practice.

We invite you to schedule a complimentary consultation with Dr. Hagen by calling (513) 251-5500 or clicking the online scheduling button, and find out for yourself how cosmetic solutions and whitening can give you a brilliant, beautiful new smile.

Sources:

 

  1. https://benefitsbridge.unitedconcordia.com/top-7-health-benefits-smiling/
  2. https://www.huffingtonpost.com/2015/02/08/smiling-benefits_n_6598840.html