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Cincinnati Museum Showcases Dental Health

Tuesday, June 11th, 2019

cincinnati dentist and a showcase for cincinnati families

Looking for some family-friendly and educational activities this summer?

Look no further: the Cincinnati Museum Center (CMC) at Union Terminal has a new section for families that helps showcase the importance of dental health and good oral hygiene habits.

The initiative—appropriately called “Inside the Grin”—is a giant mouth (yes, you read that right!) that allows adults and kids to walk through and explore different facets of dental health.

Here’s just a few areas the exhibit focuses on:

cincy museum showcases dental health tips for familiesThe experience of visiting the Dentist

When you first come up to the exhibit, you’ll notice the giant mouth, yes, but once you’re inside the giant mouth, it becomes clear that the inside is also modeled after a dentist office.

Put simply: there’s a dental office IN a giant mouth. It doesn’t get better than that!

At the same time, the “office” features an interactive dentist’s chair and fun alongside educational videos on oral health. It’s great for hands-on play but also for some real lessons on how to take care of your teeth and gums.

proper oral health habits cincinnati museumProper oral health habits

Kids will have a ton of fun using giant floss to floss between massive (yes, massive!) teeth.

Thanks to the enormous floss, they can see just how daily, positive oral hygiene can help ward off bacteria growth, tartar, and plaque.

The most effective way to brush your teeth

kids love playing with the massive teeth at the museumAnother part of the exhibit features—you guessed it—a giant toothbrush. So not only can you practice flossing and see how floss helps to get those hard-to-reach areas, but you can use a huge toothbrush to practice the proper brushing technique.

How dental care is empowering

One thing that this exhibit shows: we have control of our own dental health, and that’s a great lesson for kids to learn. Oral healthcare SHOULD be seen in a positive light, and children don’t have to fear or worry about going to the dentist or about caring for their smiles.

dental care in cincinnati

Animal teeth

Kids love animals, and even this oral health exhibit delivers in this arena, too! One part of the giant mouth features a section that talks all about animal teeth. (After all, people are animals, too.) But this section includes facts about other animals’ teeth, not just humans.

Habits that can cause development issues in the mouth 

The exhibit also features some other habits that kids may have and how that can impact oral health. For example: thumb sucking and pacifiers are usually okay and normal, but if those behaviors persist for too long, there can be lasting issues related to the desired development of the jaw. It can even result in speech impediments, in some cases, as the exhibit showcases. (So yes, the exhibit teaches mom and dad AND the kids a thing or two!)

Polish Up On Your Dental Knowledge with the Entire Family

Inside the Grin is a great, family-friendly activity that all can enjoy! Plus, it’s also a win-win that kids are able to see some of the results of poor oral healthcare.

After all, tooth decay is the leading chronic infectious disease in kids today but it is mostly something we can prevent.

Your Top Cincinnati Dentist

Hagen Dental is here for your entire family: whether you are a new patient or existing one, give us a call today at (513) 251-5500 or schedule your next appointment with us online!

For National Dental Care Month, Here’s What Your Family Should Know

Wednesday, May 29th, 2019

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We’re concluding National Dental Care Month, so with that in mind, let’s cover 4 things every family should know, but may not know yet, about dental health:

1. It’s very important to keep your regular dental check-up

Your regular dental check-ups are critical appointments to keep for everyone in the family! For many people, this is twice a year, unless we’ve recommended that you come in more often.

First and foremost, we check for cavities and do regular X-rays to be sure we detect any issues or problems as early as we can. We want to avoid major issues such as tooth loss or jaw-related issues, too, and so an exam is important to prevent any decay from reaching that point.

We also examine your gum to see how healthy they are, and how much they have changed since we saw you last. This is when we measure the depth of the spaces between the teeth and gums, which helps us to know more about the exact health of your gums. The goal here is to make sure you don’t develop gum disease.

We’ll examine your tongue, throat, head, neck, and face to look for signs of cancer—which many people don’t realize is part of their regular dental check-up!

What people are more familiar with, usually, is the deep cleaning done at your visit. That’s important, too, because it removes plaque and tartar that is not possible to remove at home. If you hear us say “scaling” that’s where we remove this plaque and tartar build-up, which is why your teeth feel so clean when you leave!

Both of these components of your visit—the oral examination and the deep cleaning—are critical to protecting your oral health and preventing oral cancer. That’s why you want to do your best to never miss an appointment!

sleep apnea cincinnati ohio dentist

2. Be sure to tell us about your sleep apnea

Mom or Dad not getting the rest they deserve? Sleep apnea is an area impacting the quality of life for many families today. Sleep apnea is a type of sleep disorder in which a person has pauses in breathing, or shallow or infrequent breathing during sleep. This pattern results in a less restful sleep cycle, and can mean you wake up tired!

Since sleep is a very important part of our lives, for rejuvenation, healing, and rest, sleep apnea is a serious problem for your overall health. Airway obstruction during sleep impairs breathing, which can lead to craniofacial malformation, improper bite, and jaw deformation, among other issues related to your teeth and jaw.

What many families do not know is that we offer small, lightweight alternative devices, known as Oral Appliance Therapy, which can greatly improve sleep apnea or sleep-related issues and disorders. Oral Appliance Therapy devices are effective treatment options for snoring and obstructive sleep apnea.

They are custom-fit, non-invasive, quiet, easy to wear, and portable enough to be convenient for travel. The goal is to support the jaw and tongue in a forward position to help maintain an open airway.

We have tons of options for your family, so ask us to learn more! We know that each patient has a unique set of symptoms and concerns. With the oral appliance options and ability to customize for the individual, we are able to see astounding results!

Consider this: Over 90 percent of our patients who use them have had successful improvement. Even better, these appliances are more comfortable and less cumbersome than a CPAP therapy machine!

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3. Good oral health habits really do start young!

A startling fact: the most common childhood disease is tooth decay. Tooth decay actually affects one in four kids in the US that are between the age of 2 and 5. When you look at children a bit older, between 12 and 15, that ratio jumps to one in two, according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Since this kind of tooth decay can typically be prevented with habits and dietary choices, it goes to show how starting early—brushing twice a day, flossing and keeping up with regular dental visits, to name the basics—is critically important.

A few other habits you can foster in your children at a young age:

  • Drinking enough water
  • Making healthy food choices when possible
  • At least 2 minutes for every time you brush (two times a day)
  • Regular cups instead of sippy cups when recommended by your dentist/pediatrician
  • Wear a mouth guard in hands-on sports to protect your teeth and jaw
  • The idea that dental health is not a chore…it can be fun!

All in all, you want your children to have confidence when it comes to their entire health—and that includes confidence when it comes to smiling—both now and in the coming years.

Recognize that your children learn a lot of positive dental habits at a young age, and the idea of going to the dentist fits into this category as well!

Another thing: some people say baby teeth “don’t matter.” Well, that’s not true! If baby teeth do decay, and as a result fall out sooner than they would have normally, the adult teeth may come in early. In that case, if they don’t have as much room as they should, problems can occur. In other words, you don’t want to mess with the natural progression of teeth in your baby’s mouth due to tooth decay.

4. Take advantage of your dental insurance

Do you have dental insurance? If so, for the great majority of people, your dental benefits re-set every single year.

Said another way, most people have dental benefits that are based on a one-year benefit period, and in most cases, that benefit period is based on our calendar year. That means at the end of the calendar year, you want to be sure your family members use them before they go away! If you don’t use them within that year, you forfeit those benefits and they don’t “carry over” until next year.

It’s never a bad idea to get to know more about your insurance policy if you have questions or if you aren’t sure how to maximize your value from your current plan. Consider calling your insurance company to ask more about the type of deductible you have, for example.

But beware: If you have a family deductible plan it will work differently than an individual plan; as a result, you could have already hit your deductible and would therefore want to know that as soon as possible. At the very least, you may want to login to your insurance company’s website online (or call in if you prefer) and see how much you have paid towards your deductible already.

Besides being accessible through your insurance company’s website, that’s also something that is often sent to you via your insurance statements. Those typically come in on a monthly basis or quarterly basis, depending on your insurance provider. We’re here to help, so be sure to ask us if you have questions.

Family Dental Care at Hagen Dental Practice

Whether you or a loved one are worried about pain, have had a past dental experience that might have been unpleasant, or are uncomfortable about your own perceived dental problems, we will work to treat you with kindness and understanding. We are here to earn your family’s trust with personalized care!

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

INFOGRAPHIC: Oral Health & Your Sinuses

Monday, May 13th, 2019

Oral health and your sinuses: here is the connection.

Sinus infection and the connection to your oral health infographic

Bad Teeth? Don’t Blame Mom This Mother’s Day!

Wednesday, May 1st, 2019

mom is not to blame for your oral health hagen dental dds

So, you feel like you have “bad teeth.” Is it possible that genetics is to blame?

Here’s why this Mother’s Day, you definitely can’t blame mom for “bad teeth”!

Your Genetics & Your Mouth

We’ve all made of genes, and those genes are a tiny section of our DNA. These genes help to shape how we look and how we behave in our environment.

genetics and oral health connection hagen dental cincinnatiGenes come from our parents, and they impact some of our physical traits and also can increase the chance of getting certain conditions or diseases that our parents may have had or carried.

There’s a lengthy list of what we get from our genetics, or what we get directly from our parents: eye color, hair color and texture, height, and even facial features come right from our parents! Since half of the DNA comes from your mother, and half comes from your father, that helps to explain why we don’t look exactly like just one of our parents.

So what aspects of our dental health and our teeth’s appearance come from our genetics? And can we blame our parents if we have a cavity? Well, that’s a good question! Let’s dig deeper to see what is in part determined by your parents and their genes…

Size and shape of your teeth

You guessed it: the size and shape of your teeth do come from mom and dad! Even when those first teeth appear is determined by mom and dad’s genes.

Baseline color of your teeth

The natural color of your teeth is one part of your physical appearance that is determined in part by your genes. But lifestyle factors almost always are going to have a great deal of impact on the tint or shade of your enamel over time, so you can’t blame mom or dad with that one if you feel like your teeth are started to get discolored.

Jaw structure and crooked teeth

Although it’s hard to define what people mean when they feel that they have so-called “bad teeth,” most of us want to have teeth that are aligned, straight, and symmetrical in the mouth.

Having crooked teeth or a misaligned jaw, or other jaw-related issues, can be due to genetics.

Also consider that the way your teeth fit in your mouth is due to the size of your teeth, the size of your jaw, how you chew, and more. That’s shaped by genetics but lifestyle—thumb-sucking, what we do with our tongue, and more—all move, shift, and change the teeth, too.

That’s also why your teeth can be straightened and re-aligned, after all!

Tooth enamel

Arguably, one aspect of having great teeth is having healthy and strong enamel. Technically, the natural strength of your enamel is your genes, so you CAN thank mom and dad for that.

But…once again, even though that may be true, a strong determinant of your long-term enamel strength is going to be your daily and ongoing oral health habits and living a lifestyle that protects your enamel.


There is a gene that impacts how much saliva you produce! Recall that in the mouth, acids work to leech minerals from your enamel, which weakens the enamel over tie.

But your saliva (think: calcium and phosphates!) naturally work against this process and they natural add/protect minerals in the mouth. Of course our natural saliva only can do so much in the mouth, but it’s interesting to see how genes even impact our saliva strength (1).

Taste sensitivity

Do genes make us more inclined to eat sweets? (This is important to know because eating a great deal of sweets is one way we encourage the harmful oral bacteria to thrive and destroy our tooth enamel.)

So, the short answer to this question is no.

Here’s what is shaped in part by your genes: your taste-ability! “Taste ability” is a term used to describe a measure of the variety of things you have the ability to taste. We do have a gene variant for this ability, which certainly can, in theory, impact our food choices.

Keep this in mind, however: that this is slightly different than whether or not we are genetically predisposed to like certain foods or to crave more sweets.

Here’s what we know for now: genetic AND environmental effects are significant in predicting food preferences in our kids. So that means our children may have some predisposition to being able to taste a variety of flavors, but that isn’t a reason why they tend to avoid vegetables or why they have a “sweet tooth.” Much more important factors tend to be family influences, habits, your upbringing, culture, memories, context for the food, smell, and beyond (1).

your oral health is in your control

You Really Are In Control of Your Oral Health!

All in all, it’s clear that genetics do shape and play a role in how our teeth look, especially when we’re young. Genes also determine some of the baseline factors related to our teeth and oral health.

With that said, you are still in control of environmental factors, all of which will be significant determinants of your oral health and ability to combat tooth decay.

Translation: this Mother’s Day, don’t blame mom for any cavities! Instead, continue to each nutrient-dense foods and avoid added sugar when you can, load up on water as your beverage of choice, brush and floss each day, and keep up your regular hygiene visits with us!

Meet the Friendly and Compassionate Team at Hagen Dental

We keep your family smiling not just with quality treatment, but with the very friendly and compassionate manner with which it’s provided.

If it’s time for your hygiene visit, or if you’re ready to schedule a no-cost/no-obligation consultation with Dr. Hagen, schedule online or give us a call at (513) 251-5500.



We Explain What ‘Gum Detoxify Toothpaste’ Is

Friday, April 19th, 2019

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Each day when we brush, we work to combat plaque buildup on our teeth. That plaque is the sticky, colorless film of bacteria you can find in the mouth.

If that sounds like something you want to avoid, you’re spot on!

In simple terms: Whenever we eat food or drink something, bacteria releases acids and those attack our tooth enamel. Plaque does even more damage to the teeth because it allows those acids to do FURTHER harm to the enamel.

The reality is that bacteria is constantly in our mouth (anywhere between 10 and 50 billion bacteria, in fact!), so we all develop some amount of plaque. If we don’t work to remove the plaque—through brushing, flossing, and regular professional teeth cleanings—it can harden. At that point it can become tartar, and that attaches to the enamel and—you guessed it—that “hardened plaque” can be much tougher to beat.

“Do I Have Tartar Buildup In My Mouth?”

Tartar in the mouth is essentially a mineral buildup. It is visible to see if it’s above your gum line; a common sign of tartar is yellow or brown deposits, often found along your bottom front teeth.

Worried you have signs of plaque buildup or even tartar? The only sure way to know is by seeing us! This is something we’d tell you about when you come in for your regular teeth cleaning, which is also a major way you can prevent tartar and plaque buildup. Let’s continue exploring this topic.

Plaque Buildup Over Time

Over time, plaque buildup leads to gingivitis. If it continues to progress, it can lead to serious gum disease. At that point, your gum can recede and pull away from your teeth. Just think of how the bacteria can continue to hurt your teeth when they have more surface area to attack!

If periodontitis does occur because of unchecked plaque buildup, you can have very irritated gums that can bother you, serious tooth decay, your teeth can become loose, and you can suffer from seriously bad breath.

all about um detoxify toothpaste by hagen dental practice in cincinnati ohio

How To Prevent Tartar Buildup

Proper brushing is the foundation to working against plaque buildup in the mouth. Flossing, in combination with your professional cleanings, also work to eliminate and prevent plaque and tartar formation.

Once tartar has formed, only your dentist or hygienist can remove it, which just goes to show how important those regular visits with us are.

How do they do it? The process is called scaling, and that’s where we use specific dental tools to remove the buildup above and below your gum line. That’s partially why your teeth really do feel so clean when you leave our office.

Tartar Control Toothpastes Help Your Oral Health Routine

Want that fresh, clean feeling in your mouth?! Who doesn’t…and that is what tartar control toothpastes, in general, help to provide you with.

Gum detoxify toothpaste, as one example, is a form of toothpaste that uses a formula designed to penetrate areas so that you can consistently remove plaque bacteria in the mouth. It’s a relatively new toothpaste that is gaining popularity because of how well it works!

Gum detoxify toothpaste uses a foam that is effective at reaching typically hard-to-reach areas in the mouth when we brush. As an activated foam, it works to neutralize plaque bacteria, especially around your gum line. Some people enjoy using it because first, it helps to encourage a thorough clean; two, it does neutralize the harmful plaque bacteria around the gum line; and three, it has a cooling sensation when you brush.

how to use gum detoxify toothpaste

How To Use Gum Detoxify Toothpaste

You’ll want to squeeze your normal amount of paste onto your toothbrush and begin to brush. This is when the activated foam will start to do its work…

Specifically, the special ingredient in gum detoxify toothpaste, stannous fluoride, will be working against gingivitis up to 4mm below the gum line by neutralizing plaque bacteria, binding to and then blocking toxic metabolites from attaching to immune receptors.

In simple terms, that helps to prevent the inflammatory response that would happen otherwise in your mouth!

Brush for two to three minutes, unless we’ve told you otherwise—spitting, rinsing, and repeating as you normally would when brushing. Aim to spend an even time in each section of the mouth. (Don’t forget to floss, too.) Now the antibacterial gum protection will work for up to 12 hours after brushing.

All in all, gum detoxify toothpaste is one more way to combat bacteria and to help prevent or reverse early gum damage. Ask us if this kind of deep-cleaning toothpaste is right for you so you can best manage harmful plaque bacteria around your gum line.

Remove Plaque & Prevent Tartar With Your Professional Teeth Cleaning

Now you’ve realized just how much tartar threatens the state of your oral health. Not to mention it makes your smile less attractive and can lead to long-term issues for your oral health!

Knowing just how important your regular teeth cleaning is to fighting and removing tartar, be sure to schedule with us today: click here on our website to schedule or call us at (513) 251-5500.

The Secret to Strong Tooth Enamel

Tuesday, April 9th, 2019

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Your tooth enamel: it’s the outer surface layer of your teeth that protects your teeth against decay. It’s known as the strongest mineral substance in our body, which shows you just how strong it really is!

Since it is the outermost layer of our teeth, it’s also what comes into contact with everything you eat and drink. That’s why, despite how strong it can be, it can become weakened over time. Let’s take a closer look at how tooth enamel damage can happen, and how you can prevent it.

How Enamel Damage Happens

In our quest to keep our enamel strong, it’s good to know about two types of damage that can affect the enamel.

First, there is abrasion. As you may have guessed, abrasion is when there is something that rubs against the teeth. An examples of this: it is possible to do damage with a hard-bristled toothbrush over time. Also, something like scraping your teeth with utensils can be a form of abrasion on the teeth.

The second form of damage is due to erosion. Erosion is because of overexposure, and usually happens over time. If you over-expose the enamel to acids, this can weaken the enamel. Certain dietary acids in the stomach can even end up regurgitated, or toxins can be released and these are also damaging to your teeth (1, 2).

What Does it Look Like if My Enamel is Eroding?

If you think you might have enamel loss, ask us so we can have a conversation about it! The signs are not always as obvious as you may think, or at least the early signs aren’t…

You may see that the shape or the color of your teeth appears to be slowly changing. Or maybe one day you just notice the changes that have been slowly happening, and now you just finally see it!

Your teeth may also look more yellow, without reason, or they could appear very shiny.

Do you notice that the edges of your teeth look different than they used to? If the edges seem a bit more “rough,” that might be a sign of tooth enamel loss. You might also see “marks” or what appears to be indents on your teeth that you haven’t noticed before.

Third, if you have extreme sensitivity to hot, cold, or even sweet foods, it could be another sign that you have enamel damage (among other potential issues). Sometimes people even get so used to tooth sensitivity they don’t even realize it’s become a problem! (1, 2)

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Top Ways to Protect Your Enamel

Most people want to keep their enamel strong and healthy for a lifetime. After all, that’s what helps you fight off tooth decay and it keeps your smile looking as vibrant and healthy as possible.

It’s true that tooth erosion will happen with age, but make sure you brush your teeth twice a day, the proper way, to help protect your enamel.

You also want to floss every to fight off the plaque build-up and to prevent further decay between all your teeth and along the gum line. Those two steps are quite beneficial in preserving your enamel.

If you’d like to learn more about how nutrition can impact your enamel, ask us for specific details so we can go over what you may be eating or drinking that can be making a difference in your mouth. In general, the more acidic, the more damage foods can do. Just think of things like pop, lemon juice, sports drinks, orange juices, or energy drinks that are very high in acid. Plus, people tend to drink those and then the acid just sits on their teeth.

Other potential offenders may include tomato-based products, coffee, alcohol, oranges, and grapefruits, to name a few.

Ask yourself: do you or your kids drink soft drinks every day? They can have phosphoric and citric acids. Even fruit drinks are acidic, and some are so acidic they can be more erosive than battery acid. Those are two major offenders you can cut down on or entirely avoid.

Besides taking a look at nutrition with you, we also encourage you to use a mouthwash to fight off demineralization. This is one more way to fight plaque in hard-to-reach areas or in stubborn areas in the mouth. Just ask us for the one that is right for you.

Last but not least, keep up with your regular check-ups with us, where we do a professional, deep cleaning and where we spot any problems before they are made worse.

All in all, the “secret” to strong enamel really isn’t that much of a secret!

In Conclusion…

Enamel is so durable that it’s stronger than bones in your body. But unlike bones, your teeth don’t grow back if you damage them. Said another way, you can’t re-generate your enamel! But with more than 300 types of bacteria that can attack your teeth and wear down the outermost layer, it does take daily habits to protect and preserve your enamel! (2)

The takeaway: even though enamel is very strong, you want to be careful with your teeth and you want to protect and preserve the enamel the best you can.

Want to learn more about Hagen Dental? We invite you to schedule your next regular professional cleaning with Dr. Hagen by calling (513) 251-5500 or by clicking the online scheduling button here on our website.



The Power of Routines for a Healthy You

Tuesday, March 26th, 2019

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Routines are great to have because they can help to improve health, well-being, and productivity!

“Tell me more,” you might be saying!

Here is what to know about the power of routines in your life:

Habits Help Determine Our Long-term Quality of Life

What we do each day, consistently over time, is what ultimately gets us to our desired outcomes. There are things we can’t begin to control that happens in our lives, but our day in and day out habits are what we CAN control.

That’s why routines, even when they are a small part of our day, really do matter.

Think about your oral health routine. At minimum, this can include:

  • Brushing your teeth properly and regularly, usually twice per day
  • Regular and consistent flossing each day
  • Visiting your dentist regularly, at least twice per year

Other parts of your oral health routine might be regularly consuming water throughout the day, using mouthwash, watching your sugar intake, eating nutrient-dense foods, and more.

It is these “small” habits, like these, that end up compounding over time and helping to determine your OVERALL oral health.

That’s true with our overall quality of life, in many cases. Think about it this way: It’s not one or two workouts that make or break your fitness; rather, it’s consistently working out over time that helps you stay at the fitness level you desire. Similarly, it’s not one dessert or one unhealthy meal that determines our overall weight and body composition; rather, it’s consistently over weeks and months and years.

Routines Help us Master Our Time

Another reason routines are so powerful is because they cut down on the number of decisions we have to make each day.

They also help us fight when our feelings or emotions get in the way of our good intentions.

Take for example when you wake up, and feel too tired or not in the mood for a workout. If that happens, and your workout isn’t an ingrained part of your routine, you’ll probably tell yourself you will work out later in the day. Or maybe you just convince yourself you’d rather snooze than do your workout.

In other words, without a routine, there’s greater room for error in what you set out to do!

On the other hand, if you plan and build a consistent routine around a workout session—let’s say, 3 times per week—it’s already on the calendar. It’s part of your morning routine, and you know it’s coming, and so does your body—both mentally and physically. Even if those feelings creep in when you hear the alarm clock in the morning, you are much more likely to fight them off when that workout is part of your morning routine. Science has even shown this to be true that routines help us stick to what we WANT to do for our “future self”.

Having that kind of structure or daily commitment to our habits also reduces the need for us to plan. We know we’re going to do it, because it’s the norm, so we can use our energy in other ways. That added structure ends up helping us get more done, plain and simple.

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Routines Help Us Feel Good About Our Decisions

Yes, routines help us to be more efficient with our time, and they help us set out to do what we really want to do. As described, routines work to minimize how much our feelings or emotions get in the way, in the moment, of what we intended to do.

But routines also help us prioritize what we really want to prioritize. Think about your oral health. Who wouldn’t want healthy teeth, after all?! Having a daily routine around good oral health habits helps ensure we prioritize the behaviors that support our oral health.

It sounds so simple, but it’s true.

When we look back on a routine we’ve held for quite some time that supports our health, we can feel really great about these positive decisions. After a few months of a new morning routine, we can have more confidence in our ability to trust ourselves to behave in ways aligned with our long-term health goals. That’s a powerful cycle.

Thanks to how routines help us prioritize what we truly want to do for ourselves, we can reduce the need or over-reliance on “willpower” alone.  That’s also a great feeling.

the power of routines for your overall health and oral health

Make Routines Work for You

Maybe you ENJOY variety. That’s fine! That doesn’t mean you can’t ALSO have a routine or daily ritual of some kind that works for you.

Maybe you enjoy a bit more variety in the morning, so you can have a routine that you do at night before you go to sleep. Or maybe your routine is mid-day, for example. Or maybe you have a bit of structure, but in-between those rituals or routines, you add in some creativity. Find what works best for you.

Consider this: one of the routines that can have the biggest ROI on it is going to bed at, or near, the same time every day. This works in combination with waking up around the same time each day.

This can be an immensely powerful routine for your health because the body can really get programmed to getting a certain amount of sleep each day. Imagine you want to go to bed at 10 PM, and you want to start waking up each day at 6 AM. If you need to, start moving your alarm back by 15 minutes each day, or even each week.

You’ll be amazed with how you can suddenly wake up and feel great at 6 AM.

All in all, have confidence in yourself, start small in your changes, and work on cultivating routines that can help you support your long-term health goals.

Supporting You & Your Family’s Health

At Hagen Dental, we support your total health—including your oral health. Visit us online here to schedule or call us at (513) 251-5500.

The Not So Lucky Side Effects of Green Beer

Wednesday, March 13th, 2019

hagen dental explores the side effects of green beer

When this time of year rolls around, we start to see more and more green—both outside (finally—Spring is almost here!) but also we start to see quite a bit of green due to St. Patrick’s Day!

St. Patrick’s Day brings out corned beef and cabbage, lots of shamrocks, leprechauns, and quite a few signs and shirts that read “Kiss me, I’m Irish!”

Just like in many other cities, in Cincinnati, St. Patrick’s Day can also be one of the more popular times of year for drinking and for friends to gather at pubs and in bars to celebrate the occasion. One of the most common orders at these places: GREEN BEER!

Let’s take a closer look at what you might find surprising about green beer, and some of the “not so lucky” side effects of green beer on your oral health.

The History of Green Beer

Before green beer was something that people used to help celebrate St. Patrick’s Day, the term “green beer” actually referred to beer that would make you…well, sick! In fact, if you were to ask a Brewmaster today, they might also be familiar with the other meaning of the phrase “green beer.” Back in the 1800s and early 1900s, if someone said “green beer” you would think they meant green that was too young; in other words, it was used to describe beer that was not fully fermented (1).

At that time, green beer was a real concern, and consumers wanted to avoid it, needless to say. The idea of serving green beer was a perceived problem for certain beer brands, so at that time, they had marketing that claimed how bad green beer was for you and your health…and of course, those same brands went on to say how THEIR brand of beer was not at all green (1).

Green Beer Is Invented

Fast forward a few years, and green beer started to shift in terms of its meaning to the everyday consumer. Many folks point towards Professor Thomas H. Curtin as the so-called “inventor” of green beer.

Curtin was a physician who created green beer in the early 1900s. Around the same time, a few others also came up with the idea for green beer, so it’s not entirely clear who was the first to come up with the idea, but Curtin is at least one of the first to start serving and drinking it.

Another key point of history around this time: It’s reported that in 1910, the Spokane Press used a headline that said, “Green Beer Be Jabbers!” and that would make one think that perhaps green beer was consumed at that point in time! Whatever the case may be, it’s believed that somewhere around that time, green beer started to mean ACTUAL green beer to consumers!

Here’s what’s a little surprising: those that first made green beer made it similar to how it’s made today. Back then, and still today, it’s made from food coloring and beer. It’s not green food coloring that’s added to the beer in most cases; it’s actually blue food coloring because that mixes best with the yellow tint of beer to give you just-the-right shade of Irish green beer (1).

The Side Effects of Green Beer On Your Health

Just like “regular” beer (that is, beer with a yellow or brown color), drinking excessively can have a negative impact on your oral health and overall heath over time. And, whether it’s yellow or green, too much beer consumption can also impact those pearly whites by potentially making them stained and/or discolored.

In general, all beer can stain your teeth, but the lighter beers will tend to stain your teeth less than the darker beers.

So what about the green tint you may see in some peoples’ mouths this St. Patrick’s Day?

The green food coloring in green beer can stain the bacteria cell walls in plaque in your teeth. It’s a little gross to know that the food coloring can HIGHLIGHT plaque in some people’s mouth, depending on the food coloring!

So, yes, in summary, you may see a few smiles that have a bit of a green tint to them. If it happens to you, don’t be alarmed. The green tint should simply fade if you drink a good amount of water or when you brush your teeth.

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Don’t Push Your Luck…

Besides some tooth discoloration over time, another side effect of drinking alcohol, including green beer, can be serious enamel erosion. You know that your teeth are VERY strong, and that’s in part due to your enamel, but what you eat and drink greatly impacts the health of your enamel.

The reality is, beer is very acidic on your teeth, so it can do damage over time to the enamel. One day or evening of drinking likely won’t cause damage, but it’s all about repetitive behaviors over time.

If you do damage the enamel because of excessive drinking, your teeth will be more sensitive. Additionally, they can appear thinner and darker. It’s not a causal relationship, but research also shows that those who drink alcohol heavily also tend to have higher plaque levels on their teeth, among other increased health risks. They are also more likely to have permanent tooth loss (1, 2).

Celebrate St. Patty’s Day…But Be Cautious & Safe!

Yes, there can be some drawbacks for your oral health with long-term, heavy alcohol consumption, including drinking green beer, if you drink it excessively.

But what about if you just want to indulge in some green beer this upcoming St. Patty’s Day?

To combat any potential negative side effects, we encourage you to keep as hydrated as possible throughout the day. As you know, water can act as a great way to cleanse the mouth, and it also works against creating an environment where bacteria thrive, whether you are drinking beer or other dark, sugary, or acidic beverages this St. Patrick’s Day. Second, don’t let the celebration keep you from your regular oral health habits. Brush up and floss, just as you normally would this St. Patrick’s Day! Last but not least, always be sure to keep your regular professional dental exams with us so we can keep an eye on your overall oral health.

All in all, the luck of the Irish really is all around us during St. Patrick’s Day! If you do plan on drinking alcohol this St. Patrick’s Day, stay as hydrated as possible, be responsible, and we encourage you to keep the drinking to a minimum!

Supporting Your Entire Health at Hagen Dental

At Hagen Dental, we support your total health—including your oral health. Visit us online here to schedule or call us at (513) 251-5500.



Healthy Recipe Ideas From Hagen Dental

Friday, February 22nd, 2019

Recipe Ideas from hagen dental

As you know, we’re about your entire heath. Part of that is about nutrition!

That’s why this week we’re sharing a few healthy recipes you can consider or get inspiration from…

Vegetable Rolls with Avocado and Garlic Peanut Sauce 

hagen dental shares healthy recipes from others

Recipe taken directly from: Rawsome Life

Photo taken from

Peanut sauce:

  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tablespoon chunk of ginger, peeled and finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons each of tamari, maple syrup, and lime juice
  • Chili powder, to taste
  • 1/3 cup peanut butter or for a lower-fat version, use peanut flour
  • 1/3 cup water (more or less as needed)

Vegetable Rolls:

  • 1 cup cooked vermicelli (that is, rice noodles or substitute with brown rice if you prefer)
  • 5-8 rice paper sheets
  • 1 carrot
  • 1 avocado
  • 1/3 cucumber
  • 1 cup fresh basil
  • 1/2 cup cilantro
  • 5-8 kale leaves
  • 1/2 red pepper

To make the peanut sauce: blend or mix together all the ingredients until smooth. If you like, sautee the garlic and ginger first. Set aside in a bowl.

To make the wraps: cut all the veggies into thin strips, and feel free to use different vegetables if desired. Dip your rice paper sheets in warm water so they soften and become pliable (do this one at a time), then arrange your fillings in the middle. Add meat such as shrimp or shredded chicken if desired.

Fold over two ends, then wrap it up like a burrito, making it as tight as possible. It might take a few tries to get it perfect. Serve with the sauce, or try without!

Stuffed Sweet Potatoes

healthy recipe

Recipe taken directly from: Hummusapien

Photo taken from

Start with 4-6 medium sweet potatoes which will act as the taco “shell.” The recipe calls for 4-6 medium sweet potatoes, baked.

Cilantro lime slaw:

  • 1 small head red cabbage, shredded (about 5 cups)
  • 2 tbsp lime juice ½ tsp salt (or to taste)
  • 1 tsp pure maple syrup (can sub honey)
  • 1/2 cup cilantro, chopped

Cilantro lime crema:

  • 2 medium ripe avocados
  • ½ cup cilantro, packed
  • 3 tbsp lime juice
  • 3 tbsp water (more if needed to blend)
  • 1/4 tsp garlic power
  • 1/4 tsp salt

For the taco filling:

You can consider using lean ground beef, ground chicken, or vegetables. For another nutrient-dense alternative, try:

  • 2-15oz cans chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • Heaping 1/2 cup pecans (or walnuts)
  • 2 tbsp chili powder
  • 4 tsp cumin 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 1/2 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 3/4 tsp sea salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1/2 cup water

You can also add sliced jalapeños, salsa, or hot sauce.


Preheat your oven to 400F. Pierce sweet potatoes several times with a fork and cook until tender.

Meanwhile, place slaw ingredients in a medium bowl, stirring to combine. Season to taste with salt. Refrigerate until ready to use. Place all the cream ingredients in a blender and blend until completely smooth and creamy. The recipe creator uses a Nutribullet to do so. Set aside.

If you want to use meat, cook that in a skillet and add spices similar to what’s above. If you want to incorporate the recipe shown above: Place one can of chickpeas and half the pecans in a large food processor. Pulse for about 5-10 seconds or until finely chopped (not mushy, but well combined). It should look “meaty.” Dump into a bowl.

Repeat with remaining chickpeas and nuts. Add spices and stir until combined. Heat a large skillet sprayed with cooking spray over medium heat. Once hot, add chickpea mixture and water to moisten. Cook for a few minutes. Assemble slicing sweet potatoes length-wise and layering taco meat, slaw, crema, and toppings. Serve warm.

Cheesy Garlic Parmesan Spinach Spaghetti Squash 

dr lawrence hagen recipe ideas

Recipe taken directly from: Peas and Crayons

Photo taken from


  • 1 medium spaghetti squash (approx. 2-3lbs)
  • 5 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 1 tsp avocado oil or olive oil
  • 5 oz fresh spinach chopped
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream or substitute with your preferred milk choice
  • 1 tablespoon cream cheese (optional but delicious!)
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese plus extra for topping salt and pepper to taste grated or sliced mozzarella for topping to taste Instructions

Want to pass on dairy? Feel free to use dairy-free alternatives!

Pre-heat oven to 400F. Slice your spaghetti squash in half lengthwise and scoop out the seeds. For easy cutting, feel free to stick your squash in the microwave to soften it up just a tad. Pierce it a few times with a knife (to help vent so it doesn’t burst) and cook for for 3-5 minutes. The knife slides through way easier this way!

Smaller squash will need about 3 minutes while larger ones will be good to go at 4-5 min. Next grab a lipped baking sheet or a rimmed baking dish. Rub the cut side of the squash with a teeny bit of olive oil and place on your baking dish/sheet cut side down. Roast for about 40 minutes, or until tender and easily pierced with a fork.

Cooking time will vary a bit depending on the size of your squash, and larger squash will need to roast a bit longer to tenderize. Once ready, the once rock-hard exterior of the squash will be visibly softened with a tender interior. The squash can be roasted and stored in the fridge for a few days if you’d like to meal prep and plan ahead for a speedier dinner.

While the squash roasts, start on the sauce. In a medium pot or skillet, bring a drizzle of olive oil to medium-high heat and sauté garlic until fragrant. Next add the spinach and stir until wilted. Add your cream, cream cheese (totally optional but totally tasty) and parmesan cheese and stir well. Season with salt and pepper to taste and remove from heat.

Once squash is done roasting, allow to cool until easily handled or pop on an oven mit and use a fork to separate and fluff the strands of spaghetti squash. Pour your sauce over each squash boat, stir to mix, and top with a little mozzarella cheese and additional parmesan cheese, if desired.

Bake at 350 degrees F for around 20 minutes or until hot and bubbly. For a golden cheesy topping, flip your oven to broil on high for just a minute or two until lightly browned.

No-Bake Energy Bites

cincinnati ohio dentist west side

Recipe taken directly from: Peak Performance

Photo taken from

With these homemade energy bars, you can know exactly what you’re eating but still have a healthier alternative when you are on the go.

  • 1/2 cup chocolate chips (dark, semi sweet, milk – they are all good … or substitute your favorite alternative, such as carob chips)
  • 1 cup toasted coconut (the toasting is optional – just regular shredded coconut from the bag = still great!)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup peanut butter (or almond butter, sunflower butter, cashew butter, etc!)
  • 1 cup old fashioned oats
  • 1/3 cup honey (or agave nectar)
  • 1/2 cup ground flax seed

Combine above ingredients. Chill for 10-20 minutes in the fridge for easier shaping. Form into 1-inch balls. Store in refrigerator or freezer.

Supporting Your Entire Health

At Hagen Dental, we support your total health—including your oral health. Visit us online here to schedule or call us at (513) 251-5500.

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

Thursday, February 14th, 2019

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.

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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!