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Here’s the Right Way to Use Your Water Flosser

Monday, February 11th, 2019

the right way to use your water flosser hagen dental practice

Curious about what a water flosser is?

A water flosser is something you can use at home to floss. It allows you to apply slightly pressurized water to your teeth and gumline. In the process, you are able to use that water to remove plaque, food, and bacteria that is left behind—even if you’ve brushed. Not only that, but the pulsating helps to stimulate your gum tissue along the way.

You can think of it as an alternative to traditional flossing methods because it does the same job as flossing!

If you get a water flosser, the appliance kit will come with several features, in most cases. That includes a motor with a pump, a water reservoir, and the actual flosser tip. There are multiple models and types of water flossers—from countertop to cordless to hybrid models—all of which come with varying features, too (1, 2).

Keep reading to see how water flossers compare to traditional flossing methods and how to use your water flosser to maximize its benefits.

Comparing Water Flossing to String Flossing

As you know, brushing your teeth cleans the surface of your teeth. Your toothbrush gets along the gumline as well. String flossing (and other forms of flossing) help to get in between the teeth, and it helps to get plaque around the gumline.

Water flossing is also a great way to reach those areas toothbrushes aren’t able to and it can  be extremely effective at periodontal pocket cleaning.

Consider these stats, too:

  • Water flossing can get rid of 99.9% of plaque from areas where you use it
  • It is as much as two times as effective for implants versus string floss
  • It is three times as effective for braces versus string floss
  • It is 50% more effective for your overall gum health compared with string floss (1, 2)

Those stats are pretty telling of just how great water flossing can be when adding it to your oral health routine. That’s especially the case if you have periodontal disease, dental implants or if you have braces or orthodontics, too.

How to Use Your Water Flosser the Right Way

Many people find water flossing is easier for them and they like how it isn’t messy or hard to do. That, in turn, makes them more likely to floss, which is great for their overall dental health.

If you’re ready to use a water flosser, here is how to do it the right way:

  1. Start by brushing your teeth, as you would normally. Water flossing is a great way to take care of your oral health, but it doesn’t replace brushing your teeth by any means.
  2. Make sure your reservoir is filled with warm water. Place it firmly onto its base.
  3. Choose the tip you are going to use. Click it firmly into the handle.
  4. Now, you can place the flosser tip into your mouth. Close your lips most of the way to avoid any kind of splashing, and begin to lean over the sink.
  5. Turn the unit and water on, and begin to floss along your gumline. If it is the first time you are using your water flosser, feel free to start with the lowest pressure setting so you can see what pressure is going to feel best.
  6. Next, start with your back teeth; pause briefly between your teeth as you move throughout your mouth. Aim right at your gumline as you move throughout the mouth. Be sure to get the front and backside of the teeth. Aim to do so for about one minute per day, unless we tell you otherwise.
  7. As you move, naturally allow water to go from your mouth into the sink.
  8. When done, turn your water flosser off and you can eject the button to remove the tip as needed (1, 2, 3).

As for when you want to replace your tip: in general, the average tip needs to be replaced at least every six months. But depending on the type of tip you choose and use regularly, be sure to see what the instructions say when you first bought it, as some need to be replaced closer to every three months. Those same guides can also be found online, in many cases, if you didn’t take note when you first received your tip.

Have multiple people in the same household using your water flosser? No problem! Use a removable tip so that multiple people can use the same device. When in doubt, you’ll be able to see whose tip is whose from the color code on each tip (1, 2).

toothbrush string floss and water flosser comparison

Is A Water Flosser Right For Me?

Thinking you may want to use a water flosser in the future to clean between your teeth? Ask us if you have more questions and we can guide you to get the appliance that is right for you.

In general, water flossers can be a fit for you if you tend to avoid traditional flossing or if you find it difficult to do. In some cases, if you have a dexterity issue, that’s another reason water flossing may be a great fit for you! In addition, they can be really useful if you orthodontics or braces. They work well to clean bridges, crowns, dental implants and more.

Last, if you have gum disease, you may have a periodontal pockets, which is where your gums have broken down and started to separate away from your teeth. In that situation, those deep spaces can make you more prone to having bacteria multiply (1, 2, 4).

Left unchecked, that can result in issues like tissue, bone, or tooth loss. Water flossing may be a great fit for you if this is the case, so that you can help treat that gum disease and clean the periodontal pockets in a gentle and very effective way.

Ask Us to Learn More About Ways to Floss & All Your Oral Health Needs

All in all, water flossing is a great option to help improve your gum health. As always, ask us questions so we can make recommendations that are specific to you! 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!



Root Canals: FAQs

Wednesday, January 30th, 2019

Mention a root canal to someone and they may show a sign of discomfort or they may even cringe at the thought of it!

But the reality is, today, root canals don’t deserve the negative reputation they still seem to have!

In fact, root canals can be a great choice when your tooth otherwise can’t be saved! Let’s take a closer look at some of the most common questions we hear about root canals—including whether or not it’s true that they are very painful.

What is a root canal?

A root canal is a way of treating, repairing or saving a tooth that is badly damaged or a tooth that is infected. Think of it this way: when the nerve or pulp of the tooth is badly infected or inflamed, that’s when people often need a root canal treatment.

The procedure involves several steps. To simplify them a bit, these steps include: removing the damaged area of your tooth, cleaning the area, and then filling and sealing it.

Common causes that lead to a necessary root canal include a cracked tooth or a cavity that is problematic or very severe. Sometimes when someone has had repeated dental treatment they need a root canal. Last but not least, any other time there have been severe trauma to a tooth, it’s potentially a case where a root canal can help!

So…why the term “root canal”? The term “root canal” references the cleaning of the canals inside your tooth’s root! (1) 

What is involved in a root canal repair?

The root canal procedure is aimed at removing damage to your interior pulp. This way, the natural tooth can be strengthened and saved from further damage.

Prior to any treatment, it’s normal to take X-rays to make sure we know everything about the area, including the surrounding bone structure. Next, you will receive local anesthesia to numb the tooth and area. (That’s similar to when you many other dental treatments, and that’s part of why the pain isn’t typically much different, either.)

In some cases, a dental dam is added into your mouth at this point to keep the tooth and the area around it dry during your procedure. We then clear away the diseases or damaged parts of the tooth. In some cases, the tooth is irrigated and the remaining pulp is removed.

Additionally, sometimes an antimicrobial solution is used to fight off bacteria even more. Once the area has been cleaned and dried, it’s filled. That’s when you will have a temporary filling until the permanent crown is used. That’s typically done as soon as possible. When it’s a fit, recall that at Hagen, we also offer CEREC, which uses 3D printing to create a tooth-colored restoration that we make in about an hour. But usually, a traditional crown is used; it just depends on the tooth.

Why do I need to get a root canal? 

If your dentist told you they recommend you get a root canal, you may have a severely damaged or decaying tooth. You may also have a very aggressive tooth infection. You may also have some other form of damage to the tooth, such as a crapped or chipped tooth.

The idea is what you want to repair your tooth instead of removing it!

As mentioned, contrary to popular belief, you can be comfortable and fully relaxed during the procedure. The benefits are that you can preserve your tooth—so no missing tooth and no having to try to replace a tooth. Not to be forgotten, you can still bite and chew just like normal days after the procedure. Last but not least, the procedure also stops the spreading of infection in the mouth.

What should I expect?

We will talk to you about everything to expect during the procedure. In general, we first take x-rays to look at the area if we think a root canal is your best treatment plan.

After, anesthesia is administered to the area so you can stay comfortable during the procedure.

Then, an opening is made and the diseased tooth area is removed. Next, the area is cleaned. Last, is the filling: the roots have been opened up, so it needs to be filled for longevity (1).

What happens if you don’t get a root canal?

If you select not to get a root canal, in some cases it may mean you can get rid of the pain or infection by removing the tooth. The problem with tooth loss is that it can impact your quality of life (even things like chewing), it can lead to tooth migration, and in some cases, can lead to bone loss.

In other cases, it might be appropriate or a possibility to replace the tooth with a bridge, implant, or partial denture. Ask us if you’d like more explanation for your specific situation! 

People talk about root canals and say they are very painful. Is that true? 

Consider this: pain management and anesthetics we have available to us today have come A LONG way from the days where people worried about the pain associated with root canals! Said another way, root canals can RELIEVE major pain and they really don’t deserve the reputation they’ve earned as being extremely painful.

When performed under local anesthesia, they are not any more painful or uncomfortable than getting a regular filling for a cavity. With that said, we are extremely understanding of any anxiety you may have, regardless of the anesthesia and pain management options that are available today.

Typically, we find that after treatment, the tooth is sensitive or in some cases, people feel a slight sort of pressure or sensitivity. You may have experienced this in the past with other dental procedures!

Based on the guidelines we give, you may take over-the-counter medications to help with the pain after the anesthesia has worn off. That’s always going to be different for each individual patient. Our goal is to make you completely comfortable: before, during, and after the procedure, so we’ll come up with a plan—with you—to make sure you feel confident and can follow the instructions after you leave our office, too (1).

all about root canals hagen dental practice

How should I care for my teeth after the root canal procedure?

That’s a great question! You want to be sure to take care of your mouth properly after a root canal. Let’s start with some good news: your restored tooth can last a lifetime if you take proper care of it.

Always follow the guidelines of your dentist, but generally speaking, you are going to want to be gentle on the area and avoid chewing on hard and/or chewy foods. That way, you avoid adding any extra, unnecessary “stress” to the tooth and area.

After all, hard or even crunchy foods (like ice or certain candies) can be what causes teeth to break. Chewing on these after a root canal just puts your teeth at unnecessary risk. Plus, until a crown is placed, think of your tooth as unprotected.

After your procedure is complete, keep up with your regular, good oral health habits. It’s all about consistency over time! That includes brushing twice a day minimum and diligently flossing. Return to see us for your regular visits for your deep cleaning and oral exams that are critical to your long-term oral health. We’ll continue to check on the health and the status of the tooth to ensure everything looks as it should.

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!



Growing Trends & Increasingly Popular Technologies In Dentistry (Part Two)

Monday, January 14th, 2019

dental trends and cincinnati best dentist hagen dental

In part one of our series, we covered just a few of the latest and greatest dental technologies we’re proud to offer our patients. Here’s just a few more dental trends and technologies to know about:

ARESTIN™ for effective gum disease treatment

The primary reason for tooth loss is not decay–it’s gum disease, which not everyone knows! That’s why we offer an innovative, powerful weapon in the fight against gum disease. It’s called ARESTIN™ and it gives patients a time-released antibiotic that can work against your infection. It does the work in the spaces between your gums and teeth!

All in all, think of it as another advancement that can powerfully get rid of or reduce bacteria-causing gum disease. Probably the best patient benefit is that it’s totally painless, which is another reason why we love it so much!

Digital X-Rays for x-rays with significantly less radiation

People hear “X-rays” and can worry about the radiation involved. X-rays are diagnostic, which is important, but they also are a preventative tool that allows us to see issues before they become detrimental to your health.

They allow us to see cavities, your roots, the health of your bones, the state of periodontal disease if you have it, and much more.

With 75 percent less radiation than traditional film X-rays, digital X-rays will capture images of your entire mouth that are immediately accessible on our computers, so that’s a huge advancement we’re able to offer. Not only is there significantly less radiation exposure, the entire process is much faster, too!

wand for local anesthesia

The Wand™ for more comfort with anesthesia

Many people become anxious thinking about the thought of getting an injection for local anesthesia! That is no longer the case thanks to advancements in systems for local anesthesia.

The Wand™ is actually a computerized system, allowing controlled anesthesia without pain or sensitivity. Think of it as guidance as we numb you, but it also means less pain and greater contained numbness!

CEREC for natural-looking, durable dental crowns and tooth restoration

CEREC is used to restore a tooth that has decay, is weakened, or is broken. It is also used to remove defective amalgam fillings, or to place cosmetic veneers. As many as 1.2 billion metal fillings will have to be replaced in the next decade…CEREC will replace many of these fillings so that people can have a tooth that is free of decay, and so that the tooth is strong and beautiful once again.

We’ve been using CEREC for years, and it’s more popular and in-demand now because of all its benefits. When it’s decided that you are a candidate for a CEREC one-visit restoration, we prep the tooth and create an optical impression of it.

Within minutes, we then use our CEREC machine to create your restoration. Our team designs the custom-fit restoration using 3D software—so yes, you read that right—we’ve been using 3D printing for years, right in our office!

Next, that design goes to the milling machine and a ceramic block is created. Thanks to diamond-coated burs, we’re able to carve out the restoration, perfectly! The last step is to bond the crown to the remaining tooth structure.

This ceramic, tooth-colored restoration is not only cut out and shaped perfectly, but we make sure, once in your mouth, you have a proper fit and comfortable bite. This entire procedure from start to finish takes about an hour, and it’s down all in our office. The end result is that we’re able to preserve your tooth structure AND your natural-looking tooth fits perfectly in your mouth. 

convenient and innovative dentistry hagen dental

Dental care with greater convenience

Understandably, people desire convenience when it comes to their health! That’s why we work to give you the best dental care and, simultaneously, to save you time and effort, too. We give each family member the attention and personal care they need.

We work to make your visits both convenient and enjoyable. Part of that lately has been about setting appointments with us. You can now set your appointment quickly and easily online on our website.

Offering the Latest Dental Technology Alongside Personalized Care

We are excited to meet you or your family and to offer you the latest technologies that can help improve your oral health and overall health and well-being. If you’re interested in learning more about any of these treatments or technologies, let us know.

We realize each patient has a different level of apprehension about visiting a dentist, and one of the most important things we can do first is to simply listen to you. Whether you or a loved one are worried about pain or if you have had a past dental experience that might have been unpleasant, we will work to treat you with kindness and understanding.

Please call (513) 251-5500 or click the Online Scheduling button at the top of our website to schedule your next visit!

Growing Trends & Increasingly Popular Technologies In Dentistry (Part One)

Tuesday, January 8th, 2019

popular technology in dentistry cincinnati ohio

At Hagen Dental Practice, we make it our commitment to offer you the latest technologies that will support your dental health.

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

Curious about some of the growing trends in dental care and some of the increasingly popular technologies that are available to you? Here are a few highlights of what’s effective and also in-demand, too: 

VELscope™ for better (and earlier) oral cancer detection

It may surprise you to hear that oral cancer causes over 9,750 deaths, killing roughly 1 person per hour, 24 hours per day, according to the Oral Cancer Foundation (1).

Historically, the death rate associated with oral cancers is particularly high, due to how the cancer was often discovered late in its development. But, thanks the latest technology, oral cancer can be located and easily cured while still in the early stages. In fact, there is a 90 percent cure rate when oral cancer is diagnosed and treated early—which is just part of why we’re happy to offer VELscope to our patients.

In short, VELscope offers highly effective oral cancer detection, plus it’s fast and done right in the office. Using the special light, any unusual tissues can be identified, which is great for us to be able to use to support your health.   

Teeth whitening with no sensitivity

GLO Whitening is a new way to whiten teeth…and perhaps the best part about it: it minimizes tooth sensitivity and it doesn’t include any messy trays or strips that fall off!

How it works: we apply a whitening gel to your teeth throughout the mouth. That whitening gel is unique because it has no alcohol or carbamide peroxide, so that helps to minimize any kind of sensitivity during treatment. It also stays put on your teeth during the treatment, unlike other whitening gels.

Next, we secure the GLO whitening mouthpiece within your mouth. That mouthpiece is where the name comes from: Guided Light Optics (hence the name “GLO”).

At this point, the warm heat-plus-light activates the professional strength whitening gel we applied to your teeth. At the same time, it prevents oxygen from leaving the mouth which helps for efficient and fast results.

What’s more: The accelerated whitening keeps wear times pretty fast: about 8 minutes each round. So, you can see how the procedure is a huge advancement: it is fast, safe and effective! You can also keep using your at-home treatments after you leave out office, helping you to get super white, dazzling teeth!

Oral health being taken more seriously than ever

Oral health can have a huge impact on a person’s life, and people are recognizing this more than ever today! Also, it’s not always as simple as just oral health habits like brushing your teeth and flossing. Bruxism (tooth grinding), TMJ, periodontitis, crooked or misshapen teeth, and missing teeth can combine to cause headaches and migraines, toothaches, chronic bad breath, and an unattractive appearance.

That’s why people are paying more attention than ever to the health of their teeth, gums, and overall mouth…which we’re happy to hear about!

teeth straightening in cincinnati

Invisalign for teeth straightening 

You may have heard of Invisalign by now: These innovative, clear aligners correct problems of gapped teeth, overbite, crossbite, overcrowding, and underbite. This system employs 3-D computer imaging to create a treatment plan starting with your teeth’s current position all the way through to your final new smile.

Sets of thermoplastic aligners fit over your teeth while gently and gradually moving them into position. Every two weeks you switch aligners as progress is made. Dr. Hagen will evaluate your Invisalign progress about every month or two. The total treatment time depends on your specific needs and goals!

One of the best things about this innovation is that they are hardly detectable—even up close—so you feel more confident while smiling during treatment. Because there are no metal braces, wires, or headgear, there is no mouth irritation. And, not to be forgotten: you can eat and drink whatever you want with Invisalign!

Hagen Dental Provides the Latest Dental Technology And Personalized Care

We are excited to meet you or your family and to offer you the latest technologies that can help improve your oral health and overall health and well-being. If you’re interested in learning more about any of these treatments or technologies, let us know.

We realize each patient has a different level of apprehension about visiting a dentist, and one of the most important things we can do first is to simply listen to you. 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.

Please call (513) 251-5500 or click the Online Scheduling button at the top of our website to schedule your next visit!




Smile-Friendly Resolutions

Thursday, January 3rd, 2019

hagen dental practice west side cincinnati ohio smile friendly resolutions

So what are a few great resolutions you can make in the new year? This list mentions a few simple things you can do to improve your oral health and your overall health:

Brush your teeth properly.

First, it’s a great thing you are brushing! But also be sure you aren’t brushing way too hard, which is common, but can be avoided. Put a sticky note up in your bathroom if you need to remind yourself to brush gently in the new year!

Or, another idea: you can even get a new, soft-bristled toothbrush which will help you avoid doing damage to your gum line as you brush. If you want, consider an electric toothbrush in the new year which will also help you work against brushing too hard and accidentally doing damage to your gums.

Avoid crunching and/or chewing on ice.

Chewing ice seems harmless but it’s actually something to avoid doing in the new year. Yes, your tooth enamel is an extremely hard and durable substance, but chewing on ice can result in cracked teeth or even an injury to your gum. If you’re someone who just loves to chew on something, grab gum with Xylitol.

Get a mouthguard for that grinding habit.

Grinding your teeth doesn’t just leave your jaw and teeth sore at times, but it can also put pressure on your teeth, and then cause your gum to recede! That means even if you have otherwise great oral health habits, your gum can be receding.

It happens slowly, but nonetheless, it can be happening whether you grind your teeth during the day or at night—or if you grind your teeth around the clock.

One of the best ways you can combat any teeth grinding (whether you are aware you are doing it or not) is by getting a mouthguard from us. It can be custom fit so it’s comfortable and can be a part of your routine. With a healthier smile at this time next year, you will be glad you took this step!

keep up the good habits hagen dental

Continue wearing a mouthguard when playing physical activities.

Speaking of mouth guards, be sure that you, or your children, wear a mouthguard for sports whenever you or they are playing physical sports. That’s a great habit that doesn’t even take long to get used to.

Avoid the bedtime bottles.

Aim to avoid allowing your baby to fall asleep with a milk or juice bottle in the new year. We know that might not always be possible, but sugars in formula and other juices can cause tooth decay—even the natural sugar present in breast milk can contribute to tooth decay, especially when they fall asleep with a bottle.

Watch the cough drops (and other hard candies).

Cough drops can help fight off a sore throat, but sucking on them is not great for your teeth! Most of the time you don’t realize just how long the lozenge stays in your mouth.

It still contains sugar, so having them in your mouth all day, even if you’re merely attempting to help yourself get over a cold, can contribute to bacteria build-up and tooth decay. All in all, keep the cough drops and other hard and sticky candies and lozenges to a minimum in the new year!

Keep up the hydration.

Water anyone? Staying hydrated with water is an all-around great resolution. After all, our body is 60 percent water!

First, water helps to restore a good pH balance in your mouth. It naturally cleans your teeth with every sip and water also works to get rid of leftover foods and acids in the mouth. Sounds a little gross, but it’s true that water is a great way to get rid of bacteria and sugars that result in cavities and tooth decay.

Last but not least, water is essential for the proper circulation of nutrients in the body. Drinking more water and staying hydrated is a great resolution that’s not that difficult to incorporate in your daily routine.

Don’t chew on pens.

Let’s say you are back to work or back to school in January. No matter where you’ll be, avoid chewing on pencils or pens. That chewing may seem harmless, but it can cause your teeth to slowly shift and can irritate joints and even cause stress fractures on your teeth.

Take some time for yourself.

Research has shown a strong link between stress and gum disease. This new year, take the time to relax to help you manage and better deal with stress in general! Stress can make you more lax on your oral health habits and it can result in things like more teeth grinding (or clenching), so do your best to take some time out for yourself.

Keep up your regular appointments with us.

Whether it’s twice a year or more often, we’re happy to see you keep up your regular dental visits.

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
  • Taking x-rays when they are due
  • 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

wishing you a floss some new year

Wishing You a Happy & Healthy New Year

We’re wishing you a floss-some New Year! Keep up with your consistent, professional cleanings and dental exams to ensure we can catch issues early and simply to keep your teeth, gums, and mouth as healthy as possible! Give us a call to schedule your next appointment at (513) 251-5500 or schedule online today.

Keep Your Mouth Healthy for the Holidays

Tuesday, December 18th, 2018

keep your mouth healthy hagen dental practice blog

Want to be sure your mouth stays healthy for the holidays? We thought so!

Here are tips to help you do just that: 

Avoid using your teeth like tools

Someone may have used a lot of tape on that present—or maybe that’s you—but avoid the temptation to wrap or to unwrap any gifts by using a little help from your teeth.

Teeth were made for chewing and eating, and were not meant to be used like scissors. (That also goes for using your teeth as if they are a bottle opener, too.)

When you treat your teeth like a tool, you can crack a tooth, damage your enamel, or you can even accidentally choke or swallow on an item if you are unlucky. All in all, that’s an easy mistake you can avoid!

Keep the sugary treats to a minimum

Sugary sweets, pies, candies, cookies and even drinks—the list of sweets and treats this time of year can be long. That’s fine to indulge in your favorite foods and beverages this time of year. We just recommend that you keep a watch on the amount of sugar-packed foods you consume. After all, you already know that sugar can lead to tooth decay.

Minimize the damage-causing bacteria (which feeds on sugar and turns to acid on the enamel) by sticking with your regular, positive oral health habits.

Be careful with those chewy and sticky treats

Chewy and sticky candies tend to stick on our teeth, resulting in a very acidic environment in our mouth. That, unfortunately, can cause lasting and permanent damage to our teeth. These treats actually break down the enamel of our teeth in as little as 20 minutes. Yikes!

Because they are extra hard, chewy or sticky, they also are more likely to result in a dental emergency or just cause some sort of accident we didn’t intend in the mouth.

If you really want to play it safe, be sure you avoid chewing on any really hard candies, ice, or popcorn kernels, all of which can crack or damage a tooth. Share that with kids, too, so they know it’s important not to chomp down on hard candies this time of year, or any time of year for that matter!

Keep your routine

To combat the surgery sweets and the extra indulgence this time of year, aim to keep your regular oral health routine and other positive habits.

Aim to…

  • Brush your teeth every day and always before bed;
  • Stay hydrated with water to take advantage of how water can naturally rinse away food and sugars that stick to your teeth otherwise;
  • Use a mouthwash. (Ask us if you need more direction.)
  • Focus on nutrient-rich foods and avoid processed foods which tend to have more sugar added and less nutrients whenever you can;

And of course: see us at least twice a year so we can do a deep cleaning and prevent, minimize and/or spot problems if they do occur.

here comes santa floss hagen dental

Here comes (Santa) floss

Don’t worry, we didn’t forget about the importance of flossing, especially to work against some of the negative habits we can have around the holidays!

Flossing stimulates your gums which keeps them healthy. It also greatly reduces that destructive bacteria and the plaque, especially along your gum line. No matter how you choose to floss, it can also help lower inflammation.

Just remember that one third or more of your mouth is not reached if you don’t floss. Said another way, when you brush your teeth, you’re only cleaning about two-thirds of all your teeth. That really puts things in perspective and it’s one more thing we can do in the coming weeks to keep our mouth healthy.

smile friendly stocking stuffers

Check Out These Stocking Stuffer Ideas

To keep your mouth extra healthy, here are some fun stocking stuffer ideas. Of course some of these are more for you or your spouse, rather than the kids!

Here are some ideas:

  • A shiny new toothbrush—whether that be electric or just a brand new manual one! Maybe the kids can get a Dora the Explorer, Avengers, Angry Birds, or Disney toothbrush, for example.
  • Toothpaste…You can try something new like sensitivity toothpaste or ask us about other great options that can be sure to help make brush time fun!
  • Mini mouthwash.
  • Gum sweetened with Xylitol.
  • Sports mouthguard from Hagen Dental. Hey, winter sports are coming! Or maybe you just want this one for yourself because you grind your teeth…
  • Your favorite kind of floss or a floss threader. The kids may even get an extra treat with flavored floss!
  • GLO Teeth whitening for extra white teeth without the sensitivity.
  • A tooth timer. Kids can get a high five or another incentive when they routinely brush for the right amount of time!
  • A fun or themed toothbrush holder.

Schedule That Post-Holiday Regular Dental Exam

We’re wishing you a happy and joyous Christmas and holiday season. If you are looking for a deep clean to get rid of the plaque build-up in your mouth, give Hagen Dental Practice a call today at (513) 251.5500. You can also use our convenient online scheduling at any time here. Your teeth—and your smile—will feel great when you leave Hagen Dental Practice!

Why Do We Kiss Under the Mistletoe?

Tuesday, December 11th, 2018

hagen dental westsite cincinnati dentist

‘Tis the season for lots of different traditions and customs. One of the traditions that we often see this time of year is hanging mistletoe in our homes.

The idea: whenever you meet a person underneath the mistletoe, you have to kiss!

It’s a holiday tradition that so many of us recognize…but do you really know where it comes from?

All About the Plant That Makes People Pucker Up

First and foremost, as you likely know, Mistletoe is a plant. It’s called a parasitic plant because in order to live, it has to grow on other trees. So even if you wanted to grow in a plot or in a garden, it wouldn’t be able to grow on its own. In large quantities, mistletoe can be poisonous, and that’s why not very many animals eat the plant.

When trees are bare in the coldest depths of winter, mistletoe is still happily present, and growing in its branches, making it quite unique and helping it to stand out even more!

There are actually both male and female mistletoe; female mistletoe refers to the plant that has berries, and that’s what most of us are familiar with when we talk about the mistletoe that hangs in our homes this time of year.

Mistletoe has actually been written about and talked about in different cultures for years. But where does the plant originate, geographically speaking? It’s primarily found in the southwest Midlands in the UK. That’s where it can grow on apple trees and other trees in the region (1).

where did mistletoe originate hagen dental practice

Sitting Under the Mistletoe… 

In the UK, mistletoe is associated with Christmas, as it also is here in the United States.

In France, they see mistletoe as a good luck charm, and instead of it being present at Christmas, they tend to give it to friends around the New Year as a gift to wish others luck in that calendar year (1).

Some say the notion of kissing under the mistletoe started back in the 1700s. Others say it was really the Victorians (who loved rituals, routines, and customs) who pushed the idea of puckering up under the plant.

Another common idea is that the mistletoe has its roots in Greek and Roman literature. The ancient story says that the mistletoe’s white berries were tears displayed by the goddess of beauty, love, and marriage, named Frigga (and also called Frigg), when she cried for her son Baldr (also spelled Baldur). The story says she then announced that mistletoe should be a plant of love (1).

Another story says that it was the mistletoe that actually is what killed her beloved son, by accident, and then Frigga’s tears turned into berries on the mistletoe—which then brought him back to life (2).

Even with two different versions of the ancient story, the mistletoe still has carried on deep meaning that’s associated with love and affection!

Still other cultures and traditions (including Norwegian and Scandinavian) say that the mistletoe had a different meaning: one of peace of friendship. Others see it as a symbol of fertility and life…which is why people should kiss whenever they end up underneath it. In Australia, a sprig placed on the threshold is said to work against nightmares. In Wales, if placed under a pillow, it induces dreams of omen. In Sweden, they use rods of mistletoe to make divining rods (1, 2). It’s interesting that just one plant could have such a variety of stories and symbols associated with it.

Mistletoe And the Tie to Christmas

Now that we know just a bit of the history and some of the other traditions that include the mistletoe in some way, how exactly did it get involved with Christmas?

Well, according to historians, Charles Dickens! (3)

It appears that in many of Dickens’ stories, such as The Pickwick Papers and Irving’s Christmas Eve, he makes mention of the mistletoe and people kissing underneath it.

At that time (1830s-1850s) people would decorate homes with “kissing balls,” which were a combination of evergeen, ribbon, ornaments and—you guessed it—mistletoe. If two people were standing underneath the ball (also called “bough”), they would have to kiss. So what if the woman denied the kiss? It was said that if she didn’t want to kiss, she wouldn’t be married in the near future! (3)

Be Ready for That Special Kiss Under the Mistletoe

There seem to be a combination of stories that have resulted in the mistletoe having the meaning we give it today.

Take these steps and you’ll be ready to walk under any mistletoe this holiday season:

  • Brush at least twice a day—including before you go to bed
  • Gently brush your teeth when you brush and be sure to get that tongue, too
  • Remember flossing is just as important as brushing each day
  • Avoid tobacco!
  • Drink plenty of water and eat as nutritiously as possible (in other words, limit the added sugar)
  • See us at least twice a year for you regular deep, professional cleaning and for important oral health exams

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Have Nerves When It Comes to Getting Close?

If you believe you have bad breath and it just won’t seem to go away, there could be a number of issues at play in your mouth! We’re here to help you so you can get back total confidence!

We never want your dental health concerns to get in the way of your personal relationships. Call Hagen Dental Practice today to discuss how we can help you or a loved one: (513) 251-5500. You can also always set up an appointment online by clicking here.



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)

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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.



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.




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.