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Dental History: When Did Preventive Dentistry Start?

Thursday, October 4th, 2018

taking a look at dental history hagen dds

Did you realize that dentistry is one of the oldest medical professions?

A man named Hesy-Re, who seemed to have the title “Great one of the ivory cutters,” is thought to be the first official dental practitioner.

the first dentist history blogHe was also an Egyptian scribe. So, in some ways, he could be seen as the first dentist…way back in 2650 B.C. (2)

So we know that people were concerned with their teeth thousands of years ago.

And, we also know that one of the first books that focused solely on dental health and dentistry principles came out around 1530. The title?  “The Little Medicinal Book for All Kinds of Diseases and Infirmities of the Teeth.” What a title!

Despite how people recognized value in taking care of their teeth, they didn’t always get it quite right.

For example: Back in 5000 B.C., Sumerian culture fostered the idea that worms were a cause of dental decay! That idea was finally proven to be inaccurate, but it wasn’t until the 1700s.

It was also around that same time that a lot more advancements and focus came to the field of dentistry in general. Let’s take a closer look.

Finding Out that Sugar Leads to Tooth Decay

It was around that time—in the 1720s—when a man named Dr. Pierre Fauchard published a book called “The Surgeon Dentist, a Treatise on Teeth.”

Again, this was a major milestone, and what he suggested was pretty pivotal. One key learning: acids from sugar significantly contribute to and lead to tooth decay.

The book had major insights in it regarding comprehensive oral care, including steps that can be taken to prevent oral health issues. This book put forward such revolutionary ideas that Dr. Fauchard, who was in fact a surgeon, is often cited as the Father of Modern Dentistry (2, 3, 4, 5).

New Ideas About Dental Health

Dr. Fauchard also introduced fillings and other ways of dealing with cavities and severe decay.

Around 1740, a man named Claude Mouton started talking about the idea of a gold crown. He even suggested ways to make the gold crowd more attractive in the mouth!

It was in 1760 when Dr. John Baker came around and made his mark in dental history. Dr. Baker came to America from England. After he made the move, he was the first medically-trained dentist to practice dentistry in the states. So, using that definition, he was arguably our nation’s first dentist.

One of the people he trained to be a dentist was Paul Revere. Dr. Revere then made history in the Battle of Breed’s Hill where he examined a friend’s teeth to verify his death.

This was in 1776, and that’s our first known case of dental forensics after death.

A few other major milestones in the coming years:

  • 1789: Nicolas Dubois de Chemant received the first patent for porcelain teeth.
  • 1790: Josiah Flagg constructed the first chair made specifically for dental patients (2, 3, 4, 5).

The First Dental School

Another key figure that came after Dr. Fauchard and Dr. Baker was Dr. John M. Harris. According to the history books, he’s the who started the world’s first dental school.

It may surprise you to learn that this school was located in Bainbridge, Ohio.

Dr. Harris, who had previously lived in Cincinnati, moved to Bainbridge in the 1820s. A few years later is when he started teaching others as they prepared for medical school.

His approach included curriculum that included in-depth knowledge on how to take care of your teeth. At the time, that was quite unique content, and other medical schools, for the most part, didn’t offer those lessons for future physicians. (It’s not hard to see why many historians refer to Dr. Harris the Father of Dental Education in the United States.) (3, 4, 5)

Dental Schools Grow & Expand in Popularity

After learning from him, many of his students went on to further explore dental care, and still others also established dental schools themselves.

Even his own brother went on to become founder of the Baltimore College of Dental Surgery in 1840, which some deem the first official dental school in the US. About 5 years later, in 1845, the Ohio College of Dental Surgery—located in Cincinnati, Ohio—was founded. It’s pretty incredible to think just how much dental history we have right in our backyard (2, 3, 4).

Then in 1867, another milestone: the first university-affiliated dental institution, the Harvard University Dental School, was founded. About six years later, Colgate was mass producing its first toothpaste. After that, mass-produced toothbrushes were created and sold across the nation (2, 3, 4)!

dentist in cincinnati ohio hagen dental practice blog

More Surprising Dental Facts & Firsts

Despite a long history of people knowing the importance of taking care of their teeth, Americans haven’t always had great oral health habits.

In fact, good brushing habits really weren’t adopted until after World War II. Part of why: soldiers who had been stationed abroad had learned the concept and application of good oral health. When they came home, they helped to shift the American consciousness about oral health.

Since that time, here are a few other notable “firsts” in dental history that might also surprise you to learn:

  • 1960: The first commercial electric toothbrush is introduced in the United States. After that, the first cordless and rechargeable model is introduced about a year later.
  • 1962: The first time Bis-GMA (what’s used in many composite resin restorative materials) is first developed.
  • 1989: The first home tooth bleaching product is commercially marketed (3).

Preventive Dentistry Keeps Your Teeth Looking & Feeling Great

Give us a call to learn about what steps you can take to prevent (or reverse) dental decay. We’re here to help you with smile makeovers, full-mouth rehabilitation, cosmetic dentistry, Invisalign, and much more at Hagen Dental Practice.

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

Sources:

  1. https://www.ada.org/en/about-the-ada/ada-history-and-presidents-of-the-ada/ada-history-of-dentistry-timeline
  2. https://www.researchgate.net/publication/277553849_Hesyre_The_First_Recorded_Physician_and_Dental_Surgeon_in_History
  3. https://www.adea.org/GoDental/Health_Professions_Advisors/History_of_Dentistry.aspx
  4. http://www.ohiohistorycentral.org/w/John_Harris
  5. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pierre_Fauchard

 

Year-Ends Tips to Maximize Your Dental Insurance

Thursday, September 27th, 2018

how to optimize your dental insurance hagen dental dds cincinntati ohio

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.

So that means if you haven’t used those benefits up until now, you’ll want to be sure you do use them before the end of the calendar year. If you don’t, you forfeit those benefits and don’t get to use them next year.

Let’s take a closer look at some key ways you can do end-of-the-year planning based on where you are at today.

Taking Advantage of the Benefits You Have

So what are the benefits you can take advantage of before the end of December?

Here’s a list to start:

  • Your regular check-up. Most insurance plans cover two check-ups per year and/or a check-up every 6 months. If you only scheduled one with us this year, or if you canceled one of your check-ups with us recently, the time is now to squeeze it in! Remember, if you don’t use it this year, you lose it. This kind of preventative care is essential to your short-term and long-term dental health, so it’s important not to skip. If you haven’t been able to come in for any of your dental check-ups yet, you still have time to get on our schedule before 2019 rolls in.
  • Other treatments. Have you been waiting on implants, CEREC, or some other, larger service we provide? Think of it this way: if you’ve met your deductible and have not hit your maximum, it could mean you have very low or little-to-no out of pocket expense for the treatment if you fit it in before the end of the calendar year. In other words, now could be a great time to get that treatment you’ve been waiting on. Then, next year, your deductible will re-set and start all over again.
  • Starting a multi-visit treatment you’ve delayed. Depending on the nature of your visit and the status of your deductible for this calendar year, we could also setup a treatment plan that is timed to minimize how much you pay out-of-pocket.For example, if you have a two-part treatment with us, we could split the treatment up between the end of this year and the very beginning of next year, helping you to take full advantage of your insurance benefits within each calendar year. While this may not be as common as the other two ways to save money, it’s still something many people can take advantage of.

Get to Know More About Your Insurance

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.

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.

year end tips to maximize your dental health benefits cincinntati ohio dentist

Utilize Those FSA Benefits

Do you have a health plan through your employer? If so, it may be a Flexible Spending Account, or FSA. Think of this as money your employer contributed to pay for out-of-pocket health care costs that are allowed in your specific program, including copays, deductibles, medications or certain out-of-pocket costs for dental work.

Figure out the specifics of your plan, because many have benefits that will go away when your benefit period ends—and again—often times that benefit period is the calendar year.

Remember the ‘Triple Benefit’ of Your HSA

Not to be confused with an FSA, your HSA, or Health Savings Account, has funds that do not expire, but once again, it’s a great route to take to save money while setting yourself up with funds to use on healthcare-related costs.

If you are eligible and have an account, you have the opportunity to benefit from what’s called a “triple tax advantage.” Here’s why it’s a strategy that is appealing to so many people: First, an HSA allows you the chance to contribute money to the account on a pre-tax basis, so all the money you set aside you do not have to pay taxes on.

Second, any earnings within that account that accumulate over time are not taxed. And last, you get to take that money out on a tax-free basis. Not many investment vehicles allow all three of those tax breaks to happen.

So not only do you avoid paying taxes when you contribute money to the account, but you are not taxed on the money you withdraw, either, when you decide to use it on your health. It’s a great way to set aside money you can use on healthcare dollars, whether that is this year or another time in the future.

Make Sure You Take Advantage of All Your Dental Benefits

Since you lose many of these benefits if you don’t use them this year, don’t delay on coming in to see us! If you have any questions about the potential of scheduling treatments you’ve been delaying, the potential costs of any treatments, or if you want to squeeze in your check-up with us, be sure to call us today at (513) 251-5500.

You can also visit our site for online scheduling. The end of year will be here before we know it, so you’ll want to get on the calendar as soon as you can.

A Message to Everyone With A Smile

Wednesday, September 5th, 2018

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

hagen dental cincinnati

How Smiling Impacts Your Social Life

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

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

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

How Smiling Impacts People Around You

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

How Smiling Impacts Your Brain

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

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

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

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

positive dentist hagen

How Smiling Impacts Your Body

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

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

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

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

We Care About Your Smile

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

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

Sources:

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

 

The Essential Guide to Brushing Your Dog’s Teeth

Monday, August 20th, 2018

The Essential Guide to Brushing Your Dog’s Teeth hagen dental practice cincinnati ohio

Do you have a dental care regimen for your dog?

We know they are considered a part of the family, so to keep their gums and mouth healthy, we’ve compiled some of the top tips you can use when it comes to brushing your dog’s teeth.

Step #1: Get them used to the idea

If you can, start young with your dog…but don’t worry if that hasn’t happened! To start to train a dog, many people like to show their dog what it’s like to have fingers in their mouth first.

Think of it this way: your slowly getting your dog used to the idea that you’re going to be putting something in their mouth in the future. This way, they can adjust the idea!

Consider putting your finger in peanut butter or some other treat, and let them lick it off your finger. As they do this, you can start to safely and gently rub their teeth and gums with your finger.

You can also try to keep their mouth open for longer periods of time—again, you’re getting them ready for the brushing that’s to come.

Another point to consider: You may need some toys on hand for positive reinforcement when they allow you to keep their mouth open for a little longer than they are used to. Some dogs may have a bit of resistance at first, so this can help.

Step #2: Start small

If desired, you may skip the first point. Whenever you feel you are ready, with the guidance from your vet, you can introduce your dog to toothpaste.

Be sure you use pet toothpaste with your animal. You should never use human toothpaste with your dog! Today there are dog toothpastes that are flavored like beef or poultry that many will enjoy

Slowly work up to brushing their teeth. You may at first just introduce them to a small amount of toothpaste. After all, it will take some getting used to. Aim to focus on the faces of the lip, when possible. It may take a week, or longer to get them used to this new habit. You also can adjust the amount of toothpaste you are using over time (2).

Step #3: Reinforce their good habits

It’s amazing what can be done with patience and reinforcement in terms of training your dog! Over time it should be easier to give them a quality brushing each day (or as often as your dentist recommends). In general, 30 seconds per side of the mouth is a good goal to have in terms of how long you want to brush their teeth. Just like with humans, be sure you are as gentle as possible.

stick with brushing teeth hagen dental practice cincinnati ohio

Step #4: Continue to turn to your trusted vet

Typically, dogs will also need professional, anesthetized cleanings, although it’s always going to vary based on what kind of dog you have. Keeping these regular appointments can help with preventative health measure and it can help to spot anything that’s wrong with your dog’s health (2).

tips to help you with your dogs oral health hagen dental practice cincinnati ohio

Other Tips to Help You Brush Your Dog’s Teeth 

A few other tips to consider for the health of your dog’s gums and teeth: First, make sure you talk to your vet so you know as much as you can about your dog, especially as it relates to their particular breed.

Don’t be unrealistic and realize it may take some time to develop good oral health habits with your dog!

Next, provide safe chew items; just like how flossing and chewing help to stimulate our gums, chewing is great for dogs’ teeth and gums, too. Not sure exactly what’s best to provide them with? You can choose between chew items and dental chews. Talk to your vet about what kind of meaty bones are a fit for your dog. All of these things, when done regularly and in combination with each other, can promote a healthy mouth.

Something Doesn’t Seem Quite Right? Don’t Ignore It…

A good rule of thumb: Always ask your vet about what’s going to be beneficial for their health, and stay mindful of anything that doesn’t seem quite right when it comes to their gums and teeth.

For example, if your dog already has dental disease, your vet might recommend a certain course of action before you start any at-home regular teeth cleaning. Also know what healthy looks like, and what could be a sign of something going wrong in the mouth.

Typically, a dog’s healthy gums will be a shrimp-colored pink. If they look very white, or, on the opposite side of things, if they look red or inflamed, it’s reason to pay attention (1, 2).

If dog’s gum ever bleeds for more than a few minutes, you don’t want ignore it because it may be a sign of disease in the mouth, an immune issue, or something else.

It’s not uncommon for pups have what’s called papillomatosis, or warts of the gums. You might notice that there are what appears to be clusters of warts or you may just see one or two.

In most cases, with one or two of these small warts in the mouth, it’s not a major concern, but always check with your vet if it lasts more than a few weeks because they may need to be removed surgically at a certain point (1).

Improving Your Dental Health

At Hagen Dental, we want you to improve your health and wellness so that you’re living your healthiest life possible. If you are interested in setting up your next appointment with us, give us a call today at (513) 251-5500. We’re looking forward to meeting you and your family, or seeing you come in again.

Sources/References

  1. https://www.petmd.com/dog/general-health/your-dogs-gums-problems-watch
  2. https://www.aaha.org/pet_owner/lifestyle/your-pets-dental-health-how-to-brush-your-pets-teeth-(and-why).aspx

How Is Floss Made?

Wednesday, May 16th, 2018

Flossing daily is an important component of regular oral hygiene and dental health upkeep. Including floss in our daily routine is now considered a mandatory habit for excellent oral health. Without flossing, we leave as much as 30-40 percent of our tooth’s surfaces uncleaned!

So, how much do you know about this handy little cleaning tool? Read on to discover how floss came about and how modern floss is produced!

The History Of Floss

Anthropologists and historians have determined that even in ancient times, interdental cleaning was sought after – by the use of pointed sticks or horse hair, for example. It’s long been a natural desire to want to remove food suck between the teeth and keep our mouth clean and tidy (1, 2).

cincinnati dentist

Most sources agree that a New Orleans dentist named Dr. Levi Spear Parmly should be credited for starting the trend of advising patients to use a thin silk thread to clean between their teeth. This happened circa 1815, and the idea became a popular one. Dr. Parmly later went on to publish a book called “A Practical Guide to the Management of Teeth”, in which he advocated for maintenance habits of brushing and flossing daily (1, 2).

In 1882, a company called Codman and Shurtleft Company from Massachusetts, produced and marketed an unwaxed silk dental floss for purchase.  In 1896, Johnson and Johnson jumped on board when they began offering their first dental floss. Johnson and Johnson took out a patent in 1898 for a type of floss made from the same materials doctors used at the time for silk stitches (1).

During the 1940’s, due to rising costs of silk during World War II, nylon became a replacement for silk as the main component of floss. This also improved upon silk’s tendency to shred (2).

Dental Floss In Recent Years

Since the initial introduction of dental floss products, the dental floss industry has expanded to use new materials such as Gore-Tex, and to offer various textures, flavors, and alternative options, such as floss picks (1, 2).

These improved features have made flossing easier for the consumer, depending on their needs. There are soft or spongy options for consumers with sensitive gums, and options with thicker ends for use around braces or dental equipment. And the development of single use fun flossers for kids can help children learn the importance of flossing at a young age, in a fun and easy-to-use way (3).

hagen dentist cincinnati

How Is Floss Made?

Modern day floss is typically made out of one of two synthetic compounds: nylon or Teflon. Nylon is a synthetic polymer that results in a fiber-forming substance. Teflon is the trade name of a specific chemical polymer compound. Floss may also contain wax, flavors, or other ingredients, depending on the manufacturer and finishing options (3).

Floss From Nylon

The polymer used in making nylon flossed is prepared and poured out as a ribbon, then cut into small pellets or flakes. These pieces are blended, re-melted, and pumped through spinning machines to form filaments. As the nylon cools, these filaments solidify to form a yarn and are combined to create a strand of floss. Proper twisting during the process adds strength to the floss and reduces the chances of fraying or breakage. Because nylon floss is composed of many small filaments, it can be created in different weights, or thicknesses (3).

Floss Made With Teflon

Teflon floss comes from a specific polymer called polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE). This polymer is melted into a paste and then stretched into a long, thin strand. Next, the polymer is expanded into different directions.

This stretching process gives this type of floss substantial strength. The substance is cut, forming various thicknesses and weights. PTFE is a monofilament, has excellent tensile strength, and does not shred or break easily. Twisting is not required for the Teflon floss process (3).

Finishing Touches: Coating Process

The finishing touches allow for diversity in customer preference. Manufacturers differentiate their products by adding unique and proprietary coatings. The coating process takes place in emulsion baths. This bathing process allows additives such as waxes, flavors, or any other coating options to be applied in a consistent manner (3).

Product Packaging

Flosses are packaged into bobbins for easy spooling and unspooling. They can be packaged in a cylindrical shape or a roll-type shape. Winding the floss for consumer use requires equipment that transfers the yarn onto a spool.

Cylindrical bobbins are used in tube or rectangular shaped floss packages. This type of bobbin can accommodate the highest amount of yardage. The roll bobbin is more traditional and is dispensed through flat containers. Wow…pretty cool, we must say!

floss, dentist, ohio

Other Fun Facts About Floss

  • Floss in ribbon form is great for kids or people with larger spacing between their teeth
  • Floss in string form is helpful for people with tightly spaced or crooked teeth
  • Floss comes in a variety of wax options: lightly waxed, waxed, or un-waxed
  • Today, Americans use more than 2.5 million miles of dental floss each year (3)
  • Your toothbrush can’t reach into the fine spaces between the teeth, which is why dental floss is so important
  • Recent innovations include additives to floss that can help with whitening efforts (4)

Let Us Help You With Your Dental Health

Dental floss helps to remove plaque and bacteria from and between teeth and below the gum line. Without flossing, this plaque can turn to tartar and lead to gingivitis, infection, or cavities. Unfortunately, according to the ADA, only about 12 percent of Americans are diligent about flossing daily (2). We can help you determine your risk for complications and offer tips on flossing at your next dental appointment! Schedule today by calling (513) 251-5500 or click the Online Scheduling button on our website.

Sources:

  1. https://oralb.com/en-us/oral-health/dental-floss-history
  2. http://www.speareducation.com/spear-review/2013/01/a-brief-history-of-dental-floss
  3. http://www.madehow.com/Volume-2/Dental-Floss.html
  4. http://www.intelligentdental.com/2011/07/20/what-is-dental-floss-made-of/

Here’s The Surprising Truth About Cavities in Toddlers & Preschoolers Today

Thursday, May 3rd, 2018

cavities in kids how to prevent them hagen dental

Cavities in toddlers, and even preschoolers, has been on the rise.

It’s not just slightly up in recent years: in fact, many of the preschoolers in the study had six to ten cavities, or more! That’s a huge jump up from historic numbers, and signals a real shift in oral health habits (1, 2).

The statistics appear to also be carrying over to kids who are just a bit older, too. Here are two other stats that we’re watching:

  • Roughly 28 percent of kids 2 to 5 have untreated decay in their teeth (5)
  • Roughly 20 percent of kids 5 to 11 have at least one untreated decayed tooth
  • Roughly 13 percent of kids 12 to 19 have at least one untreated decayed tooth (3)
  • Children 2 to 11 have an average of 1.6 decayed teeth and 3.6 decayed surfaces (5)

The problem is that tooth decay is one of the most chronic conditions for our children in the US right now. When we don’t help our little ones take care of their teeth like they should, it can negatively shape other behaviors in their life. It can negatively impact how they learn, play, eat and even how they speak (1, 2).

Let’s take a closer look at what you should know about taking care of your toddlers and preschoolers oral health. (more…)

20 Little Known Facts About Bad Breath

Tuesday, April 24th, 2018

bad breath and your mouth

Here are 20 things you may not know about bad breath.

1. Many times, bad breath is treatable. That’s because in many cases, foul-smelling breath is caused by the breakdown of food (and the presence of bacteria) in the mouth! If you think about it, that’s actually good news…

2. That said, periodontal disease (aka gum disease), also causes bad breath. That’s less of an issue of just brushing your teeth or flossing to get rid of food debris and bacteria; That’s reflective of poor oral health habits resulting in disease in the mouth. All in all, that’s a condition that occurs over time, as you can imagine.

3. Ever heard of “garlic breath”? It’s a term coined from how you can have less-than-desirable breath after eating garlic. Research has actually shown that part of the reason garlic breath can happen is actually due to digestion.

4. Similar to garlic, bad breath can also be caused by onion, which is another member of the allium family. Even if you rush for your toothbrush after eating onion (especially raw), when digested, it will cause distinctive gasses to be released. In turn, your breath can become smelly, even despite any efforts to brush and floss post-meal! (1)

5. People following a low-carb nutrition plan can be surprised by…well, different smelling breath. That’s because, in extreme cases, certain chemicals can be released as the body burns fat in a state that’s also called ketosis. In turn, we can smell that on people’s breath.

6. Ever wonder why someone with bad breath doesn’t do something about it? Part of the reason may be because people can become nose blind to their own bad breath!

7. Caffeine and coffee can give you breath that you can almost…well, taste! Since coffee and caffeine can end up drying out the mouth, you really can have latte breath. Combat this by drinking plenty of water and brushing and flossing your teeth. And, of course, keep up your regular professional cleanings and check-ups.

8. It may surprise you to learn that issues with you ear, nose and throat, and even your kidneys can end up giving you bad breath.

9. Drinking water won’t get rid of your bad breath, but it can help you fight dry mouth, which can give you bad breath. (And, keep in mind dry mouth can lead to an increase in gum disease and tooth decay, too.) The takeaway: drinking a lot of water can help you combat dehydration and dry mouth, helping you moisturize the mouth and neutralize acids.

10. Dentures can be the source of your bad breath. If you have removable dentures, be sure to keep up your regular oral health habits and clean them every night.

11. One way to guarantee better smelling breath? Giving up smoking. Not to mention it will benefit your entire health, not just your oral health.

12. One thing is clear: people want to avoid bad breath! It’s been reported that nearly three billion dollars a year is spent on gum, mints, and mouth rinses.

13. About 50 percent of the population suffers from bad breath that is caused by something other than food, drinks, or smoking cigarettes (2).

14. The name given to people who think they have bad breath, but others don’t notice it is “pseudohalitosis.” This is when someone thinks they have bad breath…but they really don’t! (2, 3)

15. Have you heard that you can check the smell of your own breath by breathing on your hand…and then smelling it? Well, believe it or not, that “test” may work in some cases, but it won’t always tell you whether or not you truly have bad breath.

16. About 60 percent of women and 50 percent of men say that they use breath freshening products.

17. Bad breath is, and can be found, in people at ANY age.

18. Infections such as strep throat, tonsillitis, and sinusitis can actually give you bad breath. Said another way, even if you’re brushing your teeth and keeping up with your oral habits, these infections can wreak havoc on your breath.

19. When you’ve done all you can and you still feel like you have bad breath, be sure to tell us! Don’t be embarrassed, as it’s just a sign of something going on with your health. We can help discover the cause, whether it is a gum-issue, infection, cavities, gum disease, due to medication, dry mouth, nutrition, illness, or another issue entirely.

20. Using a tongue scraper is a great way to eliminate odor-causing bacteria that seems to stick to your tongue. Ask us for more information.

 

bad breath hagen dental practice blog

Schedule Your Next Appointment with Hagen Dental Practice

Your dream smile is within reach! Please call (513) 251-5500 or click the Online Scheduling button on our website to schedule your next visit. Be sure to see our new patient specials here. We’re looking forward to earning your trust with personalized care!

Sources/References:

  1. https://www.healthline.com/health/get-rid-of-garlic-onion-breath
  2. https://www.colgate.com/en-us/oral-health/conditions/gastrointestinal-disorders/bad-breath-from-stomach-problems-0714
  3. https://www.colgate.com/en-us/oral-health/conditions/bad-breath/halitosis

How Does Your Dental Health Add Up? [Infographic]

Thursday, April 19th, 2018

How does your dental health add up?

dental health cincinnati ohio how does yours add up

How to Stay Healthy When Traveling

Wednesday, April 11th, 2018

stay healthy while traveling hagen dental blog

So you’re going to be traveling in the coming year, and you’re wondering what you can do to stay healthy? Here’s what to know.

1. Prepare, prepare, prepare!

Depending on where you are headed, be sure to research the destination before you go. This is especially true if any of the following are true:

  • You’re traveling with kids
  • You have a chronic disease
  • You’ll be on a cruise
  • You will be on an extended stay
  • You are classified as immune-compromised/weakened immune system
  • You are pregnant
  • You are doing a mission trip or you are a part of disaster relief effort

…Even if you are “just” visiting friends and family, it’s still worth doing the research ahead of time!

After all, traveling out of the country, in particular, can bring with it some risk! Whether or not the location is considered risky, you can also set up travel alerts just to stay informed.

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention has some valuable resources available where you can search, by destination, to see information that can help you prepare for a trip. Visit their Destination page and then select the locations which you will be visiting to learn a wealth of information.

healthy traveling hagen dental practice in cincinnati

2. Create a healthy travel packing list and stick to it

One of the key ways you can stay healthy is by sticking to your “normal” healthy routine.

When you’re able, bring healthy food that you can eat during your trip. Otherwise, do research on where you’ll be able to find food. If someone in your group has a specialty diet, write down what you’ll need so that they can eat and/or snack on the trip.

You can also prepare when and how you will work out on the trip. Add things you’d normally do to your list, such as medications and supplements, so that you don’t forget anything.

3. Create a travel health and medical journey to help you plan ahead

Check your health insurance plan to see what is covered and what isn’t in the places you will be traveling in. If appropriate, determine if you need to purchase additional coverage. In some cases, medical evacuation insurance could be appropriate.

Be sure to do this for every person in your group and consider keeping the information in a folder or in a secure place where you can quickly access the information.

You can also find a list of doctors and and hospitals in the country you are visiting on Embassy and Consulate websites. Doing this research before anything happens can help you save time (and money) later. The International Association for Medical Assistance To Travelers is also a place to turn to for contacts. Specific to Europe, you can find information on the American Dental Society of Europe here. You could even consider saving the information in your phone!

Additionally, you can find out more information about what to bring and how to best prepared by visiting the US’ Your Health Abroad website online.

4. Consider seeing a doctor, and us, before you travel!

Depending on your current health status and the duration of your time traveling, it may be wise to schedule a visit to see your doctor. When it’s possible, also be sure to plan ahead by coming in to see us, too! That way your care team is aware of your trip and we can help you as needed.

There are also doctors that specialize in travel medicine, so depending on where you are headed, that could be an option.

This is the same for your children who could be impacted differently or have a different health status than you.
Examples of information you may share with them could include:

  • What countries you are going to and how you are traveling between locations
  • Activities you plan on doing (which could impact your health or increase the risk of doing something that could impact your health)
  • Any recent injuries, illnesses, or sicknesses you’ve had they may be unaware of
  • The length of the trip itself

If they don’t know your medical history, of course that’s important for them to know as well. Don’t wait until the last minute to get your appointment scheduled because sometimes you’ll learn steps you need to take—such as medications you’ll want to have with you, or vaccines that could be recommended before you depart.

5. Stay aware during the trip

So you’ve done the researched, you’ve packed to help make sticking to healthy habits easier, and now you’re on the trip!

During the trip, don’t ignore anything with your health that seems abnormal. If you do in fact feel sick or get injured, utilize the list you brought to seek medical care.

Be sure to also avoid oral health habits that could cause an emergency. In other words, stick to your dental routine as close as you can!

Examples of behaviors you really want to avoid include:

  • Using your teeth as if they are like scissors/knife/tool (to open things, or to cut tape, for example)
  • Chewing on ice
  • Chewing on popcorn kernels
  • Chewing on hard candy or other extremely hard pieces of food
  • Playing sports or doing activities where balls or other things can hit the mouth (where you aren’t wearing a mouth guard)

While this may sound extreme, it can go a long way in cutting down the chance for emergency while you travel.

follow your normal health routine

6. Take the right steps if a dental emergency happens!

First and foremost, if you have any kind of emergency (injury, unexplained bleeding, diarrhea, high fever, or symptoms of certain diseases that are known risks in your area), be sure to seek medical attention immediately. Unless your research tells you otherwise, if you are unsure of who to call, you can contact people at the Embassy or Consulate, which are often available at all times of the day (1).

If you have a dental-related emergency—that is, something that requires immediate attention—seek medical attention as well.

Here’s a list of situations when it’s best to get urgent attention:

  • Puncture wounds or lacerations to the cheeks, tongue or lips
  • Bleeding in the mouth
  • Severe and unusual pain
  • Large bulges on the gum tissue
  • Foreign object stuck in teeth or gums (potential emergency)
  • Sudden swelling in the mouth or gums
  • Loose teeth
  • Knocked out teeth, loose and/or misaligned teeth and fractured teeth

7. Watch your health when you return

People can become sick or ill many weeks after returning home from travel. Not only does travel introduce us to potential illnesses and diseases, but it can fatigue the body and suppress our immune system.

When returning from any trip, be sure to stay as hydrated as possible. If you were required to take certain medications while traveling (such as in a malaria-infested area), be sure to keep taking that medicine as prescribed!

Fuel your body with whole foods and try to avoid sugar as much as possible. If you have any flu-like symptoms or any irregular symptoms, again, be sure to see a medical professional.

Traveling abroad soon? Remember, this list is not comprehensive, so be sure to visit the CDC’s website to learn more.

Dental Health for Your Entire Family

One this is clear: If you are going to be traveling for quite some time, or even if just for a brief trip, it is a good idea to prepare for any medical emergency ahead of time.

You can schedule an appointment with us by calling (513) 251-5500 or click the Online Scheduling
button on our website to schedule your next visit!

Sources:

  1. https://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/page/sick-during-trip

Eating Disorders & Your Oral Health

Tuesday, April 3rd, 2018

cincinnati dentist

Over 10 million Americans are seriously affected by eating disorders. According to the National Eating Disorders Association, this category of health concerns includes anorexia, bulimia, and binge eating.

Eating disorders have a negative effect on an individual’s overall health, their quality of life, self-image, relationships with friends and family members, their performance in school or work, as well as their oral health (1).

There are several ways eating disorders can impact oral health.

Your Gums & Soft Tissue Health

Eating disorders can lead to malnutrition in the affected individual. Without proper vitamins, minerals, and nutrients, the gums and soft issues inside the mouth can become red, swollen, or more likely to bleed easily. Nutritional deficiencies can also make the individual more prone to canker sores of the soft tissue.

Additionally, saliva glands can become swollen, painful, and dysfunctional, leading to chronic dry mouth or bad breath. A chronically dry mouth also increases the likelihood tooth decay will occur. Dehydration secondary to an eating disorder can exacerbate these issues and also cause redness, dryness and cracking of the lips.

Excessive purging and vomiting can lead to redness, scratches and cuts inside the mouth, especially on the upper palate (the roof) of the mouth (1, 2).

Your Tooth Health

Eating disorders that involve frequent vomiting create serious damage to the enamel of the teeth. Repeated exposure to stomach acid in the mouth harms the enamel, causing color changes or even shape or length changes.

This is termed dental erosion. Teeth can become weak, thin, translucent, brittle, and prone to breakage. It is also common to develop temperature sensitivity when the enamel becomes worn from regular vomiting.

Nutritional deficiencies can promote tooth decay and gum disease. For example, food restriction often leads to deficiency in calcium, iron, vitamin D and the B vitamins – nutrients that are key in tooth and oral health (1, 2, 3).

Your Joint Health

It is not uncommon to develop degenerative arthritis within the temporomandibular joint (TMJ) of the jaw when an eating disorder is present. TMJ arthritis can lead to pain in the joint area, chronic headaches, or problems with opening and closing the mouth and chewing (2). (We’re able to help in this area—regardless if the cause is an eating disorder—so if this sounds like a problem for you, let us know immediately.)

cincinnati dental

Is The Damage Permanent?

The damage and changes of the mouth from eating disorders can cause long-term or even permanent changes. Early detection of these changes – as well as early diagnosis of the eating disorder itself – are crucial to more successful recovery period for both the body and the mouth!

Oral Care For Those Suffering From Eating Disorders

If you suffer from an eating disorder, there are several habits you can maintain to reduce the amount of oral health problems that could develop:

  1. Maintain extremely good oral health hygiene practices, including brushing and flossing regularly. It’s important to develop meticulous habits due to the added stress on the oral tissues.
  2. If you do throw up, rinse with baking soda to help neutralize the effects of the stomach acid, PRIOR to any brushing of the teeth. This will help to avoid additional damage to the enamel. Brushing right after vomiting can increase erosion or increase likelihood for decay. (Please speak to us further; this is not medical advice, this is a general recommendation.)
  3. Consult with your healthcare provider and your dentist about specific needs. Every case is different, and should be managed with appropriate support and treatment!
  4. Maintain regular dental visits. Hagen Dental Practice is a safe place for you to disclose your struggles with an eating disorder and progress positively towards recovery.

Schedule An Appointment with Hagen Dental Practice

Eating disorders arise from a variety of physical, emotional and social issues. Remember that the information in this blog isn’t medical advice; If you suffer from an eating disorder, it’s very important to talk with your health care provider to address the issues and prevent or treat these disorders. You can also contact the National Eating Disorder Helpline at (800) 931-2237 for support, resources and treatment options.

It’s also vital to stay up to date with regular dental health checkups to catch signs of damage and disease early. Please call (513) 251-5500 or click the Online Scheduling button on our website to schedule your next visit.  Or, give us a call at (513) 251-5500 today!

Sources:

  1. https://www.mouthhealthy.org/en/az-topics/e/eating-disorders
  2. https://www.nationaleatingdisorders.org/dental-complications-eating-disorders
  3. https://www.ada.org/en/member-center/oral-health-topics/dental-erosion
  4. https://www.nationaleatingdisorders.org/help-support/contact-helpline