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Spring Break: What to Know About Your Teeth When You Travel

Saturday, March 5th, 2016

If you have any upcoming out-of-the-country trips planned, consider doing some research about medical care while on your trip.

That’s because, although it’s unlikely to happen, dental emergencies can happen when we travel.

Because dental emergencies happen, it’s best to be prepared no matter where we are, and that includes while on vacation!

What Classifies as a Dental Emergency?

A dental emergency is anything that requires immediate attention. If you’ve had a tooth knocked out, a loose tooth, a tooth that is suddenly out of alignment, a soft tissue wound or injury, or abnormal bleeding, these are typically situations that require urgent attention.

Of course any kind of severe and abnormal pain around the mouth can also be an emergency, and in many cases, a chipped or fractured tooth will also warrant an urgent trip to come see us. When your local, that’s when you would use our after-hours contact information to get ahold of us.

emergency dentist hagen dental dds

When traveling or going out of the country in particular, that’s where being prepared is essential.

With any dental emergency, whatever has gone wrong could get worse (or will get worse), if you wait to take care of it. Don’t think your “tough” just because you aren’t looking to set up an emergency visit if something happens to your mouth! After all, infections can spread, issues are likely to get worse without medical attention, more lasting damage can occur, and the costs associated could increase if you wait to see a dentist.

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

dental health on vacation and going abroad

Accidents Happen

In an ideal scenario you can come in to Hagen Dental for your regular visit before any long trips or extended time out of town or abroad. If you already have any issues such as gum disease, this is especially important.

While on your trip, avoid activities where you use your teeth like tools (e.g. using your teeth to cut tape or opening a bag in general using your teeth like scissors) and avoid things you already do such as chewing ice. Be cautious before taking any medication if you have a dental emergency because certain medications can thin your blood and increase bleeding. 

If you are going to be traveling for quite some time (or even if just for a “short” trip), it is a good idea to prepare for any medical emergency ahead of time. If you need in help in looking up information before you leave, let us know. We want to be sure your family is safe and has good access to dental care no matter where you are.

No More Boring Brushing!?

Monday, March 10th, 2014

We are lucky to have quite the variety of toothpastes to choose from today.


There is a toothpaste for almost any feature we could want, from teeth whitening, to sensitivity, to fresh breath, to cavity protection (and the combination of some of these features!)

We just blogged about how some of the toothpastes that help whiten our teeth can contribute to tooth sensitivity

But beyond those, another class of toothpastes you may not have been aware of are prescribed toothpastes. These have higher-than-normal amounts of fluoride, which in turn help us fight cavities.

So while it is true we are lucky to have quite a selection of toothpastes today, did you also know that flavors such as chocolate, vanilla mint spark, and lime spearmint are now available?

“Got an adventurous spirit or a sweet tooth?” Crest asks consumers.

Well, if the answer for you is yes, then you can surely gives these flavors a try!

You may be wondering: can chocolate-flavored toothpaste really pass along the nutrition-related health benefits of cocoa?

In general, yes, the antioxidants and anti-inflammatories found in chocolate are beneficial to our health…but these toothpastes just have chocolate flavoring.

What other flavors are out there? So-called gag gift items include pickle-flavored toothpaste and even bacon-flavored! Other flavors include:

  • toothpaste1.jpgCupcake
  • Licorice
  • Pork
  • Jasmine
  • Blueberry
  • Oreo

So why do companies such as Crest bring us these flavors?

Crest actually points to how consumers said they wanted new flavors so that they would be able to add excitement to their favorite daily health regimen.

We don’t want to diminish the difference between types of toothpastes, but just know that if a brand has the American Dental Association Seal of Acceptance, it has passed testing to ensure it is high quality and is effective!

What toothpaste flavors have you tried, or which flavors would be your favorite? Let us know!

Hagen Dental: 7 Things You Didn’t Know About Your DDS

Thursday, February 20th, 2014

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Here are seven things you may not know about Dr. Hagen:

1. Dr. Hagen is an athlete! Dr. Hagen has participated in the Blood, Sweat & Gears bike race for four years. The Blood, Sweat & Gears title given to the race is not an exaggeration by any means—it’s a grueling, 100-mile ride taking place in North Carolina’s High Country annually.

Dr. Hagen takes several months to prepare to tackle this ever-changing—but definitely beautiful—race. The cumulative climbing elevation of the ride is 8,800 feet, if you can believe it! One of the best parts: the climb up to the gap that’s at Snake Mountain, which reaches about a 20 percent grade near the top.

2. He’s a proud Cincinnatian and Buckeye. You’ll be happy to hear that Dr. Hagen graduated from St. Xavier High School, Xavier University and The Ohio State University College of Dentistry. Go Bucks!

3. Dr. Hagen knows the latest and the greatest, and he’s a true pioneer when it comes to dental technology. Watch this video to see him explain how he’s seen technology that improves our quality of life progress over time.

4. Morning or night person? If he had to choose, Dr. Hagen would be a nighttime person!

5. Dr. Hagen has helped people smile…around the world. For many years, Hagen Dental has done a candy buyback program. After Halloween, Hagen Dental would buy candy from people in the community for $1 per pound. Then we would send the candy to troops in Iraq and Afghanistan. More than 20,000 pounds of candy have been collected in the past! We did this because it was one way to show our dedication and support of the servicemen and women who serve our country.

6. His favorite food is Sea Bass! (You weren’t expecting it to be something sweet were you!?)

7. He isn’t just a Dentist–he is also a caring father and family man. Dr. Hagen is the proud father of 4 daughters and 2 stepsons!

Your Question Answered: How Often Do We Need X-Rays?

Thursday, January 16th, 2014

X-Rays: Why We Use Them As Diagnostic Tools

X-rays are a form of electromagnetic radiation. They were discovered way back in 1895.

We use them as diagnostic tools since they can penetrate our body tissues. Because different tissues in our body (gums versus our bones, for example) are penetrated at different degrees, we see “shadows” on the film produced by X-rays, as a result.

Our dental x-ray machines are quite sensitive, so you don’t need to worry about the amount of radiation needed to use them as a tool in this way! For comparison’s sake, you get more radiation from your every day background radiation.

As you know, we can see a lot when you come in to visit us by just examining your teeth, but X-rays show decay and infections beneath the surface. We’re better able to see any issues with bone loss, your jaw, and anything unusual happening with the soft tissues. If you have a cavity or tooth decay, for example, it shows up as darker on a radiograph.

So, How Often Are They Needed?

How often we need to get x-rays depends on your age, your ongoing oral health status, your risk level and of course if you have had any issues you report to us.

In general, we advise patients to have bitewing X-rays (see below for more!) every year, and Panorex X-rays every three years. A simple cavity between your teeth can turn into a root canal if not detected—so we simply work to prevent this from happening.

Keep in mind when you are a new patient at a dental practice, it may be recommended to get X-rays to know the status of your gums and teeth. Think of this as your new baseline!

If those X-rays were just done by another dentist, they can simply be forwarded to your new dentist.

Then What Are the Types of X-Rays I’m Receiving?

Bitewing: these show the upper and lower back teeth. They are usually done to check for any bone loss and decay between our teeth and to show how well our upper and lower teeth are lining up.

Periapical: with a person’s first visit to the dentist, these might be done. These show the entire tooth, and they can show if there are any infections/disease, specifically any issues below our gum line or in our jaw.

Occlusal: these who the roof and the floor of our mouth. Any cysts or abnormal growths would be evident through this kind of x-ray. 

Panoramic: when a wide-range view of the health of our mouth is needed—jaw, teeth, sinus, and nasal area—this is used. If there are fractions, infections, cysts, bone abnormalities or some kind of growth, it would be shown here.

Ready to get your dentist appointment setup at Hagen Dental? Get in touch with us today

‘Tis the Season for a Healthy Holiday Mouth

Saturday, December 21st, 2013

The holidays bring cherished time with the family and some of the year’s most-anticipated treats and food indulgences.

But with all the sought after entrees, yummy appetizers, and of course decadent desserts, we still want you to keep your teeth healthy over these next few weeks.

Here are 6 tips we’ve come up with to make sure your teeth stay healthy into next year:

1. Make a conscious effort to drink water.
Getting enough water each day will make sure you help work to “rinse out” the mouth after consuming sweets. But more importantly, by mixing up the orange juice, eggnog, or hot cider with the occasional good old glass of water, you’ll also cut down on the amount of sweet beverages you are consuming altogether.

2. Limit the hard candy.
Hard candy sticks to our teeth—as it sits there, in as little as 20 minutes, it is doing damage to your teeth! Once your protective teeth enamel is weakened, you are much more prone to tooth decay. Considering have only one or two, and leaving the rest for Santa!

3. …And the same goes for chewy candy and treats!
Yes, that means the caramel sweets and treats! If you can, rinse your mouth out with water and brush your teeth when you have a chance.

4. Don’t get too nutty!
Those nuts that are out on the table at all those holiday parties: go ahead and eat them, since they are packed with iron, magnesium, Vitamin E, and more. But just don’t crack the nuts with your teeth.

5. Don’t forget your routine.
If you are traveling, don’t forget to bring your floss along with you. If you do end up forgetting it, remind yourself that your teeth make up less than a third of the surface area of your mouth—so that means brushing your teeth is truly not enough…

Just know that keeping up with your regular flossing can make a big difference to combat all the holiday treats! Even if you’re busy this holiday season (and who isn’t?), it’ll be worth the couple of minutes it takes you each day!

6. Don’t take your teeth for granted!
Have you ever popped-open a bottle with your teeth? Or maybe you have ripped a tag of a new t-shirt, or off of a new gift of some kind, using your teeth. People have even been known to bend their forks or to try to open containers like nail polish using their teeth, believe it or not! Well, our teeth shouldn’t be treated in this way.

This holiday season, don’t forget your common sense—using your teeth as if they were tools can crack your teeth, or in some cases, break the edge of a teeth if that teeth is already weak. That’s not exactly the kind of holiday memory you want to have this year!

Want a White Christmas this holiday season? Ask us about Zoom! Teeth Whitening
—by using Zoom!, you can pick out YOUR desired shade of white…white teeth, that is! We wish you and your family a happy holiday season this year. If we don’t see you this month, we will see you in the New Year.

How Do Celebrities Maintain Their Megawatt Smiles?

Wednesday, December 11th, 2013

Celebrities surely have some of the whitest smiles around!

You may wonder: what are their daily habits or routines that help maintain their pearly whites?

First, many eat a diet that consists mainly of whole foods, and many avoid sugar as much as possible. We know these help with avoiding teeth decay in general

Many stars also say no to pop, even diet pop—which is very acidic on the teeth and can work against a nice and bright smile.

But the truth is, some celebrities professionally whiten their teeth about four times a year—and the rumor is—some as many as 6-8 times a year! Those that are extremely strict report they even avoid coffee altogether so that they can keep their teeth as white as possible.

Last, some celebrities have chosen to get porcelain veneers to have an all-around upgrade to their teeth structure.

Hagen Dental in Cincinnati Ohio - Merry Christmas!

What are veneers, you ask? They are thin shells of ceramic–or composite resin material–that are actually bonded to the existing teeth. In this way, people are able to enhance their smiles, and also brighten them up in the process.

But what about if we just want a whiter smile?!

We can fight superficial teeth stains through toothpaste (which combines peroxide and baking soda in most cases) and some at-home whitening kits.

Additionally, we can make sure we drink a lot of water, especially in place of pop, coffee, and tea. By drinking water, we can help support our naturally occurring saliva that serves to help remove bacteria in our mouth.

And ladies, listen up—if desired, by wearing lipstick that has shades of red, burgundy, or plum shades, you can create contrast that can make your smile appear more white. At the other end of the lipstick spectrum: shades that are more orange in color, can work against your smile looking quite as bright. There’s a trick that celebrities use that we can easily adopt!

All I want for Christmas…

While you can go the at-home route as mentioned, for those looking to make sure they have no damage to their teeth, and for the best, immediate, and longest-lasting results, you can turn to us for Zoom! Whitening. This gives you the same level of teeth whitening as the stars—and with proper maintenance, you won’t need to whiten your teeth NEARLY as often as them!

Once we make sure you are a candidate for Zoom! Teeth Whitening, we will apply a hydrogen-peroxide formula to your teeth, covering up the surrounding gum to avoid any sensitivity you may have. Next, we shine ultraviolet light onto the teeth. It’s an ideal choice for those of you who are busy, but still want the latest and greatest to fight discoloration.

We are happy to offer this procedure, since in just over an hour, you can have a safe and effective tooth whitening procedure that gets rid of the DEEP stains on your teeth!

Are you dreaming of a white Christmas—with enviable white teeth, that is? Just let us know your desired shade of white! You can get teeth white as snow right now at Hagen Dental. Give us a call today to set up the appointment to get your teeth as white as your favorite celebrities’ smile!

5 Things You Didn’t Know About Your Dentist Checkup

Wednesday, November 20th, 2013

Here are 5 things you may not know about your regular visit to Dr. Hagen.

1. The Hagen team looks at your tongue.

Maybe you remember the dentist or dental hygienist taking a look at your tongue, or asking you to move your tongue around so he can see your entire mouth…

But did you know that Dr. Hagen is looking at your tongue as one source of information about your overall health?

For example, a noticeably gray or brown tongue can mean there is an issue with your digestion. Or, if the tip of your tongue is abnormally red, it could indicate a heart problem or a thyroid-related problem. Last, a tongue with a strong yellow-green color can indicate a gallbladder or liver issue.

It’s just one other way a dentist can “see” into your overall health.

2. The light’s there because of just how dark it is in your mouth.

You may wonder how if our tongues are an abnormal color, how we wouldn’t notice that change ourselves! The answer is that changes in our mouth can happen incrementally, so we end up not noticing…

But for the trained eye of a dentist, these things stand out. Despite that trained eye, it is pretty dark in our mouths—so that’s why a dentist must use a bright light when it comes to our examination.

Imagine all the recesses and small areas in your mouth…keep in mind that areas of early decay don’t necessarily show up on an X-ray. The Hagen team doesn’t want to miss anything, so a good old light helps out.

3. There’s more to that toothbrush you leave with, than you might think!

Approximately every three months (or sooner if you have bacterial disease or gingivitis) we need to change out our toothbrushes. Going to the dentist is one way to remind us it’s time to make the switch. So while it’s a nice freebie to get along with your visit, it also serves as a reminder that it’s time to throw out the old toothbrush.

4. Dr. Hagen is checking for cancer.

We tend to overlook or ignore spots or bumps in our mouths. And with oral cancer being one of the deadliest forms of cancer, it makes your dentist visit a vital time for the Hagen team to check for anything unusual going on in your mouth.

Dr. Hagen is trained to look for any signs of cancer—that includes everything from recent difficulty wearing dentures to a mouth sore that bleeds easily, to swelling in the neck. Read more about oral cancer here.

5. We might be “probing”—but it is for good reason!

By this we mean two things. First, our conversation with you can help your overall health.

We love speaking with our patients, and we enjoy hearing about your lives each time you come in. Remember, even positive health habit changes can affect your teeth in ways you might not expect… While we are screening for signs of cancer as mentioned, we are also concerned about sleep apnea, TMJ, and diabetes and hypertension, to name a few of the more common problems we help with. What you tell us about your lifestyle makes this process more beneficial for our patients.

Second, you might wonder why we seem to “poke” at your gums. The reason is that as the foundation of your teeth, the gums tell us if there is any gingivitis or gum disease. While we strive to be gentle, we are checking to make sure the foundation of your mouth is still strong when we practice what’s known as periodontal probing.

Are you on Facebook? Then be sure to like our page here.

Interested in hearing more about how we can help with sleep apnea? Set up an appointment with us now.

How to Avoid “Spooky Mouth” This Halloween

Monday, October 28th, 2013

Halloween is right around the corner. We aren’t here to say “no” to candy altogether, but there are a few things we want you to know about your favorite candy!

Let’s take a quick look at your candy of choice…

There’s sweet candy, and then there’s sour. You likely know how sweet candy can undermine your oral hygiene efforts since it is packed with sugar. 

But what about the sour variety?

Sour candy can be quite acidic. Think of sour candies as the ones that seem to “burn” your gums and cheeks when you chew on them. Well, that acid breaks down your tooth enamel. And this so-called “acid attack” on your teeth happens fast—in as little as 20 minutes. Once this protective teeth enamel is weakened, you are much more prone to tooth decay.

A lot of times when we eat candy, we end up chewing or sucking on it, resulting in a concentrated dose of acid and sugar on our teeth. 

We don’t mean to scare you, but highly acidic candy does more than just erode your teeth. It can make them soft and even diminish your tooth size. Needles to say, that’s why frequently eating lots of candy can be bad for your overall health!

The reason we aren’t suggesting you or your family go without candy this year is because the real key to having a cavity-free mouth is day in and day out oral hygiene.

One night of eating candy doesn’t necessarily sour all your hard work.

Families can aim to reduce the amount of acidic and sugary foods that we consume, and this is something we can aim for all year long. With that said, some of these candies are almost as bad for your teeth as battery acid! We aren’t sure that’s worth the taste.

Here are a few recommendations to be able to enjoy Halloween this year, but also to make sure we protect our healthy smiles:

  • Limit the number of sour candies you eat, especially the sticky, hard kind;
  • Overall, try not to suck or chew candies for a long period of time; this is because the acid and sugar are “sitting” on your teeth;
  • If you are going to eat a lot of candy, try to do so only on Halloween. Otherwise, you are simply “spreading out” the potential damage that candy has over a period of time. Remember, it is about our everyday oral habits over time, so frequency matters;
  • Consider “swishing” your mouth out with water after you eat your candy.
  • Replace some of your candy with sugar-free gum (with Xylitol), so you don’t feel like you are sacrificing or missing out. This gum doesn’t contain the sugar that leads to cavities, and it can help increase saliva that works to naturally rid your mouth of acids.

Try and wait about an hour before you brush your teeth after you eat candy. That’s no matter if it’s Halloween or not! Since the acid is sitting on your teeth, you don’t want to accelerate the harmful effects by brushing the acid onto more tooth surfaces in your mouth.

Do you have sensitivity to cold, hot or even sweet drinks, perhaps due to tooth decay from candy or sweets? Be sure to let us know when you come in for your visit. Click here to set up your next appointment with us now.

A How-to Guide: Protecting Your Child’s Oral Health

Friday, October 11th, 2013

It’s time to brush up on how to help our kid’s develop healthy oral health habits. Here are five proactive measures you can take to protect your children’s smile: 

1. Consistently model good oral hygiene habits.

You aren’t aiming for perfection, but what you should do is strive for consistency when it comes to your own oral health habits. Kids truly take notice, as they do with other behaviors they watch and adopt.

Consider taking time out to floss with them—the time will go by faster, and this way, you know they are doing it correctly. And nothing works better than reinforcing kids and telling them a “job well done” when they, too, show commitment to their health.

2. Make tooth-brushing time a positive time.

Sometimes kids start to dread the entire process in which brushing teeth and flossing happens to take place. Oral hygiene routines generally take place before school, and once again before kids have to go to bed. If you take a positive approach to the process as a whole, the getting-ready-for-school and going-to-bed tasks won’t be perceived as such a dreaded process that they want to avoid each day.

Consider setting a timer for 2-3 minutes, and encourage children to see if they can “outlast” the timer. Some toothbrushes even have a timer on them. Just make sure that they don’t end up brushing their teeth harder if this “game” mentality is adopted.

3. Explain to children what sealant’s DON’T prevent.

Sealants are a very thin layer of plastic filling material used to protect harder-to-reach areas in the mouth. Sealants are used to literally “seal off” these crevices and grooves that our floss and a toothbrush have a hard time reaching. By doing so, sealants help prevent bacteria growth in these areas. Sealants do not prevent teeth decay in others areas, however. When used in combination with good daily habits, they can act as a preventative measure to help molars remain decay-free.

4. Let children take “ownership” of their oral health.

Consider taking your child with you to the store to pick his or her toothpaste out themselves. Or, if you prefer, let them pick out their toothbrush from the children’s oral health section. Either way, this helps reinforce the idea of responsibility, and taking control of one’s cavity-free mouth! It also helps reward children for being involved in healthy habits.

5 tips for better oral health for kids

5. Don’t shy away from taking the time to talk with Dr. Hagen.

Even if you’re doing your best to supervise your children as they brush, or perhaps you are already flossing with them, there are others issues that we are here to help clarify for you. Take, for example, your child’s specific fluoride needs.

Another important point of communication with your dentist can involve antibiotics. Discoloration, as well as other issues, can occur from prolonged use of certain antiobiotics. Not only that, but certain children’s medications also have a large amount of sugar in them. If the lines of communication with us are open when they need to be, we can work together to combat preventable problems. Talk with Dr. Hagen to learn more.

Remember, start small. And don’t forget to encourage along the way.

Taking these five tips into account, you will be well on your way to helping your children create their very own “bedtime ritual.” Be sure to look for other ways to make health education more interesting for your child. Take for example, this video on how to brush properly.

Your goal is to incrementally build positive habits, not necessarily expect our children to immediately adopt a daily regimen that we can even struggle with.

Have other tips you use when it comes to modeling and reinforcing positive hygiene habits with your family? Let us know on Facebook at
Be sure to schedule your next appointment for the family before the end of the year! Get in touch with us by clicking here. 

Are “Bad Teeth” Genetic?

Thursday, August 29th, 2013

Many of us have heard someone blame a cavity—or two—on their genes! It’s true that almost all aspects of our health are affected by heredity, but how much does our family history really affect whether or not we have “bad teeth”?

First, let’s define “bad teeth.” Many of us think of having so-called “bad teeth” as getting cavities, having gum disease, or developing severe tooth decay. In today’s world, most of us who develop cavities or tooth decay in our younger years end up with these problems—generally speaking—because of letting sugar sit on our teeth and/or drinking a lot of sugary drinks, not checking in with the dentist regularly to catch and combat preventative problems, and because of having poor dental habits over a period of time.

When you look at these common risk factors for developing tooth decay and for getting cavities, all of these are something we can control ourselves!

Translation: having crooked teeth or a misaligned jaw, and the baseline health of your teeth and gums is in fact something that’s due to genetics. With that said, there is much more to the story. Being predisposed to something thanks to mom and dad doesn’t mean you can’t alter the eventual health of your mouth with your ongoing hygiene habits.

Thanks to genetics, this also means we can inherit teeth and gums that come in correctly aligned and “perfect” looking—but you can STILL get cavities if you don’t take care of your teeth!

So how else is our smile affected by genetics, you ask?

Believe it or not, the natural tint of our teeth is actually determined in part by your genes as well. So if you have extra white enamel (that’s the coating of your teeth), then you have your parents to thank. And as you know, certain prescriptions and foods can change your enamel color over time. Once again, for the majority of us, how we treat our teeth over time will end up being just as an important factor when it comes to the color of our teeth.

All in all, while it’s true that you may be a bit more likely to get gum disease, or have another condition that leads to tooth decay, remember that good habits—such as coming to the dentist regularly—play a much more important role in determining the health status of your mouth over time.

Have a question about dental hygiene habits? Or are you just wondering if a myth you have heard about teeth is true or not? Let us know on Facebook, where we have fun facts of the day and ongoing contests you can be a part of. To find out more about Hagen Dental, visit