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August 15th, 2019

Break a Sweat: How Hagen Dental Practice Is Staying Active this Summer

Category: cincinnati dentist

We’re about your total health at Hagen Dental. Part of that is about getting in regular exercise!

Check out the infographic below to see how we’re getting in some activity this summer!

How Hagen Dental is Staying Active this Summer

August 5th, 2019

Travel Tips for Your Teeth

Category: cincinnati dentist

travel tips from your dentist cincinnati ohio dental

Are you getting in another vacation before the school year starts up again?

July 26th, 2019

“Alexa, Are My Teeth Clean?” How Alexa Can Help You Improve Your Oral Health

Category: cincinnati dentist

hagen dental practice cincinnati ohio how to use alexa for oral health

These days, Alexa can do so much: you can order items right from Amazon, control the lights in your home, order food quickly, stream the music you want to hear…the list goes on and on!

That’s made possible partly by “skills”—which just refers to voice-driven capabilities that enhance and personalize your Alexa device.

But what about oral health? Mostly meant for kids, here we take a look at just a few fun and helpful skills available today that can help you improve your oral health habits:

“Alexa, ask Toothbrush Timer to begin brushing”

Looking for a great way to make sure kids of any age get in 2 minutes of brushing? With this skill, kids are more likely to brush for the recommended 2 full minutes. It prompts you to switch to different parts of your mouth every 30 seconds and provides some encouragement along the way, too.

skills with alexa that help with oral health

“Alexa, ask the Tooth Fairy to floss my teeth” 

That’s right, now you can have the Tooth Fairy offer up words of encouragement and songs while your kids brush or floss, or even while they use mouthwash!

The Tooth Fairy will even share some facts about teeth and dental care while you floss, making it a fun routine for all.

“Alexa, start Chompers”

Have kids that are between the ages of 3 and 7? Make tooth time much easier with this morning and night tooth brushing show!

When it’s time for your family to brush teeth, say “Alexa, start Chompers.” Kids will hear jokes, riddles, stories, fun facts, silly songs and more, that’ll keep them giggling — and brushing — for the full two minutes that you want them to be brushing.

To help your family build good brushing habits, Chompers counts the times you brush and celebrates your streaks, too. Chompers will have kids reminding parents that it’s time to brush. Two thumbs up for that!

“Alexa, open dental facts”

This one, called the Dental Fact Skill, is for kids who want to be entertained. It includes short, brief facts about dental care. Ever wonder about what is going on in your mouth? This skill will include basic and odd facts your kids might want to know!

“Alexa start toothbrush adventure”

What kid—or person for that matter—doesn’t love the idea of an adventure? Say “Begin” when prompted, and Alexa will play a friendly song to guide you through brushing your teeth thoroughly. Kids might think it’s fun to then “pause” when you switch to flossing. Then you’re able to turn the song—and the adventure—back on!

“Alexa, launch Toothbrush Time” 

Toothbrush Time With Fun and Music is a skill that helps kids to enjoy brushing their teeth while listening to a fun tooth or toothbrush-related song. No more stressful battles and wrestling over getting your child to brush their teeth thanks to these melodies!

From Sesame Street to Dr. Bob to Tom’s of Maine, these songs are on-theme…and can help make oral health time a little more upbeat!

“Alexa, ask Mr. Bristles to read the Toothbrushing Poem”

Mr. Bristles—that is, a friendly walrus—can provide you with 10-second notices and instruction for how to switch things up while you brush. You can also ask Mr. Bristles to “read the Toothbrushing Poem” for an enthralling teeth brushing journey spanning the length of your toothbrushing. Who says brushing your teeth has to be boring?

“Alexa, ask Oral-B about teeth whitening”

With the Amazon Oral-B Skill, Alexa will guide you and your family through a thorough brushing routine. But there’s more! Oral-B skills can also answer your oral health questions through the library of helpful oral care tips. Topics include whitening (hence the skill described above) as well as other general oral health tips and insights!

hagen dental dds in cincinnati top dentist blog post

“Alexa, make me smile”

After all that brushing and flossing, your smile will be looking good! Here’s a way to use Alexa to help give you reasons to smile!

When you ask Alexa to make you smile, she’ll provide a happy or surprising fact to cheer you. A copy of the fact will be sent to the Alexa app as well, in case you want to see it later.

How to Search for Other Alexa Skills

Not finding the exact skill you’re looking for? You can search for skills in the Alexa app and from the Alexa Skills store on the Amazon website. If you know the one you want to use, simply say: “Enable (skill name).”

To enable Alexa skills in the Alexa app, visit the menu, and then select Skills & Games. Find a skill you want to use, and then select it to open the skill detail page. Select Enable Skill, or ask Alexa to open the skill! Then you should be set to go.

Dental Care for the Whole Family

We treat you with kindness, compassion, and understanding at Hagen Dental Practice! We are here to earn your trust with personalized, gentle care. Call (513) 251-5500 or click the Online Scheduling button to schedule your next visit.

July 23rd, 2019

Are You an Oral Health Hero…Or Zero?

Category: cincinnati dentist

How do your oral health habits stack up? Check out this infographic and see if you’re an oral health Hero or Zero!

Hagen Dental Practice Oral Health Hero or Zero

July 5th, 2019

Guess the Smiles: Cincinnati Reds Edition

Category: cincinnati dentist

guess the smiles hagen dental blog

The “Guess the Smiles” game is back! Take a guess based on the pearly whites you see, and then scroll down below to see if you really do know the Reds like you think you do…

  1. This catcher won the Gold Glove Award in 2017 and his nickname is “Barney.”

  1. This Cuban-born Right Fielder used to play for the Dodgers.

  1. This well-known player who made is debut with the Reds in 2007 is from Canada.

4. Known for his sense of humor and gold chain necklace, when he made his Reds debut, he hit a three-run home run.

5. This Venezuelan infielder can hit, run, throw, and chew gum, all at the same time, with no problem.

6. This second baseman’s real name is Ryan, but he doesn’t go by that name.

7. This pitcher was named the starter for Opening Day against the Pittsburgh Pirates this season.

8. You often see her alongside Gapper and Mr. Redlegs!

And now, the answers…

1. Tucker Barnhart.

Photo via Tucker Barnhart’s Twitter

2. Yasiel Puig.

Photo via Yasiel Puig’s Twitter

3. Joey Votto.

Photo via public domain of Wikipedia – Blackngold29

4. Derek Dietrich.

Photo via Instagram: @32double_d

5. Eugenio Suárez.

Photo via Instagram: @reds

6. Scooter Gennett.

Photo via Instagram: @mlbeunited

7. Luis Castillo.

Photo via Instagram: @reds

8. Rosie Red.

Photo via

Avoid Strikes Against Your Teeth

Baseball no doubt has had an influence on our culture, especially here in Cincinnati. One of the negative impacts, though, has unfortunately been the dangerous habit of chewing tobacco. In years past, it was popular for MLB players to chew tobacco and to model that behavior even though (we now know) how harmful smokeless tobacco is for your overall health and oral health.

More than 8 years ago, MLB stopped providing players with smokeless tobacco. Then in 2012, restrictions on smokeless tobacco (which includes chewing tobacco) were implemented for baseball players at many ballparks, including ours here in Cincinnati.

Much research has shown the negative and lasting effects of smokeless tobacco. Take for example how it has at least 27 cancer-causing chemicals, and that it is known to directly cause cancer of the mouth, lip, tongue, and pancreas.

Other effects include oral leukoplakia (white mouth lesions), gum disease, and major gum recession which can result in oral health issues like bone loss, jaw problems, or loss of teeth. There is evidence that supports the idea it increases the risks for heart disease and diabetes, among other chronic conditions.

Just as more MLB players are saying no to chewing tobacco, you can avoid strikes against your teeth and overall health by avoiding tobacco, too!

Your Top Cincinnati Dentist: Hagen Dental Practice

At Hagen Dental Practice, we treat you with kindness, compassion, and understanding. We are here to earn your trust with personalized, gentle care. Call (513) 251-5500 or click the Online Scheduling button on our website to schedule your next visit.

June 25th, 2019

How to Take Care of Your Oral Health as You Age

Category: cincinnati dentist

how to take take care of your oral health as you age hagen dental in cincinnati ohio

One of the things that happens as we age: our health changes! And, it’s no different within our mouth…

Even though dental health is always going to vary from person to person, remember this: oral health impacts the rest of the body, which is a reminder that no matter your age, you want to keep up with your oral health habits.

Why You Want to Take Good Care of Your Teeth & Gums As You Age

Here are just a few reasons why dental care is vital for you when you’re older:

Good oral health is a weapon against heart disease. The American Academy of Periodontology reports that those who have gum disease are nearly twice as likely to have coronary artery disease or heart disease. The point is this: as research shows, there is a connection between gum disease and heart disease.

That just goes to show why taking care of your teeth and gums is a great step in also protecting yourself from heart attacks, heart disease, strokes, and more.

Good oral health helps to prevent pneumonia. Many people may not know that poor oral health habits in older adults has been linked with pneumonia. Good oral hygiene is a way to combat the kind of bacteria older adults want to avoid!

Good oral health can prevent—or help you manage—diabetes. When people have severe gum disease, the body’s ability to use insulin optimally can be impacted. In Type I diabetes, the body will not make enough insulin. On the contrary, in Type II diabetes, the body stops responding to insulin.

Gum disease is the most common dental disease affecting those living with diabetes, and it impacts nearly one in five people who have diabetes. As people age, poor blood sugar controls increases the risk for gum problems. When serious gum disease causes blood sugar to rise, you can see the vicious cycle at work, making diabetes harder to control and making people more susceptible to infection. Good oral health habits, especially in those with diabetes, is critical in preventing diabetes, or managing diabetes if you’ve already been diagnosed. 

How to Continue to Take Care of Your Oral Health as You Age

Let’s face it, the natural process of aging can put you at risk for dental problems.

But, knowing all these reasons to continue to take care of your teeth, here is what you should know about vulnerabilities as you age—and what you can do to prevent these complications or issues from happening or worsening:

Watch the dry mouth. As we age, we can become more at-risk for having dry mouth. The first thing you can do to combat dry mouth is to stay as hydrated with water as you can throughout the day!

But the dry mouth many people have as they get older can have many causes, and for some people, even drinking more water each day doesn’t do the trick. In fact, sometimes medications result in dry mouth and sometimes certain health issues or conditions can lead to try mouth.

Whatever the case may be, stay aware and let us know if your mouth seems dry…or just more dry than normal. After all, dry mouth can really accelerate dental health issues and can result in rapid tooth decay (1, 2).

Focus on consistency with your oral health habits to avoid gum disease. Your oral health routine is critical as you age, and that should come as no surprise.

Many older adults have gum, or periodontal disease, in part because it’s not always painful until it has progressed, or advanced, to that extent (1, 2). So how do you reduce the likelihood for gum disease?

Brush your teeth every day and always before bed; Remember to floss consistently, at least once per day; 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 or rinse we recommend; Focus on nutrient-rich foods and avoid processed foods which tend to have more sugar added.

Talk to us about your tooth sensitivity, especially if you feel it’s getting worse. There can be a number of reasons why your teeth are more sensitive to hot and cold when you’re older. In general, you may have gums that have pulled back from your teeth, and your root could be exposed in areas of your mouth.

We can recommend rinses, toothpastes, and even treatments to help you deal with tooth sensitivity. In some situations, you can even seal or bond the roots, if you decide that’s a route you want to go.

We’ll be watching your gum line, but keep the lines of communication open with us to manage any extreme tooth sensitivity that’s impacting your ability to enjoy the food and drinks you love.

dental check up hagen dental in cincinnati ohio

Keep your regular appointments with your dentist. Leaky dental filling or problematic dental fillings should be fixed right away and when you see us at least twice a year, we’re able to watch and help take care of such issues.

Plus, jaw-related issues or other problems in the mouth can also be spotted sooner, which can mean a world of difference in your mouth and for your overall health.

We’ll also be watching your gum recession and other issues you may have in the mouth each time you come in to see us. We can’t emphasize enough how important your regular dental check-up is with us, throughout your life!

Take advantage of options to manage your oral health. Yes, day in and day out habits are going to add up and help determine the state of your oral health.

But know that we can recommend certain products that will be a great fit for you based on any conditions you are at risk for. For example, if you feel like your teeth are more sensitive than ever, we can recommend sensitivity toothpaste and other options for you to help manage that issue.

Also, don’t forget that we have prescription strength fluoride rinses and gels, which are also options to help patients who may be at-risk for cavities or other specific issues. This can be a fit if you have crown or bridge work, or if there is decalcification on the teeth—just to name a few examples of where you can take advantage of special treatments and care to improve your oral health (1, 2).

oral health for seniors hagen dental practice cincinnati top dentist

Make brushing easier (you just have to speak up!). When you’re young, often times flossing and brushing is a matter of wanting to take great care of your teeth.

In older adults, things like arthritis in the hands and fingers can make these habits more challenging, however.

Despite how that might be true, keeping up with dental health is critical in avoiding issues like tooth loss, uneven jawbones, root decay, gum disease, and darkened teeth. Ask us if you are having any trouble with brushing or flossing, since there are dental aids we can recommend that make brushing and dental care easier, especially for those with arthritis or any dexterity issues (1, 2.)

Dental Care at Hagen Dental Practice

Want to learn more about dental implants? Or maybe you are looking for options to help you take care of your teeth as you age, but you don’t know what that might include! No matter what, we treat you with kindness, compassion, and understanding at Hagen Dental! We are here to earn your trust with personalized, gentle care. Call (513) 251-5500 or click the Online Scheduling button to schedule your next visit.


June 11th, 2019

Cincinnati Museum Showcases Dental Health

Category: cincinnati dentist

cincinnati dentist and a showcase for cincinnati families

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

proper oral health habits cincinnati museumProper oral health habits

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

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

The most effective way to brush your teeth

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

How dental care is empowering

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

dental care in cincinnati

Animal teeth

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

Habits that can cause development issues in the mouth 

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

Polish Up On Your Dental Knowledge with the Entire Family

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

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

Your Top Cincinnati Dentist

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

May 29th, 2019

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

Category: cincinnati dentist

oral health family dentistry cincinnati ohio

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

sleep apnea cincinnati ohio dentist

2. Be sure to tell us about your sleep apnea

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

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

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

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

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

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

family dentistry hagen dental practice cincinati

3. Good oral health habits really do start young!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

4. Take advantage of your dental insurance

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

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

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

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

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

Family Dental Care at Hagen Dental Practice

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

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

May 13th, 2019

INFOGRAPHIC: Oral Health & Your Sinuses

Category: cincinnati dentist

Oral health and your sinuses: here is the connection.

Sinus infection and the connection to your oral health infographic

May 1st, 2019

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

Category: cincinnati dentist

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

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

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

Your Genetics & Your Mouth

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

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

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

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

Size and shape of your teeth

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

Baseline color of your teeth

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

Jaw structure and crooked teeth

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

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

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

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

Tooth enamel

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

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


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

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

Taste sensitivity

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

So, the short answer to this question is no.

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

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

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

your oral health is in your control

You Really Are In Control of Your Oral Health!

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

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

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

Meet the Friendly and Compassionate Team at Hagen Dental

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

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