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March 13th, 2019

The Not So Lucky Side Effects of Green Beer

Category: cincinnati dentist

hagen dental explores the side effects of green beer

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

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

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

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

The History of Green Beer

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

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

Green Beer Is Invented

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

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

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

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

The Side Effects of Green Beer On Your Health

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

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

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

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

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

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Don’t Push Your Luck…

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Supporting Your Entire Health at Hagen Dental

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

Sources:

  1. https://www.vox.com/2015/3/14/8210715/green-beer-invention
  2. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3303561/
  3. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3303561/
February 22nd, 2019

Healthy Recipe Ideas From Hagen Dental

Category: cincinnati dentist

Recipe Ideas from hagen dental

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

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

Vegetable Rolls with Avocado and Garlic Peanut Sauce 

hagen dental shares healthy recipes from others

Recipe taken directly from: Rawsome Life

Photo taken from https://bit.ly/2E2k4vU

Peanut sauce:

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

Vegetable Rolls:

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

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

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

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

Stuffed Sweet Potatoes

healthy recipe

Recipe taken directly from: Hummusapien

Photo taken from Hummusapien.com

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

Cilantro lime slaw:

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

Cilantro lime crema:

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

For the taco filling:

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

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

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

Instructions:

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

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

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

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

Cheesy Garlic Parmesan Spinach Spaghetti Squash 

dr lawrence hagen recipe ideas

Recipe taken directly from: Peas and Crayons

Photo taken from peasandcrayons.com

Ingredients:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

No-Bake Energy Bites

cincinnati ohio dentist west side

Recipe taken directly from: Peak Performance

Photo taken from https://www.gimmesomeoven.com/no-bake-energy-bites/

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

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

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

Supporting Your Entire Health

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

February 14th, 2019

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

Category: cincinnati dentist

everything you wanted to know about your oral health but were afraid to ask

Here we break down everything you wanted to know but might have been afraid to ask:

What type of toothpaste do you recommend?

The short answer is…it depends!

Let’s say you are someone who has sensitive teeth or gums.

Then we might suggest a toothpaste such as Sensodyne Repair, Protect, or Crest Pro-Health. Other examples include the Sensodyne 24/7 Protection line of products, such as Sensodyne Deep Clean. The dentinal tubules are very tiny holes that lead to the nerves, but ingredients like strontium chloride or stannous fluoride—which is in certain sensitivity toothpastes—plugs up these holes.

These types of paste build up a repair layer that acts as a substitute enamel to keep the tubules covered up. In this example, the tubules are blocked and shielded, so no triggers ever reach the nerve endings, and therefore…less sensitivity on your end!

This example highlights how we want to recommend a toothpaste that is specific to your needs, so be sure to ask us for some potential choices based on your needs.

What’s the benefit of coming (at least) twice per year for my professional cleaning?  

Regular dental visits provide you with a deep ant thorough cleaning you can’t get on your own; a full oral examination for things we’re trained to see and recognize; and you also receive X-rays when they are due.

Think of it this way: in order to keep anything in good condition, it needs to be cleaned regularly. The same goes for your teeth. Did you know a “teeth cleaning” does more than just clean your teeth?

Removing plaque is absolutely essential to preserve your teeth. It builds up on the tooth surfaces and between the teeth. Brushing and flossing are what you do at home—but a professional cleaning by your dentist removes bacteria, calculus (tartar), and debris, especially along your gum line. A dental hygienist is someone professionally trained to perform teeth cleanings, among other responsibilities within the dental practice.

A few of the things we’ll be doing when you come in to visit us include:

  • Examining your face, tongue, tissues inside the mouth, your neck, lymph nodes and jaw joints
  • Examining your gums, making sure gum recession isn’t happening or measuring the gums regardless
  • Checking for (signs of) oral cancer
  • Scaling and root planing
  • Examining you for signs or symptoms of gum disease
  • Looking at the way you bite and alignment of teeth
  • Checking the health of teeth and gums and looking for any changes or checking up on areas we’ve been monitoring
  • Checking on your existing fillings to make sure they are not damaged
  • Doing a deep, professional clean of your teeth, removing plaque and tartar build-up
  • Doing a deep, preventative clean along your gum line to combat recession, decay build-up and gum disease

What’s really the best way to care for my child’s teeth?

Unless we’ve told you otherwise, consider taking your child in to see us starting around age 3.

Don’t forget that your kids will experience teeth that “wiggle.” Typically around age 6, kids will find that their teeth will begin to come loose. Generally speaking a good idea is to let the tooth come out naturally or with a bit of wiggling to help it come out with very little pain.

Cavities are also something to consider during this time. Again, in many cases due to high sugar in the diet, cavities can develop in our children’s teeth. There are steps we can take to make sure that kids reduce the likelihood of cavities, but also are educated on good oral health.

Encourage behaviors such as brushing for two minutes per day. Take your time during this process and be sure that kids are brushing gently. In an ideal scenario, we might spend time brushing after every meal. That may not be possible, so aim for two times per day, at minimum.

On average, many kids have the ability to start brushing their own teeth by themselves at age 4 or 5. It is at this age where they have the dexterity to be able to do so. Not every child will be the same, so trust your judgement or let us know if you have questions.

We recommend that you verbalize, when possible, how good of a job they are doing, why they are brushing their teeth, and even consider brushing your teeth as a family if that helps promote good oral health habits for all.

Also, take a look at nutrition. You can begin to educate your kids on how eating healthy can be delicious and can make them feel great! Emphasize the importance of instilling good dental hygiene habits at an early age.

Since kids are often on the go, encourage healthy snacking from a young age if possible. This may mean planning ahead in order to avoid the more convenient, lower nutrient-dense (and sugar-heavy) snacks. Aim to avoid sugar-added drinks entirely if it’s possible, or keep them at a minimum since you know the damage they can do to teeth and overall health.

Is there any harm in getting a mouth piercing?

The reality is there are many side effects to mouth piercings, some of which can be negative for your oral health. Oral piercings can create excessive drooling issues. Foreign objects in the mouth can increase the body’s natural saliva production and the piercings can cause major damage to your gums, teeth or even fillings.

Many people with oral piercings develop a habit of “playing” with the piercing, or chewing and biting them. This can injure the gum tissue, causing it to recede. When this happens, the teeth are at an increased risk for decay, and the gum tissue itself can become irritated or infected.

The jewelry can also even crack, chip or scratch the teeth, as well as damage fillings and crowns, creating the need for costly and painful repair!

An oral piercing is a responsibility you should not take lightly. It requires upkeep, attention and maintenance to ensure safety and cleanliness.

We recommend talking to us before you get a mouth piercing. If you already have a piercing or do decide to get one, contact your dentist or a doctor right away if you develop signs of infection, such as swelling, pain, fever, or chills.

Why does the dentist ask me what prescriptions and/or medications I am on?

Many common medications (and that includes vitamins and supplements) can have an effect on your oral health, so we want to be as informed as possible as we take a look at your teeth and gums!

For example, a few of the common side effects of medications can include:

Dry mouth: one of the more well-known side effects of certain medications, especially since the effect is noticeable right away for many as they start to take a medicine. In addition, as many as 400 often-prescribed medications can result in dry mouth.

More than discomfort, dry mouth can quicken tooth decay since you are lacking the normal, natural cleansing effects of saliva in the mouth. For this reason, we like to at least know if we should keep a watch—or prescribe a special oral regimen—so that we can be as preventative as possible to lower your risk of severe tooth decay.

Abnormal bleeding: You may have heard that aspirins can help certain people have reduced blood clotting—which is why you hear they may help prevent strokes and/or heart disease. We like to know if you’re taking any of these anticoagulants because it can affect how you bleed during oral surgery, or for certain treatments for gum disease. In other words, we’d like to know of any situations we should be aware of in these cases!

Taste-altering side effects: If you’ve been experiencing what can best be described as a bitter taste in your mouth, that can mean something unusual is going on. At the same time, some medications will cause this bitter or metallic taste—or even the ability to taste in general.

If we know what you’ve been prescribed, we’re better able to tell you what’s the real cause of these changes in your taste.

Gum Reactions: Believe it or not, certain medications have been shown to lead to the development of sores, discoloration, or even inflammation in your mouth’s soft tissues. Other medications, such as certain anti-seizure medications or immunosuppressants, can actually enlarge your gums. If any of these are a problem, we can help set you up on a regimen that can help you manage these problems.

How do I get my child to stop sucking his/her thumb!?

Most kids, between the ages of 2 and 4, start to give up pacifiers and thumb sucking. In many cases, pacifiers are easier to give up. In many cases, peer pressure also kicks in for the school-aged kids which helps them kick the tendency.

Even if your child is around the age of four, it’s not always room for concern. Often times, parents have success just by ignoring the behavior! As said, many times social settings help kids to naturally kick the habit, which helps as they age.

A few ways to help your child with prolonged or rigorous thumb sucking past a certain age include looking into other ways to comfort your child when they turn to their thumb for comfort.

A certain kind of reward system can help to help track progress when encouraging them to stop can help in some cases! Try praise, too.

Last, take advantage of your care team. While we know you know your child best, ask us for other ways to help! We can also explain to your child what happens if they keep sucking their thumbs. We won’t scare them, but it can help them to have someone else – other than their parents – explain how this habit can hurt their teeth. You can also visit your pediatrician to get guidelines specific to your child.

What happens at the beginning of a dental appointment when it comes to measuring my gum tissue?

Healthy gum is not recessed, and it fits tightly around each of your teeth. That’s why we measure the gumline to see its depth. We’re comparing it your last visit to us so that we can see if any deep pockets or recession is happening. Think of it this way: we’re watching the health of your gum.

why do i have bad breath hagen dental cincinnati ohio

Why do I have bad breath?

Bad breath can happen to anyone! Chronically foul-smelling breath can be a sign of gingivitis, periodontitis, plaque buildup, infections, cavities, gastritis, or poor brushing habits. It can also be a sign of disease, infection or it could be because of tobacco use. It can even happen because of certain diets and because of certain medications, acid reflux, or respiratory issues.

Typically, bad-smelling breath is just due to the breakdown of food in the mouth.

Proper dental hygiene habits, such as consistently using floss, mouthwash, and brushing regularly are your best defense against bad breath. These daily habits serve to keep bacteria, food particles and inflammation to a minimum. Ensuring you stick to a regular dental checkup schedule will help keep teeth clean and serve to catch any underlying problems as early as possible, or before they become a big problem.

Staying hydrated is also important to prevent dry mouth induced bad breath. Drinking hot tea after a meal helps to remove food particles, and also contains polyphenols which discourage the growth of bad breath causing bacteria.

However, if bad breath seems to be a chronic problem for you, and you aren’t sure why, be sure to let us know. We’re here to help. 

How can I ease my dental anxiety? 

We want to make your visit as comfortable and as relaxing as possible—so let us help you! This way, our dentists and dental team can better tailor our treatment to your needs. This tip might be the most important on the list so that we can help you! When you schedule your appointment, mention to the receptionist that you experience anxiety at the dentist.

When you arrive for your visit, remind the dental staff and dentist about your feelings. Ask questions. If you’re unsure about something, ask. Knowing what’s going on inside your mouth can give you some peace of mind.

Also, take breaks. If you need a break during any time of your dental visit, it’s okay to say so!

We want you to be comfortable, and sometimes it’s easier to jump back in after a little mental break. You shouldn’t feel any pain, so let us know if you do!

We always work as a team to make sure you are not in pain! If you feel pain, signal to us to stop. Some patients are embarrassed to tell us if they experience pain, or don’t want to interrupt the process. Keeping you comfortable is our first priority, so don’t be afraid to speak up! If you have any questions about this before your visit, give us a call or ask us as soon as you come in.

We can help soothe your fears with sedation options as well. Just ask us to learn more about the options that we have that are right for you. For many patients, these sedation options allow you to relax. In order to fully eliminate pain, local anesthetic can be administered in conjunction with nitrous oxide.

Because the effects of this medication wear off quickly, you’re able to safely drive yourself home after your procedure without calling a ride. Recall that our office also has the Wand™, a computerized system that applies anesthesia without any pain or sensitivity for the patient. That’s right, that means you have a painless administration of anesthesia. No more fears of injection at our practice.

dental health answers from hagen dental dds

Earning Your Trust – With Personalized Care

At Hagen Dental Practice, we’re happy to provide a full range of dental care services to all members of your family. Setup an appointment online or call us at (513) 251-5500 today!

February 11th, 2019

Here’s the Right Way to Use Your Water Flosser

Category: cincinnati dentist

the right way to use your water flosser hagen dental practice

Curious about what a water flosser is?

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

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

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

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

Comparing Water Flossing to String Flossing

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

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

Consider these stats, too:

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

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

How to Use Your Water Flosser the Right Way

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

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

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

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

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

toothbrush string floss and water flosser comparison

Is A Water Flosser Right For Me?

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

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

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

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

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

All in all, water flossing is a great option to help improve your gum health. As always, ask us questions so we can make recommendations that are specific to you! We’re happy to provide a full range of dental care services to all members of your family. Setup an appointment online or call us at (513) 251-5500 today!

Sources:

  1. https://www.waterpik.com/oral-health/buying-guide/what-is-a-water-flosser/
  2. https://www.waterpik.com/oral-health/how-to-floss/
  3. https://www.waterpik.com/oral-health/
  4. https://www.waterpik.com/oral-health/dental-needs/gum-disease/periodontal-pockets-cleaning-treatment/
January 30th, 2019

Root Canals: FAQs

Category: cincinnati dentist

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

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

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

What is a root canal?

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

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

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

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

What is involved in a root canal repair?

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

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

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

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

Why do I need to get a root canal? 

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

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

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

What should I expect?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

all about root canals hagen dental practice

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

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

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

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

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

Earning Your Trust – With Personalized Care

At Hagen Dental Practice, we’re happy to provide a full range of dental care services to all members of your family. Setup an appointment online or call us at (513) 251-5500 today!

Source:

  1. https://www.colgate.com/en-us/oral-health/procedures/root-canals/alternatives-to-root-canals-0117
January 14th, 2019

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

Category: cincinnati dentist

dental trends and cincinnati best dentist hagen dental

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

ARESTIN™ for effective gum disease treatment

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

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

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

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

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

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

wand for local anesthesia

The Wand™ for more comfort with anesthesia

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

convenient and innovative dentistry hagen dental

Dental care with greater convenience

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

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

Offering the Latest Dental Technology Alongside Personalized Care

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

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

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

January 8th, 2019

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

Category: cincinnati dentist

popular technology in dentistry cincinnati ohio

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

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

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

VELscope™ for better (and earlier) oral cancer detection

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

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

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

Teeth whitening with no sensitivity

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

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

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

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

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

Oral health being taken more seriously than ever

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

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

teeth straightening in cincinnati

Invisalign for teeth straightening 

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

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

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

Hagen Dental Provides the Latest Dental Technology And Personalized Care

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

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

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

Source:

  1. https://oralcancerfoundation.org/facts/

 

January 3rd, 2019

Smile-Friendly Resolutions

Category: cincinnati dentist

hagen dental practice west side cincinnati ohio smile friendly resolutions

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

Brush your teeth properly.

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

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

Avoid crunching and/or chewing on ice.

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

Get a mouthguard for that grinding habit.

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

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

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

keep up the good habits hagen dental

Continue wearing a mouthguard when playing physical activities.

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

Avoid the bedtime bottles.

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

Watch the cough drops (and other hard candies).

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

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

Keep up the hydration.

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

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

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

Don’t chew on pens.

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

Take some time for yourself.

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

Keep up your regular appointments with us.

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

A few of the things we’ll be doing when you come in to visit us include:

  • Examining your face, tongue, tissues inside the mouth, your neck, lymph nodes and jaw joints
  • Examining your gums, making sure gum recession isn’t happening or measuring the gums regardless
  • Checking for signs of oral cancer
  • Scaling and root planing
  • Examining you for signs or symptoms of gum disease
  • Looking at the way you bite and alignment of teeth
  • Checking the health of teeth and gums and looking for any changes or checking up on areas we’ve been monitoring
  • Checking on your existing fillings to make sure they are not damaged
  • Taking x-rays when they are due
  • Doing a deep, professional clean of your teeth, removing plaque and tartar build-up
  • Doing a deep, preventative clean along your gum line to combat recession, decay build-up and gum disease

wishing you a floss some new year

Wishing You a Happy & Healthy New Year

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

December 18th, 2018

Keep Your Mouth Healthy for the Holidays

Category: cincinnati dentist

keep your mouth healthy hagen dental practice blog

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

Here are tips to help you do just that: 

Avoid using your teeth like tools

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

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

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

Keep the sugary treats to a minimum

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

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

Be careful with those chewy and sticky treats

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

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

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

Keep your routine

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

Aim to…

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

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

here comes santa floss hagen dental

Here comes (Santa) floss

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

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

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

smile friendly stocking stuffers

Check Out These Stocking Stuffer Ideas

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

Here are some ideas:

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

Schedule That Post-Holiday Regular Dental Exam

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

December 11th, 2018

Why Do We Kiss Under the Mistletoe?

Category: cincinnati dentist

hagen dental westsite cincinnati dentist

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

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

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

All About the Plant That Makes People Pucker Up

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

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

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

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

where did mistletoe originate hagen dental practice

Sitting Under the Mistletoe… 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Mistletoe And the Tie to Christmas

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

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

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

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

Be Ready for That Special Kiss Under the Mistletoe

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

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

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

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Have Nerves When It Comes to Getting Close?

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

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

Sources:

  1. https://www.bbc.co.uk/newsround/16164453
  2. https://www.uexpress.com/tell-me-a-story/2004/12/19/frigga-and-the-mistletoe-a-norse
  3. https://www.countryliving.com/life/a25319139/mistletoe-meaning-history/