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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

have confidence about your smile hagen dental practice

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/
December 1st, 2018

6 Trends That Can Harm Your Oral Health

Category: cincinnati dentist

harmful trends to be aware of word of mouth blog hagen

Ever hear of the Monroe piercing? It’s a piercing that is above the upper left and is named after Marilyn Monroe, who had a beauty spot in that area.

That kind of piercing may or may not appeal to you, but we bring it up because these piercings can damage your gums and put you at increased risk for infection.

The back part of the jewelry can rub against your gum, and the friction can result in tooth enamel damage and gum recession! Now that’s not so great!

That piercing brings to mind other existing and emerging trends we sometimes see. From tongue piercings to dental grills, we’re breaking down a few of the potential health risks that come with these trends:

1. Oral piercings

 Tongue piercings, lip piercings, and other piercings (including the one we’ve mentioned) in and around the month can be quite problematic for your long-term oral health. They change your mouth—forever. Just think: even if people one day take out the piercing, the hole in your cheek or tongue can actually stay for a lifetime in some cases. Plus, the piercings can put you at a high risk for infection.

In other cases, having metal in your mouth can result in accelerated dental decay. Some people tend to “play with” the jewelry in their mouth (whether sub-consciously or consciously) and that can do damage to the enamel or even crack your teeth.

2. Gems on teeth

You read that right: a new trend is to put gems on teeth. Think of it as jewelry ON your actual tooth. The way they are added to teeth involves glue and then hardening the gem in place by using a UV lamp.

So how do you get these little gems off your teeth? You either wait until they fall off…or it’s because of a visit In to us for help to get them off! Potential side effects can include: increased risk for dental decay and bacteria build-up, discoloration of your tooth, weakening or damage to your enamel, or even unintentional grinding of your teeth because of where the gem is placed in the mouth.

3. Lemon juice mixed with baking soda to whiten teeth

Somehow, somewhere, someone posted the idea that you could whiten your teeth with lemon juice combined with baking soda.

The reality is that this is an extremely harsh “DIY” solution that will damage (if not destroy) the calcium and phosphate crystals in your enamel. So what does that mean? By using this home-made solution, you can be doing some irreversible damage to your teeth.

Not only can it result in permanent damage—and some seriously sensitive teeth—but using these acids on your teeth can expose your denton. That makes your teeth look brown or yellow, so you’re really doing yourself a disservice by making your teeth potentially look less white by using such an abrasive combination on your teeth! Stay away and consider yourself warned! (1)

4. Apple cider vinegar

To be clear, apple cider vinegar can have health benefits. But just like anything acidic, beware of when and how you’re drinking apple cider vinegar.

If you let it sit on your teeth for an extended period of time, it can do damage—just like any other acidic beverage or juice can if it sits on your teeth.

trends that can damage teeth hagen dental west side cincinnati

5. Activated charcoal to whiten teeth

Activated charcoal has gotten a good amount of attention lately. In fact, it seems like it is an ingredient popping up in many different beauty and health products, not just teeth-related products! Regardless, right now there are some claims that you can whiten your teeth in a “natural” way if you use activated charcoal.

It’s true it can absorb toxins, so it has its use, but on your teeth it can pose a major problem. Once again, you want to be sure you don’t use something that is harsh and abrasive on your teeth. If you do, you can have long-term, lasting damage to your enamel and your teeth can look more yellow over time.

If you need more proof, just look to the American Dental Association. They have said that the activated kind has not been proven to be effective and it’s not safe (1).

6. Dental grills

Dental grills refer to the cosmetic jewelry—often metal and can be covered in jewels—that was made popular by a number of recording artists starting back in the 1980s. Through the years, you’ve probably seen someone on TV perform with a “grill” in their mouth.

These grills are typically designed to be removable and they actually fit on top of teeth. They can be as inexpensive as $20 but they can also be hundreds of thousands of dollars. Cost-aside, are they good for your mouth and health? The answer is no. Not only can they encourage plaque and bacteria build-up, but they can really irritate your gums. They can be abrasive to the teeth and they can cause gum recession and even teeth discoloration to occur. For the sake of your oral health, it sounds like a piece of jewelry to avoid! (2)

smile makeover cincinnati dentist hagen dental

We Want to Help You Achieve Your Dream Smile

Thinking about getting a tongue piercing or maybe you’ve been interested in another trend shown here? We encourage you to talk to us to learn more information.

We’re here to help you with smile makeovers, full-mouth rehabilitation, cosmetic dentistry, Invisalign, and much more at Hagen Dental Practice. Looking to set up your next dentist appointment with us? Give us a call at (513) 251-5500 or setup your appointment online by clicking the online scheduling button.

Sources:

  1. https://jada.ada.org/article/S0002-8177(17)30412-9/fulltext?__hstc=100419393.98064da206aba54b25889ad27adf4593.1527096078914.1527542971511.1527561344498.6&__hssc=100419393.1.1527561344498&__hsfp=1539253761
  2. https://www.colgate.com/en-za/oral-health/basics/threats-to-dental-health/dental-grills-the-new-trend-affecting-dentistry-and-the-health-of-your-teeth
November 21st, 2018

Movember Mustaches, Beards & Men’s Health: Here’s the Connection

Category: cincinnati dentist

mustaches and mens health this november

Much has been said—perhaps with a bit of humor—about beards and mustaches throughout history. For example, one question has apparently been posed quite a few times: do people really smile less when they have a beard and/or a mustache?

The answer: there is really no connection with having a beard or mustache and smiling more…or smiling less!

What the research has shown: Beards can act as a signal of men’s age and masculinity. The research also suggests that in some cases, full beards can also make men more “attractive for long-term relationships” (1).

Beards, Mustaches, and Men’s Health

You may have heard of Movember, which is a month-long event that occurs each year during the month of November. The word “Movember” comes from a combination of moustache (also often spelled mustache) and November.

The idea is that men can grow mustaches during the month to raise awareness to various men’s health issues, in particular prostate and testicular cancer.

Although some men may just grow a beard and/or mustache for fun this month, there are various charities connected to the campaign. There’s even a Movember Foundation that seeks to educate men on living healthier lifestyles.

“No Shave November” includes positive lifestyle changes that include encouraging men to go on more walks and to take on more physical activity in general.

movember health hagen dental in cincinnati ohio

Quick Tips for Men’s Health This Movember

With this month’s theme in mind, here are a few quick areas you can focus on to better your health:

  • Eat a diet that’s nutrient dense. Choose vegetables, lean meats, fish, fruits and aim to avoid added sugar. Take a look at just how many whole foods you are really consuming.
  • Get moving as much as you can. Exercise can lower risks for cancer and it can help our waistlines. It can be a natural way to boost your mood and it can also lower your risk for heart disease.
  • Quit smoking. Ask your doctor if you need help quitting. After all, tobacco use is the leading cause of cancer and we can prevent it!
  • Limit the alcohol intake. The risk for certain types of cancer, including liver cancer, appear to go up if you drink more than a “moderate” amount.

did you know hagen dental practice practice facts about mens health

Your Health & Your Facial Hair

Movember aside, are there any actual health benefits to having a beard or mustache? Well, it depends…

There are some potential health benefits of beards and mustaches. These include the following:

  • Beards do block out UV rays! So that means, in theory, your beard can protect your skin over time. But just remember to apply sunscreen to the rest of your face! But the fact they can help protect your skin is just one more potential health benefit of your beard.
  • Oh, and they can keep your skin moisturized. Beards and mustaches can help your skin naturally retain moisture (2).
  • Beards have been known to give people more confidence (2, 3).
  • Less allergies, anyone? Beards can help act as a natural filter to help reduce allergens and bacteria from entering your mouth and nose (2, 3).

So are there really any negative potential drawbacks of having beard or mustache? Not exactly.

In theory, beards can be a breeding ground for bacteria. If you don’t follow basic hygiene habits when it comes to your beard, you could be exposed to more germs. But just having a beard doesn’t mean you’ll be more likely to be exposed to bacteria.

Your Dream Smile is Within Reach

As always, remember this isn’t specific medical advice. Be sure to talk to your regular doctor/pediatrician (and us) for more information. We’re here to help you with smile makeovers, full-mouth rehabilitation, cosmetic dentistry, Invisalign, and much more at Hagen Dental Practice.

Looking to set up your next dentist appointment with us? Give us a call at (513) 251-5500 or setup your appointment online by clicking the online scheduling button.

Sources:

  1. https://www.glamourmagazine.co.uk/gallery/why-beards-are-good-for-you
  2. https://www.huffpost.com/entry/beards-are-good-for-you-and-science-says-so_n_560d72f7e4b07681270115c2
  3. https://www.lifehack.org/299301/its-not-just-cooler-but-also-healthier-10-reasons-why-men-should-grow-beards

 

November 14th, 2018

10 Reasons to Be Grateful This Thanksgiving

Category: cincinnati dentist

feeling grateful this thanksgiving hagen dental

Life moves fast, especially around the holidays, so we are sharing 10 reasons to slow down and be grateful this Thanksgiving.

1. The beautiful outdoors

One of the things that’s the easiest to take for granted: going outside. But we should be grateful for the ability to go outside and explore the great outdoors…even if it is getting a little cold this time of year.

There are also health benefits of going outside: restored mental energy, it can be a stress reliever, it can reduce inflammation, and can even help us have sharper, more clear thoughts (1).

2. Time with loved ones and family

The holidays are a time where we’re able to spend time with those we love the most. Consider telling those closest to you just how grateful you are to have them as family!

3. Your team at work

Have a great team at work? Are you thankful for all their hard work and contributions? We thought so! That’s just one more reason to be thankful today.

4. Holiday activities

It might be caroling or it might be making a gingerbread house…or maybe it’s just something as simple as making pies for Thanksgiving dessert. Whatever it may be, we’re lucky to be able to participate in these activities.

5. Free time

Embrace your free time and make the most of it. Be present and enjoy that free time!

6. Your favorite exercise

Ever hear the phrase, “Your health is your greatest wealth.” It’s pretty true! Be grateful your health gives you the opportunity to participate in those physical activities you enjoy most.

7. Modern dentistry

Consider how so many years ago, those at the first Thanksgiving dinner would have used twigs, animal bones, and animal hair to brush their teeth.

Dentistry has come a long way, and that’s something to be thankful for. Today, we have effective and affordable ways to prevent dental disease—at home, and when you come in to visit us.

We have the latest technology to help with diagnosis, smile makeovers, full-mouth rehabilitation, cosmetic dentistry, and much more. Ask us to learn more about solutions such as CEREC one-visit dentistry, overdentures, Invisalign, VELscope, GLO teeth whitening, and more.

8. Time with friends

Friends (and strong social bonds) have been scientifically proven to help us live longer, possibly due in part to the healthy influences they have on us. Your friends stand by you when you need them most. That’s part of why they are another reason to be grateful each and every day (3).

9. Great food

It’s no wonder that giving thanks to food is a practice that happens across so many cultures. Give thanks for all the great food that was prepared with love this season!

10. For your health in general

Whether it’s being able to solve problems (our cognitive abilities) or being able to take a walk with family members outside (our physical abilities), there is so much we can be grateful for when it comes to our overall health.

Our bodies are capable of amazing feats and we’re capable of adapting and dealing with so much that life throws our way!

Today we are able to acknowledge and be thankful for our health.

Being grateful for our well-being also allows us to determine areas we want to continue to work on improving in terms of our health and vitality.

Today we’re thankful for all the little things that our heath allows us to do: whether it be making and then savoring a delicious Thanksgiving meal, running a Turkey Trot, or something as simple as being able to share a story that’s been passed along for generations in our family.

practicing gratitude

Tips to Become Even More Grateful

You don’t have to wait to be grateful. Here are a few quick ways you can practice being even more grateful:

  • That can be in a journal, a prayer routine, or just a time carved out to reflect. Whatever way you see fit, just spend a bit of time each day to think of all the gifts and special things that you’re thankful for each day.
  • Embrace the challenging times. Sometimes it takes a mindset shift to be able to see how failures or hard times resulted in growth or lessons learned. That’s why you can find gratitude in some of life’s hardest moments and experiences.
  • Tell others. Are you thankful for a friend at work? Or maybe you are grateful for your job! Whatever it may, share what you are thankful for. The practice of sharing what we’re grateful for helps us focus in on that positive energy.
  • Make it a promise or goal. Just by making it a goal to be more grateful, it’s been shown that we will actually become more grateful. That’s a win-win! (2)
  • Make it visual. Sometimes visual cues help us to remember to take a moment to be grateful. That could be at home or at work, for example. Maybe you add a post-it note to the fridge or maybe you use something else to help trigger those positive thoughts.
  • Ask others! Ask others what makes them You might not do this every day, but it can be a fun way to mix it up, and to share with others what you are both feeling thankful for. They may even remind you of things you had taken for granted.gratitude as a choice

At Hagen Dental Practice, We’re Grateful for Our Patients

We’re so grateful for all our patients! We believe some of the best dentistry happens when there is a bond of trust with you. We’re blessed to build that trust with each and every one of our patients.

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

Sources:

  1. https://www.businessinsider.com/11-reasons-you-should-go-outside-2014-4
  2. https://greatergood.berkeley.edu/article/item/ten_ways_to_become_more_grateful1
  3. https://medium.com/thrive-global/top-5-gratitude-quotes-for-friendship-c31c5ae99300
November 5th, 2018

Hagen Dental Infographic: How Oral Health Can Predict Overall Health

Category: cincinnati dentist

Did you know your oral health also can shed light on the rest of your health? Take a look at this Hagen Dental infographic that explains the connection between your dental health and your overall health.

how oral health can predict overall health hagen dental practice

October 18th, 2018

Why Do Humans Have Canine Teeth?

Category: dental health

why do humans have canine teeth

It’s that time of year…not just Pumpkin Spice Lattes, but it’s also time for Halloween!

Each year, costumes surely shift and change based on popular culture. But year after year, monsters, witches, vampires, and werewolves continue to be popular.

With that in mind, we thought we’d explore one key part of so many vampire (or well, monster) costumes: that is, their canine teeth.

What Are Canine Teeth, Anyway?

Humans have four canine teeth: two on our upper jaw, and two on the lower jaw. In more technical terms, you have two mandibular canines and the two maxillary canines.

Canine teeth are very useful teeth, as we typically hold and bite food with them. They are useful for tearing up larger pieces of food, such as meat or anything that’s a little chewier. Some say we don’t need canines to survive, and while that may be true, they certainly help us to chew (1, 2, 3).

hagen dental blog a look at fangs

A Look at Fangs

When we think of vampires or certain monsters, we often think of their fangs. Fangs can be a type of canine teeth, when it’s the teeth in the upper jaw we’re talking about.

We also sometimes think of bats and their fangs; after all, they have incisors, canines, premolars and molars. Their canines are indeed their fangs, and no matter the bat, they all have them (7).

Interestingly, some recent vampire fangs—on TV, that is—have been featured on laterals rather than their cuspids.

For example, if you watch the show True Blood, you’ll notice that the vampires’ fangs are designed to look more like “snake fangs.” Go figure!

Going back in movie/TV history, here are some other notable vampire fangs:

  • In the 1922 classic Nosferatu, the monster had fangs where his two front incisors were
  • In The Lost Boys, Kiefer Sutherland and others sported pointy lateral incisors
  • In 30 Days of Night, every monster tooth was pointy and a bit fang-like!
  • The Christopher Lee Dracula character had scary, sharp cuspids—which many credit as kicking off sharp “vampire fangs” for years to follow (5, 6)

Do All Animals Have Canine Teeth?

Not all animals have canine teeth, but many animals do. The ones that don’t include rodents, rabbits, and pikas. It may be surprising, but many plant-eating animals (herbivores) actually do have very sharp canine teeth, though.

Consider the hippo’s canine teeth: they have canines so large that they are like swords. They can even be 16 inches long, so it’s no wonder they are the largest canines of any mammal.

Even though they are still canine teeth, their purpose isn’t for feeding or chewing. After all, they have a diet of grass, for the most part. Instead, their extra-large canines are designed for combat (1, 3, 4).

Do Canine Teeth Really Tell Us About Someone’s Personality?

Well, we have to say: it’s a bit of a myth that the size and shape of your canine teeth can be indicative of your personality. But if you choose to believe, here’s what your teeth may indicate:

  • Pointer and longer canine teeth: The myth says you tend to have an aggressive or more assertive personality.
  • Flattened canines with less prominent tips: You can be passive.
  • Tiny canines: You may just be a pushover! (2)

we love those smiles hagen dental blogFloss Those Fangs & Make Your Next Appointment with Hagen Dental Practice

At Hagen Dental, we love to see your confident smile! Looking to set up your next dentist appointment with us? Give us a call at (513) 251-5500 or setup your appointment online by clicking the online scheduling button.

Sources:

  1. https://www.smithsonianmag.com/smithsonian-institution/humans-canine-teeth-questions-readers-180959074/#j8jifGGuZktDrFUy.99
  2. https://carrington.edu/blog/dental/surprising-things-teeth-reveal/
  3. https://freefromharm.org/photo-galleries/9-reasons-your-canine-teeth-dont-make-you-a-meat-eater/
  4. https://mintdentalar.com/blog/canine-teeth/
  5. https://www.eonline.com/news/199192/are-true-blood-vamps-fangs-on-the-wrong-teeth
  6. https://www.huffingtonpost.com/brian-cronin/did-vampires-not-have-fan_b_8415636.html
  7. https://animals.mom.me/bats-fangs-3882.html
October 4th, 2018

Dental History: When Did Preventive Dentistry Start?

Category: dental health

taking a look at dental history hagen dds

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Finding Out that Sugar Leads to Tooth Decay

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

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

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

New Ideas About Dental Health

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

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

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

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

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

A few other major milestones in the coming years:

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

The First Dental School

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

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

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

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

Dental Schools Grow & Expand in Popularity

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

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

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

dentist in cincinnati ohio hagen dental practice blog

More Surprising Dental Facts & Firsts

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

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

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

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

Preventive Dentistry Keeps Your Teeth Looking & Feeling Great

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

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

Sources:

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

 

September 27th, 2018

Year-Ends Tips to Maximize Your Dental Insurance

Category: dental health

how to optimize your dental insurance hagen dental dds cincinntati ohio

For the great majority of people, your dental benefits re-set every single year. Said another way, most people have dental benefits that are based on a one-year benefit period, and in most cases, that benefit period is based on our calendar year.

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

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

Taking Advantage of the Benefits You Have

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

Here’s a list to start:

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

Get to Know More About Your Insurance

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

If you have a family deductible plan it will work differently than an individual plan; as a result, you could have already hit your deductible and would therefore want to know that as soon as possible.

At the very least, you may want to login to your insurance company’s website online (or call in if you prefer) and see how much you have paid towards your deductible already. Besides being accessible through your insurance company’s website, that’s also something that is often sent to you via your insurance statements. Those typically come in on a monthly basis or quarterly basis, depending on your insurance provider.

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

Utilize Those FSA Benefits

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

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

Remember the ‘Triple Benefit’ of Your HSA

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

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

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

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

Make Sure You Take Advantage of All Your Dental Benefits

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

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

September 20th, 2018

The Biggest Pregnancy & Oral Health Questions, Answered

Category: cincinnati dentist

During pregnancy, your health can certainly be under the microscope as you experience so many things changing in your body. Sometimes women don’t realize all that’s happening in their mouth, as well, during this time.

hagen dental cincinnati ohio

But taking care of your mouth and your teeth is critically important when you are pregnant. Here we answer some of the most common questions on oral health and pregnancy that women have: 

Question: I think I could be pregnant. When should I tell my dentist that I’m pregnant?

Answer: Even if your loved ones don’t yet know the news yet, be sure to let us know as soon as you believe you might be pregnant.

Many women can be at increased risk for oral conditions during pregnancy, so we want to be sure you have all you need to be as healthy as possible during your pregnancy. Second, and just as important, there are certain medications you should avoid while pregnant.

Knowing you are pregnant will help us to make the best decisions for your health and for the health of your baby.

pregnancy oral health dentist cincinnati ohioQuestion: Should I continue to see my dentist during my pregnancy?

Answer: Yes, absolutely! Oral exams and professional teeth cleaning are very important during your pregnancy. You will also have a chance to ask us questions or to bring up any concerns you have when you see us.

As mentioned, you also want to let us know that you are in fact pregnant. Notify us of any medications you have been taking, as well as supplements (1, 2, 3).

Question: I heard pregnant women should not be treated with tetracycline. Why is that?

Answer: Tetracycline can stain your baby’s developing teeth. Again, to avoid any teeth staining—or any other potential issues—you want to be sure to notify us that you are pregnant.

Question: How does my diet during pregnancy tie-in with my oral health?

Answer: Yes, nutrition plays a role in maintaining your oral health, and that’s especially during pregnancy. In an ideal world, you can stick to whole foods that are nutrient-dense, and avoid foods with added sugar.

If you find that you need more snacks than normal, know that this can increase your risk for tooth decay. Just aim to stay hydrated (with water whenever you can) and keep up your oral health habits during this time and brush and floss as regularly as possible (2, 3, 4).

Question: What should I do if I notice something out-of-the-norm with my dental health during my pregnancy?

Answer: Let us know immediately if you believe you are have any oral health issues or changes in your mouth. We want to be sure to address any issues as early as possible.

Question: Is it true that women are more likely to develop gingivitis during pregnancy?

Answer: It is true that you are at greater risk of developing gingivitis during your pregnancy. That’s why if you see signs of swelling or any abnormal tenderness, you should come in and see us.

The reason this can happen is partially because of the hormonal changes your body is going through. If and when your gums swell, this is what can result in what is sometimes called “pregnancy gingivitis.” If left untreated, dental disease can be harmful to your baby, and it can be harmful to you, too.

But don’t fret: if this happens to you, we may have you come in for more frequent teeth cleanings with us. There are also other ways to make sure you combat the plaque and tartar-build-up. Being proactive as possible goes a long way!

In the meantime, be sure to floss every day. Because your gums are swollen, food particles can be more problematic than normal during your pregnancy.

Question: What are “pregnancy tumors”?

Answer: As scary as that might sound, these so-called “tumors” are not cancerous. These little “raspberries” in your mouth can form between your teeth. Sometimes these growths will bleed easily, including when you go to brush your teeth. Once again, hormones are the cause.

In most cases, people can have their dentist remove these lumps if they become an issue. Keep in mind that the growths will also naturally go away on their own after you give birth (2, 3, 4).

Question: I’ve been told I need a tooth pulled. Do I need to worry about how that procedure might affect my baby?

Answer: This procedure is safe, but in some cases, your dentist may feel it’s fine to postpone a certain procedure.

It does surprise many to hear, but radiographs are also safe during your pregnancy. There are also local anesthetics that can be used safely during this time.

Even though preventive and restorative dental treatments are safe for you and your baby, be sure to always let us know you are pregnant, as certain medications can be switched out, among other factors that can be influenced by your pregnancy.

Question: Does morning sickness affect my teeth?

Answer: This is an area many women worry about! Morning sickness can bring acid from your stomach into your mouth. The result is that tooth erosion can happen, and it can happen quickly.

Besides coming in to talk to us about your specific situation, aim to wash out your mouth with water (or with a fluoride mouthwash) first before brushing your teeth after morning sickness. That way, you can get rid of some of the acidity before you brush your teeth.

Ask us about a way to use baking soda that can also help if morning sickness is a recurring problem for you.

Question: Are dental x-rays still safe even though I’m pregnant?

Answer: We tend to do x-rays during when we need to; after all, they are in fact safe. In some cases, we delay the x-ray until after your baby is born. In all cases, we avoid putting you or your baby at risk.

Each person is different and we assess what’s best for your health. No matter what, if x-rays are taken, we do make sure to minimize your exposure to the x-rays.

hagen dental in cincinnati ohio

We Want You to Be As Healthy as Possible During Pregnancy

As always, be sure to come in to see us to get recommendations that are specific to you. Pregnancy is a beautiful journey and really does bring so many changes to your body. We’re here to help support your entire health during this special time. Call us at (513) 251-5500 or clicking the online scheduling button to schedule your professional cleaning today.

Sources:

  1. https://www.ada.org/en/member-center/oral-health-topics/pregnancy#
  2. https://www.ada.org/~/media/ADA/Publications/Files/for_the_dental_patient_may_2011.pdf?la=en
  3. https://www.mouthhealthy.org/en/pregnancy/concerns
  4. https://www.colgate.com/en-us/oral-health/life-stages/oral-care-during-pregnancy/four-things-to-know-about-oral-health-and-pregnancy-1014
  5. https://www.mouthhealthy.org/en/pregnancy
September 10th, 2018

This Is How to Get Stronger Teeth

Category: cincinnati dentist

hagen dental practice top cincinnati dentist preserve enamel

Strong teeth are often HEALTHY teeth! So how can you keep your teeth as strong as possible?

The answer lies in protecting your enamel.

There are many ways to break down the outer and hardest part of our teeth—that is, your enamel. But…also remember that the enamel is the most highly mineralized substance in your body.  It’s also the hardest material in your body!

With that in mind, let’s take a closer look at what weakens the enamel, and what you can do with this knowledge to make sure your teeth stay strong and healthy for a lifetime.

What Weakens Your Teeth

Let’s take a look at what can WEAKEN your teeth over time. After all, those would naturally be the things and habits we’d like to avoid so that we can keep our teeth as healthy as possible.

Here are some of the culprits that can lead to enamel erosion:

Attrition. Have you been told you grind your teeth? Or do you notice that you’ve developed jaw pain that’s been attributed to bruxism? We all have natural tooth-to-tooth friction, which can be a good thing, but too much can weaken your teeth. It can also “loosen” your teeth and/or stretch periodontal ligaments. Think of it this way: with all that friction, something has to give!

Abrasion. One of the reasons many people choose to use a soft-bristle toothbrush is because they tend to brush too hard. Over time, if you brush too hard, it can serve to break down your enamel.

Additionally, if you don’t floss right or if you bite down on hard objects, the kind of wear and tear you put on your teeth also falls under this category. Another bad habit that falls under the abrasion category: chewing tobacco. It’s probably not too surprising for you to hear that this breaks down enamel over time.

Abfraction. Yep, sounds like a pretty fancy word! This is used when we talk about stress fractures to the tooth. Clearly that’s working against STRENGTHENING your teeth!

Corrosion. When certain materials hit our teeth, it can cause corrosion, which is one of the most damaging things we can do to our enamel in many cases. There can be acids that hit our teeth because of intrinsic reasons—such as excessive vomiting or acid reflux—or it could be other factors—extrinsic ones—like what we eat (1, 2).

Taking Control of the Health of Your Teeth

It’s good to know how we think of tooth erosion, and the terms we use to describe the various causes. Here’s a few other areas that can might contribute to tooth erosion:

  • Drinking soft drinks that have a high amount of citric acid or phosphoric acid;
  • Lack of saliva;
  • Dry mouth;
  • If your diet is high in sugar;
  • If your diet is high in starch;
  • If you have ongoing acid reflux or acid reflux disease;
  • Certain medications (1, 2).

Some areas that might surprise you that you should be aware of:

  • Fruits…and even dried Yes, fruits are great nutrition-wise, but be careful with very acidic fruits;
  • Certain wines where the acid can wear away at your enamel;
  • Aim to brush your teeth 45 minutes after you juice;
  • Gummy, chewable vitamins. If they are sugar-based you can see why it can be a problem;

Enamel’s Role in Your Mouth

Enamel is so important in protecting your teeth from decay. Be sure you do everything you can to protect your enamel and to keep it from eroding. When you do this, you protect your teeth, and you keep a strong barrier in tact that helps the inner layers of your teeth avoid the effects of plaque.

Once the enamel is destroyed, your body can’t re-generate it, unlike things like our skin. In other words, once it’s destroyed, our body does not make more to replace it.

hagen dental blog 5 steps to preserve enamel

Concerned about what to do to keep your teeth as strong as possible? You can take these 5 steps to preserve your enamel. Of course you always want to talk to us about your specific situation.

Step 1: Watch your sugar intake. Recall that includes both beverages AND it includes food. Sugar does A LOT of damage to your enamel. By cutting back on sugar, you can really cut back on the cumulative damage that happens to your enamel over time.

If you don’t know where to start, consider a food journal so you can see all the areas where you are consuming sugar. For example, do you have a latte or coffee with sugar in the morning? You can see how you might not even realize how much sugar is in your current diet!

Step 2: Avoid hard and sticky candies and avoid chewing ice. These are ones you can avoid entirely or, if you can’t give up the hard candies, at least minimize how often you eat them!

Step 3: Maintain positive daily habits. Use toothpaste and floss every day. On top of that, see us regular professional cleanings where we’re able to remove plaque build-up that sits on your enamel. All of these things you can control and have a major impact on preserving your enamel.

Step 4: Whereas things like soft drinks, Gatorade, cookies, or breakfast cereals have acids that “eat away” at minerals in your enamel, there are things you can do to re-mineralize your teeth.

The mineral fluoride is one example, which is why drinking fluoride can really help to combat tooth decay.

Step 5: Let’s say you are flossing and brushing consistently—and with a soft brush—you don’t smoke or chew tobacco, you have a healthy diet that doesn’t contain a lot of sugar, and that you are getting regular check-ups at Hagen Dental. Well done!

At this point, if you still have other factors (which can even be genetic) that mean you have trouble maintaining healthy teeth, let us know your concerns.

We have additional options for areas that are a concern (such as cracked or chipped areas) and we even have the ability to cover your enamel in certain areas that need to be re-strengthened. We can also provide you with toothpaste that is gentler on tooth enamel.

We can also provide you with optimized-fluoride toothpastes that will help to strengthen teeth if we determine you need additional support to combat the effects of acid erosion.

cincinnati dentist west side keep that enamel srong

Build a Strong Foundation for Your Teeth

You can take these steps to keep your enamel strong and healthy…and at the same time, you can keep your teeth looking and feeling great! Give us a call to learn about what steps you can take to prevent dental decay. You can also come in for smile makeovers, full-mouth rehabilitation, cosmetic dentistry, Invisalign, and much more at Hagen Dental Practice!

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

Sources:

  1. https://www.webmd.com/oral-health/guide/tooth-enamel-erosion-restoration#1
  2. https://www.ada.org/en/member-center/oral-health-topics/dental-erosion