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April 19th, 2018

How Does Your Dental Health Add Up? [Infographic]

Category: dental health

How does your dental health add up?

dental health cincinnati ohio how does yours add up

April 11th, 2018

How to Stay Healthy When Traveling

Category: dental health

stay healthy while traveling hagen dental blog

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

1. Prepare, prepare, prepare!

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

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

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

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

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

healthy traveling hagen dental practice in cincinnati

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

5. Stay aware during the trip

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

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

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

Examples of behaviors you really want to avoid include:

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

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

follow your normal health routine

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

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

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

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

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

7. Watch your health when you return

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

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

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

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

Dental Health for Your Entire Family

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

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

Sources:

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

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April 3rd, 2018

Eating Disorders & Your Oral Health

Category: dental health

cincinnati dentist

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

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

There are several ways eating disorders can impact oral health.

Your Gums & Soft Tissue Health

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

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

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

Your Tooth Health

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

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

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

Your Joint Health

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

cincinnati dental

Is The Damage Permanent?

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

Oral Care For Those Suffering From Eating Disorders

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

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

Schedule An Appointment with Hagen Dental Practice

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

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

Sources:

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

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March 19th, 2018

Is Sparkling Water Bad For My Teeth?

Category: dental health

hagen dental cincinnati

A carbonated drink, such as sparkling water, contains that satisfying fizz and crisp popping feeling that many of us love. But are those carbonated bubbles putting you at risk for tooth decay or dental issues? We’ve been asked that question, so let’s take a look at the answer!

Dental Erosion

As you likely know, erosion can be caused by many things both inside and outside the body. Factors such as vomiting and reflux, as well as acidic or harmful foods and beverages top the list. Carbonation gives beverages a lower pH, or in other words, a higher level of acidity (1).

So it begs the question – does that then mean that sparkling water can weaken your enamel, like other acidic foods and beverages?

What We Know About Sparkling Water & Your Teeth

The short answer: It turns out sparkling water is fine for your teeth!

That’s also backed by the American Dental Association, for those who are interested.

Studies have looked into how sparkling water compares to regular water, including how it can impact your teeth. The two forms of water—regular and sparkling—used in the commonly cited study showed no difference in their effect on the tooth enamel. This suggests that even with the increased acidity of sparkling water compared to flat water, there is no difference to your teeth.

So Where Can You Run Into Trouble?

The real danger to your teeth is in drinks that are sugary AND acidic, such as carbonated, sugary sodas or fruit drinks. The sugars found in these drinks increase likelihood of cavities, bacteria, and decay, on top of the risk of the higher acidity.

Another reason sugary, carbonated drinks are so much more potentially dangerous than flat or sparkling water is the high frequency in which they are consumed. The increased exposure to these elements erodes and damages the enamel over time (1, 2).

hagen dental cincinnati

Adding lemon or lime juice to your sparkling water, or drinking sparkling water that contains citrus flavors will have higher levels of acidity than plan water or unflavored sparkling water. This could increase the risk for damage to your tooth enamel, over time, more than unflavored sparkling water (2).

hagen dental cincinnati

Drink Safely

Plain drinks, such as water, or drinks containing high concentration of calcium, such as milk, can help reduce the risk of erosion. Water with fluoride naturally helps fight cavities, washes away food debris, and keeps to maintain a moist, healthy environment inside the mouth (2).

Another tip is to drink the beverage all in one sitting or with a meal, rather than sipping on the drink all day long, which increases the acidic exposure time to your teeth. All-day sipping should be left to regular water! (We don’t even have to mention how that’s also probably best for your waistline!)

Mineral water contains additional mineral content of nutrients like calcium phosphate. These added minerals can help neutralize the potential damage of drinking the slightly more acidic sparkling beverage (3).

Last, if you do opt to drink beverages containing sugar, be sure to avoid and limit how many and how often you indulge in this practice. Limiting the frequency of which you drink flavored sparkling or carbonated soda and fruit drinks will help minimize the potential for erosion and damage (1).

Your Aim: Avoiding Too Much Acidity in Your Mouth

Your best dental health option is to avoid too much acid in the mouth. Plain water is the best choice when it comes to safe beverages for your oral health. But if you are choosing between a soft drink and sparkling water, the sparkling water is a much safer choice, and much more similar to plain water, than something with the sugar content of a soda or juice (3). Be sure to ask us if you have ANY questions.

Watch For Warning Signs

No matter what your dietary and beverage choices, it’s a smart idea to keep an eye out for warning signs that enamel erosion is occurring. Symptoms like tooth sensitivity to cold or hot temperatures, changes in color, or notches on the tooth can indicate weakening of this hard outer layer. Although tooth erosion is a gradual process, it’s problematic for the long-term health of your teeth, so be sure to tell us at the first sign of trouble.

Schedule An Appointment With Hagen Dental Practice 

Do you have concerns about how your nutrition impacts your oral health? If you see any warning signs of cavities or enamel erosion, schedule an appointment right away. We are here to help with all your dental needs! Please call (513) 251-5500 or click the Online Scheduling button on our website to schedule your next visit!

Give us a call at (513) 251-5500 today!

Sources:

  1. https://www.ada.org/en/member-center/oral-health-topics/dental-erosion
  2. https://www.mouthhealthy.org/en/nutrition/food-tips/the-truth-about-sparkling-water-and-your-teeth?source=promospots&content=rotator&medium=sparkling_water
  3. https://www.today.com/health/sparkling-water-bad-your-teeth-dentists-weigh-t70761

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March 13th, 2018

The Legend of the Shrine of St. Patrick’s Tooth

Category: cincinnati dentist

all about st patricks day tooth

Are you celebrating St. Patrick’s Day this year?

Many people know of the holiday, St. Patrick’s Day, but are just as many people familiar with the patron saint of Ireland himself? Let’s briefly look at who St. Patrick really was, and then let’s dig deeper to learn about the legend of the “Shrine of St. Patrick’s Tooth.”

Get to Know The Patron Saint of Ireland

Saint Patrick was a Christian missionary, and he’s the one that helped to convert Ireland to Christianity back around the 5th century (approximately).

Here’s what surprising: St. Patrick himself was actually not Irish, and there’s much debate on what his birthplace was and when exactly he was born. It is believed, however, that his parents were Romans who lived in Britain (1).

According to many history books, his birth name was Maewyn Succat—quite the mouthful compared to a name that’s pretty common today, Patrick! When he entered the priesthood, that’s when he took on the name Patrick.

In his teenage years, he was taken prisoner by people who had attacked the estate where he was living. In the following years, in Ireland, he was a slave. That’s when he embraced his religion and became a devout Christian.

Once he escaped slavery, he pursued religious education, eventually becoming a priest and a bishop. When he then was sent to Ireland, he ministered Christian and worked on converting other Irishmen to Christianity (2). And of course, over a period of about 40 years, he had a lot of influence, integrating Irish traditions with religion, many of which still are celebrated today! The official date for when Ireland was converted to Christianity is 432, according to the history books! (1)

legend has it about st patricks tooth

The Legends & the Great Debates Around St. Patrick

There are quite a few legends and quite a few debates when it comes to the history of St. Patrick. For example, many debate over when and where he actually died. Some say it was March 17, 460, in Downpatrick, which is part of why St. Patrick’s Day holiday is on March 17th. Others argue that’s actually his day of birth, not the date of his death (2, 3).

The Beloved Tooth of St. Patrick is Lost

Another much-talked about part of history related to St. Patrick: The Shrine of St. Patrick’s Tooth. Legend says this ornate shrine contained an actual tooth of St. Patrick’s—a tooth that was lost while he visited the Church of Killaspugbrone.

This Church was the oldest church of the Barony of Carbury. Its name comes from three words: Kill from cill, meaning church; aspug from easbog, meaning bishop,; and Brón was the name of St Patrick’s disciple (4).

Some versions of the legend claim that while on a visit to the Church, St. Patrick tripped and fell. In doing so, when he landed on the ground, he lost a tooth. As a sign of friendship and goodwill, the legend claims he then gave the tooth to Bishop Bronus (who was a native of that area). In turn, after that, it’s said that Bronus is the one who enshrined that gift in the church (5).

Then, in the 14th century, the legend says that a wooden box was created to hold the tooth. The box was made of a combination of gold, silver, and amber, among other materials. On the backside of the shrine, there is an image of King David playing the harp. That also has a lot of meaning as music meant a great deal to people during the time period this was made.

As for the front of the shrine, there is an inscription that says how the shrine was decorated for Thomas de Bermingham, Lord of Athenry (5).

But, much to the disappointment of many, the tooth that was once inside…has since entirely disappeared. Another point that’s up for debate is how the tooth was lost.

Interestingly, the box itself, meant to hold the tooth, is still around today. (See a photo of the shrine here.)

That beautiful box, despite missing the tooth, is at the National Museum of Ireland. Many come each year in order to get a glimpse, and it was even used in past years to cure sick animals!

Legends Continued…

Despite such a great deal of mystery about his life, there are other intriguing facts and stories about St. Patrick. A few include:

  • His tombstone. Historians say he was buried in Northern Ireland, and probably around the Down Cathedral (which now claims to be his burial site). Today there is a stone placed, in his memory, to mark the approximate location on the church’s grounds. That stone was actually taken from the Mourne Mountains which are nearby (2).
  • The shrive of his hand. You read that right…even his hands were seen as worthy of a dedicated shrine! Legend says that after he died, a silver holster was created in a way to replicate St. Patrick’s hand. The relic had been passed around quite a bit (among Bishops and others), and supposedly somewhere along the way, it was lost.
  • Reproductions of his tooth shrine. Today, there are even reproductions of his tooth shrine. That goes to show just how important this is to people and how much artifacts connected to St. Patrick are valued.
  • The Confession of St. Patrick. There was a letter that St. Patrick is believed to have written late in his life. It begins, “My name is Patrick. I am a sinner, a simple country person, and the least of all believers…” What it goes on to say includes his beliefs on religion, and more details that reveal some of his biography. Just like many artifacts with St. Patrick, there is much debate on this letter. Speculation exists that says he probably penned the piece when he was defending his good name after some in power had attached him (6).

Many artifacts and stories surrounding St. Patrick are speculative and there’s lots of unknowns, that’s for sure!

But it’s definitely interesting to hear how much value was placed on having one of his teeth…and having a place fully dedicated to saving that tooth–even if the tooth is now lost! 

looking forward to seeing you

Come in & Visit Hagen Dental Practice

Do you have questions about your oral health? We want to help you on your health journey, no matter where you are at today.
We’re here to help with all your dental needs. Please call (513) 251-5500 or click the Online Scheduling button on our website to schedule your next visit!

Sources:

  1. http://www.saintpatricksdayparade.com/life_of_saint_patrick.htm
  2. http://english-zone.com/holidays/st-pat.html
  3. http://mentalfloss.com/article/55485/7-artifacts-supposedly-connected-st-patrick
  4. http://gostrandhill.com/explore/history/killaspugbrone/
  5. https://stpatricksstrandhill.ie/killaspugbrone-circa-500ad/
  6. http://www.ccel.org/ccel/patrick/confession/confession.html

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March 3rd, 2018

How to Fight Aging Through Your Smile

Category: cincinnati dentist

fight aging through your smile at hagen dental

You usually hear that your eyes can show your age, but did you know that your mouth can also say a whole lot about your age?

Just like other parts of your body, as you age, your smile changes!

Luckily, we’ve got some tips and tricks to keep your smile looking radiant over the years. And, we’ll share some reasons as to why you should keep smiling—it’s good for you!

The Benefits of Smiling 

A smile can go a long way. In fact, there are a number of scientifically proven benefits that come from smiling. Time to show off those pearly whites!

It Can Improve Your Mood

Did you know that the physical act of smiling can actually help you feel better? Because your brain associates smiling with happiness, smiling on purpose (even when you’re not feeling cheery) can actually improve your mood. It causes a change in your brain chemistry, and will leave you feeling more joyful (2). Pretty cool, huh?

It Makes You Appear More Youthful

According to a German study, happy people are found more youthful than people with neutral expressions; 150 participants were shown over 1,000 photos of different people, and were asked to guess their age. Those who were smiling were estimated (on average) 2-3 years younger than their counterparts (3)!

It’s Good for Your Immune System

What?! Smiling is good for your immune system? Yes! When you smile, your body releases endorphins. In addition to making you happier, endorphins also help strengthen your immune system (4). Win-win.

keeping your smile young at hagen dental

Tips to Keeping Your Smile Young

As you age, your teeth change. They appear darker, duller, and even have a greater chance of chipping. In turn, this can lead to an older looking smile (1). But don’t fret! There are plenty of ways to keep your smile looking radiant, longer.

Keep Your Pearly Whites…White!

One of the guiltiest culprit for an aging mouth is yellowing or stained teeth. As you get older, your enamel deteriorates. This causes the appearance of a duller, yellow smile. Luckily, there are plenty of ways to improve the whiteness of your teeth.

We feature in-office power whitening along with traditional take-home whitening! Discuss whitening options with us to find the best route for your smile (1).

Pay Attention to Gum Recession

Receding gums are another clear indicator of age since they tend to recede over time. Through the years, your gums may recede due to aggressive brushing, poor hygiene habits, or simply the reduction of collagen production. To prevent this, be sure to engage in good hygiene practices and consider switching to an electric toothbrush to reduce the harms of aggressive brushing (1).

Also keep in mind that if you have advanced periodontitis, and you lose teeth, your facial appearance can be impacted. When teeth are lost or there is bone loss, here’s what can happen:

  • Facial angles can change: When teeth are lost, you can decrease the angle by your lip – and that, in turn, can worsen the vertical lines on your face.
  • Your bite can change: when bone loss happens, your bite relationship can worsen, causing the mouth, over time, to have a “scowl” appearance.
  • Your lips can change shape: Put simply, when teeth are lost, the lips can thin because they don’t have that same kind of “support” behind them. Additionally, the upper lip can look more pronounced in those who have bone loss.
  • Your jowl can change: With bone loss, the surrounding muscles in your jaw can change and even sag. This can look like an entire lack of jaw or even what’s called a “witch’s chin.” (5)

Do Away with Your Metal Fillings

Silver-mercury amalgam has been the standard in filling material in decades past.

The downside: the very noticeable dark filling in light teeth, which can take away from your mouth looking young! Although some practices still continue using this material, we offer modern composite resin fillings without metals. They bond tightly to teeth, which can strengthen them, and are virtually unnoticeable.

This filling material matches the shade of your teeth, so they are aesthetically pleasing while at the same time reducing the chance of future dental decay.

Be sure to ask us whether or not replacing old tooth restoration pieces with newer ones is a good idea for you so you can have a more natural-looking option!

…And Don’t Forget About Dental Makeovers!

Let’s face it: as we age, we can have a lot happen to our teeth. It could be discoloration but it could be gaps or missing teeth, too!

Using veneers, whitening, bonding, crowns, and more, we can alter your smile to the ideal you have always wanted. In other words, we can actually restore (or totally revamp) your smile, which helps to take years off your appearance.

These procedures are faster and easier than you might think, and are more affordable than ever. Take for example veneers, which are able to quickly and painlessly adjust crooked teeth. Made of tough, durable dental ceramic, these thin coverings are bonded to teeth.

They can also be used to correct chipped, cracked, or worn-down teeth and will match the natural white shade of your other teeth. These beautiful veneers will make you not want to stop smiling and will have people saying, “Wow, you look younger!”

hagen dental practice family dentistry in cincinnati

Keep Coming In To Hagen Dental Practice!

We can help you find exactly what it is that your smile needs to stay looking its best. Along with maintain proper dental hygiene practices, scheduling regular cleanings and examinations will help your smile in the long run! (1)

Schedule an Appointment with Hagen Dental Practice

We want to help you fight the signs of aging by keeping your smile healthy and radiant! Do you have questions about your oral health? We are here to help with all your dental needs! Call (513) 251-5500 or click the Online Scheduling button on our website to schedule your next visit!  Or, give us a call at (513) 251-5500 today!

Sources:

  1. https://www.prevention.com/beauty/9-anti-aging-tricks-for-a-younger-smile
  2. http://kidshealth.org/en/teens/smiling.html
  3. http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/2011/11/10/smiling-makes-you-look-two-years-younger_n_1085672.html
  4. http://douglewisdmd.com/7-ways-a-healthy-smile-makes-you-look-younger/
  5. https://www.pittsburghdentalimplants.com/new-patients/education/tooth-loss-aging-and-facial-collapse/
February 20th, 2018

Thumb Sucking & Your Child’s Teeth: What We Want You To Know

Category: cincinnati dentist

It’s normal to have concerns and worries when it comes to our kids! When it comes to thumb sucking or finger sucking, it’s no different! You may be wondering if it’s going to have lasting impact on their teeth, whether or not it is harmful, and how to encourage them to stop thumb sucking past a certain age! Let’s take a closer look.

what is normal when it comes to thumb sucking in our children

What’s ‘Normal’ When it Comes to Thumb Sucking?

The answer is, yes, it’s a normal part of our kids development! In fact, did you know that thumb sucking can often be seen in the womb as a baby develops? That just goes to show how natural it really is for our little ones.

Said another way, rest easy because thumb sucking (or finger sucking) is acceptable for infants!

As a natural reflex at that age, it helps to give your baby comfort and it can be soothing for them. When babies are away from parents, it can also show up more often, in some cases, since the baby is dealing with a bit more anxiety than normal. Last, you may notice your baby doing more thumb sucking when tired; that’s also normal because it can help induce sleep in our kids (1). The idea is to be mindful of their thumb sucking, but not to worry too much.

Thumb Sucking & Development

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.

While you want to talk to your pediatrician, generally speaking, by age 4 you want to discourage thumb sucking. At this point, you don’t want excessive, rigorous thumb sucking to get in the way of jaw and teeth development (1, 2).

If The Habit Persists, Here Are the Oral Effects

For some kids, it helps them to know what the harmful side effects can be if they continue to suck their thumb past a certain age. At a certain age (approximately 5 or 6), the sucking motion can make the front teeth jut out. They can also impact the way your child bites and how the upper and lower teeth come together (or don’t come together!)

The takeaway: you don’t want any skeletal changes at this point in their life to kick in in a negative way, impacting the proper alignment of their permanent teeth (1). Be sure to ask us for information specific to your child.

steps to cut down on thumb sucking

Steps for Cutting Down on Thumb Sucking

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.

Of course nagging our kids to stop doesn’t necessarily help! A few ways to help your child with prolonged or rigorous thumb sucking past a certain age include:

  • Dig deeper. Learn more about the times of day when thumb sucking kicks in; if it’s night time or a certain time where anxiety is high, explore what you can do during those times to comfort your child. Of course you never want to shame your child, but this can help make sure you know more about why they are turning to this habit.
  • Use rewards. A reward system to help track progress when encouraging them to stop can help in some cases!
  • Try praise, too. Praising and encouraging your child when you see less of the behavior is always a good idea.
  • 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 (1, 2).

Earning Your Trust With Personalized Care at Hagen Dental

We believe the best dentistry will happen when there is a bond of trust with each patient! We’re pleased to provide a full range of dental care services to you and your entire family. Give us a call today at (513) 251-5500 or click the Online Scheduling button to schedule your next visit!

Sources

  1. https://www.colgate.com/en-us/oral-health/life-stages/childrens-oral-care/thumb-sucking-the-good-the-bad-and-the-normal-0514
  2. http://www.dentistryforchildrennw.com/treatment/thumb-sucking-and-your-child-s-teeth

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February 15th, 2018

My Child Has Knocked Out a Tooth: What Should I Do Now?

Category: dental health

tooth knocked out hagen dental practice

Let’s be honest: kids play hard! Sometimes very hard. Jumping, running, wrestling, diving, dodging, throwing, catching, sports, falling, tumbling, even fighting sometimes… and all these great physical activities leave the opportunity open for bumps, bruises, and injuries – including broken or knocked out teeth.

The bottom line is, accidents happen, and knowing what to do can be the difference between your child losing or saving the tooth!

Knocked Out Permanent Teeth?

If your child’s tooth is of the permanent variety – an adult tooth – keep it moist until you can see Dr. Hagen. First, find the tooth. You can rinse briefly with water if the tooth looks dirty. Do NOT scrub off any attached bits of tissue. If possible, try placing the tooth back in the socket (without touching the root). Another option is to place the tooth between their cheek and the gums.

Both of these options assume your child is old enough to avoid swallowing or spitting out and losing the tooth. Another handy option is to place the tooth into a container of milk and store it there until you can be seen. Then, head to our office or the emergency room as soon as possible (1).

others available to them, of course they will want to continue to take great care of their teeth through regular checkups with us flossing, and brushing! That’s key to remember.

Knocked Out Baby Teeth?

If your child is young, and the tooth that has been knocked out is a baby tooth, it’s still wise to find the tooth and keep it moist, such as in a container of milk. Try to only touch the tooth by the top, rather than the root. Just like an adult tooth, you can rinse briefly with water if the tooth looks dirty. But be sure NOT to scrub off any attached bits of tissue. Do NOT try to put a baby tooth back into the socket or in their mouth!

Visit Hagen Dental Practice as soon as possible, so he can determine if the entire tooth came out or not. We will want to examine the injury to ensure there was no damage to the underlying permanent tooth. Dr. Hagen will decide what the best course of action would be based on the child’s age, the status of the tooth, and other factors (1, 2).

avoid dental emergencies hagen dental in cincinnati ohio

Dealing with the Knocked Out Tooth

If your child’s permanent tooth will not re-attach when you come in to see us, keep in mind that we have solutions to deal with the issue. That can include an implant or a bridge so that your child’s smile can be back to normal!

If you/you child pursues any of these options, be sure to continue taking great care of your teeth through regular check-ups and daily brushing and flossing.

Help Your Kids Avoid Knocked Out Or Damaged Teeth

There are some precautions you and your family can take when it comes to preventing tooth injuries.

  1. Have your child wear a mouth guard when they participate in sports or other high-impact activities.
  2. Teach them to avoid chewing ice, popcorn kernels and hard candy. These things can crack or damage teeth!
  3. If your child is young, assess their playing area. Are their unnecessary objects or hazards you can remove? Or, can you organize to help them play in a safer zone to reduce the risks to begin with?

One of the reasons we emphasize the importance of wearing a mouth guard is just how much it can prevent injury to the mouth. Mouth guards protect us against the following:

  • Dental fractures
  • Lacerations of lips, tongue, and cheeks
  • Avulsions
  • Luxations (joint dislocation, in this case, the jaw)
  • Concussions

Put simply, it isn’t just a chipped tooth or knocked out tooth…it can also be damage that is “much worse”!

Dental Emergencies Happen

With all that said, we know that dental emergencies happen! If you experience a dental emergency, it’s important to give our office a call (513) 251-5500. During non-office hours, an answering service will be able to help you and provide direction as to what to do for your specific emergency. You can also opt to visit the emergency room. If it is during our normal office hours, we will accommodate you as soon as possible: call right away and give us as much information as possible.

Remember, we are here to help you through any dental emergencies. Give us a call at (513) 251-5500.

Sources:

  1. https://www.mouthhealthy.org/en/dental-care-concerns/dental-emergencies
  2. http://www.ada.org/~/media/ADA/Publications/Files/ADA_PatientSmart_Emergencies.pdf?la=en

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February 7th, 2018

E-Cigarettes & Your Health: Here’s What to Know

Category: dental health

cincinnati dentist

Electronic cigarettes, also known as e-cigarettes, have taken over a large part of the market when it comes to alternatives for smoking. With e-cigarettes, no “smoke” is involved at all – instead these electronic devices use an aerosol technology to vaporize a solution of chemicals, nicotine, natural flavors and additives.

And, because of this, the term for using an e-cigarette is “vaping” instead of smoking. Let’s take a deeper look at these e-cigarettes and what it can mean for your health.

Are E-Cigarettes A Healthy Alternative To Smoking?

On the surface, vaping seems like it should be much safer than traditional smoking. And while it’s true that there is a reduction of negative health effects directly tied to smoking, e-cigarettes are not fully risk-free when it comes to the health status of your brain, body, and mouth.

As e-cigarettes sprang into the market and have risen in popularity over the last two decades, there has been a generalized assumption that they should be healthier than traditional cigarettes.

Unfortunately, there was a gap in information, since no long-term studies and relatively little research had been performed at the time of their introduction (1).

Translation: there’s many unknowns about just how bad this can be for your health!

E-Cigarettes: The Basics

It is true that e-cigarettes contain no tobacco, and emit fewer harmful byproducts than the burning produced by smoking tobacco cigarettes does. In fact, the Surgeon General reports that e-cigarettes are, overall, lower risk for your health than traditional tobacco products, BUT it does not claim they are risk-free (2).

One of the biggest long-term challenges with the electronic cigarette is the fact that it still contains the highly addictive substance nicotine. The biggest risk, according to the Surgeon General, is the trend for teens and young adults to begin using the product, and then convert to traditional tobacco cigarettes later in life.

This habit becomes a bigger problem for one’s health (3). Furthermore, because e-cigarettes have gained popularity in a younger market, the nicotine can cause harm to the developing brain of young adults or teens (4).

To complicate the matter, as we pointed out, long-term studies are still in progress, and just beginning to produce information about their use, so we can’t be completely sure about the long-term risks that will occur from vaping (5).

There is a widespread misconception that an e-cigarette’s aerosol is comprised of harmless water vapor. Although it’s true that it contains fewer toxins than smoked tobacco products, an e-cigarette still exposes its user to various chemicals and volatile compounds which are all known to have adverse health effects (6).

So, Is Vaping “Safe” For Your Mouth…and Your Health?

It’s also a common misconception that vaping is less harmful than traditional cigarettes when it comes to the mouth. Smokeless cigarettes have been found to promote dental disease, cause tissue inflammation, increase gum recession, and cause damage comparable to, and in some cases worse than, the damage caused with the use of regular cigarettes (7).

According to studies reported in the Journal of the American Dental Association (JADA), there are several ways in which e-cigarettes can cause health issues, just to name a few:

Mouth And Throat Disease

Just like smoking a cigarette, vaping an e-cigarette can still increase the possibility of developing mouth or throat cancer or disease because of the harsh chemical agents in the aerosol (4).

Injury And Damage

There have been accounts of defective batteries or equipment, resulting in fires or explosions in the oral cavity. These incidents can cause incredible injury and damage to the mouth that may require intensive medical care (4).

Dry Mouth

Vaping causes dry mouth. Without enough natural saliva, you are prone to tooth decay, bacteria buildup and bad breath. This is because the natural saliva and environment of the mouth is altered (4).

Grinding Of The Jaw

Nicotine is a stimulant, and as such, it fires up the muscles. If you’re already a grinder, this encourages you to grind your teeth more intensely. If you are not a grinder, it could actually prompt you to start grinding your teeth. Tooth grinding can lead to TMJ pain/disorders, loss of enamel, tooth sensitivity or tooth decay, as well as worsening of periodontal disease (8).

Other Changes In The Mouth

Another issue is the nicotine itself, which has been shown to harm the mouth, gums and tongue – whether inhaled via e-cigarette or smoked via traditional cigarette. Nicotine reduces blood flow, thus restricting nutrient and oxygen supply to the tissues of the oral cavity. This can lead to gum recession. It also impacts the mouth’s inherent ability to fight off bacteria, putting the user at higher risk for infection or decay. Even worse, vaping can mask the signs of gum disease, making it harder for us to diagnose when you come to your appointment (4, 9).

What’s The Verdict?

cincinnati dentist and vaping

As mentioned above, e-cigarettes have not been fully studied to date. As more data is gathered, we learn more about what to expect as far as any health ramifications for this trendy little device.

From a dental health standpoint, the lack of burning byproducts from smoke and the absence of tobacco IS a positive feature of e-cigarettes as compared with traditional tobacco use. However, these electronic substitutions are still VERY detrimental to your oral health, and we recommend avoiding their use altogether.

Schedule An Appointment With Hagen Dental Practice

schedule your dental cleaning

Do you have questions about your oral health? If you vape, you should know about the risks of the habit, and be sure to keep your regular visits with us to help protect the health of your teeth and gums, and catch issues in the mouth early on. We want to help you on your health journey, no matter where you are at today.

We are here to help with all your dental needs! Please call (513) 251-5500 or click the Online Scheduling button on our website to schedule your next visit!

Give us a call at (513) 251-5500 today!

 

Sources:

  1. https://www.ada.org/en/publications/ada-news/2014-archive/september/nidcr-proposes-ecigarette-research
  2. http://www.casaa.org/historical-timeline-of-electronic-cigarettes/
  3. https://www.ada.org/en/publications/ada-news/2016-archive/december/surgeon-general-report-e-cigarette-use-a-major-public-health-concern
  4. http://jada.ada.org/article/S0002-8177(17)30866-8/pdf
  5. https://www.deltadental.com/us/en/protect-my-smile/overall-health/e-cigarettes.html
  6. https://e-cigarettes.surgeongeneral.gov/documents/2016_SGR_Full_Report_non-508.pdf
  7. Sundar IK, Javed F, Romanos GE, Rahman I. Oncotarget. 2016 Oct 24. doi: 10.18632/oncotarget.12857  E-cigarettes and flavorings induce inflammatory and pro-senescence responses in oral epithelial cells and periodontal fibroblasts
  8. https://askthedentist.com/how-e-cigarettes-affect-oral-health/
  9. http://www.ingeniousdentistry.com/how-vaping-affects-your-teeth/

 

 

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January 30th, 2018

How To Take Care Of Your Dentures

Category: dental health

hagen dental dentures

Dentures are a fantastic option for anyone who has lost some or all of their teeth. Dentures benefit both your appearance and your health in a variety of ways. The loss of teeth can impact daily activities like smiling, eating, and speaking. These things are easy to take for granted until a problem arises.

Dentures improve eating and speaking ability (after some practice) by restoring the dimensions of your oral cavity. They also give the wearer a full set of teeth for a wide, confident smile. They can be made to mimic the look of natural teeth, and serve to support the cheeks, lips, and facial muscles to keep the facial tissues from sagging and creating a more aged look (1).

Caring For Dentures

Just like natural teeth, dentures require good daily oral hygiene habits to keep your mouth free of infection, irritation and complications. Regular cleaning also prevents denture stains and bacteria buildup (2).

Clean Your Dentures Every Day

You wouldn’t skip brushing your teeth daily – nor should you skip brushing and cleaning your dentures! Ideally, you should clean your dentures after each meal, but at a minimum, this should be done when you take them out every night.

To clean, remove the denture from your mouth and rinse off any food particles. Brush the denture gently using denture cleaning and a brush specially designed for cleaning dentures. You could also use a soft-bristled toothbrush. The key is to avoid any damage to the dentures that harder bristles could cause (1).

Avoid Using Toothpaste On The Dentures

Although dentures are used as replacement teeth, they are composed of different material than bone, so different cleaning applications are required. A non-abrasive cleanser – such as gentle liquid dish soap – is effective on dentures. Toothpaste, bleach, and powdered household cleansers, however, often contain abrasive particles that can damage the denture base or the denture teeth, so these should never be used to clean your dentures (2, 3).

Because denture cleaners are not designed to use in the mouth, be sure to rinse the denture well after cleaning or soaking it. Some of the chemicals from the soap may not be suitable for ingestion. We recommend denture cleansers that carry the ADA Seal of Acceptance. This symbolizes safety and effectiveness (1).

Handle With Care

Your dentures can be delicate! Dropping them onto a hard surface can result in cracks, chips, or breakage. We recommend standing over a sink filled with water or over a folded towel while you are cleaning the denture to avoid damage if you accidentally drop it (2).

Keep Your Dentures Wet

While your denture is out of your mouth, store it in water or a denture cleansing solution. Alternatively, you could use a solution of half water and half mouthwash. A denture that dries out can lose its shape, warp, or lose its pliability. Avoid storing it in hot water, which can also warp its shape (2).

Avoid Denture Adhesives

There are instances in which denture adhesive could be helpful. However, a typical denture should seal to the gums with just a light layer of saliva and a good fit. If you find you are requiring adhesive to comfortably wear your dentures, it could signal adjustments or replacement is necessary (2).

Give our office a call to schedule a check-up if this is happening to you.

cincinnati dentist

Caring For Your Mouth When You Have Dentures

Give Your Mouth A Break

To avoid irritation of the tissues covered by dentures, they should NOT be worn 24 hours a day. Typically, a good rule of thumb is to take the dentures out at bedtime and put them back in when you wake up. Ideally, your mouth should get at least 8 hours break from their wear (1, 3).

Check The Fit Regularly

Always pay attention to the fit of your dentures. If something doesn’t feel right, schedule an appointment to have it checked out. Ill-fitting dentures can cause irritation, mouth sores, or infection. We are trained to evaluate and repair any damage to the equipment, and to modify for any changes in the fit of your dentures.

Brush Like Usual

It’s still important to brush your gums, tongue, cheeks, and the roof of your mouth every morning and night, just as you used to brush your teeth. We recommend using a soft-bristled brush. This habit is helpful for increasing circulation in the oral tissues, removing plaque from the mouth, preventing bad breath, and starting the day clean before putting in your dentures (1, 3).

Diet Still Counts

Just as it is important for those with natural teeth to eat a balanced diet and avoid excessive sugars and acids, so too is this habit important for denture-wearers. A healthy diet plays a key role in the health of your mouth, whether you have a full set of natural teeth, a partial set, or a full set of dentures!

Regular Oral Exams

Even if you’ve lost all your natural teeth, regular oral exams are important. The dental examination can detect signs of disease, infection, or any changes in the health of your mouth, neck, throat, and head.

Dentures last about 5 to 10 years, and sometimes need work, alterations, and tune-ups to keep them functioning at their best. Regular dental checkups help to ensure your dentures are working best for you as changes occur in your mouth and as wear and tear happens to your dentures.

Schedule An Appointment With Hagen Dental Practice

Do you have questions about your dentures or your oral health? We are here to help with all your dental and denture needs! Please call (513) 251-5500 or click the Online Scheduling button on our website to schedule your next visit!  Or, give us a call at (513) 251-5500 today!

 

Sources:

  1. http://www.ada.org/~/media/ADA/Publications/Files/ADA_PatientSmart_Dentures.pdf?la=en
  2. https://www.ada.org/en/member-center/oral-health-topics/dentures
  3. https://www.mouthhealthy.org/en/az-topics/d/dentures

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