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These 10 Facts About Toothpaste May Surprise You

Saturday, June 4th, 2016

facts about toothpaste

Toothpaste we use every day is easily taken for granted, but in fact, it comes with quite a story…

Here are 10 facts that might surprise you about your toothpaste.

did you know toothpaste facts_hagen

1. Toothpaste’s Egyptian ties.

The earliest tooth cleaners were invented by the Egyptians 5000 years ago, and included abrasives like ground burnt eggshells. These ancient ingredients remained as effective at cleaning teeth as anything used until until about a century ago (although some other remedies were easier on the gums).

the egyptians and toothpaste

2. Even Royalty had rotted teeth…

In medieval times, the ancient remedies were forgotten, and people didn’t clean their teeth. As a result, even royalty like Queen Elizabeth I ended up with black and rotted teeth!

3. Toothpaste becomes smoother.

In 1824, a dentist named Peabody added Soap to toothpaste for better cleaning. That was used until around 1945, when other ingredients replaced it – notably sodium lauryl sulphate, which makes a smoother paste. This is still a common toothpaste ingredient.

4. Toothpaste vs. tooth powder.

Tooth cleaners were almost all powders, not pastes, until around World War One.

5. Fluorides are added to the formula.

Fluorides were first added to the cleaners in the early 1900s, to prevent tooth decay.

6. What we can thank Astronauts for…

Edible toothpaste was invented in 1987, not for children, as most people might believe, but for Astronauts – because spitting into a zero-gravity environment on a space ship is not pleasant.

tooth & oral health facts

7. Even more varieties!

Today toothpastes come with a variety of special ingredients to whiten teeth, remove plaque, freshen breath and prevent gum disease. Herbal toothpastes like Tom’s brand are an alternative to fluoride, and contain ingredients like peppermint oil, myrrh and plant extracts.

8. Gluten-free toothpaste comes along.

Gluten-free toothpaste has been developed recently, for users who suffer from celiac disease. Fortunately, there is an abundance of gluten free toothpaste options available for such people, so finding them on store shelves isn’t difficult nowadays. Gluten free toothpastes usually contain cellulose gum, a natural alternative to other thickening agents. Using gluten free toothpaste twice a day, in addition to daily flossing, will help to maintain your oral care without that gastric interference.

9. Today’s toothpaste.

Today’s active ingredients include xylitol, baking soda and calcium phosphate. Xylitol helps prevent cavities and it also promotes saliva! If you have dry mouth, that is especially important to promote more saliva in your mouth.  Many know how baking soda is an ingredient in toothpaste – and it’s used to neutralize acid, as well as to combat stains on our teeth.Calcium phosphate can help with tartar control in the mouth. Other common ingredients include a combination of water, sorbitol, fluoride, cellulose gum and natural flavorings.

10. Not just for our teeth!?

Toothpaste also some fascinating uses, for the resourceful among us! Those uses include:

  • It can polish silver coffee service or silver jewelry, leaving a bright sheen…But the experts say not to use it on pearls!
  • A gel toothpaste can be used to adhere a bow to a baby’s hair. It washes out, and does not pull out the hair.
  • Just a small dab on your skin takes the sting and itch out of bug bites.
  • Clean your running shoes with white toothpaste!
  • Finally, Mom and Dad, you can remove crayon from walls – simply rub white toothpaste on the crayon marks with a damp cloth, then you can rinse the cloth, and wipe away any residue.

We Can’t Wait to Meet You & Your Family

We’d love to have you as a patient at Hagen Dental Practice! You and your entire family deserve a healthy smile that can last a lifetime. Whether it is for a cosmetic consultation or for your regular check-up, see our smile makeover services, information about Invisalign, or read about one-visit crowns. Give us a call today at (513) 251-5500 to schedule a visit for you or your children.

Resources used directly in this blog:

Do You Have Your Custom Mouth Guard Yet?

Wednesday, April 13th, 2016

Spring has sprung and that means we are back outdoors and back into sports seasons including baseball, lacrosse, field hockey, soccer and more.

As we head back outdoors – and even for indoor sports – it’s time to consider getting a custom-fit mouth guard.

hagen dds

Did you know that the great majority of high school athletes – about 3 out of 4 – dental injuries that happen during sports occur in people who aren’t wearing a mouth guard? (Source.) Just think if those athletes had been wearing a protective mouth guard! You can see why some states are now mandating athletes in high school wear mouth guards. 

A Small Habit That Helps Us Avoid Major Damage

Athletic mouth guards absorb shock that you can get while playing sports, whether it be an elbow to the face, a ball, or because of an accidental collision. That means, if we are wearing a mouth guard, that the shock your teeth and jaw would normally receive is less damaging to the mouth.

Wearing a mouth guard can save your teeth – both teeth loss and cracks, prevent major damage to your jaw and face, and it’s an easy habit once you start doing it. If kids are still resistant to the idea, be sure to let them know that these injuries will sideline them for quite some time. In other words, wearing a properly fitting mouth guard can help them stay out on the field!

For many sports – not just contact sports – we also see that 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

The benefit of a mouth guard we make you is that it will fit just right (you don’t want it to be too loose, and it CAN be comfortable!), it will still allow you to speak, and perhaps most importantly, you will be able to breathe properly.

Tim Hardaway Jr., Mason Plumlee, Matthew Dellavedova, Amir Johnson, Blake Griffin, Cole Aldrich, Rajon Rondo, Alan Anderson, and even Stephen Curry – who has a habit of playing with his mouth guard at times – are just a few pro athletes who regularly wear their mouth guards.

LeBron James is another advocate of wearing a mouth guards. He’s even worn a mouth guard habitually since high school. In fact, these pro athletes think of mouth guards as just another part of their uniform.

hagen dental

I’m Convinced. So How Do I Care for My Mouth Guard?

Now that you’re convinced you want to wear a mouth guard to protect your soft tissue, tongue, mouth, jaw and lips – the question is, how do I take care of my custom mouth guard?

First, when you wear your mouth guard made at Hagen Dental, be sure not to just wear it during games or competitions – you want to get into the habit of wearing it all the time, even at practice. That’s because injuries to the face, mouth and jaw are just as likely to happen in a game as at practice or during “unorganized” sports activities. By wearing it all times, you’re protecting your mouth as much as you can.

You will also want to check it at least once a year to make sure it still fits properly. Next, when storing it, be sure to clean it as much as possible – meaning after every use – and keep it away from heat. Yes, that means throwing it in your sports bag and letting it sit in the summer heat in your car is not a great idea!

lawrence hagen custom mouth guards

Good Dental Hygiene Habits Include Wearing a Custom Mouth Guard

If you have specific questions about how your mouth guard will work with your retainer or braces, let us know. Ready to get your custom-made mouth guard? Give us a call today at (513) 251-5500 to schedule a visit for you or your children!

What to Know About Microbeads in Your Toothpaste

Sunday, January 17th, 2016

is this safe hagen dental microbeads

“What’s all this I’m hearing about microbeads?”

Microbeads are scrubbing beads that have commonly been used in a variety of exfolianting products. They’ve also been used to provide color in products ranging from soap to gum! Recently, more attention has been garnered for how they are used by popular brands in cosmetics as well toothpaste.

By definition, they are called “microbeads” because they are less than 5 millimeters in diameter—but many microbeads used in toothpaste, lip balm and makeup are much, much smaller.

“…But are microbeads in my toothpaste safe?”

The answer is that the polyethylene microbeads that are used in brands including Crest Toothpaste and others are microbeads that are safe (1). While you can always ask us when you have questions about any toothpaste or oral hygiene product, a general rule of thumb is that products that have the ADA Seal are products that have been independently evaluated by the ADA Council on Scientific Affairs for their safety.

With that said, Crest (the brand receiving most of the attention for its use of microbeads) has committed to removing all microbeads in its toothpastes going forward. They have already removed microbeads in the majority of their toothpastes.

“What exactly is the concern with microbeads in my toothpaste?”

The microbeads used in the majority of toothpaste brands today are in fact safe—however, some people still prefer not to use toothpaste with microbeads as a precaution. The concern is that chemically, these tiny particles are plastic microspheres, and some people would rather see more biodegradable particles in their makeup, personal care products and in their toothpaste.

what to know about MICROBEADS

Taking a step back, know that polyethylene (which is what you would see on the list of ingredients in any product that has these kinds of microbeads) is an FDA-approved food additive. Microbeads are an inactive ingredient and they are not associated with any health risk.

Many of your favorite toothpaste brands have many toothpastes that do not contain any microbeads.

According to the Crest blog, they have a long list of toothpastes that have no microbeads whatsoever. The list includes:

  • Crest Pro-Health Advanced Smooth Mint
  • Crest 3D White Radiant Mint
  • Crest Sensi Repair & Prevent, Crest Pro-Health [HD]
  • Crest Whitening + Scope, Crest Baking Soda Peroxide
  • Crest Extra Whitening, Crest Cavity
  • Crest Tartar + Whitening (1)

You can see that’s quite a long list that offers you microbead-free brushing, if desired—and that is just Crest alone. As mentioned, it was recently announced that due to media attention as well as consumer concern and confusion, Crest is removing all of the microbeads by late February/March of this year. The majority of all Crest products, as well as others available on the shelf, are already microbead-free. Because of a growing consumer sentiment that reflected a preference to remove all microbeads, other brands that also made this pledge include L’Oreal, Neutrogena, Unilever and Johnson & Johnson.

Want to talk more with us about microbeads and whether or not they are safe for you and your family? Contact us online or give us a call today to schedule your next appointment at 513.251.5500.

References/Further Reading


The Top 2 Surprising Mistakes Parents Make With Their Kids’ Teeth

Wednesday, April 29th, 2015

The number one chronic childhood illness today is tooth decay in children, or as we might call it, pediatric dental disease.

Decay in our children’s teeth can cause issues with eating, speaking, and even learning. It also can result in bacterial infections or in certain cases, malnourishment. We probably don’t have to tell you that pediatric disease can negatively impact kids’ confidence and self esteem, their growth, and of course their quality of life.

Here we explain two major mistakes parents may accidentally be making when it comes to helping support kids’ teeth health and development.

1. Giving a baby a bottle overnight—or right before bed!

Baby’s first teeth are important because they help ensure adult teeth come in as correctly as possible.

You may be surprised to learn that when a baby takes a bottle to bed, the milk sugars can cause serious tooth decay. The upper teeth can be affected, but also other teeth as well. This can be a major problem at any time, but is often seen in toddlers between one and two. It can be an even trickier problem with those who refuse to give up their coveted nighttime bottle!

The good news is that early childhood caries is preventable.

The first step to take is to no longer let baby fall asleep with her bottle. Consider this: the protective coating of baby teeth is only half the thickness of an eggshell! Even if you do not notice any signs of tooth decay, there may be issues occurring along the gum line.

Even if a baby does not take her bottle to bed, but simply goes to sleep after her bedtime bottle, there can still be tooth decay that occurs. That’s because of two contributing factors. One, there is reduced saliva while the baby sleeps, which is our body’s natural way of “rinsing” the mouth. Second, the milk sugars, even if she isn’t sleeping with the bottle in her mouth, can still be settled on the teeth, all night long.

To help cut down on the sugar being exposed to your baby’s teeth, consider watering down the formula a bit with water. Over time, more and more of the drink can be water. In some cases, parents will actually have the baby get used a drink that is made up of more and more water, mixed with the formula, before bedtime. In those cases, the “regular” formula can be given a bit earlier in the evening. If you have no luck with doing so, at least try to give your baby a bit of water after she drinks her normal bottle. Water does not hurt the teeth enamel and will help cleanse the teeth!

Another possibility is to take a small piece of gauze in your hand, and very gently “wipe” the baby’s teeth with your finger holding the gauze. Then, you can brush her teeth in the morning after the first feeding of the day. It might not always be practical, but it can surely cut down on so-called “bottle mouth.”

 hagen dental2. Too many sports or energy drinks—even if they claim to be healthy!

Especially during the spring and summer months, we want to make sure our kids stay hydrated, whether they are playing outside, or on a sports team. Most of us would not give our young children a Coke while they play sports, but surprisingly, some of the most common sports drinks we do give them can be just as sugar-filled, and just as harmful to their oral health.

Harvard School of Public Health compared a can of cola to an energy drink brand and found that the energy drink brand still had a whopping 21 grams of sugar. The leading brand of cola had 42 grams of sugar. Many nutritionists recommend no more than 16-17 grams of sugar per day for a child.

Another way of looking at it: 40 grams of sugar is about 10 teaspoons of sugar.

When our kids consume these beverages, often times, the sugar settles on their teeth for hours after. If they really are a bit dehydrated, this short-term dry mouth can further accelerate the impact sugar has on their teeth. Even though it can be difficult, check out the label when in doubt so you can choose hydrating options that have little or no sugar in them.

Instead of cutting out all sports, juice, or “energy” drinks suddenly, try to slowly encourage the switch, and pack water for kids so that they don’t see the transition as so sudden or as “boring.”

Here is a breakdown of some other common drinks—not just sports drinks—and how much sugar they have:

  • Coca-Cola: 10 teaspoons
  • Pepsi: 10 teaspoons
  • Mountain Dew: 11 teaspoons
  • Welch’s 100% Grape Juice: 15 teaspoons
  • Minute Maid Orange Juice: 10 teaspoons
  • Capri Sun-Fruit Juicy Red: 11 teaspoons
  • Snapple Iced Tea Peach: 8 teaspoons
  • Glaceau Vitamin Water Essential: 5 teaspoons
  • Odwalla Serious Focus-Apple Raspberry: 14 teaspoons
  • Starbucks Mint Mocha Chip Frappuccino with whipped cream: 14 teaspoons

(Source: The Nutrition Source.)

Looking for more information on your children’s health, including their oral health? Set up your next dentist appointment with us today—we can’t wait to meet you and your family.

How Much Do Straight Teeth Really Matter?

Thursday, January 22nd, 2015

invisalign at Hagen Dental CincinnatiWhat’s the first thing people notice about someone else’s appearance?

If you guessed someone’s smile, then you are right. Our smile is usually the first thing someone else notices when they first see us. Beyond having that healthy smile that can look great, there are quite a few other benefits of having straight teeth that can leave us feeling great as well. Here are some of those benefits:

Improved self-concept.

Having straightened teeth impacts how we actually think and view ourselves. Beyond just vanity or increased confidence, crooked teeth can cause speech impediments, or just make us extremely self-conscious.

How straight our teeth are also impacts how we are perceived as well.

Did you know that people who have straight teeth are perceived as more successful, smarter and as having more dates? Having straight teeth also means you are more likely to be hired! You can see why how other people’s perceptions of us help shape our social and psychological wellbeing.

Increased ability to clean teeth.

Overlapping teeth can trap food particles, whereas straight, aligned teeth can mean the surface area is easier to both brush and floss effectively. Straighter teeth also translate to an easier and more smooth flossing and brushing experience—which means we’re also more likely to brush and floss each day. Talk about a win-win!

Overall healthier teeth and gums.

When we have teeth that stick out or protrude, these teeth are more likely to break or see cracks. Additionally, overly crowded teeth can wear unevenly, and this uneven wear can result in headaches. Crooked teeth can push against the soft tissues we have in our mouth, making cuts, sores, and infections more likely. Last, if we’re better able to fight bacteria build-up with straighter, more properly aligned teeth, we’re also better able to avoid gum disease.

“I’m ready for straighter, more symmetrical teeth.”

You’re ready for the chance to smile with confidence. Or maybe your teeth have just moved as you’ve grown older, and you’re ready to do something about it. One of the reasons Invisalign is popular is that the aligners used are nearly invisible. These clear aligners are also removable, and you can still eat food as you normally would.

Here are a few of the top things to know about Invisalign—whether you are a teen or adult:

  • You’re able to continue to floss and brush like normal (just take off your aligners!)
  • Trays are smooth and comfortable, and easy to take off
  • Ideal for a busy person
  • Fast and convenient compared to other methods of teeth straightening; typical people use a new aligner every two weeks

With our mouth being a window to the health of our entire body, it is no wonder that our smile says so much about us. Ready to learn more about Invisalign? Contact us to hear more about why parents, teens, and even brides are so excited about using Invisalign.