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What's the Scoop on Chewing Gum?

October 20th, 2020

Chewing gum, it’s used to freshen breath but is it good for you? The average American consumes 1.8 pounds of it a year. We’ve heard the age-old tale that candy is bad for your teeth. Well, there is good news when it comes to gum. Using sugar free chewing gum can help to prevent tooth decay, cause the production of more saliva, and ultimately help to strengthen teeth.

The Oral Health Foundation recommends sugar free gum in between meals when brushing is not possible. When you eat, acid is made by the bacteria in your mouth and the sugar in your food and drinks. The acid created dissolves your tooth enamel, creating a cavity. When sugar free gum is chewed, saliva is created. This washes away the acid and reduces the chance of developing tooth decay. The increased saliva can also help clear away acid in the esophagus as well as reduce the effects of dry mouth.

Chewing sugar free gum can help to increase pH within the mouth after eating. This is important because pH drops each time that you consume food or drinks. The critical pH that causes enamel to dissolve is 5.5. Sugar free gum helps to buffer the lowering of pH after eating.

Sugar free gum contains less than 0.5 grams of sugar per serving. Sweeteners such as aspartame, sucrose, or stevia and sugar alcohols such as xylitol, mannitol, and sorbitol are used in place of sugar. These sweeteners have less calories than sugar. Out of all of these sweeteners, xylitol has been proven to be the most effective in preventing cavities. Studies have shown that chewing gum that contains xylitol has a long- and short-term effect of reducing the production of plaque and bacteria that causes tooth decay. Bacteria cannot feed off of xylitol which reduces their amount within the oral cavity.

So, you may be wondering, which gum to chew? When choosing gum, look for the American Dental Association (ADA) seal of approval. The following have been evaluated and have met the ADA’s criteria for safety and efficiency.

Bazooka Sugar Free Bubble Gum:

Eclipse Sugar Free Gum:

Ice Breakers Ice Cubes Sugar Free Chewing Gum:

Orbit Sugar Free Gum:

Trident Sugar free Gum:

Yes, sugar free gum can be beneficial, but that does not mean that it can replace brushing and flossing. The ADA recommends brushing twice a day and flossing at least once a day.

This pandemic has impacted us all, but our community is indeed all stronger together. Our team at WDG always has your safety and health as our top priority, and we have implemented additional safety measures and equipment to help prevent the transmission of all infections, including COVID-19. Wellesley Dental Group has completely reopened since June 8th, 2020 for all dental procedures and cleanings! Thank you for entrusting your health and dental care to us at Wellesley Dental Group.

Feel free to contact Drs. Ali & Ali and the caring team at Wellesley Dental Group if you have any thoughts or concerns; they will be happy to answer your questions! Contact us today at 781-237-9071 or smile@wellesleydentalgroup.com to set up an appointment.

Your little ones and teens are welcome to visit our pediatric dentist, Dr. Derek, and Dr. Emad is happy to help with your TMJ and orthodontic needs. For wisdom teeth extractions or any other oral surgery needs, Dr. Stephens would love to help, and our gum-specialist Dr. Singh can help with your gum-related concerns.

References:

https://www.ada.org/en/member-center/oral-health-topics/chewing-gum

https://www.mouthhealthy.org/en/az-topics/c/chewing-gum

https://oralb.com/en-us/oral-health/life-stages/adults/effects-chewing-gum-on-teeth/

https://www.colgate.com/en-us/oral-health/basics/nutrition-and-oral-health/gum-that-is-good-for-your-teeth-too-good-to-be-true-0213

https://www.dentalhealth.org/sugar-free-chewing-gum?_ga=2.254167688.10820751.1600308545-1646793870.1600308545

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4232036/

Tricky Treats for your Teeth

October 14th, 2020

As pumpkin spice, reddish-orange leaves, and cool air highlight the season of fall, we also prepare for spooky Halloween festivities. Although Halloween will be celebrated differently this year as we all do our part to stop the spread of COVID-19, that doesn’t need to put a damper on your spirit! Check out these helpful tricks for how to safely celebrate Halloween this year.

We also need to be cautious about the sweet treats that deliciously mark this annual occasion. Unfortunately, the sweet treats can be a not-so-sweet trick to the health of your teeth! This is the perfect time to continue to reinforce good dental hygiene habits as the sugary candies begin to pile up. Here are a few tips on how to help keep minimize your risk of developing dental cavities (tooth decay):

  • Choose healthier treats: 

If you plan to give out goodie bags with treats this year, try to avoid purchasing candies that are sour, which can be highly acidic and tend to break down tooth enamel, as well as sticky candies like caramel, gummy worms, or jelly beans that stick to the surfaces of teeth for long amounts of time. It is also best to avoid hard candies that can potentially lead to tooth enamel fracture or choking hazards for young children. Instead, opt for healthier tooth-friendly treats such as granola bars or dark chocolate, for instance.

  • Sort through any candy received:

Along with frequent hand-washing and disinfecting received items, it is important to check that there are no dangerous items within your child’s Halloween stash. This is also a great opportunity to explain to your child which candies are best to avoid as mentioned above, and encourage healthier options.

  • Create a plan ahead of time:

Come up with a plan for Halloween to discuss with your family, including information about the importance of oral health and how their diet can impact the health of their teeth. Although it might be your child’s priority to collect large amounts of candy to consume during Halloween, their teeth will be what bears the consequence. It may be good to set a specific time when the Halloween treats can be eaten to help monitor how much and how frequently the sugar is being consumed. Remember, having things in moderation is key! An interesting point to note is that the frequency of consuming sugary foods and beverages matters. Each time you consume fermentable carbohydrates, the pH in your mouth drops as oral bacteria turn the sugar to acid, and thus makes the oral environment more acidic. If the pH drops below the critical pH of dental enamel (pH=5.5), this will lead to demineralization and the breakdown of the tooth enamel. So, be sure to let your child know that the amount of sugar and the frequency of sugar intake plays a role on the health of your teeth.

After satisfying your sweet tooth with Halloween treats, be sure to brush and floss.

Not to mention, every year around Halloween, WDG passionately gears up for our annual Candy Drive, which gets bigger and better each year all thanks to our lovely community! This year, out of an abundance of caution, we have decided to cancel the 13th Annual Candy Drive. Our utmost priority as healthcare professionals is to keep our community safe and healthy, and we want to minimize any risk of transmission of COVID-19. But, the celebration and spirit of giving will not stop, as we have launched our Healthcare Heroes Appreciation Drive. Check here for details and see how you can get involved.

This pandemic has impacted us all, but our community is indeed all stronger together. Our team at WDG always has your safety and health as our top priority, and we have implemented additional safety measures and equipment to help prevent the transmission of all infections, including COVID-19. Wellesley Dental Group has completely reopened since June 8th, 2020 for all dental procedures and cleanings! Thank you for entrusting your health and dental care to us at Wellesley Dental Group.

Feel free to contact Drs. Ali & Ali and the caring team at Wellesley Dental Group if you have any thoughts or concerns; they will be happy to answer your questions! Contact us today at 781-237-9071 or smile@wellesleydentalgroup.com to set up an appointment.

Your little ones and teens are welcome to visit our pediatric dentist, Dr. Derek, and Dr. Emad is happy to help with your TMJ and orthodontic needs. For wisdom teeth extractions or any other oral surgery needs, Dr. Stephens would love to help, and our gum-specialist Dr. Singh can help with your gum-related concerns.

References:

https://amp.colgate.com/en-us/oral-health/conditions/cavities/how-to-prevent-cavities-from-halloween-candy-1013

https://www.webmd.com/oral-health/features/5-tricks-for-dealing-with-halloween-treats#1

https://www.nymetroparents.com/columnpic2/halloween-themed-recipes-for-kids.jpg?clear=1

https://www.google.com/url?sa=i&url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.quora.com%2FWhat-is-the-Stephan-curve-in-dentistry&psig=AOvVaw16rt8napAYukKoiATxapbZ&ust=1602817587209000&source=images&cd=vfe&ved=0CAIQjRxqFwoTCLj37vrOtewCFQAAAAAdAAAAABAK

https://www.google.com/url?sa=i&url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.sandytoesandpopsicles.com%2Fcelebrate%2Fhalloween%2Fparty-ideas-appetizers-dinner-desserts-printable-spookysnacks%2F&psig=AOvVaw28XEIEOrV1Da_ibHLAamUl&ust=1602817849822000&source=images&cd=vfe&ved=0CAIQjRxqFwoTCNihifzPtewCFQAAAAAdAAAAABAN

Avoiding the Scare of COVID-19 During Halloween

October 11th, 2020

Every year as fall fills the air and leaves begin to change, we all start preparing to celebrate a spooky Halloween, where we all can dress up and have fun being whoever we want to be! As Halloween this year approaches during the COVID-19 global pandemic, we all may be wondering how to celebrate the occasion safely. Halloween this year will look a lot different than in the past as we all try to do our part in slowing the spread of coronavirus. But don't let that bring your spirits down, there are still plenty of ways families can celebrate and have fun without being spooked by spreading or being exposed to the virus.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has released guidelines to help protect us all during these uncertain times:

The CDC notes that If you are packaging goodie bags to give away, be sure to wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 second before and after preparing the goodie bags. They also warn that a Halloween costume mask should not be a substitute for a cloth mask, unless it is made of two or more layers of breathable fabric that covers the mouth and nose, leaving no gaps around the face. If planning to participate in outdoor Halloween activities, be sure to wear your face mask, practice social distancing, and frequently wash your hands with hand sanitizer and soap and water. Any place with large groups of individuals, whether outside or inside, should be avoided to help stop the spread of COVID-19. Most importantly, If you believe you have COVID-19 ,or have been in contact with someone diagnosed with COVID-19, you should not participate in in-person Halloween activities or disperse any goods to the public.

As you may know, every year around Halloween, WDG passionately gears up for our annual Candy Drive, which gets bigger and better each year all thanks to our lovely community! This year, out of an abundance of caution, we have decided to cancel the 13th Annual Candy Drive. Our utmost priority as healthcare professionals is to keep our community safe and healthy, and we want to minimize any risk of transmission of COVID-19. But, the celebration and spirit of giving will not stop, as we have launched our Healthcare Heroes Appreciation Drive. Check here for details and see how you can get involved.

This pandemic has impacted us all, but our community is indeed all stronger together. Our team at WDG always has your safety and health as our top priority, and we have implemented additional safety measures and equipment to help prevent the transmission of all infections, including COVID-19. Wellesley Dental Group has completely reopened since June 8th, 2020 for all dental procedures and cleanings! Thank you for entrusting your health and dental care to us at Wellesley Dental Group.

Feel free to contact Drs. Ali & Ali and the caring team at Wellesley Dental Group if you have any thoughts or concerns; they will be happy to answer your questions! Contact us today at 781-237-9071 or smile@wellesleydentalgroup.com to set up an appointment.

Your little ones and teens are welcome to visit our pediatric dentist, Dr. Derek, and Dr. Emad is happy to help with your TMJ and orthodontic needs. For wisdom teeth extractions or any other oral surgery needs, Dr. Stephens would love to help, and our gum-specialist Dr. Singh can help with your gum-related concerns.

References:

https://www.nymetroparents.com/columnpic2/halloween-themed-recipes-for-kids.jpg?clear=1

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/daily-life-coping/holidays.html#halloween

https://cdn.abcotvs.com/dip/images/6423711_091520-ktrk-halloween-covid-img.jpg?w=1600

https://www.healthychildren.org/English/health-issues/conditions/COVID-19/Pages/Halloween-COVID-Safety-Tips.aspx

Healthcare Heroes Appreciation Drive

October 8th, 2020

Dear friends & community members,

This year, out of an abundance of caution, we have decided to cancel the 13th Annual Candy Drive. Our utmost priority as healthcare professionals is to keep our community safe and healthy, and we want to minimize any risk of transmission of COVID-19.

Instead, this year, we plan to continue the spirit of giving back and bringing our community together by launching our Healthcare Heroes Appreciation Drive. 

This new initiative is a drive to collect handmade “kindness cards” & letters for our local healthcare workers. Our goal is to have every student write a letter or make a card to show our appreciation and gratitude for all the sacrifices our healthcare workers have made over the last several months.

 

To amplify the impact of this drive, Wellesley Dental Group will donate 25 cents for each letter or card to the Massachusetts Nurses Association (MNA), who will use the donation to purchase PPE for their frontline workers. 

How you can get involved:

  1. Encourage your students to share their appreciation via a card or letter
  2. Drop off the letters / cards (completely contactless) or mail them to the Wellesley Dental Group office by Monday, November 9th. Our office address is: 5 Seaward Road, Wellesley 02481
  3. Help us spread the word to increase our impact!

As always, we look forward to partnering with you all to make a difference. While it may look a little different this year, we’re excited to continue our tradition of community giving.  

All my best,  

Femina Ali, DMD

781-237-9071

femina@wellesleydentalgroup.com

 

 

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