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How to Prepare for a Safe Thanksgiving

November 25th, 2020

We’ve all had to make many sacrifices and adjust to a lot of change as we continue fighting through the 2020 COVID-19 pandemic. Much like all of the other holidays this year, Thanksgiving will be celebrated uniquely. For many families, Thanksgiving is marked by being surrounded by family and friends with lots of tasty food. Thanksgiving gatherings often involve families and loved ones, including parents, grandparents, friends, children, and college students traveling long distances to come together, but the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) warns that travel greatly increases the risk of contracting and spreading COVID-19. It’s undeniable that individuals are starting to feel “pandemic fatigue,” as several months have passed since the onset of COVID-19. But health professionals and experts are cautioning individuals to be mindful and not relax on safety practices when it comes to the holidays. Coronavirus is still steadily increasing, with more than 1 million COVID-19 cases reported in the United States over the last week, according to the CDC. According to the Washington Post, Michelle DallaPiazza, an infectious diseases specialist at Rutgers New Jersey Medical School stated, “There is a real danger in complacency, and we are seeing the effects of that play out in real time…Across the country, we have begun to see another increase in infections and deaths after a period of time with low transmission.”

Health experts are encouraging individuals to stay home to protect yourself and others. If you are considering traveling and/or gathering for Thanksgiving, it is important to understand the risks involved and follow safe preventative guidelines when celebrating:

Traveling Safety Precautions:

If you are considering traveling for Thanksgiving, the CDC recommends asking these questions before making your decision to travel. Keep these safety guidelines in mind when traveling:

If You Are Sick, Stay Home

If you are experiencing symptoms or do not feel well stay at home and do not gather with others.

Wash Your Hands Frequently

It’s important to regularly and thoroughly wash your hands. Hand washing should last at least 20 seconds. When unable to wash your hands with soap and water, use hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol content.

Wear your Mask

Be sure to wear your mask, only removing when eating and drinking. Keep your mask over your nose and mouth and ensure that it is tightly secured under your chin and against the sides of your face.

Keep it Small

Do your best to only be around a limited amount of people. If possible, plan for gatherings that only include people who live in the same house. If attending another household, to make the celebration safer bring your own food, drinks, plates, cups, and utensils.

Social Distance

Maintain social distancing guidelines of staying at least 6 feet apart (about two arm lengths apart) from individuals who do not live in the same household as you.

Celebrate Virtually

Try a virtual Thanksgiving dinner via FaceTime, Zoom, Skype, WhatsApp, or other social media platforms with your loved ones. You can share screens and watch television, sports, or play fun games!

The CDC classifies holiday activities into the following categories:

We wish you all a safe and happy Thanksgiving!

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.washingtonpost.com/health/holiday-coronavirus-family-gatherings/2020/10/30/3b938d48-14aa-11eb-bc10-40b25382f1be_story.html

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

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

https://www.bassettcreekdental.com/news/2020/11/planning-safe-thanksgiving

Is the Stress of COVID-19 Getting to you, and your Teeth?

November 22nd, 2020

Have you noticed an increase in your stress levels lately? The COVID-19 pandemic has unexpectedly had an undeniable impact on our lives in many ways. With many lives lost, financial hardships, isolation, and continued uncertainty, health care professionals, especially dentists, are noticing an increase in stress-related health issues.

Many have had to adapt to different work, home, and school environments, become used to digital technology, and add new precautionary practices to daily life routines like wearing a mask and practicing social distancing. The American Psychological Association (APA) warns that over time, the negative mental health effects of the coronavirus pandemic can be serious and long-lasting.

Not much has changed in terms of practicing universal precautions for all patients of dental professionals, as these practices were implemented at the peak of the AIDS crisis in the 1980's. Due to these safe practices and use of personal protective equipment, epidemiologists and the American Dental Association (ADA) have reported that there are no cases of COVID-19 outbreaks associated to any dental offices in the United States!

According to the ADA Health Policy Institute's COVID-19 impact poll to dentists in the United States, dentists are seeing an increase in stress-related oral health conditions in patients since the start of the coronavirus pandemic. Approximately 59.4% of the participating dentists reported increases in the prevalence of tooth grinding (bruxism), 53.4% chipped and cracked teeth, and 53.4% temporomandibular disorder symptoms among their patients. Plus, approximately 26.4% documented an increase in tooth decay (caries), and 29.7% reported an increase in periodontal disease. As of the week of Sept. 21, greater than 99% of dental offices in the United States were open according to the American Dental Association (ADA).

The overall health and safety of patients remains our #1 priority. It’s important to acknowledge any stress you may feel, know how to cope with stress, and where to turn for help if needed so that you can continue to care for yourself and remain healthy. Along with practicing social distancing, wearing face masks, and frequent hand-washing, it is equally important to manage stress and anxiety during these challenging times. Prolonged stress and anxiety can play a significant role on the health of your overall body, including increasing heart rate and blood pressure, issues with digestion, teeth grinding, headaches, trouble sleeping, mental health disturbances, and inability to focus, just to name a few issues.

Take a look at some tips to stay mentally and physically healthy during these troubling times:

Stay in the loop with current events:

Stay up to date with research and reports from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the World Health Organization (WHO) on COVID-19 statistics and prevention resources. Being in-the-know can help keep you and your loved ones calm and prepared.

Take breaks:

Although it’s important to be aware of what’s going on globally, allow yourself some time to disconnect from too much negative news and social media. It is also necessary to get adequate rest.

Stay physically active:

A great way to reduce stress is to increase your physical activity. While following safety precautions, take walks, jog, bike ride, meditate, or do the activities that normally make you happy! It is also important to eat well and make sure that you are getting proper nutrition and fluids to keep your body and immune system healthy.

Avoid negative habits:

Sometimes stress can lead to negative coping behavioral habits such as use of alcohol and tobacco.  If you or a loved one are struggling with alcoholism, know that this is not a fight that has to be done alone. For help with alcohol addiction, please check out these resources with 24/7 availability. For individuals struggling with tobacco use, the Massachusetts Tobacco Cessation and Prevention Program offers information and resources that can help individuals quit. Also, check out a list of resources and other helpful information on our WDG blog here.

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.dentistryiq.com/covid-19/article/14184297/dentist-takes-holistic-approach-with-patients-who-grind-teeth-due-to-covidrelated-stress?utm_source=DEC_DIQ+Morning+Briefing&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=CPS201002009&o_eid=3760I9143045C2X&rdx.ident%5Bpull%5D=omeda%7C3760I9143045C2X&oly_enc_id=3760I9143045C2X

https://www.ada.org/en/publications/ada-news/2020-archive/september/hpi-poll-dentists-see-increase-in-patients-stress-related-oral-health-conditions

https://success.ada.org/en/practice-management/dental-practice-success/dps-summer-2020/strategies-for-dealing-with-stress-during-the-pandemic

https://www.google.com/url?sa=i&url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.myannapolisdentist.com%2F2020%2F03%2F25%2Fcovid-19-and-maintaining-oral-health%2F&psig=AOvVaw15O7NhSbT2tavg0RhOC8y5&ust=1606148746593000&source=images&cd=vfe&ved=0CAIQjRxqFwoTCMCrosXIlu0CFQAAAAAdAAAAABAQ

Tackling the Myths about Fluoride

November 17th, 2020

You’ve come in for your routine checkup and your hygienist has suggested that you apply fluoride to your teeth. You know that fluoride is in some toothpastes, so you may wonder why do you need extra? In today’s post we will tackle the myths about fluoride:

What is fluoride?

Fluoride is a mineral found in your food and water. This mineral is lost when acid from the plaque on your teeth performs a process called demineralization. If too much demineralization occurs, this results in a weakened tooth structure.  When this happens, the tooth has a higher chance of developing a cavity.

Myth #1

Fluoride should not be in drinking water

Truth: Fluoride is found naturally in almost all water supplies.  Even though it is found naturally in water, this is not enough to protect our teeth. It is recommended that your water’s fluoride  levels be at 0.7 parts per million of water to be the most effective.

Myth #2

Fluoride is a medication

Truth: Fluoride is not medicine. It is a mineral. When proper amounts are consumed, decay is less rampant and teeth are healthier and stronger.

Myth #3

Fluoride causes cancer

Fact: There is no scientific evidence to prove this. In fact, The National Cancer Institute has performed decades of studies that debunk this. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) states that fluoridation is one of the top 10 public health achievements within the last 20 years.

Myth #4

Fluoride is not good for young children

Fact: When children drink fluoridated water, the enamel of their teeth becomes strengthened at an early age.

Myth #5

Fluoride can damage my teeth

Fact: This is partially true. While decay is much more damaging, high levels of fluoride can cause a condition called fluorosis. According to the American Dental Association (ADA), fluorosis is the appearance of faint, white lines on teeth in children who have consumed too much fluoride. In most cases, the appearance is mild.  After the age of 8, the chances of fluorosis decreases.  For children younger 3, it is recommended that parents brush their teeth with toothpaste equivalent to the size of a grain of rice. For children 3-6, a parent should use a pea sized amount.

Types of Fluoride

Topical Fluoride: aids in the remineralization of teeth and stops bacteria from growing. This reduces the amount of plaque on teeth.

  • Toothpaste: is the most commonly used self-applied fluoride. When used, the fluoride concentration in your saliva increases 100-1000 fold. However this is short term as the fluoride baseline returns to normal in 1-2 hours. Most over the counter toothpastes have a concentration of 1,000-1,500 ppm.

  • Mouth rinses or gels are to be used daily or weekly. These are meant to be rinsed out of the mouth. Use in children under the age of 6 is not recommended. These mouth washes have 230 ppm of fluoride.

  • Fluoride varnish is applied professionally by a health care professional. This allows for high concentrations of fluoride to come in contact with teeth for several hours. It is recommended that fluoride is applied twice a year for the best benefits. According to the CDC, there is no evidence that professionally applied fluoride leads to fluorosis in children under the age of 6.

Systemic Fluoride: fluoride that is consumed

  • Water fluoridation is the most inexpensive way to receive fluoride to prevent tooth decay. Studies have shown that it is effective in reducing tooth decay in children and adults by up to 20-40%.
  • Dietary fluoride can be prescribed for children who are 6 months and older that are high risk for tooth decay. Tablets or lozenges are prescribed in the concentrations of 0.25, 0.5, or 1.0 mg. These are meant to be sucked on for 1-2 minutes before swallowing. The following guidelines are recommended by the ADA. All prescriptions should follow this guideline.

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.mouthhealthy.org/en/az-topics/f/fluorosis

https://www.ada.org/en/science-research/ada-seal-of-acceptance/ada-seal-products?source=promospots&medium=button&content=adasealproducts

https://www.ada.org/en/member-center/oral-health-topics/fluoride-topical-and-systemic-supplements

https://www.colgateprofessional.com/hygienists/articles/debunking-fluoride-myths-how-to-educate-patients-about-its-benef

https://cdn-prod.medicalnewstoday.com/content/images/articles/154/154164/fluoride-in-dental-products.jpg

https://www.google.com/url?sa=i&url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.medicalnewstoday.com%2Farticles%2F154164&psig=AOvVaw2NJejBfB1Ydoy65OFZ2CyZ&ust=1605729126520000&source=images&cd=vfe&ved=0CAIQjRxqFwoTCNCLw6Wtiu0CFQAAAAAdAAAAABAD

COVID-19 Symptoms to Watch Out For!

November 10th, 2020

As the days pass, we can probably all say that we are counting the days until the world beats COVID-19. This global pandemic has created many obstacles and sadly has taken the lives of many. We remain united together and will continue doing our part to stop the spread of coronavirus. A lot of information and evidence based research continues to be gathered regarding the virus as time goes on, and it's important to stay abreast of all of the new findings to keep everyone safe and protected. As reported by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), anyone exposed to COVID-19 can experience mild to severe symptoms. In particular, researchers have found that older individuals and individuals who have severe underlying medical conditions, such as heart or lung disease or diabetes, are at an increased risk for developing more serious complications from the virus.

So what exactly are the documented symptoms of COVID-19? Well, a wide range of symptoms have been reported, which typically have been found to appear approximately 2-14 days after exposure to coronavirus. Check out some of the more common symptoms reported by the CDC:

According to a study published in the journal Abdominal Radiology conducted by the University of Alberta faculty of Medicine & Dentistry, approximately 1 in 5 patients (20%) with COVID-19 may only show gastrointestinal symptoms. These symptoms can include abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and appetite loss. The article analyzed 36 studies conducted on COVID-19 symptoms starting in July 2020. Plus, the researchers found potential signs that radiologists should look for while conducting abdominal radiographs that could be evidence of COVID-19 infection. They noted signs of inflammation of the small and large intestines, air within the wall of the intestines (pneumatosis) and perforation (pneumoperitoneum). However, researchers reported that these symptoms are rare. Mitch Wilson, a radiologist and clinical lecturer in the University of Alberta's Faculty of Medicine & Dentistry, explained, "Seeing these things is not necessarily telling us a patient has COVID-19," said Wilson. "It could be from a variety of potential causes. But one of those potential causes is infection from the virus, and in an environment where COVID-19 is very prevalent, it's something to consider and potentially raise as a possibility to the referring physician."

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://decisionsindentistry.com/2020/11/one-in-five-covid-19-patients-presents-only-with-gastrointestinal-symptoms/?inf_contact_key=45820791642b1ab6a6e4dcf7c731f3a0d18a532c4142cb79caf2b269de1401fa

https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2020/11/201103104734.htm

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/symptoms-testing/symptoms.html

https://www.google.com/url?sa=i&url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.elitecme.com%2Fresource-center%2Fcovid-19%2Fcovid-19-digestive-issues-and-common-symptoms&psig=AOvVaw1XjnenYq5fifIjEfELuYra&ust=1605048878955000&source=images&cd=vfe&ved=0CAIQjRxqFwoTCJi8kJfH9uwCFQAAAAAdAAAAABAD

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