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Popular "Health" Trends that aren't so Healthy!

July 28th, 2019

From online ads to television commercials, we are surrounded by many popular trends that are intended to improve our overall health. But are these trends truly thinking about your health overall? Often these trendy recommendations leave out the health of your pearly-whites, which play a critical role in the health of your body. Not to mention, you might be wondering are they backed by scientific evidence or just out to get your money? Take a look at these popular trends that could be doing more harm than good:

Juice Cleanses

Juice cleanses have become relatively popular for individuals looking to lose weight or detoxify the body. This diet often is based on drinking only juice from vegetables and fruits and is marketed as a way to help increase vitamin and mineral intake, as well as help improve digestion. However, many of the claimed benefits have not yet been proven scientifically. In addition, juice cleanses are not tooth-friendly because juices typically are high in sugar and can put you at a higher risk for tooth decay. Some fruit juices are also highly acidic, which can wear down your tooth enamel overtime. When consuming acidic beverages it is important to wait to brush until approximately 45 minutes later so that you do not harm your enamel during its weakened state.

Non-Dairy Milk

Almond and soy milk have become advertised as healthy alternatives to milk, but how true is this? Non-dairy milks often are high in sugar, which can be detrimental to your smile. In addition, non-dairy milk may be lacking calcium, which is an essential part of your dental health. Be sure to check the calcium content and aim for buying products with at least 120 milligrams of calcium per 3.4 fluid ounces.

Charcoal Toothpaste

There has been a lot of talk about charcoal toothpaste lately, particularly for its claimed whitening properties. Yet, a recent study showed that charcoal toothpaste can lead to permanently stained teeth. When choosing a toothpaste, the best option is one that contains fluoride, which will help promote enamel remineralization.

Apple Cider Vinegar

Could Apple cider vinegar keep the doctor away? This product has been said to help alleviate bloating and heartburn, lower blood sugar, and help with weight loss. However, according to the University of Chicago Medical Center these claims are not strongly supported by evidence. Not to mention, consuming apple cider vingar can cause enamel erosion due to its acidity.

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.msn.com/en-in/health/wellness/are-these-health-trends-hurting-your-teeth/ar-AACOZV3

https://www.businessinsider.com/healthy-habits-that-damage-your-teeth-2017-10

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Experiencing Toothaches from Winter Weather?

January 13th, 2019

As you're walking outside this winter, do you ever feel a cringing pain in your teeth from the cold air? Not only can the cold cause dry skin, it can also cause some tooth sensitivity, especially if you already struggle with sensitive teeth. According to the Academy of General Dentistry, approximately 40 million Americans have sensitive teeth. This causes many people to avoid foods that are either very cold or very hot, such as ice-cream or soup. So, why does tooth sensitivity occur?

The bulk of your teeth are composed of dentin, which is covered but your enamel on the outside, your gums, and also by cementum on the roots. Inside the dentin is a lot of nerve endings, so once dentin is exposed your nerves respond painfully to hot and cold!

Numerous factors can cause your dentin to become exposed, take a look:

  • Periodontal disease: Gum disease is a common cause of tooth sensitivity. Over time if plaque builds up on your teeth, your gums can become inflamed leading to gingivitis. If not treated, periodontal disease can arise which leads to gum recession and exposed roots and dentin. Be sure to keep up with regular brushing twice a day, flossing, rinsing, and dental check-ups to ensure that your gums stay healthy.
  • Improper brushing techniques: It's true, there is a science to brushing! Brushing aggressively can cause your enamel to wear down and eventually expose your nerve endings within dentin. Make sure you have a soft bristled tooth brush and that you are brushing toward the gum line lightly to remove bacteria within your gum pockets. 
  • Teeth clenching and grinding:  Someone may have told you that you grind your teeth at night, or you may notice that you're clenching your teeth throughout the day. Clenching and grinding can cause your enamel to wear down and also cause headaches and cracks within your teeth. Let your dentist know if you are clenching or grinding and treatment options such as a night guard can be discussed.
  • Tooth decay: If you begin experiencing cold sensitivity on a regular basis, it is important to let your dentist know because it could be a sign of tooth decay. Tooth decay and fillings that have cracked can cause exposure of dentin and result in tooth sensitivity.
  • Tooth whitening/dental treatment: Sometime bleaching agents and recent dental procedures such as fillings and crowns can cause temporary sensitivity. Be sure to let your dentist know when you begin experiencing sensitivity.
  • Acidic diet: Foods and beverages with high acid content, including sodas, coffee, juice, pickles, etc., can cause enamel erosion and exposure of dentin.
To help your winter go smoothly, when going outside try breathing through your nose as much as possible so that the cold air has less contact with your teeth. Make sure that you are bundled up when going outside. Fluoride rinses and toothpastes geared to help with sensitivity can also help decrease your pain to cold. Your dentist may recommend root canal treatment if the pulp inside the tooth is infected, or a procedure to cover your root surfaces to help improve gum recession.

Feel free to contact Drs. Ali & Aliand their newest addition to the team, Dr. Zarah Ali, if you have any thoughts or concerns. Your little ones and teens are welcome to visit our pediatric dentist Dr. VanDr. Emadis happy to help with your orthodontic needs. For wisdom teeth extractions or any other periodontal or oral surgery needs, Dr. Ghaziwould be more than willing to help.

The caring team at Wellesley Dental Groupwill be happy to answer your questions! Contact us today at 781-237-9071or smile@wellesleydentalgroup.comto set up an appointment and consultation.

References:

https://www.guardiandirect.com/resources/articles/winter-and-sensitive-teeth

https://www.colgate.com/en-us/oral-health/conditions/tooth-sensitivity/what-causes-sensitive-teeth-0714

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Happy Halloween!

October 31st, 2018

The haunted holiday has arrived. Happy Halloween from our team at WDG to you and your family! We hope that you have a safe and fun day filled with nice tricks or treats. Halloween can be a great time to teach or remind children about the importance of taking care of their teeth since lots of sugary goodies will be collected. The main goal is to let children know that candy and sweet treats in excess and without proper oral hygiene can lead to cavities. After a days worth of collecting treats, you may be wondering what to do with the surplus of Halloween candy. Consider donating it to our deployed troops at our 11th annual Candy Drive.  This grand celebration started with the goal of instilling the selfless spirit of giving in children, and helping them learn how to balance a healthy diet and manage their oral health and physical health.

To help prevent cavities, try setting a time of day to eat Halloween candy to avoid continuous snacking throughout the day. Also, even though rushing to the bathroom to brush your teeth after eating sweet treats may sound like a good idea, it's actually best to wait at least 30 minutes before brushing. You should, however, drink water immediately. Since acidic and sugary foods can cause your enamel to soften, brushing too soon after can further damage the tooth enamel while it's in a weakened state. It is important to help or watch your child brush their teeth to ensure that they are brushing correctly. Don't forget to replace toothbrushes every 3-4 months and use a toothpaste that contains fluoride. Fluoride helps fight cavities and remineralize tooth enamel.

Also, be careful when getting dressed and made up for trick-or-treating. Avoid using mascara on teeth to represent a missing tooth and instead opt for blackout wax.

Most of all, have fun this Halloween! Checkout our recent blog here on tips to having a successful Halloween.

Feel free to contact Drs. Ali & Ali and their newest addition to the team, Dr. Zarah Ali, if you have any thoughts or concerns. Your little ones and teens are welcome to visit our pediatric dentist Dr. Van. Dr. Emad is happy to help with your orthodontic needs. For wisdom teeth extractions or any other periodontal or oral surgery needs, Dr. Ghazi would be more than willing to help.

The caring team at Wellesley Dental Group will be happy to answer your questions! Contact us today at 781-237-9071 or smile@wellesleydentalgroup.com to set up an appointment and consultation.

References:

https://www.colgate.com/en-us/oral-health/life-stages/childrens-oral-care/four-halloween-tips-for-oral-care-1015

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

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Is Your Mouth Feeling Sizzling Hot?

October 20th, 2018

Being in pain is one of the worst feelings, especially when you don't know the cause. Thanks to new research, knowledge is increasing about chronic oral pain, also called Burning Mouth Syndrome. This condition commonly impacts middle-aged women and can be very debilitating for most people. In past years this condition has been quite ambiguous, but new discoveries are currently being made.

People experiencing Burning Mouth Syndrome often report a sensation of stinging on their tongue, palate, lips and/or gums. This condition can also cause dry mouth, and bitter or metallic taste sensation in the oral cavity. These symptoms can occur gradually overtime or appear suddenly. For many people, it can lead to difficulty eating, sleeping, and cause anxiety or depression.

A dissertation at Sahlgrenska Academy reported that when 56 women with Burning Mouth Syndrome were asked to rate the condition from 0 (not difficult at all) to 100 (unbearable), the average response was 66. It was also found that 45% of the patients experienced altered taste, and 73% had a burning, stinging, numbness, or combination of the three sensations. Burning Mouth Syndrome was strongly correlated with self reports of teeth grinding, multiple medication use, allergies, and skin diseases. Not to mention, mucin proteins detected in the patients were altered and contained less carbohydrate structures that normally impact the immune system. These patients were found to have higher inflammatory levels than the control group of individuals without Burning Mouth Syndrome. With this information, researchers are looking for methods to help with diagnosis and treatment options.

If you're experiencing some of the symptoms mentioned, this can be evaluated during your dental visit. Burning Mouth Syndrome can be secondary to dry mouth from several factors including multiple medications, fungal infections such as oral thrush, nutritional deficiencies (B1, B2, B6, B9, B12, Iron, Zinc), ill-fitting dentures, stomach acid reflux (GERD), diabetes, or consumption acidic beverages.

In the meantime, to help ease the pain, avoid irritants such as tobacco smoking, hot spicy foods, alcoholic beverages or mouth rinses with alcohol, and acidic foods and beverages.

Feel free to contact Drs. Ali & Ali and their newest addition to the team, Dr. Zarah Ali, if you have any thoughts or concerns. Your little ones and teens are welcome to visit our pediatric dentist Dr. Van. Dr. Emad is happy to help with your orthodontic needs. For wisdom teeth extractions or any other periodontal or oral surgery needs, Dr. Ghazi would be more than willing to help.

The caring team at Wellesley Dental Group will be happy to answer your questions! Contact us today at 781-237-9071 or smile@wellesleydentalgroup.com to set up an appointment and consultation.

References:

https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2018/09/180921151427.htm

https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/burning-mouth-syndrome/symptoms-causes/syc-20350911

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Is Sparkling Water Affecting My Teeth?

August 8th, 2018

 

As sparkling water becomes more popular, there's one question that comes into play when thinking about your oral health: Is the crisp and refreshing fizz of sparkling water healthy for your teeth? You may be wondering what the issue could be with sparking water, especially since most brands are sugar-free. However, carbonated drinks like sparkling water contain carbon dioxide, which turns into carbonic acid once in the mouth. This lowers the pH level and thus causes the mouth to become a more acidic environment. Some researchers have concerns about whether or not sipping sparkling water could lead to tooth decay due to erosion of the tooth enamel.

What do researchers say about Sparkling Water?

Current research has found that sparkling water in comparison to highly acidic beverages (for example, sports drinks) are much less erosive to teeth. In fact, the ADA states that it has a comparable effect on tooth enamel as ordinary non-carbonated water. Therefore, sparkling water is generally okay for your teeth, but it is recommended that you not substitute regular fluoridated water with sparkling water.Image result for sparkling water

Tips to help protect your teeth

  • Sparkling water is indeed less acidic and much better for your teeth than sugary drinks such as soda and sports drinks. Yet, it is important to also drink regular fluoridated water in order to keep your teeth strong and healthy. Fluoride helps remineralize tooth enamel and helps fight tooth decay.
  • Beware: some sparkling waters contain sugar which add to your risk of tooth decay.
  • Avoid sipping on sparkling water throughout the day, but rather drink it down with a meal/in one sitting in order to lower the amount of exposure to the carbonation. Also avoid adding acidic fruits like limes or lemons which can also lower the pH and increase the risk of enamel erosion. Enamel erosion can cause tooth sensitivity and discoloration due to the layer of dentin being exposed.

So, if you can, avoid sipping on acidic drinks throughout the day. Regular fluoridated water is often the best choice to keep your teeth healthy and mouth at a neutral pH!

Feel free to contact Drs. Ali & Ali and their newest addition to the team, Dr. Zarah Ali, if you have any thoughts or concerns. Your little ones and teens are welcome to visit our pediatric dentist Dr. Van. Dr. Emad is happy to help with your orthodontic needs. For wisdom teeth extractions or any other periodontal or oral surgery needs, Dr. Ghazi would be more than willing to help.

The caring team at Wellesley Dental Group will be happy to answer your questions! Contact us today at 781-237-9071 or smile@wellesleydentalgroup.com to set up an appointment and consultation.

References:

https://www.mouthhealthy.org/en/nutrition/food-tips/the-truth-about-sparkling-water-and-your-teeth?source=promospots&content=rotator&medium=sparkling_water

https://www.today.com/food/difference-between-seltzer-sparkling-water-club-soda-tonic-water-t114161

https://draxe.com/sparkling-water/

Watch out for these fruits that weaken your enamel!

April 7th, 2018

Did you know that enamel, the hardest substance in your body, can be weakened over time by eating certain fruits? The FDA lists the 13 most acidic fruits and their pH ranges as:

  1. Lemon Juice (2.00 – 2.60)
  2. Limes (2.00 - 2.80)
  3. Cranberry Juice (2.30 – 2.52)
  4. Blue Plums (2.80 – 3.40)
  5. Grapes (2.90 – 3.82)
  6. Pomegranates (2.93 – 3.20)
  7. Grapefruits (3.00 – 3.75)
  8. Blueberries (3.12 – 3.33)
  9. Pineapples (3.20 – 4.00)
  10. Apples (3.33 – 4.00)
  11. Peaches (3.30 – 4.05)
  12. Mangos (3.40 – 4.80)
  13. Oranges (3.69 – 4.34)

If you are experiencing sensitivity, you may want to cut out acidic fruits listed above from your diet as much as possible. You can also use a special toothpaste to decrease sensitivity. Instead of eating these acidic fruits, you can opt for eating less acidic fruits like cantaloupe (6.13-6.58) which have less of an enamel-weakening effect while providing optimal vitamin C levels. Honeydew melons, bananas, and watermelon are also great options. Protecting your enamel from acidic fruits will also lessen your risk of cavities, and help you achieve the perfect smile!

Feel free to contact Drs. Ali & Ali and their newest addition to the team, Dr. Zarah Ali, if you have any thoughts or concerns. Your little ones and teens are welcome to visit our pediatric dentist Dr. Van. Dr. Emad is happy to help with your orthodontic needs. For wisdom teeth extractions or any other periodontal or oral surgery needs, Dr. Ghazi would be more than willing to help.

The caring team at Wellesley Dental Group will be happy to answer your questions! Contact us today at 781-237-9071 or smile@wellesleydentalgroup.com to set up an appointment and consultation.

 

Milk Helps Prevent Cavities

August 31st, 2016

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Many of us have heard the famous advertising campaign, "Got Milk?" Well, it's a good question to ask when speaking about oral health. Grabbing a glass of milk after consuming sugary foods can help reduce the risk of developing cavities, especially for children!

Tooth decay can arise when proper dental habits are not being practiced. Plaque then begins to form on tooth enamel and produces acids stimulated by the sugary foods and drinks that have been consumed leading to cavity formation.

Along with brushing, flossing, rinsing, and other necessary oral habits, milk can also help increase pH levels making the mouth less acidic. According to the Journal of the American Dental Association, researchers looked at the impact of  whole milk, apple juice, and tap water after 20 participants ate cereal. Participants were asked not to brush their teeth for 24 hours so that they could test the drinks on the plaque buildup. It was found that milk helped lower the acidic levels after the consuming cereal and helped strengthen tooth enamel.

So, the next time you indulge in a cookie or other sweet treat, be sure to have a glass of milk by your side. If you have any questions about foods and drinks beneficial to your child's oral health, your little ones and teens are welcome to visit our pediatric dentist Dr. Van.

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

Dr. Emad is happy to help with your orthodontic needs. For wisdom teeth extractions or any other periodontal or oral surgery needs, Dr. Ghazi would be more than willing to help.

References:

http://www.dentistrytoday.com/news/industrynews/item/1084-research-suggests-drinking-milk-after-sweet-snacks-to-fight-decay?hq_e=el&hq_m=1054420&hq_l=2&hq_v=7c40e2efa1

http://www.medicaldaily.com/no-more-tooth-decay-6-surprising-foods-and-drinks-help-prevent-cavities-248070

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Sugar-Free Doesn't Mean Tooth-Friendly!

December 7th, 2015

We often believe that beverages or treats labeled as "sugar-free" are safe for our teeth.  However, this is a misconception. According to researchers at the University of Melbourne's Oral Health Cooperative Research Centre (Oral Health CRC), sugar-free soft drinks and candies can harm tooth enamel as much as those that contain sugar.

These scientists claim that reducing sugar intake does not always result in a lower risk of tooth decay. Instead, the chemicals in drinks with artificially sweetening can cause tooth decay.  The chief executive of the Oral Health CRC claims that although a decreased intake of sugar can reduce some risk of dental decay, the acids in the treats and beverages can still lead to erosion of teeth. Also, acid can dissolve tooth enamel and even expose the soft pulp in the tooth's interior if the erosion progresses further.

Researchers analyzed the impacts of drinks and treats labeled as sugar-free on dental health by studying a mix of 23 different sugar-free sports drinks, soft drinks, and candies. They observed that they contain acidic additives and low pH levels, which are extremely harmful to tooth enamel. The researchers also discovered that most of the sugar-free beverages softened the enamel by around 30 to 50 percent, and even sugar-free candies labeled as "tooth-friendly" caused damage to the enamel.

One of the main concerns is the high rate of dental decay among children. He affirms that one in three children experience tooth erosion, and that this rate could increase now that there are more and more sugar-free products. Try avoiding buying sugar-free products that contain ingredients such as acidic additives citric acid and phosphoric acid.

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 and consultation.

Your little ones and teens are welcome to visit our pediatric dentist Dr. VanDr. Emad is happy to help with your orthodontic needs. For wisdom teeth extractions or any other oral surgery needs Dr. Ghazi would be more than willing to help.

Resources:

http://www.healthnewsline.net/even-tooth-friendly-drinks-can-cause-dental-erosion-study/2533972/

http://www.thegoodshoppingguide.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/03/soft-drinks.jpe

Listen up, Kids: Dental Care for Children

October 9th, 2015

kidBelieve it or not, a third of children today have tooth decay before even starting school. According to statistics published by the Health & Social Care Information Centre, tooth decay is one of the main causes of hospital visits for children in elementary school. Surprisingly, 25,812 children ranging from ages 5 to 9 went to the hospital for tooth extractions in the last year alone.

Here are some tips below on how to protect your child’s teeth to make sure that your child doesn’t become part of these statistics!

  1. Drink less fruit juice!

Just because fruit juice is nutritious and often rich in vitamin C does not mean that it’s also beneficial for your teeth! Many juices have around the same amount of sugar as that in sodas, or even more. For instance, NPR states that apple juice contains 65.8 grams of sugar per liter, while cola contains 62.5 grams of sugar per liter. This copious amount of sugar leads to tooth decay. Furthermore, the acid from the juice destroys the enamel of teeth, which can cause teeth to deteriorate. Even the British Dental Association claims that 50% of children ranging from four to 18 years old show these signs.

Because of these harmful effects of fruit juice, dentists recommend water and milk as healthy beverage alternatives for children. If your child is still craving fruit juice, try to dilute it as much as possible and make sure that your child has a meal with it. Also, try your best to avoid letting your child have too much contact time with the cup and his or her teeth and instead opt for using a straw.

 

  1. Avoid dried fruit !

Dried fruit isn’t a good replacement for candy it has a great deal of sugar, and even worse, its sticky texture clings onto your child’s teeth. Due to these unhealthy properties, dried fruit can ruin enamel and rot your little one’s molars. Although chocolate isn’t a great option, dark chocolate is known to  be rich in antioxidants that help prevent the spread of tooth-decay causing bacteria.

Whole fruit can be a better option than dried fruit and fruit juice because it contains water and fibers that help wash away sugar from teeth. However, try not to feed your child more than one or two low-sugar fruit pieces (strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, kiwis, peaches, and pears) instead of high-sugar fruit pieces (grapes or pineapple) per day. Incorporate fruit into meals rather than simply having them as snacksBreadsticks, toast, cheese, nuts, or seeds are some healthier snack alternatives.

 

  1. Baby teeth matter!

It's important not to presume that just because baby teeth are not permanent, that they should not be taken care of! Your child’s permanent teeth are at a higher risk of decay and other dental problems when primary teeth decay. Baby tooth decay could lead children to experience dental anxiety, which could make them less likely to visit the dentist later on.

 

  1. Help your child brush his/her teeth!

Depending on how mature your child is, you should help brush your child’s teeth until at least age seven to ensure that they are using proper brushing techniques. 

 

  1. Proper brushing techniques!
  • Don’t let your child brush his/her teeth right after eating, particularly after eating or drinking something acidic. Doing so will brush the enamel away! Your child should either brush before eating breakfast or wait an hour after the meal. Chewing sugar-free gum can also be an effective way to clean teeth, because it produces saliva, which defends against decay, and brings mouths back to a neutral pH level.
  • It doesn’t matter if your child uses a manual or electric toothbrush. What’s important is that the brushing lasts for at least two minutes! Electric toothbrushes often have built-in timers, so this feature can be effective.
  • Don’t let your child rinse the toothpaste away right after brushing! The fluoride in the toothpaste can keep protecting his or her teeth for 30 minutes. Children under three should use toothpaste with 1,000 fluoride parts per million, while children over three should use adult toothpaste that contains 1,450 fluoride parts per million.

For many parents, the first time they took their children to the dentist was when their children were at least one year old. However, parents should set their first appointment for when their children’s teeth begin to come out, which is around five to six months old. Further oral health tips for children can be found here.

This past spring, we welcomed Dr. Van, our Pediatric Dentist, onto our caring team at the Wellesley Dental Group! Dr. Van strongly believes in the importance of creating a fun and welcoming atmosphere for patients as well as parents. One of his goals is to introduce good dental habits to our youth, preventing dental diseases later on in life.

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 and consultation.

Your little ones and teens are welcome to visit our pediatric dentist Dr. VanDr. Emad is happy to help with your orthodontic needs. For wisdom teeth extractions or any other oral surgery needs Dr. Ghazi would be more than willing to help.

References:

http://mouafaqbtc.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/06/b4054a_0d4b9e685762e624649fbf8898f77c87.jpg

http://www.express.co.uk/life-style/health/609471/Children-dental-care-truths-myths

http://www.thedentistar.com/images/import/images/glenview-kids-dentist.jpg

http://www.npr.org/sections/thesalt/2014/06/09/319230765/fruit-juice-vs-soda-both-beverages-pack-in-sugar-and-health-risk

Summertime in the City: What's Healthy and What's Not

June 2nd, 2015

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June is finally here and it will be hard for many of us to resist a cold drink on a hot summer day. With the many family barbecues and outings, you're sure to be in for a treat this summer. During the warmer months, there are many tasty foods and drinks at our convenience. However, some of these items aren’t so tooth-friendly. As we all know, it is important to limit the amount of sugary foods and drinks we intake to ensure a healthy smile. For the health of your mouth, which links to your overall health, try adding these healthy options to your plate and glass this summer:

Drink, Drink, and Drink more water:

A nice glass of water can be a refreshing drink as you relax by the poolside. Water is important for staying hydrated, especially when your active and the sun is shining. Your smile will also thank you if you rinse your mouth with water after meals. Water, particularly tap water, even has the benefit of containing fluoride.

Watermelon:

Watermelon, made of 92% water, is another tasty  and healthy snack that will keep you hydrated this summer. It contains  lycopene, which helps keep skin protected. Also, many foods that are mainly composed of water have fewer calories. Your kids may even enjoy making watermelon popsicles!

Milk:

Milk is a great alternative to sugary drinks because it has been found to reduce levels of acid produced by plaque bacteria. Milk helps remineralize teeth by providing calcium to keep your teeth strong.

Sugar-Free Gum:

Chewing sugar-free gum can help to stimulate saliva flow and ultimately help to wash away left behind foods. However, it is not clear whether or not xylitol, commonly found in sugar-free gum, actually lowers the risk of developing dental cavities.

Strawberries:

Strawberries are in season and packed with healthy ingredients. Strawberries contain malic acid, which is known to whiten enamel. They also contain many antioxidants and vitamin C, which can help to regulate blood pressure and cholesterol, and promote eye health.

Cheese:

Cheese is full of calcium, the protein casein, and vitamin D, all good for the health of your teeth. Researchers have discovered that cheese helps increases the pH levels of dental plaque, helping to reduce tooth decay.

Pears:

Pears contain a wealth of fiber that will benefit your teeth. They help to produce saliva and lower plaque levels in the mouth.

Apples:

Crispy apples are full of vitamins and nutrients. Full of water and lots of fiber, apples help to scrub and clean the surface of your teeth.

Vegetables:

Veggies ranging from carrots rich in Vitamin A to dark leafy greens rich in iron, can make a great snack to chew on. Including vegetables in your diet is essential for the health of your teeth and body.

Cranberries:

Research has suggested that cranberries help lower the risk of cavities by helping to keep plaque from sticking to teeth. But, you may want to pay attention to the labels on cranberry products, as many of them can contain added sugars to compensate for their naturally tart flavor.

 

Some foods and drinks that are hard-to-resist, but should be avoided to keep strong and healthy teeth, include:

 

Soft Drinks, Sports Drinks, Sweet Tea, and Juice: Drinking a cold soda may sound refreshing, but it is damaging to tooth enamel. It can also dehydrate your body and make you feel more thirsty. Even sports drinks, artificially sweetened drinks, and concentrated fruit juice contain sugars for the bacteria in dental plaque to feed on and produce harmful acids. The acid then tears away at tooth enamel and can eventually lead to tooth decay. Highly acidic drinks can even cause heartburn and stomach pain. Sipping on these drinks throughout the day rather than at meal times should also be avoided because saliva production is not at its peak. Saliva is important for washing away bacteria and food particles.

Ice Cream:

The many flavors of ice cream are delicious, but unfortunately is full of sugar. Some individuals may also experience tooth sensitivity. Sensitive teeth results when the dentin underneath tooth enamel becomes exposed. This can cause pain, but can be treated. If you do have a taste for ice cream, try and select ice cream with less sugar.

Citrus Fruits:

As we all know, limes, lemons, oranges, and grapefruits are very acidic. These fruits contain citric acid and can be damaging to teeth if consumed frequently.

Vinegar:

A common practice, but an unhealthy one, is to mix vegetables with vinegar. This acidic combination can erode tooth enamel. Pickles are also very acidic.

Granola and Energy Bars:

These items may appear to be good for teeth, but often the dried fruit and other ingredients can be sticky, chewy, and hard to get off of teeth.

Candy: 

We all know that candy contains a lot of sugar, and should be avoided for the protection of your smile.

 

It is important to remember that if you do choose some of the not-so-healthy foods and beverages, consume them in moderation. Also, avoid snacking between meals, as acids can stick around for up to 20 minutes after eating. Not to mention, be mindful of the dyes used in many foods and beverages that can cause tooth discoloration. Practice good oral health habits and lean more towards a tooth-friendly diet.

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 and consultation.

Your little ones and teens are welcome to visit our pediatric dentist Dr. VanDr. Emad is happy to help with your orthodontic needs. For wisdom teeth extractions or any other oral surgery needs Dr. Ghazi would be more than willing to help.

References:

http://www.therabreath.com/articles/blog/fresh-breath-happenings/teeth-friendly-summer-food-ideas-34659.asp

http://greatist.com/health/healthy-teeth-foods

http://www.thekitchn.com/recipe-watermelon-popsicles-10713

http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-dwBqWs6_udQ/UBYvQhjW5TI/AAAAAAAACBY/YdNg1weBEVk/s1600/watermelon+popsicles.JPG

Does the Word "Diet" Make Soda Any Healthier?

April 2nd, 2015

You know what they all say, “Sip All Day, Get Decay!” It's not only a catchy phrase, it's the truth! There is a clear correlation between soda consumption and tooth decay, as well as to other health complications including diabetes, kidney problems, and obesity. We all are familiar with the fact that bacteria in the mouth convert sugars and carbohydrates from the foods and beverages you consume to acids, which decays tooth enamel. What's even scarier is that the acids can remain in the mouth for 20 minutes after snacking or drinking.

To avoid this reality, many turn to diet soda thinking that there will be no consequences for their teeth. You may have even been asked at one point or another, "Which is better, Diet Coke or regular Coke?" It turns out that their damaging effects on teeth are roughly the same!

What many individuals may not realize is that diet soda is still acidic, which negatively impact the health of your teeth.  Research from the Minnesota Dental Association, the Missouri Dental Association, and the University of Cincinnati Biology Department shows the pH of a regular Coke is around 2.6, which is highly acidic. On the other hand, the pH of diet coke is about 3.2. For comparison, the pH of battery acid is 1, which isn't too far off from the pH values of soda! While diet soda may not be as bad as regular soda, they do contain acids, which can cause serious damage to teeth. Phosphoric acid and citric acid is often present in many diet sodas to add flavor to the drink. These acids can demineralize and decalcify teeth. Sometimes the damage may require fillings, root canals, dental crowns, dental implantsdentures or other dental procedures.

Not to mention, many beverages use artificial flavorers and sweeteners in place of sugar for the purpose of maintaining the flavor. Although they may not contain sugar, they can make beverages acidic and can cause many problems for your teeth.

In addition to having negative oral health effects, diet soda can have a significant impact on your kidneys. According to an 11-year study at Harvard Medical School with 3,000 women participants, researchers discovered that diet cola is linked with a two-fold increased risk for kidney failure. Kidney function began to decline as women drank two or more sodas a day.

A consistent consumption of both regular and diet soda is one of the leading causes of tooth decay. Children and young adults are most prone to tooth decay because their tooth enamel is not yet fully developed. Unfortunately, many children and young adults in the United States  have decreased their intake of milk  and increased their intake of soda. In fact, according to research in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, children are consuming it more than double the rate of the last 10 years. Soda consumption among adults has grown approximately 25 percent!

A healthy diet plays an important role in your overall health. It is essential to choose foods and beverages that provide vitamins and minerals for not only a healthy body, but also a healthy mouth. Avoid giving the label, "diet or sugar-free" the same meaning as, "healthy for teeth!" You can prevent tooth decay and other health problems by staying hydrated with water and implementing good oral health habits. If you are a soda-lover, make sure to drink in moderation. Also, limit your intake of carbonated beverages, including sports drinks and juice. Most importantly, make sure that you are not substituting acidic beverages for water.

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 and consultation.

Your little ones and teens are welcome to visit our pediatric dentist Dr. VanDr. Emad is happy to help with your orthodontic needs. For wisdom teeth extractions or any other oral surgery needs Dr. Ghazi would be more than willing to help.

References:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/life-style/health-fitness/diet/Sugar-free-drinks-Are-they-safe-for-teeth/articleshow/46515368.cms

http://www.wda.org/your-oral-health/sip-all-day

http://www.myhousecallmd.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/03/diet-soda.jpg

Mind your Mouth and Body!

March 15th, 2015

In your body, since all of the organs are interconnected, your mouth health will impact your overall body health, and vice versa. In this article, we'll first describe connections between oral health problems and overall body problems. Next, we'll describe the nutritional and lifestyle decisions you can make to help not only your overall body, but your mouth too!

Health professionals have noticed connections between oral health problems, and other medical problems, including cardiovascular disease, diabetes, HIV/AIDS, pneumonia, and pregnancy complications. Gum disease and bacteria in your mouth can lead to clogged arteries and blood clots. Mouth bacteria can also cause inflammation throughout the body, including the arteries. This inflammation can lead to atherosclerotic plaques in the arteries, which can increase your risk of heart attacks or stroke.

Doctors have also found a link between diabetes and gum disease. Diabetes lowers your body's resistance to infection, thus making your mouth more susceptible to damage. Gum disease may also make it more difficult for you to control diabetes by causing insulin resistance.

Like diabetes, HIV/AIDS can lower your body's resistance to infection, thus exacerbating gum disease. There are even links between gum disease and pneumonia. If the mouth becomes infected, unhealthy bacteria can get aspirated into the lungs.

Additionally, gum disease is linked to premature and low-weight births. Gum disease can cause the release of toxins throughout the body, which enter the mother's placenta, and thus cause developmental problems for her baby.

It is important to establish healthy lifestyle and dietary habits for a healthy mouth and body. Nutrition is especially important to both your oral health and overall health. The month of March marks National Nutrition Month, making it the perfect time to implement healthy foods into your diet and spread the word about the benefits of good nutrition! Avoid sugary and acidic foods, as they can be damaging to tooth enamel. Tooth decay occurs when plaque come into contact with sugar, causing acid to harm the teeth. Also, make sure that your body intakes vital nutrients. If you lack certain nutrients, tissues in your mouth will have a more difficult time trying to resist infection. Eat a diet high in vegetables to make your entire body health, and you'll even reduce your risk of gum disease. Be sure to get proper nutrients into your body. If you're low on certain nutrients, your mouth may become an acidic environment, which can increase your risk of gum disease.

Links between medications and gum disease have also been found. Hundreds of medications have side effects that include dry mouth. Decongestants, antihistamines, painkillers, and diuretics commonly reduce saliva flow. Saliva is an important part of your oral health because it helps prevent too many bacteria from thriving in your mouth. A dry mouth is more likely to have gum disease and tooth decay. Be sure to stay hydrated!

If you are a smoker, strive to quit the habit. Smoking can cause tooth decay, periodontal disease, and oral cancer.

As you keep your mouth healthy, you’ll keep the rest of your body healthy.  Making positive oral health choices will lead to a healthy mouth and body!

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 and consultation.

Your little ones and teens are welcome to visit our pediatric dentist Dr. VanDr. Emad is happy to help with your orthodontic needs. For wisdom teeth extractions or any other oral surgery needs Dr. Ghazi would be more than willing to help.

References:

http://www.colgateprofessional.com/patient-education/articles/why-a-healthy-mouth-is-good-for-your-body 

http://www.everydayhealth.com/dental-health/101/healthy-mouth-healthy-body.aspx

http://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-living/adult-health/in-depth/dental/art-20047475

http://www.mouthhealthy.org/en/az-topics/d/diet-and-dental-health

http://ricecreekdmd.com/wp-content/uploads/kidsplaying.gif

 

Is Sugar-Free Gum Actually Harming Your Teeth?

June 16th, 2014

 

chewing-gum_0Do you chew sugar-free gum as an alternative for gum? If so, you are one among many others! Sugar-free gum is accessible in the checkout aisles of almost every gas station, pharmacy, grocery store, and convenience store. It is sometimes marketed as a cavity-prevention dental aid or diet aid. However, sugar-free gum may not be best product.

Sugar-free gum actually has little influence on your appetite or weight loss. Research has shown that individuals who chewed sugar-free gum as a diet aid were less motivated to eat fruits and vegetables. This may be likely because flavored gum often leaves a remnant taste that causes fruits and vegetables to have a bitter taste. In addition, those who consumed fewer meals as a result of chewing sugar-free gum ended up eating larger proportions when they did consume meals.

Sugar-free gum typically consists of sweeteners such as aspartame, xylitol, and sorbitol. Xylitol is the most common sweetener in sugar-free gum, and has been found by research studies to prevent the formation of plaque, and ultimately reduce the risk of tooth decay. However, be careful! A product labeled “sugar-free” does not always mean that it is safe for your teeth. The term sugar-free typically forms a false safety because people may believe that sugar-free products protect teeth.

Although sugar-free gum appears to trump chewing gum, there is little evidence to show that sugar-free sweeteners are better for your teeth than sugar. According to the British Dental Journal, researchers found that sugar-free sweeteners, like the “tooth-friendly” xylitol, could cause damage if ingested in combination with acidic additives, including preservatives or flavorings. Since fruit-flavored sugar-free gums typically contain these additives, individuals are at risk for dental erosion, an irreversible loss of tooth enamel. It is best to avoid, sour and fruit-flavored sugar-free gum. However, this not only applies for gum, but also for sugar-free candies and sodas, which also may contain these risky additives.

Gum should never be used as an substitute to good oral hygiene.Don’t forget that it is also important to brush and floss after meals and maintain a healthy diet!

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 and consultation. Your little ones and teens are welcome to visit our pediatric dentist Dr. Kim or Dr.PradhanDr. Emad is happy to help with your orthodontic needs. For wisdom teeth extractions or any other oral surgery needs Dr. Ghazi would be more than willing to help.

References:

http://www.cbsnews.com/news/sugar-free-gum-good-for-teeth-maybe-not-study-says/

http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2013/09/14/chewing-gum-cancer-risk.aspx

http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-2gFFyb8E4Wk/T9y2FpYwx4I/AAAAAAAAAIk/nfuyWvobIhY/s1600/chewing-gum_0.jpg

What is Baby Bottle Tooth Decay?

April 10th, 2014

baby-bottle-feedingPacifiers dipped in sugary foods, and sugary drinks can put your infant at risk of baby bottle tooth decay! Baby bottle tooth decay is a result of sugars from fruit juice, milk, and formula that remain on an infant’s teeth for a long period of time. The bacteria within the mouth produce acids from the sugars left on teeth and cause tooth decay. If baby bottle tooth decay is not caught early, infection, pain, and tooth loss can occur.

Baby bottle tooth decay commonly affects the upper front teeth, but can harm other teeth as well. Even though primary teeth are temporary, they are significantly important to your child’s oral health. Not only are they important for chewing, they also are necessary for speaking and allowing permanent teeth to grow in properly. When teeth become lost too early as a result of baby bottle tooth decay, your child is at risk of developing problems with speech, eating habits, and misaligned teeth.

Here are a few tips to help dodge the harmful consequences of baby bottle tooth decay:

  • Avoid providing your infant with sugary drinks before their bedtime due to a decrease in the flow of saliva. Saliva contains essential elements that help neutralize acids and prevent tooth decay.
  • Begin brushing your child’s teeth as soon as their first tooth comes in.
  • Gently wipe your child's gums after feeding.
  • Introduce floss once all the primary teeth are present.
  • Make sure your child has an adequate amount of fluoride from drinking water.
  • After your child’s first birthday, schedule regular dental visits.
  • Reduce the amount of sugar in your child’s diet.

By implementing good oral health habits at an early age, your child’s teeth and smile will be healthier in the long run!

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 and consultation.

Your little ones and teens are welcome to visit our pediatric dentist Dr. Kim or Dr.PradhanDr. Emad is happy to help with your orthodontic needs. For wisdom teeth extractions or any other oral surgery needs Dr. Ghazi would be more than willing to help.

References:

http://www.webmd.com/oral-health/guide/what-is-baby-bottle-tooth-decay
http://www.colgate.com/app/CP/US/EN/OC/Information/Articles/ADA/2011/article/ADA-06-Baby-bottle-tooth-decay.cvsp
http://www.babyzone.com/baby/feeding-baby/smart-baby-feeding-schedules-study_218848

A Glass of Orange Juice First Thing in the Morning Can Be Bittersweet

March 3rd, 2014

girl drinkingHave you ever rushed down to breakfast and had a glass of orange juice immediately after brushing your teeth? If so, you have probably experienced the distastefulness that lingers within your mouth for quite some time. The natural sweet flavor of orange juice is transformed into a bitter nightmare!

Our mouth contains with approximately 10,000 taste buds, which act as chemical sensors that perceive sweet, salty, bitter, sour, and umami taste types. On average, toothpaste is primarily composed of water, plaque-fighting abrasives, fluoride, and detergent. The compound Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS) is a common and strong cleaning detergent found within toothpastes. Aside from producing the foam that forms when brushing, SLS also affects are taste buds. SLS restrains the sweet receptors and phospholipids found within our mouths. This allows bitter molecules to bind to bitter receptors, causing the pucker in our lips from the unappetizing taste.

Although Fruit juices like orange juice contain healthy vitamins and antioxidants, it is important to remember that they can harm your teeth in different ways. People often substitute sugary fruit juices in for sodas, which can be a detrimental choice. Fruit juices often contain plenty of sugar and acids. The enamel on your teeth can deteriorate by these acidic beverages and should therefore not be consumed excessively. According to a study conducted at the Eastman Institute for Oral Health at the University of Rochester Medical Center, orange juice increased the roughness of tooth enamel and decreased the stability of teeth, leaving one prone to more plaque and cavities. It was also discovered that in comparison to individuals who drink quickly, the longer you take sipping on an acidic or sugary beverage, the more damaged your teeth will become. Be sure to limit your consumption of fruit juices and practice healthy oral hygiene!

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 and consultation. Your little ones and teens are welcome to visit our pediatric dentist Dr. Kim or Dr.PradhanDr. Emad is happy to help with your orthodontic needs. For wisdom teeth extractions or any other oral surgery needs Dr. Ghazi would be more than willing to help.

 

References:

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/06/090630132007.htm

http://www.colgate.com/app/CP/US/EN/OC/Information/Articles/ADA/2013/article/ADA-06-why-the-pucker-with-your-morning.cvsp

http://www.med-health.net/images/90400573/image001.jpg

Acidic Drinks and Tooth Erosion

May 2nd, 2012

Have you ever taken a moment to think about what soda is doing to your teeth? Dentists have talked about the damaging effects of soda and other sugary, carbonated drinks on teeth for a long time. However, people still consume too much of them on a daily basis.

Research also shows that acidic fruit juice, such as orange juice, and energy drinks are just as corrosive to enamel. Constant consumption bathes the teeth in a sugary, acidic mixture that strips away tooth enamel over time.

What’s important to remember about enamel erosion is that it’s far more dangerous than decay. This is because by drinking these harmful beverages, you are exposing teeth to its corrosive properties all at once. Serious break down of the teeth can occur and may result in crowns or dentures depending on the severity.

You don’t have to give up these types of drinks all together. Like anything, moderation is key. There are techniques you can implement to help minimize erosion.

1. If you drink the acidic beverage all at once, instead of sipping it all day, you won’t constantly bathe teeth in acid or excess sugar.

2. By using a straw, you avoid having the liquid wash your teeth in the harmful acid and sugar.

3. Rinse your mouth with water after consuming acidic or sugary beverages.

4. Make a healthier choice and opt for water.

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