beverages

Each Bite Counts: National Nutrition Month

March 10th, 2019

The popular saying, "You are what you eat," reminds us that a healthy diet is important in order to keep our bodies healthy, vibrant, and energized. National Nutrition Month is a yearly initiative each March created by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics to educate individuals on healthy food choices. What we eat on a daily basis not only effects our general health, but also the health of our teeth and gums. In fact, the initial signs of poor nutrition can often first be seen in the mouth.

Healthy teeth aren't just a result of daily toothbrushing and flossing...nutrition plays a major role, too! It is important to include a variety of nutrient-rich foods from all the food groups.

Here are some tips to help you make informed choices on foods and beverages that are tooth-friendly and heart-healthy:

  • Be sure to educate your children about the benefits of eating smart and keeping hydrated with milk and water over sugary sodas and sports drinks. If consuming acidic foods or beverages, it is best to drink water immediately, but wait 30 minutes before brushing your teeth to avoid damaging your enamel since it is at a weakened state during this period. If you have an infant, only send them to sleep with water, as milk or juice can lead to baby bottle tooth decay.
  • Find out your nutritional and calorie needs, based on your age, gender, amount of physical activity, and other health factors. A balanced diet should include:
    • Fruits and Vegetables
      • Fruits and vegetables contain a high water and fiber content, which is beneficial for your teeth and body.
    • Whole Grains
      • Whole wheat bread
      • Brown rice
      • Oatmeal
    • Dairy (low-fat or fat-free)
      • Cheese, milk, and plain yogurt help keep your pearly whites strong!
    • Protein
      • Lean beef
      • Skinless poultry and fish
      • Eggs
      • Beans
      • Peas
      • Legumes

  • Avoid foods that harm your dental health, including empty calorie foods like candy, sweet desserts and non-nutritional snacks. Foods and drinks high in sugar, starch, and carbohydrates, stick to tooth enamel and the bacteria within your mouth consume the sugar. In return the bacteria then release harmful acid that breaks down tooth enamel. It is best to limit your consumption of soda, juice, and sweetened coffee or tea, as these choices promote tooth decay. Not to mention, coffee, tea, and wine are big culprits of causing tooth staining.
  • Nutrients including phosphorus, calcium, Vitamin D, and probiotics, help strengthen enamel and fight against tooth decay. Also, Vitamin C , found in citrus fruits, tomatoes, peppers, spinach, broccoli, and potatoes to name a few, helps promote gum health.
  • Snacking between meals can expose your teeth to more sugar and acids, so it is best to limit snacking. If you do snack, make a conscious nutritious choice, such as cheese, yogurt, fruits, vegetables, or nuts.
  • In addition to eating healthy, make sure you are staying physically active for at least 1 hour a day.
  • If you have medical conditions including gastrointestinal reflux or an eating disorder, your risk of cavities and enamel erosion may be higher.

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

References:

https://www.eatright.org/food/resources/national-nutrition-month/national-nutrition-month

https://www.colgate.com/en-us/oral-health/basics/nutrition-and-oral-health/ada-march-is-national-nutrition-month

https://www.mouthhealthy.org/en/nutrition/food-tips?utm_source=mouthhealthyorg&utm_medium=mhrotator&utm_content=nutrition-month

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Bright and Healthy Smiles for the Summer!

June 28th, 2017

It is summertime and you are finally ready to take on a good well-deserved vacation. You have finally freed up some space on your phone and are probably just ready for the limitless photo opportunities. But, is your smile also ready to steal the show?

Wherever you go this summer, remember that your smile is one of the first things that people notice about you. That is why the state of your teeth is a big contributor to your overall confidence.

Any diet that is high in acidic food or drinks leads to a weakening of the enamel which makes it more more likely to get stained and discolored. In addition, acid leads to the wearing away of your tooth enamel. The worn areas of your tooth expose the dentin, which is also yellow in color and adds to the dullness of your smile.

Here are a few things you can do yourself to keep a bright and healthy smile and prevent dental diseases and discoloration.

 

  • One of the easiest things you can do to have good oral health is to brush your teeth regularly, meaning at least twice a day, preferably after each meal; the mechanical motion of brushing your teeth helps you remove plaque.
  • Flossing and brushing go hand-in-hand. This helps you keep your teeth and gums healthy. Using a rubbing motion, go gently between each tooth and make sure that you also go under the gum line. So, floss after every meal, and snack, to prevent build-ups.
  • Rinsing with a good mouthwash also goes hand-in-hand with brushing your teeth and flossing. Rinsing with a mouthwash that could be either diluted hydrogen peroxide or fluoride based gives you an extra support when trying to remove bacteria, or strengthen your teeth and prevent cavities.
  • Healthy eating also plays a major role when it comes to your smile. Avoid consuming foods and beverages that cause stain. Blueberries, cherries, blackberries are popular fruits during the summer, but try rinsing your mouth with water after you snack on them. The same goes for coffee, iced tea, red or white wine, and fruity juices. One way you can consume those drinks is either by using a straw, or by having a glass of water and rinsing your mouth regularly.
  • The best help you can get for a healthy and white smile would be to visit a dental specialist for professional cleaning and whitening treatments.

 

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.

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 periodontal or oral surgery needs, Dr. Ghazi would be more than willing to help.

 

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

Drink to your oral health

November 16th, 2010

Coffee, tea, soda, diet soda, wine, orange juice, milk – they’re beverages we have grown to know, enjoy, and even crave.  Sometimes we feel the need to justify why we MUST go through the drive-thru at Dunkin Donuts for coffee; scientific studies showing the healthy benefits of caffeine then come to our aid.

Rarely, however, do we think about the oral health benefits and affects of beverages. This is why I’m writing to you. Sure, it’s pretty clear that over time drinking coffee will stain our teeth, but here are some tips that may guide you as you are sipping away.

1.)    Rinse your mouth out (with water) – When you’ve consumed a highly pigmented drink like coffee, rinse your mouth out with water after drinking it. The swooshing action of the water will reduce the amount of time the coffee remains on your teeth.

2.)    Be aware of acidic drinks. It may be our tendency to want to brush right after drinking soda (often producing a horrible taste) but that can actually be MORE harmful to your teeth. The rule of thumb is to rinse out with water after having soda and acidic juices like orange juice, grapefruit juice, or wine, wait an hour or so, and then brush. Brushing immediately after drinking these can actually spread the acid all over your teeth. Acid in the mouth can cause cavities and pitting on the surface of our teeth. It can also eat away at our enamel.

3.)    Straws are not just for kids. Straws are actually a great tool to help our teeth. They allow the acidity from juices and colas to by-pass the front of our mouth. Plus it’s fun!

4.)    Avoid sipping all day long. Drinking at mealtime, as opposed to sipping throughout the day, will help us limit exposure of acid and sugars on our teeth. If you’ll be drinking, do it in a shorter period of time. Children should be encouraged to drink at mealtime also – carrying around a sippy cup and drinking from it sporadically can be harmful to children’s teeth.  Water is the only exception to this “rule.”  In fact, fluoride from the local drinking water supply is something that can help protect your teeth from decay.

5.)    It’s only milk– Milk is touted for building healthy bones, but it also has lots of sugar! Ever wondered how a toddler could have cavities? Constant sipping of milk could be one of the reasons why. Again, it’s about limiting the amount of time sugars and acids are on our teeth. Brushing or wiping a child’s gums and teeth after drinking milk is a great way to help them fight cavities.

6.) White wine can actually hurt our teeth more than red wine! White wine acts      as an abrasive on our teeth due to its acidity, so drinking red wine after white wine may produce greater staining than red wine alone. If you must drink white wine before red wine, rinse out your mouth first.  Also avoid drinking any dark drink after white wine.

7.) Here’s the good news - Green tea can help fight cavities – studies have shown that green and white tea contains ingredients that kill the same bacteria and acids that create plaque.

If you have any additional dental news you’ve read or heard about, please pass it along to me at ejaz@wellesleydentalgroup.com.  Thank you for reading these drinking tips. Your smile will thank you.  It was Phyllis Diller that said, and I completely agree with her, “A smile is a curve that sets everything straight.”

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