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Sweet (But-Teeth Friendly) Desserts

June 18th, 2013

It’s summer time! The school year is finally winding down, and we are excited to make are way down to the beach and enjoy some time out in the sun. Summer also brings ice cream, popsicles, cotton candy, and a whole bunch of food that may be delicious, but are also definitely not doing your teeth a favor.

Every grocery store is bound to have a section of an aisle dedicated to frozen desserts, which can range from strawberry ice cream to jolly rancher-flavored popsicles. Your taste buds may think it’s an excellent idea to grab a few on the go, but your teeth will beg to differ. Popsicles tend to have high sugar content, which will leave teeth susceptible to cavities and tooth decay. These frozen sweets also contain artificial coloring dye, which has been shown to contain carcinogens and maybe contribute Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). Instead of getting a pack of popsicles from the grocery store, here are some healthy and enjoyable alternatives.

Smoothies: Milk shakes tend to be a summer favorite after a long soccer practice. While they do contain dairy, which is wonderful for teeth, they also contain lots of sugar, which is wonderful for bacteria in the mouth, not so much for teeth. Bacteria love feeding on sugary residue left in the mouth, and definitely won’t hold back when they are offered a ton from milk shakes. Instead of making a trip to the local diner, start the blender and add in some low-fat milk, yogurt, bananas, strawberries, and blueberries. A yummy smoothie will result, chock full of calcium, antioxidants, and vitamins. Homemade smoothies will allow you to control the amount of sugar that goes into the drink, and sweet and healthy fruit will do just the trick! Here’s a quick and easy recipe (link: http://bit.ly/16upE68) that will satisfy sweet-tooths but will keep teeth happy.

Yogurt Pops: Yogurt, cheese, milk and other dairy products are great saliva generators, protecting teeth from tooth decay. Calcium and phosphates found in milk and other dairy products can put minerals back in teeth, making them healthy and stronger. Here’s ( http://bit.ly/112tASF ) a great recipe for these delicious pops that will make the kids wanting more!

Remember: Desserts can be delicious and healthy at the same time; there’s always great foods out there that are also a treat for teeth as well. Here’s to a summer of healthy choices and yummy eats! If you have any concerns, Drs. Ali & Ali and their team at Wellesley Dental Group will be very happy to answer your questions. Contact us today at 781-237-9071 or smile@wellesleydentalgroup.com!

References:

http://online.wsj.com/article/PR-CO-20130605-908423.html

http://www.forbes.com/sites/rachelhennessey/2012/08/27/living-in-color-the-potential-dangers-of-artificial-dyes/

The Importance for Teens to Balance a Fast-Paced Life and Oral Health

June 10th, 2013

Once that alarm starts going off in the morning, teens are on a jam-packed schedule, shuffling through classes, extracurricular activities, and sometimes even part-time jobs. In order to keep up with the pace, teens often make a grab for quick meals in form of carbonated beverages and “nutrition bars” to keep them on edge and alert for all of their obligations; however, this kind of lifestyle may leave teens with permanent damage to oral and overall health.

In a 2003 issue of General Dentistry, studies have shown that teens that constantly indulge in sugary drinks can result in premature loss of tooth enamel and the weakening of overall tooth structure. While research has deemed carbonated beverages and energy drinks detrimental for oral health, these sugary drinks can also affect overall bone growth in teens. Read more here. Adolescence is the known time period of optimal bone growth, when more nutrient-packed calories are necessary to fuel growing bodies and to strengthen teeth and bones. These calories tend to be counteracted when teens continue to take in high-carbohydrate foods, which are instead replacing healthy foods such as milk, vegetables, and fruits.

Reports have shown that these beverages are the main causes of increases cavities and obesity in teens today. Unfortunately, researchers expect obesity to remain a major issue as more pre-school-aged children continue to become more addicted to caffeine and sugar. The various acids found in sodas and energy drinks breakdown tooth enamel around cavity sealants and previously done restorations, which leads to more necessary dental treatment to prevent tooth loss.

Phosphoric acid in many carbonated drinks limits calcium absorption, influencing body density. By age 16, girls have acquired 90-96% of their bone mass, making adequate calcium intake extremely important. However, national statistics indicate that only 19% of girls ages 9-19 are receiving the recommended 1,3000 mg of calcium per day. The lack of calcium intake indubitably affects bone structure of the mouth, which can lead to complications such as periodontal bone loss.

While it is important for teens to work hard and strive to do their best, it is just as essential for them to watch what they consume and maintain a healthy lifestyle. If you have more questions, be sure to contact Drs. Ali & Ali and the caring team at Wellesley Dental Group; 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.

References:

http://www.knowyourteeth.com/infobites/abc/article/?abc=T&iid=333&aid=1335
http://www.healthywomen.org/condition/oral-health

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