Foods That look Healthy, But Secretly Aren't

February 11th, 2015

There are several foods dressed up to appear healthy, when in fact many are unhealthy imposters, filled with sugars bad for your oral health! Sometimes, nutrition labels can even be misleading. For example, granola. Seemingly wholesome, granola and other energy bars, depending on their ingredients and proportions, can be as poor for your teeth as a plate of sweets! They often contains a good amount of fiber, protein and potassium. However, some recipes can include very high amounts of sugar and fructose corn syrup, which are tough on teeth. Although many delicious foods can be hard-to-resist, the health of your mouth and overall body depends on good nutrition. Poor nutrition can lead to tooth decay, periodontal disease, halitosis, and other oral health problems. Here are a few seemingly healthy foods that may not be so beneficial for your mouth and overall health after all:


Smoothies can be deceiving because they are packed with healthy fruits and vegetables. In reality, smoothies often contain an excessive amount of sugar, which can lead to tooth decay. Most restaurants sell large sizes combined with added ice cream, sugar, and other ingredients not the best for strong teeth. If craving a smoothie, consider making your own and pack them with healthy ingredients!

Bran Muffins

Bran muffins can be healthy, however, coffee shops and bakeries tend to increase the portion size, sugar, and sodium content. According to Joan Blake, author of Nutrition & You, a bran muffin can have more calories and sugar than a doughnut! One bran muffin typically contains 350 calories or more, before adding toppings such as butter or jam. Some bran muffins have even been found to contain 600mg of sodium, which is approximately one-third of the recommended day's maximum!


Popcorn is a quick and easy snack, but full of high levels of sodium, fat, calories, and the chemical diacetyl. Diacetyl is a natural product that helps give artificial butter its flavor. It is linked to a chronic and even fatal lung condition called bronchiolitis obliterans. Kernels can also be easy to get lodged between teeth causing gum irritation. It is also important to watch out for uncooked kernels that can chip or crack teeth.

Frozen Dinner

Similarly, frozen dinners can be misleading and advertised as a weight-loss alternative. Yet, many frozen dinners often contain high amounts of salt, sugar, and fat. Frozen dinners typically lack many essential vitamins and nutrients. Replace these meals with a home-cooked dish as a healthier alternative.

Prepared Salads

It's hard to believe that a salad can be unhealthy. Be on the look out for prepared tuna salads, chicken salads, and salads loaded with high portions of dressings and mayonnaise. Although it depends on the portion size and ingredients, some salads can contain as many as 700 calories and 40 grams of fat. Opt for a bowl of healthy greens, with modest dressing and sugar content.

Fat-Free Foods

The label "fat-free" can sometimes lead us to believe the product is full of nutrients. Fat-free foods often have added sugar and flavor-enhancing sweeteners to make them taste better. Although there are many healthy fat-free foods, always check the nutrition labels to make sure you're getting a nutritious product in addition to fat-free.


Luckily, some foods help increase saliva flow, which protects teeth from tooth decay by neutralizing acids in the mouth. To prevent tooth decay, regularly practice proper oral health habits and choose healthy food alternatives. Also, minimize snacking, as acids can stick around on teeth for a half-hour after food consumption. Research has shown that individuals who eat unhealthy snacks between meals have higher rates of decay than those who eat an equal amount of unhealthy treats along with their meals.

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 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.




Fast Food: Worth Your Oral Health?

February 4th, 2015

When hunger strikes, it can be hard not to resist the temptation of fast-food. It's relatively quick and easily accessible! However, passing up an opportunity to cook a meal at home can have a negative impact on your teeth. Often, fast-food restaurants will present "healthy options" and images of lavish foods that aren't actually healthy. In fact, to make food look as appealing and nutritious as possible in restaurant ads, food stylists use several tools (including blowtorches, tweezers and glue), good lighting, and fresh ingredients to attract our stomachs towards an unhealthy diet.

Many restaurants and fast-food chains offer foods having several added ingredients that are damaging to teeth. The food is typically highly processed and contains large amounts of carbohydrates, added sugar, unhealthy fats, and sodium, but offers little or no nutritional value. These food chains are not only surrounding many communities, but can also be found in some school cafeterias. If you pack a lunch for your child, opt for healthy lunch foods that promote healthy teeth.

Research published in JAMA Pediatrics in 2013 showed that children and young adults consume more calories in fast food and at  restaurants than at home. According to the National Institutes of Health, some fast food meals give you a day’s worth of calories!

Pizza happens to be one of the most eaten fast foods worldwide. Although tasty, pizzas are damaging to tooth enamel due to high amount of carbohydrates. Carbohydrates are broken down by the digestive system into sugar, which is then released into the bloodstream. High amounts of carbohydrates, can contribute to diseases including diabetes and heart disease. Fermentable carbohydrates break down in the mouth, allowing bacteria residing in the mouth to produce acids that can stick around for over a half-hour. These acids can lead to cavities and other oral problems. Once the enamel of your tooth is gone, it cannot be replaced!

A diet consisting of fast foods can lead to poor nutrition, oral health, and overall health. Therefore, it is important to eat a nutritious diet and monitor sugar intake to prevent the following health problems:

New-Bitmap-Image-3Instead, choose a diet rich in nutrients and fiber to protect your teeth and body!

  • Choose a diet with plenty of whole grain products, fruits and vegetables.
  • Add fish, beans, nuts and seeds to your diet to meet protein needs.
  • Choose beverages and foods with low amounts of sugars.
  • Avoid high amounts of salt in foods.
  • Include dairy products such as milk, yogurt, and cheese.

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 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.


High Calorie Drinks Reduced In Schools

September 6th, 2012

A while ago, we blogged about a possible sugar tax being implemented on foods with added sugar and sweeteners, such as soft drinks. It was designed to discourage both adults and children from purchasing unhealthy food and drink. Now it seems that the next step has been taken by reducing the availability of these items in schools, helping to further combat obesity.

There has been a huge reduction in drink calorie content available in schools (90%) between 2004-10. These numbers reflect the partnership between the William J. Clinton Foundation and the American Heart Association with major drink companies to lessen these drinks' availability.

Vending machines in schools now look much different than in previous years. An assortment of water, milk, juice and sports drinks is what's typically available versus an assortment of sodas before. An assessment of the foods offered in school cafeterias will be underway soon as well.

As the obesity rate climbed, officials began to take notice and search for the cause. Christopher Ashley, supervisor of food and nutrition for Springfield City Schools, said:

“Nine years ago I came into this segment of food service, and you’d see a Honey Buns and two Mountain Dews for breakfast. Now kids are going through the line and getting a better breakfast. That’s just the start.”

The alliance between the William J. Clinton Foundation and beverage companies should continue to make a difference. As stated above, obesity rates have dropped significantly in the past few years. With an emphasis placed on health and wellness not just in schools, but in the media, it is believed that the rate will continue to drop. Once the school menus reflect the nutrition of the drinks, students will be at a major advantage for better overall health.

It's important to note that reducing the consumption of soft drinks will improve your smile! Drs. Ali & Ali are committed to spreading oral health awareness and urge you to opt for healthier drinks that don't damage teeth. Feel free to contact us with any questions at 781-237-9071 or


Sugar Alcohols

July 19th, 2012

The next time you pop a stick of sugar-free gum into your mouth, take a look at the package. There is probably one or more ingredients listed that end in -ol. One of the most popular ones is xylitol.

These ingredients are sugar alcohols and there's some things you should know about them.

- They contain two calories per gram versus sugar's four calories per gram.

- They are a type of carbohydrate. The structure of sugar alcohols looks like a hybrid between a sugar and alcohol molecule.

A good thing about the sugar alcohol, xylitol, is that it benefits your teeth! It protects a sugar attack from your food on your teeth after you eat. Chewing a stick of sugar-free gum with xylitol will do thr trick! You can learn more about sugar alcohols from the Joslin Diabetes Center or by contacting us at 781-237-9071 or

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