Christensen G.

Scared of the Dentist?

March 5th, 2014

Every now and then studies come about that put fear of death, public speaking and dentists at the very top of the list of the most terrifying things. Patients fearing a visit to the dentist continue to delay necessary treatment. A study shows that these emotions of fear can be transferred from parent to child.

Studies done in the past have pinpointed the relationship between fear levels of parents and their children, but there was never research done on the different roles that mothers and father play. America Lara Sacido, one of the researchers at the Rey Juan Carlos University of Madrid explain that there is a more relevant role that fathers play in this emotional transmission when compared to mothers.

This study, which was published in the International Journal of Pediatric Dentistry, analyzed 183 children between the ages of 7-12 and their respective parents. The authors verified that, similar to previous studies, when there is higher level of dentist fear or anxiety in one family member, there is also a higher level in the rest of the family. Research showed that fathers are key in transmitting dentist fear from mothers to their children. Researchers found that the children mainly paid attention to the emotional reactions of the fathers when determining the level of stress a visit dentist would cause.

The researchers state that it is important to involve both mothers and fathers in dentist fear prevention campaigns, and that fathers can help appease a child’s dental visit through displaying no signs of fear or anxiety. Parents should continue to ensure their children and keep them relaxed. They concluded that through the transmission of positive attitudes, parents can set the right attitude for their children and visits to the dentists may not be as big as a problem.

 

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! Please call before your child’s appointment, especially if you have anxiety. Coming into the office before your child’s appointment  is a great idea to ensure a happy appointment. Contact us today at 781-237-9071or smile@wellesleydentalgroup.com to set up an appointment and consultation.

We have a wonderful pediatric dental specialist, Dr. Pradhan, and hope that with your new insight on dental visits, future visits with your child will be enjoyable! Your little ones and teens will also be happy to visit our pediatric dentist Dr. Kim. Dr. 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:

América Lara-Sacido, Antonio Crego and Martín Romero-Maroto. Emotional contagion of dental fear to children: the fathers' mediating role in parental transfer of fear.International Journal of Paediatric Dentistry, 2012; 22:324-330

Science Daily

INVISALIGN® Special Event

January 15th, 2014

smile-familyLEARN HOW INVISALIGN CAN WORK FOR YOU

Thursday, January 23rd
3 - 6 pm

Drs. Ali & Ali will be providing FREE consultations to answer your questions about Invisalign treatment, the clear way to straighten teeth. If you have wondered if Invisalign is right for you, make an appointment for this special event.

Down payment matching with dollar value up to $500
Complimentary teeth whitening - a $550 value
Financing options available

Space is limited to the first 10 appointments.

If you would like to schedule or have any questions please don't hesitate to call
(781)237-9071 or email smile@wellesleydentalgroup.com

Read more about Invisalign here!

How Can You Help Prevent Cavities?

December 18th, 2013

shutterstock_31383964Prevent Cavities with Fluoride Varnish

Growing up, children start to develop a sweet tooth and begin to dig in to various desserts and candies. While sweets may leave kids happy, their teeth may be battling the development of cavities. A great way to slow down or help cavities from getting bigger is to give a child fluoride varnish. Fluoride varnish is a protective coating that can be painted on a child’s teeth to keep cavities from forming. If a child already has cavities, no fear! Fluoride varnish can be painted over teeth with cavities to prevent them from worsening. This varnish can be painted on a child’s teeth one or two times per year. Researchers have deemed ...the application of fluoride varnish to be safe and accepted. While this resin-based varnish adheres to teeth, fluoride is ingested over a period of time as the varnish slowly comes off. While a fluoride varnish can help maintain good oral health, it is not a ticket out of visiting a dentist to receive routine check ups. When this varnish is applied, the child’s teeth may look yellow in color and be a bit sticky to the touch on the first day. No worries; the color and the stickiness will eventually disappear. After a coat of fluoride varnish is applied, children can drink water at any time. However, children should only eat soft foods for their next meal and they should try to avoid sticky foods for the remainder of the day. These foods can include chewing gum, gummy bears, toffee, etc. A fluoride varnish also allows children to have a free pass on brushing their teeth for the day; this is the only time children should not brush or clean their teeth until the following day.

 

Don't forget, fluoride varnishes are also recommended for adults!  If you have any more questions, feel free 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

 

Also, check out this AGD fact sheet!

 

 

References:

 

http://www.health.gov.sk.ca/fluoride-varnish

http://www.astdd.org/docs/Sept2007FINALFlvarnishpaper.pdf

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12137653

http://www.ada.org/sections/newsAndEvents/pdfs/fluoridation_facts.pdf

Dental Implants: a Great Alternative to Replacing Missing Teeth

May 7th, 2013

If you have missing teeth, dentures are just not comfortable enough, or if you want to keep tooth structure intact, dental implants may be the way to go.

Implants have been considered one of the biggest breakthroughs in dentistry within the past 40 years and have provided an innovative alternative when it comes to replacing missing teeth. Dental implants are made from titanium and other materials that are very compatible with the human body. The titanium implant fuses with the jawbone and acts as a sturdy anchor for the replacement teeth. It is also shaped and colored to blend right in with the rest of your pearly whites.

When going through the process of receiving dental implants, there are three major phases one goes through.

1. The titanium implant is surgically placed into the patient’s jawbone. During this time, dentists recommend that patients should consume soft or cold foods and warm soup during the healing process following the surgery.

2. Next comes the period where the bond surrounding the implants begins the healing process, known as osseointegration. Eventually, the implant combines with the bond and forms a sturdy base for the replacement tooth. This integration usually takes several months to occur.

3. The final step is the placement of the new artificial tooth. For a single tooth, a dentist would customize a dental crown that will serve as the replacement. This crown is picked just so that its color, shape, and size will fit perfectly with the surrounding teeth. Because it takes some time to create this, the dentist will make a temporary crown, bridge or denture in the meantime; this will allow the patient to still be able to eat and speak normally until the permanent replacement tooth is ready.

If you believe that dental implants may be the right option for you, Drs. Ali & Ali and their team at Wellesley Dental Group will be very happy to discuss possible procedures that can be done. Contact us today at 781-237-9071 or smile@wellesleydentalgroup.com to set up a consultation!

 

References:

MouthHealthy.org

The American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons

Ouch, I Just Chipped My Tooth!

May 2nd, 2013

You finally get some time to yourself and decide to have a quick snack. You make a grab for your favorite mixed nut bar and take a big bite. All of a sudden, something doesn't feel right in your mouth. You realize those almonds that you just munched left you with a chipped tooth.

Even though the enamel that covers teeth is considered the hardest, most mineralized tissue in the body, it may not be able to hold up against a blow to the face or even a hard bite, which can easily cause a broken or chipped tooth. If you find yourself in this situation, don’t panic! There are many ways your dentist can help out!

  • Once a broken or chipped tooth is broken, be sure to make an appointment with your dentist before the tooth is damaged further or becomes infected. Before the appointment, here are some tips to ease the pain:
  • If the tooth is painful, take acetaminophen, such as Tylenol, or other over-the-counter pain relievers. Rinsing with salt water can keep you less susceptible to infection.
  • If the chipped area is sharp or jagged, stick a piece of wax or sugarless gum to keep from cutting the tongue or other areas inside the mouth.
  • Be sure to eat soft foods and avoid using the chipped or broken tooth.

Once it comes time to treating the tooth, it will depend on the severity of the damage. If only a small piece of enamel is broken off, the dentist may be able to fix it within one visit. The tooth may only need a filling or bonding, which is a procedure in which the dentist will shape a tooth-colored resin to look like a natural tooth.

If it is badly broken, the tooth can be covered with a crown, which is a tooth shaped cap made to protect the tooth and improve its appearance. Permanent crowns can either be made from metal, porcelain fused to metal, all resin, or all ceramic, each with their own pluses. Metal crowns are known to be the strongest, however, porcelain and resin crowns are more aesthetically pleasing and can be made to look more like the original tooth.

When a front tooth is broken, dentists can insert a dental veneer, which is a thin shell of tooth-colored porcelain or resin composite material. The veneer will make teeth look brand new, whole and healthy again. However, if a tooth chip is large enough to expose the center of the tooth, also know as the pulp, bacteria can easily infect this area. Root Canal therapy may be necessary, which involves taking out the dead pulp, cleaning the root canal, and then finally sealing it.

If you find you have a cracked tooth, it would be a good idea to chat with your dentist about Cracked Tooth Syndrome, which is when one has cracks either under the gum, or cracks too small to see on x-rays. Generally, symptoms are heat/cold sensitivity, pain that comes and goes (unlike a cavity), and occasionally, pus under the gum.

If you believe that you have chipped or broken your tooth, Drs. Ali & Ali and the caring team at Wellesley Dental Group will be happy to answer your questions about ways to go about fixing the tooth. Contact us today at 781-237-9071 or smile@wellesleydentalgroup.com to set up an appointment and consultation.

 

Source:

Colgate

 

 

Thank you - Smile Ambassadors at Sprague School

May 1st, 2013

 

On May 1st, Dr. Femina Ali visited Sprague School in Wellesley for their 5th Grade Career Day. Going not only as a dentist but a Smile Ambassador, she was so thrilled to share her passions and listen to the 5th graders' questions. The Career Day is a wonderful yearly event where kids can learn more about what they want to be when they grow up, whether their favorite hobbies can become their careers, even learn about what sort of inspiration can guide them towards their dream job.  Dr. Femina Ali commemorated this special occasion by handing out certificates to the kids, making them Smile Ambassadors for their communities, families, and beyond. Whatever career path these children will take down the road, they will always be Smile Ambassadors.

Also joining Dr. Ali were Christopher Price, sports columnist at the Boston Globe, Lisa Sewall, chef and restaurant owner of Lineage, Dr. Antonietta Orlandi, Wellesley-Natick Animal Hospital veterinarian, Katie Swenson, architect for Enterprise Community Partners, Prepresentative Alice Peisch of the 14th Norfolk District, and Dr. David Lussier, superintendent of schools in Wellesley.

Starting is easy, all it takes is a smile!

Dr. Femina Ali had the privilege of talking with the students about how she started on her journey to be a Smile Ambassador. "In my office, I'm a dentist. Outside, I am a Smile Ambassador... It all started with my family." Sharing smiles at home, making those you love happy is the first step. Dr. Femina Ali has always loved making people smile. She "fixes" smiles as a dentist and "spreads" them through her community volunteering.

She also had a few key take-home message she hopes her young "Smile Ambassadors" will hold close to heart:

  • The smiles you share with others will shine back on you.
  • Take care of your smile by brushing and flossing every day!
  • Being a Smile Ambassador can be hard, however, it's usually the most challenging things that are the most rewarding.
  • A Smile Ambassador spreads smiles not only at home, but in the classroom, community, and everywhere he or she goes.

Dr. Femina Ali cannot wait to visit Sprague School again and hopes that her new Smile Ambassadors will join her in the future to spread smiles in and around their beautiful town of Wellesley. After this amazing day, she realizes that, "I learned something, too, today, while I was eating with the students. Posted in the cafeteria was this quote by James Barrie, "Always try to be a little kinder than necessary," and it really struck me. I can see this quote reflected in everything that Sprague School does and in the student, who I know, irrespective of what they choose to do, will be successful Smile Ambassadors."

She sends a big Thank You to Sprague for this incredible honor of helping to shape the lives of these brilliant students. She would also like to thank Dr. Goodwin, Kathryn Ashraf, and Laura Brown-MacKinnon as well as all other committee members and parents without whom this wouldn't have been possible.

 

 

Proud Sponsors of...

April 25th, 2013

This year, the Wellesley Celebration's Committee is putting on the largest annual town gathering: Wellesley's Wonderful Weekend. On May 18th-19th, thousands of Wellesley residents and friends will attend the celebratory events, parade and fireworks. Wellesley Dental Group, true to their mission of being Smile Ambassadors, will once again be putting a smile on the whole town. This year, Drs. Ali & Ali and the caring team of WDG are co-sponsors of the most amazing fireworks spectacle of the year!

Be sure to like the Wellesley Celebrations Committee on Facebook to stay up to date with the parade, weekend festivals, open house events, and more.

Wellesley Dental Group is inviting the community to join them in the parade and picnic. The parade will take place from 1 pm to 3 pm on May 19th and the picnic will follow at 5. The firework show we've all been waiting for will commence at dusk.

This year, Wellesley Dental Group will be in the parade on a huge tractor! Young children and the young at heart are invited to sign up to ride in the parade float. To sign up, please call at (781) 237-9071, email at smile@wellesleydentalgroup.com, or stop by their office at 5 Seaward Rd. They will be  passing out toothbrushes as they walking through the parade, spreading a message of oral health awareness.

At the picnic in the park, starting at 5 pm, stop by the Wellesley Dental Group tent to get one-on-one brushing lessons for young ones and participate in more fun activities for all ages. Balloons will be handed out as well as some special prizes.

This has become one of WDG's favorite annual town events as it speaks to their deep commitment to the community. For last year's parade video, click here!

The 2013 Schedule is as follows:

Saturday - May 4th

11:00a.m. - 3:00p.m. Wellesley Kitchen Tour 2013* — Wellesley Hills Junior Woman's Club
Tickets sold @ Wellesley Roche Bros or online at www.whjwc.org

Friday - May 17th

3:00p.m. - 6:00p.m. Annual Hunnewell Fun Fair* — Hunnewell School PTO
Hunnewell Elementary School, 28 Cameron Street, Rides, games, crafts

Saturday - May 18th

7:00a.m.—2:30p.m. Pancake Festival* at the Wellesley Middle School — Rotary Club of Wellesley
7:00a.m.—2:30p.m. Free Eye Exams at the Needham Lions Club Eye Mobile at the Wellesley Middle School — Needham Lions Club
Saturday—Sunday
(decamp after parade)
18th Century Military Encampment at Town Hall Grounds
The Royal Irish Artillery, Tours all day, Cannon Firing on the half hour on Saturday
All Weekend Display of Korean War Materials at the Wellesley Free Library
530 Washington Street
9:00a.m.—10:00a.m. Town Forest Walk — Wellesley Trails Committee
Longfellow Pond parking lot (left side of Oakland Street 0.9 miles south of Rt. 9)
9:00a.m.—10:30a.m. Guided Walk “How Transportation Shaped Wellesley” Wellesley Historical Society
Dadmun/McNamara House, 229 Washington Street (East corner of Route 9)
9:00a.m.—3:00p.m. Wellesley Community Center Wheels of Wellesley
219 Washington Street 

Exotic and Antique Cars, Motorcycles, and Bicycles

9:00a.m.—3:00p.m. Art in the Park — Wellesley Community Art Project & Wellesley Women Artisans
Simon’s  Park (Corner of Washington & Brook Street, left of the Library)
10:00a.m.—11:30a.m. Dog Contest*
Wellesley Board of Health, & Wellesley Animal Control
Warren School Field, 90 Washington Street (Route 16)   

Prizes awarded in various categories including "shaggiest", "best grooomed", "best tricks", "wiggliest", and many more!

11:00a.m.— 3:00p.m. Open House at Wellesley Police Station 485 Washington Street
11:00a.m.— 3:00p.m. Open House at Wellesley Main Fire Station #2 457 Worcester Street (Route 9)
11:00a.m.— 3:00p.m. Open House at Wellesley Municipal Light Plant — 2 Municipal Way (455 Worcester Street, Route 9)
11:00a.m.— 3:00p.m. Open House at Wellesley Department of Public Works — 20 Municipal Way (455 Worcester Street, Route 9)
1:00p.m. — 3:00p.m. Build Your Own Woodland Troll & Fairy House Wellesley Conservation Council
Cochituate Aqueduct, Russell Road / Kendall Road (for elementary school kids)
4:00p.m. Veterans’ Ecumenical Memorial Mass at Saint Paul Church
Wellesley Veterans’ Council
502 Washington Street

Sunday - May 19th

9:00a.m.—3:30p.m. Gardeners' Fair at Elm Bank Mass Horticultural Society
Elm Bank Horticulture Center, 900 Washington Street
1:00p.m.—3:00p.m. 45th Annual Wellesley Veterans’ Parade
2013 Theme: 60th Anniversary of the end of the Korean War
Wellesley Celebrations’ Committee 

Bring a food item to the parade for the Wellesley Food Pantry - Look for the World of Wellesley (WOW) Float

The parade starts at the intersection of Route 16 (Washington Street) and Route 9 and continues westbound along Route 16 to Wellesley Square. The reviewing stand is in Wellesley Square.

4:00p.m.—5:30p.m. Grace Knight Babson Fund for Religious Education — 54rd Annual Program
Knight Auditorium, Babson College Campus, Wellesley Avenue
5:00p.m. — DUSK Picnic in the Park at Hunnewell Field
Food*, drinks*,kid’s rides*, crafts, games & other fun
Food by Charles River Rotary and others
6:30p.m. Main Attraction Concert for Wellesley at Hunnewell Field
Featuring the Reminisants
DUSK Fireworks —the Biggest Ever! at Hunnewell Field
Sponsors: Roche Brothers/Sudbury Farms and Wellesley Dental Group, Drs Ali and Ali
*Please note, asterisk indicates a small fee may be charged. 

Good Oral Health Leads to a Healthier You!

April 24th, 2013

While keeping up with brushing and flossing may seem to be a trivial habit that only impacts the oral cavity, it is important to note that good dental hygiene not only affects the conditions inside the mouth, but also plays a major role in determining the health of various aspects of the body. Here some examples of how lack of proper dental care can lead to detrimental effects in the body.

Diabetes

As inflammation starts up in the mouth, studies have shown that this weakens the body’s ability to control blood sugar. Due to the lack of insulin, which is the hormone that converts sugar into energy, people who struggle with diabetes have trouble processing sugar. Diabetics who have periodontal disease are further impaired because inflammation hinders the body ability to use insulin. Research has also demonstrated that high blood sugar enables infections to worsen. However, because of this gum disease-diabetes relationship, keeping up with good oral hygiene can keep diabetes under control.

Heart Disease

Research has shown that up to 91% of patients with heart disease have gum disease, while 66% of people without heart disease have gum disease. Both heart disease and periodontitis share various risk factors, including smoking, unhealthy diet, and excess weight. Some researchers also suggest that periodontitis may play a direct role in raising the risk for heart disease. It is thought that inflammation in the mouth also leads to inflammation in the blood vessels, which can heighten the risk of heart attack. Inflamed blood vessels restrict blood travel between the heart and the rest of the body, which ultimately raises blood pressure.

Atherosclerosis

Studies also delved into how periodontitis affects arterial walls. Atherosclerosis is a condition where fatty material collects within arteries, causing these vessels to become narrower. The build up of fatty material leads to many cardiovascular problems, including heart attacks, angina (chest pains), and even stroke. It has been found that the bacteria that enters and grows in the mouth were the same bacteria found in the atherosclerotic plaques that were clogging patients’ arteries.

Pregnancy

The American Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology published a study that found a relationship between the use of non-alcohol antimicrobial mouth rinse in pregnant women and the decreased rate of premature deliveries. Researchers have found that inflammation caused by gum disease has the potential of resulting in premature birth. Early deliveries can result in babies having low birth weight or even various health problems, including heart conditions and learning disorders. But good news: the study showed that pregnant women who rinse twice with mouthwash on a daily basis are 25% less likely to deliver early.

Respiratory Disease

There is strong evidence indicating that poor oral hygiene is a contributing factor to chronic lower respiratory diseases. Research suggests that bacteria developed from gum disease can travel through airways into the lungs, which may potentially lead to respiratory illnesses such as pneumonia. Poor dental health may worsen one’s conditions if one is a smoker, cancer patient, or is aging.  To protect the respiratory system, it is important to reduce the growth of bacteria and the development of plaque in one’s mouth to prevent inflammation in the airways and the worsening of other breathing problems.

Erectile Dysfunction

A Turkish study revealed evidence that lack of oral hygiene can have consequences on your sex life. It was found that men in their 30s who were suffering from severe periodontal disease were 3 times more likely to suffer from erection problems than were those who did not have gum disease. Erectile dysfunction and chronic periodontitis in humans also have similar risk factors, including age, smoking, diabetes and coronary artery disease.

Poor dental care has shown to result in negative impact on one’s overall health, but no fear! Continued efforts to maintain a healthy smile has been shown to improve one’s health in different parts of the body.

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 orsmile@wellesleydentalgroup.com!

 

References:

WebMD

Huffington Post

USNews

American Heart Association Journals

United Concordia

 

Swishing with the best of them

April 19th, 2013

The American Dental Association (ADA) has deemed mouth rinses as a solution to halitosis and a good preventive measure against tooth decay, plaque, and ultimately gingivitis. Mouthwashes contain various ingredients, including water, alcohol, cleansing agents, flavoring compounds and color agents. The active ingredients that are responsible are tackling issues like bad breath and tooth vary depending on the type of mouth rinse, which can been categorized in four main groups.

  • Antimicrobial agents attack oral bacteria, bringing down the prevalence of plaque, controlling the progression of gingivitis, and keeping bad breath at bay.
  • Fluoride help reduce the tooth decay found on tooth enamel and strengths teeth, keeping them less susceptible to decay.
  • Astringent salts are temporary odor-reducing agents that cover up bad breath.
  • Odor neutralizers respond by chemically inactivating odor-causing compounds.

Researchers have found that antibacterial mouth rinses can make a difference in masking or eliminating bad breath.  It was shown that halitosis is caused by the foods that have been trapped in the crevices of the mouth. These remaining foods break down into sulfur compounds, which are accountable for the smell. In the studies conducted, mouthwashes containing ingredients such as chlorhexidine and cetylpyridinium were successful in getting rid of bad breath, while chlorine dioxide and zinc help take away bad smells through neutralization. Mouth rinses also have detoxing effects in the mouth, which can alleviate canker sores by controlling the amount of bacteria in the irritated site.

While mouth rinses have been shown to be beneficial in a whole host of ways, they do not go without some cons. While mouth rinses can soothe canker sores, high alcohol content in the mouthwash used can actually end up irritating canker sores. While mouthwashes are great for eliminating odors and preventing tooth decay, they are by no means a substitute for brushing and flossing. Individuals with poor oral hygiene cannot use mouth wash to mask poor health. There also has been much debate over whether alcohol-containing mouth rinses are connected with oral cancer. However, the American Dental Association has been extensively reviewing the effectiveness and safety of mouthwashes containing alcohol and has placed their seal of approval on some of these mouthwashes.

The take home message is that mouth rinses should always be used in conjunction with good hygiene, and it is always best to ask your dentists which mouthwash is more suitable and effective for you. If you have more concerns about this issue, Drs. Ali & Ali and their caring 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:

WebMD

Everyday Health.com

American Dental Association

 

Can I Stop Wearing Retainers Already?

April 18th, 2013

After a couple of year of having braces, getting them off is quite the relief. There are no more brackets to get tons of food stuck in; flossing becomes such a charm! Then why is there still a need to wear retainers? It’s already a hassle taking them off every meal, is it really necessary to wear it all the time?

A retainer is responsible for keeping teeth set in their new positions after wearing braces. While that seems rather intuitive, what many people forget is that the body continues to grow and change. This also includes the mouth, which can lead to teeth shifting. Although it may not seem like much; retainers ensure that the shifts that occur are controlled. The pressure from the lips and tongue can slightly cause your teeth to shift out of alignment. Even though your teeth may still look in perfect position after a couple days going without a retainer, it doesn’t mean they haven’t moved. If you continue to go without a retainer, your teeth will continue to move out of alignment, and a repeat of orthodontic treatment may be needed down the line.

After getting braces, your orthodontist will tell you how long and when to wear it. Keep in mind that this is specific to you! For example, someone else may have to wear them all day for three months, but you may only have to wear them only at night. Although it may easily slip your mind in the beginning of your regimen, it will soon become a habit. Your specific timetable will allow your teeth to further adjust to their position and maintain that beautiful smile you worked on for months, maybe even years!

Although they can be an annoyance, retainers are made to maintain the work braces have done for you. Continue to strive to make it a habit to wear retainers; you will definitely thank yourself years down the line!

At Wellesley Dental Group, we have Dr. Emad, who specializes in Orthodontics and Dr. Ali is a preferred provider of Invisalign. If you want to know more about how Invisalign can change your smile, go no further than our blog!

If you have any questions regarding retainers or would like to learn more about Invisalign and Orthodontics, 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:

KidsHealth.org

WebMD

 

CEREC: restoration in one visit!

April 16th, 2013

[caption id="attachment_4539" align="alignright" width="270" caption="Image from CEREConline.com"][/caption]

With CEREC treatment, patients only need to make one trip to the dentist with a procedure that can be carried out within the hour. There is no need for impressions, cementations, and even time spent waiting for the crown to come back from the lab. Because a short period of time is needed, patients only need to go through one round of Novocain. CEREC also takes faster photographic images of the tooth needing the procedure, this greatly reduces the patient’s time exposed to harmful x-rays.

While it has been the standard to implement porcelain fused to metal crowns for posterior restoration that requires full-coverage, these crowns require an extensive loss of tooth structure, is proven to be an allergen for some, and also lacks in aesthetics. CEREC provides patients with beautiful porcelain moldings that bear an identical shade to that of the patient’s tooth enamel. Once these crowns are in the mouth, they are barely distinguishable from the rest of the teeth, giving a picture perfect smile. On top of that, porcelain has been shown to be completely safe and healthy in patients, and is also known to be more durable and comfortable.

If you believe a CEREC crown procedure is right for you, Drs. Ali & Ali and the caring team at Wellesley Dental Group will be happy to answer your questions about tooth restorations. Contact us today at 781-237-9071 or smile@wellesleydentalgroup.com to set up an appointment and consultation.

 

Sources:

CEREC Online

Feeling the burn

April 12th, 2013

The burning mouth syndrome (BMS) has been noted as a chronic and painful condition known by burning sensations in the tongue, lips, roof of the mouth, gums, insides of the cheeks, and also the back of the mouth or throat. While dentists are still puzzled by this condition, the burning mouth syndrome has shown to be seven times more frequent in women than in men. Studies have shown that, in general, those who have dealt with this syndrome are middle aged.

Symptoms that have been documented to be prominent for BMS includes a pain or burning sensation that starts out in the mornings, but progressively worsens throughout the day, eventually reaching its worst during the evenings. Some have reported to feel pain that continues to persist throughout the day and some even say that the pain comes in here and there.

Although the cause of BMS has not been fully uncovered, dentists have their hunches of what factors may be related to this burning sensation; here are just a few:

Nutritional deficiencies: individuals who lack proper amounts of iron, folate and vitamin B complex have be linked with the burning sensation in the mouth; to counter this effect, some dentists believe that supplementing with B vitamin’s and minerals such as zinc and iron my relieve some of the pain.

Dry mouth: those who experience dry mouth have also reported a burning sensation as well; to reduce dry mouth, it is recommended to continue to stay hydrated throughout the day to lessen the symptoms that comes with this condition.

Diabetes: diabetics are known to be more vulnerable when it comes to oral infections, which is a possible culprit to burning mouth sensations; diabetics should continue to be mindful of blood sugar levels as to prevent the start up of burning mouth and may potentially lessen the symptoms that are related to this condition.

Menopause: as stated earlier, dentists believe that women are more likely to suffer from BMS, and it’s been thought that menopause attributes to this reason. Hormonal changes are shown to trigger the burning sensation in middle-aged women; hormone replacement therapy has been shown to be effective in treating the burning sensation in certain patients.

While dentists continue to find appropriate methods to find a way to counter BMS, there are several tips that may relieve the burning sensation you may be experiencing:

  • Don’t use mouthwash that contains alcohol
  • Don’t use toothpaste that contains sodium lauryl sulfate
  • Keep away from alcoholic beverages
  • Keep away from beverages with high acidity (sodas, juices)
  • Continue to stay hydrated

If you believe that you are experiencing burning sensations in your mouth, it is important to visit your dentist to discuss the symptoms and possible reasons for why this condition started occurring. If you have more concerns about this issue, 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:

Your Dentistry Guide

National Institute of Health

 

Supporting the Global Medical Brigades

April 10th, 2013

Wellesley College Student, Farah Mahmud, recently reached out to Drs. Ali & Ali, asking Wellesley Dental Group to show its support for the Global Medical Brigades, 501(c)3 nonprofit organization. The Brigades is the world’s largest student-led international relief organization. Students from Wellesley College are gathering essential medical equipment, supplies, and drugs for an upcoming trip to Honduras in the summer. We are so proud to support them in this endeavor and want to raise awareness.

Join us in giving back to this great cause! Call or email us for more information on the supplies they need at 781-237-9071 or smile@wellesleydentalgroup.com!

Feeling the need to give back and volunteer? The group is also looking for medical professionals to volunteer.

There is no time better than the present to take part!

 

Dr. Femina Ali: Mom, dentist and volunteer extraordinaire

April 8th, 2013

Editor's note: Below is an except from Cassidy Swanson's article Dr. Femina Ali: Mom, dentist and volunteer extraordinaire featured on the Swellesley Report and JSONS.org. Cassidy Swanson is currently a journalism graduate student at Emerson College in Boston.

WELLESLEY – For the first thing on a Thursday morning, Wellesley Dental Group is an unusually cheery place. The staff is warm and friendly, and the patients seem happy to be there – not typical for a dentist’s office. At the center of it all is Dr. Femina Ali, with her bright smile and positive outlook.

“[My staff] are my daytime family, I tell them that,’” she said.

Femina is more than a friendly boss and dentist. As a Pakistani immigrant, she is part of the changing face of the town of Wellesley, an affluent and overwhelmingly white community for many years. That’s starting to change. Between 2000 and 2010, census data shows that people of Asian ancestry, particularly from eastern Asia and the Indian subcontinent, shot up from 6 percent to 10 percent of the total population – a significant change in a town of 28,000.

But Femina, who has lived in Wellesley for 16 years, is much more than a representative of demographic change in the community.  She is an agent of commitment and change as well. After starting as a volunteer at her children’s elementary school, today she is an active volunteer in many aspects of community life from A to Z, serving on 20 committees and fundraising events each year.

“[Femina] doesn't seem to be complete unless she is heavily engrossed in other town-wide projects,” said Mary Bowers, of the Council on Aging, where Femina donates dental service to elderly in need. “She never ceases to amaze me with her energy and resolve to make this place a better place while she is on this good earth.”

Femina grew up in Karachi, Pakistan, and attended dental school at De’Montmorency College of Dentistry in Lahore. There she met her husband, Dr. Ejaz Ali. The Alis graduated in 1982 and moved to the United States in 1987 with the goal of opening their own dentistry practice. They had a daughter, Zarah, in 1988, and a son, Zann, in 1990.

“We came here in pursuit of higher education, in pursuit of the American dream,” she said. “But now, this is home to me.”

The Alis lived their first few years in the United States in Indiana and Florida, supporting their family by working odd jobs. Though both Drs. Ali had completed dental school in Pakistan, they could not practice in the United States without completing another dental program here.

When Ejaz was accepted into Tufts Dental School, the family moved to Malden. He graduated in 1994, and Feminastarted at Tufts shortly after in 1995.

Being at Tufts brought the Alis to the state they grew to know and love.

“Massachusetts grew on us,” she said. “We cannot leave Massachusetts now, we are so spoiled [here]. This is the best place to live, I think, in the United States.”

When Femina graduated in 1997, the opportunity to start their own practice became available. The Alis moved to Wellesley, where they opened Wellesley Dental Group, and they haven’t looked back since.

With her husband’s support and a successful practice, by the time Zann and Zarah were in school, Femina felt she could give back to the Wellesley community. That’s when she was bitten by the volunteering bug.

Today, Femina is involved with more than 20 different organizations, annual events and fundraisers in the town of Wellesley. She serves as the president of the Women’s Business Network, a board member of the Wellesley Chamber of Commerce, a mentor for the Wellesley College Pre-Dental Society, a board member of the Wellesley Hills Junior Women’s Club, a founding member of the Fund for Wellesley, and many other positions. She also started a highly successful annual candy drive after Halloween, in which all the candy is sent in care packages to soldiers serving overseas.

“You just feel like you get a lot back by giving back,” she said. “Since I am part of all different organizations in town, I enjoy that relationship part, that I can cultivate a relationship with different organizations.”

Femina and Ejaz are also involved with the Wellesley Newcomers Club, an outreach organization for new residents.

Femina said she has seen many other immigrants from Asian countries getting involved in the community, and doesn't believe that any sort of cultural barrier or apathy keeps foreigners from fully integrating; it just takes a little time for some.

“Sometimes it is because you are new to town – you could be Asian-American, or just American,” she said. “You have to get through survival mode first, getting the kids settled in school, and then once you’re settled in, you [say], ‘What can I do to give back to the community?’”

Through her volunteer work, Femina has earned the respect and friendship of many. The Rev. Dr. Bonnie Jelinek, pastor at the Wellesley Hills Congregational Church, served with Femina on the Wellesley High School PTSO, and says Femina is “a woman of incredible integrity.”

“She comes up with ideas that are phenomenal,” Jelinek said. “She was just very, very good about having excellent communication between the parents and the school. She loves her community so much, and she’ll do anything she can to help it and advance it.”

Gail Van Kleeck, one of Femina’s colleagues in the Women’s Business Network, said Femina has been a great leader for the organization.

“I think she’s really good team player,” Van Kleeck said. “She does not seek the limelight; she encourages people. She is always there to affirm people. [That is] especially rare in a powerful woman. She is gracious and she is engaging and she is appreciative.”

Zarah is currently studying dentistry at Tufts, and the Alis hope to pass the practice onto their daughter when they retire. Ejaz said they would like to travel to developing countries and donate dental services to people in need.

“This way, we can travel, we can have fun, and we can take dentistry from the United States and spread it around the world,” he said.

But until then, Femina said, she still has a lot to do in Wellesley.

“This town has given me so much,” she said. “This town has give me a place to live, a place to work, a very friendly community…This town has given good education to my kids…So whatever I do for my town, it’s not enough. I wish I had more time.”

To read the full article, Dr. Femina Ali: Mom, dentist and volunteer extraordinaire, please visit JSONS.org.

 

Preventing Teeth Staining

April 4th, 2013

After appointments for tooth whitening and countless nights of whitening strips, you may still find yourself struggling with teeth staining. But what exactly causes the staining? Dentists explain that are certain foods and drinks that are prone to staining teeth.

To start off, foods and drinks with intense color tend to be big culprits of staining. The higher the pigmentation in color, the more likely it will cause a deeper stain. The color that is inherent in these foods comes from chromogens, which are highly colored molecules that have a strong affinity to dental enamel. This means that these molecules are more likely to stick and stay on your teeth. Acidic foods and drinks, even ones that may not be considered intensely colored, also lead to staining due to the erosion of dental enamel. These types of food tend to soften teeth, which makes it easier for chromogens to stick on. Another promoter of teeth includes tannins, which are food compounds that enhance chromogens’ ability to attach enamel.

Here are various foods and drinks that may leave you susceptible to teeth-staining:

Wine: red wine is considered an acidic beverage that holds both chromogens and tannins. Also, don’t be fooled! White wine, although almost colorless, also promotes staining. The New York University School of Dentistry presented studies that demonstrated that teeth exposed to tea were more likely to be more severely stained if they were previously exposed to white wine.

Tea: black tea is very saturated with stain-promoting tannins Dentists state that tea may leave teeth even more severely stained than coffee, which is chromogen-rich, but low in tannins. However, if you are a tea-lover and need your daily fix, some less teeth-staining alternatives include herbal, green and white teas.

Cola: it is obvious that this deep brown beverage (which is highly acidic and chromogen-rich) causes major teeth stain, but what you may not know is that the acidity of light-colored soft drinks also leads to a sufficient amount of teeth staining. Try your best to cut down on these carbonated drinks and reach for less acidic alternative.

Sports drinks: we know of the harmful effects of sports drinks on teeth enamel, and sure enough, the weakening of teeth enamel leads to more susceptibility to staining. Read more about these effects in our post Hold the Gatorade!

[caption id="attachment_4490" align="alignright" width="300" caption="Photo by epSos.de"][/caption]

Berries: although strawberries and blueberries are high in anti-oxidants and are known to be healthy food choices, they are highly pigmented in color and are very likely to stain teeth.

Sweets: after working through a lollipop, you may sometimes find yourself with a different colored tongue; this is a good indicator that hard candies, chewing gum, and popsicles can also lead to stains as well

Although there are many foods and beverages that can cause teeth staining, that doesn’t mean that cannot be eaten; just be sure to brush well! Dentists also suggest using straws to sip on beverages that are acidic and highly pigmented in nature. Swallowing stain-causing foods quickly also helps to protect your teeth. Swishing and rinsing after consuming and drinking can also lessen the acidity and remove the substances that cause teeth staining.

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:

Webmd

The Huffington Post

 

Hold the Gatorade!

April 4th, 2013

The harmful effects of energy and sports drinks


[caption id="attachment_4473" align="alignright" width="300" caption="Image by Joel Klal"][/caption]

Many people give the excuse that they’d rather drink energy drinks and sports drinks because they believe that they are healthier than soda when it comes to oral health. However, this is quite far from the truth, explains researcher Poonam Jian, an associate professor and director of community dentistry at the Southern Illinois University School of Dental Medicine. Jian’s study, which was published in General Dentistry, looked at 13 different sport drinks and nine energy drinks for acidity. 6 drinks were tested and their effects on tooth enamel were determined. Jain and his team had acquired enamel samples, which were immersed in the different drinks for 15 minutes, stimulating an individual drinking the energy or sports drink in real life. It was found that both sports drinks and energy drinks resulted in tooth damage, where there was significant enamel loss. The average enamel lost with sports drinks was about 1.5% and the average loss for energy drink was more than 3%.

Researchers have listed Gatorade Blue as the sports drinks with the highest acidity, next to Hydr8. Other energy drinks containing high acidity content include:

  • Red Bull Sugarfree
  • Monster Assault
  • 5-hour Energy
  • Von Dutch
  • Rockstar

Because of their sugary content, both teens and young adults alike tend to consider these drinks as their favorite go-to beverages. Up to half of U.S. teens and young adults indulge in energy drinks, and studies have shown that more than half have at least one sports drink a day. To counter this, Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin and Senator Richard Blumenthal have been trying to bring about change by urging top energy drink makers to stop marketing to children. Durbin and Blumenthal sent letters to the CEOs of Monster, Red Bull and Rockstar that highlighted examples of ways these companies have been reaching out to children, including sponsoring high school sporting events and Little League games. This is a great start in weaning teens and young adults off of these drinks, and perhaps a good step forward in bringing about awareness of the drinks’ harmful effects.

Although it will be a difficult task to convince these major energy and sports drinks companies to limit their advertisements, it is important to be aware these drinks’ consequences on oral health. Jian suggests although it is best to cut these drinks out completely, but he understands that it is difficult to give them up completely. He provides some tips to minimize the intake of these drinks. Jian explains that diluting the drinks and not brushing immediately after drinking them would help lower the amount of acid intake and prevent the spreading of acid in the mouth.

As you make another trip to the market to purchase more beverages, be mindful of the content of these drinks and think of the consequences they may have on your oral health! 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:

WebMD

Sun Times

Safety and Infection Control at the Dentist

April 3rd, 2013

[caption id="attachment_4454" align="alignright" width="300" caption="Image from IntelligentDental.com"][/caption]

Recent news reports have come out regarding dental practice safety and infection control, notably, involving a Tulsa, Oklahoma practice. We want to take a moment and share what we do to ensure the safety of our patients. We take universal precautions in sterilization practices that are applied to everyone who comes through the doors of Wellesley Dental Group. Our top concern is in abiding by strict infection control guidelines for the health of our patients, team, and Drs.; “Do No Harm” is our mantra.

Every day, every hour, and every minute we adhere to a very strict regimen to disinfect and sterilize everything that comes into contact with our patients. We want to let you in on the behind-the-scenes processes that are as much a part of our routine as the teeth cleaning, crowns, and x-rays we do every day.

  • Hand washing
    • We wash our hands consistently, especially before and after interacting with any patients.
    • We follow the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) Bloodborne Pathogens Standards.
  • Plastic barriers are placed on all surfaces that are potentially touched to prevent any cross contamination:
    • Before any patient enters, the operatory is cleaned with a medical grade disinfectant and all plastic barriers are changed. Disinfected surfaces include equipment and surfaces, such as x-ray units and countertops.
    • Masks and safety glasses are worn.
    • Gloves are worn at all times and are changed between every patient.
    • Sometimes numerous gloves are thrown out during particularly long procedures for a given patient. We go through boxes upon boxes of gloves every day.
    • All pillows, light handles, etc, are draped with protective covers.
  • All disposable instruments (needles, suction tips, etc) are disposed after one use. These instruments are disposed in puncture resistant biohazard containers.
  • Non-disposable instruments are sterilized in small, individual packages in our autoclave. The autoclaving process destroys all forms of microbial life.
    • Instruments (drills, filling and cleaning instruments, etc) are brought to the sterilization room
    • The instruments are scrubbed by hand and washed.
    • Steeped in a solution for 20 minutes as they undergo an ultrasonic bath
    • Dried and placed into special, small, individually wrapped packages
    • These packages are then autoclaved.
    • After the autoclaving, there is a color indicator on the package that changes, confirming that process was done correctly.

When it comes to knowing whether the autoclave works correctly every time, we don’t solely rely on the color indicator on the packages. Our autoclave is a brand-name, state of the art machine that blasts instruments with extreme heat and high, steam pressure in an airtight enclosure. Every week, to ensure it is working according to the manufacturer’s standards, we do a spore test.

  • We put a closed packet of spores into the autoclave
  • The packet undergoes the autoclaving process
  • The autoclaved packet is then sent to an independent lab for analysis.
  • To pass the test, all spores must be inactivated.

[caption id="attachment_4457" align="aligncenter" width="600" caption="Image from Med101Dental.com"][/caption]

We take the safety of our patients very seriously and will continue to follow the highest standards laid forth by the CDC, AGD, and OSHA. As members of the AGD (Academy of General Dentistry), we strive to stay ahead of the curve when it comes to protecting our patients from the transmission of diseases. We think that AGD President Jeffrey M. Cole, DDS, MBA, FAGD sums up our beliefs very concisely:

“Because many dental procedures involve direct contact with blood and saliva, safety protocols are put in place to help stop the spread of disease. Heat sterilization of dental instruments helps prevent the spread of diseases like hepatitis and HIV. By following stringent best practices, AGD dentists maintain a commitment to patient health and safety. If your dentist is an AGD member, you can be confident that he or she strives to provide the best quality care to their patients by utilizing the most current safety protocols.”

Our patients can always expect the highest standards of quality and care. If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to be in touch with us. Drs. Ali & Ali and the caring team at Wellesley Dental Group are infection control advocates; we will be happy to answer any questions you may have. Contact us today at 781-237-9071 or smile@wellesleydentalgroup.com!

 

Sources:

AGD:

OSHA

CDC

 

Tufts Alumni Admissions Program: TAAP

March 28th, 2013

 

Our wonderful Dr. Femina Ali recently reached the end of her commitment as Tufts Alumni Admissions Program's committee chair for the Metro-West area. Both and and Dr. Ali graduated from Tufts Dental School, one of the finest Dental Schools in the nation. Tufts is also the Alma Mater of Drs. Ali’s daughter, Zarah, who will soon become the next Dr. Ali. Zarah is currently enrolled in Tufts Dental School and recently had the honor of receiving her White Coat by her loving parents.

Dr. Femina Ali’s love of Tufts is palpable and she reluctantly decided to resign as Chair. Her numerous community commitments in and around the MetreoWest area as well as commitments to her family keep her incredibly busy. She is looking forward to her new adventures within her volunteer communities and is proud to be a part of the Wellesley Hills Junior Women’s Club, serves as President of the Women’s Business Network, serves on the board of the Wellesley Chamber of Commerce, supports the Wellesley Newcomers Club,  serves as a board member of the Wellesley Teen Center, and more. Drs. Ali & Ali also were among the founding members of the Fund for Wellesley and are members of the Wellesley Club.

[caption id="attachment_4425" align="aligncenter" width="594" caption="Drs. Ali & Ali presenting their daughter with her white coat at the 2013 Tufts ceremony."]Drs. Ali & Ali presenting their daughter with her white coat at the 2013 Tufts ceremony.[/caption]

As hard as it is to step down from her position at Tufts, she knows that she will be back alongside her fellow Jumbos. Here is her letter of resignation to her Tufts Admissions Committee:

"I want to thank you so much for making my time as your TAAP Chair so enriching and fulfilling. You have been an amazing group. Together, we helped grow our Tufts family and changed the lives of our new Jumbos. What we do at TAAP is such an incredible testament to how special Tufts is. The care and time we take to get to know every applicant, hear their stories, and help them embark on one of the most exciting times of their lives; it's not something we take lightly. I have been so proud that we have upheld this tradition with integrity and tenacity.

"It is on this note that I want to announce my resignation from TAAP and resignation as the Committee Chair. It has been a time I will never forget and sadly, personal and other volunteer obligations will prevent me from participating next year. I wish you all the best and look forward to when I can serve alongside you once again for the greater good and for the Tufts we all love."

Her announcement has garnered a outpouring of love and support from the Tufts community:

"We have been lucky to have you as the chair of Norfolk North committee for as long as we did.  You have been a very thorough and conscientious chairperson who has demonstrated a strong commitment to the success of TAAP.  We thank you for the energy and heart you have brought to your TAAP volunteerism.  I have truly enjoyed working with you."

“I want to thank you so much for doing such amazing work as our TAAP committee chair! You will be incredibly difficult to replace, and you’ve done so much to  help many Tufts students find their way here. I appreciate your help! We’ll miss you, come back any time!"

"You did such a good job as chair of this committee.  It was fun and easy to work with you.  Good luck with all your new adventures.  I am sure we will cross paths again soon."

“Thanks for your hard work in the committee and best of luck in your future endeavors.”

"Thank you so much for your commitment to Tufts, especially in a challenging application year with high volume - after taking a hiatus from interviewing for several years, it was great to be back meeting with applicants, and I appreciate your help in making this return transition such an enjoyable one."

"You will absolutely be missed!  You have done an amazing job as the Committee Chair – thank you so much for all of your hard work!  I was so glad to finally meet you in the fall – and also sorry that I will not be working with you going forward.  I wish you lots of luck in all of your endeavors in the future"

 

 

A Possible Natural Remedy for Sensitive Teeth

March 26th, 2013

[caption id="attachment_4377" align="alignright" width="199" caption="Image by vivekrajkanhangad"][/caption]

The scientists explained that about 3 out of every 4 people have teeth that are sensitive to hot, cold, sweet or sour foods and drinks. This sensitivity results when teeth enamel and the underlying dentin begin to wear down, stimulating the nerves within the teeth. This results in the painful sensation that many feel when eating certain foods. While sugar-free gums and toothpastes, such as Sensodyne, have been used to reduce tooth sensitivity, the scientists highlighted the need for simultaneous rebuilding of both the enamel and dentin to ensure less sensitivity. They began to look into dopamine, the sticky material that mussels use to adhere to surfaces. The scientists believed that this type of material would allow minerals necessary for renewal to adhere long enough to the dentin to improve the rebuilding process.

They attempted to demonstrate the possibility of using this material through multiple laboratory tests where they bathed human teeth with worn down enamel and dentin in a solution that contained the dopamine and essential minerals. Results showed that teeth that were placed in dopamine and mineral solution reformed dentin and enamel; however, the teeth kept in the solution containing only minerals resulted in the rebuilding of only the enamel. This shows the power of the dopamine and its adhesive effect of binding minerals for more effective rebuilding both enamel and dentin. Yun-Zhi Zhou believes that this sticky material found in mussels may be a promising means for preventing teeth sensitivity and may prove to be a universal technique that can be applied to millions worldwide.

As for some current, tried and true options, numerous toothpastes are available. Please talk with your dentist about which may be best for you. Desensitizing toothpaste works by blocking "transmission of sensation from the tooth surface to the nerve" They generally require consistent use for sensitivity to diminish. Some options Drs. Ali & Ali recommend are:

-ClinPro (available in-office)

-Prevident (prescription)

-Sensodyne (over the counter)

For more information about tooth sensitivity, visit another post of our blog: Are You Sensitive? Also, if you have any more questions about sensitivity, please feel free to contact Drs. Ali & Ali and the caring team at Wellesley Dental Group; they will be happy to answer your questionsContact us today at 781-237-9071 or smile@wellesleydentalgroup.com to set up an appointment and consultation.

References:

ACS.org

Science Daily.com

ADA Mouth Healthy

 

Picking Up a Healthy Habit: Flossing!

March 25th, 2013

A survey done in 2008 showed that 10% of Americans never floss and less than half the population flosses. Many seem to discount the importance of flossing, but it has been found to be even more essential than tooth brushing when it comes to the prevention periodontal disease and tooth loss.

People generally consider flossing as a means to remove food stuck in between teeth. However, flossing takes a further step and actually removes dental plaque, which is the known to be the main culprit of tooth decay, gingivitis, and gum disease. If plaque is not properly removed, it can harden into tartar, which can only be removed by a dental professional. When this occurs, brushing and cleaning between teeth can become more difficult, leading to swollen or even bleeding gum tissue. Another reason for a lack of flossing is how troublesome it can be.  Dentists do admit that it is not easy! But with more practice, you can get the hang of it.

The American Dental Association provides a couple steps to get you on board with flossing:

  • Use about 18 in. of floss wound around one of your middle fingers, with the rest wound around the opposite middle finger.
  • Hold the floss tightly between the thumbs and forefingers and gently insert it between the teeth.
  • Curve the floss into a “C” shape against the side of the tooth.
  • Rub the floss gently up and down, keeping it pressed against the tooth. Don’t jerk or snap the floss.
  • Floss all your teeth and don’t forget to floss behind your back teeth!

Remember, the last step is just as important! Although it may seem unlikely for anything to get stuck in that area, most gum disease and tooth decay is found in the back of your mouth. Be mindful of your back teeth as you floss. The American Dental Association also recommends flossing once a day. Many people find flossing in the evening before bed a good time to do so, allowing them to go to sleep with clean teeth.

If flossing proves to be very difficult for you or if poses as a problem due to previous dental work, do not fret! Alternatives to flossing include toothpick-like dental stimulators, such as Stim-U-Dents and Soft-Picks, allows you to go in spaces between your teeth as well. If you find it hard to maneuver floss between teeth, switching to waxed floss will make flossing smoother and easier to get between the crevices.

If you have any more questions about flossing, feel free to contact Drs. Ali & Ali and the caring team at Wellesley Dental Group; they will be happy to answer your questionsContact us today at 781-237-9071 or smile@wellesleydentalgroup.com to set up an appointment and consultation.

References:

ADA Public Resources

ADA Floss Article

WebMD

 

100 Women We Admire Most

March 21st, 2013

A couple weeks ago, nominations were flowing in during the Women's Leadership Forum's 100 Women We Admire Most. Our own Dr. Femina Ali was nominated and we were all so touched by the wonderful things everyone had to say.

Today, the Women's Leadership Forum released an ebook of the final list of the 100 Women We Admire Most and, wonderfully, Dr. Femina Ali of Wellesley Dental Group, Drs. Ali & Ali is included! To get a copy of the ebook, please visit their website here. We want to thank you all for your support in making this happen, we couldn't have done it without the help of our WDG family!

Here are some wonderful things the community shared about Dr. Femina Ali during her nomination:

  • "Femina is bright, motivates others, a good delegator but not shy from rolling up her sleeves to do the work herself. She is very community oriented, spirited, a great leader, and an excellent listener. Her assessments are accurate and she's involved in many volunteer opportunities. Femina is always giving back."
  • "She's the bestest"
  • "She takes the responsibility for leadership and wraps it in kindness, wisdom and compassion."
  • "She is an amazing role model in the community and runs the type of family-owned business that you want to give your business to."
  • "Friendly, caring and has good leadership skills."
  • "She is well spoken, active in her community and has a sense of caring and kindness for her patients and people in general that is not often seen in the business community."
  • "She has dedicated her time and talent to making many opportunities for professional women to learn from and support each other."

 

Your Perfect Smile with Invisalign

March 20th, 2013

Have you ever looked in the mirror and thought to yourself hey, it would be nice to get my teeth straightened? However, afterwards you start to think of all those long months with braces and the hassles that come with them. It doesn’t have to be this way! Invisalign provides an alternative to braces and offers an innovative way to straighten teeth.

What's great about Invisalign is that the aligners are made from smooth and comfortable plastic that is worn over the teeth. These aligners will gradually straighten your teeth, without the hassle of getting wires tightened on a regular basis. Invisalign is also clear so that most people around you won't even know that you are straightening your teeth. You put on new aligners every two weeks until you have completed the treatment plan created by your dentist.

When you compare Invisalign and braces, there is also a big difference in terms of comfort and appearance. Invisalign allows you to straighten your teeth without having to worry about wires that can poke and irritate your mouth. The aligners are easy to take out and clean. Braces tend to capture food particles and flossing is an incredible hassle. What's also wonderful about Invisalign is that you can eat absolutely anything you want! You don't have to worry about getting gum stuck between wires and hard foods making your brackets come undone. You simply take off your aligners and dig in to your food.

If you are interested in Invisalign, Dr. Ejaz Ali is an Invisalign Preferred Provider. Please set up an appointment for a consultation. Do some research and get to know your wants and needs, Invisalign's website provides a list of questions based on your age that you can ask your doctor. Soon, you will have your dream smile!

References:

http://www.invisalign.com/Pages/default.aspx

 

Are you prepared for an emergency?

March 18th, 2013

Emergency preparedness is something that we all value. It’s a safeguard against the unthinkable. Emergency responders, especially, bear much responsibility for keeping the community safe and lending support during times of need.

Recently, dental responder legislation is awaiting presidential signature and enactment since its being approved by the House of Representatives, gained consent from the Senate, and approval by Congress. This means, dentists, dental schools, and dental facilities may be included in state public emergency plans!

In Wellesley, the Health Department has always valued dentists and their medical training. They have included dentists in their preparedness events, including the outbreaks of the norovirus and flu. The Wellesley Health Department also includes dentists in their Volunteer Reserve Corps, advanced CPR training and other wonderful events that benefit the community in such tangible and essential ways.

Drs. Ali & Ali are actively involved with the Wellesley Health Department and enjoy being the Smile Ambassadors for oral health. Urging dentists to play a more prominent role in public health and safety is a very positive change, and at Wellesley Dental Group, we will continue to serve our community gladly.

As it happens, Dr. Femina Ali attended an Emergency Preparedness event at the Wellesley Health Department in March, which discusses the importance of beginning safety measures at home. Some of the discussions that resonated with her were that emergency preparedness lies within the small measures one takes on a regular basis. Some tips she wants to share is that:

  • Stock emergency supplies, which can include 3 days worth of food and water in airtight containers, medicines and medical records for both you and your pets, and a photo of you and your pet together in case you are separated. Visit the American Red Cross for more ideas.
  • Conduct a home hazard hunt, which involves taking a closer look at ordinary items in your home that can cause injury. Anything that can move, fall, break, or cause a fire is a potential hazard.
  • Determine 2 escape routes out of every room and be sure you install smoke detectors on every floor, especially near bedrooms. Check batteries every 6 months.
  • Learn CPR.
  • ICE your cell phone so emergency responders know whom to contact.
  • Know your emergency phone numbers and keep them by the phone. Know the Mass 211 phone number, which is an information hotline for times of emergency. Visit their website for more information.

If you would like to learn more about the Wellesley Health Department and emergency preparedness, please visit their website here, or call them at: (781) 235-0135. Their office can be found at the Annie F. Warren Building on the Second Floor on 90 Washington Street, in Wellesley, MA. Check them out for more events so you, too, can be prepared!

Their next event is a workshop on Perimenopause and Menopause with women's health expert Dr. Ronee Skornik from Women’s Health Associates in Wellesley. The event will be held at the Wellesley Free Library from 6:30-8:39 pm on Thursday, March 21.

Resources:

ADA

Wellesley Health Department

American Red Cross

Mass 211

Wellesley Free Library

MA Health and Human Services

Is Tongue Brushing Necessary?

March 12th, 2013

 

Most people know that brushing and flossing teeth is necessary to maintain healthy teeth, preventing cavities and tooth decay. Often times tongue brushing is discounted. However, tongue brushing is just as important for your overall dental hygiene.

Taking a step into history, many eastern cultures have paid close attention to tongue hygiene. In Chinese medicine, tongue inspection was thought to be a critical aspect of making medical diagnoses and determining prognosis. It has also been recorded that Native Americans took part in a daily ritual that not only involved teeth brushing, but also tongue scraping, followed by a mouth rinse of concoctions of various herbs. Rudimentary tortoise shell and bone inscriptions have been able to reveal thoughts on tongue hygiene that even date back to the 16th century BC!

There must be a reason why tongue hygiene has been integral in terms of determining health in various cultures. Studies have shown that keeping your tongue clean and healthy is, indeed, essential. Many microorganisms have been found to reside on the dorsum of the tongue. Scientists have found that tongue brushing can lead to the decrease in bacterial counts on the tongue. Bacteria have been found to colonize the tongue and periodontal packets, which influence the generation of sulfur compounds in periodontal health and disease. These are the very compounds that cause patients to have halitosis, or simply known as bad breath.

It is very easy to forget about brushing your tongue, but it gets easier when practiced on a daily basis. People also tend to shy away from tongue brushing because their gag reflex starts right up. Doctors recommend that the best time for tongue cleaning is in the morning on an empty stomach, to reduce the possibility of vomiting and gagging. It has also been suggested that gag reflex becomes more controlled with the continual cleaning of the tongue.

Here are a couple steps to get you on your way to tongue bushing!

1. Place the tongue as far out of the mouth as possible

2. Look for the locations where there is debris accumulation; unfortunately, this is usual towards the back of your tongue.

3. Place the tongue cleaner as far as possible and make contact with the flattened tongue.

4. Pull the tongue cleaner forward slowly to the front of the mouth, making sure to cover as much surface area as possible.

5. Rinse the tongue cleaner and repeat!

Tongue brushing can be a hassle in the beginning, but once it becomes routine, the difference in your oral health will be so noticeable. Drs. Ali & Ali and the caring team at Wellesley Dental Group will be happy to answer your questions about oral health and tongue brushing. Contact us today at 781-237-9071 or smile@wellesleydentalgroup.com to set up an appointment and consultation.

 

References:

Christensen G. Why clean your tongue? J Am Dent Assoc 1998; 129: 1605–07.

Danser M. M., Gomez S. M., Van der Wejden, G. A. (2003). Tongue coating and tongue brushing: a literature review. 3:151-8.

 

Request an
Appointment

patient
forms

read
our blog

Top