coffee

Does My Tea or Coffee Really Need Sugar?

September 22nd, 2019

It's not a surprise that sugar is bad for our teeth, but it's sometimes hard to resist consuming each day. We are often asked, "would you like sugar in your coffee?" or "would you like sugar added to your tea?" This can lead to a spiral of adding one teaspoon of sugar to even three or four teaspoons for that perfect tasting cup of tea or coffee. It might sound like a small amount, but each day as you have your morning jump-start of caffeine it can add up and take a harmful toll on your teeth. The American Heart Association (AHA) states that the maximum amount of added sugars you should consume each day is 37.5 grams/9 teaspoons for men, and 25 grams/6 teaspoons for women. These numbers are quick to reach, for example, one can of coke contains a whopping 36 grams of sugar! According to a study conducted by Euromonitor in 2015, the United States is the #1 country that consumes the most sugar per person each day (126.4 grams). The impact of sugar on oral and overall health is significant, as sugar can increase the risk of developing diabetes, heart disease, and most widely known, tooth decay.

Reducing or cutting out adding sugar completely to your tea or coffee can be a great start to a healthier lifestyle. Natural sweetness such as xylitol have been found to help reduce the risk of tooth decay and can be a great alternative to sugar and artificial sweeteners.

Remember, your diet plays an important role in your dental and general health. Be sure to notice when food labels mention words such as sucrose, glucose, fructose, maltose, or corn syrup, for instance, as these are also masked terms for sugar.

Take a look at some tips to help reduce sugar in your daily diet:

Eat a healthy breakfast

Starting the day off with a healthy filling breakfast can give you the energy you need to get through the day and help you avoid snacking throughout the day on items that may contain a lot of sugar. Try picking out cereals that have no added sugar, and having tooth-friendly items including cheese, or yogurt. It's best not to consume sugary snacks throughout the day because frequency of sugar exposure is more detrimental for your teeth than the amount of sugar consumed. When we eat sugary and acidic foods, the pH of our mouths become lower and more acidic, which can put your teeth in a weakened state. When you do need a snack, be sure to choose healthy snack options.

Note that fat free does not equal sugar free
Some items are highlighted as healthy products because they are fat-free. However, fat-free items may still contain high amounts of sugar which can negatively impact your teeth. Be sure to look at the nutrition label when buying fat-free products to see how much sugar is in them.
Avoid sticky foods
Sticky foods such as candy, and even dried fruits can become trapped within teeth and harm your tooth enamel.
Keep up with your dental visits 

Your dentist can help you keep up with maintaining your pearly-whites and ensuring that they are healthy. It is important to schedule regular dental check-ups and cleanings.

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

Your little ones and teens are welcome to visit our pediatric dentist, Dr. Derek, and Dr. Emad is happy to help with your TMJ and orthodontic needs. For wisdom teeth extractions or any other oral surgery needs, Dr. Stephens would love to help, and our gum-specialist Dr. Singh can help with your gum-related concerns.

References:

https://www.dentalhealth.org/blog/phasing-out-our-addiction-to-sugar-one-sugarless-tea-and-coffee-at-a-time

https://coach.nine.com.au/diet/the-20-countries-who-eat-the-most-and-the-least-sugar/76adbc2d-1c89-4e7c-9693-0b875afadaad#1

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Get Whiter Teeth For Summer!

July 5th, 2016

smiling

A dazzling bright smile is all the catch nowadays. Especially now that it's summer and there are many graduations, weddings, and fun events planned, why not show off a healthy white smile! Of course regular dental habits like brushing and flossing are ways to keep a brighter smile. However, if you feel like your smile doesn't sparkle as much as you'd like, there are many products and whitening treatments available to achieve your smile goals.

Tooth whitening is a simple process and a great option for individuals who have stained or discolored teeth. Teeth can become stained for many reasons, including tobacco use, certain medications, foods with dark dyes, and such as red wine, coffee, tea, and soda.  Even the natural aging process can cause tooth discoloration.

Since so many whitening options are available, it can sometimes be challenging to decide which one you would like to use. Come schedule an appointment and talk to the Smile Ambassadors at Wellesley Dental Group about the differences between in-office professional whitening and at-home whitening. Check out the in-office professional whitening we offer:

Zoom! Whitening

zoom-teeth-whitening-header

Philips Zoom is a safe, easy, quick, and pain-free way to whitening teeth and perfect your smile. This procedure can help make your teeth up to eight shades brighter in a short amount of time! Zoom includes a Chairside Light-Activated Gel and LED light to help accelerate and enhance the whitening process. Just three 15-minute applications of the gel and light occur in one hour, leaving you with a dazzling whiter smile.

Your dentist can help you determine if Zoom whitening is the best whitening option for your individual smile. Contact us today for more information or to schedule an appointment for Philips Zoom whitening.

Sinsational Smile Whitening

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Sinsational Smile® is a great way to whiten teeth because it uses fast and safe technology allowing for a comfortable whitening experience. This procedure lasts approximately 20 minutes and involves pre-filled trays and a LED light which helps quickly activate the gel's whitening ingredients. Sinsational Smile® contains 35% of the active ingredient, Carbamide Peroxide, along with carbomer, menthol, glycerin, and mint flavor in the gel. The whitening experience is painless and the outcome is rewarding! Check out some of the testimonials here.

Home Whitening

Beautiful young woman teeth.

There are many products sold for tooth whitening that can be done at home, but it is important to consult with a dental professional before use.

Tray whitening:

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Tray whitening involves using custom-made trays and whitening gel only available through your dentist. At-home professional tray whitening typically lasts from ten to 14 days.

Paint-on teeth whiteners:

Teeth-Whitener-Paint

Paint-on whiteners are sold at convenient stores and are relatively inexpensive. This method consists of a gel that is applied to the tooth using a small brush. The gel hardens and eventually dissolves in the mouth.

Whitening strips:

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Teeth-whitening strip kits are a common home whitening procedure which includes thin, flexible plastic (polyethylene) strips that contain hydrogen peroxide on one side. The strips are typically worn for 30 minutes a day, twice a day but vary in duration depending on the brand.

Whitening mouthwash and toothpaste:

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Several brands of whitening toothpastes and mouthwashes can be found at many drug stores and convenient stores and are typically the least expensive option. These toothpastes and mouthwashes help remove surface stains by using mild abrasives. However, these products only mildly lighten your teeth and are not as reliable as in-office whitening treatments.

 

 

 

If you would like to learn more about teeth whitening, please contact our practice to schedule an appointment.

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.

References:

http://www.sinsationalsmile.com/

http://www.sinsationalsmile.com/downloads/Sinsational_graphics/Sinsation%20logo_hi.jpg

http://www.usa.philips.com/c-m-pe/teeth-whitening

http://www.jeffreylrubindmd.com/wp-content/uploads/zoom-teeth-whitening-header.jpg

http://cachevalleydentist.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/12/Fotolia_12743697_XL.jpg

http://www.healthy-magazine.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2015/07/smiling.jpg

http://www.colgate.com/CP15/en/us/oc/content/articles/2014/09/Skywords/images/105728-lg.jpg

http://cdn.thedentalcheck.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/10/Teeth-Whitener-Paint.jpg

http://cdn.buynowsignal.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/2/1-whitening-strips-buying-guide-300x300.jpg

https://d1hekt5vpuuw9b.cloudfront.net/assets/71bdb68b70ed4da6f3243d528f7e5621_listerine-300x300_gallery.jpg

Smile for National Smile Month!

June 2nd, 2016

National Smile Month, one of the biggest and oldest campaigns of the United Kingdom that promotes proper oral health, runs from May 16th to June 16th. Each year, more than 50 million people are reached and great improvements are made in the in the UK. 2016 marks the 40th anniversary of the Oral Health Foundation's campaign to spread awareness on oral health issues and highlight three key tips for smile #goals:

  1. Brush at least twice a day (once before going to sleep at night) with fluoride toothpaste
  2. Reduce sugary food and drink intake
  3. Make regular visits to the dentist (as often as recommended)

To support this campaign, Brighton Implant Clinic's Dr. Bruno Silva also shared his top pieces of advice for maintaining a healthy smile:

  1. Use a straw when drinking acidic drinks like coffee and orange juice
  2. Floss to hit the spots you miss when you brush
  3. Avoid chewing on pens or pencils that could contain germs or ice that could damage your enamel
  4. Eat a balanced diet full of fruits, vegetables, starchy food, and protein (which could benefit your overall health as well!)
  5. Use fluoride toothpaste to strengthen enamel and prevent tooth decay
  6. Don't use mouthwash right after brushing - it could rinse off the fluoride from your toothpaste
  7. Cheese is great to prevent acid from hurting your teeth, but avoid dried fruits that can stick to your teeth
  8. Rinse with a fluoride mouthwash before sleeping

The Smile Ambassadors at Wellesley Dental Group are proud to support this campaign and are passionate about promoting proper oral health and increasing awareness on dental issues. In April, Drs. Ali and Ali attended a conference in Toronto led by the AACD (American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry), which leads the AACD Charitable Foundation to help those with dental injuries from domestic and sexual violence rebuild their smiles.

Resources:

http://www.nationalsmilemonth.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/03/about-national-smile-month.jpg

http://www.nationalsmilemonth.org/about-smile-month/

https://www.dentalhealth.org/news/details/914

http://www.dentistry.co.uk/2016/06/01/say-cheese-tips-for-a-photo-perfect-smile/

http://www.aacd.com/charitablefoundationgbas

Latte, Espresso, Cappuccino? Think Twice Before You Indulge

November 12th, 2015

a-cup-of-coffee

Coffee is America’s favorite beverage, especially for early risers. Not to mention, coffee lovers have many options to choose from. From sweetened flavors like mocha, caramel swirl, and French vanilla, to the less sweet flavors of cinnamon, coconut, hazelnut, raspberry, and toasted almond.

It’s estimated that 68 percent of the American population indulge in a cup of coffee every morning to help them wake up and to keep them going throughout the day. The real question is, "Is coffee good or bad for you?"

Coffees is known to increase mental alertness, boost our concentration, and prevent the development of certain cancers and other diseases.  In addition, according to recent studies, black coffee may help fight bacteria if consumed without artificial sweeteners.

Along with some good effects, there are also many adverse effects on the body. Coffee is often associated with high blood pressure, heart disease, osteoporosis. In addition, coffee can have a negative impact on your dental health. Some studies suggest that coffee wears down tooth enamel. Weakened enamel can make teeth more vulnerable to diseases and permanent damage. Enamel is porous calcified substance made up of matrix of crystal like rods, which keeps our teeth strong. The bad part is that once your enamel is gone, you can't get it back!

Not to mention, moderate to high consumption of coffee can cause tooth discoloration, leaving your teeth stained yellow.

Many of us know that it can be hard to give up the daily dose of coffee each morning. But, there are a few preventive measures that you can take to reduce the amount of coffee you intake. This includes rinsing your mouth after drinking coffee, using proper brushing and flossing habits, and using a straw to prevent coffee from touching the surfaces of your teeth.  Also, Zoom! Whitening is a great way to keep your teeth pearly white.

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

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

References:

http://cdn1.medicalnewstoday.com/content/images/articles/297/297449/a-cup-of-coffee.jpg

 

Not All Chocolate Is Created Equal: The Health Benefits of Dark Chocolate

October 29th, 2015

dark-chocolateAlthough people usually associate chocolate with trips to the dentist's, eating certain types of chocolate in moderation may actually be beneficial for your health. If you want to indulge on candy this Halloween, dark chocolate is one of the better options. Here are some reasons why:

1. It's nutritious.

Dark chocolate with high cacao content is packed with nutrients. One 100 gram bar (although we recommend consuming dark chocolate in moderation) high in cacao content contains a wealth of fiber, iron, magnesium, copper, and manganese. Despite the sugar and calories, there is also plenty of potassium, phosphorous, zinc, and selenium that is beneficial for your health. The fats in dark chocolate include mostly saturated fats, which are recommended over unsaturated fats, and some polyunsaturated fats, which help lower your chances of developing heart disease, stroke, and high cholesterol. Dark chocolate is also a great choice if you want an energy boost without having to worrying about not being able to sleep at night - its caffeine level is minimal compared to that of coffee.

2. It has tons of antioxidants.

Dark chocolate holds the ranking of the sixth top antioxidant food. This is due to the fact that it is packed with biologically active organic compounds (polyphenols, flavonols, catechins, etc.) which act as antioxidants. In addition, cacao has greater antioxidant activity than many other fruits such as blueberries and Acai berries. Antioxidants help prevent or delay cell damage caused by free radicals, which can effectively help lower risks of cancer and other diseases.

3. It has great benefits for your blood (and your brain)!

According to a study from JAMA (The Journal of the American Medical Association), cacao and dark chocolate can at least mildly improve blood flow and reduce blood pressure. High-flavonol cacao also improves blood flow in the brain and cognitive function, especially for elders with mild mental impairment. Because it contains stimulants such as caffeine, dark chocolate is especially helpful for improving short-term brain function.

4. It's great for your skin!

Flavonols enhance blood flow to the skin, increase hydration , and prevent skin damage from the sun. According to one study, the amount of UV radiation required to produce sunburn or redness within 24 hour of exposure increased significantly after eating high-flavonol dark chocolate for 12 weeks.

5. It can lower the risk of cardiovascular disease.

The substances in dark chocolate prevent cholesterol from accumulating in the arteries and protect against the reaction of unhealthy cholesterol with free radicals. One study published in Clinical Nutrition in 2012 observed that eating chocolate more than 5 times per week reduced cardiovascular disease risks by 57%!

After saving some dark chocolate for yourself, feel free to donate the rest of your candy to our Annual Candy Drive! This November 1st through 5th, we will be collecting candy and handwritten notes for our troops at our office in Wellesley. We are particularly excited about our new grand prize of $1,000 that will be awarded to the school’s PTO who donates the most candy. We hope that you have a happy Halloween, and are looking forward to seeing you at the Candy Drive Nov 5th, 10AM at our office!

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://authoritynutrition.com/7-health-benefits-dark-chocolate/

http://www.trustedhealthproducts.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2014/03/dark-chocolate.jpg

Teens Afraid to Smile with Braces?

February 22nd, 2015

 

Do you remember your years as a teenager? From homecoming to sweet sixteen parties to prom, and the beloved senior pictures,  these are the memories that seem to last forever! Maintaining an image can be very important for teens, which includes having straight teeth. Yet, a surprising 54% of teens believe metal braces would make them more self-conscious, and 50% would smile less often, According to a research survey conducted by Kelton Global.  The American Association of Orthodontists reported that more than half of the approximated two million orthodontic cases in the United States are teenagers, ranging in age from 12 to 17. The good news is that your teenager has options! An alternative to conventional braces is Invisalign, which is clear, removable, and customized for each individual. Having straight teeth it not only important for beauty reasons, but also for maintaining a healthy mouth. 

When worn properly, Invisalign is just as effective as conventional braces. It can fix several dental problems, including crooked teeth, protruding teeth, gapped teeth, overly crowded teeth, and bite issues. The aligners are smooth and comfortable. Not to mention, if there's got a special event coming up, like prom,  your teen can easily remove and put them back in after the occasion. Yet, they're hardly noticeable when on anyway!

With regular braces, your teen may experience some pain, discomfort, difficulty eating, or mouth sores due to the brace wires. They may also have to sacrifice eating hard foods, including apples, corn on the cob, and hard breads.

One of the great things about Invisalign is that it doesn't dramatically affect one's everyday life. They should be worn the recommended 20 to 22 hours a day, and each set of aligners is typically worn for two weeks depending on the treatment plan. No worries, it all requires little effort!

With Invisalign, there will be no food getting stuck in-between wires and brackets. When it's time to eat, simply remove the aligners and then brush and floss normally before putting them back on.  This lets them avoid the time-consuming act of trying to floss and brush in between the brackets and wires on conventional braces. A challenge with regular braces is removing this trapped food, which has a greater chance of leading to plaque buildup and tooth decay. Invisalign allows for normal brushing and flossing that helps with better dental hygiene. At bedtime, they just need to clean their aligners and do their regular nighttime oral health habits. Also, Invisalign requires fewer trips into the office than with regular  braces. The best part, especially for teenagers, is that most people won't even know they are straightening their teeth.

Sports can also be an essential part of your teens life. Particularly contact sports can be hard with the sharp brackets on metal braces. Whether it's basketball, football, or volleyball, Invisalign won't give them troubles. Invisalign allows for them to wear a mouthguard comfortably and avoid scraping their mouth while actively doing what they love!

However, there can also be small sacrifices when choosing Invisalign over conventional braces. They may need to kiss lipstick goodbye as well as coffee and other teeth staining drinks, to avoid tenting the aligners.

No matter what your age is, Invisalign as a teeth straightening alternative may be best for your lifestyle and even confidence!

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

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

References:

http://www.invisalign.com

http://www.colgate.com/app/CP/US/EN/OC/Information/Articles/ColgateNewandNow/Personal/2014/June/article/SW-281474979302949.cvsp

http://news.health.com/2015/02/13/11-things-i-wish-id-known-before-i-got-invisalign/

http://majeronibraces.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/02/invisalign_teen1.jpg 

Could Coffee be Good for Your Teeth?

June 30th, 2014

Many people enjoy a cup of coffee in the morning before beginning a hectic day of work or school.  Whether you drink your coffee black or with milk and sugar, this caffeinated drink can possibly cause teeth staining and erosion.  However, recent research has shown that coffee could actually benefit your teeth as well.

Researchers at the Rio de Janeiro's Federal University in Brazil examined the effects of Coffea canephora extract on baby teeth.  This coffee extract is present in 30% of the world's coffee beans.  The results of this study concluded that the coffee extract actively broke down the bacterial biofilms which are responsible for causing dental plaques which lead to harmful tooth decay.

Lead researcher Andréa Antonio said, "Dental plaque is a classic complex biofilm and it’s the main culprit in tooth decay and gum disease. We are always looking for natural compounds – food and drink, even – that can have a positive impact on dental health."

This finding is important because dental plaque contributes to the development of gum disease.  The researchers believe that specifically the polyphenols found in the coffee bean lower the risk of developing dental plaque.  Past studies have suggested that coffee may have a myriad of other health benefits including protecting against Parkinson's disease, type 2 diabetes and liver disease, including liver cancer, improving cognitive function and decreasing the risk of depression.

However, it is important to keep in mind that in order to reap the most health benefits from coffee, it should be consumed black; without milk or sugar.  Sugary drinks can still cause tooth decay and add unnecessary, empty calories to a balanced diet.  Furthermore, it is not recommended to excessively drink coffee on a daily basis.

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 781-237-9071or smile@wellesleydentalgroup.com to set up an appointment and consultation.

Sources:

http://dentistrytoday.com/todays-dental-news/10619-coffee-could-lead-to-healthy-teeth

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-2654546/How-cup-black-coffee-stops-teeth-rotting-Certain-type-bean-property-help-break-bacteria-causes-plaque.html

http://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-living/nutrition-and-healthy-eating/expert-answers/coffee-and-health/faq-20058339

Image credit: http://abcnewsradioonline.com/storage/news-images/GETTY_H_032712_CoffeeBeans.jpg?__SQUARESPACE_CACHEVERSION=1332894907595

Smokers' Taste Buds Lose Sensitivity

May 23rd, 2014

stock-footage-woman-smoking-a-cigarette-and-drinking-coffee-from-her-cup-unhealthy-conceptA significant amount of research has shown the correlation between cigarette smoking and life-threatening diseases like cancer, respiratory diseases, and heart disease.  Recent research has shown that smoking could also lead you to alter your experience with food by essentially dulling your taste buds.

Nelly Jacob and a team of researchers at the Pitié-Salpêtrière Hospital APHP in France wanted to see the exact extent in which smoking can alter the ability to taste.  Previous research has already shown that smoking leads to structural changes to the areas of the tongue where taste buds are found.  Taste buds are the reason we can experience sweet, sour, bitter, salty, and metallic tastes when we eat.  Other than the pleasurable experience of being able to taste delicious foods, taste buds have many survival functions.  For instance, our taste buds can trigger the start of our digestive systems through saliva secretion.  Furthermore, our taste buds enable us to differentiate between yummy foods and potentially poisonous foods.

The results of the study showed that the ability for smokers to detect salty, sweet, or sour tastes was not influenced by frequent smoking.  Instead, the smokers could not fully taste the bitterness of black coffee.  About one out of five of the smokers could not exactly pinpoint a bitter taste which was a significantly higher proportion than nonsmokers.  Jacob was quoted as saying, “"We consider that the perception of bitter taste should be examined more closely, both as a tool for smoking cessation or for preventing smoking initiation. More generally, it should be worthwhile to consider the role of chemosensory perceptions in smoking behavior.”

This new research gives us yet another reason to either quit smoking or steer clear of the habit.

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 781-237-9071or smile@wellesleydentalgroup.com to set up an appointment and consultation.Your little ones and teens are welcome to visit our pediatric dentist Dr. Kim or Dr.PradhanDr. Emad is happy to help with your orthodontic needs. For wisdom teeth extractions or any other oral surgery needs Dr. Ghazi would be more than willing to help.

Sources:

http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/274698.php

http://dentistrytoday.com/todays-dental-news/10015-effectiveness-of-taste-buds-hampered-by-smoking

http://abcnews.go.com/Health/Healthday/story?id=8427779

Image credit: http://ak2.picdn.net/shutterstock/videos/4902155/preview/stock-footage-woman-smoking-a-cigarette-and-drinking-coffee-from-her-cup-unhealthy-concept.jpg

More Reasons to Smile While on Vacation

March 27th, 2014

family vacationVacations are a time for relaxing, having fun, and making memories with family and friends.  Whether you are camping in the wilderness or sipping coconut water in the Caribbean, everyone can benefit from good oral health tips on the go.  With summer vacations looming over the horizon, here are some great tips to keep you and your loved ones smiling the entire time!

 1. Plan ahead

If you or your family members haven’t had their bi-yearly dental check ups yet, now may be a good time to do so.  By seeing a dentist before leaving for vacation, you can guarantee that there will be no sudden dental problems that require medical attention while abroad.  For instance, having a cavity spotted and filled early might prevent annoying toothache issues that are difficult to treat away from home.

Furthermore, make sure you have all your medical and dental insurance information handy and kept in a safe place in case of an emergency.

2.  Keep things organized

Keeping all your oral health tools in one place will save time and effort.  Carrying a toothbrush, toothpaste, and floss in your carry-on bag will be helpful during long flights.  Another option would be to purchase smaller versions of your usual arsenal of products.  There are many travel-sized versions of all major toothpaste and mouthwash brands at most convenience stores.  Make sure to brush your teeth after every meal (just like you would at home) even while on a plane!

3.  Cover your toothbrushes

Throwing an uncovered toothbrush into your carry-on bag or placing it on countertops of hotel bathrooms gives unwelcome bacteria the opportunity to invade its bristles.  In order to prevent this, it is important to cover toothbrushes with a clean, plastic cover.  It’s crucial to let all toothbrushes air-dry before placing the cover on it, because covering a moist toothbrush will actually encourage bacteria growth.

4.   Maintain healthy eating habits

Vacation time is certainly a time to indulge.  However, keep some healthy snacks like fruit or veggies in hand for in between meals.  You can satisfy your appetite by chewing on nutritious snacks throughout the day and perhaps turn down a tempting sugary drink later on.

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 781-237-9071or smile@wellesleydentalgroup.com to set up an appointment and consultation.

Sources:

http://www.drpeterhazim.com/dental-tips-while-on-vacation/
http://lauriesteindds.com/blog/?p=378
http://pediatricdentalworld.com/blog/5-pointers-for-healthy-vacation-smiles/
Image credit: http://cdn.sheknows.com/articles/2010/12/family-vacation.jpg

What Is Oil-pulling?

March 23rd, 2014

olive oilThe latest dentistry-related craze to hit social media has been an article on the miraculous benefits of "oil-pulling" on oral health.  Some articles claim that this new fad can even eliminate acne and eczema, cures hang-overs, aids in sleep problems, and helps alleviate general pain.  Could oil-pulling be a new cure-all health practice or is it just another pseudoscience fad?

Oil-pulling is an ancient folk practice originating from India.  Essentially, this practice entails swishing a tablespoon of any cold pressed, vegetable-based oil like coconut oil around in your mouth for 20 minutes every morning.

If you haven't seen any of these articles yet, here are a few of the dentistry-related claims they make:

  • Removes bacteria and toxins in your mouth and lymph system
  • Re-mineralizes teeth
  • Strengthens gums
  • Whitens teeth naturally
  • Reduces bad breath

Groups of bloggers and scientific researchers have both been questioning the validity of all these claims.  Although there is some scientific literature supporting some of the claimed benefits of oil-pulling, the research does not lend any clear substantial support.  In fact, some report that a placebo effect is actually taking place.

An online community of doctors called Science Based Medicine state that "oil pulling for general health or any other indication is pure pseudoscience."  Other scientists and medical practitioners are choosing to take a more middle-ground stance on this practice.  Dr. Sanda Moldovan, a periodontist, agrees that maintaining proper oral health is essential to be healthy overall and that oil-pulling is just another (and not necessarily crucial) method of maintaining healthy teeth.  Studies have shown that coconut oil does indeed remove harmful bacteria from your mouth.  However, research has also shown that oil-pulling is not much better than regular mouthwash in removing harmful bacteria in your mouth.

The verdict?  It would best be advised that people should remain cautious to believe and try everything they read online through social media.  Although oil-pulling might have some health benefits, it seems that there is not enough scientific support to back up all of its claims.

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 781-237-9071or smile@wellesleydentalgroup.com to set up an appointment and consultation.

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

Sources:

http://www.foodmatters.tv/articles-1/oil-pulling-the-habit-that-can-transform-your-health

http://www.mindbodygreen.com/0-7857/why-you-should-start-oil-pulling-today.html

http://news.discovery.com/human/psychology/can-oil-pulling-improve-your-health-140311.htm

http://www.sciencebasedmedicine.org/oil-pulling-your-leg/

http://jezebel.com/the-oil-pulling-health-craze-works-just-not-in-the-w-1538252677

Image credit: http://media.npr.org/assets/img/2011/01/19/olive-oil_sq-e4b656991b973d6de22fb74a05922bb0650e9e5a-s6-c30.jpg

"Does My Breath Smell?"

March 22nd, 2014

Cure Bad BreathHaving bad breath can be a symptom of a host of oral health problems like severe tooth decay, infections in the mouth, and gum disease.  In other cases, bad breath can just be the result of a garlic-heavy lunch.  Regardless, having odor-free breath is essential in our day-to-day social interactions with others.  Have you ever wondered if your breath smelled and had no way to check?  Although many people employ the strategy of breathing into their cupped hands to check, this method is actually ineffective.  Our bodies are all individually acclimated to our own scents, and thus it is difficult to notice any changes in the smell of our breath.

Luckily, there are other ways you can quickly check the smell of your own breath.

  • Cotton test: Take a cotton swab and run it across the top of your tongue near the back and smell it.  If it smells bad or is yellow in color, this suggests elevated sulfide production.
  • Wrist test: Lick your wrist and wait about 10 seconds before smelling it.
  • Dental floss/toothpick test: Smell floss or toothpick after you are done using it and look for any bad odors.
  • Mirror test: If the very back of your tongue is whitish in color, this may suggest foul odor.
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 781-237-9071or smile@wellesleydentalgroup.com to set up an appointment and consultation.

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

Sources:

http://www.therabreath.com/breath-test.html
http://www.breathmd.com/how-to-smell-your-own-breath.php
http://www.webmd.com/oral-health/guide/bad-breath
Image credit: http://www.larsondentistry.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/04/Cure-Bad-Breath.jpg

A Smarter Brushing Experience

March 15th, 2014

electric toothbrush

There is no doubt that smart phones have become a permanent staple in our day to day lives.  From editing pictures to counting calories, it seems like smart phones can do it all!  Now, with the production of Oral B's smart toothbrush, your smart phone can even help you brush your teeth better.

This electronic smart toothbrush (to be released worldwide in June, 2014) is linked via Bluetooth 4.0 to an app that can be downloaded for both Android and iOS devices.  The best features of this toothbrush include a video simulation that shows you exactly where to brush, which areas are neglected, and how hard to brush.  Additionally, it provides tips on how to improve your brushing habits by charting your progress.  Users found that using the electronic smart toothbrush significantly extended brushing times.

We highly recommend using electric toothbrushes if you look more thorough brushing results, they can make a huge difference in your oral hygiene. Some people think that using such a toothbrush, you are done in half the time. This is not really the case.  Due to the smaller brushing surface, you have to make sure you cover all the chewing surfaces.

There is a different technique to using an electric brush. Rather than moving the brush around the mouth in a circular motion, let the brush do the work. Start at one corner of the mouth eg. the cheek surface of the back teeth, and slowly move the brush along the teeth towards the lips. Then make a second pass from the same start point but slightly lower down so that the junction of the gums and teeth is thoroughly cleaned. Repeat this for the inside of the teeth and then each of the other corners of the mouth. Don't forget to brush the chewing surfaces as well.

If you can't wait until June for the pioneering smart toothbrush, check out some of these popular electronic toothbrushes, guaranteed to take your brushing to the next level:

1.  Oral-B Professional Healthy Clean + Floss Action Electric Toothbrush with SmartGuide (Amazon: $110)

This electronic toothbrush is Oral-B's most technologically advanced series.  This toothbrush has a "Deep Clean" mode (as well as 4 other modes like "Whitening" and "Massage") that guarantees the removal of 99.7% of plaque even in the hard-to-reach places of the mouth.  A unique pressure sensor automatically pauses the vibrations of the toothbrush if you are pressing down too firmly on your gums and teeth.

 2.  Philips Sonicare Essence Rechargeable Electric Toothbrush (Amazon: $50)

The Philips Sonicare Essence is a cheaper alternative that provides excellent plaque removal and a 2-minute timer to ensure proper brushing time.  This toothbrush claims to clean 2x more plaque than a manual toothbrush.

 3.  Philips Sonicare DiamondClean (Amazon: $190)

The DiamondClean toothbrush claims to remove 5x more plaque than a manual toothbrush and also significantly whitens teeth within 1 week of use.  A unique feature of this toothbrush is its diamond-shaped brush bristles which enable greater surface area coverage.  The DiamondClean also has five modes including whitening and massage functions.

Electronic toothbrushes aren't necessary to maintain good oral health. Manual toothbrushes are just as effective when used correctly.  However, if you use an electric toothbrush with an average technique and time, it will give far superior oral hygiene benefits compared to a manual toothbrush with an average technique.
It is important to keep in mind that a combination of proper diet,  flossing, and brushing are all necessary components of keeping your smile looking healthy.

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 781-237-9071or smile@wellesleydentalgroup.com to set up an appointment and consultation.

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

Sources:

http://www.inquisitr.com/1159163/new-oral-b-electronic-toothbrush-connects-to-smartphone-app-to-help-clean-your-teeth/
http://time.com/11376/busted-this-toothbrush-tattles-on-you-to-your-dentist/
http://www.theguardian.com/technology/2014/feb/26/oral-b-smart-toothbrush-dentists-spy-on-your-brushing
http://www.consumerreports.org/cro/toothbrushes/buying-guide.htm
http://www.bhbdental.co.nz/FAQs/Gum+Disease/Electric+Toothbrushes.html
Image credit: http://www.goodhousekeeping.com/cm/goodhousekeeping/images/ER/philips-sonicare-diamondclean-electric-toothbrush-lgn.jpg

 

Make-up Tricks for a Whiter Smile!

March 9th, 2014

lipstickWhiter teeth can instantly brighten up a smile.  However, if you don't have time to get them professionally whitened, there are a few temporary makeup tricks to make them look whiter.  It's important to  keep in mind that no make-up trick will ever replace maintaining a healthy dental care regimen of brushing teeth, flossing, and have regular check-ups.

Applying a matte bronzer the hollows of your cheeks and all over your face gives your skin a sun-kissed glow.  The tanning effect of bronzer makes the whiteness of your teeth stand out.  The main areas you should focus on while applying bronzer are: under your cheekbones, sides of the nose, jawline, and under the chin.

Strategically choosing the right lip color is also very important.  A lip gloss or lipstick with cool undertones of blue or purple also give the illusion of whiter teeth because it counteracts the yellow-ness of teeth.  A berry-tinted lip gloss would be a great choice for this winter!  However, if purple-toned lip colors are out of your comfort zone, a classic red lip will also create an illusion of whiter teeth because it makes a sharp color contrast.  It is important to avoid any orange-based peach or caramel undertones in lip glosses because they enhance any yellow coloring of teeth.

Another useful trick to counterbalance any yellowing is to focus on your eye makeup and really making them pop.  Again, using cooler toned shades like purples and greens are your best bet.

In case you would like to get professional whitening done, we do have several options for you. You could try Sinsational in-office whitening that will brighten up your smile about four shades up in less than 30 minutes. You could also give take-home whitening kit a shot, with great results within two weeks. 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 781-237-9071or smile@wellesleydentalgroup.com to set up an appointment and consultation.

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

Sources:

http://www.cosmopolitan.com/hairstyles-beauty/skin-care-makeup/how-to-whiten-your-teeth#slide-1

http://www.besthealthmag.ca/look-great/makeup/makeup-tricks-to-make-your-teeth-look-whiter

http://blog.birchbox.com/post/24224204212/how-to-contour-your-face-like-a-celebrity

http://au.lifestyle.yahoo.com/womens-health/life-features/beauty/article/-/10641004/make-up-tips-to-make-your-teeth-appear-whiter/

Is Chewing Gum to Blame for Headaches in Kids?

March 9th, 2014

gum chewing headachesGum chewing is a common habit for both adults and adolescents.  Although chewing gum can provide dental benefits like whitening and aid in the prevention of tooth decay, research has shown that chewing gum may not be as beneficial as once thought.  Many would not think to relate gum chewing with prolonged headaches.  However, recent research has begun to elucidate the correlation between the two.

Dr. Nathan Watemberg of Tel Aviv University and Meir Medical Center looked at the relationship between frequent gum chewing and headaches specifically in adolescents.  He focused on a group of patients between the ages of 6 and 19 who both reported chronic migraines or headaches and chewed gum on a daily basis.  Once the group of adolescents quit gum chewing entirely, almost 90% of the group reported decreased frequency and intensity in headaches and more than half of the group reported that their headaches completely disappeared.

There are a few theories that seek to to explain why gum chewing might cause headaches.  For one, the physical act of prolonged chewing causes stress to an area of the head where the jaw is connected to the skull.  Alternatively, some researchers believe that the artificial sweetener used in some types of gum is the culprit.

Regardless of the reason, it seems that forgoing gum chewing may alleviate the debilitating effects of daily headaches in adolescents.

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 781-237-9071or smile@wellesleydentalgroup.com to set up an appointment and consultation.

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

Sources:

http://www.ada.org/5097.aspx?currentTab=2

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/12/131219130937.htm

Image credit: http://i.telegraph.co.uk/multimedia/archive/01775/gum_1775702c.jpg

Don’t Let Cavities Keep You from Winning the Gold!

March 4th, 2014

sochi winter olympics In light of the recent Sochi XXII Olympic Winter Games, a report by researchers at the University College London revealed that professional athletes that competed in the 2012 Olympics in London had very poor levels of oral health. Their oral health problems were bad enough that they had a negative effect on sports performance. 

The team of researchers looked at oral health check-up results of over 300 athletes and also interviewed them.  Over half of the athletes, representing sports like track, boxing, and hockey, had tooth decay.  More than 75% had gingivitis and 15% were starting to show signs of periodontitis.  About half of the athletes reported that these oral health problems were bothersome.  Furthermore, around 20% of them reported that poor oral health was negatively impacting their training and athletic performance.   In fact, 9% of the athletes had never even been to a dentist before.

In order to conceptualize these staggering statistics, Professor Needleman of the University College London Eastman Dental Institute speculates that high sugar sports drinks, gels, and snacks with a high carbohydrate content.  Consuming both high sugar and high carbohydrate foods and drinks without frequent brushing contributes to cavity formation and other oral health problems.

Needleman was quoted as saying, “Oral health is important for well-being and successful elite sporting performance.  It is amazing that many professional athletes — people who dedicate a huge amount of time and energy to honing their physical abilities — do not have sufficient support for their oral-health needs, even though this negatively impacts on their training and performance.”

Again, we see that poor oral health can affect all aspects of a person's life even as an Olympic athlete.  Easily treatable ailments like dental cavities should not keep an athlete from performing to his or her best potential.

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

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

Sources:

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/091/130930093722.htm
http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/267026.php
http://www.examiner.com/article/london-olympic-athletes-had-terrible-teeth-lots-of-cavities-gum-disease
http://corporate.comcast.com/images/sochi.jpg

Hi-Chew - Can it Chew Away Our Enamel?

February 26th, 2014

hi-chew candyYou have probably heard of Hi-Chew candy, especially if you are a parent and live in Wellesley or MetroWest area. This caramel candy became a favorite snack for a lot of teenagers, you can find it in any 7-Eleven store. As a parent, that makes me concerned with the impact this fad can have on our kids' health. So I did a little research.

Turns out, Hi-Chew company has been on the market in Japan for more than 80 years, and now is extremely popular in the local Asian markets (China, Taiwan, Australia and New Zealand). There are over 100 flavors of Hi-Chew candy created, it clams to be the most delicious chewing gym that/candy that dissolves in your mouth, like Starburst. According to Swellesley Report, the candy, described by some as a tastier and less plasticky version of Starbursts, is chewy — as the name implies — and features a colorful and  flavorful goo in the middle of a firmer white exterior. You didn’t want to hear this, but it has been described as “crack for kids,” according to one woman who passed along this comment from a 7th grader.
The ingredients, however, don't look too good to me:

nutrition hi-chewingredients greenapple hi-chew

 

 

 

 

 

 

A serving of the candy has both 31 grams of sugar and acids (Citric and DL-Malic acids), which is an alarming fact. According to the article in the magazine of Academy of General Dentistry, What many people don’t know is that Citric acid —which is used as flavor enhancer and preservative — can severely damage teeth and cause significant erosion. The amount of sugar the candy contains can be detrimental to the teeth. They become even more vulnerable due to the sticky consistency of the candy - it stays on the surface of the teeth!

Although it's hard to persuade your teens to be careful with the candy that is manufactured to be sweet, juicy and somewhat addicting, you, as a parent, have to make sure they understand that indulging in this fad might cause a few new cavities.

Feel free to contact Drs. Ali & Ali and the caring team at Wellesley Dental Group if you have any thoughts or concerns; they will be happy to answer your questions! Contact us today at 781-237-9071 or smile@wellesleydentalgroup.com to set up an appointment and consultation. Your little ones and teens are welcome to visit our pediatric dentist Dr. Kim or Dr.PradhanDr. Emad is happy to help with your orthodontic needs. For wisdom teeth extractions or any other oral surgery needs Dr. Ghazi would be more than willing to help.

References:

http://theswellesleyreport.com/2014/02/wellesley-hooked-on-hi-chew-candy-from-japan/
http://www.grandavenuedental.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/01/Jan14_DamagingDiets-from-Impact-AGD.pdf
http://www.hi-chew.com/
http://www.asianfoodgrocer.com/blog/morinaga-mango-hi-chew-blog.jpg

A Cup of Coffee and a Beautiful Smile

February 18th, 2014

women-drinking-coffeeDrinking a hot cup of coffee in the morning is a daily ritual for many.  In fact, many people see caffeine intake as a necessity for proper functioning and alertness at work or at school.  According to the National Coffee Association, a whopping 83% of Americans have reported that they drink coffee.

Although this tasty drink may help us power through a 6 AM commute, it is important to be aware of the negative effects of frequent coffee intake on oral health.  The porous enamel of our teeth quickly absorbs the liquid and it ultimately causes staining.  If untreated, the dark drink can cause permanent yellowing.  Furthermore, coffee is considered an acidic drink.  Thus, it slowly wears down enamel and contributes to tooth decay.

Another negative side of effect of long term coffee drinking is bad breath and dry mouth.  Caffeine slows saliva production in the mouth.  Without saliva, we are unable to effectively wash away and kill bacteria that lead to plaque build-up.  As a result, the growth of bacteria causes a foul smell in the mouth.

However, there is hope for avid coffee drinkers out there.  Here are some tips to combat some of the negative effects of coffee:

  • Rinse with water following every cup of coffee
  • Limit your overall intake of coffee
  • Drink coffee through a straw if possible (like when you’re drinking iced coffee)
  • Do not let coffee sit in your mouth longer than necessary
  • Drink coffee at set times rather than constantly sipping it throughout the day
  • Always brush and floss
  • Adding cream to lighten the color of your coffee will not decrease its staining properties

Feel free to contact Drs. Ali & Ali and the caring team at Wellesley Dental Group if you have any thoughts or concerns; they will be happy to answer your questions! Contact us today at 781-237-9071 or smile@wellesleydentalgroup.com to set up an appointment and consultation.
Your little ones and teens are welcome to visit our pediatric dentist Dr. Kim. 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: 

http://www.therabreath.com/articles/blog/fresh-breath-happenings/coffee-public-enemy-for-teeth-32866.asp
http://www.mynoblesmile.com/how-does-coffee-affect-my-teeth/
http://www.colgate.com/app/CP/US/EN/OC/Information/Articles/ColgateNewandNow/Personal/2013/February/article/SW-281474979067209.cvsp

Bioteeth: the Possibility of Biological Tooth Replacement

January 31st, 2014

man woman happy smile

Scientists have recently created a method for replacing missing teeth through the use of bio-engineered material developed from a person’s own gum cells. Up until now, dentists have been using implant-based methods to accommodate tooth loss. However, with this new breakthrough in dental research, perhaps patients may be able to receive a biological tooth replacement down the road!

Professor Paul Sharpe, a specialist in craniofacial development and stem cell biology King’s College London, published his findings in the Journal of Dental Research and was excited to present studies showing promising results on creating of “bio-teeth,” which is the generation of immature teeth that are similar those found in embryo. Professor Sharpe believes that these can be transplanted into adults and eventually develop to become perfectly functioning teeth. The team’s research showed that these embryonic immature teeth can grow normally in the adult mouth and may potentially be used clinically.

So far, the researchers have been able to isolate epithelial cells derived adult human gum tissue taken from patients at the Dental Institute at King’s College London. They were grown in the lab and then combined with mice cells that were known to form teeth. Through transplanting, Professor Sharpe and his team were created hybrid human/mouse teeth that had formed dentine and enamel, along with viable roots. This research shows that these easily accessible epithelial cells may be a feasible source for creating the human bio-tooth. Professor Sharpe explains there is still some ways to go in the progress of creating bio-teeth. Still more research needs to be done in identifying adult sources of specific epithelial cells, which are cells that line the surfaces of structures throughout the body; these cells may be the key in forming bio-tooth. Currently, scientists have only been able to create viable teeth through the use of embryonic cells; it is important for more research to be done to look for ways to manipulate adult human cells to develop into tooth. With more effort dedicated to this field of research, researches may one day be able to make bio-teeth a reality in patients needing teeth replacement!

But for now, patients have the opportunity to receive implants, which have been a successful method in dentistry to replace teeth. Usually made from titanium, implants are placed within the bone; quite amazingly, the bone in the jaw accepts the new structure and the implant readily fuses with the bone. Dentists have been using this method for restoring a single tooth and even a group of teeth that could have gone missing due to significant tooth decay or fracture.

If you believe that you may be in need of dental implants, 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 to set up an appointment and consultation.

References:

Journal of Dental Research

WebMD

Vitamins: Key to Healing after Oral Surgery

January 13th, 2014

While vitamin C is a great way to boost your immune system, vitamins can also play a major role in timely recovery after oral surgery.

The Academy of General Dentistry explained that patients lacking in vitamin C have shown to recover at a slower rate. Appropriate amounts of vitamin C, along with other vitamins, minerals, fats, and protein, were reported to be essential for the growth and regeneration of normal tissues. Nutrients work both individually and cooperatively to move along the healing process. Tissue maintenance and repair requires the help of carbohydrates, fat and protein. Recovery of these tissues involves vitamin C, along with vitamins such as vitamins E, B and K.

Vitamin C is responsible for the making collagen (connective tissue) that strengthens skin muscles and blood vessels; this is key to proper wound healing.

Vitamin E has the ability to...thin blood, preventing blood platelets from clumping. It also speed up cell regeneration and promotes blood circulation, strengthening capillary walls while nourishing cells.

Vitamin B is crucial for carbohydrate metabolism and energy production. It facilitates energy-releasing reactions and can also help deliver oxygen and nutrients, allowing energy pathways to run smoothly.

Vitamin K promotes blood clotting and prevents bleeding; this is can be used to prevent post-surgery bruising.

Without these important nutrients, patients are more prone to infection and healing time can be further delayed. Researchers note that severely underweight or overweight patients, or those who take steroids, immunosuppressant, or chemotherapeutic agents may experience poor recovery after oral surgery. It is crucial to maintain a healthy balance of vitamins before going into surgery.

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. For wisdom teeth extractions or any other oral surgery needs Dr. Ghazi would be more than willing to help.

References:

http://www.knowyourteeth.com/infobites/abc/article/?abc=N&iid=315&aid=1277

http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/003042208290295X

http://www.livestrong.com/article/470706-nutrition-related-to-the-oral-cavity/

Make Teeth Shine with Fruits and Vegetables!

June 26th, 2013

While coffee and red wine may have shown to be beneficial for health, they are drinks that can easily darken those pearly whites. Here are some healthy foods that are both great for the body and can leave teeth whiter. According to the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry (AACD), these are a couple fruits and vegetables that can naturally make teeth brighter and whiter.

 

 

Pineapples: research has shown that these tangy fruits contain the enzyme bromelain, which acts as a natural stain remover. Bromelain helps fight plaque from forming, which can wear down the enamel of teeth and lead to cavities.

Apples: like that saying, “an apple a day keeps the doctor away”, apples can help keep bacteria away. Munching on this particular fruit can generate saliva, which can help neutralize the acid from other foods, keeping teeth free from decay

Carrots: these stringy vegetables are a reservoir of vitamin, which keep tooth enamel in tip-top shape. Eating these veggies raw can help the mouth replenish saliva, which is responsible for keeping the mouth clean. Chewing on crunchy vegetables (count celery in!) will help keep teeth clean.

Broccoli: these mighty greens are chock-full of iron, which helps keep acid that is developed in the mouth from damaging the enamel of teeth. A Brazilian study found that broccoli can prevent erosion of enamel due to acid found in sodas.

Onions: although this vegetable is usually the culprit of leaving bad breath after a delicious sandwich, onions contain sulfur compounds, including thiosulfinates and thiosulfonates, which can reduce bacteria in mouth that cause decay. Researchers suggest to eat onions raw, for cooking them will destroy these sulfur compounds. If you are not a fan of onions, garlic also can supply you with these sulfur compounds.

 

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.

References:

http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1601-5037.2010.00473.x/abstract

http://www.aacd.com/

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20922161

http://www.3dwhite.com/teeth-whitening/teeth-whitening-kits/make-teeth-whiter.aspx

http://modestyplusglamour.wordpress.com/2012/10/07/pineapple-for-acne-scars/ (picture credit) Also, did you know that pineapples are good for acne scars?

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

 

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!

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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

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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.

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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

 

Benefits of Coffee

August 22nd, 2012

The latest survery conducted regarding coffee consumption shows more positive than negative effects. In fact, it may help you stay healthy. While scientists won't confirm this with absolute certainty, the research is leaning very much toward its favor.

Coffee provides the drinker with antioxidants, which protect our bodies from oxygen radicals it produces. These are damaging to DNA and antioxidants help prevent that. People can get antioxidants from fruits and vegetables as well, but research shows coffee is the #1 source.

Coffee can also help ward off prostate cancer in men and endometrial cancer in women. It lowers levels of estrogen and insulin, which studies lead to believe may reduce the risk of these diseases. There is also research to support coffee warding off Parkinson's disease and type II diabetes.

As with anything, coffee can have adverse effects as well. Some people may experience jitters, frequent urination, headaches, and heartburn to name a few problems. Research in the 1980s linked it to pancreatic cancer as well, but future studies have not found this to be consistent. Some people are not able to drink coffee toward the end of the day because the caffiene will keep them up well into the evening.

To sum it up, coffee has varying effects on everyone. Trial and error will show you how it effects you negatively. However, the pros seem to outweigh the cons. Pour us another cup!

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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