dental plaque

Tooth Decay -Genetic or Environmental?

September 4th, 2019

It’s easy to blame somethings on our parents, but recent research shows that you shouldn’t blame tooth decay on genetics. In the past it has been thought that our risk of developing cavities is similar to our family members. However, more research is showing that tooth decay boils down mainly to environmental factors rather than genetics. Although we can’t just easily point to our parents when we develop a cavity, this can be a good thing because tooth decay is largely preventable! Take a look at what influences your risk of tooth decay and how you can prevent it:

Interestingly enough, we are made up of good bacteria that help us survive. However, some of the bacteria found within the mouth can feed on sugars within the foods we eat and lead to tooth decay. These bacteria produce acids that wear down our tooth enamel and create what we all dread and know to be cavities. These bacteria often come after birth, and with more research specific bacteria are being found to play a role in creating cavities. While some bacteria we do inherit from our parents, others that have been linked to causing dental cavities are not found to be associated with genetics, including Streptococcus mutants, and Porphyromonas gingivalis. The study conducted by the J. Craig Venter Institute in Maryland evaluated 485 pairs of identical and fraternal twins within the age range of 5 to 11 years old. When analyzing the study participants’ dental plaque and bacteria present within the mouth, they found that environmental factors played a significant role in the type of bacteria present that were associated with causing tooth decay. The bacteria responsible for causing tooth decay were mainly due to factors including diet and home care dental habits such as brushing and flossing. However, family history is important when looking at risks of tooth decay, for instance similar food diets shared between family members could increase or lower the risk of tooth decay.

What you may be able to blame genes for is the development of teeth. Such as the relationship between your teeth when biting together, the timing in which your teeth first appear, or even the size of teeth (macrodontia or microdontia).

So, while somethings you may get away with being able to blame your parents for, tooth decay is largely in part influenced by environmental factors. This is why it’s extremely important to get regular dental check-ups, and practice good oral hygiene care to ensure that your teeth are healthy and lasting lifetime!

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.ameritasinsight.com/wellness/dental/mouth-bacteria-bad-teeth

tooth-decay-graphic-min-e1551288073666.jpg

00_beach_Amazing-Family-Beaches-You-Need-to-Visit-This-Summer_286469927_Tom-Wang_FT.jpg

Everything You Need to Know about Fluoride Varnish

September 29th, 2018

"My child's baby teeth are going to fall out eventually anyway, so what's the point in taking care of them?" This is a common question that many parents face. Baby teeth are necessary for a variety of reasons, including guiding permanent teeth into their proper positions. You also want to make sure that they remain healthy in order to prevent your child from developing a systemic infection, an abscess, or from experiencing pain. As soon as your child's baby teeth appear, make sure that you are brushing them and scheduling regular dental visits. As they become older, make learning how to brush fun through singing songs, brushing alongside your child, or even using toothbrushes and cool flavors of toothpaste that they pick out themselves.

Fluoride varnish is an important part of dental treatment as research shows that it helps prevent and stop the progression of cavities in baby teeth. It does this by remineralizing tooth enamel. Cavities form when bacteria found within dental plaque produce acid that eats away teeth. Since enamel is more sensitive in baby teeth than in permanent teeth, children are especially susceptible to developing cavities.

Applying fluoride varnish on your child is safe, quick, and painless! Fluoride varnish is brushed around the surfaces of each tooth and becomes a hard layer once saliva interacts with it. Once applied, food and beverages can be consumed with the exception of extremely hot or cold items. For 4-6 hours avoid brushing or flossing.

It's also important to note that fluoride treatments are not just for children. Individuals at a high risk for developing cavities should have fluoride! Fluoride is found in many toothpastes, most community water supply's, and several other products.

Feel free to contact Drs. Ali & Ali and their newest addition to the team, Dr. Zarah Ali, if you have any thoughts or concerns. Your little ones and teens are welcome to visit our pediatric dentist Dr. Van. Dr. 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.

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.

References:

https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2018/04/180426102840.htm

preventative_orthodontics_kids_2.jpg

fluoride.jpg

Bright and Healthy Smiles for the Summer!

June 28th, 2017

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

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

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

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

 

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

 

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

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

 

Smoking Equals More Germs!

September 6th, 2016

quitting-smoking

We've all heard that our bodies are home to millions of germs. But, new research has found that smoking increases the risk of certain bacteria like Porphyromonas gingivalis from invading the mouth and battling the immune system.

Researcher David A. Scott, Ph.D., at the University of Louisville School of Dentistry  recently investigated how cigarettes promotes bacteria colonization and disrupts the immune system.

Also, research published in Tobacco Induced Diseases indicated that cigarette smoke and its chemical components increase biofilm formation by bacteria including Staphylococcus aureus, Streptococcus mutans, Klebsiella pneumonia and Pseudomonas aeruginosa. These biofilms contain several microbial communities and can stick to most surfaces like teeth, heart valves, and the respiratory tract. Biofilms make it hard for your body's immune system to function properly. Not to mention, biofilms can promote antibiotic resistance and infection. A common biofilm is dental plaque, which can result in gingivitis, or even periodontitis.

 

It is never too late to quit smoking! Each year there are approximately  6 million worldwide death related to tobacco use. Eliminating tobacco products can truly lead to a healthier mouth and body.

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:

https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2016/05/160531082619.htm

http://images.medicaldaily.com/sites/medicaldaily.com/files/styles/full/public/2015/06/22/quitting-smoking.jpg

Green Tea and the "Toothbrush Tree" May Fight Dental Plaque

August 10th, 2016

Woman-Drinking-Green-TeaResearchers are continuing to find different foods and drinks that can help promote oral health. Recently, researchers from Iraq who published “Anti-plaque effect of a synergistic combination of green tea and Salvadora persica L. against primary colonizers of dental plaque,” in Archives of Oral Biology have combined both green tea and extracts from Salvadora persica, also known as the toothbrush tree, to help fight oral bacteria and eliminate dental plaque.

Small twigs and roots from S. persica are found across Africa, the Middle East and the Arabian Peninsula, and has been found to act as natural toothbrushes since it contains many active compounds that promote good dental health. The researchers experimented with primary colonizing bacteria that were stuck to saliva-coated glass beads. They found that green tea alone had a better anti-plaque effect than the S. persica extracts. Also, they found that when green tea was combined with  S. persica, dental plaque was significantly reduced along with the ability of the bacteria to adhere to the beads. As a result, more researchers are looking into the beneficial health effects of green tea and S. persica. 

But, if you’re not a tea drinker, try looking out for dental products that contain green tea, including toothpaste and mouthwash.

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.dentistrytoday.com/news/industrynews/item/1085-green-tea-and-salvadora-persica-extracts-effectively-fight-plaque

http://www.alkidental.com/blog//wp-content/uploads/2012/08/Woman-Drinking-Green-Tea.jpg

Probiotic pills could prevent tooth decay!

June 28th, 2016

advanced-acidophilus-plus-review

Did you know that a supplement pill could be the answer to preventing tooth decay?

According to research done by scientists at the University of Florida (UF) College of Dentistry published in Applied and Environmental Microbiology, a probiotic treatment featuring a new strain of Streptococcus bacteria (A12) could prevent cavities by limiting the growth of bad bacteria and keeping a balanced pH in the mouth.

Robert Burne, PhD, one of the leaders of the study, explains that by implanting the A12 probiotic into a healthy child or adult who could develop cavities, one could limit the issue of poor oral health.

A12 maintains oral pH by neutralizing acid through arginine metabolism. Furthermore, it frequently kills or hinders an extremely harmful strain of bacteria, Streptococcus mutans.  Burne adds that when A12 and S. mutans are grown together, there is a decrease in the formation of dental plaque.

Imagine being able to avoid cavities with such a simple treatment!

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.

Resources:

http://nootriment.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/01/advanced-acidophilus-plus-review.jpg

http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/307810.php

Turmeric: The Future Mouthwash?

November 19th, 2015

Mouthwash can be a beneficial solution for your oral health problems. However, did you know that turmeric, a yellow spice that is extracted from the root of the Curcuma longa plant that is a key ingredient in curry, also has good effects and can even be safer than the typical chemical mouthwash? Turmeric has been used since ancient times for health benefits and to treat oral diseases, including removing plaque from the mouth and killing oral cancer cells.

Turmeric has around three to four percent curcumin, which is a yellow polyphenol that is a natural alternative for chlorhexidine. Chlorhexidine is a common ingredient in mouthwash that treats gingivitis, or gum inflammation. Some of the typical symptoms of gingivitis include halitosis (bad breath) and bleeding or swollen gums. If not treated properly, gingivitis can develop into an extremely harmful form of periodontal disease. Although chlorhexidine is effective at preventing dental plaque, there have been issues in patient safety. In 2012, the UK's Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) stated that chlrohexidine can provoke anaphylactic reactions, which are severe and life-threatening allergic reactions. Although these reactions are rare, if safer alternatives are more effective, they should be used instead.

A study published in the Journal of Indian Society of Periodontology in 2012 compared the effects of turmeric mouthwash (0.1% curcumin extract mouthwash and 0.01% eugenol) and chlorhexidine (0.2% chlorhexidine gluconate mouthwash) on subjects who had mild to moderate gingivitis. The results proved that the turmeric mouthwash was more effective than the chlorhexidine mouthwash in improving the oral health (in terms of the percentage reduction of the plaque index, gingival index, and bacterial activity) of the subjects. Furthermore, it was more effective at a concentration that was half of that of chlorhexidine. Further research has demonstrated that curcumin is an ideal alternative for chlorhexidine in plaque reduction and reduction in plaque-associated gum inflammation.

In addition, if one were to consume some of the curcumin-based mouthwash by accident, the consequences would not be as adverse as those that would result in swallowing chlorhexidine. Because of all the health benefits of turmeric, it may actually be beneficial. However, if you consider switching to turmeric mouthwash, make sure to consider the quality of the herb. Check whether it was produced organically and preserved in a way that eliminated mycotoxins and other microbial contaminants.

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

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

 

Resources:

http://www.curejoy.com/content/turmeric-superior-chemical-mouthwash-oral-health/

http://authoritynutrition.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/03/turmeric-roots-and-a-jar-of-turmeric-powder.jpg

Fall in Love with These Healthy Fall Foods!

October 15th, 2015

fall-foodFall is finally here! From the beautiful leaves to the abundance of pumpkin spice products, there are so many reasons to love fall. And here’s another one: your favorite fall foods can also be super beneficial for your oral health!

Here are some delicious foods that may lead to better results at your next dental appointment!

  1. Apples

You’ve probably heard the saying, “an apple a day keeps the doctor away.” This saying is so well-known for a reason: this delicious fruit that comes in so many varieties has many health benefits. They have antioxidants, which can help prevent slow aging and chronic illnesses.  Furthermore, quercetin, a compound that is found in the skin of apples, can reduce risks of cancer, heart attacks, and asthma attacks. Apples have plenty of water in them, which does wonders for your teeth because water stimulates production of saliva. They also help wash food and neutralize acids from the surfaces of your teeth. The crunch in apples even helps remove dental plaque by loosening particles of food between teeth.

 

  1. Bone Broth

Everybody loves a good soup full of vegetables, broth, herbs, and spices. Bone broth is great for your immune system and digestive system. It’s also packed with calcium, phosphorous, and magnesium, which all do wonders for your teeth.

 

  1. Fish

If you love eating fish, you’re in luck. According to the Journal of Dietetic Association, fish oil can help fight gum disease. Salmon is especially beneficial for your teeth, because it can treat and prevent periodontitis.

 

  1. Cranberries

Best enjoyed October through November, cranberries not only ward off urinary tract infections, but they also restrain cancer growth and prevent oral diseases. 

 

  1. Pumpkins and Squash

Nutritionists at the National Institute of Health claim that foods rich in carotenoids, such as pumpkins and squash, can lower the risk of certain types of cancer. Pumpkins can also lead to healthy vision and cell growth, because they are great sources of alpha- and beta-carotene . Their seeds contain alpha-linolenic acid, which controls heart disease, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol.

If you’re craving dessert, try pumpkin pie (without the crust, which is high in fat and cholesterol). This classic fall treat contains a ton of vitamin A, vitamin C, fiber, and iron. The boost of iron will keep you away from tooth decay and tongue inflammation. Pumpkin spice, a combination of cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, allspice, and cloves, is also especially beneficial for your health. These spices all have phytonutrients, which are anti-inflammatory plant compounds that promote healing in cancer, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease. Cloves fight cancer and blood clots, but they are also used for oral health. They have anaesthetic and antibacterial properties, which can relieve toothache and infections.

 

  1. Raw Dairy

Raw dairy (raw milk, cheese, butter, yogurt) that isn’t pasteurized or homogenized is a great source of calcium, which prevents tooth decay and gum disease.

 

  1. Green Tea

Containing natural catechins, green tea reduces plaque and by destroying plaque-causing bacteria. Enjoy a cup, but don’t forget to chew sugar-free gum afterwards to avoid teeth staining.

 

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.therabreath.com/articles/oral-care-tips-and-advice/best-nutritious-fall-foods-20798/

http://greatist.com/health/healthiest-fruits-and-vegetables-fall

http://www.myprimetimenews.com/spice-it-up-for-fall/

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17296290

http://naturallysavvy.com/care/dental-care-the-benefits-of-cloves

http://realfoodreallocalinstitute.org/huntington-wva/wp-content/uploads/sites/9/2013/10/fall-food.jpg

October Marks National Dental Hygiene Month

October 11th, 2015

teNot only does October represent the beginning of new season, colorful leaves, and plenty of pumpkins, it also marks National Dental Hygiene Month. The American Dental Hygienists’ Association (ADHA) and the Wrigley Oral Healthcare Program (WOHP) are teaming together for the sixth year to highlight the importance of practicing good oral health habits and maintaining a healthy smile.

It is important to note that a healthy daily dental routine not only benefits your oral health, but also improves your overall health! Being aware of this can help prevent diseases such as diabetes, cancers, and cardiovascular diseases, which are commonly linked to condition of your oral health.

National Dental Hygiene Month was created in order to spread awareness on the necessities of brushing teeth at least twice daily, flossing every day, rinsing with antimicrobial mouthwashes, and chewing sugar-free gum. Take a look at how these essential habits can keep your teeth and body healthy for a lifetime:

Follow the 2 x 2 rule!

Brushing your teeth for 2 minutes, twice a day is one of the most important ways to get rid of plaque and prevent tooth decay, gum disease, and other oral health issues. Also, don't forget about your tongue! Many bacteria hide out on the surface of your tongue, which often produces a smelly aroma contributing to bad breath. Stay tuned on our social media for our weekly #ToothbrushingTipTuesday to help you find out more about how to brush your way to a healthier smile.

Make flossing a daily habit

Sometimes, remembering to floss can be hard. However, flossing is very important for removing plaque and food particles that are located in hard-to-reach areas that your toothbrush skips over.

Use mouthwash to improve oral health

Using a anti-microbial mouth rinse is an additional healthy step that you can take to prevent common oral health problems. There are many mouth rinses available that you can choose from to tailor to your needs, including those specialized for whitening, tooth sensitivity, and more!

Chewing sugar-free gum may be beneficial to your oral health

Chewing sugar-free gum after meals may help protect your teeth and stimulate saliva production to help wash away leftover food particles. Saliva production can also help neutralize plaque acids on teeth, reducing your risk of developing tooth decay.

Keep these tips in mind as you celebrate National Dental Hygiene Month, and don't forget to spread the word!

hygFeel 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.adha.org/national-dental-hygiene-month

http://tranquilityparkdental.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/10/1391667_643421852344598_1516155769_n-332x332.jpg

http://www.tnstate.edu/dentalhygiene/documents/dental-hygienist-lv-350x260.jpg

 

Is Mouthwash Necessary?

June 18th, 2015

As your walking down the isles in a drug store, it's easy to find a row full of mouthwashes.  From cosmetic to therapeutic mouthwashes, there are several types that can cater to your oral health needs. But, are they really necessary?

Although mouthwash should not be used as a substitute for brushing and flossing, it can be a positive habit to help improve oral health.

 Mouthwashes can be useful for both adults and children when used after brushing and flossing. They can provide many advantages, including:

  • Preventing Cavities

Mouthwashes containing fluoride can help reduce your risk of developing cavities. After swishing for approximately one minute, a small amount of fluoride sticks to teeth and is then quickly washed away by saliva.

  • Freshening Breath

There are many mouthwashes available that can help mask bad breath. These mouthwashes typically contain natural and artificial flavors that help give your mouth a fresh aroma. Rinsing can also help get rid of food particles left on teeth that have their own smelly scents. However, it is important to note that masking bad breath doesn't fix the underlying cause. Bad breath, or halitosis, may be a result of an infection, tooth decay, or other health issues.

  • Whitening Teeth

Some cosmetic mouthwashes contain a low concentration of the active ingredient, hydrogen peroxide, which is believed to help whiten teeth.

  • Preventing Dry mouth, Periodontal Disease, and Sensitivity

Mouth rinses can act as a therapeutic and help sooth canker sores. Many therapeutic mouthwashes contain xylitol, which may help prevent tooth decay. Some rinses help kill germs that can lead to gingivitis and periodontal disease. In addition, some can even help individuals with dry mouth produce more saliva.

 

A common myth about mouthwash is that the flavor or color offers additional benefits to oral health, however, it is mainly for atheistic purposes to attract consumers to buy the product. Once you've found the right mouthwash that addresses your needs, make sure to rinse according to the directions. For example, it is best to gargle and rinse twice a day with mouthwashes aimed to remove debris from teeth.

Incorporating mouthwash into your daily routine can help remove dental plaque, prevent tartar buildup, and left behind food particles from your teeth.

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://medicalxpress.com/news/2015-03-mouthwash.html

http://www.everydayhealth.com/dental-health/101/specialist/jacobs/need-to-use-mouthwash.aspx

http://static.guim.co.uk/sys-images/Travel/Pix/pictures/2011/8/27/1314438844663/Mouth-wash-007.jpg

Summertime in the City: What's Healthy and What's Not

June 2nd, 2015

Screen Shot 2015-06-01 at 12.31.25 PM

June is finally here and it will be hard for many of us to resist a cold drink on a hot summer day. With the many family barbecues and outings, you're sure to be in for a treat this summer. During the warmer months, there are many tasty foods and drinks at our convenience. However, some of these items aren’t so tooth-friendly. As we all know, it is important to limit the amount of sugary foods and drinks we intake to ensure a healthy smile. For the health of your mouth, which links to your overall health, try adding these healthy options to your plate and glass this summer:

Drink, Drink, and Drink more water:

A nice glass of water can be a refreshing drink as you relax by the poolside. Water is important for staying hydrated, especially when your active and the sun is shining. Your smile will also thank you if you rinse your mouth with water after meals. Water, particularly tap water, even has the benefit of containing fluoride.

Watermelon:

Watermelon, made of 92% water, is another tasty  and healthy snack that will keep you hydrated this summer. It contains  lycopene, which helps keep skin protected. Also, many foods that are mainly composed of water have fewer calories. Your kids may even enjoy making watermelon popsicles!

Milk:

Milk is a great alternative to sugary drinks because it has been found to reduce levels of acid produced by plaque bacteria. Milk helps remineralize teeth by providing calcium to keep your teeth strong.

Sugar-Free Gum:

Chewing sugar-free gum can help to stimulate saliva flow and ultimately help to wash away left behind foods. However, it is not clear whether or not xylitol, commonly found in sugar-free gum, actually lowers the risk of developing dental cavities.

Strawberries:

Strawberries are in season and packed with healthy ingredients. Strawberries contain malic acid, which is known to whiten enamel. They also contain many antioxidants and vitamin C, which can help to regulate blood pressure and cholesterol, and promote eye health.

Cheese:

Cheese is full of calcium, the protein casein, and vitamin D, all good for the health of your teeth. Researchers have discovered that cheese helps increases the pH levels of dental plaque, helping to reduce tooth decay.

Pears:

Pears contain a wealth of fiber that will benefit your teeth. They help to produce saliva and lower plaque levels in the mouth.

Apples:

Crispy apples are full of vitamins and nutrients. Full of water and lots of fiber, apples help to scrub and clean the surface of your teeth.

Vegetables:

Veggies ranging from carrots rich in Vitamin A to dark leafy greens rich in iron, can make a great snack to chew on. Including vegetables in your diet is essential for the health of your teeth and body.

Cranberries:

Research has suggested that cranberries help lower the risk of cavities by helping to keep plaque from sticking to teeth. But, you may want to pay attention to the labels on cranberry products, as many of them can contain added sugars to compensate for their naturally tart flavor.

 

Some foods and drinks that are hard-to-resist, but should be avoided to keep strong and healthy teeth, include:

 

Soft Drinks, Sports Drinks, Sweet Tea, and Juice: Drinking a cold soda may sound refreshing, but it is damaging to tooth enamel. It can also dehydrate your body and make you feel more thirsty. Even sports drinks, artificially sweetened drinks, and concentrated fruit juice contain sugars for the bacteria in dental plaque to feed on and produce harmful acids. The acid then tears away at tooth enamel and can eventually lead to tooth decay. Highly acidic drinks can even cause heartburn and stomach pain. Sipping on these drinks throughout the day rather than at meal times should also be avoided because saliva production is not at its peak. Saliva is important for washing away bacteria and food particles.

Ice Cream:

The many flavors of ice cream are delicious, but unfortunately is full of sugar. Some individuals may also experience tooth sensitivity. Sensitive teeth results when the dentin underneath tooth enamel becomes exposed. This can cause pain, but can be treated. If you do have a taste for ice cream, try and select ice cream with less sugar.

Citrus Fruits:

As we all know, limes, lemons, oranges, and grapefruits are very acidic. These fruits contain citric acid and can be damaging to teeth if consumed frequently.

Vinegar:

A common practice, but an unhealthy one, is to mix vegetables with vinegar. This acidic combination can erode tooth enamel. Pickles are also very acidic.

Granola and Energy Bars:

These items may appear to be good for teeth, but often the dried fruit and other ingredients can be sticky, chewy, and hard to get off of teeth.

Candy: 

We all know that candy contains a lot of sugar, and should be avoided for the protection of your smile.

 

It is important to remember that if you do choose some of the not-so-healthy foods and beverages, consume them in moderation. Also, avoid snacking between meals, as acids can stick around for up to 20 minutes after eating. Not to mention, be mindful of the dyes used in many foods and beverages that can cause tooth discoloration. Practice good oral health habits and lean more towards a tooth-friendly diet.

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.therabreath.com/articles/blog/fresh-breath-happenings/teeth-friendly-summer-food-ideas-34659.asp

http://greatist.com/health/healthy-teeth-foods

http://www.thekitchn.com/recipe-watermelon-popsicles-10713

http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-dwBqWs6_udQ/UBYvQhjW5TI/AAAAAAAACBY/YdNg1weBEVk/s1600/watermelon+popsicles.JPG

Do Love Bugs Exist?

January 22nd, 2015

With Valentine's Day quickly approaching, love is definitely in the air! Many may not realize the role kissing plays in oral health. Kissing increases saliva production in your mouth, which helps to neutralize acids and wash away plaque that can lead to tooth decay. Kissing is also beneficial for your overall health, as it can reduce blood pressure, relieve cramps and headaches, boost self-esteem, and even help you burn calories! However, kissing has consequences too. Did you know that a single ten-second French kiss can transfer an average of 80 million bacteria from one mouth to another? 

According to a study conducted by researchers at Netherlands Organization for Applied Scientific Research, it's true! The study examined tongue-swabs from 21 couples in Amsterdam. Some volunteers were also given a probiotic yogurt drink that contained a marker bacteria, and then asked to kiss their partners. Researchers found that a quick peck transferred an average of 1,000 bacteria, and a more intimate kiss transferred an average of 80 million bacteria from one mouth to another. It was also found that the more often a couple kissed, the more similar their saliva was in comparison to strangers.

Other studies have shown that cavity-causing bacteria can even be transmitted from a mother’s mouth to her baby.

According to the Micropia Museum, there are more than 700 different kinds of bacteria in the mouth. Although not all bacteria is bad, bacteria can produce acids and increase your risks of developing cavities. kissing is often a common way to spread cavity-causing bacteria, colds, cold sores, and the flu, especially if good oral health habits aren't regularly practiced by you and your partner! It is important to brush, rinse, and floss daily. Don't forget to brush your tongue and the roof of your mouth!

To reduce the risk of transferring or catching an infection while kissing, avoid kissing when you or your partner are sick or have active cold sores. Maintain good oral hygiene and schedule regular visits to the dentist.

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://www.latimes.com/science/sciencenow/la-sci-sn-kissing-bacteria-exchange-20141118-story.html

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/11/17/bacteria-kiss-how-many-transfer_n_6171034.html

http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2014/01/30/8-kissing-benefits.aspx

http://www.national-awareness-days.com/images/international-kissing-day.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

Request an
Appointment

patient
forms

read
our blog

Top