drinks

Drinking from a Can? Think Again!

December 4th, 2019

Ever wonder if drinking from a can, a glass, or using straw could make a difference to your teeth? We all know that foods and drinks can play a role on the health of your teeth, but many would not have thought that the way you consume your drink can also be an important factor. Well, as it turns out, your drinking method does matter when consuming sugary beverages!

Sugary drinks can cause a lot of damage to your teeth, and your body too. According to a study published in the Academy of General Dentistry people in the United States consume about one and a half cans of soda a day, and a total of 576 each year! The study found that people who drink soft drinks straight from the can are more likely to get tooth decay on their back molar teeth. Consuming sugary drinks like sodas and energy drinks increase your risk of weight gain, and developing several medical conditions including Type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and gout -and kids are not exempt! Children are 60% more likely to become obese with each sugary beverage consumed per day and are 2 times more susceptible to tooth decay.

Sugar as we know is what bacteria love to eat, and as a result the bacteria within your mouth produce acids that ultimately lead to tooth decay and breakdown your tooth enamel. But, we all have that craving for a soda every once and a while. That's why it is important to learn about preventative measures to take when consuming sugary beverages. Research shows that holding a drink in your mouth and taking long sips is detrimental to your teeth because it increases the acidity within your mouth. A smaller drop in the pH occurs when you drink the beverage straight down quickly and in one sitting. Sipping on a soda can throughout the day leads right to decay due to the constant exposure of your teeth to the sugars. The American Dental Association (ADA) also recommends using a straw positioned towards the back of your mouth when consuming beverages to avoid contact of the drink with your teeth. This of course does not prevent you from developing cavities, but it will help reduce your risk.

Not to mention, when you consume your sugary beverages also matters. It is best to do so during mealtime as opposed to by itself. Rinsing with water is also important to help wash away the sugars. In addition, avoid brushing immediately after consuming sugary drinks, because your tooth enamel is in a weakened state and can be harmed from brushing.

Remember, everything in moderation is key. Always try to be mindful of what drinks you are consuming and how you are consuming them.

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.bphc.org/whatwedo/healthy-eating-active-living/sugar-smarts/be-sugar-smart/Pages/Health-Effects-of-Sugary-Drinks.aspx

https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/06/050616060426.htm

https://www.colgate.com/en-us/oral-health/basics/nutrition-and-oral-health/does-drinking-out-of-cans-affect-your-risk-for-tooth-decay

MW-HF900_Sugary_ZH_20190318160050.jpg

sugar drinks making us sick.jpg

Is Sparkling Water Affecting My Teeth?

August 8th, 2018

 

As sparkling water becomes more popular, there's one question that comes into play when thinking about your oral health: Is the crisp and refreshing fizz of sparkling water healthy for your teeth? You may be wondering what the issue could be with sparking water, especially since most brands are sugar-free. However, carbonated drinks like sparkling water contain carbon dioxide, which turns into carbonic acid once in the mouth. This lowers the pH level and thus causes the mouth to become a more acidic environment. Some researchers have concerns about whether or not sipping sparkling water could lead to tooth decay due to erosion of the tooth enamel.

What do researchers say about Sparkling Water?

Current research has found that sparkling water in comparison to highly acidic beverages (for example, sports drinks) are much less erosive to teeth. In fact, the ADA states that it has a comparable effect on tooth enamel as ordinary non-carbonated water. Therefore, sparkling water is generally okay for your teeth, but it is recommended that you not substitute regular fluoridated water with sparkling water.Image result for sparkling water

Tips to help protect your teeth

  • Sparkling water is indeed less acidic and much better for your teeth than sugary drinks such as soda and sports drinks. Yet, it is important to also drink regular fluoridated water in order to keep your teeth strong and healthy. Fluoride helps remineralize tooth enamel and helps fight tooth decay.
  • Beware: some sparkling waters contain sugar which add to your risk of tooth decay.
  • Avoid sipping on sparkling water throughout the day, but rather drink it down with a meal/in one sitting in order to lower the amount of exposure to the carbonation. Also avoid adding acidic fruits like limes or lemons which can also lower the pH and increase the risk of enamel erosion. Enamel erosion can cause tooth sensitivity and discoloration due to the layer of dentin being exposed.

So, if you can, avoid sipping on acidic drinks throughout the day. Regular fluoridated water is often the best choice to keep your teeth healthy and mouth at a neutral pH!

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.mouthhealthy.org/en/nutrition/food-tips/the-truth-about-sparkling-water-and-your-teeth?source=promospots&content=rotator&medium=sparkling_water

https://www.today.com/food/difference-between-seltzer-sparkling-water-club-soda-tonic-water-t114161

https://draxe.com/sparkling-water/

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

Are Summer Foods Ruining Your Smile?

July 14th, 2015

fresh-summer-drink-wallpaper-hd

From sunny afternoons by the poolside to perfect evenings under the stars, summer is the best time to relax, be adventurous, and most importantly, to smile. Many of us also enjoy summer for the delicious foods, fruit juices, and tropical cocktails. Although a summer diet may appear healthy, there are some cravings that are harmful to your teeth that may take you by surprise.

Here are some treats that can damage your teeth and gums:

Juices sometimes contain a higher amount of sugar than soda.

Many people are aware that candy and soda can erode tooth enamel, but how about fruit drinks? Although some juices, smoothies, and cocktails contain many good nutrients, many of the drinks we consume during the summer are acidic and contain a high amount of sugar per serving. Sugars can cling to teeth and harm your pearly whites by feeding the bacteria in your mouth. This process produces acids that can sometimes irreversibly damage teeth.

As it becomes hotter, make sure to keep a glass of water by your side. Also, it is best to drink juice through a straw so that the juice has a harder time sticking to the surface of your teeth. Wait to brush your teeth at least 45-minutes after consuming sugary or acidic foods/drinks, as brushing them immediately after can leave them more susceptible to damage.

Dried Fruit

Dried fruit is often sticky and packed with sugar that can harm teeth the same way that candies do. Instead, opt for crisp apples or pears.

Chewable Vitamins

Gummy vitamins are not much better for our mouths than regular gummy candies. They often stick to the surfaces of teeth and can hide in hard-to-reach places, leading to tooth decay. It is best to take vitamins in pill form.

Popcorn

We often turn to popcorn as a snack choice, especially at the movies. Yet, popcorn is famous for getting stuck in your teeth and in areas that are hard to reach with a toothbrush. Make sure to brush and floss after consuming popcorn.

Peanut Butter and Jelly

Although a delicious and easy-to-make sandwich, peanut butter and Jelly is sticky and high in sugar content. Make sure to check nutrition labels and look for natural peanut butters and sugar-free jelly.

Salad Dressing

Salad dressings often give a nice taste to salad, but the vinegar and sugar inside the dressings can harm your smile. Avoid drenching your healthy salad with too much dressing.

Barbecue sauce

Barbecues are a great part of summer, however, the sweet barbecue sauce can cause tooth discoloration and even lead to cavities if proper oral habits are not implemented.

Vinegar with Vegetables

While the vegetables are healthy, adding vinegar, which is acidic, can harm your teeth and smile.

Wine

While red and white wine has its benefits, they also can cause trouble for your teeth. Red wine can cause staining, and the acids in white wine can damage your enamel. When consuming wine, accompany it with cheese, which is rich in nutrients including protein, calcium and phosphorus, to help fight the acids.

 

Don't fall into the sweet summer temptations that can harm your smile! There are many products sold that brand themselves as healthy products, however, sometimes the ingredients can cause damage to your teeth. It is important to remember that along with brushing, flossing, visiting the dentist, and practicing other good oral health habits, your diet plays a significant role in the health of your teeth. Make sure that your smile sparkles by monitoring the foods and drinks you consume this summer.

 

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://time.com/3907886/teeth-damage-causes/

http://summertomato.com/10-foods-you-didnt-know-were-damaging-your-teeth/

http://wallhornet.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/05/fresh-summer-drink-wallpaper-hd.jpg

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

How Much Water Should I Drink?

April 15th, 2014

womandrinkingwaterWe are all made up primarily of water.  In fact, about 60% of our body weight is water.  Water is crucial in the proper functioning of all of our physiological systems from flushing out harmful toxins to facilitating the travel of nutrients from one location to another.  We are constantly losing water through processes like sweating, breathing, and excretion.

The Institute of Medicine advises men to drink about 3 liters (13 cups) of water daily while women should drink about 2.2 liters (9 cups) of water daily.  Another way to calculate how much water you should drink, is to use the "half your body weight" rule.  For example, if you weigh 150 pounds, you should drink half that number in ounces (75 ounces of water).  One cup is defined as 8 ounces of water.  So, a 100 pound person should drink about 9.4 cups of water daily.  However, these guidelines for adequate intake of water will varying depending on individual lifestyles.  For example, an athlete that is constantly exercising or a person that lives in a hot, humid environment will need more water on a daily basis.  Intuitively, this makes sense.  You are losing fluids and electrolytes more quickly as you sweat more.

Surprisingly, thirst and dry mouth should not be used as accurate indicators of when to drink.  In fact, once you already feel these symptoms, your body is already dehydrated.  Dehydration can lead to a host of negative symptoms including: fatigue, headaches, dizziness, and weak muscles.  One effective way of determining whether or not you are drinking enough water is to examine the color of your urine.  A dark yellow color indicates dehydration while a clearer, lighter color indicates proper hydration.

The wide-range of benefits of drinking water are well-known.  Research has shown that sufficient water intake results in a better balance of body fluids, weight loss, healthier looking skin, and better bowel function.  Water is also beneficial for your teeth.  Water can wash away food debris and acidic residue left behind on teeth which keeps saliva levels high.  High saliva levels are necessary for combating cavities.  Furthermore, water can dilute high-sugar drinks and mitigate some of its harmful effects.

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://healthyeating.sfgate.com/not-drinking-enough-water-per-day-2786.html
http://healthy-alkaline-water.com/side-effects-of-not-drinking-enough-water/
http://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-living/nutrition-and-healthy-eating/in-depth/water/art-20044256
http://www.joybauer.com/photo-gallery/5-fortifying-foods-for-your-teeth/Water.aspx
http://health.usnews.com/health-news/blogs/eat-run/2013/09/13/the-truth-about-how-much-water-you-should-really-drink

Image credit: http://www.wellness.uci.edu/images/womandrinkingwater.jpg

What is Baby Bottle Tooth Decay?

April 10th, 2014

baby-bottle-feedingPacifiers dipped in sugary foods, and sugary drinks can put your infant at risk of baby bottle tooth decay! Baby bottle tooth decay is a result of sugars from fruit juice, milk, and formula that remain on an infant’s teeth for a long period of time. The bacteria within the mouth produce acids from the sugars left on teeth and cause tooth decay. If baby bottle tooth decay is not caught early, infection, pain, and tooth loss can occur.

Baby bottle tooth decay commonly affects the upper front teeth, but can harm other teeth as well. Even though primary teeth are temporary, they are significantly important to your child’s oral health. Not only are they important for chewing, they also are necessary for speaking and allowing permanent teeth to grow in properly. When teeth become lost too early as a result of baby bottle tooth decay, your child is at risk of developing problems with speech, eating habits, and misaligned teeth.

Here are a few tips to help dodge the harmful consequences of baby bottle tooth decay:

  • Avoid providing your infant with sugary drinks before their bedtime due to a decrease in the flow of saliva. Saliva contains essential elements that help neutralize acids and prevent tooth decay.
  • Begin brushing your child’s teeth as soon as their first tooth comes in.
  • Gently wipe your child's gums after feeding.
  • Introduce floss once all the primary teeth are present.
  • Make sure your child has an adequate amount of fluoride from drinking water.
  • After your child’s first birthday, schedule regular dental visits.
  • Reduce the amount of sugar in your child’s diet.

By implementing good oral health habits at an early age, your child’s teeth and smile will be healthier in the long run!

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.webmd.com/oral-health/guide/what-is-baby-bottle-tooth-decay
http://www.colgate.com/app/CP/US/EN/OC/Information/Articles/ADA/2011/article/ADA-06-Baby-bottle-tooth-decay.cvsp
http://www.babyzone.com/baby/feeding-baby/smart-baby-feeding-schedules-study_218848

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

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!

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

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

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

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

If you have any concerns, Drs. Ali & Ali and their team at Wellesley Dental Group will be very happy to answer your questions. Contact us today at 781-237-9071 or smile@wellesleydentalgroup.com!

 

References:

Webmd

The Huffington Post

 

Hold the Gatorade!

April 4th, 2013

The harmful effects of energy and sports drinks


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

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

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

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

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

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

As you make another trip to the market to purchase more beverages, be mindful of the content of these drinks and think of the consequences they may have on your oral health! If you have any concerns, Drs. Ali & Ali and their team at Wellesley Dental Group will be very happy to answer your questions. Contact us today at 781-237-9071 or smile@wellesleydentalgroup.com!

 

References:

WebMD

Sun Times

Safety and Infection Control at the Dentist

April 3rd, 2013

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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.

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

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

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

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

 

Sources:

AGD:

OSHA

CDC

 

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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