fluoridated water

Tackling the Myths about Fluoride

November 17th, 2020

You’ve come in for your routine checkup and your hygienist has suggested that you apply fluoride to your teeth. You know that fluoride is in some toothpastes, so you may wonder why do you need extra? In today’s post we will tackle the myths about fluoride:

What is fluoride?

Fluoride is a mineral found in your food and water. This mineral is lost when acid from the plaque on your teeth performs a process called demineralization. If too much demineralization occurs, this results in a weakened tooth structure.  When this happens, the tooth has a higher chance of developing a cavity.

Myth #1

Fluoride should not be in drinking water

Truth: Fluoride is found naturally in almost all water supplies.  Even though it is found naturally in water, this is not enough to protect our teeth. It is recommended that your water’s fluoride  levels be at 0.7 parts per million of water to be the most effective.

Myth #2

Fluoride is a medication

Truth: Fluoride is not medicine. It is a mineral. When proper amounts are consumed, decay is less rampant and teeth are healthier and stronger.

Myth #3

Fluoride causes cancer

Fact: There is no scientific evidence to prove this. In fact, The National Cancer Institute has performed decades of studies that debunk this. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) states that fluoridation is one of the top 10 public health achievements within the last 20 years.

Myth #4

Fluoride is not good for young children

Fact: When children drink fluoridated water, the enamel of their teeth becomes strengthened at an early age.

Myth #5

Fluoride can damage my teeth

Fact: This is partially true. While decay is much more damaging, high levels of fluoride can cause a condition called fluorosis. According to the American Dental Association (ADA), fluorosis is the appearance of faint, white lines on teeth in children who have consumed too much fluoride. In most cases, the appearance is mild.  After the age of 8, the chances of fluorosis decreases.  For children younger 3, it is recommended that parents brush their teeth with toothpaste equivalent to the size of a grain of rice. For children 3-6, a parent should use a pea sized amount.

Types of Fluoride

Topical Fluoride: aids in the remineralization of teeth and stops bacteria from growing. This reduces the amount of plaque on teeth.

  • Toothpaste: is the most commonly used self-applied fluoride. When used, the fluoride concentration in your saliva increases 100-1000 fold. However this is short term as the fluoride baseline returns to normal in 1-2 hours. Most over the counter toothpastes have a concentration of 1,000-1,500 ppm.

  • Mouth rinses or gels are to be used daily or weekly. These are meant to be rinsed out of the mouth. Use in children under the age of 6 is not recommended. These mouth washes have 230 ppm of fluoride.

  • Fluoride varnish is applied professionally by a health care professional. This allows for high concentrations of fluoride to come in contact with teeth for several hours. It is recommended that fluoride is applied twice a year for the best benefits. According to the CDC, there is no evidence that professionally applied fluoride leads to fluorosis in children under the age of 6.

Systemic Fluoride: fluoride that is consumed

  • Water fluoridation is the most inexpensive way to receive fluoride to prevent tooth decay. Studies have shown that it is effective in reducing tooth decay in children and adults by up to 20-40%.
  • Dietary fluoride can be prescribed for children who are 6 months and older that are high risk for tooth decay. Tablets or lozenges are prescribed in the concentrations of 0.25, 0.5, or 1.0 mg. These are meant to be sucked on for 1-2 minutes before swallowing. The following guidelines are recommended by the ADA. All prescriptions should follow this guideline.

This pandemic has impacted us all, but our community is indeed all stronger together. Our team at WDG always has your safety and health as our top priority, and we have implemented additional safety measures and equipment to help prevent the transmission of all infections, including COVID-19. Wellesley Dental Group has completely reopened since June 8th, 2020 for all dental procedures and cleanings! Thank you for entrusting your health and dental care to us at Wellesley Dental Group.

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.mouthhealthy.org/en/az-topics/f/fluorosis

https://www.ada.org/en/science-research/ada-seal-of-acceptance/ada-seal-products?source=promospots&medium=button&content=adasealproducts

https://www.ada.org/en/member-center/oral-health-topics/fluoride-topical-and-systemic-supplements

https://www.colgateprofessional.com/hygienists/articles/debunking-fluoride-myths-how-to-educate-patients-about-its-benef

https://cdn-prod.medicalnewstoday.com/content/images/articles/154/154164/fluoride-in-dental-products.jpg

https://www.google.com/url?sa=i&url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.medicalnewstoday.com%2Farticles%2F154164&psig=AOvVaw2NJejBfB1Ydoy65OFZ2CyZ&ust=1605729126520000&source=images&cd=vfe&ved=0CAIQjRxqFwoTCNCLw6Wtiu0CFQAAAAAdAAAAABAD

Treats are Tricky: Tips for Halloween

October 25th, 2018

Halloween can be a scary time of year. There's lots of spooky costumes and decorations that can give us all the chills. Not to mention the famous question, "Trick or Treat?" Most people opt for the delicious treats and often have a huge stash of candy that lasts beyond the holiday. But, what you may not have been aware of is the scary effects of all the treats being passed out that can impact your teeth! Normal bacteria in the mouth thrive off of the sugar within Halloween candy and in turn produce acid that cause tooth decay. Not to worry though, it's okay to indulge in a little Halloween candy but make sure you know these tips and tricks to help you and your family keep your pearly whites healthy. With your leftover candy, we'd love for you to come participate in our 11th Annual Candy Drive from November 1st to 8th at the Wellesley Dental Group (5 Seaward Road, Wellesley). We are gathering our communities together to collect thousands of pounds of candy, a ton of thoughtful messages, and oral hygiene kits, which will be sent to the U.S. troops as a thanks for all that they do to keep us safe. Check out our flyer here. We will be hosting a community and press event on the November 9th, from 10 am to 11 am, also at our office in Wellesley where a cash prize will be given to the PTO of the school that contributes the highest amount of candy. If you have questions or queries about how you can join hands with us for this great cause, or to RSVP for the community event, send us an email at candydrive@wellesleydentalgroup.com, or call us at 781-237-9071.

1. Eat Halloween candy with meals

Interestingly, the timing of when you eat candy makes a difference. It's better to eat Halloween candy with meals or shortly after eating a meal because there is more saliva production. Saliva helps wash away food particles and neutralize the acids produced by bacteria. Chewing sugarless gum can also help increase saliva flow and wash out leftover foods in the mouth.

2. Pick and choose your candy

It's better to stay away from hard and sticky candies (ex: caramels, gummy bears) that can linger in your mouth for long periods of time. The longer sugary foods are in your mouth, the greater risk of tooth decay. Chocolate is often a better option as it is washed away quickly in the mouth.

3. Stay hydrated with water

Consuming fluoridated water can help prevent tooth decay and is especially good to rinse with after consuming candy.

Most importantly, make sure to practice good oral hygiene by brushing, flossing, and visiting the dentist regularly.

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/az-topics/h/halloween-candy-survival-guide

https://www.colgate.com/en-us/oral-health/basics/nutrition-and-oral-health/ada-10-tooth-friendly-halloween

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

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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/

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