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Eat Right Bite by Bite!

March 7th, 2020

“Eat Right, Bite by Bite” is this year's theme for the annual National Nutrition Month®, sponsored by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics each March. Your overall health can significantly improve with even small changes to your diet overtime! This month we are highlighting the importance of being conscious of our dietary habits, increasing our daily physical activity, and choosing healthy foods.

The American Society for Nutrition researches the science of nutrition and provides knowledge and sound data to help improve the health of individuals around the world through nutrition.

Take a look at these recommendations for each week of this month of March to get you started on the journey toward developing a healthy diet and lifestyle:

Improving your nutrition can also improve your oral health! By choosing tooth-freindly foods, you’ll also be helping your body.

  • Try limiting snacking during National Nutritional Month. All though snacks can be tempting, frequent consumption of snacks high in carbohydrates often lower the pH of your mouth. This increases the amount of exposure your teeth have to acids broken down by the bacteria, which attacks your tooth enamel. If you need a snack, try choosing from these delicious healthy treats listed here.
  • Choose foods that help add vitamins and minerals to your teeth, such as milk, cheese, and protein-rich items such as nuts. Also, firm and crunchy fruits and vegetables, such as apples and celery are great for increasing your saliva, which have important minerals for your teeth and help wash away bacteria.
  • Grab xylitol chewing gum, which is sugar-free and helps increase your flow of saliva.
  • Say no to soda and other sweetened beverages and opt for water! Soda, juice, and sports drinks can be harmful not only to your teeth, but to your general health.
  • Arginine, an amino acid, is one you will want to include in your diet! Arginine can be found in meat, poultry, fish, and dairy, and can help protect against tooth decay and gum disease by targeting dental plaque.

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.eatright.org/food/resources/national-nutrition-month?nnm_blogger_badge_rectangle

https://www.patientconnect365.com/dentalhealthtopics/article/Dental_Health_Tips_for_National_Nutrition_Month_

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Back-to-School Dental Habits

August 20th, 2015

school

As hard as it is to believe that summer is almost over, it is the unfortunate truth. That means that school is back in session! As you prepare your child for their first day of school, it's that time again to start thinking of packed lunch ideas. It's important to ensure that their lunches are healthy and tooth-friendly. Dental health should play a major role when planning your child's diet. Although individuals of all ages are at risk of developing cavities, tooth decay is found to be most prevalent in school children. In fact, tooth decay is the number one chronic childhood illness.

Here are a few helpful tips for parents to promote healthy teeth at home and away from home:

Avoid Stocking Your Fridge at Home With Unhealthy Foods

A healthy diet is not only good for your child's growth and development, but it's also important for their dental health. Learning healthy habits starts at home. One of the simplest ways that you can ensure that your child is making tooth-conscious decisions at school is to provide them with balanced meals at home, including vegetables, fruits, whole grains, vitamins, dairy products, and protein.

Fruits and Dairy Products

Snacking typically involves unhealthy foods, such as chips and candy. However, there are plenty of tasty foods that are healthy for your child to munch on while at school. Items including sliced apples, bananas, carrots, celery, and other fruits and vegetables will satisfy your child's taste buds, while also supplying a wealth of nutrients beneficial for their teeth. Not to mention, diary products including milk and cheese are great options to help their tooth enamel stay healthy and strong.

Say NO to Sticky and Sugary Foods/Beverages

Even though sweets can be tempting, it's no denying the fact that sugar is a culprit of cavities. Typically, foods that are sticky like gummy bears and other candies are full of sugar and easily become lodged between teeth, making them more susceptible to decay. Avoid packing sugary items and desserts, including cookies. Don't forget, juice, sodas, and sports drinks can be just as harmful to teeth, as they can be high in sugar and acidity. Also, be sure to inform your child of the dangers of vending machines! Vending machines often house many unhealthy snacks that promote cavities.

Practice and Promote Proper Dental Care

Children learn and take after their parents. It is important to make your child's teeth cleaning routines both fun and memorable. Instill healthy dental habits at home and teach them the steps to maintaining healthy pearly whites. They will use these habits throughout the rest of their lives!

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.sciencedaily.com/releases/2015/07/150731182845.htm

http://www.rch.org.au/uploadedImages/Main/Content/ccch/teacher%20rounded.jpg

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

June 2nd, 2015

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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

Got Milk?.. For Your Cereal

June 4th, 2014

 

Whether you are on-the-go or craving a crunchy snack, dry cereal is a popular snack for both adults and children. Popular cereal brands like Fruit Loops and Cinnamon Toast Crunch have been scrutinized by health care professionals for its high sugar content.  As many of us know, sugar causes cavities.  However, research at the University of Illinois at Chicago College of Dentistry suggests that chasing dry, sugary cereal with milk significantly lowers sugar's ability to eat away at our teeth and can prevent cavities.

A cavity is caused by leftover food debris on our teeth.  Our teeth are covered by a tough outer mineral covering called enamel.  However, the enamel can break down and become eroded when it comes into contact with acids. Specifically, bacteria love feeding on sugars and carbohydrates.  As the bacteria feast on these types of leftovers, they produce the harmful acids that break down enamel and cause cavities.

The researchers looked at three different liquids and their effectiveness in bringing down the risk of cavities when combined with dry cereal: apple juice, water, and milk.  They found that drinking milk following sugary cereals led to effectiveness in preventing cavities by most significantly lowering the overall acidity in the mouth.  Water also lowered the acidity, but to a lower extent.  Apple juice, on the other hand, did not lower the acidity because of its sugar content.  Milk is also known to be beneficial for teeth for its high calcium content and ability to help in tooth remineralization.

Interestingly, eating cereal soaked in a bowl of milk does not result in the same cavity-fighting results.  In other words, milk is only beneficial in combatting the detrimental effects of sugary cereals if it is sipped separately following the consumption of dry cereal.  This is because cereal immersed in milk leads to a syrupy, sugary solution as the sugar particles from the cereal become dissolved in the milk.  As a result, the researchers of the study say to avoid drinking sugary fruit juices following a bowl of milk and cereal to significantly lower the chances of introducing excess sugar into your 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 781-237-9071or smile@wellesleydentalgroup.com to set up an appointment and consultation.

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

Sources:

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/07/130731164718.htm

http://health.howstuffworks.com/wellness/oral-care/problems/how-do-cavities-form.htm

http://www.therabreath.com/articles/news/oral-care-industry-news/drink-a-glass-of-milk-after-your-cereal-it-may-reduce-cavities-20625.asp

Image credit: http://cdn.foodbeast.com.s3.amazonaws.com/content/wp-content/uploads/2012/05/cereal-milk-better.jpg

High Calorie Drinks Reduced In Schools

September 6th, 2012

A while ago, we blogged about a possible sugar tax being implemented on foods with added sugar and sweeteners, such as soft drinks. It was designed to discourage both adults and children from purchasing unhealthy food and drink. Now it seems that the next step has been taken by reducing the availability of these items in schools, helping to further combat obesity.

There has been a huge reduction in drink calorie content available in schools (90%) between 2004-10. These numbers reflect the partnership between the William J. Clinton Foundation and the American Heart Association with major drink companies to lessen these drinks' availability.

Vending machines in schools now look much different than in previous years. An assortment of water, milk, juice and sports drinks is what's typically available versus an assortment of sodas before. An assessment of the foods offered in school cafeterias will be underway soon as well.

As the obesity rate climbed, officials began to take notice and search for the cause. Christopher Ashley, supervisor of food and nutrition for Springfield City Schools, said:

“Nine years ago I came into this segment of food service, and you’d see a Honey Buns and two Mountain Dews for breakfast. Now kids are going through the line and getting a better breakfast. That’s just the start.”

The alliance between the William J. Clinton Foundation and beverage companies should continue to make a difference. As stated above, obesity rates have dropped significantly in the past few years. With an emphasis placed on health and wellness not just in schools, but in the media, it is believed that the rate will continue to drop. Once the school menus reflect the nutrition of the drinks, students will be at a major advantage for better overall health.

It's important to note that reducing the consumption of soft drinks will improve your smile! Drs. Ali & Ali are committed to spreading oral health awareness and urge you to opt for healthier drinks that don't damage teeth. Feel free to contact us with any questions at 781-237-9071 or smile@wellesleydentalgroup.com.

 

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