Massachusetts Tobacco Cessation and Prevention Program

New Year, New You: Dental Resolutions

January 5th, 2021

It’s a new year, which for many means starting the year off with a clean slate and resolutions to achieve throughout the year. 2021 is here, and like many individuals, improving health typically tops the list for New Year’s resolutions, as people often place exercising more and eating healthier as a high priority. What about your dental health? Improving your dental health can be another great resolution to incorporate on your list. Preventing tooth decay, gum disease, and other oral health issues is key to improving your overall wellness. Sometimes, we make New Year’s resolutions that don’t always stick after the holidays, however, making small strides to achieve your goals can be a perfect start.

Check out these resolutions that can help improve your dental health this New Year:

Improve your Oral Hygiene Routine

As you know, brushing and flossing each day are key to helping fight against cavities and a long list of oral health issues. It is important to brush at least twice a day for two minutes each time, particularly after eating and before bedtime. For proper brushing, an ADA-approved soft bristled toothbrush and fluoridated toothpaste are recommended. Your toothbrush should be angled toward your gum line when brushing and use gentle and short strokes to help remove the food particles and oral bacteria. You also don’t want to forget to brush your tongue! According to the American Dental Association (ADA), you should replace your toothbrush approximately every 3 to 4 months, or sooner if you have been sick or you notice the bristles are frayed. But, the fun shouldn’t stop there, flossing is equally important. It’s necessary to floss at least once a day to help remove food particles in hard-to-reach areas in between teeth where most cavities begin. Flossing is also important to help reduce your risk of gum disease. Flossing can be easy to forget sometimes, but try putting a reminder in your phone or calendar, or place a box of floss in your purse or out on the counter so that it is visible. Not to mention, flossing and brushing properly will help keep your breath fresh. Plus, using an antimicrobial and fluoride mouth rinse daily can be a great addition to improve your oral health.

Limit Sugary and Acidic Foods

Your diet plays a huge role in your oral health, too. Cavity-causing bacteria love to eat sugar and starches. If food particles are left on the surfaces of teeth, the bacteria can produce acids from the dental plaque which damages your tooth enamel and can lead to decay. In addition, acidic foods can lead to enamel erosion and weaken your teeth. Try checking food and beverage labels to see the sugar content and do your best to only consume these items in moderation. Instead of sugary treats, try adding more tooth-friendly healthy foods to your diet. This can include foods like dairy products, which are high in calcium. In addition, foods high in fiber often stimulate saliva and can help naturally remove dental plaque. If consuming sugary or acidic beverages, grab a straw to help limit the beverages contact with your teeth and be sure to drink water afterwards to help rinse your mouth.

Drink Lots of Water

Water not only will improve your overall health, but also your dental health, too. Staying hydrated with water is necessary to helping prevent cavities by diluting acids within the mouth and rinsing away food particles.

Quit Using Tobacco Products

This year, say no to tobacco use to help improve your oral and overall health. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), smoking has been found to double your risk for gum disease, and is related to many other health problems. Try checking out the Massachusetts Tobacco Cessation and Prevention Program, which offers information and resources that can help individuals quit. Also, check out a list of resources and other helpful information on our WDG blog here.

Schedule your Dental Visit

Be sure to schedule your dental check-up to help maintain your oral health. Dental visits are necessary to ensure the health of your mouth and to catch any disease or oral health problem early so that it can be managed appropriately. The New Year is also the perfect time to finish or begin any dental work, for instance dental crowns, implants, or fillings. If you are interested in brightening your smile, talk with your dentist about whitening options. The New Year may also be a great time to correct an abnormal bite or straighten your teeth with orthodontic treatment.

So, what’s on your resolution list this year?

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.google.com/url?sa=i&url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.drappolon.com%2Fyour-2020-dental-health-resolutions%2F&psig=AOvVaw3UdZWSibfwUM2X_3HyhT0K&ust=1609698909190000&source=images&cd=vfe&ved=0CAIQjRxqFwoTCJC3mPjx_e0CFQAAAAAdAAAAABAc

https://www.colgate.com/en-us/oral-health/adult-oral-care/a-new-years-you-dental-health-resolutions

https://www.colgate.com/en-us/oral-health/brushing-and-flossing/looking-after-your-teeth-five-new-years-resolutions-for-a-healthier-mouth

https://www.colgate.com/en-us/oral-health/cavities/how-to-prevent-cavities-healthy-new-years-dental-resolutions

https://www.google.com/url?sa=i&url=https%3A%2F%2Fwonderopolis.org%2Fwonder%2Fwhat-is-junk-food&psig=AOvVaw0NVDd4oVZg4fLnskBzTH3R&ust=1609821743313000&source=images&cd=vfe&ved=0CAIQjRxqFwoTCOjFgMC7ge4CFQAAAAAdAAAAABAJ

https://www.google.com/url?sa=i&url=https%3A%2F%2Fmoffitt.org%2Fendeavor%2Farchive%2Fmoffitt-continues-the-countdown-to-quit-smoking%2F&psig=AOvVaw0dt7Ai5sWirDPFidYASb3k&ust=1609821820530000&source=images&cd=vfe&ved=0CAIQjRxqFwoTCJDrnOS7ge4CFQAAAAAdAAAAABAD

https://www.google.com/url?sa=i&url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.timesofisrael.com%2Fis-this-water-safe-to-drink-israeli-startup-lets-you-know%2F&psig=AOvVaw2gYJQF0YbHsHoiNPTP6iZm&ust=1609821869743000&source=images&cd=vfe&ved=0CAIQjRxqFwoTCMjmkPm7ge4CFQAAAAAdAAAAABAD

https://www.google.com/url?sa=i&url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.dentalcare.com%2Fen-us%2Fpatient-education%2Fpatient-materials%2Fmanual-brushing-and-flossing&psig=AOvVaw1wmUVWNn4IE_X2w9yl2-W2&ust=1609821923248000&source=images&cd=vfe&ved=0CAIQjRxqFwoTCLCU45G8ge4CFQAAAAAdAAAAABAD

Is the Stress of COVID-19 Getting to you, and your Teeth?

November 22nd, 2020

Have you noticed an increase in your stress levels lately? The COVID-19 pandemic has unexpectedly had an undeniable impact on our lives in many ways. With many lives lost, financial hardships, isolation, and continued uncertainty, health care professionals, especially dentists, are noticing an increase in stress-related health issues.

Many have had to adapt to different work, home, and school environments, become used to digital technology, and add new precautionary practices to daily life routines like wearing a mask and practicing social distancing. The American Psychological Association (APA) warns that over time, the negative mental health effects of the coronavirus pandemic can be serious and long-lasting.

Not much has changed in terms of practicing universal precautions for all patients of dental professionals, as these practices were implemented at the peak of the AIDS crisis in the 1980's. Due to these safe practices and use of personal protective equipment, epidemiologists and the American Dental Association (ADA) have reported that there are no cases of COVID-19 outbreaks associated to any dental offices in the United States!

According to the ADA Health Policy Institute's COVID-19 impact poll to dentists in the United States, dentists are seeing an increase in stress-related oral health conditions in patients since the start of the coronavirus pandemic. Approximately 59.4% of the participating dentists reported increases in the prevalence of tooth grinding (bruxism), 53.4% chipped and cracked teeth, and 53.4% temporomandibular disorder symptoms among their patients. Plus, approximately 26.4% documented an increase in tooth decay (caries), and 29.7% reported an increase in periodontal disease. As of the week of Sept. 21, greater than 99% of dental offices in the United States were open according to the American Dental Association (ADA).

The overall health and safety of patients remains our #1 priority. It’s important to acknowledge any stress you may feel, know how to cope with stress, and where to turn for help if needed so that you can continue to care for yourself and remain healthy. Along with practicing social distancing, wearing face masks, and frequent hand-washing, it is equally important to manage stress and anxiety during these challenging times. Prolonged stress and anxiety can play a significant role on the health of your overall body, including increasing heart rate and blood pressure, issues with digestion, teeth grinding, headaches, trouble sleeping, mental health disturbances, and inability to focus, just to name a few issues.

Take a look at some tips to stay mentally and physically healthy during these troubling times:

Stay in the loop with current events:

Stay up to date with research and reports from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the World Health Organization (WHO) on COVID-19 statistics and prevention resources. Being in-the-know can help keep you and your loved ones calm and prepared.

Take breaks:

Although it’s important to be aware of what’s going on globally, allow yourself some time to disconnect from too much negative news and social media. It is also necessary to get adequate rest.

Stay physically active:

A great way to reduce stress is to increase your physical activity. While following safety precautions, take walks, jog, bike ride, meditate, or do the activities that normally make you happy! It is also important to eat well and make sure that you are getting proper nutrition and fluids to keep your body and immune system healthy.

Avoid negative habits:

Sometimes stress can lead to negative coping behavioral habits such as use of alcohol and tobacco.  If you or a loved one are struggling with alcoholism, know that this is not a fight that has to be done alone. For help with alcohol addiction, please check out these resources with 24/7 availability. For individuals struggling with tobacco use, the Massachusetts Tobacco Cessation and Prevention Program offers information and resources that can help individuals quit. Also, check out a list of resources and other helpful information on our WDG blog here.

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.dentistryiq.com/covid-19/article/14184297/dentist-takes-holistic-approach-with-patients-who-grind-teeth-due-to-covidrelated-stress?utm_source=DEC_DIQ+Morning+Briefing&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=CPS201002009&o_eid=3760I9143045C2X&rdx.ident%5Bpull%5D=omeda%7C3760I9143045C2X&oly_enc_id=3760I9143045C2X

https://www.ada.org/en/publications/ada-news/2020-archive/september/hpi-poll-dentists-see-increase-in-patients-stress-related-oral-health-conditions

https://success.ada.org/en/practice-management/dental-practice-success/dps-summer-2020/strategies-for-dealing-with-stress-during-the-pandemic

https://www.google.com/url?sa=i&url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.myannapolisdentist.com%2F2020%2F03%2F25%2Fcovid-19-and-maintaining-oral-health%2F&psig=AOvVaw15O7NhSbT2tavg0RhOC8y5&ust=1606148746593000&source=images&cd=vfe&ved=0CAIQjRxqFwoTCMCrosXIlu0CFQAAAAAdAAAAABAQ

Risky Behavior: Vaping, Cigarette Use, and COVID-19

September 14th, 2020

We have all been impacted in some way by the COVID-19 pandemic, which makes us all in this fight together. Even though the virus still persists, great strides and global participation in social distancing, wearing face coverings, and following safety protocols are helping to stop the spread of the coronavirus. Scientists and researchers across the world are continuously uncovering important research and highlighting factors that increase the risk of battling coronavirus. From the beginning of the pandemic, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has emphasized, based on research and clinical expertise, that individuals with weakened immune systems, including older adults, and those with underlying medical conditions (examples: lung disease, heart disease, diabetes, kidney disease, and hypertension, just to name a few) are at an increased risk of severe COVID-19 illness. More recently a new study, published in the Journal of Adolescent Health and conducted by researchers at Stanford University School of Medicine, suggests teens and young adults who vape or smoke cigarettes are at an increased risk of COVID-19 infection.

Along with the COVID-19 pandemic (currently 29,182,627 worldwide cases and a disheartening 928,281 deaths reported), the devastating health crisis in many young adults: tobacco and electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes)/vaping product use, has still been an extensive public health issue across the nation. Back on September 24, 2019, the Governor of Massachusetts, Charles D. Baker, declared e-cigarette use a public health emergency following the significant link between e-cigarette products and severe lung disease leading to many deaths across the United States. Unfortunately, e-cigarettes have routinely been marketed as “safer” alternatives to cigarette smoking, although in reality they carry many of the same risks as well as new risks. The inhaled liquids are often composed of nicotine, tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabinoid (CBD) oils, along with other substances. Each product, however, can have a variation of other ingredients and concentrations, which may be toxic to the body.

The study, entitled, Association Between Youth Smoking, Electronic Cigarette Use, and Coronavirus Disease 2019, consisted of an online survey conducted in May completed by 4,351 individuals across the United States ranging in age from 13 to 24 years old. The study participants were asked if they had ever used vaping products or cigarettes, and if they had vaped or smoked in the past 30 days. The participants were then divided between those who used nicotine products in comparison to those who reported never using nicotine products. The groups were asked if they had experienced COVID-19 symptoms, received a test for COVID-19, or tested positive for the virus. Taking into consideration reported medical conditions and sociodemographic factors, the researchers found that individuals who used both cigarettes and e-cigarettes in the last 30 days were approximately 5 times more likely to experience COVID-19 symptoms than those who never used nicotine products. Of the individuals who received a COVID test, those who had used e-cigarettes were 5 times more likely to be diagnosed with COVID-19 than those who never vaped. Plus, individuals who used both e-cigarettes and regular cigarettes within the last 30 days were approximately 7 times more likely to test positive for COVID-19. The study authors believe that the link between nicotine products and lung damage is thought to be the reason behind the resulting increased risk of coronavirus infection. "This study tells us pretty clearly that youth who are using vapes or are dual-using are at elevated risk, and it's not just a small increase in risk, it's a big one," Dr. Shivani Mathur Gaiha, one of the study's authors, warned.

Knowing the dangers about vaping and cigarette smoking is key. The Massachusetts Tobacco Cessation and Prevention Program offers information and resources that can help individuals quit. Also, check out a list of resources and other helpful information on our WDG blog here.

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://decisionsindentistry.com/2020/08/vaping-raise-risk-covid-among-teenagers-young-adults/

http://med.stanford.edu/news/all-news/2020/08/vaping-linked-to-covid-19-risk-in-teens-and-young-adults.html

https://www.news-medical.net/news/20200811/Smoking-and-vaping-significantly-increase-risk-of-COVID-19-in-teens-and-young-adults.aspx

https://www.tecc.org/tobacco-and-covid-19/

https://discoveries.childrenshospital.org/vaping-and-covid-19/

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