Healthy Start to the School Year

August 21st, 2019

Sometimes we often forget just how important our food choices are for our bodies. Especially when we are craving that most-delicious sweet that we all cannot resist! Things like candy and soda both typically fill our hearts desires, but as we all know they’re not on our good side. But, we truly do need to be more careful about what we eat, not only for your health but also for your pearly whites. Now that summer is soon coming to an end and school is approaching, it’s important to review what should be included on you and your child’s plate. Take a look at these healthy foods that can help satisfy your taste, and keep your mind, body, and teeth in good shape!


Dairy products like cheese, milk, and yogurt make great tooth-friendly snacks. Cheese can help lower the risk of tooth decay by raising the pH, making the mouth less acidic. Not to mention, dairy is often full of protein and nutrients that help keep your enamel strong, like calcium. Yogurt contains healthy bacteria, also known as probiotics, which are known to help with digestion and fight off bad bacteria. Dairy is also typically low in sugar, making it a great pick for your lunch.



Nuts are low in sugar, and are full of protein and minerals that are great for your overall health. Plus, chewing nuts helps trigger saliva production, which can lower your risk for tooth decay. Try tossing them in salads, or grab a bag of them to add to your lunchbox.


Hight Fiber Foods/Vegetables

Foods high in fiber such as leafy greens are the way to go when looking for something healthy! It aids digestion, promotes good cholesterol levels, and enhances saliva production necessary for protecting your teeth. Not only are they low in calories, but they're also loaded with vitamins and minerals.


Staying hydrated with water, particularly fluoridated water, is key for keeping your body healthy. Fluoride is an important component as it helps remineralize tooth enamel and makes teeth more resistant to decay.


An apple a day can actually be good for your health and smile! Apples contain a great amount of fiber and water, and help act similarly to a toothbrush by helping to remove food particles from your teeth.


Crunchy carrots also help stimulate saliva production and are a great source of fiber and vitamin A. They make a great snack by themselves or added to salad.


Cranberries have been found to protect your smile by helping keep plaque from sticking to teeth with the help of polyphenols.

Sugarless gum

For all of the gum lovers, sugar-free gum is the best option for your pearly whites. Chewing sugarless gum helps increase saliva production and helps wash away leftover food particles that bacteria feed on.

Prevention is the best way to keep your body and smile in tip-top shape. One method of prevention is to carefully choose healthy foods full of essential nutrients.

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.





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Is Your Body Trying to ask for Vitamins and Minerals?

April 8th, 2019

It's been ingrained in us that a healthy and well-balanced diet is necessary for normal daily functioning and growth. However, it may not be that simple to realize when we're deficient in certain vitamins and minerals, even when we're eating healthy! Vitamins and minerals play a major role in carrying out the normal functions of our bodies, including synthesizing  tissues, removing waste products, and being necessary precursors for enzymes. Therefore, deficiencies can result in several health problems, so it is important to know what signs to look for in order to meet the body's needs! For instance, oral signs such as burning tongue and mouth sores, feeling tired after a good night's rest, having a pale appearance, or brittle fingernails can all be signs of particular nutrient deficiencies. In fact, it has been reported that when the proper nutrients are not consumed in adequate amounts, both physical and mental issues such as skin problems, bone abnormalities, and even dementia could be negative consequences.

Take a look at the signs of various vitamin deficiencies and how to make these symptoms improve or be gone altogether:

Severe hair loss

If you notice that you are losing more than the typical 100 strands of hair a day, this could be a sign of a deficiency in the minerals iron and zinc, in addition to the fatty acids linoleum acid and alpha-linolenic acid, and vitamins such as biotin (Vitamin B7) and Niacin (Vitamin B3):

  • Iron is necessary for the production of DNA, which is present in hair follicles.
  • Zinc is needed for the synthesis of proteins necessary for hair growth.
    • A deficiency in both iron and zinc can lead to hair loss or cause the hair to stop growing. A diet rich in meat, fish, eggs, legumes, dark leafy greens, nuts, seeds and whole grains can help manage a deficiency in iron and zinc.
  • Linoleic acid (LA) and alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) are integral to hair growth.
    • A diet comprising leafy vegetables, nuts, whole grains, and vegetable oils all offer a source of LA. ALA can be found in chia seeds and soy nuts.
  • Niacin (vitamin B3): Niacin is needed for keeping healthy strong hair.
  • Biotin (vitamin B7): Biotin helps form thick hair and stimulates hair growth.
    • Meat, fish, dairy, whole grains, legumes, nuts, seeds and leafy greens are rich in both niacin and biotin.

You may notice that there are also a lot of supplements advertised for hair loss prevention that include these nutrients. These supplements should be taken at the discretion of your health care provider, as there is limited research on their effects.

Brittle nails

A sign of brittle or splitting nails could be your body telling you that it is in need of iron or biotin.

  • Iron: In addition to brittle nails, a deficiency in iron can include fatigue, pale skin, chest pain, constant sensation of cold, inflamed or sore tongue, and dizziness just to name a few.
    • Iron-rich foods include in meat, poultry, seafood, and spinach.
  • Biotin: biotin deficiencies are rare, but can present as brittle hair or nails, in addition to fatigue, and muscle pain. Risk factors of a biotin deficiency include pregnancy, smoking, alcoholism, Crohn's disease, and individuals on some anti-seizure medications or prolonged antibiotic use. Consumption of raw egg whites can also lead to a deficiency in biotin because  the protein avidin within raw egg whites reduces the absorption of biotin.
    •  Egg yolks, organ meats, fish, meat, dairy, nuts, seeds, spinach, broccoli, cauliflower, sweet potatoes, yeast, whole grains and bananas are good sources of biotin.

Mouth ulcers or cracks in the corners of the mouth

Mouth ulcers, also known as canker sores, and cracking around the corners of the mouth have been linked to deficiencies including iron, B1, B2, B6 and B12.

  • Iron
  • Thiamin (Vitamin B1) plays a role in maintining the nervous system and the release of energy from food.
  • Riboflavin (Vitamin B2) helps keep the skin, eyes and nervous system healthy, and helps the body release energy from food.
  • Pyridoxine (Vitamin B6) is responsible for the storage of protein and carbohydrates absorbed from food, and the formation of hemoglobin in red blood cells. A deficiency in B6 is typically rare.
    • Thiamin, riboflavin and pyridoxine can all be found in whole grains, poultry, meat, fish, eggs, dairy, organ meats, legumes, green vegetables, starchy vegetables, nuts and seeds.

In addition, cracking at the corners of the mouth could be caused by angular cheilitis (inflammation and an accumulation of microorganisms, particularly Candida albicans, at the corners of the mouth).

Bleeding Gums

Bleeding gums could be a result of several things, including gingivitis due to bacterial plaque, medications, brushing technique, and poor diet or oral hygiene habits. In addition, it could be due to a lack of vitamin C in your diet.

  • Vitamin C: Vitamin C plays a role in healing wounds, your immunity, and also helps prevent cell damage. If the deficiency is severe, the condition known as scurvy could develop. Symptoms of scurvy include tooth loss, weakness, fatigue, and muscle soreness.
    • Citrus fruit, guava, kiwi, broccoli, dark green leafy vegetables (broccoli, spinach, lettuce, kale), berries, tomatoes, cabbage, and brussel sprouts all are sources of Vitamin C.

Burning tongue

The sensation of a burning tongue or feet could be a result of a deficiency in Vitamin B12.

  • Vitamin B12: B12 is known to help produce hemoglobin in red blood cells, and is also needed for the proper function of the digestive system. Vegans are at an increased risk of B12 deficiency because meats and dairy products are common sources of good amounts of B12. Signs of a deficiency in vitamin B12 often include damage to your nervous system, memory changes, and can sometimes mimic anemia.
    • Vitamin B12 an be found in meats, shellfish, poultry, fish, dairy, almond milk, nutritional yeast, and fortified soy and coconut milk.

Muscle cramps

If you notice that you begin having muscle cramps, your body could be craving potassium. A deficiency in potassium is typically caused by loss of fluid (excessive sweat, vomit, diarrhea).

  • Potassium: Potassium is known to help build muscle and protein.
    • A good source of potassium can be found in sweet potatoes, bananas, avocados, and coconut water.


So, you may be wondering, "will dietary supplements help get me all of the nutrients I need?" The best way to ensure that you are getting adequate amounts of vitamins and minerals is to make sure your diet includes each major food group, rather than relying only on dietary supplements. Some individuals may be lacking certain vitamins or minerals due to an underlying medical condition. Be sure to have your regular check-ups with your primary care physician so that the proper diagnoses and treatment can be made.

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. DerekDr. Emad is happy to help with your orthodontic needs. For wisdom teeth extractions or any other oral surgery needs Dr. Stephens would be more than willing to help.





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Early Exposure to Chemicals is Harming Our Youth

September 15th, 2016


It seems like chemicals are all around us, often showing up in things we use everyday, including cosmetics, household appliances, and plastic bottles. Unfortunately, these chemicals may be causing many health problems. According to recent research presented at the European Congress of Endocrinology, chemicals in plastics may be damaging children's tooth enamel by interfering with hormones that stimulate tooth enamel development. Enamel is one of the hardest substances in the body and it is found on the outer layer of each tooth. It is made up of mainly minerals and serves the purpose of protecting your teeth from plaque and ultimately tooth decay.

Researchers looked at the effects of daily doses of Bisphenol A  (BPA) alone or with Vinclozolin on rats. BPA is chemical commonly found in plastics including water bottles and food containers, and vinclozolin is a common fungicide typically found on raspberries, lettuce, kiwi, and onions. Both BPA and vinclozolin are referred to as endocrine disruptors, which are chemicals that interfere with mammalian hormones. The doses given were similar to those a human would be exposed to daily from birth to 30 days old. Then, researchers took cell samples from the rats’ teeth and found that the expression of genes involved in mineralization (important for tooth enamel) were impaired due to the exposure to BPA and vinclozolin. They concluded that children with developing teeth who are exposed to these chemicals could be at higher risk of having molar incisor hypermineralization (MIH), which can lead to tooth sensitivity and damaged tooth enamel. It is important to note that once tooth enamel is gone, it cannot be replaced!

In addition, researchers analyzed rat ameloblast cells, which deposit enamel during tooth development. They found that sex hormones including estrogen and testosterone helped boost tooth enamel development. However, exposure to BPA and vinclozolin blocked these hormones from functioning properly, which as a result weakened tooth enamel. Leading researcher, Dr. Katia Jedeon stated, "Tooth enamel starts at the third trimester of pregnancy and ends at the age of 5, so minimizing exposure to endocrine disruptors at this stage in life as a precautionary measure would be one way of reducing the risk of enamel weakening.” Further research on other chemicals found in things we commonly use are currently being studied. The National Institutes of Health (NIH) states that many endocrine disruptors have the greatest health threat to individuals during early infant development.

If you have concerns about chemicals impacting you children, your little ones and teens are welcome to visit our pediatric dentist Dr. Van. Dr. Van is a Diplomate of the American Board of Pediatric Dentistry and is passionate about improving the health of all of his patients.

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.

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.





Does the Word "Diet" Make Soda Any Healthier?

April 2nd, 2015

You know what they all say, “Sip All Day, Get Decay!” It's not only a catchy phrase, it's the truth! There is a clear correlation between soda consumption and tooth decay, as well as to other health complications including diabetes, kidney problems, and obesity. We all are familiar with the fact that bacteria in the mouth convert sugars and carbohydrates from the foods and beverages you consume to acids, which decays tooth enamel. What's even scarier is that the acids can remain in the mouth for 20 minutes after snacking or drinking.

To avoid this reality, many turn to diet soda thinking that there will be no consequences for their teeth. You may have even been asked at one point or another, "Which is better, Diet Coke or regular Coke?" It turns out that their damaging effects on teeth are roughly the same!

What many individuals may not realize is that diet soda is still acidic, which negatively impact the health of your teeth.  Research from the Minnesota Dental Association, the Missouri Dental Association, and the University of Cincinnati Biology Department shows the pH of a regular Coke is around 2.6, which is highly acidic. On the other hand, the pH of diet coke is about 3.2. For comparison, the pH of battery acid is 1, which isn't too far off from the pH values of soda! While diet soda may not be as bad as regular soda, they do contain acids, which can cause serious damage to teeth. Phosphoric acid and citric acid is often present in many diet sodas to add flavor to the drink. These acids can demineralize and decalcify teeth. Sometimes the damage may require fillings, root canals, dental crowns, dental implantsdentures or other dental procedures.

Not to mention, many beverages use artificial flavorers and sweeteners in place of sugar for the purpose of maintaining the flavor. Although they may not contain sugar, they can make beverages acidic and can cause many problems for your teeth.

In addition to having negative oral health effects, diet soda can have a significant impact on your kidneys. According to an 11-year study at Harvard Medical School with 3,000 women participants, researchers discovered that diet cola is linked with a two-fold increased risk for kidney failure. Kidney function began to decline as women drank two or more sodas a day.

A consistent consumption of both regular and diet soda is one of the leading causes of tooth decay. Children and young adults are most prone to tooth decay because their tooth enamel is not yet fully developed. Unfortunately, many children and young adults in the United States  have decreased their intake of milk  and increased their intake of soda. In fact, according to research in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, children are consuming it more than double the rate of the last 10 years. Soda consumption among adults has grown approximately 25 percent!

A healthy diet plays an important role in your overall health. It is essential to choose foods and beverages that provide vitamins and minerals for not only a healthy body, but also a healthy mouth. Avoid giving the label, "diet or sugar-free" the same meaning as, "healthy for teeth!" You can prevent tooth decay and other health problems by staying hydrated with water and implementing good oral health habits. If you are a soda-lover, make sure to drink in moderation. Also, limit your intake of carbonated beverages, including sports drinks and juice. Most importantly, make sure that you are not substituting acidic beverages for water.

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.





What Vitamins Your Teeth Need

May 15th, 2014

The foods we eat can have a huge impact on oral health.  As most people know, foods high in sugar can cause cavities and drinks like black coffee can stain teeth.  Other than sugar content or staining capabilities , different kinds of vitamins can also have a huge impact on oral health.  Taking vitamin supplements can prevent tooth decay and promote healthy gums.  The following vitamins can be incorporated into a balanced diet and oral health regimen.


Vitamin C
Vitamin C prevents gum inflammation and helps to heal soft, bleeding gums.  Citrus fruits like oranges and lemons are known to be high in this essential vitamin.  Some lesser known foods that are high in Vitamin C include bell peppers and broccoli.

Vitamin A
Vitamin A prevents dry mouth, aids in the healing inflamed gums, and helps to maintain the mucous membranes of the gums.  Vitamin A can be found in beef, spinach, kale, cheese, and eggs.

Vitamin D
Vitamin D is necessary for optimal absorption of calcium.  Calcium helps with the development of healthy, strong teeth and can be found in milk and fatty fish like salmon.

Vitamins B12 and B2
A deficiency in these essential vitamins can lead to painful mouth sores.  Vitamin B12 can be found in red meat, chicken, liver, and dairy products.  Vitamin B2 can be found in almonds, bagels, and spinach.

An iron deficiency can also lead to mouth sores and an inflamed tongue.  Iron is available in capsule form and can be found in many common foods like bran cereals and nuts.

Potassium is necessary for proper nerve function and muscle development.  Legumes, bananas, and whole grains are great sources for this.

Vitamin B3 (niacin)
A niacin deficiency can be a cause of bad breath and canker sores.  Adding more chicken or fish into your diet can alleviate these symptoms.

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.


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Vitamins: Key to Healing after Oral Surgery

January 13th, 2014

While vitamin C is a great way to boost your immune system, vitamins can also play a major role in timely recovery after oral surgery.

The Academy of General Dentistry explained that patients lacking in vitamin C have shown to recover at a slower rate. Appropriate amounts of vitamin C, along with other vitamins, minerals, fats, and protein, were reported to be essential for the growth and regeneration of normal tissues. Nutrients work both individually and cooperatively to move along the healing process. Tissue maintenance and repair requires the help of carbohydrates, fat and protein. Recovery of these tissues involves vitamin C, along with vitamins such as vitamins E, B and K.

Vitamin C is responsible for the making collagen (connective tissue) that strengthens skin muscles and blood vessels; this is key to proper wound healing.

Vitamin E has the ability to...thin blood, preventing blood platelets from clumping. It also speed up cell regeneration and promotes blood circulation, strengthening capillary walls while nourishing cells.

Vitamin B is crucial for carbohydrate metabolism and energy production. It facilitates energy-releasing reactions and can also help deliver oxygen and nutrients, allowing energy pathways to run smoothly.

Vitamin K promotes blood clotting and prevents bleeding; this is can be used to prevent post-surgery bruising.

Without these important nutrients, patients are more prone to infection and healing time can be further delayed. Researchers note that severely underweight or overweight patients, or those who take steroids, immunosuppressant, or chemotherapeutic agents may experience poor recovery after oral surgery. It is crucial to maintain a healthy balance of vitamins before going into surgery.

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. For wisdom teeth extractions or any other oral surgery needs Dr. Ghazi would be more than willing to help.





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