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Tips on Living Long and Healthy

September 16th, 2019

Now that we're into the month of September, it's time to focus our attention on how to improve our overall health in honor and celebration of Healthy Aging Month! This yearly observance focuses on highlighting tips to help individuals improve their physical and mental health as adults get older. This means also focusing on oral health, since the mouth is a window to the rest of the body. In fact, gum disease, which is common in older people, has been found to be linked with memory loss. Which means taking care of your mind may rely heavily on taking care of your mouth! It is important to realize that as we continue to age, there are changes that occur within the mouth that affect our teeth and the surrounding gums and bone. It is key to minimize damage to our oral cavity at any age by maintaining regular dental visits, and keeping up with good oral hygiene habits each day. Often, poor oral health becomes a factor that worsens existing chronic health problems that an individual may face, including heart disease and diabetes.

In addition, older adults may often be taking several medications daily, which can lead to dry mouth. Not only is the feeling of dry mouth annoying, but it also is harmful to your teeth because it can increase your risk of developing tooth decay due to less saliva being present within the mouth.

No matter what age we are, it is always a great time to start practicing healthy lifestyle habits. Take a look at these tips for healthy aging:

NIH Living Longer Infographic

1. Drink plenty of water!

Staying hydrated is very important for our bodies. Tap water is the best resource because it contains fluoride, which plays a major role in keeping your teeth healthy.

2. Healthy snacks are the way to go

We need to be a little picky with our food choices in order to have a diet that is healthy for our teeth and body. Snacks filled with protein including yogurt, cheese, and nuts make great healthy and tooth-friendly snacks. Also eating foods high in iron, such as spinach, meats, and beans, can help give you the energy you need for each day. Avoid eating sugary foods and candy, as these items aren't so tooth-friendly despite their tastiness.

3. Brushing and flossing habits at home

It is important to brush at least twice a day, and floss at least once a day to help wash away all of the food particles and bacteria within the mouth that could cause harm to your pearly whites. If you wear any oral appliances, such as a retainer or denture, be sure to clean these since bacteria can harbor themselves there too! Fluoride Mouthwash also makes for a good addition to your oral care habits. Not only does the mouth wash help make your breath smell nice and fresh, it also may contain beneficial fluoride and can easily be added to your night and/or morning time routine.

4. Be active

Exercise is essential for staying healthy as we get older. Adults are recommended to get at least 150 minutes of exercise each week.

5. Schedule your dental visit

Be sure that your are visiting your dentist for a regular check up at least twice a year to ensure that your teeth are healthy.

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://healthyaging.net/healthy-lifestyle/oral-health/

https://www.deltadentalma.com/About-Us/News/2016/For-Healthy-Aging-Month,-know-your-mouth-may-hold

https://healthyaging.net/healthy-lifestyle/september-is-healthy-aging-month-10-tips-to-celebrate/

https://healthyaging.net/healthy-lifestyle/healthy-aging/

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Are Your Gums Affected by your Blood Sugar Levels?

January 23rd, 2019

Diabetes, which impacts about 30 million people in the United States, surprisingly doesn't just affect your blood sugar. Research has consistently showed that gum disease, including both gingivitis and periodontitis, is linked with diabetes. The relationship between gum disease and diabetes works both ways: individuals with diabetes have a higher chance of developing gum disease, and people with severe gum disease are more prone to have issues controlling their blood glucose levels.

Early stages of gum problems begin as gingivitis, also described as inflammation of the gums. As bacteria invade the gum pockets and inflammation remains, gum recession and bone loss begin to occur in the more severe stages of gum disease, known as periodontitis.  People who have diabetes unfortunately have a a harder time clearing bacterial infections, which they are also more at risk for developing. That's why having good oral hygiene practices is so important, especially if you have diabetes or a current diagnosis of periodontal disease. Take a look at how you can manage your oral care with diabetes:

Diet & Exercise

If you're a diabetic, one of the best things to do to maintain overall health is to keep your blood sugar levels controlled. It is best to add exercise into your daily routine and to have a balanced diet. This will help you not only maintain a healthy mouth, but also help lower your risk of developing other complications associated with diabetes, including kidney disease and heart disease.

Regular Dental Visits & Oral Hygiene

Since people with diabetes have greater chances of developing oral infections, it is important to keep a strict routine of brushing, flossing, and rinsing. Also, be sure to clean any oral appliances that you have, such as dentures or retainers, as they often harbor bacteria and left over food particles that can contribute to tooth decay. Scheduling regular dental check-ups is also necessary to ensure that no infections have begun to develop.

Avoid smoking & Poor Oral Habits

Smoking puts you at risk for many health problems such as cancer. It is never too late to quit smoking! Avoiding tobacco products can help you improve your oral and overall health. It is also important to avoid habits like nail biting, as our fingernails harbor a lot of bacteria from the things we touch throughout the day.

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. VanDr. Emadis happy to help with your orthodontic needs. For wisdom teeth extractions or any other periodontal or oral surgery needs, Dr. Ghaziwould be more than willing to help.

The caring team at Wellesley Dental Groupwill be happy to answer your questions! Contact us today at 781-237-9071or smile@wellesleydentalgroup.comto set up an appointment and consultation.

References:

https://www.timesnownews.com/health/article/oral-care-for-diabetics-how-people-suffering-from-diabetes-can-protect-their-teeth-and-gums/346614

http://www.diabetes.org/living-with-diabetes/treatment-and-care/oral-health-and-hygiene/diabetes-and-oral-health.html

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What's Up With My Bite?

October 7th, 2018

Malocclusion, or the misalignment of opposing teeth in the upper and lower jaw, is very common in both children and adults. This is often due to the fact that teeth can move slowly overtime just from the normal forces of chewing. This can even occur in individuals who have had braces in the past if they are not wearing a retainer. But not to worry, occlusal/bite problems can be identified early on in children while they still have baby teeth or mixed dentition and restored with orthodontic treatment.

Sometimes malocclusion can be genetic, or due to unhealthy oral health habits during childhood such as thumb sucking  or tongue thrusting. An orthodontic consult is typically recommended for all children around the age of 7 as permanent teeth start coming in so that any potential orthodontic problems can be identified.

Adults may also begin to notice crowding developing visible when smiling. This could occur for various reasons, including teeth shifting out of place after the loss of a tooth. Despite age, orthodontics can help anyone experiencing common tooth alignment issues:

Abnormal eruption

This is caused when a tooth erupts from the gums in the wrong place. The tooth could be blocked from developing in the correct place (tooth impaction), in which a minor oral surgery treatment can be performed to uncover the tooth before beginning orthodontics to bring the tooth into the correct position.

 

 

Crossbite

Crossbite occurs when  one or more of the upper teeth are positioned behind the lower teeth. Orthodontic appliances including a palatal expander can solve this problem in children whose jaws are still developing.

 

 

 

Crowding

This occurs due to a lack of space in the jaw either because the teeth are too big or the jaws are too small. Crowding can be corrected by removing some teeth and/or creating more space within the jaws through orthodontic appliances.

 

 

 

 

Excessive spacing

Spaces may develop when teeth are lost or there is a difference between jaw size and tooth size. These spaces can be closed with braces to ensure teeth don't shift out of place.

 

 

 

Open bite

An open bite can be hereditary, or be the result of prolonged thumb sucking r tongue thrusting. This results in a space between the upper and lower front teeth when biting down.

 

 

 

Overbite

Also known as a deep bite, occurs when the upper front teeth cover the majority of the lower teeth.

 

 

 

 

Overjet

This occurs when the upper front teeth protrude outwards or the lower teeth are inclined toward the tongue. This can be hereditary, or from improper jaw development, missing lower teeth and/or improper positioning of molars. Poor oral habits including thumb sucking or tongue thrusting can contribute to overjet.

 

 

 

Underbite

This is characterized by the lower front teeth covering the upper front teeth. This may be due to overgrowth of the lower jaw and/or less development of the upper jaw.

 

 

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:

http://decisionsindentistry.com/article/10-orthodontic-challenges-primary-mixed-dentition/?inf_contact_key=e17b0783bf79a8d42df1839c50865018e7b31325dd704fa477f44a4202dc9fcdhttp://www.abckiddentist.com/orthodontics/common-orthodontic-problems

http://www.abckiddentist.com/orthodontics/common-orthodontic-problems

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Can I Stop Wearing Retainers Already?

April 18th, 2013

After a couple of year of having braces, getting them off is quite the relief. There are no more brackets to get tons of food stuck in; flossing becomes such a charm! Then why is there still a need to wear retainers? It’s already a hassle taking them off every meal, is it really necessary to wear it all the time?

A retainer is responsible for keeping teeth set in their new positions after wearing braces. While that seems rather intuitive, what many people forget is that the body continues to grow and change. This also includes the mouth, which can lead to teeth shifting. Although it may not seem like much; retainers ensure that the shifts that occur are controlled. The pressure from the lips and tongue can slightly cause your teeth to shift out of alignment. Even though your teeth may still look in perfect position after a couple days going without a retainer, it doesn’t mean they haven’t moved. If you continue to go without a retainer, your teeth will continue to move out of alignment, and a repeat of orthodontic treatment may be needed down the line.

After getting braces, your orthodontist will tell you how long and when to wear it. Keep in mind that this is specific to you! For example, someone else may have to wear them all day for three months, but you may only have to wear them only at night. Although it may easily slip your mind in the beginning of your regimen, it will soon become a habit. Your specific timetable will allow your teeth to further adjust to their position and maintain that beautiful smile you worked on for months, maybe even years!

Although they can be an annoyance, retainers are made to maintain the work braces have done for you. Continue to strive to make it a habit to wear retainers; you will definitely thank yourself years down the line!

At Wellesley Dental Group, we have Dr. Emad, who specializes in Orthodontics and Dr. Ali is a preferred provider of Invisalign. If you want to know more about how Invisalign can change your smile, go no further than our blog!

If you have any questions regarding retainers or would like to learn more about Invisalign and Orthodontics, 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:

KidsHealth.org

WebMD

 

Mouth Mounted MP3 Player

June 15th, 2012

Believe it or not, now you can listen to music through your teeth! The device, called Play-A-Grill, works similarly to how a hearing aid helps a hearing impaired person. It is mounted to a retainer and controlled with the tongue.

Aisen Caro Chacin, the inventor of this innovative product, explains, "There is a motor connected to the output socket of the MP3 player that vibrates to the frequency of the sound. When bitten, your teeth oscillate to the same frequency. Because they are embedded in the jaw, close to your ears, the inner ear bones also oscillate, allowing the nerves to process this vibration as sound information."

Although it may seem like a fun new product, many dentists are advising against using it. They fear biting down on something such as this for extended periods of time and vibrations throughout the jaw could disrupt the alignment of teeth.

You can read the full article here.

Top 10 Oral Health Resolutions

January 3rd, 2011

A new year can mean a healthier you!

These ten resolutions are simple steps you can take to improve your teeth and gums this year - you may even improve your overall health while you're at it.

1.  Start fresh - Replace your toothbrush or power toothbrush head if it has been 3 months since you last started using a new one – or if you have recently been sick, or if the indicator on the brush tells you it’s time (even if it has been over 3 months and the indicator looks fine) OR if someone else decided to use your brush!

2. Brush for at least two minutes at least twice a day with a fluoridated toothpaste.

When? A good time to brush is after eating breakfast and then again after you have finished eating and drinking for the day. If you can brush during the day, after meals is a great time.  Use a stop-watch or timer if you need to. We have some here if you need one.

3. Keep your toothbrush far away from the toilet.

It’s always wise to flush the toilet with the lid closed as germs can spray way up into the air (at least that’s what we’ve been told).

4. Floss daily. Use about 18 inches of dental floss and floss in between every tooth. To see a video on good flossing form, please visit this YOU TUBE Video.

5. Reduce your soda, citrus, and carbonated beverage consumption.

If you are going to drink these beverages, it may be wise to drink them through a straw and limit the amount of time spent drinking.  If you want a soda, have it in one sitting, instead of prolonged sipping.  (See Dr. Ejaz Ali's Beverage Do's and Don'ts).

6.  Schedule your dental cleaning and checkups for the year.

Calling early in the year will usually help you find a convenient date and time. Some people may require cleanings or specialized treatments more often, including pregnant women and those who have periodontal disease. Professional cleanings are important for your health - the hygienist is able to remove built up tartar and look for signs of infection, like gingivitis. Gingivitis is reversible but periodontal disease is NOT!

7.  Do you have bleeding gums?

If you haven't addressed those bleeding gums with your dentist, 2011 is a perfect time, especially if you have diabetes. One of the newest concerns is that those with increased blood sugar levels are having a harder time controlling their gum health. Please visit Joslin Diabetes Center's information on dental health and diabetes to learn more.

8.  Schedule an advanced oral cancer screening for your next dental visit if it has been a year or more since your last screening.

Not sure if you’ve been screened?  Check with your dentist – advanced oral cancer screenings use additional technology that may aid in earlier detection. We've also learned a lot about the HPV and oral cancer connection in 2010 - that's why we recommend this screening for young patients who may not have normal risk factors like tobacco and alcohol use.

9. Protect your dental investment by wearing your retainer or nightguard!

Save yourself from needing braces again by wearing the retainer your orthodontist made for you. Teeth will and do shift.  If you own a nightguard, wearing it nightly will help protect your teeth from the damaging effects of grinding. Grinding and clenching the teeth during sleep can wear away your enamel, putting you at risk for decay and increased tooth sensitivity.  Waking up with a headache and sore neck every morning could be because you are clenching your jaw - a nightguard is an added defense against this.

10. YOU DESERVE a healthy smile!

Oral health tends to be one area of health that people neglect or feel awkward about caring about.  Maybe it's a fear of the dentist that keeps you away, which we understand. There are many options, such as sedation dentistry, that can allow fearful patients get hours worth of work done with minimal discomfort. Discussing sedation options with your dentist might help relax you.  Getting dental problems fixed and spending a few minutes a day brushing and flossing is not being selfish.  You deserve to have the best oral health possible – and it’s absolutely within reach!

Wellesley Dental Group is a full service dentist office serving patients of all ages, starting as young as infancy.

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