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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

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

 

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.

Water

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.

Apples

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.

Carrots

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

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.

References:

https://www.colgate.com/en-us/oral-health/basics/nutrition-and-oral-health/healthy-foods-list-seven-best-foods-for-your-teeth-0214

https://www.livescience.com/44111-foods-healthy-teeth-bad-breath.html

Images:

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Experiencing Toothaches from Winter Weather?

January 13th, 2019

As you're walking outside this winter, do you ever feel a cringing pain in your teeth from the cold air? Not only can the cold cause dry skin, it can also cause some tooth sensitivity, especially if you already struggle with sensitive teeth. According to the Academy of General Dentistry, approximately 40 million Americans have sensitive teeth. This causes many people to avoid foods that are either very cold or very hot, such as ice-cream or soup. So, why does tooth sensitivity occur?

The bulk of your teeth are composed of dentin, which is covered but your enamel on the outside, your gums, and also by cementum on the roots. Inside the dentin is a lot of nerve endings, so once dentin is exposed your nerves respond painfully to hot and cold!

Numerous factors can cause your dentin to become exposed, take a look:

  • Periodontal disease: Gum disease is a common cause of tooth sensitivity. Over time if plaque builds up on your teeth, your gums can become inflamed leading to gingivitis. If not treated, periodontal disease can arise which leads to gum recession and exposed roots and dentin. Be sure to keep up with regular brushing twice a day, flossing, rinsing, and dental check-ups to ensure that your gums stay healthy.
  • Improper brushing techniques: It's true, there is a science to brushing! Brushing aggressively can cause your enamel to wear down and eventually expose your nerve endings within dentin. Make sure you have a soft bristled tooth brush and that you are brushing toward the gum line lightly to remove bacteria within your gum pockets. 
  • Teeth clenching and grinding:  Someone may have told you that you grind your teeth at night, or you may notice that you're clenching your teeth throughout the day. Clenching and grinding can cause your enamel to wear down and also cause headaches and cracks within your teeth. Let your dentist know if you are clenching or grinding and treatment options such as a night guard can be discussed.
  • Tooth decay: If you begin experiencing cold sensitivity on a regular basis, it is important to let your dentist know because it could be a sign of tooth decay. Tooth decay and fillings that have cracked can cause exposure of dentin and result in tooth sensitivity.
  • Tooth whitening/dental treatment: Sometime bleaching agents and recent dental procedures such as fillings and crowns can cause temporary sensitivity. Be sure to let your dentist know when you begin experiencing sensitivity.
  • Acidic diet: Foods and beverages with high acid content, including sodas, coffee, juice, pickles, etc., can cause enamel erosion and exposure of dentin.
To help your winter go smoothly, when going outside try breathing through your nose as much as possible so that the cold air has less contact with your teeth. Make sure that you are bundled up when going outside. Fluoride rinses and toothpastes geared to help with sensitivity can also help decrease your pain to cold. Your dentist may recommend root canal treatment if the pulp inside the tooth is infected, or a procedure to cover your root surfaces to help improve gum recession.

Feel free to contact Drs. Ali & Aliand 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.guardiandirect.com/resources/articles/winter-and-sensitive-teeth

https://www.colgate.com/en-us/oral-health/conditions/tooth-sensitivity/what-causes-sensitive-teeth-0714

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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/

Benefits of Tap Water

October 22nd, 2016

tap-water

With the sharp increase in the amount of patients with tooth decay over the last decade, it's important to think of ways to improve your oral health based on your diet and oral health habits.

First, try to avoid sugary and acidic drinks such as fruit juices, energy drinks, sports drinks, or sodas. These kinds of drinks can increase your risk for cavities, since they can lead to tooth erosion. In addition, if you are a parent, you should make sure to stop putting your babies to sleep with a bottle because sugars could stick to their teeth for hours.

Dentists also recommend drinking tap water over bottled water due to the fact that tap water often contains fluoride and that it is usually as safe as other types of water. Drinking tap water is especially important for pregnant women and children whose teeth are still forming.

In addition to healthy eating and drinking habits, you should always maintain a proper oral hygiene routine. Make sure to brush twice a day and floss daily.

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.

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 periodontal or oral surgery needs, Dr. Ghazi would be more than willing to help.

Resources:

http://www.toledoblade.com/Medical/2016/09/18/Dentist-Water-from-tap-best-bet.html

http://www.alltreatment.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2013/12/tap-water.jpg

Get Whiter Teeth For Summer!

July 5th, 2016

smiling

A dazzling bright smile is all the catch nowadays. Especially now that it's summer and there are many graduations, weddings, and fun events planned, why not show off a healthy white smile! Of course regular dental habits like brushing and flossing are ways to keep a brighter smile. However, if you feel like your smile doesn't sparkle as much as you'd like, there are many products and whitening treatments available to achieve your smile goals.

Tooth whitening is a simple process and a great option for individuals who have stained or discolored teeth. Teeth can become stained for many reasons, including tobacco use, certain medications, foods with dark dyes, and such as red wine, coffee, tea, and soda.  Even the natural aging process can cause tooth discoloration.

Since so many whitening options are available, it can sometimes be challenging to decide which one you would like to use. Come schedule an appointment and talk to the Smile Ambassadors at Wellesley Dental Group about the differences between in-office professional whitening and at-home whitening. Check out the in-office professional whitening we offer:

Zoom! Whitening

zoom-teeth-whitening-header

Philips Zoom is a safe, easy, quick, and pain-free way to whitening teeth and perfect your smile. This procedure can help make your teeth up to eight shades brighter in a short amount of time! Zoom includes a Chairside Light-Activated Gel and LED light to help accelerate and enhance the whitening process. Just three 15-minute applications of the gel and light occur in one hour, leaving you with a dazzling whiter smile.

Your dentist can help you determine if Zoom whitening is the best whitening option for your individual smile. Contact us today for more information or to schedule an appointment for Philips Zoom whitening.

Sinsational Smile Whitening

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Sinsational Smile® is a great way to whiten teeth because it uses fast and safe technology allowing for a comfortable whitening experience. This procedure lasts approximately 20 minutes and involves pre-filled trays and a LED light which helps quickly activate the gel's whitening ingredients. Sinsational Smile® contains 35% of the active ingredient, Carbamide Peroxide, along with carbomer, menthol, glycerin, and mint flavor in the gel. The whitening experience is painless and the outcome is rewarding! Check out some of the testimonials here.

Home Whitening

Beautiful young woman teeth.

There are many products sold for tooth whitening that can be done at home, but it is important to consult with a dental professional before use.

Tray whitening:

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Tray whitening involves using custom-made trays and whitening gel only available through your dentist. At-home professional tray whitening typically lasts from ten to 14 days.

Paint-on teeth whiteners:

Teeth-Whitener-Paint

Paint-on whiteners are sold at convenient stores and are relatively inexpensive. This method consists of a gel that is applied to the tooth using a small brush. The gel hardens and eventually dissolves in the mouth.

Whitening strips:

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Teeth-whitening strip kits are a common home whitening procedure which includes thin, flexible plastic (polyethylene) strips that contain hydrogen peroxide on one side. The strips are typically worn for 30 minutes a day, twice a day but vary in duration depending on the brand.

Whitening mouthwash and toothpaste:

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Several brands of whitening toothpastes and mouthwashes can be found at many drug stores and convenient stores and are typically the least expensive option. These toothpastes and mouthwashes help remove surface stains by using mild abrasives. However, these products only mildly lighten your teeth and are not as reliable as in-office whitening treatments.

 

 

 

If you would like to learn more about teeth whitening, please contact our practice to schedule an appointment.

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.

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 periodontal or oral surgery needs, Dr. Ghazi would be more than willing to help.

References:

http://www.sinsationalsmile.com/

http://www.sinsationalsmile.com/downloads/Sinsational_graphics/Sinsation%20logo_hi.jpg

http://www.usa.philips.com/c-m-pe/teeth-whitening

http://www.jeffreylrubindmd.com/wp-content/uploads/zoom-teeth-whitening-header.jpg

http://cachevalleydentist.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/12/Fotolia_12743697_XL.jpg

http://www.healthy-magazine.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2015/07/smiling.jpg

http://www.colgate.com/CP15/en/us/oc/content/articles/2014/09/Skywords/images/105728-lg.jpg

http://cdn.thedentalcheck.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/10/Teeth-Whitener-Paint.jpg

http://cdn.buynowsignal.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/2/1-whitening-strips-buying-guide-300x300.jpg

https://d1hekt5vpuuw9b.cloudfront.net/assets/71bdb68b70ed4da6f3243d528f7e5621_listerine-300x300_gallery.jpg

Listen up, Kids: Dental Care for Children

October 9th, 2015

kidBelieve it or not, a third of children today have tooth decay before even starting school. According to statistics published by the Health & Social Care Information Centre, tooth decay is one of the main causes of hospital visits for children in elementary school. Surprisingly, 25,812 children ranging from ages 5 to 9 went to the hospital for tooth extractions in the last year alone.

Here are some tips below on how to protect your child’s teeth to make sure that your child doesn’t become part of these statistics!

  1. Drink less fruit juice!

Just because fruit juice is nutritious and often rich in vitamin C does not mean that it’s also beneficial for your teeth! Many juices have around the same amount of sugar as that in sodas, or even more. For instance, NPR states that apple juice contains 65.8 grams of sugar per liter, while cola contains 62.5 grams of sugar per liter. This copious amount of sugar leads to tooth decay. Furthermore, the acid from the juice destroys the enamel of teeth, which can cause teeth to deteriorate. Even the British Dental Association claims that 50% of children ranging from four to 18 years old show these signs.

Because of these harmful effects of fruit juice, dentists recommend water and milk as healthy beverage alternatives for children. If your child is still craving fruit juice, try to dilute it as much as possible and make sure that your child has a meal with it. Also, try your best to avoid letting your child have too much contact time with the cup and his or her teeth and instead opt for using a straw.

 

  1. Avoid dried fruit !

Dried fruit isn’t a good replacement for candy it has a great deal of sugar, and even worse, its sticky texture clings onto your child’s teeth. Due to these unhealthy properties, dried fruit can ruin enamel and rot your little one’s molars. Although chocolate isn’t a great option, dark chocolate is known to  be rich in antioxidants that help prevent the spread of tooth-decay causing bacteria.

Whole fruit can be a better option than dried fruit and fruit juice because it contains water and fibers that help wash away sugar from teeth. However, try not to feed your child more than one or two low-sugar fruit pieces (strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, kiwis, peaches, and pears) instead of high-sugar fruit pieces (grapes or pineapple) per day. Incorporate fruit into meals rather than simply having them as snacksBreadsticks, toast, cheese, nuts, or seeds are some healthier snack alternatives.

 

  1. Baby teeth matter!

It's important not to presume that just because baby teeth are not permanent, that they should not be taken care of! Your child’s permanent teeth are at a higher risk of decay and other dental problems when primary teeth decay. Baby tooth decay could lead children to experience dental anxiety, which could make them less likely to visit the dentist later on.

 

  1. Help your child brush his/her teeth!

Depending on how mature your child is, you should help brush your child’s teeth until at least age seven to ensure that they are using proper brushing techniques. 

 

  1. Proper brushing techniques!
  • Don’t let your child brush his/her teeth right after eating, particularly after eating or drinking something acidic. Doing so will brush the enamel away! Your child should either brush before eating breakfast or wait an hour after the meal. Chewing sugar-free gum can also be an effective way to clean teeth, because it produces saliva, which defends against decay, and brings mouths back to a neutral pH level.
  • It doesn’t matter if your child uses a manual or electric toothbrush. What’s important is that the brushing lasts for at least two minutes! Electric toothbrushes often have built-in timers, so this feature can be effective.
  • Don’t let your child rinse the toothpaste away right after brushing! The fluoride in the toothpaste can keep protecting his or her teeth for 30 minutes. Children under three should use toothpaste with 1,000 fluoride parts per million, while children over three should use adult toothpaste that contains 1,450 fluoride parts per million.

For many parents, the first time they took their children to the dentist was when their children were at least one year old. However, parents should set their first appointment for when their children’s teeth begin to come out, which is around five to six months old. Further oral health tips for children can be found here.

This past spring, we welcomed Dr. Van, our Pediatric Dentist, onto our caring team at the Wellesley Dental Group! Dr. Van strongly believes in the importance of creating a fun and welcoming atmosphere for patients as well as parents. One of his goals is to introduce good dental habits to our youth, preventing dental diseases later on in life.

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://mouafaqbtc.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/06/b4054a_0d4b9e685762e624649fbf8898f77c87.jpg

http://www.express.co.uk/life-style/health/609471/Children-dental-care-truths-myths

http://www.thedentistar.com/images/import/images/glenview-kids-dentist.jpg

http://www.npr.org/sections/thesalt/2014/06/09/319230765/fruit-juice-vs-soda-both-beverages-pack-in-sugar-and-health-risk

Are Summer Foods Ruining Your Smile?

July 14th, 2015

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From sunny afternoons by the poolside to perfect evenings under the stars, summer is the best time to relax, be adventurous, and most importantly, to smile. Many of us also enjoy summer for the delicious foods, fruit juices, and tropical cocktails. Although a summer diet may appear healthy, there are some cravings that are harmful to your teeth that may take you by surprise.

Here are some treats that can damage your teeth and gums:

Juices sometimes contain a higher amount of sugar than soda.

Many people are aware that candy and soda can erode tooth enamel, but how about fruit drinks? Although some juices, smoothies, and cocktails contain many good nutrients, many of the drinks we consume during the summer are acidic and contain a high amount of sugar per serving. Sugars can cling to teeth and harm your pearly whites by feeding the bacteria in your mouth. This process produces acids that can sometimes irreversibly damage teeth.

As it becomes hotter, make sure to keep a glass of water by your side. Also, it is best to drink juice through a straw so that the juice has a harder time sticking to the surface of your teeth. Wait to brush your teeth at least 45-minutes after consuming sugary or acidic foods/drinks, as brushing them immediately after can leave them more susceptible to damage.

Dried Fruit

Dried fruit is often sticky and packed with sugar that can harm teeth the same way that candies do. Instead, opt for crisp apples or pears.

Chewable Vitamins

Gummy vitamins are not much better for our mouths than regular gummy candies. They often stick to the surfaces of teeth and can hide in hard-to-reach places, leading to tooth decay. It is best to take vitamins in pill form.

Popcorn

We often turn to popcorn as a snack choice, especially at the movies. Yet, popcorn is famous for getting stuck in your teeth and in areas that are hard to reach with a toothbrush. Make sure to brush and floss after consuming popcorn.

Peanut Butter and Jelly

Although a delicious and easy-to-make sandwich, peanut butter and Jelly is sticky and high in sugar content. Make sure to check nutrition labels and look for natural peanut butters and sugar-free jelly.

Salad Dressing

Salad dressings often give a nice taste to salad, but the vinegar and sugar inside the dressings can harm your smile. Avoid drenching your healthy salad with too much dressing.

Barbecue sauce

Barbecues are a great part of summer, however, the sweet barbecue sauce can cause tooth discoloration and even lead to cavities if proper oral habits are not implemented.

Vinegar with Vegetables

While the vegetables are healthy, adding vinegar, which is acidic, can harm your teeth and smile.

Wine

While red and white wine has its benefits, they also can cause trouble for your teeth. Red wine can cause staining, and the acids in white wine can damage your enamel. When consuming wine, accompany it with cheese, which is rich in nutrients including protein, calcium and phosphorus, to help fight the acids.

 

Don't fall into the sweet summer temptations that can harm your smile! There are many products sold that brand themselves as healthy products, however, sometimes the ingredients can cause damage to your teeth. It is important to remember that along with brushing, flossing, visiting the dentist, and practicing other good oral health habits, your diet plays a significant role in the health of your teeth. Make sure that your smile sparkles by monitoring the foods and drinks you consume this summer.

 

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://time.com/3907886/teeth-damage-causes/

http://summertomato.com/10-foods-you-didnt-know-were-damaging-your-teeth/

http://wallhornet.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/05/fresh-summer-drink-wallpaper-hd.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

What is Sending Kids to Hospitals in UK?

August 18th, 2014

Researchers at the National Health Service of England have found staggering figures concerning how many primary school children are being admitted to the hospital each week due to oral health problems.  Almost 500 children per week are being admitted to hospitals with rotten teeth.  In fact, most of the admitted children need between four and eight of their baby teeth taken out.  In some cases, all 20 baby teeth have been extracted.

The research concludes that more than 1 in 4 five-year-olds have some type of tooth decay and in some areas of England, it is even more prevalent.  Last month, the National Health Services of England encouraged people to cut down on sugar consumption due to recent spikes in obesity and type 2 diabetes in the country.  Similarly, it seems that sugar is also the culprit for the rising rates of tooth decay in children as well.  More specifically, the Health and Social Care Information Centre concluded that of children ages five to nine, 25,812 children were admitted to a hospital for dental problems between 2013 and 2014.  This makes tooth decay the most common reason kids are admitted to the hospital in the UK.

Kathryn Harley, a consultant in pediatric dentistry at the Edinburgh Dental Institute, said, "We have children who require all 20 of their baby teeth to be extracted. It beggars belief that their diets could produce such a drastic effect.  They are going into hospital because they are either presenting with acute problems with pain or because the stage of dental disease, the number of teeth with decay, is such that they need a general anesthetic."

Dentists are urging parents to limit and monitor the amount of fizzy soda drinks and fruit juices that their children are drinking.  The new National Health Services advises women to have five to six teaspoons of sugar a day while men should have seven to eight teaspoons.  Currently, the average person in Britain consumes 15 teaspoons of sugar a day.  A can of Coca-Cola has eight teaspoons of sugar in it and a cup of fruit juice has about five teaspoons of sugar.

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.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2690441/500-children-suffering-tooth-decay-hospitalised-WEEK-sugary-drinks-fruit-juice-toll.html

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/health/healthnews/10964323/Tooth-decay-is-the-biggest-cause-of-primary-school-children-being-hospitalised.html

Image credit: http://i.huffpost.com/gen/650575/thumbs/r-KIDS-DRINKING-POP-large570.jpg

What is 'Mountain Dew Mouth'?

August 7th, 2014

Many people are aware of the negative health consequences of consuming too much soda like obesity or diabetes.  The term "Mountain Dew mouth" was coined by public health advocates to specifically describe the phenomenon of eroded, brown teeth that result from the overconsumption of the sugary drink.  Specifically, a region of the United States called Appalachia, which spans from southern New York to parts of Alabama, has faced unusually high incidents of Mountain Dew Mouth.

There are many contributing factors to this phenomenon in Appalachia mountains including food stamps that allow the purchase of sodas, lack of access to dental care in these remote and underserved areas, and the overall popularity of Mountain Dew.  Although all types of soda contribute to tooth decay, Mountain Dew is seen as one of the most harmful to oral health because of its unusually high sugar content.  In fact, recent studies have even compared the tooth decay effects of Mountain Dew on teeth to "meth mouth" because the rates of erosion are similar.

"I see erosion from the acids in the drinks, and decay from the sugars," says Steven Ghareeb, who is the spokesman for the Academy of General Dentistry, "They go hand in hand many times, and they're equally bad. I would definitely attribute these problems to drinks." Both sodas and energy drinks, he says, "are more damaging than food."

The high sugar content in sodas interact with the bacteria that exist in our mouths to form an acid that attacks the teeth.  Even diet sodas are extremely acidic and can still have a harmful effect on teeth.  Constant contact between soda and tooth enamel causes the weakening of the enamel which leads to eroded and decayed teeth.  Children and adolescents are even more impacted by this because their tooth enamel is still in development.

Some ways to combat the harmful effects of any soda include: sipping soda from a straw, limiting your daily intake of the sugary drink, and drinking plenty of water throughout the day.  Furthermore, dentists recommend that sodas should not be sipped for extended periods of time or shortly before bedtime.

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.

Sources:

http://abcnews.go.com/Health/story?id=6863173&page=2

http://www.npr.org/blogs/thesalt/2013/09/12/221845853/mountain-dew-mouth-is-destroying-appalachias-teeth

http://dentistry.about.com/od/dentaltermsm/g/mountaindewmouth.htm

http://www.wda.org/your-oral-health/sip-all-day

Image credit: http://media.tumblr.com/ef22235a4fee216c30c08a109e2ab322/tumblr_inline_mhty3sa6br1qz4rgp.jpg

Bioteeth: the Possibility of Biological Tooth Replacement

January 31st, 2014

man woman happy smile

Scientists have recently created a method for replacing missing teeth through the use of bio-engineered material developed from a person’s own gum cells. Up until now, dentists have been using implant-based methods to accommodate tooth loss. However, with this new breakthrough in dental research, perhaps patients may be able to receive a biological tooth replacement down the road!

Professor Paul Sharpe, a specialist in craniofacial development and stem cell biology King’s College London, published his findings in the Journal of Dental Research and was excited to present studies showing promising results on creating of “bio-teeth,” which is the generation of immature teeth that are similar those found in embryo. Professor Sharpe believes that these can be transplanted into adults and eventually develop to become perfectly functioning teeth. The team’s research showed that these embryonic immature teeth can grow normally in the adult mouth and may potentially be used clinically.

So far, the researchers have been able to isolate epithelial cells derived adult human gum tissue taken from patients at the Dental Institute at King’s College London. They were grown in the lab and then combined with mice cells that were known to form teeth. Through transplanting, Professor Sharpe and his team were created hybrid human/mouse teeth that had formed dentine and enamel, along with viable roots. This research shows that these easily accessible epithelial cells may be a feasible source for creating the human bio-tooth. Professor Sharpe explains there is still some ways to go in the progress of creating bio-teeth. Still more research needs to be done in identifying adult sources of specific epithelial cells, which are cells that line the surfaces of structures throughout the body; these cells may be the key in forming bio-tooth. Currently, scientists have only been able to create viable teeth through the use of embryonic cells; it is important for more research to be done to look for ways to manipulate adult human cells to develop into tooth. With more effort dedicated to this field of research, researches may one day be able to make bio-teeth a reality in patients needing teeth replacement!

But for now, patients have the opportunity to receive implants, which have been a successful method in dentistry to replace teeth. Usually made from titanium, implants are placed within the bone; quite amazingly, the bone in the jaw accepts the new structure and the implant readily fuses with the bone. Dentists have been using this method for restoring a single tooth and even a group of teeth that could have gone missing due to significant tooth decay or fracture.

If you believe that you may be in need of dental implants, feel free to contact Drs. Ali & Ali and the caring team at Wellesley Dental Group; 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.

References:

Journal of Dental Research

WebMD

CEREC: restoration in one visit!

April 16th, 2013

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With CEREC treatment, patients only need to make one trip to the dentist with a procedure that can be carried out within the hour. There is no need for impressions, cementations, and even time spent waiting for the crown to come back from the lab. Because a short period of time is needed, patients only need to go through one round of Novocain. CEREC also takes faster photographic images of the tooth needing the procedure, this greatly reduces the patient’s time exposed to harmful x-rays.

While it has been the standard to implement porcelain fused to metal crowns for posterior restoration that requires full-coverage, these crowns require an extensive loss of tooth structure, is proven to be an allergen for some, and also lacks in aesthetics. CEREC provides patients with beautiful porcelain moldings that bear an identical shade to that of the patient’s tooth enamel. Once these crowns are in the mouth, they are barely distinguishable from the rest of the teeth, giving a picture perfect smile. On top of that, porcelain has been shown to be completely safe and healthy in patients, and is also known to be more durable and comfortable.

If you believe a CEREC crown procedure is right for you, Drs. Ali & Ali and the caring team at Wellesley Dental Group will be happy to answer your questions about tooth restorations. Contact us today at 781-237-9071 or smile@wellesleydentalgroup.com to set up an appointment and consultation.

 

Sources:

CEREC Online

Feeling the burn

April 12th, 2013

The burning mouth syndrome (BMS) has been noted as a chronic and painful condition known by burning sensations in the tongue, lips, roof of the mouth, gums, insides of the cheeks, and also the back of the mouth or throat. While dentists are still puzzled by this condition, the burning mouth syndrome has shown to be seven times more frequent in women than in men. Studies have shown that, in general, those who have dealt with this syndrome are middle aged.

Symptoms that have been documented to be prominent for BMS includes a pain or burning sensation that starts out in the mornings, but progressively worsens throughout the day, eventually reaching its worst during the evenings. Some have reported to feel pain that continues to persist throughout the day and some even say that the pain comes in here and there.

Although the cause of BMS has not been fully uncovered, dentists have their hunches of what factors may be related to this burning sensation; here are just a few:

Nutritional deficiencies: individuals who lack proper amounts of iron, folate and vitamin B complex have be linked with the burning sensation in the mouth; to counter this effect, some dentists believe that supplementing with B vitamin’s and minerals such as zinc and iron my relieve some of the pain.

Dry mouth: those who experience dry mouth have also reported a burning sensation as well; to reduce dry mouth, it is recommended to continue to stay hydrated throughout the day to lessen the symptoms that comes with this condition.

Diabetes: diabetics are known to be more vulnerable when it comes to oral infections, which is a possible culprit to burning mouth sensations; diabetics should continue to be mindful of blood sugar levels as to prevent the start up of burning mouth and may potentially lessen the symptoms that are related to this condition.

Menopause: as stated earlier, dentists believe that women are more likely to suffer from BMS, and it’s been thought that menopause attributes to this reason. Hormonal changes are shown to trigger the burning sensation in middle-aged women; hormone replacement therapy has been shown to be effective in treating the burning sensation in certain patients.

While dentists continue to find appropriate methods to find a way to counter BMS, there are several tips that may relieve the burning sensation you may be experiencing:

  • Don’t use mouthwash that contains alcohol
  • Don’t use toothpaste that contains sodium lauryl sulfate
  • Keep away from alcoholic beverages
  • Keep away from beverages with high acidity (sodas, juices)
  • Continue to stay hydrated

If you believe that you are experiencing burning sensations in your mouth, it is important to visit your dentist to discuss the symptoms and possible reasons for why this condition started occurring. If you have more concerns about this issue, 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:

Your Dentistry Guide

National Institute of Health

 

Preventing Teeth Staining

April 4th, 2013

After appointments for tooth whitening and countless nights of whitening strips, you may still find yourself struggling with teeth staining. But what exactly causes the staining? Dentists explain that are certain foods and drinks that are prone to staining teeth.

To start off, foods and drinks with intense color tend to be big culprits of staining. The higher the pigmentation in color, the more likely it will cause a deeper stain. The color that is inherent in these foods comes from chromogens, which are highly colored molecules that have a strong affinity to dental enamel. This means that these molecules are more likely to stick and stay on your teeth. Acidic foods and drinks, even ones that may not be considered intensely colored, also lead to staining due to the erosion of dental enamel. These types of food tend to soften teeth, which makes it easier for chromogens to stick on. Another promoter of teeth includes tannins, which are food compounds that enhance chromogens’ ability to attach enamel.

Here are various foods and drinks that may leave you susceptible to teeth-staining:

Wine: red wine is considered an acidic beverage that holds both chromogens and tannins. Also, don’t be fooled! White wine, although almost colorless, also promotes staining. The New York University School of Dentistry presented studies that demonstrated that teeth exposed to tea were more likely to be more severely stained if they were previously exposed to white wine.

Tea: black tea is very saturated with stain-promoting tannins Dentists state that tea may leave teeth even more severely stained than coffee, which is chromogen-rich, but low in tannins. However, if you are a tea-lover and need your daily fix, some less teeth-staining alternatives include herbal, green and white teas.

Cola: it is obvious that this deep brown beverage (which is highly acidic and chromogen-rich) causes major teeth stain, but what you may not know is that the acidity of light-colored soft drinks also leads to a sufficient amount of teeth staining. Try your best to cut down on these carbonated drinks and reach for less acidic alternative.

Sports drinks: we know of the harmful effects of sports drinks on teeth enamel, and sure enough, the weakening of teeth enamel leads to more susceptibility to staining. Read more about these effects in our post Hold the Gatorade!

[caption id="attachment_4490" align="alignright" width="300" caption="Photo by epSos.de"][/caption]

Berries: although strawberries and blueberries are high in anti-oxidants and are known to be healthy food choices, they are highly pigmented in color and are very likely to stain teeth.

Sweets: after working through a lollipop, you may sometimes find yourself with a different colored tongue; this is a good indicator that hard candies, chewing gum, and popsicles can also lead to stains as well

Although there are many foods and beverages that can cause teeth staining, that doesn’t mean that cannot be eaten; just be sure to brush well! Dentists also suggest using straws to sip on beverages that are acidic and highly pigmented in nature. Swallowing stain-causing foods quickly also helps to protect your teeth. Swishing and rinsing after consuming and drinking can also lessen the acidity and remove the substances that cause teeth staining.

If you have any concerns, 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:

Webmd

The Huffington Post

 

Hold the Gatorade!

April 4th, 2013

The harmful effects of energy and sports drinks


[caption id="attachment_4473" align="alignright" width="300" caption="Image by Joel Klal"][/caption]

Many people give the excuse that they’d rather drink energy drinks and sports drinks because they believe that they are healthier than soda when it comes to oral health. However, this is quite far from the truth, explains researcher Poonam Jian, an associate professor and director of community dentistry at the Southern Illinois University School of Dental Medicine. Jian’s study, which was published in General Dentistry, looked at 13 different sport drinks and nine energy drinks for acidity. 6 drinks were tested and their effects on tooth enamel were determined. Jain and his team had acquired enamel samples, which were immersed in the different drinks for 15 minutes, stimulating an individual drinking the energy or sports drink in real life. It was found that both sports drinks and energy drinks resulted in tooth damage, where there was significant enamel loss. The average enamel lost with sports drinks was about 1.5% and the average loss for energy drink was more than 3%.

Researchers have listed Gatorade Blue as the sports drinks with the highest acidity, next to Hydr8. Other energy drinks containing high acidity content include:

  • Red Bull Sugarfree
  • Monster Assault
  • 5-hour Energy
  • Von Dutch
  • Rockstar

Because of their sugary content, both teens and young adults alike tend to consider these drinks as their favorite go-to beverages. Up to half of U.S. teens and young adults indulge in energy drinks, and studies have shown that more than half have at least one sports drink a day. To counter this, Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin and Senator Richard Blumenthal have been trying to bring about change by urging top energy drink makers to stop marketing to children. Durbin and Blumenthal sent letters to the CEOs of Monster, Red Bull and Rockstar that highlighted examples of ways these companies have been reaching out to children, including sponsoring high school sporting events and Little League games. This is a great start in weaning teens and young adults off of these drinks, and perhaps a good step forward in bringing about awareness of the drinks’ harmful effects.

Although it will be a difficult task to convince these major energy and sports drinks companies to limit their advertisements, it is important to be aware these drinks’ consequences on oral health. Jian suggests although it is best to cut these drinks out completely, but he understands that it is difficult to give them up completely. He provides some tips to minimize the intake of these drinks. Jian explains that diluting the drinks and not brushing immediately after drinking them would help lower the amount of acid intake and prevent the spreading of acid in the mouth.

As you make another trip to the market to purchase more beverages, be mindful of the content of these drinks and think of the consequences they may have on your oral health! If you have any concerns, 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:

WebMD

Sun Times

Safety and Infection Control at the Dentist

April 3rd, 2013

[caption id="attachment_4454" align="alignright" width="300" caption="Image from IntelligentDental.com"][/caption]

Recent news reports have come out regarding dental practice safety and infection control, notably, involving a Tulsa, Oklahoma practice. We want to take a moment and share what we do to ensure the safety of our patients. We take universal precautions in sterilization practices that are applied to everyone who comes through the doors of Wellesley Dental Group. Our top concern is in abiding by strict infection control guidelines for the health of our patients, team, and Drs.; “Do No Harm” is our mantra.

Every day, every hour, and every minute we adhere to a very strict regimen to disinfect and sterilize everything that comes into contact with our patients. We want to let you in on the behind-the-scenes processes that are as much a part of our routine as the teeth cleaning, crowns, and x-rays we do every day.

  • Hand washing
    • We wash our hands consistently, especially before and after interacting with any patients.
    • We follow the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) Bloodborne Pathogens Standards.
  • Plastic barriers are placed on all surfaces that are potentially touched to prevent any cross contamination:
    • Before any patient enters, the operatory is cleaned with a medical grade disinfectant and all plastic barriers are changed. Disinfected surfaces include equipment and surfaces, such as x-ray units and countertops.
    • Masks and safety glasses are worn.
    • Gloves are worn at all times and are changed between every patient.
    • Sometimes numerous gloves are thrown out during particularly long procedures for a given patient. We go through boxes upon boxes of gloves every day.
    • All pillows, light handles, etc, are draped with protective covers.
  • All disposable instruments (needles, suction tips, etc) are disposed after one use. These instruments are disposed in puncture resistant biohazard containers.
  • Non-disposable instruments are sterilized in small, individual packages in our autoclave. The autoclaving process destroys all forms of microbial life.
    • Instruments (drills, filling and cleaning instruments, etc) are brought to the sterilization room
    • The instruments are scrubbed by hand and washed.
    • Steeped in a solution for 20 minutes as they undergo an ultrasonic bath
    • Dried and placed into special, small, individually wrapped packages
    • These packages are then autoclaved.
    • After the autoclaving, there is a color indicator on the package that changes, confirming that process was done correctly.

When it comes to knowing whether the autoclave works correctly every time, we don’t solely rely on the color indicator on the packages. Our autoclave is a brand-name, state of the art machine that blasts instruments with extreme heat and high, steam pressure in an airtight enclosure. Every week, to ensure it is working according to the manufacturer’s standards, we do a spore test.

  • We put a closed packet of spores into the autoclave
  • The packet undergoes the autoclaving process
  • The autoclaved packet is then sent to an independent lab for analysis.
  • To pass the test, all spores must be inactivated.

[caption id="attachment_4457" align="aligncenter" width="600" caption="Image from Med101Dental.com"][/caption]

We take the safety of our patients very seriously and will continue to follow the highest standards laid forth by the CDC, AGD, and OSHA. As members of the AGD (Academy of General Dentistry), we strive to stay ahead of the curve when it comes to protecting our patients from the transmission of diseases. We think that AGD President Jeffrey M. Cole, DDS, MBA, FAGD sums up our beliefs very concisely:

“Because many dental procedures involve direct contact with blood and saliva, safety protocols are put in place to help stop the spread of disease. Heat sterilization of dental instruments helps prevent the spread of diseases like hepatitis and HIV. By following stringent best practices, AGD dentists maintain a commitment to patient health and safety. If your dentist is an AGD member, you can be confident that he or she strives to provide the best quality care to their patients by utilizing the most current safety protocols.”

Our patients can always expect the highest standards of quality and care. If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to be in touch with us. Drs. Ali & Ali and the caring team at Wellesley Dental Group are infection control advocates; we will be happy to answer any questions you may have. Contact us today at 781-237-9071 or smile@wellesleydentalgroup.com!

 

Sources:

AGD:

OSHA

CDC

 

Pediatric Cavities Reach Record High

October 2nd, 2012

A combination of the food we eat and our culture is drastically changing children's oral health. We wish it was for the better!

Our society moves at a rapid pace, which means more meals and snacks are consumed on the go. Furthermore, because of our fast paced nature, we turn to fast food and unhealthy, sometimes sugary snacks rather than nutritious options. This results in an elevated number of cavities in children.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released a statement saying that "28 percent of preschoolers in the U.S. experience decay in primary or "baby teeth." And for the first time in four decades the number is increasing. Currently, among children 2 to 5 years old, one in five has untreated cavities."

Poor diet, drinking bottled water (no fluoride) versus tap, and going to bed with sippy cups are all culprits of the rise in pediatric cavities. Also, because many people are out of work in the recession, without dental insurance, visits to the dentist can't be afforded.

The dental society states:

"A dentist should examine a child as soon as primary teeth begin to appear, usually during the first six months and no later than the first birthday. This is similar to a 'well-baby' checkup, and it will not only identify potential problems, it gets the child used to visiting the dentist at an early age."

Some tips for preventing tooth decay in children are:

- Wipe a baby's gums after feeding with a clean, moist cloth to ensure all residue is removed.

- When two teeth appear that are touching, gently floss between them.

- Avoid giving children sports drinks and soda.

Drs. Ali & Ali are more than happy to answer any questions you have about pediatric oral care or any other concern. Contact us today at 781-237-9071 or smile@wellesleydentalgroup.com!

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.

 

Five Reasons to Not Drink Soda

July 30th, 2012

There have been multiple studies done on why drinking soda isn't good for you. Besides lacking any nutritional value, it has been linked to obesity and diabetes among other things. However, there are several other detrimental effects that come from soda consumption.

One major concern is the artificial caramel color used in colas. The Nonprofit Center for Science in the Public Interest conducted a study and found that two contaminants in the coloring have been linked to cancer in animals.

There is also the issue of "Mountain Dew Mouth." Children who drink too much Mountain Dew typically have numerous cavities in their teeth. The same can be said for any type of soda with excess sugar. There's also an added ingredient called brominated vegetable oil (BVO) that is used to prevent loss of flavor. Did you know that this is also used as a flame retardant in plastics? Are you sure you want that can of soda?

You can read the article in full to learn other reasons to switch out soda for a healthier beverage. Also, as always, free to contact us with any questions at 781-237-9071 or smile@wellesleydentalgroup.com!

Acidic Drinks and Tooth Erosion

May 2nd, 2012

Have you ever taken a moment to think about what soda is doing to your teeth? Dentists have talked about the damaging effects of soda and other sugary, carbonated drinks on teeth for a long time. However, people still consume too much of them on a daily basis.

Research also shows that acidic fruit juice, such as orange juice, and energy drinks are just as corrosive to enamel. Constant consumption bathes the teeth in a sugary, acidic mixture that strips away tooth enamel over time.

What’s important to remember about enamel erosion is that it’s far more dangerous than decay. This is because by drinking these harmful beverages, you are exposing teeth to its corrosive properties all at once. Serious break down of the teeth can occur and may result in crowns or dentures depending on the severity.

You don’t have to give up these types of drinks all together. Like anything, moderation is key. There are techniques you can implement to help minimize erosion.

1. If you drink the acidic beverage all at once, instead of sipping it all day, you won’t constantly bathe teeth in acid or excess sugar.

2. By using a straw, you avoid having the liquid wash your teeth in the harmful acid and sugar.

3. Rinse your mouth with water after consuming acidic or sugary beverages.

4. Make a healthier choice and opt for water.

Drink to your oral health

November 16th, 2010

Coffee, tea, soda, diet soda, wine, orange juice, milk – they’re beverages we have grown to know, enjoy, and even crave.  Sometimes we feel the need to justify why we MUST go through the drive-thru at Dunkin Donuts for coffee; scientific studies showing the healthy benefits of caffeine then come to our aid.

Rarely, however, do we think about the oral health benefits and affects of beverages. This is why I’m writing to you. Sure, it’s pretty clear that over time drinking coffee will stain our teeth, but here are some tips that may guide you as you are sipping away.

1.)    Rinse your mouth out (with water) – When you’ve consumed a highly pigmented drink like coffee, rinse your mouth out with water after drinking it. The swooshing action of the water will reduce the amount of time the coffee remains on your teeth.

2.)    Be aware of acidic drinks. It may be our tendency to want to brush right after drinking soda (often producing a horrible taste) but that can actually be MORE harmful to your teeth. The rule of thumb is to rinse out with water after having soda and acidic juices like orange juice, grapefruit juice, or wine, wait an hour or so, and then brush. Brushing immediately after drinking these can actually spread the acid all over your teeth. Acid in the mouth can cause cavities and pitting on the surface of our teeth. It can also eat away at our enamel.

3.)    Straws are not just for kids. Straws are actually a great tool to help our teeth. They allow the acidity from juices and colas to by-pass the front of our mouth. Plus it’s fun!

4.)    Avoid sipping all day long. Drinking at mealtime, as opposed to sipping throughout the day, will help us limit exposure of acid and sugars on our teeth. If you’ll be drinking, do it in a shorter period of time. Children should be encouraged to drink at mealtime also – carrying around a sippy cup and drinking from it sporadically can be harmful to children’s teeth.  Water is the only exception to this “rule.”  In fact, fluoride from the local drinking water supply is something that can help protect your teeth from decay.

5.)    It’s only milk– Milk is touted for building healthy bones, but it also has lots of sugar! Ever wondered how a toddler could have cavities? Constant sipping of milk could be one of the reasons why. Again, it’s about limiting the amount of time sugars and acids are on our teeth. Brushing or wiping a child’s gums and teeth after drinking milk is a great way to help them fight cavities.

6.) White wine can actually hurt our teeth more than red wine! White wine acts      as an abrasive on our teeth due to its acidity, so drinking red wine after white wine may produce greater staining than red wine alone. If you must drink white wine before red wine, rinse out your mouth first.  Also avoid drinking any dark drink after white wine.

7.) Here’s the good news - Green tea can help fight cavities – studies have shown that green and white tea contains ingredients that kill the same bacteria and acids that create plaque.

If you have any additional dental news you’ve read or heard about, please pass it along to me at ejaz@wellesleydentalgroup.com.  Thank you for reading these drinking tips. Your smile will thank you.  It was Phyllis Diller that said, and I completely agree with her, “A smile is a curve that sets everything straight.”

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