sports drinks

Merry and Bright Teeth for the Holidays!

December 21st, 2018

As the holidays approach, your dentist and teeth may not be high on your list of things to think about. But, it's important to keep your oral health in mind so that you can enter 2019 with a healthy start! Take a look at these tips so that you can enjoy the holidays while keeping your teeth and gums healthy and bright:

1. Don't forget your oral health routine

Be sure to keep up your routine of brushing at least twice a day for two minutes, rinsing, and flossing. If you're looking for stocking stuffer ideas, toothbrushes are a great option! Toothbrushes should be replaced once the bristles look worn or approximately every 3 to 4 months. When looking for toothpaste, make sure to buy toothpaste with the ADA Seal of Acceptance and fluoride to help prevent cavities. Also, if your due for your dental visit make sure to schedule!

2. Protect your teeth

It may be tempting to use your teeth for situations other than chewing and speaking. You may get the urge to bite your nails to relieve stress, or use your teeth to open packages or bottles, but avoid using your teeth as tools at all costs! Be sure to grab scissors or a bottle opener instead of your teeth. Poor habits can lead to jaw problems, facial pain, sensitive teeth, and can even lead to cracked or loss of teeth.

3. Stay hydrated

Keep water by your side during the holidays and avoid sodas, juices, and sports drinks as they contain high amounts of sugar and create acids that can weaken your tooth enamel. Water with fluoride in it can keep your teeth strong, which is particularly important as you may be indulging in sweet holiday treats! Drinking water can also help keep skin healthy and glowing, and help eliminate bad breath.

4. Avoid chewing hard candies or ice cubes

The sugar in hard candies is just one thing to worry about. Crunching on hard candy can cause chipped or cracked teeth. Also avoid chewing on ice cubes as they could cause chipped teeth or cold sensitivity. Instead, let the ice dissolve naturally and try to stay away from hard or sticky candies that can weaken your tooth enamel.

 

It may not be easy to stay away from sweets and goodies during the holiday, but try your best to keep your teeth a priority!

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.mouthhealthy.org/en/babies-and-kids/holiday-healthy-teeth-tips

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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/

Why Sports Drinks Shouldn't be a Social Norm

August 23rd, 2016

sports

As we all know, exercise is necessary for maintaining a healthy body. It's important to make sure our youth are staying active and getting their daily dose of exercise. However, children who play sports often turn to readily available sports drinks including Gatorade, Powerade, and Vitamin Water to quench their thirst after a hard workout. In addition, now research has found that an increasing amount of 12-14 year olds drink sports drinks just for social reasons. According to a survey conducted by Cardiff University School of Dentistry, individuals who drink sports drinks, whether after exercising or just for fun, increase their risk of obesity and tooth decay.

The study involved 160 children in four schools across South Wales and found that children are increasingly consuming sports drinks because of their low price, sweet taste, and availability. Approximately 80 of the children reported that they drink sports drinks socially, whereas only 18% said they drink them due to the advertised performance enhancing effect.

Unfortunately, many parents and children do not know the health dangers of consuming sports drinks. These drinks contain a high amount of sugar and a low pH level, making the drinks highly acidic leading to an increased risk of obesity, cavities, and enamel erosion. The Faculty of Sport and Exercise Medicine (FSEM) is trying create harsher regulations for the marketing of sports drinks, particularly in areas around schools.

Instead of opting for sports drinks, water is the best option for both children and adults to choose when hydrating. It will protect your dental health and overall health in the long run!

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:

https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2016/06/160627095627.htm

http://www.atlantismagazine.net/images/dehydration-in-summer-1.gif

Sugar-Free Doesn't Mean Tooth-Friendly!

December 7th, 2015

We often believe that beverages or treats labeled as "sugar-free" are safe for our teeth.  However, this is a misconception. According to researchers at the University of Melbourne's Oral Health Cooperative Research Centre (Oral Health CRC), sugar-free soft drinks and candies can harm tooth enamel as much as those that contain sugar.

These scientists claim that reducing sugar intake does not always result in a lower risk of tooth decay. Instead, the chemicals in drinks with artificially sweetening can cause tooth decay.  The chief executive of the Oral Health CRC claims that although a decreased intake of sugar can reduce some risk of dental decay, the acids in the treats and beverages can still lead to erosion of teeth. Also, acid can dissolve tooth enamel and even expose the soft pulp in the tooth's interior if the erosion progresses further.

Researchers analyzed the impacts of drinks and treats labeled as sugar-free on dental health by studying a mix of 23 different sugar-free sports drinks, soft drinks, and candies. They observed that they contain acidic additives and low pH levels, which are extremely harmful to tooth enamel. The researchers also discovered that most of the sugar-free beverages softened the enamel by around 30 to 50 percent, and even sugar-free candies labeled as "tooth-friendly" caused damage to the enamel.

One of the main concerns is the high rate of dental decay among children. He affirms that one in three children experience tooth erosion, and that this rate could increase now that there are more and more sugar-free products. Try avoiding buying sugar-free products that contain ingredients such as acidic additives citric acid and phosphoric acid.

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.

Resources:

http://www.healthnewsline.net/even-tooth-friendly-drinks-can-cause-dental-erosion-study/2533972/

http://www.thegoodshoppingguide.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/03/soft-drinks.jpe

Back-to-School Dental Habits

August 20th, 2015

school

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

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

Avoid Stocking Your Fridge at Home With Unhealthy Foods

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

Fruits and Dairy Products

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

Say NO to Sticky and Sugary Foods/Beverages

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

Practice and Promote Proper Dental Care

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

Feel free to contact Drs. Ali & Ali and the caring team at Wellesley Dental Group if you have any thoughts or concerns; they will be happy to answer your questions! Contact us today at 781-237-9071 or smile@wellesleydentalgroup.com to set up an appointment and consultation.

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

References:

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2015/07/150731182845.htm

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

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

June 2nd, 2015

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June is finally here and it will be hard for many of us to resist a cold drink on a hot summer day. With the many family barbecues and outings, you're sure to be in for a treat this summer. During the warmer months, there are many tasty foods and drinks at our convenience. However, some of these items aren’t so tooth-friendly. As we all know, it is important to limit the amount of sugary foods and drinks we intake to ensure a healthy smile. For the health of your mouth, which links to your overall health, try adding these healthy options to your plate and glass this summer:

Drink, Drink, and Drink more water:

A nice glass of water can be a refreshing drink as you relax by the poolside. Water is important for staying hydrated, especially when your active and the sun is shining. Your smile will also thank you if you rinse your mouth with water after meals. Water, particularly tap water, even has the benefit of containing fluoride.

Watermelon:

Watermelon, made of 92% water, is another tasty  and healthy snack that will keep you hydrated this summer. It contains  lycopene, which helps keep skin protected. Also, many foods that are mainly composed of water have fewer calories. Your kids may even enjoy making watermelon popsicles!

Milk:

Milk is a great alternative to sugary drinks because it has been found to reduce levels of acid produced by plaque bacteria. Milk helps remineralize teeth by providing calcium to keep your teeth strong.

Sugar-Free Gum:

Chewing sugar-free gum can help to stimulate saliva flow and ultimately help to wash away left behind foods. However, it is not clear whether or not xylitol, commonly found in sugar-free gum, actually lowers the risk of developing dental cavities.

Strawberries:

Strawberries are in season and packed with healthy ingredients. Strawberries contain malic acid, which is known to whiten enamel. They also contain many antioxidants and vitamin C, which can help to regulate blood pressure and cholesterol, and promote eye health.

Cheese:

Cheese is full of calcium, the protein casein, and vitamin D, all good for the health of your teeth. Researchers have discovered that cheese helps increases the pH levels of dental plaque, helping to reduce tooth decay.

Pears:

Pears contain a wealth of fiber that will benefit your teeth. They help to produce saliva and lower plaque levels in the mouth.

Apples:

Crispy apples are full of vitamins and nutrients. Full of water and lots of fiber, apples help to scrub and clean the surface of your teeth.

Vegetables:

Veggies ranging from carrots rich in Vitamin A to dark leafy greens rich in iron, can make a great snack to chew on. Including vegetables in your diet is essential for the health of your teeth and body.

Cranberries:

Research has suggested that cranberries help lower the risk of cavities by helping to keep plaque from sticking to teeth. But, you may want to pay attention to the labels on cranberry products, as many of them can contain added sugars to compensate for their naturally tart flavor.

 

Some foods and drinks that are hard-to-resist, but should be avoided to keep strong and healthy teeth, include:

 

Soft Drinks, Sports Drinks, Sweet Tea, and Juice: Drinking a cold soda may sound refreshing, but it is damaging to tooth enamel. It can also dehydrate your body and make you feel more thirsty. Even sports drinks, artificially sweetened drinks, and concentrated fruit juice contain sugars for the bacteria in dental plaque to feed on and produce harmful acids. The acid then tears away at tooth enamel and can eventually lead to tooth decay. Highly acidic drinks can even cause heartburn and stomach pain. Sipping on these drinks throughout the day rather than at meal times should also be avoided because saliva production is not at its peak. Saliva is important for washing away bacteria and food particles.

Ice Cream:

The many flavors of ice cream are delicious, but unfortunately is full of sugar. Some individuals may also experience tooth sensitivity. Sensitive teeth results when the dentin underneath tooth enamel becomes exposed. This can cause pain, but can be treated. If you do have a taste for ice cream, try and select ice cream with less sugar.

Citrus Fruits:

As we all know, limes, lemons, oranges, and grapefruits are very acidic. These fruits contain citric acid and can be damaging to teeth if consumed frequently.

Vinegar:

A common practice, but an unhealthy one, is to mix vegetables with vinegar. This acidic combination can erode tooth enamel. Pickles are also very acidic.

Granola and Energy Bars:

These items may appear to be good for teeth, but often the dried fruit and other ingredients can be sticky, chewy, and hard to get off of teeth.

Candy: 

We all know that candy contains a lot of sugar, and should be avoided for the protection of your smile.

 

It is important to remember that if you do choose some of the not-so-healthy foods and beverages, consume them in moderation. Also, avoid snacking between meals, as acids can stick around for up to 20 minutes after eating. Not to mention, be mindful of the dyes used in many foods and beverages that can cause tooth discoloration. Practice good oral health habits and lean more towards a tooth-friendly diet.

Feel free to contact Drs. Ali & Ali and the caring team at Wellesley Dental Group if you have any thoughts or concerns; they will be happy to answer your questions! Contact us today at 781-237-9071 or smile@wellesleydentalgroup.com to set up an appointment and consultation.

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

References:

http://www.therabreath.com/articles/blog/fresh-breath-happenings/teeth-friendly-summer-food-ideas-34659.asp

http://greatist.com/health/healthy-teeth-foods

http://www.thekitchn.com/recipe-watermelon-popsicles-10713

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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!

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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

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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.

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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.

 

Sports Drinks Damage Teeth

May 9th, 2012

Did you know that there is a strong correlation between sports drinks/energy drinks and tooth enamel damage? The Academy of General Dentistry has learned just how harmful these beverages are after completing a lengthy study. Over the years, children and teens have drunk an increasing number of sports drinks, which is leading to early tooth decay.

Various brands and types of drinks were tested, such as Gatorade, Powerade, Propel, Fuze, Monster, and Red Bull. Several factors were considered, such as the frequency of consumption, the sugar content, acidic properties, etc.

The AGD found that both sports drinks and energy drinks have acidic content, sugar, and more that contributes to the breakdown of tooth enamel. Frequent consumption of these beverages can lead to serious oral problems. You can read the study in full here.

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