staining

Charcoal Toothpastes Doing More Harm than Good?

May 18th, 2019

Trending now: Charcoal toothpaste! In the past few years, you may have seen celebrities, advertisements, and Youtube videos along with other social media posts raving about using charcoal to brighten teeth. But, these notions may just be a marketing act. In fact, contrary to the advertisements, charcoal toothpastes may not be the solution for obtaining pearly whites and can also add potential risks to your oral health.



Besides just showing up in foods, beauty products, or in art pencils, toothpastes can be made with the ingredient charcoal too. As it turns out, the history of charcoal for tooth cleaning dates way back to Ancient Greek history! Activated charcoal is made by heating regular charcoal with a special gas, making it more porous. As a result, it can absorb toxins and be used medically to treat accidental poisonings. In addition, past research published in the Journal of the American Dental Association (JADA) claimed its ability for whitening, combating bad breath, and having anti-bacterial, anti-viral, and anti-fungal properties. However, the researchers stated that more evidence is needed to ensure the safety and effectiveness of charcoal toothpastes. It is also necessary to consult with a Doctor before using charcoal toothpaste because it may interfere with certain medications being consumed.

According to a review in the British Dental Journal published in May 2019,  activated charcoal may actually contribute to tooth decay and staining rather than preventing it. Based off knowledge presented in a 2017 literature review, researchers found that there is not enough evidence support the safety or efficacy of anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, or anti-viral properties, or tooth whitening claims. Further, most of the marketed charcoal toothpastes do not contain fluoride like other regular toothpastes. Toothpastes containing fluoride help remineralize teeth making tooth enamel stronger, and help prevent tooth decay. Activated charcoal’s absorptive properties could even be inactivating your fluoride intake from other sources. Most importantly, it is also highly abrasive, which despite removing stains could damage the gums and wear down tooth enamel during the process. This can lead to greater risk of developing tooth decay and tooth sensitivity. Another thing to consider is that charcoal toothpaste does not contain the American Dental Association Seal of Acceptance.

Overall, toothpastes containing fluoride are the best option for keeping a healthy smile. It is best to consult a dentist about whitening products and services to ensure the safety and optimal treatment for your smile. 

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

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

References:

https://www.iflscience.com/health-and-medicine/charcoal-toothpaste-doesnt-whiten-your-teeth-and-can-even-damage-them/

https://www.tooth.co.nz/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/Order-4411-_-Image-12-750x400.jpg

https://www.huffpost.com/entry/negative-effects-of-charcoal-toothpaste_n_5b460487e4b07aea754647e4?guccounter=1&guce_referrer=aHR0cHM6Ly93d3cuZ29vZ2xlLmNvbS8&guce_referrer_sig=AQAAAJ48RIRfRxkznYv4r2VacUh8OyvcTQj0iqybXZjvoBSFIVtV11tmk2EL5PAWR2ssNw1FFuV7fa2vzQrvAZDBYpDzh6aNk99pPvBLVsIxtEB6Mx3GdOGmazuXGxvzE4v8pbtVf2wPMYBVhGVUHXzclwLwfiar0MxZaBYpfewptzbJ

https://www.colgate.com/en-us/oral-health/cosmetic-dentistry/teeth-whitening/does-charcoal-teeth-whitening-work--

https://m.theepochtimes.com/assets/uploads/2019/03/11/charcoal_toothpaste-600x341.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

Print

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:

105728-lg

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:

1-whitening-strips-buying-guide-300x300

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:

71bdb68b70ed4da6f3243d528f7e5621_listerine-300x300_gallery

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

Happy National Wine Day!

May 25th, 2016

wine-1000x700

 

Happy National Wine Day! Did you know that moderate wine consumption (no more than one drink per day for women and two per day for men according to the US Department of Agriculture's "Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2010") can lead to many health benefits?

1. Reduced Risk for Certain Cancers and Diseases

Moderate red wine consumption has the potential to prevent both breast and colon cancer. According to an article in the Journal of Women's Health, red grape skin and seed chemicals decrease estrogen levels and increase testosterone in women in the premenopausal stage, which leads to a reduced risk for breast cancer. A study conducted by scientists from the University of Leicester, UK also showed that drinking red wine decreased bowel tumor growth rate by about 50%. Other problems that red wine helps prevent include: blinding diseases, brain damages following strokes, severe sunburns, lung cancer, prostate cancer, type two diabetes, and liver disease.

2. Improved Mental Health

According to research conducted by a team of universities in Spain and published in BMC Medicine, drinking wine in moderation (two to seven glasses per week) can significantly decrease the risk for developing depression. Furthermore, scientists reported in The Journal of Neuropsychiatric Disease and Treatment that moderate wine drinking decreases dementia risk by 23%. Red wine can also reduce the risk for Alzheimer's.

3. Healthier Heart

By raising omega-3 fatty acid levels in red blood cells, red wine prevents coronary heart disease, according to a study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

4. Longer Lifespan

Research from Harvard Medical School published in Cell Metabolismoffer showed that red wine has anti-aging properties that come from the compound resveratrol (from the skins of red grapes) in wine. Testing on mice demonstrated that the compound benefited the health of mice undergoing a high-fat diet and allowed them to live longer.

Another study conducted by the University of London discovered that another compound, procyanidin, maintains blood vessel health.

However...red wine can also stain your teeth!

Chromogens, which are strong pigments in red wine, can instantly stain your teeth after a little sip because of the cracks and irregularities of enamel. Additionally, acid and tannins in red wine encourage the erosion of enamel because they allow chromogens to bind and dry your mouth. While red wine can reduce gum disease risk and the potential for tooth decay, it is important to consider these options to maintain your pearly whites:

1. Thoroughly Brush and Floss Before Drinking

By eliminating plaque that stains bind to, you can lower the risk for staining. Proper oral hygiene also decreases tooth decay and gum disease risk.

2. Rinse!

Rinse immediately after consuming red wine to prevent the wine from clinging to your teeth for too long and to avoid having a dry mouth. Don't brush right afterwards - wait at least 30 minutes, because your enamel is the most sensitive after eating! When you brush later, use a whitening toothpaste.

3. Drink and Dine

Even if it's just cheese and crackers, a little food can prevent the acid from sticking to your teeth. Fibrous foods such as broccoli, celery, and hard cheeses are the best options to help remove stains and promote the flow of saliva.

4. Get Whitening Treatment (offered here at WDG)!

Here at Wellesley Dental Group (where one of our specialties is cosmetic dentistry), we offer four types of whitening treatment:

  1. Custom Take Home (tray whitening, paint-on teeth whiteners, teeth-whitening strips, whitening toothpaste and mouthwash)
  2. Sinsational Smile
  3. Philips Zoom!
  4. KöR

Please visit our website or contact our office for more details on whitening treatment! We would be happy to answer any questions.

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.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/265635.php

http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/244905.php

http://www.colgate.com/en/us/oc/oral-health/cosmetic-dentistry/teeth-whitening/article/how-to-avoid-red-wine-teeth-this-holiday-season-1215

Latte, Espresso, Cappuccino? Think Twice Before You Indulge

November 12th, 2015

a-cup-of-coffee

Coffee is America’s favorite beverage, especially for early risers. Not to mention, coffee lovers have many options to choose from. From sweetened flavors like mocha, caramel swirl, and French vanilla, to the less sweet flavors of cinnamon, coconut, hazelnut, raspberry, and toasted almond.

It’s estimated that 68 percent of the American population indulge in a cup of coffee every morning to help them wake up and to keep them going throughout the day. The real question is, "Is coffee good or bad for you?"

Coffees is known to increase mental alertness, boost our concentration, and prevent the development of certain cancers and other diseases.  In addition, according to recent studies, black coffee may help fight bacteria if consumed without artificial sweeteners.

Along with some good effects, there are also many adverse effects on the body. Coffee is often associated with high blood pressure, heart disease, osteoporosis. In addition, coffee can have a negative impact on your dental health. Some studies suggest that coffee wears down tooth enamel. Weakened enamel can make teeth more vulnerable to diseases and permanent damage. Enamel is porous calcified substance made up of matrix of crystal like rods, which keeps our teeth strong. The bad part is that once your enamel is gone, you can't get it back!

Not to mention, moderate to high consumption of coffee can cause tooth discoloration, leaving your teeth stained yellow.

Many of us know that it can be hard to give up the daily dose of coffee each morning. But, there are a few preventive measures that you can take to reduce the amount of coffee you intake. This includes rinsing your mouth after drinking coffee, using proper brushing and flossing habits, and using a straw to prevent coffee from touching the surfaces of your teeth.  Also, Zoom! Whitening is a great way to keep your teeth pearly white.

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://cdn1.medicalnewstoday.com/content/images/articles/297/297449/a-cup-of-coffee.jpg

 

Are Summer Foods Ruining Your Smile?

July 14th, 2015

fresh-summer-drink-wallpaper-hd

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A Glass of Wine a Day Keeps the Dentist Away

June 25th, 2014

Many adults occasionally indulge in a glass of red wine at dinner.  Substantial research has supported the amazing health benefits of red wine including improving heart health and containing beneficial, cancer-fighting antioxidants.  A recent study published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry suggests that red wine could also have benefits for teeth by preventing harmful bacteria from building up inside the mouth.

The "magic" ingredient responsible for combating the bacteria is phenolic extracts found in wine and grapes.  Similarly, polyphenols found in tea and cranberries also play a similar role.  Streptoccus is the name of the bad bacteria that cause cavities.  Both phenolic extracts in wine and polyphenols in tea and cranberries were found to inhibit the growth of the bad bacteria.  Non-alcoholic red wine and grape seed extract were also effecting in warding off the harmful bacteria in the mouth.

"This study is about applying something to the teeth that decreases bacteria. The effectiveness of [red wine] depends on how long it stays on the tooth, known as its 'substantivity,' " says Dr. Glasband, DDS, a dentist in private practice in Long Beach, California (who was not involved in this study), "Wine has a high substantivity, which you can see as it stains the teeth when you drink it."  

It is important to note that drinking red wine can cause teeth staining.  One way to prevent teeth staining while still obtaining the health benefits of red wine is to drink water to wash away any wine left on your teeth between sips.  Another way is to brush your teeth before drinking since wine likes to stick onto any plaque that has built up onto your teeth.  Red wine should only be incorporated into a balanced and nutritious diet in moderate amounts.

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.

Sources:

http://www.fitday.com/fitness-articles/nutrition/healthy-eating/4-health-benefits-of-red-wine.html#b

http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/277305.php

http://www.castledental.com/our-blog/preventing-red-wine-stains-your-teeth

http://www.prevention.com/health/health-concerns/weird-way-red-wine-fights-cavities

Image credit: http://img2.timeinc.net/health/images/gallery/living/wine-stain-teeth-health-400x400.jpg

More Reasons to Smile While on Vacation

March 27th, 2014

family vacationVacations are a time for relaxing, having fun, and making memories with family and friends.  Whether you are camping in the wilderness or sipping coconut water in the Caribbean, everyone can benefit from good oral health tips on the go.  With summer vacations looming over the horizon, here are some great tips to keep you and your loved ones smiling the entire time!

 1. Plan ahead

If you or your family members haven’t had their bi-yearly dental check ups yet, now may be a good time to do so.  By seeing a dentist before leaving for vacation, you can guarantee that there will be no sudden dental problems that require medical attention while abroad.  For instance, having a cavity spotted and filled early might prevent annoying toothache issues that are difficult to treat away from home.

Furthermore, make sure you have all your medical and dental insurance information handy and kept in a safe place in case of an emergency.

2.  Keep things organized

Keeping all your oral health tools in one place will save time and effort.  Carrying a toothbrush, toothpaste, and floss in your carry-on bag will be helpful during long flights.  Another option would be to purchase smaller versions of your usual arsenal of products.  There are many travel-sized versions of all major toothpaste and mouthwash brands at most convenience stores.  Make sure to brush your teeth after every meal (just like you would at home) even while on a plane!

3.  Cover your toothbrushes

Throwing an uncovered toothbrush into your carry-on bag or placing it on countertops of hotel bathrooms gives unwelcome bacteria the opportunity to invade its bristles.  In order to prevent this, it is important to cover toothbrushes with a clean, plastic cover.  It’s crucial to let all toothbrushes air-dry before placing the cover on it, because covering a moist toothbrush will actually encourage bacteria growth.

4.   Maintain healthy eating habits

Vacation time is certainly a time to indulge.  However, keep some healthy snacks like fruit or veggies in hand for in between meals.  You can satisfy your appetite by chewing on nutritious snacks throughout the day and perhaps turn down a tempting sugary drink later on.

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.

Sources:

http://www.drpeterhazim.com/dental-tips-while-on-vacation/
http://lauriesteindds.com/blog/?p=378
http://pediatricdentalworld.com/blog/5-pointers-for-healthy-vacation-smiles/
Image credit: http://cdn.sheknows.com/articles/2010/12/family-vacation.jpg

What Is Oil-pulling?

March 23rd, 2014

olive oilThe latest dentistry-related craze to hit social media has been an article on the miraculous benefits of "oil-pulling" on oral health.  Some articles claim that this new fad can even eliminate acne and eczema, cures hang-overs, aids in sleep problems, and helps alleviate general pain.  Could oil-pulling be a new cure-all health practice or is it just another pseudoscience fad?

Oil-pulling is an ancient folk practice originating from India.  Essentially, this practice entails swishing a tablespoon of any cold pressed, vegetable-based oil like coconut oil around in your mouth for 20 minutes every morning.

If you haven't seen any of these articles yet, here are a few of the dentistry-related claims they make:

  • Removes bacteria and toxins in your mouth and lymph system
  • Re-mineralizes teeth
  • Strengthens gums
  • Whitens teeth naturally
  • Reduces bad breath

Groups of bloggers and scientific researchers have both been questioning the validity of all these claims.  Although there is some scientific literature supporting some of the claimed benefits of oil-pulling, the research does not lend any clear substantial support.  In fact, some report that a placebo effect is actually taking place.

An online community of doctors called Science Based Medicine state that "oil pulling for general health or any other indication is pure pseudoscience."  Other scientists and medical practitioners are choosing to take a more middle-ground stance on this practice.  Dr. Sanda Moldovan, a periodontist, agrees that maintaining proper oral health is essential to be healthy overall and that oil-pulling is just another (and not necessarily crucial) method of maintaining healthy teeth.  Studies have shown that coconut oil does indeed remove harmful bacteria from your mouth.  However, research has also shown that oil-pulling is not much better than regular mouthwash in removing harmful bacteria in your mouth.

The verdict?  It would best be advised that people should remain cautious to believe and try everything they read online through social media.  Although oil-pulling might have some health benefits, it seems that there is not enough scientific support to back up all of its claims.

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.foodmatters.tv/articles-1/oil-pulling-the-habit-that-can-transform-your-health

http://www.mindbodygreen.com/0-7857/why-you-should-start-oil-pulling-today.html

http://news.discovery.com/human/psychology/can-oil-pulling-improve-your-health-140311.htm

http://www.sciencebasedmedicine.org/oil-pulling-your-leg/

http://jezebel.com/the-oil-pulling-health-craze-works-just-not-in-the-w-1538252677

Image credit: http://media.npr.org/assets/img/2011/01/19/olive-oil_sq-e4b656991b973d6de22fb74a05922bb0650e9e5a-s6-c30.jpg

"Does My Breath Smell?"

March 22nd, 2014

Cure Bad BreathHaving bad breath can be a symptom of a host of oral health problems like severe tooth decay, infections in the mouth, and gum disease.  In other cases, bad breath can just be the result of a garlic-heavy lunch.  Regardless, having odor-free breath is essential in our day-to-day social interactions with others.  Have you ever wondered if your breath smelled and had no way to check?  Although many people employ the strategy of breathing into their cupped hands to check, this method is actually ineffective.  Our bodies are all individually acclimated to our own scents, and thus it is difficult to notice any changes in the smell of our breath.

Luckily, there are other ways you can quickly check the smell of your own breath.

  • Cotton test: Take a cotton swab and run it across the top of your tongue near the back and smell it.  If it smells bad or is yellow in color, this suggests elevated sulfide production.
  • Wrist test: Lick your wrist and wait about 10 seconds before smelling it.
  • Dental floss/toothpick test: Smell floss or toothpick after you are done using it and look for any bad odors.
  • Mirror test: If the very back of your tongue is whitish in color, this may suggest foul odor.
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.therabreath.com/breath-test.html
http://www.breathmd.com/how-to-smell-your-own-breath.php
http://www.webmd.com/oral-health/guide/bad-breath
Image credit: http://www.larsondentistry.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/04/Cure-Bad-Breath.jpg

A Smarter Brushing Experience

March 15th, 2014

electric toothbrush

There is no doubt that smart phones have become a permanent staple in our day to day lives.  From editing pictures to counting calories, it seems like smart phones can do it all!  Now, with the production of Oral B's smart toothbrush, your smart phone can even help you brush your teeth better.

This electronic smart toothbrush (to be released worldwide in June, 2014) is linked via Bluetooth 4.0 to an app that can be downloaded for both Android and iOS devices.  The best features of this toothbrush include a video simulation that shows you exactly where to brush, which areas are neglected, and how hard to brush.  Additionally, it provides tips on how to improve your brushing habits by charting your progress.  Users found that using the electronic smart toothbrush significantly extended brushing times.

We highly recommend using electric toothbrushes if you look more thorough brushing results, they can make a huge difference in your oral hygiene. Some people think that using such a toothbrush, you are done in half the time. This is not really the case.  Due to the smaller brushing surface, you have to make sure you cover all the chewing surfaces.

There is a different technique to using an electric brush. Rather than moving the brush around the mouth in a circular motion, let the brush do the work. Start at one corner of the mouth eg. the cheek surface of the back teeth, and slowly move the brush along the teeth towards the lips. Then make a second pass from the same start point but slightly lower down so that the junction of the gums and teeth is thoroughly cleaned. Repeat this for the inside of the teeth and then each of the other corners of the mouth. Don't forget to brush the chewing surfaces as well.

If you can't wait until June for the pioneering smart toothbrush, check out some of these popular electronic toothbrushes, guaranteed to take your brushing to the next level:

1.  Oral-B Professional Healthy Clean + Floss Action Electric Toothbrush with SmartGuide (Amazon: $110)

This electronic toothbrush is Oral-B's most technologically advanced series.  This toothbrush has a "Deep Clean" mode (as well as 4 other modes like "Whitening" and "Massage") that guarantees the removal of 99.7% of plaque even in the hard-to-reach places of the mouth.  A unique pressure sensor automatically pauses the vibrations of the toothbrush if you are pressing down too firmly on your gums and teeth.

 2.  Philips Sonicare Essence Rechargeable Electric Toothbrush (Amazon: $50)

The Philips Sonicare Essence is a cheaper alternative that provides excellent plaque removal and a 2-minute timer to ensure proper brushing time.  This toothbrush claims to clean 2x more plaque than a manual toothbrush.

 3.  Philips Sonicare DiamondClean (Amazon: $190)

The DiamondClean toothbrush claims to remove 5x more plaque than a manual toothbrush and also significantly whitens teeth within 1 week of use.  A unique feature of this toothbrush is its diamond-shaped brush bristles which enable greater surface area coverage.  The DiamondClean also has five modes including whitening and massage functions.

Electronic toothbrushes aren't necessary to maintain good oral health. Manual toothbrushes are just as effective when used correctly.  However, if you use an electric toothbrush with an average technique and time, it will give far superior oral hygiene benefits compared to a manual toothbrush with an average technique.
It is important to keep in mind that a combination of proper diet,  flossing, and brushing are all necessary components of keeping your smile looking healthy.

Feel free to contact Drs. Ali & Ali and the caring team at Wellesley Dental Group if you have any thoughts or concerns; they will be happy to answer your questions! Contact us today at 781-237-9071or 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.inquisitr.com/1159163/new-oral-b-electronic-toothbrush-connects-to-smartphone-app-to-help-clean-your-teeth/
http://time.com/11376/busted-this-toothbrush-tattles-on-you-to-your-dentist/
http://www.theguardian.com/technology/2014/feb/26/oral-b-smart-toothbrush-dentists-spy-on-your-brushing
http://www.consumerreports.org/cro/toothbrushes/buying-guide.htm
http://www.bhbdental.co.nz/FAQs/Gum+Disease/Electric+Toothbrushes.html
Image credit: http://www.goodhousekeeping.com/cm/goodhousekeeping/images/ER/philips-sonicare-diamondclean-electric-toothbrush-lgn.jpg

 

Make-up Tricks for a Whiter Smile!

March 9th, 2014

lipstickWhiter teeth can instantly brighten up a smile.  However, if you don't have time to get them professionally whitened, there are a few temporary makeup tricks to make them look whiter.  It's important to  keep in mind that no make-up trick will ever replace maintaining a healthy dental care regimen of brushing teeth, flossing, and have regular check-ups.

Applying a matte bronzer the hollows of your cheeks and all over your face gives your skin a sun-kissed glow.  The tanning effect of bronzer makes the whiteness of your teeth stand out.  The main areas you should focus on while applying bronzer are: under your cheekbones, sides of the nose, jawline, and under the chin.

Strategically choosing the right lip color is also very important.  A lip gloss or lipstick with cool undertones of blue or purple also give the illusion of whiter teeth because it counteracts the yellow-ness of teeth.  A berry-tinted lip gloss would be a great choice for this winter!  However, if purple-toned lip colors are out of your comfort zone, a classic red lip will also create an illusion of whiter teeth because it makes a sharp color contrast.  It is important to avoid any orange-based peach or caramel undertones in lip glosses because they enhance any yellow coloring of teeth.

Another useful trick to counterbalance any yellowing is to focus on your eye makeup and really making them pop.  Again, using cooler toned shades like purples and greens are your best bet.

In case you would like to get professional whitening done, we do have several options for you. You could try Sinsational in-office whitening that will brighten up your smile about four shades up in less than 30 minutes. You could also give take-home whitening kit a shot, with great results within two weeks. 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.cosmopolitan.com/hairstyles-beauty/skin-care-makeup/how-to-whiten-your-teeth#slide-1

http://www.besthealthmag.ca/look-great/makeup/makeup-tricks-to-make-your-teeth-look-whiter

http://blog.birchbox.com/post/24224204212/how-to-contour-your-face-like-a-celebrity

http://au.lifestyle.yahoo.com/womens-health/life-features/beauty/article/-/10641004/make-up-tips-to-make-your-teeth-appear-whiter/

Is Chewing Gum to Blame for Headaches in Kids?

March 9th, 2014

gum chewing headachesGum chewing is a common habit for both adults and adolescents.  Although chewing gum can provide dental benefits like whitening and aid in the prevention of tooth decay, research has shown that chewing gum may not be as beneficial as once thought.  Many would not think to relate gum chewing with prolonged headaches.  However, recent research has begun to elucidate the correlation between the two.

Dr. Nathan Watemberg of Tel Aviv University and Meir Medical Center looked at the relationship between frequent gum chewing and headaches specifically in adolescents.  He focused on a group of patients between the ages of 6 and 19 who both reported chronic migraines or headaches and chewed gum on a daily basis.  Once the group of adolescents quit gum chewing entirely, almost 90% of the group reported decreased frequency and intensity in headaches and more than half of the group reported that their headaches completely disappeared.

There are a few theories that seek to to explain why gum chewing might cause headaches.  For one, the physical act of prolonged chewing causes stress to an area of the head where the jaw is connected to the skull.  Alternatively, some researchers believe that the artificial sweetener used in some types of gum is the culprit.

Regardless of the reason, it seems that forgoing gum chewing may alleviate the debilitating effects of daily headaches in adolescents.

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.ada.org/5097.aspx?currentTab=2

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/12/131219130937.htm

Image credit: http://i.telegraph.co.uk/multimedia/archive/01775/gum_1775702c.jpg

Don’t Let Cavities Keep You from Winning the Gold!

March 4th, 2014

sochi winter olympics In light of the recent Sochi XXII Olympic Winter Games, a report by researchers at the University College London revealed that professional athletes that competed in the 2012 Olympics in London had very poor levels of oral health. Their oral health problems were bad enough that they had a negative effect on sports performance. 

The team of researchers looked at oral health check-up results of over 300 athletes and also interviewed them.  Over half of the athletes, representing sports like track, boxing, and hockey, had tooth decay.  More than 75% had gingivitis and 15% were starting to show signs of periodontitis.  About half of the athletes reported that these oral health problems were bothersome.  Furthermore, around 20% of them reported that poor oral health was negatively impacting their training and athletic performance.   In fact, 9% of the athletes had never even been to a dentist before.

In order to conceptualize these staggering statistics, Professor Needleman of the University College London Eastman Dental Institute speculates that high sugar sports drinks, gels, and snacks with a high carbohydrate content.  Consuming both high sugar and high carbohydrate foods and drinks without frequent brushing contributes to cavity formation and other oral health problems.

Needleman was quoted as saying, “Oral health is important for well-being and successful elite sporting performance.  It is amazing that many professional athletes — people who dedicate a huge amount of time and energy to honing their physical abilities — do not have sufficient support for their oral-health needs, even though this negatively impacts on their training and performance.”

Again, we see that poor oral health can affect all aspects of a person's life even as an Olympic athlete.  Easily treatable ailments like dental cavities should not keep an athlete from performing to his or her best potential.

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. 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.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/091/130930093722.htm
http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/267026.php
http://www.examiner.com/article/london-olympic-athletes-had-terrible-teeth-lots-of-cavities-gum-disease
http://corporate.comcast.com/images/sochi.jpg

Hi-Chew - Can it Chew Away Our Enamel?

February 26th, 2014

hi-chew candyYou have probably heard of Hi-Chew candy, especially if you are a parent and live in Wellesley or MetroWest area. This caramel candy became a favorite snack for a lot of teenagers, you can find it in any 7-Eleven store. As a parent, that makes me concerned with the impact this fad can have on our kids' health. So I did a little research.

Turns out, Hi-Chew company has been on the market in Japan for more than 80 years, and now is extremely popular in the local Asian markets (China, Taiwan, Australia and New Zealand). There are over 100 flavors of Hi-Chew candy created, it clams to be the most delicious chewing gym that/candy that dissolves in your mouth, like Starburst. According to Swellesley Report, the candy, described by some as a tastier and less plasticky version of Starbursts, is chewy — as the name implies — and features a colorful and  flavorful goo in the middle of a firmer white exterior. You didn’t want to hear this, but it has been described as “crack for kids,” according to one woman who passed along this comment from a 7th grader.
The ingredients, however, don't look too good to me:

nutrition hi-chewingredients greenapple hi-chew

 

 

 

 

 

 

A serving of the candy has both 31 grams of sugar and acids (Citric and DL-Malic acids), which is an alarming fact. According to the article in the magazine of Academy of General Dentistry, What many people don’t know is that Citric acid —which is used as flavor enhancer and preservative — can severely damage teeth and cause significant erosion. The amount of sugar the candy contains can be detrimental to the teeth. They become even more vulnerable due to the sticky consistency of the candy - it stays on the surface of the teeth!

Although it's hard to persuade your teens to be careful with the candy that is manufactured to be sweet, juicy and somewhat addicting, you, as a parent, have to make sure they understand that indulging in this fad might cause a few new cavities.

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. 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.

References:

http://theswellesleyreport.com/2014/02/wellesley-hooked-on-hi-chew-candy-from-japan/
http://www.grandavenuedental.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/01/Jan14_DamagingDiets-from-Impact-AGD.pdf
http://www.hi-chew.com/
http://www.asianfoodgrocer.com/blog/morinaga-mango-hi-chew-blog.jpg

A Cup of Coffee and a Beautiful Smile

February 18th, 2014

women-drinking-coffeeDrinking a hot cup of coffee in the morning is a daily ritual for many.  In fact, many people see caffeine intake as a necessity for proper functioning and alertness at work or at school.  According to the National Coffee Association, a whopping 83% of Americans have reported that they drink coffee.

Although this tasty drink may help us power through a 6 AM commute, it is important to be aware of the negative effects of frequent coffee intake on oral health.  The porous enamel of our teeth quickly absorbs the liquid and it ultimately causes staining.  If untreated, the dark drink can cause permanent yellowing.  Furthermore, coffee is considered an acidic drink.  Thus, it slowly wears down enamel and contributes to tooth decay.

Another negative side of effect of long term coffee drinking is bad breath and dry mouth.  Caffeine slows saliva production in the mouth.  Without saliva, we are unable to effectively wash away and kill bacteria that lead to plaque build-up.  As a result, the growth of bacteria causes a foul smell in the mouth.

However, there is hope for avid coffee drinkers out there.  Here are some tips to combat some of the negative effects of coffee:

  • Rinse with water following every cup of coffee
  • Limit your overall intake of coffee
  • Drink coffee through a straw if possible (like when you’re drinking iced coffee)
  • Do not let coffee sit in your mouth longer than necessary
  • Drink coffee at set times rather than constantly sipping it throughout the day
  • Always brush and floss
  • Adding cream to lighten the color of your coffee will not decrease its staining properties

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. Kim. Dr. 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/coffee-public-enemy-for-teeth-32866.asp
http://www.mynoblesmile.com/how-does-coffee-affect-my-teeth/
http://www.colgate.com/app/CP/US/EN/OC/Information/Articles/ColgateNewandNow/Personal/2013/February/article/SW-281474979067209.cvsp

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

[caption id="attachment_4539" align="alignright" width="270" caption="Image from CEREConline.com"][/caption]

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

 

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.”

Request an
Appointment

patient
forms

read
our blog

Top