Strawberries

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

June 2nd, 2015

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

Drink, Drink, and Drink more water:

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

Watermelon:

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

Milk:

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

Sugar-Free Gum:

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

Strawberries:

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

Cheese:

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

Pears:

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

Apples:

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

Vegetables:

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

Cranberries:

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

 

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

 

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

Ice Cream:

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

Citrus Fruits:

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

Vinegar:

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

Granola and Energy Bars:

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

Candy: 

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

 

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

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

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

References:

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

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

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

http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-dwBqWs6_udQ/UBYvQhjW5TI/AAAAAAAACBY/YdNg1weBEVk/s1600/watermelon+popsicles.JPG

Indulgence in Sugary Sodas Can Lead to Poor Oral Health & Cardiovascular Disease

January 24th, 2014

colaThe proven connection between poor oral heath and increased risk of cardiovascular disease should re-enforce the importance of new heath policy creation, focusing on reduction of sugars such as those contained in junk food, particularly fizzy drinks,  say experts writing in the Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine.

Poor oral hygiene and excess amount of sugar in the diet can cause periodontal disease and decay of the teeth-supporting bone. It is thought that chronic infection brought on by gym disease can lead to inflammation that will over time cause heart disease through atherosclerosis, hardening of the arteries. Despite sufficient evidence of the connection between the poor oral health and premature heart disease, the recent suggested UK national guidance on Cardiovascular disease prevention at population level does not suggest the strong need to reduce sugar consumption.

Dr Ahmed Rashid, Department of Public Health and Primary Care, University of Cambridge, who co-wrote the paper, said: "As well as having high levels of fats and salt, junk foods often contain a great deal of sugar and the effect this has on oral health may be an important additional mechanism by which junk food elevates risk of CVD." He added: "Among different types of junk food, soft drinks have raised particular concerns and are the main source of free sugar for many individuals."

The authors refer to the well-knows  New York 'soda ban' controversy which has brought a lot of attention to the issue. They stress more can be done about making the sugary sodas dominating the public areas in the United States. Dr Rashid said: "The UK population should be encouraged to reduce fizzy drink intake and improve oral hygiene. Reducing sugar consumption and managing dental problems early could help prevent heart problems later in life."

Reference: http://goo.gl/ppiqpM

Cholesterol Medication Can Help Decrease Gum Inflammation

December 12th, 2013

youngoldHeart disease is one of the leading health issues in the United States. Arteries within the body become inflamed and patients are often recommended to take medication that lowers cholesterol

Statins is a commonly prescribed medication that helps patients with heart disease. But what’s more is that a new study published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology demonstrated that statins can also be beneficial for those suffering from gum disease.

Periodontal disease is marked by chronic gum inflammation that affects approximately half of the U.S. adult population. Dr. Ahmed Tawkol of Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School notes that there is a connections between heart and gum disease: both periodontitis and atherosclerosis are driven by inflammation. These inflammatory conditions are often seen to occur together, indicating to researchers that their biologies may be related.

A study was administered to test this theory. Patients with either heart disease or considered to have high heart disease risk were asked to take 80 mg of statin or 10 mg of stain daily for 12 weeks. PET/CT scans were used to observe inflammation over the course of the study. Results indicated that the 59 patients in the study demonstrated a significant reduction in gum inflammation, some after only 4 weeks of treatment. The researchers also found that the improvement of inflammation in the gums related closely with the improvement seen in inflammation in the arteries.

This study provides strong evidence that links atherosclerosis and periodontal disease. This research opens doors to new methods of treatments. Because of the relationship between these two diseases, medications that originally targeted one of these diseases may also be beneficial for the other. These results also points to better and improved oral hygiene to reduce inflammation in the gums can also lead to reduced atherosclerosis.

This study again shows the strong relationship between oral health and overall systemic health. Maintaining proper oral care can really go a long way for the body as a whole. Keeping up with oral hygiene can truly lead to a healthier smile and a healthier you!

If you have any questions or concerns please don't hesitate to ask Drs. Ali & Ali and the caring team at Wellesley Dental Group or our periodontist, Dr. Ghazwan Ghazi. We would all be more than happy to help. Please contact us at (781)237-9071 or email smile@wellesleydentalgroup.com.

 

References:

 

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/10/131002185652.htm

http://consumer.healthday.com/dental-and-oral-information-9/misc-dental-problem-news-174/statins-drugs-may-boost-your-gums-health-too-680723.html

http://www.webmd.com/cholesterol-management/news/20131002/cholesterol-drugs-may-boost-your-gums-health-too

 http://www.colgate.com/app/CP/US/EN/OC/Information/Articles/ADA/2013/article/ADA-10-Mouth-Changes-May-Be-Related-To-Menopause.cvsp

 

Want To Brighten Your Smile For The Holidays?

December 6th, 2013

sinsational_gal_loIt’s that time of year again, gathering for family affairs and celebrating holidays as the year draws to a close. It definitely doesn’t hurt to have a set of pearly whites for the occasion! Here are a few tips to achieving a brighter smile:

Take a pass on the usual bag of chips and make a grab for fruits: while fruits boost many benefits for one’s overall health, fruits are also a great way to beginning removing stains from teeth. Some fruits, including apples and strawberries, contain malic acid, which has been shown to oxidize and remove stains from teeth. Crunchy fruits and vegetables also help whiten teeth by increasing saliva production, which neutralizes acids from other food such as tomatoes and wines.

Cutting out staining beverages is also a great way to cut down on the instances teeth are susceptible to stains. Drinks such as wine, coffee and various sodas are known to stain teeth; furthermore, beverages, such as soda, are extremely high in sugar content, leading to more bacteria production and more cavities. In the cases where these drinks are consumed, using a straw can really make a difference. The straw keeps the outer teeth from coming in contact with the beverage, preventing stains from forming.

And of course there are whitening strips. These strips are becoming more accessible and easy to use; some even simply dissolve in the mouth when applied! However, for individuals with more sensitive teeth, be mindful about the frequency of treatments used per week.

We also provide Sinsational in-office whitening. They procedure easily lightens your teeth and causes little to no sensitivity! It could be a great option for people who want a brighter smile without feeling any discomfort.

If strips are still a hassle, there are whitening toothpastes that are great for tackling hard to remove stains. While brushing teeth can lead to a brighter smile, it is still important to keep in mind the importance of daily brushing and flossing. Maintaining a bright smile should mean maintaining a healthy smile as well!

If you have any more questions, 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

 

http://www.3dwhite.com/teeth-whitening/teeth-whitening-kits/make-teeth-whiter.aspx

 

http://voices.yahoo.com/5-easy-ways-whiten-teeth-remove-stains-4616045.html

 

http://www.webmd.com/oral-health/guide/weighing-your-toothpaste-options

 

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