It’s no doubt that oral health is a window to overall health. There is a significant amount of research linking common oral problems to heart disease, diabetes, pneumonia, Alzheimer’s disease, and now rheumatoid arthritis (RA). Rheumatoid arthritis is a chronic inflammatory disease affecting the joints, which typically causes pain and stiffness. There is increasing interest in the relationship between oral health and inflammatory diseases. A recent study conducted in March of 2015 suggests that periodontitis, a type of inflammatory disease affecting the supportive structures of the teeth (such as bones and tissues), along with rheumatoid arthritis are associated with Porphyromonas gingivalis (P. gingivalis) and may trigger the development of rheumatoid arthritis.
We rely on our teeth to help us speak, chew, and to spread a smile. But, what our teeth shouldn’t be used for is biting nails. Nail biting is a common habit for many, and it’s approximated that half of all humans bite their nails. There are several beliefs as to why people bite their nails, but many come to the conclusion that the bad habit is stress related or is a behavior that’s learned during childhood.
For some, it can be hard not to resort to nail biting. However, it is important to understand that your dental health is at a much greater risk than just your manicure.
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, 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 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.
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 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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 email@example.com to set up an appointment and consultation.
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 oral surgery needs Dr. Ghazi would be more than willing to help.
Today marks Memorial Day, a time to remember and honor the soldiers of the United States who died fighting for our country. With summer approaching and the weather warming, traditionally Memorial Day is filled with community parades, barbecue cook-outs, fireworks, and other celebratory ceremonies. Many visit cemeteries or memorials and place flowers, wreaths, or other sentimental items at the sites to honor those who died in service. Also, some ceremonies involve raising the American Flag and lowering it to a half-staff position in remembrance of the soldiers, until raising it once again to its full height.
No matter how you choose to spend the day, we hope that you have a chance to remember those lost and spend time with family, friends, and loved ones.
What a magnificent Wellesley Wonderful Weekend for the year of 2015! Wellesley spirit filled the air this past weekend as we all celebrated the town’s traditional Veteran’s Day Parade, Picnic in the Park, and fireworks. Wellesley Dental Group is honored to have been co-sponsors for the fireworks, third year in a row. This year we had our Tooth Fairy aboard our parade float to greet all the smile ambassadors of Wellesley. She was also joined by Chuckles and families of volunteers who both stayed on the float to greet Wellesley residents and spectators and helped pass out oral hygiene supplies.
Alas, after the parade we were able to head over to Hunnewell Field to set up our tent and activities. At this year’s Picnic at the Park we had feather extensions, balloons, facepainting, and pictures with our friendly mascot Chuckles; all the kids were leaving our tent with smiles on their faces!
What a truly Wonderful Weekend it has been! We would like to once again extend our gratitude to the volunteers at the Wellesley Celebrations Committee for orchestrating the weekend festivities, and the Wellesley Police Department and Wellesley Fire Department for keeping everyone safe. Thank you for the Wonderful memories you have created for the community members!
P.S.: Special thank you to Joanna Bandte, her family, and all the Smile Ambassadors who joined us on the float this year!
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