Category Archives: Diet

The Truth About Multivitamins

Millions of Americans take a daily multivitamin, but why? Most Americans pop the pill because they believe that it has an array of health benefits attached to it, but studies show that it may not be true.

Whether you are trying to up your daily intake of calcium and Vitamin D for healthy teeth and bones, or are trying to amp up your iron, switching to a pill may not be the answer. Most supplement users choose to take supplements as their own personal choice, not as a recommendation from their doctor.

The argument lies in the fact that you should be getting all your vitamins and nutrients from your diet. Instead of spending money on a monthly supply of vitamins, you could purchase some healthy greens, or a nice piece of fish.

Supplements cannot take the place of the nutrients and vitamins that you receive from your daily diet. Ask your dentist about things you can add to your diet for strong and healthy teeth.

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Diet Soda = Dental Damage!

Between the crack of the bottle cap, the bubbly fizz, the first refreshing sip, and zero calories to boot, diet soda can be totally addicting. But is it possible to enjoy this treat without any side effects? A new study states that diet soda could indeed be as “damaging to teeth as methamphetamine, or cocaine.” When examining both effects in the human mouth, it is seen to deteriorate and damage teeth just the same. We are concerned about our weight, so we switched to the no calorie diet soda, but it is so highly acidic that it can cause severe tooth erosion and oral damage!

This specific study examined two males (one a 29-year-old meth addict, the other a 51-year-old cocaine addict) and one female (a 30-year-old diet soda addict) none of whom had been to the dentist in years. The goal of the study was to find out exactly what the link is between hard drugs and diet soda in relation to its effect on their individual oral health. Both the drug users and the soda addict were found to have rotting teeth and decay, and the younger man (meth user) suffered severe dry mouth from the drugs. The teeth were soft and discolored. It’s scary to think that a diet soda addiction could be comparable to a drug addiction, at least in terms of our teeth!

So you’re not a diet soda addict, but how can you make sure this doesn’t happen to you? Make sure you schedule regular appointments, and severely limit your soda (diet or otherwise) intake. It’s best to rinse with water right after consuming anything acidic or sugary!

4 Reasons Your Gums May Be Itching

Itchy gums may sound like a strange symptom to have, but if you’ve ever experienced them, you know how annoying and uncomfortable they can be. What causes gums to itch, however, is a little less clear. We’ve rounded up the top 4 reasons you may be feeling that tingle near your teeth, and some actions you can take to get rid of it!

Allergies

Do you ever feel an itchy or fuzzy feeling in your mouth after eating certain raw fruits and vegetables? You may have oral allergy syndrome (OAS). It’s generally mild, and can be cleared up with an antihistamine, but if it doesn’t clear up or is impeding your breathing or eating, best to consult a doctor immediately.

Dry Mouth

As simple as it sounds, just making sure there’s enough saliva in your mouth is a simple solution to a host of oral health concerns, from halitosis to gum disease to, you guessed it, itchy gums! If you’re feeling a little dry due to medications you’re taking or just general dehydration, be sure to drink lots of water throughout the day to keep saliva flowing.

Hormonal Changes

Women and girls going through puberty, menopause, pregnancy, or any other dramatic shift in hormones (like starting or stopping birth control), may experience itchy gums as a side effect. As your hormones begin to regulate, this symptom should go away on its own, but if not, consult your doctor.

Gum Disease

You hear us say it all the time, but brushing and flossing for two minutes twice a day is really the best thing you can do for your mouth. If you’ve been a little lax about your oral health routine lately, and are experiencing itchy gums, it could be a symptom of plaque and tartar buildup. If you’ve got lots of tartar, you’ll need a dentist to remove it for you. They can also help you determine if you’re at risk for periodontal disease, and give you advice on how best to combat it.

If you’re experiencing itchy gums or any other strange sensations in your mouth, as always, your best bet is to contact us and set up an appointment!

Veganism and Oral Health

Going vegan has become an increasingly popular lifestyle choice in the past decade. While people have a variety of different reasons for choosing a plant-based diet, many vegans tend to have one thing in common: weaker teeth than carnivores. Whether you’re a lifelong vegan or newly considering making the switch, read on to learn what you can do to keep your teeth strong and cavity-free.

Although many healthy diets include eating lots of fruit, vegans may find themselves eating even more than their non-vegan peers. While your body will thank you for all the vitamins and minerals you’re giving it, your teeth may not. Sugary foods, even natural ones like fruit, can wear away at enamel and cause cavities. Your best bet? Swish a little water around your mouth after eating that juicy peach to flush away the excess sugar.

Another factor that can cause vegans to have weaker chompers than their meat-eating counterparts is an important amino acid called arginine. Typically found in meat, fish, and dairy, a 2015 study of salivary bacteria in petri dishes showed that in the dish where arginine was added, the growth of cavity-causing biofilms was inhibited. Great news for carnivores, but how can vegans get the same benefits? Happily, there are some vegan-friendly foods rich in arginine, such as black and soy beans, as well as toothpastes and mouthwashes enriched with powerful decay-fighter.

Whatever your reasoning, if you recently have, or are considering drastically changing your diet, contact your dentist for tips on how best to keep your teeth healthy and strong!
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3 Budget Friendly Options for Treating Sensitive Teeth

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Having sensitive teeth can be a real bummer. It can prevent you from eating the foods you love and cause you pain. While it may sound pricey to treat sensitive teeth, there are a few simple things you can do to help relieve any pain and discomfort you may be having.

1. Change Your Toothpaste

Some toothpaste can be tough on those of us with sensitive teeth. Try switching to a tooth-sensitive toothpaste which will be a lot gentler on the teeth. These specially designed, less abrasive toothpastes can help to relieve your pain and prevent further sensitivity.

2. Change Your Brushing Habits

Brushing your teeth too hard, can damage enamel and cause sensitivity to your teeth. Try brushing gently with a soft-bristled brush to help relieve the pain you feel when you brush. By using less pressure you are saving yourself from wearing away at enamel and exposing sensitive nerves in your teeth.

3. Change Your Diet

By avoiding foods with a high acidity like citrus fruits, pickles, and tomatoes you could relieve sensitivity. These foods have high levels of acid that can destroy enamel and cause oral pain. Even drinks such as wine can wear away at enamel. Instead of totally cutting these foods from your diet, try to eat them with foods that will neutralize the acid and promote saliva such as cheese.

If you’d like to explore additional options or for more information on tooth sensitivity, consult your local Newton, MA dentistry professionals at Flawless Dental today!

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Oral Health: Carbohydrates & Cavities

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Carbs & Oral Health

Carbohydrates are an important part of a balanced, healthy, diet, but they are also one of the main culprits in tooth erosion and decay. Since we can’t completely cut carbs out of our diets, we here at Flawless Dental believe it’s important to understand how carbs impact our oral health so we can prevent dental damage.

Carbohydrates not only nourish you, but also the cavity-causing bacteria that lurks in your mouth. The bacterium thrives on the presence of carbohydrates, subsequently creating an acidic environment in your mouth. The presence of this acid is dangerous to tooth enamel, and can begin to erode your teeth… The first steps towards tooth decay.

What Can I Do About It?

Since it’s nearly impossible to remove carbs from your diet altogether, here are some simple steps to mitigating the damage carbs can do to your teeth and enamel.

  1. 1. Eat the right carbs. Avoid eating sticky carbs that cling to your teeth. When food sticks to your teeth, it provides a constant source of nourishment to the bacteria in your mouth. When oral bacteria thrives, your teeth suffer.

  2. 2. Keep a clean mouth. If end up eating sticky carbs (or anything, really), rinse and floss your teeth after a meal. This should dislodge any bacteria-inducing food particles leftover in your mouth. Stick to flossing and rinsing directly after eating, brushing your teeth after a meal can cause unwanted damage to enamel.

  3. 3. Don’t add unneeded acid. Try avoiding extremely acidic foods like carbonated beverages, citrus, and grains. By reducing your intake of high-acid foods, your overall oral health will improve.

  4. 4. Reduce the general acidity of your mouth. Should you end up eating Chewing gum after a meal stimulates the production of saliva. Increased saliva production helps neutralize the acidity level in your mouth, and keeps teeth and enamel safe.

  5. 5. Eat the carbs in one go. Have your carbs as a part of a meal instead of snacking on them throughout the day. This strategy limits your mouth’s exposure to the dangers of carbohydrates and reduces the need for additional rinsing and flossing sessions during your daily schedule.

Concerned about your diet’s impact on your oral health? Book an appointment with your local dentist at Flawless Dental in Newton, MA for expert, professional dental care.

Don’t Chew on This: The Clear Hazards of Ice


Ever have a bad habit that you just can’t break? Chewing on ice may be a habit that can break your teeth. Before you start crunching on the last bits of cubes left in your glass, or reaching for ice chips to busy your mouth, there are a few things you should know:

1. Teeth Need Enamel

When you chew on ice, the enamel on your teeth wears down and the dentin becomes exposed. This puts your teeth at risk for decay and damage, not to mention uncomfortable sensitivity.

2. Icy Hot Cycles

Changing the environment in your mouth from a cold to hot temperature can cause fillings to expand, shortening their lifespan. This means an additional visit to the dentist, additional cost, and discomfort beforehand.

3. Puncture-Free Zone, Please

Pieces of ice can have sharp edges, which can easily puncture soft gum tissue. Your gums are exposed to enough abrasion, without having to dodge sharp, icy-cold bits!

4. Toothache, headache, brain freeze!

Chomping on ice involves severe movements with your jaw, which can easily lead to a headache, or a toothache if the soft tissue within your teeth becomes irritated. And the flash exposure to cold can definitely initiate the onset of a brain freeze.

Ice is not meant to be snack food, regardless of what weight-loss proponents may recommend. Chew on this information before mindlessly biting down on the next piece of ice.

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Your Brain on Candy


While candy is a well-known culprit when it comes to tooth decay and cavities, it is also known as the downfall of many weight loss plans. When times get tough, we seem to always reach for the unhealthy treats, and it turns out that there is a scientific reason for us.

A study done by scientists at the Laboratory for Social and Neural Systems Research at the University of Zurich found a link between stress and a desire for less healthy foods. Stress can cause teeth grinding but it can also cause us to reach for the cookie jar.

An increase in cortisol levels makes us more willing to eat junk food than healthful snacks. It also causes us to forget about the long-term repercussions of our choices. When under stress we choose to deal with the immediate need and so our future plans to lose twenty pounds and to have healthy teeth.

Stress is a major factor in harming your teeth and your overall health. So, next time you get stressed out, go for a stroll and then decide if that piece of chocolate is what you really need or if you just need to relax.

What Sugar Substitutes Mean For Your Teeth

While you may have switched to a sugar substitute to save your waistline, it is possible that it could be saving your enamel as well.

Sugar substitutes do not have the same effect on teeth as sugar does. While sugar fuels the bacteria in plaque, creating acids that wear away at teeth, sugar substitutes lack that effect. In fact, some sweeteners contain polyols, which have antibacterial properties and do not feed bacteria.

Chewing gum with sugar substitutes such as xylitol has even been proven to help reduce cavities. Gum also helps stimulate saliva, which washes away food particles, and acids. Saliva effectively neutralizes the mouth so that acids cannot wear away at bacteria.

Try a sugar substitute in your coffee to help ward off some of the damaging effects of sugar.

Why Do Some Healthy Foods Cause Tooth Decay?

One British mother was very unhappy when her five-year-old son needed a tooth pulled. Like many parents, she didn’t give her son soda or fruit juice often and couldn’t understand how his teeth had gotten so bad.

After asking her dentist, it turned out that the culprit was a healthy food. It was dried fruit like raisins, and dried apricots that were causing the problem. Dried fruits are considered healthy foods, but can be very harmful to teeth. Because dried fruits are sticky, it is hard to remove them from the grooves and pits of teeth. If bits of dried fruit are trapped in teeth for too long, they decay and the sugar turns to acid on the teeth. This acid feeds bacteria and helps destroy teeth.

Many healthy foods like fruits are high in acid, which can cause damage to teeth. Eating in moderation and drinking water or chewing gum after eating can help wash away some of those acids.

As you can see, even healthy foods can contribute to oral health problems if proper brushing and flossing aren’t maintained. Next time you give your child a handful of raisins, remember that they need to brush and floss afterward so that the sticky bits of dried fruit don’t cause problems with their teeth.

Talk to your dentist about more healthy foods that could be harming your teeth and how to combat against tooth decay.

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