Happy Teeth, Healthy Holidays

Happy Teeth, Healthy Holidays

It’s that time of year that sweets are everywhere–at the office, in the coffee room, on a co-worker’s desk, and at every special event. Here are our NY cosmetic dental office, we see thousands of patients a year and, to a one, they want to keep cavities and dental erosion at bay. Here are some tips to foster a happy holiday season that will keep you smiling!

Celebrate Crudités! Those trays of veggies and dip can be a lifesaver both for your general health and your pearly whites! Not only are they super low in sugar, they contain water that washes away sugars from your tooth surfaces, require chewing that turns on the saliva spigot, and they actually “scrub” your teeth, due to their crunchy nature! Super Tip: Fill up on crudités first, to help you avoid the more sugary foods!

Check for Cheese! Cheeses of all kinds are your teeth’s best friend! Cheeses contain calcium and phosphorus, the building blocks of enamel! Super Tip: Enjoy the cheese without the fatty meats that often share space on the cheese board! Your waistline will thank you!

Nuts are Nutrition in a Tiny Package: Did you know that nuts are loaded with calcium and phosphorus? Especially beneficial are almonds, Brazil nuts and cashews, which help to fight bacteria that lead to tooth decay. Super Tip: Avoid nuts with coatings, such as chocolate and sugars!

Find the Fish & Fowl: Fish and turkey help keep your enamel strong and healthy by depositing calcium and phosphate, lost minerals, back into the lesions in your enamel that are caused by soda and other acidic foods and drinks. Super Tip: Skip the fatty dressings that go along with them, or have some raw veggies afterwards to clean your teeth!

Drink in Moderation: You knew that was coming, right? Alcohol bathes your teeth in acids, as does soda, including the sugar-free variety. Super Tip: Follow beverages with a glass of water, swishing a bit in your mouth, after each drink.

All of us at iSmile Cosmetic Dentistry, wish you a healthy and safe holiday season and a new year filled with happiness!

To your health & beauty,
Jeffrey Shapiro, DDS, PC and Glenn Chiarello, DDS
NYC Cosmetic Dentists

Advertisements

New Treatment for Gingivitis?

Screen Shot 2015-11-04 at 2.16.48 PMA recent Japanese study confirms that supplementation with DHA (an omega-3 fatty acid) can improve the outcome for individuals with gum disease. According to estimates, gingivitis is the 2nd most common disease worldwide. Estimates are that 30-50% of American men and women have some form of periodontal disease, a serious oral infection that destroys the soft tissue and bone that sustain the teeth. The discovery that supplementing ones diet with omega-3 fatty acids could reduce dental disease holds remarkable promise!

The anti-bacterial properties of omega-3 fatty acids against oral pathogens were previously reported in a research project at the University of Kentucky’s College of Dentistry. According to that study, all three omega-3 fatty acids (EPA, DHA and ALA) limited the growth of Streptococcus mutans, Porphyromonas gingivalis and Candida Albicans, even at low doses. Japanese researchers took the next step to buy involving 46 older men and women in a longitudinal study to determine if there were benefits to dental health if the patients were given omega-3. Participants were given either 2000 mg of DHA or a placebo each day of the study, as well as 81 mg per day of aspirin, a known anti-inflammatory agent. In patients that received DHA, both pocket depth and blood tests measuring inflammation decreased; this was not the case in those who were given the placebo, even though both groups were given aspirin. Further, the researchers discovered that individuals with low levels of DHA had approximately 1.5 times the rate of gum disease than individuals with the highest average DHA levels.

What does this mean to you? It means that, in addition to a commitment to twice-a-day brushing and flossing and twice-yearly visits to our office, taking an omega-3 supplement may very well be in your best interest. Here is a list of foods highest in omega-3 fatty acids:

  • Flaxseed oil and flaxseeds
  • Fish, particularly halibut, herring, mackerel, oysters, salmon, sardines & shrimp
  • Nuts, particularly walnuts
  • Vegetables such as cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, kale, spinach and watercress
  • Soybeans, including tofu

If you aren’t fond of any of the foods above or find that you can’t eat sufficient quantities to achieve the recommended 2000 mg of omega-3 per day, you can, of course, supplement your diet with omega-3 in liquid or capsule form, many of which are formulated to avoid any “fishy” taste that might keep you from making this a regular health habit.

To your health & beauty,
Jeffrey Shapiro, DDS, PC and Glenn Chiarello, DDS
NYC Cosmetic Dentists

The Most Compelling Reason to Floss Your Teeth

The Most Compelling Reason to Floss Your Teeth

There’s a proven connection between poor dental health and dementia. What’s that you say? Yes, it’s true. Here are links to two separate studies on that topic:

The study from the University of Central Lancashire School of Medicine and Dentistry

The study from Kanagawa Dental College in Japan

You may wonder how it’s possible that poor dental habits could lead to a brain disorder as dramatic as dementia. After all, the primary reason to floss is to remove plaque to prevent it from building up between your teeth and around your gums. Left to flourish, plaque, which is a coating of bacteria on your teeth, can lead to bad breath, cavities, periodontal disease, and even tooth loss. You can’t avoid plaque—everybody gets it on his or her teeth. You can control it and remove it, however, by flossing and correctly brushing.

Your body “interprets” plaque just like it interprets a flu bug or a cold germ—it sets up the immune system to attack the problem. This immune response leads to inflammation in the body. Long-term inflammation leads to premature aging, which increases the risk of various diseases related to aging, such as dementia. In the Lancashire study, researchers posited that the bacterium Porphyromonas gingivalis, which is present in gum disease and also present in the brains of those suffering from dementia, may enter the bloodstream through normal daily activities like eating, brushing our teeth or even through dental treatments. The build-up of this bacteria may cause at-risk brain cells to release more chemicals that kill neurons, resulting in changes in the brain as seen in patients with Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia.

According to Lancashire senior research fellow Dr. Sim Singhrao, there also exists the possibility that the presence of Porphyromonas gingivalis may be the result of dementia and not its cause—in other words, the very presence of dementia contributes to a lack of dental care, which leads to gingivitis.

Whether the lack of dental care leads to dementia or vice versa, we all know that flossing and brushing are essential for good oral health.

To your health & beauty,
Jeffrey Shapiro, DDS, PC and Glenn Chiarello, DDS
NYC Cosmetic Dentists