Dr. Lily Ling received her DMD from Tufts Dental School and completed an advanced education in general dentistry  (AEGD) residency at UConn Health Center.

Sherborn Family Dental P.C.
19 N. Main Street, Suite 1B
Sherborn, MA 01770
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By contactus
March 19, 2012
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Beyond the potential for weight gain resulting from the sugar (or high fructose corn syrup often substituted for sugar) in soft drinks, soda has become one of the most significant dietary sources of tooth decay today.  Acids in the soda, combined with the acidic sugar byproducts caused when enzymes in your mouth digest the sugar in the soda as you drink it, can result in the softening of the enamel on your teeth.  This softening of your tooth enamel contributes to the formation of cavities.  Long-term consumption of soft drinks has a cumulative effect on tooth enamel.  Prolonged exposure to soft drinks can lead to significant enamel loss. 

While the acids and sugars contained in fruit juices, ciders, and wine can also reduce the surface hardness of tooth enamel, research indicates that soda is much more damaging per unit consumed.   Research has shown that the erosive potential of soda is 10 times that of fruit juices.  Further research reports that drinking any type of soft drink damages teeth due to the citric acid and/or phosphoric acid in the beverages.  Citric acid is the most erosive acid found in soft drinks and is the most common acid found in non-cola drinks.  

Saliva provides a natural defense mechanism, and regular tooth brushing also helps remove the damaging acids. However, typical soft drink consumption – drinking from large (i.e., 20 ounce) beverage containers over a long period of time – gives teeth a fresh coating over time as you consume the soft drink.

Diet Soda Isn’t Any Better for Your Teeth Than Regular Soda

The problem with soda isn’t so much the sugar itself, it’s the acidity.  Drinking sugar free sodas is not the solution since they contain similar levels of acid – diet sodas are as acidic as sugary soft drinks.  Diet sodas may reduce your calories consumed but they aren’t much better for your teeth.

What You Can Do

You can benefit from reducing the number of soft drinks you consume as well as from proper dental care.  Steps you can take:

  • Substitute different beverages: choose beverages containing less sugar and acid than soda – these include water, milk, and real fruit juice (not 10% juice in a sugary mix).
  • Moderation:  consume sugary beverages in moderation, finish them quickly, and drink through a straw (which takes the liquid to the back of your mouth).  One of the worst things you can do is sip a very sugary and acidic beverage all day.
  • Rinse with water after consuming a soda:  flush your mouth out with water to remove the acid left on the enamel of your teeth.
  • Use toothpaste and a mouth rinse that contains flouride: fluoride tooth paste reduces cavities and strengthens tooth enamel. Rinsing with a fluoride mouthwash also helps. 
  • Get professionally applied fluoride treatment: your dentist can apply fluoride directly to your teeth.  This is particularly important for Sherborn residents since the town uses private wells rather than a fluoridated public water supply.

Sodas are tough on your teeth. You don’t need to stop drinking all soft drinks but by reducing the amount you drink, practicing good oral hygiene, and seeking help from your dentist, you can largely counteract sodas effects and enjoy better dental health.

Advances in technology are significantly enhancing patient comfort both during and after dental treatment.  One of these technologies is the single tooth anesthesia (STA) system for giving dental injections.  Pain management for the patient is excellent.  Many patients are not even aware that the injection has been given.  Patients leave the office without the numbness in their cheek, tongue, or lip that often accompanied traditional syringe injections.  At Sherborn Family Dental, we use this STA system and other technologies to enhance your comfort and alleviate the stress associated with going to the dentist. 

How the STA system works. 

Milestone Scientific’s STA Single Tooth Anesthesia System unit combines patented, state-of-the-art computer-controlled injection technology with your dentist’s training to achieve more precise injections, improved anesthesia delivery, and materially enhanced patient comfort levels. The STA Single Tooth Anesthesia System using the Wand hand-piece is a computer-controlled dental injection system. The flow rate of the local anesthetic is controlled by a computer. This means that the injection is guaranteed to be slow and steady and therefore comfortable. It means less discomfort for you as most of the sting from a traditional dental injection comes from the anesthesia solution being delivered too quickly. 

The STA system base unit looks like a computer modem and the Wand hand-piece looks like a pen with a small needle at the tip. With the aid of state-of-the-art technology, the Wand delivers exactly the anesthetic you need at exactly the right rate make your visit as comfortable and anxiety-free as possible.

By contactus
March 13, 2012
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1. “If it isn’t broken, don't fix it.” There is often little or no pain associated with early stage oral cancer, problems with tooth pulp, and gum disease.

2. “Tooth loss is a normal part of aging.” While tooth decay does increase with age there are many people who reach old age with all of their original teeth so tooth loss is not automatic. If you have taken good care of your teeth all of your life then you have a much greater chance of retaining your teeth even into your later years than someone who has neglected theirs. Tooth loss is usually caused by a condition of the gums (periodontal disease) which is the loss of connective tissue and bone that support the teeth. Gum disease starts before you can see it, usually from lack of regular dental care and poor dental hygiene. Tooth loss can be prevented or reduced through education, early diagnosis, and regular dental care.

3. Bleeding gums are normal.” Gum disease often happens during the aging process. It can result in swollen gums that bleed even while you brush your teeth. Loss of teeth can occur when food is trapped between the teeth and gums in tiny pockets. You might be tempted to brush your teeth as vigorously as you can but gums are made of delicate tissue, so brushing harder could actually damage your gums. If you have periodontal disease, you should seek treatment to avoid tooth loss.

Three Simple Solutions to Mitigate these Issues

1. Brush and floss. It is best to brush with an extra soft to soft tooth brush and paste. Be sure to brush your teeth, gum line, and tongue thoroughly after every meal. Flossing every day gets rid of debris that tooth brushes can’t reach and is essential to good dental hygiene.

2. Electric tooth brushes and irrigators. Electric tooth brushes are often easier for senior citizens to handle and are very effective in cleaning teeth. Irrigators remove debris from teeth that tooth brushes can miss but can also damage gums if it pushes food particles into gum pockets.

3. Rinse. As the flow of saliva is reduced with age, it’s more likely that food particles will damage your teeth and gums. Rinsing gets rid of these particles. Since some mouth washes are irritating to the gums, dilute it if necessary.

June 27, 2011
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Welcome to the Blog of Sherborn Family Dental!

Whether you are an existing patient or searching for a dentist in the Sherborn area, we're excited you are here. With the dental industry advancing, we recognize the importance of keeping our patients and visitors up to date with all of the new and exciting things taking place in our practice.

As we move forward with our blog, we hope to promote dental awareness as a vital part of your healthy lifestyle. Here you will find a variety of articles and topics including dental news, advancements in dental technology and treatment, practical dental health advice and updates from Dr. Ling and her staff.

We hope you find our blog to be helpful, engaging and informational to ensure your best dental health.

As always, feel free to contact us with any dental questions or concerns.

--The Sherborn Family Dental Team!

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