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4 Things You Didn’t Know About Dental Health

There are many commonly known precautions and methods to ensure optimal dental health. Brushing after meals, not smoking, limiting sugary sweets and seeing your Boynton Beach dentist on a regular basis, for example, are a few mainstream methods to maintaining dental health. Yet, there are many things we come in contact with every day that have the potential to make a mild to significant impact on dental health. For example, did you know that cough syrup contains a higher amount of sugar than most candy?  Were you aware that chlorinated pools can cause tartar deposits and tooth sensitivity? Let’s take a look at 4 things you probably didn’t know were affecting your dental health, courtesy of your favorite Boynton Beach Dentist, Dr. Elan Salee. 


For Better Dental Health, Skip the Chewable Vitamins.


Due to the very chemical makeup of chewable vitamins, they are designed to adhere to your teeth. This gives (now excited by opportunity) chewable vitamins a greater ability to stick to your teeth and for a longer period of time. This creates a perfect environment for harmful bacteria to hang out and dig cavities at an impressively fast rate. A simple solution to avoiding dental damage by way of the chewable vitamin is to simply take vitamins in pill form. For the kids, shoot for a sugar-free solution.


For better dental health, test and monitor the pH levels of swimming pools in your home (or any pool where your family spend a lot of time.)


When there are chemical additives present in water, such as the chlorine and antimicrobials in pools, the water has a higher pH than healthy human saliva. This means that any long-term exposure to this acidity can lead to tooth sensitivity and tartar deposits on the teeth.

If you own a swimming pool, shoot for pH levels of the water to be between 7.3 and 7.8. If you go swimming at a public pool, bring pH test strips to use before going in. Make sure the pH levels are within a healthy range before you jump in with the family.

A simple solution is to make sure you keep your mouth closed as much as you can while swimming. Tell children to do the same as soon as they start swimming. This way, it becomes second nature and they will be safe from any potentially harmful exposure to chemicals. Rinse with mouthwash as soon as you get out of the water.

Boynton Deltal Studio Dr. Elan Salee | Dental Health | pH Levels


For better dental health, drink more water. 


Most people know that water is vital to keeping your body healthy. However, many have no idea just how vital the role of hydration plays in dental health.

“Water cleans your mouth with every sip. It washes away leftover food and residue that cavity-causing bacteria are looking for. It also dilutes the acids produced by the bacteria in your mouth. You’ll still need to brush twice a day for two minutes. You’ll still need to floss your teeth. However, drinking water throughout the day will help to keep your dental health in tip-top shape.

Saliva is your mouth’s first defense against tooth decay. It washes away leftover food, helps you swallow with ease and keeps your teeth strong. Saliva washes and nourishes teeth with calcium, phosphate and fluoride.

When your saliva supply runs low, dry mouth may put you at risk for tooth decay. Drinking water can help cut your risk as you and your dentist work to find the best long-term solution for you. “- American Dental Association



For better dental health, second (and third) re-think oral piercings. 


Areas to seriously consider avoiding a piercing include the lip, tongue and cheek. The thing is, your mouth is a petrie dish for bacteria. A piercing allows that bacteria to even more conveniently work its way into your oral tissue, which you do not want. Trust me.

Additionally, a metal tongue or lip piercing has the potential to crack or chip a perfectly healthy tooth. That means one accidental bite has the potential to cause dental work and costs that could have easily been avoided. Most importantly, if you have a piercing in your mouth, lip or cheek, be sure to remove it before every meal. You must also be sure to wash the ring before putting the piercing back in.

(Seems like a lot of work, right? It is. Skip the piercing.) 

Dr. Elan Salee Boynton Beach Dentist

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The dental diet: 10 nutrition strategies for healthy teeth


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Gum Disease and Cancer Risk Among Post-Menopausal Women

If you or a woman you know is post-menopausal, there are a few crucial facts you need to know about gum disease and cancer risk

There has been a long standing correlation between gum disease and certain types of cancer among older women, but relatively few long-term studies that prove an undeniable association between the two in this specific demographic. Recently, the scientific findings in this area are becoming more concrete, as outlined in a study by Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention.

The research determined that women, particularly post-menopausal women, who suffer from gum disease are at least  14% more likely to develop cancer than women with healthy teeth and gums.

This is the first study to specifically investigate the relation between gum disease and certain cancers among older women. The findings of  increased cancer risk for this particular demographic also take into consideration the fact that risks for both gum disease and cancer increase with age.

Men, this affects you too.

The Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention report is simply the first in-depth analysis of the experiences of post-menopausal women in regard to associated higher cancer risk. A link between older men, gum disease and cancer has already been established.  

The link appears to be strongest for esophageal cancer, but associations were also found between poor oral health and lung, gallbladder, breast, and skin cancer.

The study looked at data from nearly 66,000 postmenopausal women, ages 54 to 86, who were followed for about eight years. At the start of the study, they completed a health survey and reported whether they had ever been diagnosed with periodontal disease, an inflammation off the gums that can lead to tooth loss.

During the study’s follow-up period, about 7,100 of those women developed cancer. Overall, those with a history of periodontal disease were more than three times as likely to develop esophageal cancer—and nearly twice as likely to develop gallbladder cancer—than women without. Their risk for lung cancer, skin melanomas, and breast cancer was also increased by 31%, 23%, and 13%, respectively.

Read a summary of the study from TIME Health.

To schedule an exam with Dr. Elan Salee to evaluate your risk factors and potential treatment options, please contact The Boynton Dental Studio at (561) 732-8700. 

What Your Tongue Says About You

We’ve come across several posts talking about tongues this week, containing color and texture guides which suggest the shade and physical attributes of your tongue may be an indication of specific health needs. Articles in, the ADA and ShareCare touched on some interesting facts about the tongue’s vital role, including their impact on oral health and which physical characteristics are cause for concern.


While Dr. Salee isn’t convinced that all occurrences of a blue tongue indicate a higher likelihood of being affected by kidney disease, he found many of the color associations in BoldSky to be generally accurate. “A white tongue is often a sign of dehydration and can mean higher levels of fungal growth in the body, while pale pink is mostly indicative of a healthy mouth and body.”


Light Pink: Light pink is known to be the ideal color of the tongue, indicative of a healthy body.



Bright Red: A tongue that is bright red in color may be the sign of a heart disorder or blood disease. A glossy, bright red tongue may be a sign that your body is lacking vitamin B12 or iron.

“Vitamin B12 and iron are needed to mature papillae on the tongue,” says Naomi Ramer, DDS, director of Oral & Maxillofacial Pathology at Mount Sinai Hospital. “If you are deficient in those vitamins, you lose those papillae, which can make your tongue appear very smooth.”



Yellow: A tongue is yellow in color can indicate stomach or liver problems.


Pale: A pale tongue can denote that you’re suffering from vitamin and mineral deficiencies.


White: A white tongue usually indicates dehydration. It also sometimes indicates fungal infection and flu.


Black: A black tongue may signal the need for improved oral hygiene, but is usually not cause for major concern.

“We have papilla, small bumps on the surface of our tongue, which grow throughout our lifetime,” explains Ada Cooper, DDS, an American Dental Association consumer advisor spokesperson and practicing dentist in New York City. Papillae are small, nipple-like structures on the upper surface of the tongue that give the tongue its characteristic rough texture.

Papillae are usually worn down by chewing and drinking, but sometimes they can become overgrown, which makes them more likely to harbor bacteria or become discolored from food. This can cause bad breath or taste abnormalities. “Typically [black and hairy tongue] is brought on by smoking, drinking coffee and dark teas, or poor dental hygiene,” says Jack Der-Sarkissian, MD, a family physician with Kaiser Permanente in Southern California. “Removing the offending cause, like smoking, and brushing the tongue or using a tongue scraper, may be all you need.”


Your tongue can be helpful in detecting and diagnosing health concerns. Certain changes in color, texture or presence of spots on the tongue can indicate underlying issues, while others are completely normal. Tongue sensitivity, swelling and the presence of painful can be caused by allergies, vitamin deficiencies or mouth cancer. However, canker sores and a burning sensation may be the result of stress, hormones or simply using the wrong toothpaste. If you’re experiencing any uncomfortable sores or sensitivity on the tongue, be sure to see your dentist right away.


For a healthy mouth, be sure to keep your tongue clean.


“All those bumps and grooves on your tongue are a haven for bacteria and could be contributing to your bad breath because of the gases they give off, says Dr. Matthew Messina, a consumer advisor for the American Dental Association. It’s important to take care of the tongue in addition to regular brushing and flossing.” –American Dental Association

7 Facts You Need to Know about Teeth Whitening

Boynton Dental Studio | Blog | 7 Facts You Need to Know About Teeth Whitening


Hi there. Thanks for stopping by the Boynton Dental Studio Blog, where Dr. Salee and his staff share some insights, fun facts and office happenings we think you’ll appreciate. Today, we’ll be taking a look at 7 facts you need to know about teeth whitening. If you have any questions, requests, or tales in dentistry of your own to share, please leave them in the comments below! We love to hear from you. 


If you are in need of a dentist in the Boynton Beach area, please contact us at (561) 732-8700. The Boynton Dental Studio | Dr. Elan Salee D.M.D. is located at 12040 S. Jog Rd. Suite #5 in Boynton Beach, Florida 33437. We are open M-Th from 10am – 7pm.

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Six Tips to Find a Dentist You Will Love

Finding a dentist with whom you feel comfortable might seem like a difficult task, but that need not be the case. The challenge is to find a dentist who not only has excellent dental skills and access to the latest technology, but also knows how to make you are comfortable and relaxed in the dentist’s chair. Fortunately, many dentists now recognize that most people dread dental visits, so they do everything they can to make the experience less stressful.

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