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April 25, 2011

7 Food Surprises for a Healthy Smile!

Now that we have finished eating Valentine’s Day chocolates and Easter basket treats, it is time to concentrate on a healthier way to treat your teeth.  So what are some mouth healthy foods and what are their benefits?

I’m Dr. Peter Pate of Dentistry in Buckhead, and here are some great food choices for a healthy smile.

Cheese – Cheese is low in carbohydrates and high in calcium and phosphate.  Cheese helps balance the pH level in your mouth and can help to preserve and rebuild tooth enamel.

Celery – Celery protects your teeth by giving your mouth a workout. The chewing increases saliva production which neutralizes the bacteria that cause cavities. The chomping on celery massages the gums and cleans between the teeth.

Onions – Onions contain powerful antibacterial sulfur compounds that kill cavity-causing bacteria.  You may not have sweet breath, but you’ll have a happy mouth!

Parsley – Parsley will help freshen up your onion breath. The leaves of parsley are rich in chlorophyll, which acts as a powerful neutralizer of bad breath.

Kiwis – Kiwis contain more vitamin C than any other fruit. When you don’t get enough vitamin C, the collagen network in your gums can break down, which makes your gums tender and more susceptible to bacteria.

Sesame Seeds – Seeds slough off plaque and help build tooth enamel. Sesame seeds are also high in calcium, which is good for your bones that support your teeth and gums.

Shiitake Mushrooms – The natural sugar found in shiitake mushrooms prevents mouth bacteria from creating plaque.

So next time you are heading to the grocery store, pick up some of these delicious and nutritious treats.  For more information on other healthy foods, contact my Atlanta office at (404)-266-9424.

April 16, 2011

Healthy Sweet Substitutes

As people become more health conscious, desserts continue to present a problem. Your sweet tooth will not let you rid your life of sugary treats, but with some smart substitutions, you can find balance.   Try these simple culinary tricks and you will find that you can have your cake and eat it too!

  • Use apple sauce in place of cooking oil
  • Try whole wheat flour instead of white bleached flour
  • Use 3 tablespoons of unsweetened cocoa for every ounce of sweetened chocolate
  • Substitute evaporated skim milk for cream – or better yet, experiment with non-dairy alternatives like almond or coconut milk
  • Bake with xylitol instead of sugar
  • Add vanilla extract or lemon zest to compensate for reduced sugar
  • Use egg whites or egg substitutes instead as opposed to whole eggs
  • Skip the top crust and use fresh or frozen berries in pies
  • Sprinkle cookies, cakes, or brownies with cinnamon, cocoa powder, or powdered sugar instead of frosting

These healthy tips will help control your sweet tooth, while setting you on the road to a healthier diet. Be sure to maintain healthy teeth and gums, as well! Remember to brush two times a day, floss once a day, rinse after meals, and keep your semi-annual dental visits.

If you have concerns about the health of your teeth and gums, or need a thorough cleaning, call me, Dr. Peter Pate at Dentistry in Buckhead, at (404)266-9424 to schedule an appointment. We care for families from Buckhead and throughout Atlanta. Don’t let your sweet tooth cause you pain!

April 13, 2011

Gettin’ Flossy With It!

If you’ve shopped for dental floss lately, you’ve probably noticed many different styles, flavors, and brands to choose from. What’s best? It really comes down to personal preference.

A study conducted by periodontists at the University of Buffalo found that nylon waxed dental floss and Teflon floss (wide, plytetrafluoroethylene floss, also known as dental tape) yield the same results. They both remove food particles and plaque. Be aware when choosing a floss – if it seems too slick, it may not remove the glue-like substance that bacteria use to stick to your teeth!

Even if you can decide on threaded floss or dental tape, you still have some decisions to make. Waxed or unwaxed? Flavored or unflavored? Round or flat? What matters more than the type of floss, is the frequency at which you are using it! Once you have chosen the best floss for yourself, focus on how you floss. Ask your hygienist for a demonstration on the perfect flossing technique for your individual oral health needs.

Another option is to purchase a floss holder. These little gizmos are Y-shaped with a small piece of floss stretched across the Y. Much like a tiny toothbrush, a floss holder has a handle for maneuvering in the mouth. Floss holders are great to keep in your purse or wallet. Nothing replaces conventional floss; however, floss holders can be a more convenient option and are less damaging to the gums than toothpicks.

If you refuse to floss, there is another option that helps take care of those otherwise neglected areas between the teeth. Check the dental section to see if the store offers a tool called a water pick. Water picks are devices that provide a pressurized stream of water capable of removing plaque on your teeth, between your teeth, and around the gum line.

In conclusion, the best option is to purchase a few types, try them out, and go with the one you find most effective and easy to use. Invite your family to participate in the trials!

Got questions? Call Dentistry in Buckhead at 404-266-9424 to schedule a visit. I’m Dr. Peter Pate, and I’d love to make you smile. My office caters to the oral healthcare needs of families from across the greater Atlanta area.

April 6, 2011

Your Mouth, the Tattle Tale

“You are what you eat!” Did you know that during a dental checkup, I am usually able to determine how you have been eating? I’m Dr. Peter Pate of Dentistry in Buckhead, and I can often spot potential nutritional imbalances by examining your teeth and gums.

Your gums reveal nutritional deficiencies such as low zinc, iron, and folic acid.  These deficiencies can promote gum disease.  Indications of other conditions, such as infection and diabetes, may also be identified during your dental visit.

Your teeth will tell me if your diet consists of too many sugary or acidic foods. Foods high in acids or sugar will cause tooth enamel to soften, and may eventually lead to tooth decay. Untreated decay can lead to infection and tooth loss.

Since your dentist is often the first member of your healthcare team to discover potential nutritional problems, you should not skip your regular dental cleanings! During your exam, I will look for signs of periodontal (gum) disease. Studies have shown that poor periodontal health can increase the risk of cancer, cardiovascular disease, stroke, Alzheimer’s, diabetes, and preterm births.

I hope this post inspires you to establish good eating habits to promote the health of your teeth and gums!  Stay tuned for an upcoming post listing specific foods that are great for your oral health.

If you experience tooth pain, or are in need of your regular exam and cleaning, contact my Atlanta dentist office at (404)266-9424 to schedule an appointment. Remember – your mouth is your first line of defense in fighting disease.

April 3, 2011

Fun Dental Facts

Is visiting the dentist on your list of least favorite activities?  That doesn’t have to be the case.   I’m Peter Pate of Dentistry in Buckhead, and we love to make you smile!  Let’s lighten the mood — chew on our latest set of fun dental facts:

Teeth are as unique as fingerprints. Even identical twins have unique “dental fingerprints!”

Paul Revere not only warned the colonies of the impending British invasion, but he was also a dentist.

Diana Ross, Cher, Carol Burnett, and Jack Klugman improved their smiles with braces after they became celebrities.

Over 200,000 athletes avoid dental injuries each year by using a mouthguard.

Aged cheddar, Swiss, and Monterey Jack are the best cheeses to help maintain your white smile.

Did you know there is a name for burning your mouth on the mozzarella? It’s known as pizza palette.

Grand Rapids, Michigan, was the first city in the United States to add fluoride to its water supply.

If you need a dentist in the Atlanta area, call me, Dr. Peter Pate at Dentistry in Buckhead. My team and I will address your dental concerns, from toothaches to cosmetic dental issues. We’ll partner with you to create a treatment plan for lifelong dental health. We make dental care fun for the whole family!