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September 22, 2011

A Whole Grains Quiz

Happy Whole Grains Month! How much do you know about whole grains? It may seem trivial, whole grain versus processed grain, but whole grains have a wide range of benefits over their processed cousins. Test your knowledge with this Whole Grains Quiz:

Q: Which of these is not part of a whole grain:

  • Bran
  • Shell
  • Germ
  • Endosperm
  • None of the above

A:  Shell – A whole grain consists of bran, germ, and endosperm.

Q: Which of these is a whole grain?

  • Amaranth
  • Barley
  • Wheat
  • Wild Rice
  • All of the above

A:  All of the above – For a list of whole grains, click here.

Q: Whole grains help reduce the risk for:

  • Heart Disease
  • Stroke
  • Type 2 Diabetes
  • Gum Disease
  • All of the above

A:  All of the above – Whole grains reduce the risk of heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes, and obesity. They may also reduce risk for gum disease, asthma, colorectal cancer, high blood pressure, and tooth loss.

Q: How many servings of whole grains do you need each day?

  • 1
  • 1-2
  • 2-4
  • 3-5
  • None

A:  3-5 servings per day

Q: How can you tell if a food is made with whole grains instead of processed grains?

  • Look for the Whole Grains Council stamp
  • Ask the butcher
  • Ask the cashier
  • Ask the stocker
  • Ask your spouse

A: Look for the Whole Grains Council stamp. Every product bearing the whole grains stamp contains at least half a serving of whole grains.

Q: How much money could you win in the Whole Grains Council September Sweepstakes?

  • $1,000
  • $2,000
  • $3,000
  • $4,000
  • $5,000

A: $5,000 – Click here in the month of September to enter the sweepstakes.

Q: Is “whole white wheat” a whole grain?

  • Yes
  • No

A: Yes: “White wheat” is bleached wheat, which is processed. “Whole white wheat” is actually a white variety of wheat that is used whole.

Be sure to incorporate whole grains into your daily diet to reap some of the bountiful rewards these types of grains offer. Here at Dentistry in Buckhead, Dr. Pate cares about your whole health, and not just your dental health. Call the office today at 404-266-9424 and reserve your appointment with Dr. Pate and his team.

September 20, 2011

The Toothbrush: Small Tool with a Big Impact

Did you know that some form of the toothbrush has been around for nearly 5,000 years?  You might not even recognize these ancient brushes, as the bristles were made of unique materials such as hog’s hair, twigs and bamboo. The first modern-looking toothbrush was invented in 1948 in China. Over the average lifetime, this little invention gets a lot of attention from us. We spend about 38.5 days brushing our teeth! With this in mind, Dr. Pate and his team would like to share some tips with you, whether you’re choosing a new toothbrush or altering your brushing technique.

Regardless of your preference for manual, powered, pink, or blue (the most popular color), the key is to choose a soft bristle brush that fits comfortably in all areas of your mouth. The ADA recommends disposing of your toothbrush every 3-4 months, or sooner if the bristles are worn. After all, your brush won’t clean your teeth properly with flattened or bent bristles. Children typically will need to replace their toothbrushes more frequently.

Toothbrushes usually have about 2,000 bristles. For the best clean, hold the brush at a 45-degree angle towards the gum line while using short gentle strokes to cover each surface of the tooth. Dr. Pate suggests brushing for at least two minutes for an effective cleaning. Don’t forget your tongue! Giving it a scrub down will help to remove bacteria and freshen your breath.

There has long been a vital connection between a healthy body and a healthy mouth. It’s a good idea to toss your toothbrush after a bacterial infection such as strep throat. Always allow your brush to air dry after each use, and keep it separate from other people’s toothbrushes. Whether you have natural teeth or dentures, bacteria likes to lurk in the mouth. NEVER use someone else’s toothbrush!

Dr. Peter Pate and his team are always here to answer questions or offer tips for a healthy smile. To schedule your family’s dental cleanings, please call our Atlanta dentist office, Dentistry in Buckhead, at 404-226-9424.

September 13, 2011

A+ for oral health: Help your child make the grade!

School and extracurricular activities are in full swing.  While it’s important to help prepare your child for class projects, piano lessons, and football, you’ll also want to make sure your children’s teeth and gums are ready for the new school year.

Tooth decay is one of the most common childhood diseases.  More than half of children ages 5 to 17 have had at least one cavity or filling in their lifetime. Being proactive about protecting your child’s teeth from plaque, tartar, and decay can prevent gum disease and begin a lifetime of consistent oral healthcare.

A daily schedule that includes brushing and flossing is essential to preventing pediatric dental decay. Returning to the structure of the school year should help make such a schedule easier to follow.

Maintaining healthy family eating habits will help your son or daughter choose to eat foods that promote good oral health. Plan well-balanced meals and avoid sugar-loaded foods. It is also important to limit drinks and foods with a high acid content.

With Halloween just around the corner, it’s a good time to continue educating your child about tooth decay and why candy and sugary snacks should be enjoyed sparingly. You might also try some candy alternatives, such as xylitol-infused candies or sugar-free licorice root lollipops, which research has shown fight dental bacteria and plaque.

Call Dentistry in Buckhead today if you live in the Atlanta area and would like a family dentist who understands parenting firsthand.  As a family man and father, Dr. Peter Pate knows that you want the best for your kids, and he’ll help you by providing excellent dental care in an inviting, comforting atmosphere. Call 404-266-9424 and schedule your family’s checkups today.

September 4, 2011

How Summer Impacts Your Smile

It’s official: summer is still here, and it is HOT!

From picnics to barbecues, swimming to sunbathing, summer activities can easily put a smile on anyone’s face.

Unfortunately, many things that make summer fun can also be harmful to your smile. Follow these tips to keep your smile sparkling this season!

Maintain Hydration

Dehydration is one of the biggest problems during our long, hot Atlanta summers. Dehydration can lead to dry mouth, which can cause serious tooth decay.   So, protect yourself by drinking plenty of water, enjoying hard candies sweetened with xylitol, or chewing sugar-free gum to promote saliva production and keep your mouth moist.  Watch out for those energy and fitness drinks!

Ocean vs. Pool

Chlorine, which is used in most swimming pools, can erode and weaken teeth over time. The salt found in ocean water, however, decreases bacteria in the mouth, providing a healthy oral environment.

Limited Sun Bathing

Overexposure to the sun can be harmful, but casual and limited time in the sun increases your level of vitamin D, which is essential to maintaining a healthy smile and body.

Refreshing Summer Snacks

Fruit is always a popular summer snack, so it’s important to know that some fruits are better for your teeth than others. The high water content in watermelon helps clean teeth and gums. Citrus fruits, such as oranges and grapefruit, can cause enamel erosion because of their high acidity. If you love citrus fruits, rinse your mouth with water after you eat them (but don’t brush right away) to wash away the acids.

Natural Remedies for Teeth Whitening

Believe it or not, strawberries are considered a natural remedy for brightening your smile. Rub them on your teeth to remove all stains. Rubbing the inside of an orange peel on your teeth can also help whiten them, or try brushing your teeth with a mixture of apple cider and vinegar.

For more information about a healthy smile, call Dr. Peter Pate at Dentistry in Buckhead at (404) 226-9424.