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October 27, 2011

How to Have a Cavity-Free Halloween

Halloween is every child’s favorite holiday. They get to dress up as their favorite characters and run around collecting candy with their friends and family. Even though Halloween is fun for everyone it isn’t always fun for children’s teeth.
There are some things you as a parent can do to prevent your children from developing cavities as a result of this spooky holiday.

What is a cavity?
A cavity is a hole in the tooth caused by tooth decay. Decay occurs when bacteria (also known as plaque) forms on teeth and combines with the sugars and starches we eat. The combination produces an acid that attacks the tooth enamel, causing a hole to form.

Tips for preventing cavities this Halloween
1.       Have your children consume candy during meals rather than as a stand-alone snack. This allows the sugar on your teeth to be neutralized by bacteria from the other, less sugary foods.
2.      Drink lots of water because it will help flush out the sugar and other food particles.
3.      Limit the amount of sticky and hard candies. These are the worst for the teeth because they stick in between your teeth where it’s hard for a toothbrush to reach.
4.      Have you children brush their teeth after eating candy and use mouthwash with fluoride in it. Fluoride helps fight cavities, and the mouthwash will also help flush out sugars and clean out bacteria.
5.      Have them eat all their candy for the day in one sitting. This will limit the teeth’s exposure to sugar.
For more information on how to have a cavity-free Halloween, or to schedule a professional cleaning for your family, contact Dr. Peter Pate of Dentistry in Buckhead at 404-266-9424 or visit our website at

October 26, 2011

5 Reasons to Smile!

A simple smile can make a big difference. Smiling helps you live longer, improves your attractiveness, and reduces stress levels. People love to be around happy folks, and smiling is good for the soul.

Why Should I Smile?

1.       Smiling changes our mood. When you’re feeling blue, have you ever tried just smiling? Putting on a simple smile can trick your mind and body into being in a better mood. So turn that frown upside, and you will have a better day.

2.       Smiling relieves stress. When we are stressed, it shows all over the face and body. The jaw starts to clench, lines appear on the face, muscles tense up, and we looked tired and worn. A smile can relieve that tension and help you relax. Sometimes, when dealing with stress, the best thing to do is take a moment to smile and calm down, and you’ll realize that everything is going to be alright.

3.       Smiling makes you look younger and more attractive. We are all searching for the Fountain of Youth to maintain vibrant, youthful beauty forever. Smiling big can do the trick– the muscles we use to smile lift our face, so it’s like having a natural face lift. People are also drawn to others who emit warmth and kindness, so wearing a smile can also make you popular.

4.       Smiling helps you stay positive. It’s hard to think negatively when you have a smile on your face—just try it. When your body looks happy, but your mind is thinking unhappy thoughts, it’s hard to continue to stay negative. Keep depression and negative thoughts away by smiling.

5.       Smiling makes you look successful. We all strive to be successful and taken seriously. Right now, finding a job is hard enough because of the poor economy. Put a big smile on your face when you go in for that interview, and you’ll improve your chances of making a great impression. Smiling will help you stand apart from the other applicants. Your future employer will be impressed if you have a genuine smile.

Smiling can make differences in your life. It can help you become happy, healthy, and confident, so why not get the best treatment for your smile? If you’d like brighter, bolder, more attractive teeth, schedule a cosmetic dentistry consultation with Dr. Peter Pate at Dentistry in Buckhead, Atlanta, GA, today. Call 404-266-9424 to find out what he can do to increase your face value.

October 25, 2011

Straight Teeth at Any Age!

straight teeth adult braces

Everyone wants a beautiful smile. Showing off a smile with straight and healthy teeth boosts your confidence and self-image. Not only can your pearly whites make you feel better about yourself, but it can positively impact how other people see you. Many employers confirm that a nice smile is an advantage for potential job candidates. A vibrant smile speaks to one’s care for his or her health and an even row of teeth is indicative of dedication to personal appearance. If you want straighter teeth, you turn to your dentist or orthodontist for braces.

It used to be that wearing braces was something only children went through. We all probably know someone who had to wear them during their early teenage years, or you may have endured this ordeal yourself. If you had braces, you may remember the hassles of cleaning your teeth and the restriction on certain foods like candy and bubble gum. Perhaps you even dealt with some teasing from other children. That can be a lot to tolerate for straight teeth!

Today, teenagers aren’t the only ones who wear braces. Many adults are opting for orthodontic work.  Braces are much more popular. Technology has made great advances for cosmetic dentistry and has improved the techniques for how braces are applied. What’s more, there are braces that are not only essentially invisible, but can be removed for special occasions like weddings or family photos. One of the leaders in this type of orthodontia is the Invisalign approach.

Invisalign works against the inside surfaces of your teeth. The Invisalign system is made up of a series of clear aligners that can be removed if needed. Invisalign patients speak of the comfort and rave about the convenience. Fortunately for Buckhead and surrounding Atlanta residents, Dr. Peter Pate has been successfully straightening smiles with “invisible braces” for years.

If you have dreamed of a new smile, but have thought you’re too old or you cringe at the thought of a metal mouth, think again! There’s no reason you can’t have that award-winning smile. No one understands the importance of straight teeth and a beautiful smile better than Dr. Pate. Contact our office today at 404-266-9424 to schedule a consultation to explore your options. New patients are welcome and convenient financing solutions are also available.

October 22, 2011

Is It Wise to Pull Wisdom Teeth?

extraction of wisdom teeth

Do you still have your wisdom teeth? If you do, and they’re straight, you may or may not have any problems…yet.  Most people have their wisdom teeth removed as they begin to erupt—meaning as they break through the gum line. Long feared a painful event, and rightfully so, dentists admit, nearly 80% of the population has wisdom teeth extracted as they begin to break through.

Every year, millions of people have wisdom teeth removed that have no obvious sign of disease.  Routinely, dentists advise extraction at the early signs of wisdom teeth. Most individuals start to get their wisdom teeth between the ages of 16 and 25.

The “wisdom”—pardon the pun—behind this practice is generally endorsed for reasons of crowding, difficulty of reaching and cleaning the teeth and gums, the increased potential for infection and gum disease, and other problems down the road. Almost without exception, dentists are in favor of extracting wisdom teeth for these motives. Still, there are plenty of individuals whose wisdom teeth come in straight, without any problems. These folks are indeed the exception to the rule, earning peculiar bragging rights. But is it wise to keep extra teeth that will require the same care all teeth do?

Interestingly, some health experts are changing their opinion about extracting wisdom teeth before problems arise.  They contend the latent health risks of extracting wisdom teeth for preventive reasons outweigh anticipated problems.  Bottom line – each case is unique. 

If you have wisdom teeth coming in, or if you have a teenager with emerging wisdom teeth, visit Dr. Peter Pate for a consultation. Before you make any decisions, Dr. Pate can ascertain the progress of the teeth to help you make an informed choice of action. Call us at 404-266-9424 or request an appointment online. You would be wise to do so.

October 14, 2011

Kiss Your Dental Fear Goodbye!

About half of Americans do not visit the dentist, and up to 20% of this number feel scared, anxious, or stressed about dental appointments. Dental phobia has many levels. Some folks just get kind of queasy, while others experience debilitating fear. The good news is, you don’t have to be scared any longer. You’re thinking, yeah right! Consider, however, that while Dr. Pate and our staff are friendly, gentle, and caring, I’m talking about medication to ease your fear. This is not a mind-over-matter suggestion. Sedation dentistry will make you feel relaxed and calm during dental visits.

In addition to providing nitrous oxide (laughing gas), a safe and effective way of alleviating dental phobia, Dr. Pate also offers oral conscious sedation. He can prescribe a single dose of anti-anxiety medication for you to take before your dental treatment. The drug will make you feel groggy, but it will not induce sleep. Some people do fall asleep because they’re so relaxed. Rest assured, with oral sedation, you’ll retain the ability to speak and respond to Dr. Pate. While you’re sedated, we’ll keep a close eye on your heart rate, as well as your comfort level.

Sedation dentistry is perfect for patients who: (more…)

October 13, 2011

From Kings to Kids, Germs Aren’t Picky

periodontal disease

730 years ago, the famous Egyptian king, Ramses II, was a powerful leader but an extremely poor example of oral health.  Upon investigation, scientists postulate that the king died from heart disease that sprung directly from his rampant gum disease. His teeth can still be examined today, held in place by strong tartar buildup that holds them in like concrete. He did not brush and floss like he should have, which allowed plaque to build and harden into tartar. This resulted in an infection in his gums, or periodontal disease.

Did you know those germs in your mouth were so powerful?  It’s kind of scary, but it’s true. Our mouths are full of bacteria — up to 600 different kinds. The really dangerous strand is Streptococci mutans, which causes cavities. Unlike many body parts, teeth don’t shed an outer layer. It’s up to you to control oral bacteria and keep it from getting out of control, which could lead to dental problems and serious overall health issues. 

The germs that cause cavities do not discriminate based on your occupation or age –  you might be a king, an executive, or an elementary school student; they’ll overtake your mouth and destroy good oral health if you let them.  While cavities can seem rather innocuous, they are more serious than you might think. Letting cavities grow and harmful bacteria to flourish can allow infection to reach the brain.  In fact, in 2007, a 12-year-old boy in Maryland died from a tooth infection, which entered his bloodstream and eventually reached his brain. S. mutans  also cause bad breath and, even worse, gum disease. Also known as periodontal disease, gum disease increases the risk for heart disease, stroke, Alzheimer’s disease, diabetes complications, and the list goes on. Look at Ramses II.  Gum disease can be fatal.

To reduce the potential for cavities and gum disease, you have to brush, floss, and attend regularly scheduled checkups and cleanings.   Not only will this approach give you fresh breath and save your teeth, it might just save your life.

Set an appointment with Dr. Peter Pate in the Buckhead community.  Call 404-266-9424, or contact us online to schedule your visit. Located in Buckhead, our Atlanta dental office serves many local families from all around the metropolitan area.

October 1, 2011

Should You Use Mouthwash?

Dr. Pate often recommends the use of mouthwash, as does the American Dental Association, but mouthwash is really a matter of preference. Brushing twice a day, flossing once a day, and attending regularly scheduled checkups and cleanings are tasks you should count as mandatory for your oral health.  Mouthwash isn’t a must, but it does help control oral bacteria. It also makes your breath minty fresh, and some varieties reduce the risk for gum disease and cavities.

Here are a few interesting facts on the use of mouthwash:

  • A recent study suggests that using alcohol-free mouthwash could help prevent pre-term births. Learn more.
  • Some studies suggest that regular, prolonged use of mouthwash with alcohol may increase the risk for oral and oropharyngeal cancer. Learn more.
  • Prescription strength chlorhexidine mouthwash reduces plaque by 55% and gingivitis by 30 to 45%. Learn more.
  • Listerine, an antimicrobial mouth rinse made with essential oils, is the most effective over-the-counter mouthwash to fight plaque. Learn more. (more…)