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August 22, 2011

The Tooth Fairy!

Today is National Tooth Fairy Day! If you have ever known a young child who has lost a tooth, you know how important it is to be visited by this dental nymph. What is the origin of this fantasy figure?

The history of the tooth fairy, as told by some, is actually a rather dark tale.  In the Middle Ages, witches were on the lookout for items that could be used to work their black magic. They thought items held especially close to someone – like hair, clothing, and even teeth – were prime ingredients for potions and spells. Therefore, baby teeth were quickly discarded either by fire or buried out of sight.

In less ominous traditions, parents took their children’s teeth and buried them in the garden in order to “grow” strong, healthy adult teeth in their place. This tradition was adapted over time and some people buried the teeth in flower pots inside the home.  Today, of course, the location has moved to the pillow where it is “buried” for the night until a fairy comes to retrieve it, leaving a coin, toy, or treat for the child to discover upon waking

Children in Cambodia toss their lower teeth on the roof and bury their upper teeth in the ground. They hope that the new teeth will grow towards the old teeth and be straight. In Turkey, parents bury their children’s teeth in a location that might benefit the child’s future, such as a college campus garden or at a hospital.  In Kyrgyzstan, a child will hide his tooth in a piece of bread and give it to an animal with desirable teeth.  In other countries, the baby teeth are regarded as mementos or small treasures. Such is the case in Chile, where the lost tooth is made into a charm and set in precious metal to be used as a necklace or an earring.

Although children eventually lose these “baby” teeth, it is still important to keep them healthy and clean. One of the best ways to instill healthy oral habits for your child is to practice brushing and flossing with them at an early age. 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.

June 17, 2011

Will sedation dentistry ease your fears?

Of the following, which one makes you the most nervous?

  • Heights
  • Flying
  • Injections
  • Doctors
  • Snakes
  • Going to the dentist
  • Spiders
  • Going to the hospital

A recent study conducted by the British Dental Health Foundation produced some interesting results. In the lead-up to National Smile Month 2011, the Foundation asked over 1,000 people what makes them the most nervous.

More than 1 in 5 people rated visiting the dentist as the culprit that causes them the most anxiety!

A fear of heights topped the poll, followed by visiting the dentist and going to the hospital. Surprisingly, snakes ranked fourth, while spiders came in fifth.

Obviously, a large number of people suffer from fear of the dentist or some form of dental phobia.  Unfortunately, that means  these folks are not getting the dental care they need simply because they’re afraid.

Dr. Peter Pate can help. With sedation dentistry, you can leave your anxiety at the door and get the care you need. Dr. Pate will review your suggested treatment course and answer your questions to alleviate any lingering apprehension. Depending on your goals, concerns, and medical history, Dr. Pate will suggest the right method of sedation for you. Our sedation dentistry options include nitrous oxide and oral conscious sedation.

For more information or to reserve your appointment, call Dentistry in Buckhead in Atlanta, Georgia at (404) 266-9424.

June 1, 2011

Teeth Whitening Has Never Been Easier


Did you know that methods of teeth whitening have been around for thousands of years?

The Egyptians beat the world to the invention of toothpaste, and used wine as one of the major ingredients. We know now that wine easily stains our teeth.

Believe it or not, the Romans used human urine as the main ingredient in their toothpaste! In fact, Roman toothpaste was so popular among Roman aristocracy that human urine was imported from Portugal. As disgusting as it sounds, the Romans were onto something. Ammonia has lightening and brightening qualities and is the main chemical found in human urine.

Luckily, we don’t have to use any ancient methods to whiten our smiles these days. I’m Dr. Peter Pate, a dentist in Atlanta, GA, and I am proud to offer in-office and at-home teeth whitening solutions to my patients.

Zoom! Whitening is the leading in-office teeth whitening system, which can remove discolorations and lighten your teeth 8 to 10 shades. The entire process takes only a few hours. You will feel good and look great with brighter, whiter teeth after your in-office whitening appointment!

If you prefer to whiten your teeth at your own convenience, I offer take-home whitening kits. Just fill the custom trays with the whitening gel that we provide and wear them for the specified time over a period of two weeks. You will see gradual results and end the process with a luminous, white smile. Bleaching trays are great for occasional touch-ups and can be used following in-office and at-home teeth whitening procedures.

Call my dental office at (404) 266-9424 to find out more about teeth whitening or to schedule an appointment.

September 15, 2010

YEEEOWCH! Do You Suffer from Tooth Sensitivity?

Do you say no to sundaes? Do you wait for your soup to stop steaming? Is sugar painfully sweet? If your teeth ache with temperature fluctuations or sour and sweet tastes, you probably have sensitive teeth. The consequences of this touchy condition can range from a dull ache to sharp, shooting pains.

Teeth grinding, gum recession, gum disease, tooth decay at the gum line, cracks, chips, and plaque buildup can make teeth sensitive. Years of brushing too hard, consuming high-acid foods and drinks, “thin tooth enamel,” or using certain mouthwashes or toothpastes can also contribute to your sensitivity. If your sensitivity is a result of recent dental work, it may go away as quickly as it developed.

Is there hope that you’ll ever enjoy a brisk winter walk or a glass of refreshing iced tea without wincing when the cold hits your teeth?


As with most dental conditions, the first line of defense is good oral hygiene. Brush twice a day and floss at least once a day. Make your appointments with Dr. Pate for checkups and cleanings every six months (or as often as recommended). Switching to a soft-bristled toothbrush, using desensitizing toothpaste, and reducing the amount of acidic foods and drinks you ingest (colas, citrus, sports drinks, coffee, wine, etc.) are great first steps you can take at home. (more…)