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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.

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.

May 31, 2011

Kick the Habit

Are you a tobacco user? This is a great time to kick the habit!  The American Cancer Society recently stated that 90 percent of people with oral cancer used at least one form of tobacco.

In addition to cancer, tobacco products increase the risk of gum disease, discolor your teeth, give you bad breath, slow your healing after an oral procedure, and can cause white patches and scar tissue inside the mouth.

The tobacco industry recently introduced a dissolvable tobacco product for smokers to use in establishments that ban smoking. The marketing led consumers to believe that smokeless tobacco and dissolvable tobacco products are less harmful than pipes, cigars, and cigarettes. However, snuff, chewing tobacco, and dissolvable tobacco contain more nicotine than cigarettes, thus making them more addictive.

Nicotine is bad enough, but consider the added chemicals that increase the risk of throat, oral, and esophageal cancers.  These products contain cyanide, arsenic, sand, grit, sugars, and sweeteners that irritate gums, generating a higher risk of gum disease.  Gum disease is the #1 cause of adult tooth loss.

Kicking the habit now will reduce your potential for gum disease. When left untreated, gum disease increases the risk for heart disease, stroke, diabetes, Alzheimer’s, pre-term births, low birth-weight babies, and oral cancer.

I’m Dr. Peter Pate of Dentistry in Buckhead, and I encourage you to be aware of oral cancer and give up tobacco products forever.  Improve the quality of your life, and those of your friends and loved ones!  If you need help quitting, or if you need your teeth whitened after you quit, contact my Atlanta dental office at (404)266-9424 to schedule an appointment. I care for patients in Buckhead and the greater Atlanta area.

May 17, 2011

Toothpaste: Not Just for Teeth!

Toothpaste cleans, restores, and protects tooth enamel. But did you know that toothpaste serves multiple purposes around the house? Non-gel toothpaste can soothe common ailments, remove strong smells, and act as a household cleaner. Try these toothpaste tips outside of your oral care routine:

  1. Aloe doesn’t have to be the first thing you reach for when you sustain a minor burn. Delicately apply toothpaste to the burn for immediate and temporary relief.
  2. Toothpaste can decrease swelling and stop the itch of bug bites, blisters, sores, and pimples.  When applied to sores, the wound heals more rapidly. For best results, leave toothpaste on the blister overnight.
  3. For stronger and shinier fingernails, scrub them with a toothbrush and toothpaste.
  4. Garlic, onions, and fish can leave a pungent odor on your skin, even after washing with soap and water. Next time, scrub your hands with toothpaste to remove the lingering odor.
  5. Toothpaste not only removes food stains from teeth, but can also remove unsightly marks from fabric and carpets. To treat stains on clothing, apply a small amount of toothpaste and rub briskly until the stain has vanished. When tackling carpet stains, scrub with toothpaste and a firm brush, then rinse immediately. (Avoid whitening toothpastes on colored fabrics and carpets due to the bleaching effects.)
  6. Silver jewelry and diamonds sparkle after cleaning with toothpaste. For diamonds, scrub gently with a toothbrush and water. Rinse thoroughly to bring out a stunning shine. For silver jewelry, rub toothpaste on and leave overnight. Wipe dry toothpaste off in the morning with a soft cloth. Warning: do not use toothpaste on pearls and opals.
  7. To keep goggles from fogging underwater, apply a small dab of toothpaste to the lens. Rub gently to avoid scratching the lens. Rinse thoroughly.

Brushing your teeth twice a day with toothpaste can reduce your chances for developing gum disease and tooth decay. To ensure healthy teeth, contact me, Dr. Peter Pate at (404)266-9424 to schedule a thorough dental cleaning and check up. I am a general family and cosmetic dentist in the Buckhead area of Atlanta, and I provide excellent oral care for families in Sandy Springs, Brookhaven, Lenox, and surrounding areas.

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!

March 31, 2011

Omega-3s, Oh My!

Omega-3 fatty acids are essential in heart-healthy diets. But did you know that they may help prevent gum disease?

Nearly 80 percent of the population has some form of gum disease. The condition is linked to diabetes, heart disease, premature births, low birth weight, and various forms of cancer. When detected early, gum disease can be treated conservatively. However, left untreated, patients may have to undergo surgery to correct the problem.

A recent study shows that consumption of even moderate amounts of omega-3s may decrease the likelihood of developing gum disease. Omega-3 fatty acids can be found in nuts, seeds, cooking oils, and fatty fish such as tuna, salmon, sardines, and mackerel. The American Heart Association recommends indulging in some of these foods and supplements at least twice a week.

Nearly 80 percent of the population has some form of gum disease. The condition is linked to diabetes, heart disease, premature births, low birth weight, and various forms of cancer. When detected early, gum disease can be treated conservatively. However, left untreated, patients may have to undergo surgery to correct the problem.

I’m Dr. Peter Pate, an Atlanta dentist, and I encourage you to add omega-3 fatty acids to your diet, as well as continuing proper oral hygiene of brushing twice daily, flossing, and keeping your six-month checkups and cleanings. If you detect the early signs of gum disease (redness, swelling, and bleeding of the gums), call my office, Dentistry in Buckhead, at (404)266-9424 to schedule an appointment.

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