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January 23, 2012

Why Do I Need Fluoride?

Dr. Peter Pate and our team at Dentistry in Buckhead encourage the use of fluoride in our patients’ oral health regimens. You have probably heard countless times from your parents, dentists, and toothpaste commercials that fluoride is essential to guarding your teeth against dental problems. Although this may seem like common knowledge, fluoride and its history in the use of dentistry is scientifically proven to protect your mouth from harmful bacteria and plaque.

What is Fluoride?

Fluoride is a natural mineral widely distributed in nature. Read more about it here.   In the middle of the 20th century, after conclusive research, the United States and many countries in Europe began adding small amounts of fluoride to city water supplies. Although the amount is miniscule, the overall oral health of the country has improved. (more…)

December 26, 2011

How to Recycle Your Toothbrush

The American Dental Association recommends replacing your toothbrush every three to four months, or sooner if you’re sick or the bristles become frayed. So what do you do with the brush when it can no longer clean your teeth? Dr. Pate suggests disinfecting your brush to prevent contaminating other areas, and trying these tips to make your old toothbrushes useful.

Around The House

Toothbrushes are useful cleaning tools because they can get into crevices that your sponge or rag cannot reach. The brush can clean between the bristles of your hairbrush or between the tongs of your forks. In addition, the long handle makes it easy to reach deep down into bottles or glasses. It’s also convenient to scrub grout and grime from the corners of kitchen and bathroom sinks. You’ve probably eaten while watching TV or using the computer, which leaves your buttons dirty and sticky.  A clean, dry brush can also help remove dust between keys on your remote control or computer keyboard.


December 20, 2011

What on Earth is a Tongue Scraper?

Though it sounds like a medieval torture tool, a tongue scraper is actually an effective oral hygiene aid. Even in ancient India and China, people cleaned their tongues to remove toxic debris. In the 1900s, people used tongue scrapers fashioned from ivory, silver, or tortoise shell.

Today, tongue scrapers are usually made of plastic, and most have a U-shaped head and a handle. However, some new toothbrushes feature a tongue scraper in the form of indentations on the back of the head, opposite the bristles. Floss or toothbrush bristles can also be used as a tongue scraper. (more…)

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.

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.

August 21, 2011

Technology – Friend to Your Teeth!

In general dentistry, technological advances have become a major part of prevention. The DIAGNOdent Laser Cavity detector is a laser we use to detect the tiniest, hidden bits of decay and demineralization in your teeth. Previously undetectable areas and amounts of decay are now caught by this laser. It almost sounds too good to be true, right? Just how does this amazing technology work?

The DIAGNOdent is a small hand piece that Dr. Peter Pate will use to scan your teeth, gums, and entire oral cavity. Using a completely safe, high-powered light to illuminate your mouth, we will be able to easily identify abnormalities based on the way the light appears.

Scientists discovered that altered tooth substances and bacteria will give fluorescent feedback at certain wavelengths of light, while normal tissue and areas will appear a constant color throughout.

The DIAGNOdent operates at a wavelength of 655 nm. At this wavelength, clean teeth will have no fluorescence. The machine will display low scale readings.  If any tooth has decay and/or demineralization, it will show fluorescence and the display readings will be high.

The device is equipped with audio signals to point out areas of concern. This audio guide allows us to stay focused on you during your exam, rather than constantly watching the computer monitor.

The process will be very fast and completely comfortable for you. After your exam, you can feel confident about the health of your teeth without worrying about what problems might be lurking in the hard-to-see areas of your mouth.  This is just another perk of having regularly scheduled dental exams and cleanings.

Dr. Pate and his team will use the latest technology to help you attain the best possible oral health.  Just call Dentistry in Buckhead today at 404-266-9424.

June 15, 2011

Exercise Can Lower the Risk of Periodontal Disease

There are frequent news reports and television shows encouraging Americans to get fit and healthy through proper diet and exercise.  One study revealed that increasing your level of exercise can lead to healthier teeth and gums.

Researchers from the University of Florida measured the body mass index (BMI), body fat percentage, and maximal oxygen consumption in a group of volunteers.  The team of researchers then used the measurements to calculate each participant’s exercise capabilities and weight control. The participants’ oral health and oral care habits were also examined.

When all the information was gathered, researchers determined that the people who maintained healthy weight and exercised regularly were less likely to develop periodontal (gum) disease.

“Weight management and physical fitness both contribute to overall health, and now we believe staying in shape may help lower your risk of developing gum disease,” stated Samuel Low, Associate Dean at the school’s College of Dentistry. “Since gum disease is related to other diseases, such as cardiovascular disease and diabetes, there is even more reason to take care of yourself through diet and exercise.”

Dr. Low also suggests that we should follow the American Dental Association’s guidelines of brushing twice daily, flossing once a day, rinsing after meals, and visiting your dentist on a regular schedule for a thorough cleaning and checkup.

Remember, oral health is crucial to overall health, and your first step to continued good health is to schedule a thorough checkup and cleaning with me, Dr. Peter Pate, Dentistry of Buckhead. Contact my Atlanta dentist office at (404)266-9424 to schedule an appointment.

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