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June 3, 2012

Keep Your Smile Bright This Summer

Kids miss about 51 million hours of school and adults miss about 164 million hours of work each year due to unforeseen dental treatments. During the summer, children are out of school and adults spend a few days of vacation away from the office. Dr. Pate encourages you to take advantage of your time off to handle your dental needs.

Summertime Dental Emergencies

The Academy of General Dentistry reports that the majority of dental emergencies during the summer are caused by swimming pool accidents. Running on slippery ground, diving into shallow pools, and playing summer sports can break, loosen or knock out healthy teeth. Fortunately, Dr. Pate offers dental crowns and dental implants to restore your smile mishaps. Additionally, chlorinated water is shown to erode and stain your tooth enamel, but Dr. Pate can hide discolorations with veneers, bonding, or whitening.  Visiting Dr. Pate during the summer will help protect your mouth from summertime damage.


May 23, 2012

Healthy Mouth, Healthy Heart!

Research shows that people who receive professional dental cleanings on a regular basis are 24% less likely to have a heart attack, and 13% less likely to have a stroke.  Dr. Pate would like to explain how keeping your teeth clean can also help keep your heart healthy.

Oral Bacteria in the Bloodstream

Gum disease weakens your gum tissue and creates an opening for bacteria to enter your bloodstream. As these bacteria travel through your body, they can inflame other cells and tissues. In fact, patients who have heart attacks or strokes often have the same bacteria that cause gum disease accumulated in their arteries. Here are some ways that oral bacteria can contribute to a stroke as it travels through your bloodstream:

May 10, 2012

The Importance of Wetting Your Whistle

On average, a person could not survive more than five days without water. As the weather outside gets warmer, your need for water increases. Water keeps you energized, healthy, and strong. In honor of Drinking Water Week (May 6-12), Dr. Pate wants to make sure you’re drinking enough water to keep your body and mouth hydrated this summer.


The human body is made up of 55-75% water. Your body loses water through sweating, urination, and exhaling. When you don’t replace the water your body is losing, you may become dehydrated. Dehydration can cause muscle weakness, cramping, headaches, dizziness, fatigue, and other body weaknesses. However, dehydration affects your mouth, too. A lack of moisture in your mouth can lead to dry mouth and dry lips.


May 7, 2012

Keep Your Smile Healthy in the Workplace

According to the Academy of General Dentistry, people who smile are more popular and more successful than their non-smiling peers. A healthy smile in the workplace can improve your appearance, confidence, and performance. In honor of Employee Health and Fitness Month, Dr. Pate would like to discuss how to keep your smile healthy on the job.

Brushing at the Office

More than three-quarters of professionals eat at their desk at least twice during the day. However, only 53% of women and 37% of men brush their teeth after eating at work. The Academy of General Dentistry suggests leaving an extra toothbrush at the office to increase your likelihood of brushing by about 65 percent. Research also shows that people who practice healthy hygiene behaviors are more motivated and more likely to pay attention to details, thereby improving work efficiency.


April 27, 2012

The Advantages of Invisalign

Crooked teeth are embarrassing, but a mouth full of metal may be even more humiliating for professional adults. Fortunately, Dr. Pate offers Invisalign clear braces—a cosmetic alternative to straighten your smile. Take this quiz to see how much you know about the benefits of Invisalign.

1. What color are Invisalign braces?
a. Silver
b. White
c. Clear

2. How long do you wear each set of aligners?
a. One month
b. Two weeks
c. One week

3. When should you remove Invisalign?
a. For eating and cleaning
b. For sleeping
c. Only at the end of treatment

4. Which of the following is associated with Invisalign?
a. Wires
b. Brackets
c. A custom fit


April 22, 2012

Oral Piercings and Dental Health

Some people think oral piercings are fashionable, but Dr. Pate views them as potential dental disasters. If you’re considering a lip or tongue piercing, take the proper precautions to avoid damaging your teeth, gums, and oral health.

Stay Sterile

More than half of the bacteria in your mouth live on the surface of your tongue. When your tongue is punctured, your oral bacteria can enter your bloodstream, increasing your risk of heart problems and other oral-systemic conditions. Additionally, if not sterilized properly, the piercing needle can carry bacteria and increase your risk of toxic shock syndrome, blood poisoning, hepatitis, and other health problems. Furthermore, research shows that stainless steel studs collect more bacteria than plastic studs. To prevent infection, be sure your piercer is using a clean needle and practices proper oral hygiene to keep your mouth clean.

Healthy Healing

A piercing takes a long time to heal. It’s important to take proper care of your mouth during the recovery process to prevent infection and restore the healthy tissues. Immediately following your piercings, your tongue, lips, and gums may swell. Swelling can make it difficult to speak, eat, drink, and swallow properly. Furthermore, excessive inflammation may block your airway. To promote quick recovery, consume plenty of vitamin C, rinse your mouth with an antiseptic, and avoid acidic items that could irritate your mouth. You should also visit Dr. Pate to check that your piercing and oral tissues are healing safely.


April 18, 2012

Keeping Back Teeth Healthy

When you smile, other people typically only see the front, outer surfaces of your teeth. Many cosmetic treatments, like whitening, veneers, and bonding, brighten these surfaces to improve your physical appearance. However, it’s just as important to take care of the parts of your mouth that other people can’t see. Proper dental care and regular visits to Dr. Pate can help keep front and back teeth healthy so you can function properly.

Why are Back Teeth Overlooked?

The Academy of General Dentistry reports that more people are concerned with achieving a beautiful smile than a healthy one. Many people don’t pay close attention to their back teeth because they aren’t visible and don’t impact overall appearance.

In addition, brushers often have difficulty reaching and cleaning their back molars. Your back teeth are responsible for grinding and crushing your food before you swallow. Your “chewing surfaces” also have deep ridges to help with chomping. Since your back molars are frequently exposed to food, and food can get stuck in the grooves, it’s important to thoroughly clean these teeth to remove debris. If you need help reaching the back of your mouth, try using a toothbrush with a long handle. You should also remember to start your brushing routine at the back of your mouth—while your toothbrush and paste are fresh, and before you tire of brushing. Additionally, at your regular dental cleaning with Dr. Pate, our hygienists will help clean those difficult-to-reach angles that you can’t scrub on your own.


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