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May 22, 2012

What’s Your Dental IQ?

You probably know that daily dental hygiene is important to keep your mouth healthy. However,  brushing and flossing are only effective if you do it properly. Dr. Pate wants to test your knowledge to see how much you know about preventive dental care.

1. How long should you brush your teeth?

A. One minute
B. Three minutes
C. Ten minutes

2. How often should you floss?

A. Every day
B. Once a week
C. Only before my dental appointment


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.


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 17, 2012

Overcoming Dental Fears

An estimated 30% of people avoid visiting the dentist due to fear and anxiety. Recent research from the University of Sydney found that women in their 40s are more likely to experience dental fear.   This is because members of this demographic are more likely to have felt trauma, abuse, depression, anxiety, or stress that interferes with a relaxed state of mind. In addition, people with a low pain tolerance, high sensitivity, or difficulty sitting still may fear dental discomfort. Fortunately, Dr. Pate can help relieve your nerves with sedation dentistry to make your appointment relaxing and comfortable.

Tips to Fight Dental Anxiety

To achieve their bright superstar smiles, Robert de Niro, Kelly Osbourne, and Billy Ray Cyrus all had to overcome their dental phobias. Here are some strategies you can use to cope with your dental fear so you, too, can receive the healthy and beautiful smile of your dreams.

April 9, 2012

Need Bonding or Veneers?

Dental bonding and porcelain veneers are two common cosmetic procedures that Dr. Pate can use to brighten your smile. Both restorations are placed over your teeth to hide discolorations, chips, gaps, and other imperfections. At your cosmetic consultation with Dr. Pate, your Atlanta dentist will discuss all your options and determine the cosmetic treatment that meets your needs. Take this quiz to see if you know the difference between bonding and veneers.

1. What material does bonding use?

a. Porcelain
b. Composite resin
c. Amalgam

2. Who creates your porcelain veneers?

a. A dental ceramist
b. Dr. Pate
c. A periodontist


April 2, 2012

What to Do Before and After Your Atlanta Dental Appointment

During your appointment with Dr. Pate, our team will thoroughly clean and protect your teeth. However, once you leave our Atlanta dentist office, you need to follow proper maintenance and care instructions to avoid damaging your teeth and gums. Try these tips to keep your smile healthy immediately before and after your dental cleaning.

What to Do Before Your Appointment

  • Regular hygiene. Your best defense against dental diseases is to correctly brush and floss daily. It’s simply not enough if you “cram” and only floss a few days before your appointment. In addition, it’s best to show Dr. Pate your natural behaviors and condition of your mouth so you will know what to change. For example, if you have bad breath, you don’t need to worry. Coming to your appointment in your natural state will help Dr. Pate accurately diagnose any problems.
  • Prepare. Keep a file at home of your oral history so you can review what’s going on inside your mouth. You should also gather all your medical and health information so you can discuss your conditions with Dr. Pate.
  • Relax. Stress and anxiety can make your dentist appointment more uncomfortable. Be sure you get plenty of sleep the night before and arrive early enough to relax in the waiting room. If you’re still nervous, ask Dr. Pate if you would benefit from sedation.


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