For many people, the first thought that October brings to mind is Halloween and the hordes of candy that will inevitably assault their oral health. However, there is another reason to celebrate October as the American Dental Hygienists’ Association (ADHA) marks National Dental Hygiene Month. Since most of us have been instructed to care for our teeth since childhood, oral hygiene may not seem like a problem. Yet, gum disease still affects over 75% of adults in America, and over 90% of adults under the age of 60 have had at least one cavity in their permanent teeth. To help lower these statistics, at least among our patients and readers, Atlanta dentist Peter A. Pate, outlines the basics of proper oral health care.
Good Dental Hygiene Practices
While most of us can say that we brush our teeth every day (we hope!), not everyone knows that there is a right and wrong way to brush your teeth. One of the most common tooth brushing mistakes is brushing too quickly, or not thoroughly enough. (more…)
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.
February was a month full of awards shows, including the 54th Annual Grammy Awards. As your favorite musicians accepted their awards, what did their smiles look like? Dr. Pate can help protect your teeth from some common destructive rock-star habits.
Some rockers have wild lifestyles. Drug, tobacco, and alcohol use can damage their smiles. First, these products contribute to stained teeth. Your teeth should not look the same gold color as your Grammy! Furthermore, these habits can lead to dry mouth and increase your risk of oral cancer. Most musicians should set an example to their young fans and avoid harmful habits to keep their smiles white and healthy.
Instrument wires and stage oils can make performances very hazardous. Slipping on stage or diving into the audience may cause oral injuries, like broken teeth or knocked out teeth. Actress-singer Hilary Duff admitted that she chipped four of her teeth on microphones, influencing her decision to get veneers. If rock stars plan rowdy dance moves, they should consider wearing mouth guards to protect their smiles against accidental injuries.
Eating table scraps, licking people, and digging through trash cans and outdoor surroundings can make your pet’s mouth very dirty. Dental disease affects 78% of dogs and 68% of cats, and poor dental health can lead to bacterial infection and tooth loss in any species. Since your canine or feline doesn’t have access to professional dental care by Dr. Pate like you do, it’s important that you understand how to keep your pet’s mouth clean.
Pet Dental Problems
This month is National Pet Dental Health month. P. gulae is the bacteria responsible for causing gum disease in animals. Dental problems in pets can cause pain, discomfort, shyness, and irritability. Contact your vet if you notice any of these oral symptoms in your pet:
- Tartar buildup
- Bad breath
- Difficulty eating or chewing
- Wincing when touched near mouth
- Red gums
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…)