January 31, 2011

Say No to Soda Pop

Everyone loves a good glass of bubbly now and then. I’m not talking about champagne; I’m talking about soda! Sodas are sweet, tasty, and come in hundreds of different flavors and colors. There’s nothing better than the sound of a can popping open on a hot summer day, but doctors have discovered a ton of health risks connected with drinking soda pop.

I’m Dr. Peter Pate of Dentistry in Buckhead, and I want to tell you a few reasons why soda may be a thing good to avoid.

  • Soda is truly worthless to your body. “It has absolutely no nutritional value. Soda is filled with sugar and calories and nothing else,” American Dietetic Association spokeswoman Keri M. Gans says. If you think you’re off the hook because you drink diet soda, think again. Diet sodas don’t have any nutritionally redeeming qualities.
  • Soda damages your teeth. Obviously, as a dentist, I want to help you maintain a healthy and beautiful smile. Soda and other sugary confections contribute nothing positive to your oral health. The sugar in soda coats your teeth and combines with bacteria in your mouth to form acid. These acids weaken your tooth enamel, which can cause cavities and tooth decay.
  • Drinking soda can weaken your bones. Soda is bad for your bones, just like it’s bad for your teeth. The phosphorous and caffeine agents in soda might contribute to osteoporosis. If you are a soda drinker, your bones might be deprived of calcium because you aren’t drinking enough milk.
  • Soda can harm your major organs. The consumption of soft drinks may be linked to chronic kidney disease, development of metabolic syndrome, increased heart risk, obesity, and liver disease.

Experts say that soda contributes nothing positive to your overall health, and as a care provider, I have to agree. Healthy drinks, however, contain vitamins and minerals your body can utilize. Milk, tea, and fruit juice (in small amounts due to added sugar) are healthy alternatives to soda. Of course, water is the best thing you can give your body. It has the power to rehydrate your body without adding extra calories.

For more information about what you can do to maintain a healthy mouth, please contact my office in Atlanta at (404) 266-9424.

January 17, 2011

Why Teeth Discolor (And How to Bring Back the Beauty)

Are your teeth yellow, grayish, brownish, or just plain dingy?

In cosmetic dentistry, we use porcelain to create natural-looking restorations, like crowns and veneers. Porcelain looks and acts a lot like natural tooth enamel. Like porcelain, our teeth are porous. If you’ve ever had a white porcelain kitchen sink, you’ve probably watched it stain over time. The dark pigments in coffee, tea, red wine, and many foods such as berries, soak into the porous porcelain and cause discoloration. Unless you use a cleanser with bleach or a very harsh scrubber, like steel wool, the stains are virtually impossible to remove.

I do not recommend you use bleach or steel wool on your teeth! (more…)

January 13, 2011

Go Green… With Your Tea!

You’ve probably heard about the health benefits of green tea, but have you heard about the oral health benefits? Green tea is known to destroy Streptococcus mutans, the main type of bacteria that causes plaque, acids, and tooth decay. By killing S. mutans, green tea fights cavities at the source. In addition, green tea makes tooth enamel slick, which inhibits of bacteria from adhering to a tooth’s surface.

Just a few ounces of green tea can yield these amazing oral health benefits. One study showed that Japanese children who drank a cup of green tea after lunch had significantly fewer cavities than their peers.

Green tea even fights the bacteria that invade a tooth’s pulp.   This means that drinking green tea could save you from needing a root canal. Of 24 types of bacteria taken from a tooth’s infected root, 21 strains were inhibited or destroyed by green tea extract. Amazing!

Winter is the perfect time of year to add green tea to your menu because of the overall health benefits. The wonder-beverage has been shown to be useful against allergens, viruses, and inflammation. It’s also known to reduce the signs of aging and reduce the speed of cartilage deterioration. The list of positives goes on and on. Drink four cups of green tea each day, and you could reduce your risk of cancer. Your cholesterol could go down, as well. It’s good for weight loss and increases the body’s rate of calorie burning. Green tea drinkers show higher bone mineral density, and one study showed that in heart attack patients, green tea can reduce the risk of death by 44% over about 4 years. Wow!

This is a perfect gift for friends and loved ones.  Green tea is the gift that keeps on giving.

January 7, 2011

Turn a Few Heads with a Healthy, Beautiful Smile

It has been said that a person’s smile is the first thing others notice. I am Dr. Peter Pate and, as a dentist in the Atlanta area, I couldn’t agree more.

It has been proven that people tend to base their first impressions on the quality of your smile. In fact, people who have bright, healthy-looking smiles tend to achieve more in almost all aspects of their lives, especially professionally.

Many of my patients are surprised to hear this. It seems like in our modern day and age, people tend to obsess over their weight, hair color/style, skin tone, clothing, and other aspects of their physical appearance. The truth is, when it comes to first impressions, a beautiful smile says it all!

My team at Dentistry in Buckhead is here to help. Obviously, a healthy, beautiful smile can take you far. The mouth is often referred to as the window to the body because oral health has such a large impact on overall health. A healthy mouth that functions properly helps to ensure the overall health of your body.  Let’s face it, healthy people tend to be happier. Speaking of faces, having a well constructed smile affects more than just your mouth. Your whole face will benefit from a beautiful smile — including your eyes, which are the second thing people notice about a new acquaintance.

I offer a variety of cosmetic dentistry options if you feel that is the best way for you to achieve a sparkling smile. I will be happy to sit down with you at a consultation to discuss your dental goals and possible treatment plans.

Make it your new year’s resolution to achieve a healthy, dazzling smile, and you’ll be unstoppable. For more information or to schedule an appointment, please contact my office at (404) 266-9424.

January 5, 2011

Promises, Promises (New Year’s Resolutions)

A recent study tells us that most of us make promises to ourselves on New Year’s Day, then promptly break those vows. About 30% of women tend to make and keep their New Year’s resolutions for over 30 days, but most guys ditch their deals in a day or two. I hope we’re all much more diligent with brushing, flossing, checkups, and cleanings!

According to articles from About.com and USA.gov, these are the top resolutions people make in January. See if any of yours made the list!

  • Spend more time with family and friends
  • Get a better education
  • Land a better job
  • Get fit
  • Lose weight
  • Quit smoking
  • Enjoy life more
  • Manage stress
  • Quit drinking
  • Get out of debt
  • Save money
  • Learn something new
  • Take a vacation
  • Help others
  • Reduce, reuse, and recycle
  • Get organized

It sure would be great to see people add “go to the dentist regularly” to this list! Only half of Americans visit the dentist each year, and the most widespread childhood disease is dental caries (cavities). I want to ask you to make a resolution – a promise to yourself – to come in and see me twice this year. The ADA and most dental professionals recommend a minimum of two checkups and cleanings each year. These visits allow us to find problems in the early stage, when treatment is more effective and less invasive. Early treatment of oral cancer, for instance, improves a person’s survival potential by 80%! This is serious stuff, folks.

So instead of making a promise that’s just not practical, make one you can keep. If you live in the Atlanta area, visit Dentistry in Buckhead for six-month checkups and cleanings, and you could keep more than your promise. Ultimately, you could keep your teeth for life!