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Avoid the Flu with These Five Easy Things

woman with the flu

Flu season has officially begun and will continue through February, or maybe even later. Nobody wants to catch this ache-inducing, sneezing-causing, and overall yucky-feeling sickness. While sometimes the flu is unavoidable, there are easy things you can do to reduce your chance of falling ill. Join your dentist in Buckhead in practicing these top tips all flu season long.  

Clean & Sanitize

During flu season, it’s wise to clean and sanitize your living and workspace more often than usual. Germs can live on surfaces for quite some time, and all it takes is touching an infected surface to come down with the flu. Make sure to clean the areas you use most often or that are touched by multiple people like the kitchen, bathroom, and conference room tables at work. Don’t forget about the little items like remote controls, toilet handles, doorknobs, and keyboards.   

Wash Your Hands

Your dentist in Buckhead and all medical professionals will tell you that washing your hands often is one of the best ways to avoid the flu and the common cold. Scrubbing your mitts with warm water and antibacterial soap is an effective way to remove any germs you may have picked up throughout the day. Cover your palms, fingers, and even fingernails with soapy water after using the restroom, before eating, and after you touch anyone. If you can’t get to a sink right away, an alcohol-based sanitizer can work in a pinch. 

Keep Hands Away from the Face

According to the CDC, another common way to transfer germs from person to person or from surface to person is by putting our hands on our face or near our mouths, eyes, or nose. Since these areas of the body contain mucus, anything that gets into them is easily transported into the rest of the body, including germs. 

Choose Healthy Meals

While we always recommend trying to eat a well-balanced diet all year round, it can be even more important during flu season. Fueling your body with all of the good stuff it needs to function optimally puts it in good fighting shape if germs do find their way inside. Eat plenty of fresh fruits, vegetables, and lean proteins and avoid sugar as much as you can. 

Increase Your Water Intake

Besides eating well, it’s also important to drink a lot of water throughout the day. When a body is properly hydrated, it’s better prepared to fight off anything that may try to make you sick. Follow the 8×8 rule by drinking eight 8-ounce glasses of water every day. 

These tips can go a long way in keeping the flu away from you and your family this season. But if you do happen to get sick, the team at our Buckhead dental office recommends treating your symptoms with sugar-free medication to protect your teeth. Also, don’t forget to swap out your toothbrush for a new one after any illness.

National Dental Hygiene Month is Here!

hygienist in the foreground

There’s a lot to be thankful for as we move into this part of 2019, but October is also a time when the entire nation comes together to observe National Dental Hygiene Month. This is a special part of the year when you, along with your dentist is Buckhead, can take some time out to talk about all of the wonderful things dental hygienists bring to dentistry. 

Without further ado, let’s give dental hygienists everywhere the respect they deserve for a job well done in dental offices across America. Let’s learn a little more about what they do and how you can even help make their life a little easier when you come in for your regular cleanings.

A Little Hygiene History 

According to Registered Dental Hygienist Magazine, a new type of dental “nurse” began to help with teeth cleanings to prevent decay and disease dating all the way back to the 1880s. Dr. Albert C. Fones trained his assistant Irene Newman to act as an apprentice. Her early duties mainly involved scaling and polishing teeth, much like modern hygienists. Fones could not wrap his head around the term “dental nurse,” so he started calling his students dental hygienists instead. A whole new, exciting, and vital part of the dental field was born. (What would we do without them?)

National Dental Hygiene Month first started being recognized in October back in 2009 courtesy of the American Dental Hygienists’ Association (ADHA) and Wrigley gum. Together, both organizations saw the need for more Americans to put a heavier emphasis on keeping their teeth healthy.

How Can I Observe National Dental Hygiene Month?

The best way to show your dental hygienist some love is to come into our Buckhead dental office for a cleaning. While you’re there, be sure to share how much you appreciate the kind of care your hygienist provides for your smile. 

When you’re at home, you can do these things to help maintain all of the hard work dental hygienists and dentists do to keep your teeth healthy.

1) Brush Twice a Day

Remember, the golden rule to brushing is doing it twice a day for two minutes. Make sure you’re using a soft brush where the bristles are free from wear and tear. Regular brushing is going to keep bad breath away, help keep teeth free from decay, and make your dental hygienist’s day the next time your due for a cleaning. 

2) Floss at least Once a Day

As funny as it seems, flossing made headlines a while back when there was a debate about whether or not it’s necessary. Flossing can reach up to 30 percent more of your tooth surfaces where brushing can’t reach. You’ll be able to get rid of nasty food particles that can lead to decay and disease down the road.

3) Rinse Your Mouth

Mouthwash is a great way to seal the deal on your at-home oral health routine so that you know your teeth are protected and healthy. It also helps to keep your breath fresh. Aim to make rinsing with mouthwash something you do each day after you finish flossing and brushing. An excellent antimicrobial rinse can work wonders for your mouth and breath!

We hope you learned a little something about dental hygienists and what they do. We also hope you reach out to us either by phone or online to learn more about taking care of your smile. If you’re scheduled to see your dental hygienist this month for a cleaning, share a big smile and thank you with them for all that they do for you!

You CAN Relax at the Dentist! (We’ll Show You How)

young woman at the dentist

Nothing gives some people more dread in their stomach than knowing they need to see their dentist in Buckhead soon. It doesn’t matter if it’s a regular visit and cleaning or a first-time appointment to establish care, there’s a good chance you or someone you know feels anxiety no matter what the reason is for the appointment.

You should know that if you or someone in your family struggles with a fear of seeing the dentist, you’re not alone. The Cleveland Clinic estimates between 9 and 15 percent of Americans avoid going to the dentist out of fear or anxiety. 

There’s a solution for everything, including your apprehension about seeing the dentist. Here are a few ways to get you started with having a healthier smile. We promise that following these simple steps will help you feel more relaxed and at ease about dental treatment.

Step #1: Just Talk to Us

All you have to do is give our Buckhead dental office a call. Let us know what you’re feeling and what you’d like to do about your smile. It’s just that easy. If you’re not ready to talk just yet, why not send us an email or message online? All we want to do is start a conversation with you, at your own pace and always without pressure or obligation. 

By communicating with us, your stress levels should lower because you’re learning more about what to expect during your appointment, and we get to know you and your needs. Trust us when we say we see patients every day who are not too excited about having to sit in the dental chair, even for as something as routine as a cleaning. We have the right tools and training to make sure you’re always feeling comfortable and at ease.

Remember, starting with the first phone call if you’re a new patient, share your questions and concerns with our dental team. We can adapt to fit your needs and your schedule, to make seeing the dentist an experience that’s stress-free (and maybe even a little fun).

Step #2 – Learn to Breathe Easy

We know the last thing you want to hear when you’re experiencing high anxiety is to “just breathe.” But focusing on your breathing is very effective at lowering your stress levels and blood pressure, helping you to feel more at ease.

There’s even a handy little trick you can use to help you remember to focus on your breath and relax, instead of dreading your time with the dentist. It’s known as the 4-7-8 breathing technique or “relaxing breath.” Try breathing in for 4 seconds, holding the breath for 7 seconds, and exhaling for 8 seconds. Some people say doing this deep, rhythmic breathing can even help them fall asleep in as little as one minute.

Step #3 – Keep Coming Back to Avoid Us

Now that you know how to get comfortable before seeing the dentist, you can prepare for any visit. And remember this: it may seem a bit strange, but the best way to avoid the dentist is to see your dentist regularly. If you can overcome your anxiety and get through regular, routine checkups and cleanings, then there’s a good chance you’ll be able to avoid more extensive, time-consuming procedures in the future.

We hope this blog helps you feel better about reaching out to our dental office in Buckhead. Our team is gentle, caring, and understanding of what it feels like to worry about seeing the dentist. We’ve got you covered to ensure you’re free from dental anxiety so you can enjoy the healthy smile you deserve!

The Top 3 Most Damaging Sports for Smiles

kids playing lacrosse

Your dentist in Buckhead is all about patients getting exercise and engaging in sports. It’s good for your body, mind, and spirit. However, there are quite a few sports that put your smile in danger every time you suit up. Some sports, for various reasons, put your teeth at a higher risk for injury and issues. 

Let’s countdown the top three sports that can do some serious dental damage to your smile. 

#1 – Ball and Stick Sports

There’s a reason this is number one on our list. Sports involving the combination of ball and stick or bat are a big danger to your smile. These pastimes include:

– Baseball

– Hockey

– Field Hockey

– Lacrosse

– Cricket

– And More

A hard ball or puck moving at a high rate of speed directly at your head or mouth is never going to have an ideal outcome if contact is made. 

#2 – Contact Sports – Boxing, MMA, Martial Arts, Football, and Basketball

Sports such as martial arts, mixed martial arts, boxing, and others can also spell trouble for your teeth. There’s no denying that these sports are full-contact and sometimes mean hitting someone directly in the face. Oral injury is occasionally imminent.  There is a reason football players wear mouthguards. Basketball can be just as dangerous for your smile. It can get physical “in the paint” and elbows to the mouth are fairly common. But it can be avoidable if you remember to wear a custom mouthguard courtesy of your Buckhead dentist

#3 – X-treme Sports

We’re talking to all the thrill-seekers out there. You know the ones who just can’t resist shredding some pipe on the skateboard, enjoying corduroy conditions on their snowboard, or doing some freestyle tricks on their BMX bike. You may think these sports are reserved for the pros you see killing it at the X-Games, but in all reality, they’re still pretty popular recreational activities. Sometimes you take a tumble or suffer a fall that impacts your smile. This can spell T-R-O-U-B-L-E for your teeth. 

It all comes down to this: Give it your all, no matter what you do. Just don’t let your game get out of hand. Remember that it only takes a few seconds to do damage to your teeth, whether they’re broken or completely knocked out. Your smile is yours for the rest of your life, so you want to make sure you’re taking all of the necessary steps to protect it both on and off the field, court, or ice. 

Please remember to wear a mouthguard or sportsguard whenever you can while you’re engaging in these activities we’ve talked about today. Not only will it help protect your teeth but also will lessen the chance for concussions from blows to the chin.  Stay away from overly aggressive sports where you’re doing more damage to your health than helping it. Stay safe and have fun!

If, for whatever reason, you ever find yourself in a dental emergency, please don’t hesitate to call our Buckhead dental office right away. There’s always someone ready to listen and help you get out of pain, fast. Call us today to learn more or to schedule an appointment for you and your smile. 

3 Reasons Not to Use DIY Orthodontics

woman with clear dental aligner

It seems like every day there’s a new option for patients to straighten their smiles at home or on their own with mail-order orthodontics. But are they safe? Are they effective? Are they worth the discounted prices compared to more traditional orthodontics? Your dentist in Buckhead will be the first to tell you that if you or someone in your family needs a straighter smile, you should rely on professional help!

There are plenty of reasons why your smile care should always stay in the hands of a dedicated, educated, and caring professional. Here are three of the biggest reasons to avoid do-it-yourself orthodontics at home.

Reason #1 – There’s Damage to Be Done

Undergoing any orthodontic treatment should be taken seriously. You need someone in the driver’s seat who knows the route you want to take so that you can avoid an unnecessary accident down the road. The clear aligner treatments you see advertised on TV and online rely on a dental impression that you create at home. If there are any flaws or mistakes in that impression, your treatment could completely change your smile in a not-so-good way. You could have bite problems down the road, including chipping or breaking teeth.

Reason #2 – Aligners Might Not Work for You

Every person is different, and so are their smiles. There are so many ways to achieve a healthy, more confident smile thanks to all of the advancements in dentistry and orthodontics. Mail-order kits can only offer you clear aligner therapy. You’re taking a big chance on whether it’s going to work for your smile. When you see a trusted dental health professional like your Buckhead dentist, they can help you choose an orthodontic solution that’s right for you. Read the reviews associated with the mail-order or DIY aligners.. some people say it made their smile and bite worse!

Reason #3 – It Could Cost You More in the Long Run

So, you’re super excited about your DIY aligner therapy. You’re saving some money by doing it all on your own. You get the kit. Make your impressions. Receive your aligners. You go through the process. Unfortunately, your teeth take a turn for the worse and the next thing you know — your bite isn’t right. If you choose DIY orthodontics, there’s a chance it could harm and not improve your smile. When that happens, you could face more costly, lengthy orthodontic treatment, or maybe even surgery. We’ll have to repair the damage that’s been done and then find the right treatment to set things straight. 

Whatever the reason you’re trying to straighten your smile, everyone at our Buckhead dental office is here for you. Don’t let the ads fool you. Talk to us before doing anything to your teeth. We can find a sensible, affordable solution for patients of all ages. 

What You Need to Know About Fluoride

fluoride concept

Fluoride has been used in the prevention of tooth decay and cavities since it was first introduced into public water supplies in 1945. But some research studies suggest that fluoride isn’t safe. At our dental office in Buckhead, we’d like to help debunk that theory and explain the benefits and importance of fluoride treatments. 

What is Fluoride and What Does it Do?

Before we go any farther, we should first take a close look at what exactly fluoride is and how it works. It’s important to note that fluoride is a mineral that’s naturally found throughout nature and even in some foods and water. But why is it an important part of oral health? Essentially, fluoride makes it more difficult for acids released by bacteria in the mouth to wear away tooth enamel. When tooth enamel erodes, it leaves teeth exposed to those acids and bacteria and increases the likelihood for cavities. By adding fluoride into the mix, the teeth are protected.

Is Fluoride Just for Kids? 

Fluoride is most important for growing smiles. Your dentist in Buckhead will most likely recommend that infants and children be exposed to fluoride from 6 months of age until they’re about 16. This may mean changing to a toothpaste that includes fluoride or receiving fluoride treatments at bi-annual dental visits. However, the benefits of fluoride don’t go away once someone hits their 16th birthday. Fluoride can be beneficial for adults too. Adults should also receive some sort of fluoride treatment occasionally to keep fighting tooth decay. Fluoride treatments may also be recommended to help combat tooth sensitivity.  

How Much Fluoride is Too Much? 

Fluoride is safe and beneficial to dental health, but there is such a thing as too much. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), kids under 8 years old should not use products containing fluoride if the public water supply in their hometown has more than 2 mg/L of fluoride. The biggest risk to kids of being exposed to too much fluoride is something called dental fluorosis, or staining and pitting of tooth enamel. 

Fluoride should be used only as directed or prescribed, and intake should be monitored. Here are a few tips to help you monitor the use of fluoride products in your family:

  • Keep fluoride supplements out of the reach of children
  • Avoid flavored toothpaste to discourage swallowing 
  • Use only a pea-size amount of toothpaste with fluoride in it

If you have any concerns or questions about how dental fluoride can help protect your family’s smiles from damaging decay and cavities, we welcome you to call our Buckhead dental office to schedule an appointment with us today. 

Can Swimming Pools Affect Your Smile?

kids swimming

Swimming pools may seem like an odd thing for your dentist in Buckhead to talk about, but besides being a long-time summer favorite and a relaxing escape from the heat, swimming pools may actually pose an unwanted threat to your teeth. Now, before you forego all pools this summer (trust us, we don’t want that!), let’s take a look at just how and why pool water may be dangerous for your smile.

Pool Water & Your Oral Health

It’s worth noting that not all pool water is dangerous pool water. But it is important to talk about the pool water that can be a threat to your oral health. The problem with pool water and your oral health arises when the pH falls below an acceptable safe range (usually 7.2 and 7.8). When the pH is too low, pool water can actually become acidic. That’s where the problem lies. Acidic pool water can not only cause burning eyes and skin irritation, but it can also contribute to enamel erosion and tooth discoloration

The Importance of Tooth Enamel

Tooth enamel is the incredibly tough outer layer of teeth and protects our pearly whites from decay, bacteria, and sensitivity. While tooth enamel is incredibly strong, it can become damaged over time. Often, either brushing with abrasive toothpastes or exposing your teeth to too much acid are the main causes behind enamel erosion. This includes prolonged exposure to acidic pool water. 

What are the Signs of a Problem?

The most immediate signs that your pool water’s pH is too low are burning eyes and irritated skin. But over time you may begin to notice damage to your smile, including increased sensitivity caused by the enamel thinning, or little brown spots known as swimmer’s calculus. If you notice any of these signs, call your dentist in Buckhead to schedule an appointment. 

Who’s At Risk? 

Many times a casual swimmer won’t experience the damages of pool water, but the more time spent in a pool, the risk increases. In fact, according to a study of competitive swimmers conducted in the 1980’s, nearly 40% of them had some level of enamel erosion.

Protecting Your Smile

One of the best ways to protect your smile is, of course, to brush and floss properly and see your dentist in Buckhead regularly. But when it comes to protecting your smile against the potential dangers of pool water, make sure to test your water’s pH regularly and try your best to keep pool water out of your mouth as much as possible. 

Do Wisdom Teeth Need To Be Removed?

wisdom teeth

Wisdom teeth can be a pesky problem. It is most common to have wisdom teeth removed. In fact, over 90% of Americans have their wisdom teeth removed. So when can they stay and when do they have to go?  

Reasons Wisdom Teeth Need to be Extracted

There’s No Room For Them

The top reason wisdom teeth need to be removed is that there’s no more room in your mouth for four more teeth. If this is happening, your dental team will be able to identify it early through dental x-rays. When there’s simply not enough room for your wisdom teeth, extraction will be recommended. If treatment is not completed and the teeth start to erupt, a whole host of issues can occur including overcrowding, crookedness, and jaw pain. Even if they can erupt fully, they often become in the way of the lower jaw being able to go to the correct position which can lead to headaches, joint pain, and teeth cracking and wearing.

Proper Care Becomes Difficult

If you’re one of the rare cases where your wisdom teeth grow in straight and healthy, your Buckhead dentist may still recommend having them removed. This is to prevent additional problems such as cavities and gum disease in the future. You see, wisdom teeth are way in the back of the mouth and are very difficult to brush and floss properly. This can cause bacteria and plaque build-up, which will put you at an increased risk of decay. 

When Don’t Wisdom Teeth Need to be Removed? 

Even though 90% of Americans need to have their wisdom teeth out, there are a few cases when wisdom teeth grow in just fine. If your wisdom teeth have enough room to fully erupt without disrupting the neighboring teeth and you’re not having trouble taking care of them, you may just be able to keep them. Remember, your dental team will continue to monitor their health to make sure they’re still ok where they are, and that your mouth and smile are staying healthy. 

Seeing your dentist regularly is the best way to determine whether or not you should have your wisdom teeth removed. If you think you may need to have your wisdom teeth checked out, give our Buckhead dental office a call to schedule an appointment today.

Why You Should Pay Attention to Gum Health

examining gums with mirror

When many people think about their dental care they immediately think of teeth and smiles. But there’s another huge part of dentistry that can not only affect your oral health but your overall health, too — your gums. At our dental office in Buckhead, we take gum health seriously, and for good reason. Poor gum health can lead to gum disease which can be very serious.

What is Gum Disease?

Gum disease, which can also be referred to as periodontal disease, is an infection in the gum tissue. There are different stages to gum disease that describe how severe the condition is. Gingivitis is early-stage gum disease and periodontitis is more severe, advanced gum disease. If left untreated, gum disease can lead to tooth loss and other serious health problems.

Gum Disease and Overall Health

Your gums can tell your dentist in Buckhead all sorts of information about your oral health and they just may indicate other potential problems throughout the body. In fact, symptoms affecting the gums have been linked to several serious health concerns such as strokes, heart attacks, heart disease, and certain cancers.

Signs of Gum Disease

Catching and treating gum disease early is the best way to keep it from affecting the rest of the body. That’s one reason seeing your dentist at least every six months is so important. You should also be on the lookout for some of the most common signs of gum disease in-between visits. Some potential signs of gum disease include:

  • Gums that bleed during and after tooth brushing
  • Red, swollen, or tender gums
  • Persistent bad breath or a bad taste in the mouth
  • Receding gums
  • Loose or shifting teeth

If you notice any of these symptoms, call your dentist as soon as possible. Your dental team will see exactly what’s going on and make the best gum disease treatment recommendation for you.

Protect Yourself

There are things you can do to keep your gums healthy and protect yourself against gum disease.

  • Floss every day
  • Brush your teeth twice daily
  • Quit smoking
  • See your dentist regularly

It’s important to know that gum disease may not always show symptoms, so make sure you visit our Buckhead dental office twice a year to keep yourself protected. If it’s been longer than six months since your last appointment, call us to schedule one today.

3 of the Top Concerns about Pregnancy and Dentistry

pregnant woman on couch

Finding out that you’re pregnant is one of life’s most joyous (and scary) events you can endure. Everyone at our dental office in Buckhead wants to send plenty of well wishes to all of the parents out there who are expecting a blessing of their own.

We wanted to set aside this blog to talk to the moms out there. Because whether you’re new to pregnancy and experiencing every special moment for the very first time, or a seasoned parental pro who knows exactly how this all goes, it’s essential not to put off your upcoming cleanings or treatments. We understand pregnancy brings up a lot of new concerns about your health and wellbeing, including taking care of your smile. Let’s talk about some of the most common concerns we hear from our patients about going to the dentist during pregnancy.

Common Concern #1: What if I need dental X-rays? Are they safe?

Most dental offices are equipped with state-of-the-art digital X-rays, eliminating the possibility of  overexposure to harmful radiation for you and your baby. If you’re experiencing a dental issue, it’s advisable to get the necessary X-rays to fix the problem before it poses any risk of harming your developing fetus.

Common Concern #2: My gums are really bleeding. Should I call my Buckhead dentist?

If you’re pregnant and reading this, there’s no doubt in our mind that you would agree that being pregnant can change your body, usually in part due to fluctuations in your hormones. The American Dental Association says that as many as 50 percent of pregnant women can develop “pregnancy gingivitis.”  It usually goes away after your child arrives, but it’s important to brush and clean your teeth regularly. If still concerned about bleeding in your gums, you can always reach out to us for help.

Common Concern #3: I’ve got morning, afternoon, and night sickness. Should I tell my dentist?

Sickness and vomiting during pregnancy are one of the most common side effects that most women tend to experience early on in their pregnancy. When you get sick, excess stomach acid can eat away at your tooth enamel leading to decay. Remember these helpful tips you can use at home to help protect your teeth from acid:

  • Wait to Brush. Brushing immediately after vomiting can lead to damage. Acid weakens the enamel, and if you brush while the acid is affecting the enamel, you can cause scratches that bacteria can hide in. So wait at least an hour after getting sick to brush.
  • Rinse with Water. While you’re waiting for the right time to brush, it’s a good idea to rinse your mouth out with water initially. Swishing water around in the mouth and spitting it out can remove a lot of acid.
  • Keep Drinking Water. You’re already drinking a lot of water, so keep on doing it. The more water you drink, the less acid will stick around in your mouth.
  • Scrape the Tongue. Don’t forget about your tongue. After vomiting, get a tongue scraper and gently run it down your tongue. You can successfully remove a lot of acid that would actually end up on your teeth.

If you’re really having a hard time and are worried about your smile, contact our dental office in Buckhead as soon as you’re feeling up to it. Seeing your dentist is crucial during your pregnancy, so let us work with you to determine what your needs are and how to proceed with your care during this special time in your life. We’re always here to help!

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