Kick These Bad Habits for Your Teeth

Patient Smiling at Dental Checkup Atlanta GA We all have habits, but not all habits are good ones. In fact, there may be some habits that you are doing every day that are wreaking havoc on your dental health. To ensure you aren’t caught off guard when tooth damage or discomfort occurs, here’s some insight from American Dental Association on which bad dental habits to avoid:

Grinding Your Teeth—The most common cause of teeth grinding is stress. Unfortunately, stress is all too common in today’s fast-paced society. Even worse, teeth grinding often gets going at night during your sleep, when you aren’t even aware of it. Over time, this habit may lead to chipped teeth, worn down teeth (or dental work), sore jaw, TMJ disorder and even tension headaches. Consider a mouth guard if you suspect a nighttime teeth grinding habit.

Chewing Ice — There’s nothing wrong with consuming ice in terms of your body health. After all, it’s just frozen water – what could be bad about that? Well, if you are trying to keep your teeth healthy and strong, chomping, crunching or chewing ice is a very bad idea. Your teeth aren’t designed to breakdown something so hard. This can cause your teeth to break as well as irritate the soft tissues inside your mouth.

Using Your Teeth as an Opener — We know it is quite convenient to rip open a bag with your back molars or even use your teeth to open a bottle. But trust us, there are specific tools for these kinds of tasks, and your teeth are not one of them. Save your teeth and use the scissors or bottle opener instead.

Bottle-Feeding in the Crib – You’re tired and you just want to let your baby finish his or her bottle in the crib so you can call it a night. We get it. However, the consequences towards your baby’s oral health just aren’t worth it. Whether you have an infant or a toddler or its breast milk or formula, it’s a “no-go” when it comes to allowing anything other than water in the crib.

Frequent Snacking — Are you a grazer? Do you get the munchies throughout the day? It may be okay for your metabolism, but snacking for brief periods all day long can compromise your oral health. It doesn’t allow your mouth to produce saliva like it should after a regular meal, which means it is harder to rinse away bacteria and break down food particles. Your oral environment may also remain acidic, which is also bad for the enamel of your teeth for long periods of time. If you absolutely need to satisfy your snack craving, consider a food that isn’t starchy or sugary.

Smoking — We hope this one isn’t a surprise to you. Nonetheless, it must be mentioned that cigarette smoking is one of the worst habits for your oral health (and your body health)! Cigarettes stain your teeth, contribute to gum disease, cause bad breath and even increase your risk for mouth cancer.

Is there a habit you need to kick for a better smile? At Pure Dental Health, we are happy to help you determine which habits are healthy and which ones are harmful.

Posted on behalf of Dr. Justin Scott
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Pure Dental HealthAtlanta Dentist
2285 Peachtree Rd NE, Suite 203
Atlanta, GA 30309
Phone: (678) 666-3642

FAQs About IV Sedation Dentistry

Woman in Dental Chair Under Sedation Atlanta GA If you have a fear of the dentist or have ever had to have a lengthy dental procedure, you may already be familiar with the term sedation dentistry. Sedation dentistry is used to help patients relax in the dental chair. There are many forms of sedation dentistry, however, and not every dentist is equipped to offer them all.

What is IV sedation dentistry?

IV moderate sedation involves administering a sedative through your veins (or intravenously). This allows it to work quickly, and it also gives the dentist an easy way to adjust the level of sedation during treatment.

Does IV sedation put you to sleep?

This method of sedation does not put a patient to sleep. Instead, patients remain in a semi-awake state, or a “twilight sleep.” In most cases, you’ll have little to no memory of the procedure if you receive IV sedation.

When is IV sedation used?

IV sedation may be recommended in a variety of circumstances. It can be needed for patients that are severely anxious or fearful of the dentist and need more than nitrous oxide (laughing gas) to help them relax. IV sedation is most commonly used for patients who are undergoing a more complex or lengthy dental procedure, such as dental implants, extraction or a full mouth reconstruction.

How is IV Conscious Sedation different than General Anesthesia?

It is important that patients understand the difference between general anesthesia and IV conscious sedation. While both may be administered through an IV, you will remain awake during IV conscious sedation but in a deep sleep with general anesthesia. In fact, patients cannot be aroused while under general anesthesia and will need support for breathing and vital sign monitoring.

IV conscious sedation allows patients to avoid discomfort, but remain in a safer “semi-awake state.” This is often all that is needed to reduce anxiety and provide a relaxing dental treatment. While under IV sedation, you can even respond to a verbal command or light physical touch and will not need oxygen or other breathing support.

Can Any Dentist Perform Sedation?

While most dentists now offer minimal or moderate sedation, such as nitrous oxide or oral sedation, only an elite percentage of dentists are qualified to administer more complex sedation techniques such as IV conscious sedation. At Pure Dental Health, we are proud to have a licensed IV sedation dentist on staff to ensure all patients have a comfortable and pleasant experience in the dental chair.

How Will I Feel After My Treatment?

Most patients feel surprisingly very good after having IV sedation. For your safety, however, we ask that you arrange for a friend or family member to drive you home. You will not remember your procedure but should easily return to an awake/alert state of mind.

Have more questions about IV sedation from your dentist? We’d love to answer them. It can be a remarkable solution that enables patients to get the dental treatments they need and deserve.

Posted on behalf of Dr. Justin Scott
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Pure Dental HealthAtlanta Dentist
2285 Peachtree Rd NE, Suite 203
Atlanta, GA 30309
Phone: (678) 666-3642

Is Your Energy Drink Wearing Down Your Smile?

Woman Receving a Dental Exam at Pure Dental Health Atlanta GAEnergy drinks are becoming more and more popular. People consider them a “healthier” alternative to sodas and a more effective beverage at improving sports performance and boosting energy levels. Unfortunately, despite their flavor and claims of enhancing your level of play, these drinks pose an overwhelming risk to your teeth.

Double Whammy

Sports and energy drinks contain two major threats to the health of your teeth: sugar and acids. In fact, they contain high amounts of each. While sugar most certainly contributes to cavity formation, it is the acids in these energy drinks that is most detrimental. The pH is acidic enough to dissolve your tooth enamel, or the glossy outer layer of your teeth. Once this layer breaks down, it doesn’t grow back. Furthermore, it exposes the less hard dentin layer to decay and infection.

Sip or Gulp: It Matters

If you must consume an energy drink, there is actually a right and wrong way to drink it if you are trying to protect your smile. To reduce the harmful effects on your teeth, it is best to consume the beverage all at once, rather than sipping on it throughout the day – or through a two-hour sports practice. According to an article in SELF, your saliva remains acidic enough to dissolve your enamel for upward of 20 minutes after just one sip of an energy drink.

To protect your teeth even more, consider chasing your energy drink with a few sips of water. Even chewing a piece of sugarless gum can help neutralize the acids in your mouth and save your enamel from irreversible damage. Avoid brushing your teeth immediately after you indulge on an energy drink, as the scrubbing can cause acid abrasion if you don’t wait about an hour.

Symptoms of Enamel Damage

If energy drinks are your go-to source for hydration and sports fuel, you need to watch for signs of enamel erosion. Do you suffer from discoloration, sensitivity or frequent cavities? This may indicate that you need to see a dentist and cut back on your energy drink habit. There are treatments for these disruptive dental symptoms and we can explain your options at Pure Dental Health. Schedule your appointment in Buckhead or Dunwoody today!

Posted on behalf of Dr. Justin Scott
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Pure Dental HealthAtlanta Dentist
2285 Peachtree Rd NE, Suite 203
Atlanta, GA 30309
Phone: (678) 666-3642

No Dental Insurance? No Problem.

Doctor Consulting with PatientNearly 23% of the American population has no dental insurance coverage, according to a recent article in USA Today. Are you avoiding dental care because you lack dental insurance? In many cases, people without dental coverage wait for something to go wrong before they see a dentist. This is can be a costly and very unfortunate mistake because routine dental care (such as professional cleanings, x-rays and exams) can prevent a host of disruptive dental problems for all ages. Whether you can’t afford coverage or don’t see the benefit, this shouldn’t be a reason to cancel your dental appointments altogether. In fact, many offices such as Pure Dental Health, offer special financial plans to help those without traditional dental insurance.

There’s no denying the fact that paying out of pocket for your dental care can be pricey, especially if you need a specific restorative procedure such as a root canal, dental implant or crown. The goal is to avoid these treatments in the first place, which undoubtedly begins with seeing a dentist twice a year.

At Pure Dental Health, we offer a variety of methods to help make your dental care more affordable if you do not have insurance. Patients love the freedom to choose between the following options at our Buckhead practice:

  • In-House Financing(monthly payment installments for certain procedures)
  • Pure Dental Plus(discount plan that includes 2 dental cleanings/exams per year, free whitening gel, and discounts on all of our services for $269 per year)
  • New Patient Specials(discounts basic dental care for introductory services)
  • Third-party Financing Plans(CareCredit and Compassionate Finance)

Dental care is not something you should avoid due to cost. Your oral health plays a critical role in your overall health and neglecting dental problems can lead to very serious (and costly) issues within your smile. Attaining a healthy and confident smile can be financially feasible by taking advantage of one of our payment plan options. As an added bonus, many of our financing services can be utilized for cosmetic dentistry – a dental specialty that is rarely covered under dental insurance but one that is just as valued towards your smile confidence and self-esteem.

To learn which payment plan fits your family budget best, please call Pure Dental Health. Don’t let a lack of dental insurance keep you away from a rewarding experience at the dentist!

Posted on behalf of Dr. Justin Scott
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Pure Dental HealthAtlanta Dentist
2285 Peachtree Rd NE, Suite 203
Atlanta, GA 30309
Phone: (678) 666-3642

Toothpaste: Should You Go All-Natural?

Toothpaste on a ToothbrushDo you prefer organic foods? What about all-natural products for your skin care or household cleaning products? If chemical-free, organic products are important to you, then you are highly likely to also see the value in using an all-natural toothpaste – after all, your toothpaste is a product you put in your mouth, not just on your skin or hardwood floors.

What is organic toothpaste?

Organic toothpaste is most commonly referred to as “all-natural toothpaste.” It means that it contains nature’s own ingredients to fight bacteria, scrub away stains and freshen breath. Many conventional toothpastes have chemicals or synthetic filler products to clean the teeth, some of which are simply added just to create some suds or foam during your brushing session. An all-natural toothpaste typically contains herbs, essential oils and natural sweeteners. Considering you use your toothpaste twice a day, it may be important for you that it contains xylitol or stevia instead of saccharin and other artificial ingredients.

Is an all-natural toothpaste just as effective?

Yes! Contrary to popular belief, using an all-natural toothpaste can be equally effective at fighting decay, bad breath, gum disease and staining. You’ll be surprised at how powerful some of nature’s ingredients can be.

What about fluoride?

Fluoride is a key component of optimal oral health, and most patients get it through their toothpaste. However, some people get enough fluoride in their drinking water or other sources. While many all-natural toothpastes don’t contain fluoride, there are some that do. So you don’t have to make the choice between going organic and getting fluoride!

What are other non-dental benefits?

Another less discussed advantage of choosing an all-natural toothpaste involves animal testing. Most organic toothpaste manufacturers take a strong stance against testing the product on animals. In addition, organic toothpastes are free of dyes. They tend to be a tooth-colored white instead of blue or pink for a more purely formulated product. If animal testing and extra dyes makes you cringe, you may feel better about switching out your conventional toothpaste for an all-natural brand.

Need more help on choosing the best toothpaste for your unique smile? Contact Pure Dental Health. We treat every patient with the individualized dental care plan they deserve, which includes helping you find all-natural products for your teeth if that is important to you.

Posted on behalf of Dr. Justin Scott
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Pure Dental HealthAtlanta Dentist
2285 Peachtree Rd NE, Suite 203
Atlanta, GA 30309
Phone: (678) 666-3642

What Can Modern Dentures Mean For You?

Woman Discussing Dental Options with Dentist at Pure Dental Health Atlanta GAComplete dentures are still the preferred choice for replacing an entire arch of teeth. However, the process of getting dentures has changed dramatically over recent years – for the better! Conventional denture fabrication was somewhat grueling, as it often involved up to five visits with your dentist and a chair time of up to 3 hours. In many cases, the final product of conventional dentures takes up to 30 days. That is a long time to wait when you need to replace a full set of teeth! In addition, many patients experience changes in their gum tissues during that time span, which means the final denture may not fit as well as originally planned.

The good news is that modern denture technology has revolutionized the process for patients so that they don’t have to endure such a lengthy wait for their final dentures to be ready. One of the most impressive denture systems is Dentca. Dentca dentures rely on advanced CAD/CAM technology, which means they are fabricated using precise and fast 3D images of the entire maxillofacial region. A stark contrast to the conventional denture experience, Dentca only requires a single visit to the dentist with only 45 minutes of chair time. In one short week, patients can receive their final Dentca denture product.

Not only does this 3D technology and cutting-edge computer software greatly reduce your denture process time, but it also produces a denture model that is more accurate and comfortable than past denture systems. Lastly, your dentist will save the 3D model of your Dentca denture in the event that a replacement or additional set is needed. From start to finish, the efficiency and success of Dentca dentures is unrivaled!

According to The Journal of Prosthetic Dentistry, the number of US adults needing dentures is projected to increase from 33.6 million in 1991 to 37.9 million by 2020. If missing teeth are affecting your self-esteem, your nutritional health or your quality of life, call Pure Dental Health to learn more about modern denture options. It may be easier than you think to regain a beautiful and confident smile!

Posted on behalf of Dr. Justin Scott
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Pure Dental HealthAtlanta Dentist
2285 Peachtree Rd NE, Suite 203
Atlanta, GA 30309
Phone: (678) 666-3642

Healthy Foods That Can Stain or Whiten Your Teeth

Atlanta GA Cosmetic Dental PracticeIf you want to maintain white teeth, you probably already know to stay away from dark-colored sodas, coffee, red wine and smoking. However, did you know that there are healthy foods that can stain your teeth too? Don’t worry; there are also some nutritious food choices that can help whiten your teeth too. Knowing which foods impact the appearance of your smile can help you eat smarter for a whiter, brighter smile.

Whether you are trying to retain the results of a recent teeth whitening procedure, or you simply want to try and achieve a lighter tooth shade on your own, consider these good and bad food options.

Healthy Foods That Stain

 Due to their exaggerated color and often acidic nature, the following food options are known for staining your teeth, or leaving them more yellow, dark or dull than you’d like:

  • Berries – including blueberries, pomegranates, blackberries, cherries, cranberries, grapes, and other colored fruits.
  • Beets – watch out for the more concentrated juice form.
  • Nuts – black walnuts in particular will discolor teeth.
  • Sauces – soy sauce, curry sauce, tomato sauce, ketchup and other deeply colored sauces.

Healthy Foods That Whiten

You’ll be glad to know that there are ways to naturally scrub your pearly whites and prevent extrinsic tooth staining with what you eat. Try these healthy food choices to keep your teeth a brilliant white:

  • Apples
  • Spinach
  • Broccoli
  • Celery
  • Strawberries
  • Cheese (cheddar cheese counteracts acids in foods, cleaning your teeth and restoring the pH balance in your mouth)

In addition to the above mentioned foods, try chewing sugarless gum after meals or taking frequent sips of water throughout the day when you can’t brush. Also, consider using a straw when drinking dark-colored beverages.

If you’re currently suffering from a dingy or stained smile, we can help you at Pure Dental Health. We proudly offer the best in modern teeth whitening. In fact, we offer free whitening for life  for our patients. When you continue coming to us for your routine cleanings every six months, you will receive free teeth whitening gel during your visits.

Posted on behalf of Dr. Justin Scott
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Pure Dental HealthAtlanta Dentist
2285 Peachtree Rd NE, Suite 203
Atlanta, GA 30309
Phone: (678) 666-3642

Is “All-on-4” The Way to Go?

Atlanta GA Implant DentistWhen it comes to replacing missing teeth, you’ve got options. Restorative dentistry includes dental implants, crowns, bridges, partials and dentures. It is important to determine your specific goals for teeth replacement and consider your unique clinical needs. If you need to replace a full arch of teeth, and want maximum stability in your new smile, an overdenture may be the way to go. Overdentures, also called implant-retained dentures, use dental implants to secure a custom upper or lower denture. There are no messy adhesive creams to deal with, and you’ll be able to chew, speak and laugh with the confidence you once had with natural teeth.

All-on-4 Addresses the Drawbacks of Overdentures

If you are considering implant-retained dentures, you may be dreading the cost, procedure time and recovery. In addition, if you have limited bone structure, you may be facing a bone grafting procedure in order to qualify for implant dentures, which extends the process even further. There’s good news. Modern dentistry now offers a revolutionary overdentures system called All-on-4 implant dentures. The All-on-4 method solves many of these drawbacks and hesitations of getting an overdenture, here’s how:

No Bone Grafting: The All-on-4 implants are uniquely designed to be placed at an angle within the jaw, which means that less bone structure is needed to fully support the implant. This is ideal for patients that would have to undergo bone grafting for traditional implants.

Less Invasive, Less Recovery: You’ll also benefit from a minimally-invasive oral surgery with All-on-4 implants. This consequently allows patients to recover quicker and more comfortably.

Faster Results: The All-on-4 system has the hallmark advantage of providing a new set of teeth in a single day! Unlike other restorative options using implants, you can walk out of the procedure with a complete and confident smile.

Cost-Effective: Less time in the dental chair results in less expense to the patient. With no bone grafting and a same-day procedure, your wallet will appreciate the savings with All-on-4 implant dentures.

Are you a candidate for All-on-4? Call Pure Dental Health to find out. We are known for excellence when it comes to rebuilding your smile.

Posted on behalf of Dr. Justin Scott
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Pure Dental HealthAtlanta Dentist
2285 Peachtree Rd NE, Suite 203
Atlanta, GA 30309
Phone: (678) 666-3642

Fluoride Treatments for Adults: Who Can Benefit?

Atlanta GA Dentist Office in BuckheadWhile you may be familiar with fluoride as it relates to children’s dentistry, you should know that the importance of fluoride for your smile spans all ages. Fluoride is a key mineral in keeping your teeth strong and healthy, as it targets the outer enamel layer of your teeth. This layer is what protects your teeth from pain, infection and decay.

Fluoride is known for its ability to naturally make your teeth more resistant to cavities. This earth mineral acts as a shield to ward off harmful bacteria from penetrating and harming your teeth. In pediatric dentistry, fluoride treatments are common practice. Statistics show that young patients that receive fluoride treatments are 40% less likely to get cavities! But what about adults? Can they benefit from fluoride in the same way?

Ideal Adult Candidates for Fluoride Treatments

Patients of all ages and walks of life can benefit from fluoride. However, there are certain groups of adults who are ideal candidates for getting fluoride treatments or supplements from their dentist. If you have one of the following that makes you especially prone to cavities, fluoride treatment can help protect your smile:

  • Dry Mouth
  • Crowns and Bridges
  • Braces
  • Gum Disease
  • History of cavities

There’s no shame in admitting that your smile needs some extra help to stay healthy. Fluoride treatments are an easy, affordable and painless way to protect your teeth. Many of the above-listed conditions are out of your control. For example, you may need a certain medication that gives you dry mouth or you may have metal braces that make it harder to keep your teeth clean. Fluoride treatment can help bridge the gap.

Fluoride can be applied to your teeth in a quick in-office procedure that requires no anesthetic. However, adults may also elect fluoride supplements. Finally, you can increase your fluoride consumption by drinking more tap water instead of bottled water. Most importantly, make sure you are using a fluoride toothpaste when brushing your teeth every day.

For additional help on finding a fluoride source to benefit your dental health, please let us know. At Pure Dental Health, we recognize the importance of fluoride and proudly offer fluoride treatments for children, teens and adults!

Posted on behalf of Dr. Justin Scott
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Pure Dental Health  Atlanta Dentist
2285 Peachtree Rd NE, Suite 203
Atlanta, GA 30309
Phone: (678) 666-3642

Stop Masking Your Bad Breath

Atlanta GA Dentist That Treats Bad BreathAre you constantly popping a mint or chewing gum in your mouth to cover up bad breath? That’s exactly what you are doing, “covering it up.” While it is normal to have a bad breath odor after eating garlic or onions, chronic bad breath needs to be addressed. Halitosis, the medical term for bad breath, is something your dentist can likely treat. Not only can halitosis be a threat to your social life and self-esteem, it could be a warning sign that something needs attention within your oral health.

Bad breath is often caused when there is an excessive amount of oral bacteria. Bacteria feeds on plague and food particles left in the mouth, and it releases foul-smelling sulfur compounds in the process. Therefore, the first weapon against bad breath is a cleaner mouth, which starts with proper brushing and flossing habits. If you are skipping your tongue when you brush, you are leaving millions of bacteria in your mouth. Bacteria love the moist and dark grooves that are found on the surface of your tongue!

If you feel like you are on top of your oral hygiene game and still dealing with chronic bad breath, it’s time to dig deeper in your investigation. There are several culprits to bad breath, and determining the cause of your halitosis is the key to fresh breath.

Could your foul breath odor be triggered by the following?

  • Poor dental hygiene
  • Dry mouth
  • Sinus infection
  • Tooth decay
  • Gum disease

With such an expansive range of culprits, you’ll need a dentist’s help in determining why you can’t achieve fresh breath. While dry mouth may be a side effect of a medication you are taking, it could also be contributing to your bad breath and there are products a dentist can recommend to boost your saliva production. If your bad breath is caused from gum disease or a cavity, it won’t get better on its own. In fact, the health of your smile is at stake if you don’t receive proper treatment.

Before you resort to breath spray or stuff extra peppermints in your pockets, consider discussing your bad breath problem with a dental professional. At Pure Dental Health, we proudly offer halitosis treatment to patients of all ages – and yes, kids can have chronic bad breath too! Let us restore your smile confidence by eliminating your bad breath with a proven, long-term treatment plan. Call now to schedule your appointment in Buckhead.

Posted on behalf of Dr. Justin Scott
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Pure Dental Health  Atlanta Dentist
2285 Peachtree Rd NE, Suite 203
Atlanta, GA 30309
Phone: (678) 666-3642