How Old is Your Toothbrush?

Here’s a simple question for you: How old is your toothbrush? If you are stumbling around at answering this question or you will admit that you simply do not know, then it’s a pretty good assumption to make that it’s too old for you to be using!

Your toothbrush was designed to be a tool to help keep your mouth as clean and healthy as possible between professional dental cleanings. However, it can only do its job well if it is as clean as possible. Your mouth is home to millions of bacteria that are necessary to help break down small food particles left behind after eating. While these bacteria do perform a necessary function, they are not meant to thrive in your mouth. Bacteria need to be brushed, flossed, and rinsed away on a daily basis so that they do not overrun your mouth in the form of plaque and tartar.

The American Dental Associate recommends replacing your toothbrush every three months, with six months being the longest time anyone should keep a single toothbrush. Luckily for you, your dentist will give you a new toothbrush at the end of every cleaning.

However, if you are good about replacing your toothbrush often (at least twice a year), there are still some considerations that should be taken that would involve replacement of your toothbrush even sooner. If you have had a bad cold, the flu, or strep throat then your toothbrush needs to be replaced immediately once you have started antibiotics or as soon as your condition gets better. Germs thrive on a toothbrush because of its moist environment. Putting those germs back into your mouth is just inviting sickness to invade your system all over again.

If your toothbrush is six months old, or older, it is time to replace it. Call Pure Dental Health in Buckhead today to schedule a cleaning. We will be happy to supply you with a new toothbrush before you leave!

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

Holiday Stress and Dental Cleanings

Are you feeling the holiday rush…that crush to get everything done with only a few weeks left until Christmas? If your turkey was not even fully digested before you started thinking about everything on your holiday to-do list, you are not alone. From shopping to addressing and mailing holiday cards to decorating and more, the holiday season can be stressful. So what do you do to deal with all that stress? Book a massage? Go to a yoga class? How about scheduling a dental cleaning?

If your dental cleanings are not a relaxing and rejuvenating experience, you are going to the wrong dental practice! Today, many practices like Pure Dental Health make getting your teeth cleaned a spa-like experience. With valet parking, warm scented towels, soothing music and a beverage bar, you will come out feeling like a new person! This makes getting your teeth cleaned the perfect solution to holiday stress. You will not only come out feeling more relaxed but will also look better and improve your dental health.

If you have a special holiday event to attend, why not schedule your dental cleaning on the same day? That way, you can show up to your party with a cleaner, whiter, brighter smile. If you really want to see a difference in your smile, you can pick up a teeth whitening kit while you are visiting the dentist.

The holidays are no time to ignore your dental health. In fact, taking care of your dental health is a great gift that you can give yourself this year. If you have missed a scheduled cleaning, schedule an appointment today. Then you can sit back, relax and enjoy! We wish you a very happy and healthy holiday season!

Posted on Behalf of Dr. Justin Scott, Pure Dental Health

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Acid Reflux and Your Dental Health

Acid Reflux refers to the backward flow of stomach acid into the esophagus (the tube that connects the throat to the stomach).   When acid reflux progresses to a more severe form of acid reflux, it is referred to as GERD (gastroesophageal reflux disease).  When this occurs, it can have a negative affect on your dental health.

Acid Reflux and GERD are common problems that affect approximately 7 million Americans.  Acid Reflux and GERD can cause symptoms such as heartburn and upset stomach.  If it is not treated properly, it can also wreak havoc on your dental health.  This is because constant exposure to stomach acid can erode and weaken the outer layer of your teeth, leaving your teeth more susceptible to decay.  Prolonged exposure to stomach acid can also lead to tooth sensitivity.

So, if you have acid reflux or GERD, there are steps you can take to protect your dental health? The first step you should take is to visit your doctor to seek treatment for your acid reflux.  Keeping your acid reflux in check can serve to protect your teeth from exposure to stomach acids.  If you still experience symptoms even with treatment, you should rinse your mouth thoroughly with water or brush your teeth immediately after experiencing acid reflux.  The next thing you can do is visit your dentist every six months for professional cleanings and checkups.  During this examination, your dentist can check for signs of tooth decay and provide treatment, if needed.  Detecting and treating tooth decay in its earliest stages is the best way to prevent tooth failure and eventual tooth loss.

If you have further questions regarding acid reflux, GERD and your dental health, talk to your dentist today.  Your dentist can give you important advice on how to manage your condition and keep it from negatively affecting your dental health.

Posted on Behalf of Dr. Justin Scott, Pure Dental Health

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Geographical Tongue: Causes and Treatments

Geographical Tongue is a dental health condition that is characterized by a map-like appearance on the tongue and is also referred to as benign migratory glossitis and erythema migrans. It is a hereditary condition that occurs in roughly 1% to 3% of the population and is more common in women than in men.

Geographical Tongue occurs when parts of the tongue are missing layers of bumps called papillae.  While this condition is harmless and benign, it can make it more challenging to remove harmful bacteria from the tongue.  With this condition, brushing the tongue daily to remove bacteria becomes very important.  In most cases, patients with Geographical Tongue do not experience symptoms.  However,  approximately one in ten patients may experience mild discomfort or a burning sensation on the tongue.  Often times, this is due to a sensitivity to certain substances including cigarette smoke, spicy or acidic foods or toothpaste.

The cause of Geographical Tongue is not currently understood, however, individuals with psoriasis and/or fissured tongue are more likely to have Geographical Tongue.  This condition can be diagnosed by a dentist during a regular dental examination.  If you are diagnosed with Geographical Tongue, your dentist can provide you with helpful information about how to clean your tongue to remove the bacteria that can get lodged in the grooves of your tongue.  He or she can also closely monitor your dental health to look for any signs of periodontal (gum) disease.  Your dentist may also prescribe an antimicrobial rinse to help prevent the buildup of harmful bacteria on your tongue.

Posted on Behalf of Dr. Justin Scott, Pure Dental Health

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If You Are Trying to Get Pregnant, Now is a Good Time to Visit the Dentist

If you are planning on becoming pregnant in the near future, you probably have a long lists of things to do to prepare for your pregnancy. You will need to buy a crib, decorate a nursery and figure out childcare, if you are a working professional.  You may also need to make some important lifestyle changes such as quitting smoking, losing weight or limiting your intake of alcohol and caffeine.  All these things are important to increase your chances of getting pregnant and having a healthy pregnancy.  Is visiting the dentist on your list? If not, it should be.  If you are planning on becoming pregnant in the future, it is a good idea to visit the dentist for a routine dental checkup now, before you actually become pregnant.  This will give your dentist the opportunity to diagnose and treat any dental health issues such as tooth decay, gum recession and periodontal disease, before you become pregnant.  This way, if anesthesia is required for your procedure, you do not have to worry about exposing your unborn child to it.  Additionally, some individuals experience anxiety when it comes to visiting the dentist for dental procedures.  Due to the harmful affects of stress on the body, it is important to minimize stress and anxiety as much as possible during pregnancy.

The other reason that it is important to visit the dentist before you become pregnant is because the hormonal changes that come with pregnancy can make you more susceptible to periodontal disease.  Since periodontal disease is caused by the buildup of plaque, getting regular professional dental cleanings is important to prevent this serious condition.  Once you do become pregnant, your dentist may recommend more frequent cleanings and checkups to prevent periodontal disease.

If you have questions about pregnancy and your dental health, talk to your dentist today.  If it has been over six months since you last visited the dentist and you are planning on becoming pregnant in the future, visit your dentist today for a routine dental checkup.

Posted on Behalf of Dr. Justin Scott, Pure Dental Health

 
Posted on Behalf of Dr. Justin Scott, Pure Dental Health

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American Academy of Pediatrics Offers New Dental Recommendations

If you have a baby or toddler, you have the important job of caring for your child’s dental health.  The preventive dental care that your child receives today can have a large effect on his or her dental health in the future.  For this reason, it is important to be aware of the recommendations made by dental health experts for the care of children’s teeth.  You may be interested to know that the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) has recently offered new dental recommendations.  These new recommendations were published online on August 25 in the journal Pediatrics.

According to the new guidelines, all children should start using toothpaste with fluoride as soon as the teeth appear.  This is regardless of their risk for developing cavities.  However, the amount recommended for use does vary according to the child’s age.  The AAP recommends using a smear (the size of a grain of rice) for children under the age of three.  Starting at age three, they recommend using a pea-sized portion of fluoride toothpaste.

The AAP guidelines also recommend the application of a fluoride varnish by a dentist every three to six months, as soon as the teeth appear.  This is to protect against tooth decay, one of the most chronic diseases affecting American children. However, the AAP does not recommend the use of fluoride rinses in children under the age of six.  This is due to a concern about the risk for children under the age of six swallowing more than the recommended levels of fluoride.

If you have questions about your child’s dental health, talk to your dentist today.  As a parent, you are your child’s best defense against tooth decay and other serious dental health issues.

Posted on Behalf of Dr. Justin Scott, Pure Dental Health

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Preventing Tooth Decay

What is the best way to treat tooth decay (dental caries)?  The best way to treat tooth decay is to prevent it from occurring in the first place.  It seems that in the case of your dental health, that old saying, “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure” is very true.

Brushing your teeth thoroughly at least two times per day and flossing your teeth thoroughly at least one time per day can go a long way in preventing tooth decay.  So can regular professional cleanings from your dentist.  In addition, preventive measures such as sealants and fluoride treatments can be used to make your teeth less susceptible to decay.  What you eat can also play an important role in your dental health.  Staying away from sticky, sugary and highly acidic foods and beverages can cut down on your chances of developing tooth decay.  If you cannot stay away from these types of foods, brushing your teeth or rinsing your mouth with water after consuming them will help.

However, if you are not able to prevent tooth decay from occurring, then the next best thing is to treat it when it is in its earliest stages.  If you want to make sure that tooth decay is detected in its earliest stages, it is vitally important that you visit your dentist at least every six months for a routine dental checkup.  This will give your dentist the opportunity to examine your teeth to look for signs of decay.  Your dentist can also order dental X-rays, if necessary.  Dental X-rays can be used to detect tooth decay that is not able to be detected in a physical examination.  In addition, some dentists are now utilizing high powered lasers to detect cavities that cannot even be detected using X-ray technology.

If you have not been to the dentist for a routine dental examination in over six months, schedule an appointment with your dentist today.  What you do today can have a large effect on your dental health in the future.

Posted on Behalf of Dr. Justin Scott, Pure Dental Health
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Starting Out The School Year With Good Oral Health

If you live in metropolitan Atlanta and have a child who attends public school, yesterday was the first day of the 2013/2014 school year.  What happened to the summer?  Out with the carefree days of sleeping in and swimming in the pool.  In with homework, after-school activities and Fall sports.  At least that means football season is right around the corner!  For many parents, this time of the year brings with it a big “to-do” list.  Time to buy school supplies, purchase school clothes, get a physical, etc.  One thing that should not escape your back-to-school “to-do” list is taking your child for his or her six-month dental checkup.

Your child’s six-month dental check-up provides a great opportunity for your dentist to look for any signs of dental health problems such as tooth decay and gum disease.  Cavities can be detected during a physical examination or through the use of x-ray technology.  Some dental offices even have special lasers that can be used to detect cavities that are in the earliest stages and would otherwise not be detected.  Early detection enables your dentist to treat any cavities that occur before they have had the opportunity to threaten the health of the tooth.  Your child’s dentist may also recommend sealants to prevent cavities from occurring on the chewing surfaces of your child’s back teeth.  Lastly, he or she may recommend fluoride treatments to further strengthen the teeth and make them less susceptible to decay.

If you have young children who still have their baby teeth, do not make the mistake of thinking that the health of their baby teeth does not matter.  Studies have shown that the health of the baby teeth is often indicative of the health of the permanent teeth.   Your child’s dental health problems will not simply go away when their permanent teeth come in.

As a parent, you have the important job of getting your child ready for school and for life.  If your child is going back to school this Fall, help them to start the year out right with good oral health.

Posted on Behalf of Dr. Justin Scott, Pure Dental Health
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Teaching Your Children About Oral Health

If you are a parent, you have the important and sometimes overwhelming job of teaching your children the skills they will need to succeed in life.  The skills you teach them today will hopefully benefit them in the future when they eventually leave the nest.  One of the most important things you can teach your children is how to properly care for their dental health.  If you help your children understand the importance of practicing good daily oral hygiene and help them to develop these habits when they are young, you will increase their chances of being able to keep their teeth, for life.  This will also help them to avoid costly and painful dental problems such as tooth decay, gum disease and tooth loss.

You should teach your children to brush their at least two times daily, once when they get up in the morning and then again before they go to bed.  They should brush their teach for at least two minutes each time to ensure that all the plaque and food particles are removed from their teeth and gums.  Proper brushing technique is also important.  Teach your child to brush with circular motions instead of roughly dragging the toothbrush across their gums.  This will prevent them from damaging their gums in the process.

You should also teach your children to floss thoroughly at least one time everyday.  The best time to do this is at night, before they go to sleep.  Studies have shown that flossing your teeth is just as important as brushing them because flossing can get deeper in between the teeth and remove plaque and food particles that cannot be removed with a toothbrush.

Lastly, teach your children the importance of seeing a dentist regularly for routine dental cleanings and examinations.  Your child should visit the dentist every six months for a professional dental cleaning and a dental examination.  Your dentist may also recommend preventive measures such as fluoride treatments and/or dental sealants to prevent tooth decay.

Taking the time to teach your child about the importance of taking care of their dental health today will benefit them greatly in the future.  If your child has not been to see a dentist in more than six months, schedule an appointment today.

Posted on Behalf of Dr. Justin Scott, Pure Dental Health

 
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5 Reasons to Whiten Your Teeth

Teeth Whitening is now the most requested cosmetic dental treatment.  This is not surprising since this single cosmetic dental treatment can dramatically improve your appearance, your self-confidence and even your quality of life.  There are a number of reasons why individuals decide to whiten their teeth including the following:

1.  to whiten teeth that have become stained due to smoking or consuming foods and beverages such as coffee, tea, soda, berries and red wine

2.  to treat the discoloration that occurs as a natural part of the aging process

3.  to prepare for an important event such as a wedding, reunion, anniversary or job interview

4.  to prepare to start dating again after a divorce or the loss of a spouse or partner

5.  as a complement to other cosmetic treatments such as Botox, facial fillers or plastic surgery

The bottom line is that whitening your teeth can greatly enhance and take years off of your appearance.  It can also increase your confidence which makes you more attractive to others.  This can be important if you are looking to start dating, have an important event coming up or are interviewing for a job. 

When you do decide to whiten your teeth, there are many options from which to choose.  There are a variety of over-the-counter whitening products that can be used to whiten your teeth, however, they differ widely in their effectiveness and some can even be harmful to your dental health.  For this reason, the American Dental Association recommends whitening your teeth under the supervision of a dentist.  Most dentists offer two options for teeth whitening:  take-home kits and in-office treatments.  The take-home kits produce gradual results and can be used over and over again, as needed.  The in-office procedure produces dramatic results in a single appointment lasting for a little over an hour.  Both of these methods have certain advantages and disadvantages.  Your dentist can help you determine which method is better suited for you based on your lifestyle, your budget and your dental health.

If dingy discolored teeth are causing you to lose confidence and are negatively affecting your quality of life, talk to your dentist today about whitening your teeth.  Enjoy your whiter, brighter, more beautiful smile!

Posted on Behalf of Dr. Justin Scott, Pure Dental Health

 
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