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

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

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

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

Your Diet and Your Oral Health

Your diet affects every aspect of your health, yet many people overlook this fact. A greasy diet will affect your skin, a high-fat diet will affect your weight, and a high-sugar diet will affect your teeth. Almost every aspect of your body’s health begins with choices that you make surrounding your mouth. Smoking, food choices, and beverage choices all involve what is allowed to enter into the body via the mouth. Yet, many people neglect this simple fact because they brush their teeth daily and floss occasionally.

The body is an extremely intricate machine in which all parts work together. If one part of the body is unhealthy, the entire body will suffer. If you have ever broken or injured a toe, then you understand how this can be. A broken toe can put you off your feet for at least a week, yet it can make exercising uncomfortable for upwards of a month. A single toe injury can be painful and cause you to gain weight, lose muscle tone, and affect your entire health. Now, think of what an unhealthy diet can do to your mouth – and your entire body – when you consistently make unwise food choices.

Inside the mouth are millions of bacteria that thrive off of the food particles that are left behind after you eat and drink. These bacteria help to break down these food particles by producing acids inside the mouth that make their job easier. It is these acids that cause tooth decay and gum disease. The oral bacteria are most attracted to the sugars in the foods and beverages that you consume. They congregate at sugary particles in large numbers and produce a great deal of acid. It is important to note that artificial sweeteners taste the same to bacteria as real sugar does, so choosing a Diet Coke over a Regular Coke does not protect the teeth in any way.

Maintaining a healthy diet consists of the following:

  • Fresh fruits and vegetables in their natural states (hence not baked in desserts)
  • Lean sources of protein
  • Whole grains
  • Dry beans
  • Legumes
  • Low-fat dairy products

A healthy diet does more than keep the numbers on the scale low, it protects the mouth from decay – which in turn protects the body from poor health. At Pure Dental Health we will be happy to help you find a diet plan that meets your needs and protects your oral health. Call us 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

Is Mouthwash Necessary?

When you think of your at-home oral health care routine, you may believe that brushing your teeth twice a day is good enough. Yet, when you stroll through the dental health aisle at the drug store you are reminded that you should be flossing – and what about mouthwash? There are many varieties out there claiming to benefit your oral health, so is mouthwash a necessary part of your oral hygiene routine?

Mouthwash is not necessary for those who brush their teeth at least twice a day and who floss every single day. Flossing your teeth is the best thing that you can do for your oral health because it removes food particles that are trapped between your teeth and bacteria-laden plaque that develops in the tight spaces between the teeth and at the gum line. Brushing the teeth loosens the plaque that builds up on the surface of the teeth so that it is expelled from the mouth when you rinse and spit.

However, if you are not an avid flosser and you occasionally skip out on brushing your teeth, mouthwash can be a beneficial tool for your mouth. When choosing a mouthwash, it is important to choose one with the American Dental Association’s (ADA’s) seal of approval. This seal lets you know that the mouthwash has been proven effective for fighting cavities and preventing gum disease. Both cavities and gum disease are caused by the bacteria within dental plaque and the acids that these bacteria produce. An antibacterial mouthwash will help to kill the bacteria inside the mouth so that it does not do damage to the teeth and gums. No mouthwash will remove plaque from the teeth, only flossing and brushing can do that, but it will help to lessen the damage that plaque can cause on the teeth.

While mouthwash is not considered a necessary part of your oral health routine, it can provide benefits to those who do not clean their mouths as they should. If you would like our recommendation for a good mouthwash, contact Pure Dental Health today. We want to promote the best choices for protecting 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

Flossing is Not an Option

If you want a trim, healthy body then you know that a clean diet and exercise are not options but necessary actions. You also need to know that if you value your teeth and want the most beautiful smile possible – flossing is not an option.

Flossing has long been one of the most hated hygiene chores. Whether it is because it takes too much time and effort, people do not like sticking their fingers in their mouth, they think it’s a gross chore, or they feel that they can simply wait until they visit the dentist for that “dentist clean” feeling – they are headed for danger.

When it comes to your oral health, flossing is more important than brushing. Despite the fact that you have been reminded since you were very young to “go brush your teeth,” the number one thing you should have been doing to take care of your mouth is flossing your teeth. Of course, that is not negating the importance of brushing, but brushing the teeth like only washing the tops of your hands. If you only washed the tops of your hands, you are still leaving an incredible amount of germs on your palms and fingers – just give a few seconds’ thought to what you have touched today, and then think of how dirty your hands are. Yet, if you only washed the tops of your hands, the dirtiest parts of your hands will still remain dirty.

The same is true about brushing and flossing. Brushing your teeth only cleans half of the surfaces of your teeth – front and back. If you only brush your teeth and do not floss them, you are neglecting the two sides that your toothbrush cannot touch. This leaves the sides of your teeth and gums dirty, just like only washing the top side of your hands.

Flossing is the most important step in your oral hygiene routine because it is the only method that you can do at home to get rid of the bacteria laden plaque that forms in between the teeth. Plaque that is not removed regularly (think daily!) can quickly cause gingivitis, gum disease, and even tooth loss.

For a healthy mouth, flossing is just as important as visiting your dentist on a regular basis. The next time you visit Pure Dental Health, feel free to ask for more flossing tips. We are here to ensure that your mouth is as healthy as possible.

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

Sleep Apnea Treatment

Sleep apnea is a potentially life threatening condition in which a person’s regular sleep patterns are interrupted due to his or her breathing stopping and starting repeatedly. The sleep disorder can have serious effects on a person’s health due to the consistent lack of oxygen that the brain and other organs receive. Waking repeatedly during the night or snoring loudly are often the first indicators that a person has sleep apnea. This condition should not be ignored, and it should be brought up with your physician and dentist. At Pure Dental Health in Buckhead, we offer solutions to patients suffering from sleep apnea. We are a comprehensive dental practice that cares about our patients’ oral health as well as their overall health.

For many patients who suffer from sleep apnea, they are able to correct the problem with a custom fitted mouthpiece to wear while they sleep. This mouthpiece holds the mouth in correct position so that airflow is easily allowed and not interrupted during sleep. This mouthpiece also helps reduce snoring, which is beneficial for the person wearing the mouthpiece as well as his or her sleeping partner. At Pure Dental Health we work with our patients to find out if they truly have sleep apnea or another condition by working with sleep therapists and sleep study clinics for a true determination. If it is found that a patient does suffer from sleep apnea, we offer mouthpieces to help open the airway so that patients can breath better and consistently at night.

Sleep apnea should never be ignored. There are serious health ramifications (such as a known relation to heart disease and stroke) from this sleep disorder. At Pure Dental Health, we care about our patients’ health, and we provide comprehensive dental care to ensure that they receive the highest level of care possible. Call us 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

Personalized Dental Care

Meeting the needs of each dental patient may seem like a normal part of any dental practice, but many people are surprised by how often they receive “one size fits all” care at their dentist’s office. At Pure Dental Health we are committed to providing our patients with the most personalized dental care possible. Our mission says it all: To deliver high quality dentistry, complemented by first-class customer care and featuring the latest technology and comfort. The moment patients walk into our office they will see that their entire experience is completely different from almost any other dental practice in Georgia.

Personalized dental care means that each patient receives exactly what s/he needs in order to have optimal oral health. Even patients within the same family can each have their own specific issues that drastically differ from one another. Instead of treating patients on a “well, we’ve seen this before” basis, we treat each patient on the “Well, this is something new in YOUR mouth.” We believe that each patient has individual needs, issues, concerns, and anxieties that need to be met in order to provide them with personalized dental care. We offer noise-cancelling headphones for those who find the noise of the dental exam stressful; flat screen TVs for those who wish to focus on something other than their dental cleanings, and friendly dental hygienists for those who want someone friendly to converse with. Our practice provides comprehensive dental care in a warm and relaxing atmosphere while catering to the needs of each patient.

If you are looking for a dentist to trust in Atlanta, Pure Dental Health is the practice to turn to. We put patients first in everything we do, and we take the time to get to know each patient so that we can provide personalized dental care to meet everyone’s individual needs. Our Buckhead office is centrally located in the Atlanta area, so please contact us today to schedule your appointment.

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