By Kenny Hackett
Pollen allergy symptoms emerge when your immune system thinks pollen particulates are harmful invaders, causing the immune system to actually begin attacking your own body. Inhaling irritants such as pollen, dust, mold spores, pet dander and other allergens provokes your immune system to release antibodies called immunoglobulin E (IgE). When your immune system floods your body with IgE antibodies, you start suffering classic symptoms of a pollen allergy–sneezing, congestion, itchy eyes and wheezing.
To confirm a pollen allergy, your doctor may order blood tests that measure IgE levels or a complete blood count test that determines whether elevated levels of white blood cells exist. Doctors also dissolve and drop tiny amounts of a suspected allergen into your lower eyelid to see how your immune system reacts. Dealing with high pollen counts in Atlanta to help reduce the severity of your allergy symptoms is time-consuming but doable. Of course, the fastest way to achieve temporary relief is to take over-the-counter allergy medicines called antihistamines to eliminate histamine (the chemical causing your runny nose and itchy eyes) from your bloodstream.
These tips for decreasing pollen counts in your home can provide long-term relief to make living in Atlanta during spring and summer much more comfortable for pollen allergy sufferers.
Take Control of Your Pollen Allergy in Atlanta
- Cover pillows, box springs, and mattresses with pollen-proof fabric covers that have a mean pore size of fewer than 10 microns. Plastic sheets also work well but many people find them uncomfortable and hot. However, they clean easily and can dramatically reduce allergy symptoms.
- Clean household surfaces with a mixture of vinegar and baking soda. It is natural and won’t induce allergy symptoms. If you do not like the smell of vinegar, a few drops of lemon juice will eliminate the vinegar smell.
- Place an air filter and dehumidifier in your bedroom after cleaning. Pollen and mold spores thrive in humidity.
- If you have blinds in your home, replace them with washable curtains or washable, moisture-resistant roller blinds.
- Wallpaper is notorious for attracting and harboring allergens. Consider removing wallpaper and replacing it with tile or a professional paint job.
- Vacuum fabric upholstery once a week using a HEPA filter vacuum cleaner.
- Wear a paper mask when going outdoors, especially on windy days and during times of high pollen counts. You can get cheap “painter’s masks” at your local hardware store.
- Vacuum and shampoo living room carpets more frequently than you shampoo bedroom carpets since the living room is often the recipient of air rushing in through an open door.
- Use a Swiffer mop to wipe down kitchen walls and ceilings once a week. Additionally, change the cloth twice while cleaning walls and ceilings. Kitchen humidity attracts allergens that cling to walls and ceilings more readily than any other room except the bathroom.
- Invest in air purifiers, whole house filters, ionizers and dehumidifiers to reduce allergen content in your home. Ionizers work to inhibit the movement of allergens by altering the air’s electrical charge.
Finally, if your home is surrounded by trees, bushes and wildflowers, consider hiring a lawn maintenance company to remove wood-bearing plants or problematic land areas and replace them with decorative stones or AstroTurf to help relieve pollen allergy symptoms.
Balloon Sinuplasty for Atlanta’s Pollen Allergy Sufferers?
Insertion of a balloon sinuplasty device is a simple procedure involving the introduction of a tiny balloon catheter into sinus passageways. Inflation of this balloon opens your swelled passageways painlessly while a gradual restructuring of the sinus area takes place. Restoration of normal sinus functioning begins almost immediately, without harming the anatomical integrity of nasal passages.
Balloon sinuplasty is minimally invasive, eases the uncomfortable swelling, itching, and burning of sinus passages so that you can breathe freely again and may reduce or eliminate your need to use nasal sprays or allergy medications that cause drowsiness.
Allergies & Orthodontics
Allergies can cause long-term skeletal issues for children that continue into adulthood without orthodontic intervention. Breathing through the mouth instead of the nose at night can cause the upper jaw to form abnormally. This can cause your child to have crossbites or even worse an overbite. If caught at an early age, around 7 years old, an orthodontist can gently guide the upper jaw to grow into the correct position. Without orthodontic intervention, many of these patients would require major jaw surgery to correct these issues.
For more health-related tips, please visit our website’s blog section today.
By Kenny Hackett
Are you looking for something to do that is family friendly, or would you like to learn more about the city we call home? If so, the Atlanta History Center is a great destination! The Atlanta History Center is open Mondays through Saturdays 10am to 5:30pm and Sundays 12pm to 5:30pm. Adult tickets are $21.50 for ages 4-12, tickets are $9. Student tickets for students ages 13 and older are $18. The admission cost also includes admission to the historic Swan House, The Smith Family Farm, and The Marget Mitchell House.
The Atlanta History Center is located on 33 acres in Buckhead. The Center features several exhibits in the main museum. The Center also features several historic homes and beautiful gardens. Founded as The Atlanta Historical Society in 1926, the society’s mission was to preserve the City of Atlanta’s history. After decades of collecting and preserving Atlanta’s history the Society, and it’s holdings, became The Atlanta History Center in 1990.
School has returned! Summer is coming to an end, fall sports are gearing up, and all the children are headed back to school. At West Paces Ferry Orthodontics, Atlanta’s top provider of Invisalign, our Orthodontists, Dr. Paul Yurfest & Dr. Kristin Huber, want to offer a few helpful tips for going back to school with braces or Invisalign® aligners!
Make sure to follow the 2×2 brushing rule: brush your teeth for TWO minutes, TWO times each day! Proper brushing will help keep your teeth and braces clean, which leads to quicker appointments and healthier teeth. If you want to brush after lunch, keep the travel toothbrush we gave you in your backpack. Brush your braces!
Bring a water bottle to school. Drinking water throughout the day helps to keep your mouth clean, fight cavities and tooth decay. Sugary drinks increase your chance for cavities, so stick with water, and you cannot go wrong!
Keep an extra pack of elastics in your backpack. If you have a locker, it is wise to store some extra rubber bands in there too. Remember that those elastics help move teeth, so not wearing them consistently will result in longer treatment times!
We know you have to eat well to perform well in the classroom. Always eat smart at every meal! Avoid foods that are hard, crunchy, or chewy to prevent bending wires or knocking off brackets. Damage to your braces can cause discomfort and lengthen your treatment time. Good breakfast foods for children with braces include yogurt, fruit smoothies, and eggs.
Check out your lunch menu every week to make sure something is offered each day that you like and can eat with braces. We recommend cooked vegetables, softer foods like spaghetti, macaroni and cheese, and lean cuts of meat. Avoid chips, soft drinks, and sports drinks. Pack your lunch and take it with you if the choices are not right for you.
Bananas make a great snack. They are high in potassium and fiber which promotes heart and bone health. If you like hard fruits such as apples or pears, you must cut them into pieces before you leave for school and chew them with your back teeth. Biting into hard fruits can damage your braces.
If you are wearing Invisalign aligners, it is critical to have them on for at least 22 hours a day. The good news is you can do almost all of your normal activities while wearing your trays! Drinking sugar-free beverages and eating light snacks does not require you to remove your aligners! Whenever you brush your teeth, you should also clean your aligners.
Good luck in the upcoming school year and remember to care for your teeth and braces every day properly! Contact West Paces Ferry Orthodontics in Atlanta, Georgia with any questions or to schedule an initial complimentary consultation!
By Kenny Hackett
The end of summer is upon us. With the return of school comes something dark and evil, Metro Atlanta school traffic! Traffic is never particularly kind in metro Atlanta, but the return of school can make it a nightmare. Not only is the additional traffic annoying, but it can be dangerous for our children if safety is not observed more carefully. With this in mind, we would like to share some tips from the National Safety Council to help everyone be as safe as possible.
When Dropping Off the Children
Make sure to go over your local schools drop off procedures before taking your child to school! Being prepared not only will increase efficiency and reduce traffic backups but will ensure the process is as safe as possible for the students! School zones have the highest number of incidents involving children and motor vehicles.
- Don’t double park; it blocks visibility for other children and vehicles
- Don’t load or unload children across the street from the school
- Carpool to reduce the number of vehicles at the school
Sharing the Road with Young Pedestrians
Most children who lose their lives in school bus related incidents are walking and between the age of 4 to 7 years old according to the NSC. There is a danger of them being hit by the bus or a motorist illegally passing a stopped bus. These are some things that can make it safer for the kids!
- Don’t block the crosswalk when stopped at a red light or waiting to make a turn, forcing pedestrians to go around you; this could put them in the path of moving traffic
- In a school zone when flashers are blinking, stop and yield to pedestrians crossing the crosswalk or intersection
- Always stop for a school patrol officer or crossing guard holding up a stop sign
- Take extra care to look out for children in school zones, near playgrounds and parks, and in all residential areas
- Don’t honk or rev your engine to scare a pedestrian, even if you have the right of way
- Never pass a vehicle stopped for pedestrians
- Always use extreme caution to avoid striking pedestrians wherever they may be, no matter who has the right of way
Sharing the Road with School Buses
If you are driving behind a bus, allow a greater following distance than if you were driving behind a car. It will give you more time to stop once the yellow lights start flashing. It is illegal in all 50 states to pass a school bus that is stopped to load or unload children.
- Never pass a bus from behind – or from either direction if you are on an undivided road – if it is stopped to load or unload children
- If the yellow or red lights are flashing and the stop arm is extended, traffic must stop
- The area 10 feet around a school bus is the most dangerous for children; stop far enough back to allow them space to enter and exit the bus.
- Be alert; children often are unpredictable, and they tend to ignore hazards and take risks
Sharing the Road with Bicyclists
On most roads, bicyclists have the same rights and responsibilities as vehicles, but bikes can be hard to see. Children riding bikes create special problems for drivers because usually, they are not able to properly determine traffic conditions. The most common cause of the collision is a driver turning left in front of a bicyclist.
- When passing a bicyclist, proceed in the same direction slowly, and leave 3 feet between your car and the cyclist
- When turning left and a bicyclist is approaching in the opposite direction, wait for the rider to pass
- If you’re turning right and a bicyclist is approaching from behind on the right, let the rider go through the intersection first, and always use your turn signals
- Watch for bike riders turning in front of you without looking or signaling; children especially have a tendency to do this
- Be extra vigilant in school zones and residential neighborhoods
- Watch for bikes coming from driveways or behind parked cars
- Check side mirrors before opening your door
I hope these tips help us all keep the kids safe as they return to school. I tried to find some advice for avoiding traffic in Atlanta, but google just laughed at me. Feel free to share any tips you have in the comments.
By: Kenny Hackett
When breathing is periodically blocked during sleep you may be suffering from a common condition called obstructive sleep apnea; several conditions may be causing the airway to narrow enough to restrict airflow during sleep. West Paces Ferry Orthodontics specializes in sleep apnea orthodontics, a unique field of dentistry that treats sleep apnea. With custom-fitted dental appliances, your Atlanta orthodontists Dr. Kristin Huber & Dr. Paul Yurfest, prevent soft throat tissues from falling back into your throat and interrupting breathing during sleep.
What is Sleep Apnea?
Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) interrupts normal breathing patterns when airways obstruct airflow during sleep. OSA occurs when your anterior throat tissues relax so much they collapse into the airway soon after you fall asleep. Other possible causes of sleep apnea include having larger than normal tonsils, a large tongue, abnormally narrow airways or being overweight.
When you are overweight, excess tissues may thicken your windpipe wall and restrict breathing. Cognitive issues associated with aging may also contribute
to the development of obstructive sleep apnea when your brain’s ability to process sleep signals decreases and your throat muscles do not remain stiff enough during sleep.
Finally, obstructive sleep apnea is often caused by your lower jaw being shorter than your upper jaw (retrognathia). Orthodontists will also measure tonsil and adenoid size to determine whether they may be contributing to airway blockage.
Symptoms of Sleep Apnea
In addition to experiencing unusual daytime fatigue, signs of possible sleep apnea include:
- Snoring loudly enough that you abruptly awaken yourself throughout the night
- Difficulty concentrating during the day
- Feeling depressed and irritable for no reason
- Having a parched mouth in the morning
- Gaining weight even though your level of physical activity hasn’t changed (daytime tiredness leads to increased appetite)
- Having elevated blood pressure when you do not have a previous history of hypertension
How Orthodontists Treat Sleep Apnea
Your Atlanta orthodontist, Dr. Yurfest & Huber specialize in treating sleep apnea using customized dental appliances that prevent the tongue and/or throat tissues from falling back into the airway and interrupting breathing.
Acrylic dental devices designed by your Atlanta orthodontists can help restore normal positioning of your lower jaw or work as a tongue retention appliance to prevent the tongue from falling over the airway during sleep. By holding your lower jaw in a more forward position, a dental sleep apnea appliance prevents tissue collapse, significantly reduces snoring and improves the flow of air through your airway during sleep.
Health Consequences of Untreated Sleep Apnea
Since sleep apnea causes extremely loud snoring, inhibits breathing and forces you to gasp for air during sleep, untreated sleep apnea will significantly reduce the amount of sleep you get. When you don’t get good enough, sound sleep night after night, severe health problems often develop, such as
Diabetes–daytime fatigue leads to cravings for high sugar, high carb foods that may induce insulin resistance, weight gain, and development of diabetes
Hypertension/Heart problems–sudden decreases in blood oxygen levels due to obstructed airways strain your cardiovascular system, elevate blood pressure and raise the risk of atrial fibrillation or abnormal heart rhythms.
Metabolic syndrome–a constellation of risk factors associated with heart disease, metabolic syndrome includes high cholesterol, high blood glucose levels, high cholesterol and expanding waist circumference.
Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease–Research shows that people w
ith untreated sleep apnea could present abnormal liver function test results indicating scarring and defective liver cell activity.
If you think you have sleep apnea or wish to get rid of your CPAP mask, call your Atlanta
orthodontists, West Paces Ferry Orthodontics, today to learn more about the benefits of sleep apnea orthodontics.
Your smile is one of the first things people notice about you when they meet you. Crooked, poorly spaced teeth can not only affect that first impression but can also impact your self-confidence. Invisalign® clear aligners help straighten your teeth without your having to deal with uncomfortable, noticeable, difficult-to-maintain metal braces.
Finding an orthodontist who is experienced with Invisalign therapy is important. Invisalign Aligners only work at their best when guided by an experienced orthodontist.
The most experienced providers are designated as Top 1% providers. These providers are the most experienced Invisalign providers in the world, and there are less than 100 of them in practice. These Top 1% providers are given access to the newest and most advanced technology used in the Invisalign process. Drs. Yurfest and Huber are two such providers. Together, they have treated more than 4,000 patients using these products, and their practice is frequently asked by the company to test new Invisalign products and techniques. They were even instrumental in the switch from a two-week wear protocol with Invisalign to the current one-week wear protocol.
About Invisalign Aligners
Invisalign aligners fit snugly over your teeth gently guiding your teeth to their desired positions. The aligners allow each tooth to be manipulated individually, helping to create a perfect smile and healthy bite. You will wear these aligners for most of the day and sleep in them. However, unlike traditional braces, they can easily be removed for cleaning and so that you can brush your teeth thoroughly. You can also remove your aligners when you eat.
During your initial appointment, our staff will make a digital 3D model of your teeth that will be used to create your first set of aligners. You will have follow-up appointments so that we can track your process. Once this set of aligners is complete, you will be scanned again for a second set of aligners. You will start out replacing your aligners with a new set every week so that a constant pressure is kept on your teeth as they move into their new positions.
At the end of the treatment, which can last between 12 and 24 months, patients transition to wearing a retainer. This retainer keeps teeth in their new position and prevents them from shifting back to their previous location.
Benefits of using Invisalign aligners
Invisalign aligners give patients all the benefits of traditional braces without having to endure heavy metal bands around your teeth for months or years. Also, Invisalign aligners also offer these benefits:
Appearance. Invisalign aligners are clear and fit tightly over your existing teeth. Most people will not even notice that you are wearing them.
Easy care. Since Invisalign aligners are removed for brushing, you do not have to worry about food getting trapped in them as can happen with traditional braces. You simply brush and floss your teeth as you normally would.
Easy monitoring. Invisalign aligners also make it easy to see how your smile is improving at every step in the process. You do not have to wait until the end of the treatment to see the result.
Comfort. With Invisalign aligners, there are no sharp edges or wires to cut your mouth.
About our practice
Dr. Yurfest and Dr. Huber have been helping Atlanta residents perfect their smiles for more than 40 years. They have treated more patients with Invisalign than any other orthodontist in the Atlanta area. West Paces Ferry Orthodontics was the first office in the world to treat adults, so you know that they have the experience to successfully treat you and your family.
To learn more about Invisalign and to make an appointment for a complimentary consultation, call their office today at (404) 262-2212 or visit wportho.com!
The Godfather of Adult Orthodontics
Part 1 Of A 3 Part Series
By: Kenny Hackett
Dr. Marvin Goldstein started his Orthodontic practice in 1941. This practice would eventually become known as West Paces Ferry Orthodontics. Along the way, Dr. Goldstein had some impressive achievements. In this three-part series, we will explore some of these achievements in more detail.
In 1947 in a paper entitled “Adult Orthodontics” Dr. Goldstein made an extensive study of the available literature on orthodontic treatments of the time and found little mention of adult orthodontics. He concluded that orthodontic treatment was not attempted if the patient was over 20 years old. Dr. Goldstein quickly realized there was no legitimate rationale as to why adults couldn’t be treated successfully with orthodontic therapy. He also realized that adults needed to be treated differently than children. Dr. Goldstein told the Orlando Sun Sentinel ” Many adults who have orthodontic work, even if the treatment is begun in middle age or later, may be able to keep their remaining teeth all their lives.” This was radical thinking at the time. Many orthodontists not willing to accept the changes Dr. Goldstein was pioneering went as far as sending him hate mail.
Dr. Goldstein found that adults could be treated, but the treatment was not achieved the same way. Since there is not a clinically significant amount of growth in the adult, one must consider how best to accomplish tooth movement. For instance, before tooth movement space may need to be secured within which to move the teeth. This space can be achieved by extracting a tooth or several, or by interproximal reduction.
Another trend Dr. Goldstein changed was when a patient sees the orthodontist. A generation ago it was all too common for the adult seeking orthodontic treatment to see the orthodontist only after having extensive periodontal or aesthetic dental work completed. Now it is advisable for only the worst periodontal problems to be treated before seeing the orthodontist. Also, cavities should be filled but crowns, implants, and extensive restorations should be done after orthodontic treatment is completed. This allows for all needs to be addressed to take advantage of creating space while preserving the teeth with the greatest potential to remain healthy.
History has proven Dr. Goldstein correct, as now almost all orthodontist treat adults as well as children. Dr. Kristin Huber and Dr. Paul Yurfest continue to innovate orthodontic therapies that make new treatments ever more efficient and effective here at West Paces Ferry Orthodontics.
Are there dental concerns you thought could not be treated?
By: Renee Hartz
I am pretty new to the preschool pick-up line. What I have learned thus far is that whether it is an after school program or daycare; pick up lines are a nightmare! All you do is wait and wait for your darling rug rat. When picking up your child, you must have proper identification & an identification number on your car.
I appreciate this. The more security, the better, especially today. Once you finally get to the front of the line and can retrieve your child, you are hoping for a brief update on how your child ate & what they did today. Instead, you hurried off so the next parent can get their child. It is a long and dreadful procedure. Seeing that smiling face and the words, “Hi, Mama,” make up for the painful experience.
Check out this website to find out ten ways to kill time: www.the-golden-spoons.com.
If a tooth is knocked out or avulsed, you should attempt to put the tooth back in the socket and soon as possible. Every minute counts. A tooth that is replaced within the first 30 minutes has a good prognosis for long-term survival. If the tooth is out of the mouth for over two hours, the chances of keeping that tooth long term is minimal. If the tooth cannot be replaced immediately, it should be placed in a solution of either milk or a balance salt solution that can be purchased from the drugstore. If neither of these solutions is available, the best thing to do is place it in saliva (it can be held in the cheek) until it can be replaced.
If the tooth simply gets knocked out of position, see an orthodontist immediately. The sooner that it can be moved back in position, the better long-term prognosis it will have. When trauma occurs to the tooth, the nerve/vascular bundle is disturbed. It is also not uncommon for fractures of the surrounding alveolar bone to occur. As these areas heal, the cells of the tooth and bone can become confused, and ankylosis of the tooth can occur. This makes orthodontic correction impossible. If orthodontics is immediately initiated, the proper signals are sent to the brain that helps differentiates bone from the tooth, and ankylosis is not as likely to occur.
These valuable tips are not widely known, so spread the word and knowing the 411 may help you or a friend save a tooth!
By: Kenny Hackett
As the communications director of West Paces Ferry Orthodontics, it is my responsibility to manage our blog and social media presence. Part of that job includes reviewing and vetting articles a service sends to me to possibly share with you, our audience. Yesterday I was sent an article on a controversial subject. The safety of Amalgam fillings. The article shared an opinion that is in opposition to my own, but as the editor in chief of our publication efforts, I try to be open minded to views other than my own. My hope was that a colleague would address the article and a dialog would result, and my further intention was to post an article today expressing the opposing view. I was not disappointed. I decided to take today’s response a step further by writing an editorial regarding the safety of amalgam myself.
Dr. Nancy Lubell, of The Right Smile Center, had this to say on the subject “Amalgam has been tested by numerous organizations over the decades and not one well executed scientific study done by dental, MS, Alzheimers, WHO, FDA, or other organizations has been able to link amalgam to the wide array of diseases, disorders, symptoms, etc., claimed to be caused by it. I have not placed an amalgam in over a decade, but not because of mercury.’ Dr. Lubell continued, “Before dentists wore gloves and masks, there was no higher incidence in any of these conditions among dentists vs. the general population. Mercury vapor is highest at placement and removal of amalgams. It would be logical to assume those of us who breathed this all day before masks would be affected. I don’t argue with patients who request that their amalgams be replaced, but I don’t perpetuate this sensationalism.”
Further research found that the American Dental Association held that “Dental amalgam is considered a safe, affordable and durable material that has been used to restore the teeth of more than 100 million Americans. It contains a mixture of metals such as silver, copper, and tin, in addition to mercury, which binds these components into a hard, stable and safe substance. Dental amalgam has been studied and reviewed extensively and has established a record of safety and effectiveness.”
No one is disputing that Mercury is an ingredient in amalgam, but one must understand that is not dangerous as the mercury in amalgam is what scientist refer to as a bound chemical. Quackwatch.com explains: “Mercury is a component of the amalgam used for “silver” fillings. The other major ingredients are silver, tin, copper, and zinc. When mixed, these elements bond to form a strong, stable substance. The difference between bound and unbound chemicals can be illustrated by a simple analogy. Elemental hydrogen is an explosive gas. Elemental oxygen is a gas that supports combustion. When combined, however, they form water, which has neither of these effects. Amalgam’s ingredients are tightly bonded to each other. Although the types of chemical bonds in water and amalgam differ, saying that amalgam will poison you is just as wrong as saying that drinking water will make you explode and burst into flames.”
The conclusion I have come to after looking at the information available on this subject is that your best and safest course of action with this and other issues regarding your teeth and your health is to ask your dentist! There is so much information available on the internet that it becomes tough to divine truth from fiction. Your dentist, on the other hand, has very specialized and thorough education regarding your health. When in doubt ask your dentist! We are always happy to answer your questions at West Paces Ferry Orthodontics! Are there any dental topics you have that you would like us to look into? Ask us in the comment section!