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THUMBSUCKING AND HOW IT AFFECTS YOUR CHILD’S TEETH

Thumbsucking

Are you constantly pulling your child’s thumb from their mouth? Trying to break the thumb sucking habit can be difficult. In fact, this is one habit that many babies develop before they are even born. Babies sucking their thumb is a normal habit due to its soothing abilities.  

However, if your “baby” is still sucking their thumb after they reach the age of three, there are some issues that may come up later with their overall oral health.

POSSIBLE ISSUES CAUSED BY PROLONGED THUMBSUCKING
It may seem unreal that such an innocent act of sucking on the thumb can cause major issues with the teeth, gums, jaw, and the child’s facial form. Here are just a few issues that can be caused from prolonged thumb sucking:

- A permanent overbite or underbite
- Teeth that slant outwards
- Speech issues
- Misaligned jaw

SOLUTIONS TO THUMBSUCKING
While many toddlers give up pacifiers and thumb sucking on their own, there are still many who have created a hard-to-break habit. When it comes to breaking the habit, there are a few things you can try to help your little one out.

Positive Reinforcement - Instead of scolding a child for sucking their thumb, try explaining to them why it’s not a good idea. Give them praises for not sucking their thumb for long periods of time or giving them a small treat. Since thumb sucking is considered a way that most kids self-soothe or manage anxiety, yelling or giving harsh punishments only creates more pressure and anxiety and only encourages the child’s need and desire to keep sucking their thumb.

Get Creative - If your child is older, talk with them about possible ways to stop sucking on their thumb. Have them help with deciding on a way to stop the habit such as putting a sock on their hand at night or putting a bandage on their thumb.

Get Help From the Experts - In extreme cases, a dentist or pediatrician may prescribe medication to put on your child’s thumb. The bitter taste will help keep thumbs out of the mouth. There are also oral devices and appliances that your dentist can offer to keep the thumb physically out of the mouth.

VISIT DR. REESE TODAY!
Starting your child early with visits to the dentist is very important. Dr. Reese can monitor and examine your child’s mouth as they grow and reinforce good dental habits. In addition to offering routine dental services, Dr. Reese also offers Comprehensive Orthodontic Treatment to his patients. If thumb sucking has created an issue, a treatment plan can be created specifically for your child. Making an appointment is easy. You can give our office a call at (870) 424-5900 or request an appointment online by clicking here



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HELP! MY GUMS ARE BLEEDING!

Bleeding Gums

Like many people, you begin your morning routine with brushing and hopefully flossing your teeth. Halfway through your routine, you notice something is a little different. There is a very small amount of blood in the sink. You rinse and go about your day. However, the next time you brush, you notice your gums are irritated and bleeding. What is causing your gums to bleed?

There are several different reasons for your gums to become irritated and begin bleeding. Here are a few of the top reasons why your gums are bleeding and what you can do about it.

GINGIVITIS: THE FIRST STAGE OF GUM DISEASE

When plaque builds up near the gum line and is not removed when brushing and flossing, gums can become inflamed and irritated. Because of this, you may notice blood in the sink after brushing or flossing. Although gingivitis is painless, not doing something about it can lead to periodontal disease which may affect other parts of the body and overall health.

SMOKING
You may have the best oral hygiene of anyone you know, but if you smoke, there are other factors that play a role in causing your gums to bleed. Tobacco has additional toxins that when inhaled via smoke can be difficult to remove. When these toxins build up near the gum line, they can cause inflammation and bleeding gums. Calling it quits on your tobacco use can work wonders on your oral health.

POOR ORAL HYGIENE
Unless you have been properly taught about oral hygiene, there is a chance that your choice of oral hygiene methods are causing your gums to bleed. Are you brushing too hard? Are you brushing enough? Are you flossing? Is your oral hygiene routine consistent? Brushing too hard can cause trauma to your gums and cause them to bleed. Also, if you are not consistent with brushing and flossing, you may notice bleeding gums when you push yourself to be better with taking care of your teeth and gums.

OTHER REASONS
As stated earlier, there are several reasons that can cause your gums to bleed. Some of the other culprits behind bleeding gums are medications, fluctuations in hormones, stress, poor diet, genetics, and an unbalanced bite.

HOW TO “FIX” BLEEDING GUMS
First and foremost, commit to a consistent oral hygiene schedule of brushing and flossing your teeth. You can invest in tools such as an electric toothbrush or a water pick for flossing. However, the very best thing you can do about your bleeding gums is to visit your dentist every six months or as suggested by Dr. Reese. Routine visits to get your teeth cleaned and examined will help you know what is going on inside of your mouth and how you can fix any issues that arise. 

You wouldn’t just ignore your head bleeding after brushing your hair, so don’t ignore your bleeding gums. You can request an appointment online by clicking here or by giving us a call at (870) 424-5900 to schedule your appointment to see Dr. Reese. 




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THE DANGERS OF DIY BRACES

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The DIY trend has taken over everything from home decor to car repairs to clothing design. And now, the DIY trend is making its way through the field of orthodontics with DIY braces.

The recent DIY trend of creating your own braces was sparked by a video posted on YouTube when a young teen demonstrated how she closed her gap using rubber bands she purchased from the drug store. The video became popular and other similar videos followed. New businesses even started selling “gap” bands online. However, many who tried the DIY technique soon discovered the hard way that using bands to straighten teeth is a very bad and painful idea.

JUST SAY “NO”
Not only is the act of using bands to straighten teeth a bad idea. It’s a very, very bad idea. Using elastic bands or “gap” bands can cause permanent damage. As pressure from the bands moves up the tooth, they begin putting pressure on the root. In many cases, this has caused the tooth to come out completely. There are also many cases out there where the bands have slipped from the tooth and moved under the gums requiring surgery and even removal of the tooth in some cases in order to remove the bands completely. In addition to tooth loss, using bands to straighten your teeth can have other negative effects.

-Tooth discoloration
-Inflamed and/or infected gums
-Bone loss
-Root Damage

This trend has become so concerning to dentists around the country that the American Journal of Orthodontics has issued a consumer alert on the use of the “gap” bands in an effort to educate people on the dangers and prevent serious problems from occurring.

WHY FACE-TIME IS IMPORTANT
Meeting face-to-face with a dentist that has advanced orthodontic training and experience is more important than you think. They can take x-rays, assess the degree of your overall oral health, and take note of any major issues such as an extreme overbite. This helps the dentist put together a special treatment plan that is just right for you. During the course of the orthodontic treatment, you will have regular face-to-face visits so that your dentist can make any necessary adjustments.

Having face-to-face time is important for many different reasons. Dentists with advanced orthodontic training and experience go through years of school in order to give each patient the precise treatment they need to straighten their teeth. Each person is different; therefore, each treatment is different and seeing you in person is the only way to make sure your treatment is doing what it needs to do to create a beautiful smile.

REESE FAMILY DENTISTRY CAN HELP
Remember, you only get one set of adult teeth, so take care of them. If you would like to learn more about the process of braces and what that would look like for you, please contact our office today at (870) 424-5900 or click Request an Appointment. We would be happy to schedule your no cost initial orthodontic evaluation and get you on the path to a straighter smile. 



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WARNING SIGNS OF IMPACTED WISDOM TEETH

Do you still have your wisdom teeth? For some reason, this one little question is quite the ice breaker. People talk about their post-surgery diet or joke around about the things said right after having their wisdom teeth removed. Some even pull out their smartphone and show everyone a video of their post-surgery antics. However, having impacted wisdom teeth is no joking matter. In fact, many dentists suggest having your wisdom teeth pulled before the problems begin.

Not everyone decides to take the advice given and many will end up waiting until removing their third set of molars/wisdom teeth is a must. If you still have your wisdom teeth, here are the most common warning signs that your wisdom teeth may be impacted and need to be removed.

SWOLLEN OR PAINFUL JAW
One of the most noticeable signs that your wisdom teeth have become impacted is a swollen or painful jaw. This pain may be noticeable when you bite down and usually generates in the back of the mouth near the affected area. If your wisdom teeth are the cause of the pain and swelling, the symptoms will only become worse and could even cause severe pain when trying to open your mouth.

SORE, SWOLLEN, OR  BLEEDING GUMS
There are many different causes of sore, swollen, and bleeding gums such as gum disease. Impacted wisdom teeth can also cause problems with your gums. If you are finding it difficult to floss and brush due to the pain or bleeding of your gums, you should give our office a call immediately.

HEADACHES
Headaches can be caused by a number of things: allergies, stress, lack of sleep, etc. However, headaches that become constant and don’t easily go away are more than your average headache. Headaches caused by impacted wisdom teeth are due to pain in the temporomandibular joint. As the pain increases, it radiates throughout your jaw to your head and face.

COMPLICATIONS OF IMPACTED WISDOM TEETH
Serious complications can occur if you choose to wait on getting your wisdom teeth pulled. Impacted wisdom teeth can push teeth out of place and cause alignment issues. They are likely to become infected, cause tooth decay, and gum disease. However, the most painful complication is that impacted wisdom teeth can form cysts which can cause nerve damage and severe pain.

SCHEDULE YOUR APPOINTMENT WITH DR. REESE TODAY!
If your wisdom teeth are partially or fully impacted, these symptoms will only become worse as the wisdom teeth continue to push their way to the surface. Don’t go another day with pain and discomfort. Call Dr. Paul Reese of Reese Family Dentistry at (870) 424-5900 to set up a consultation or fill out the Make an Appointment form so that he can find the root of your problem and discuss a plan of action. 



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Porcelain Veneers versus a Crown: Which is right for you?

Gone are the days of being unhappy with your smile, but understanding your options can be overwhelming. If your teeth have spaces between them, are crooked, chipped, or discolored, dental crowns and porcelain veneers may be an option for you. Understanding the difference between these two options is not something you will have to do alone, as the friendly staff at the office of Dr. Paul Reese in Mountain Home, Arkansas is here to help. Below you will find the comparison between veneers and crowns to assist you in scheduling your consultation. 

Porcelain veneers consist of several thin layers of ceramic that are applied to the original tooth. In order for the veneer to look natural, a small amount of enamel must be removed. Once the enamel has been removed from the front and sides of each tooth, your dentist will take an impression of the prepared teeth. From here, the impressions will be sent to a laboratory in order to ensure each veneer fits perfectly. Upon the return of the fabrication, your dentist will then use a dental adhesive to bond each veneer to the specific tooth.

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Advantages
  • Creates a natural look 
  • Resists staining 
  • Minimal damage to the natural tooth
  • Long lasting
Disadvantages
  • Non-reversible
  • Can take up to 14 days to receive the final product from the laboratory
  • Although strong, they can be brittle
  • Costly


Dental crowns are covers or “caps” that can be placed onto a tooth to restore the tooth to its normal function and shape. Crowns are made from several types of materials: porcelain, metal alloys, ceramic, composite resin, or a combination of those listed. To prepare a tooth for a crown, the outer portion of the tooth must be removed along with any decay. An impression is made, and a temporary crown is then placed while you wait for the laboratory to complete the finished crown. Once completed, your dentist will use cement to ensure the crown will stay in place.

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Advantages 

  • Long lasting
  • Aesthetically pleasing
  • Support broken or damaged teeth
  • Virtually fracture resistant

Disadvantages

  • Larger tooth reduction


Whether you are looking to repair a tooth that is chipped, decayed, or discolored, you do not have to make a decision alone. Call Dr. Paul Reese in Mountain Home, Arkansas today at (870) 424-5900 or visit www.reesedenistry.com to see all our services and to schedule your consultation to determine if a porcelain veneer or dental crown is right for you.



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