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Oral Health

The Negative Effects of Poor Dental Hygiene on your Body

It's your mouth. You only have one. And it's the gateway to everything else in your body. Take care of it just as you would any other part of your body. Not doing so can have substantial negative effects on your health because oral health is more than just about having clean teeth. The Negative Effects of Poor Dental Hygiene on your Body

Most people already know that poor dental care can lead to cavities, but did you know that other, more serious health problems could also result from poor oral care? Oral health is directly related to overall health. Not taking care of your teeth can lead to worse conditions than tooth ache, cavities or stains.

Below are just some of the negative effects of poor dental hygiene on your body.

The negative effects of poor dental hygiene on your body

Periodontal Disease

Known as gum disease, it is a condition where bone deterioration around the teeth leads to loosening and eventual tooth loss. 25% of US adults over 65 have lost all their teeth. In fact, most of the diseases mentioned below can start from having gum disease.

Atherosclerosis

High levels of disease-causing bacteria in the mouth can lead to clogging of the carotid artery, increasing the risk of stroke. Atherosclerosis causes plaque to develop on the inner walls of arteries that thicken and this decreases or may block blood flow through the body. This can cause an increased risk of heart attack or stroke.

Endocarditis

The inner lining of the heart can also become infected and inflamed, a condition known as endocarditis. People with periodontal disease are twice more likely to develop heart disease. In fact, one study found that the presence of gum disease, cavities, and missing teeth are as good as predicting heart disease and cholesterol levels.

Diabetes and its complications

95% of US adults with diabetes also have periodontal disease, 1/3 are in advanced stages that have lead to tooth loss. Inflammation of the gum tissue and periodontal disease can make it harder to control your blood sugar and make your diabetes symptoms worse. Diabetes sufferers are also more susceptible to periodontal disease, making proper dental care even more important for those with this disease.

Dementia

The bacteria from gingivitis may enter the brain through either nerve channels in the head or through the bloodstream that might even lead to the development of Alzheimer's disease. There is also a link between periodontal disease and depression.

Respiratory Problems

While the connection might not be completely obvious at first, think of what might happen from breathing in bacteria from infected teeth and gums over a long period of time.

Erectile Dysfunction

Periodontal bacteria can travel through the bloodstream, inflaming blood vessels and blocking blood flow to the genitals. In fact, men with periodontal disease are 7 times more likely to experience erectile dysfunction than men with good dental hygiene.

Low Birth Weight Babies

Expectant mothers with poor dental hygiene are 7 times more likely to deliver premature and low birth weight babies.

Establish Good Dental Hygiene Habits

Practicing proper dental care is important in many ways you might not have thought of before. Practice good oral hygiene by brushing and flossing daily and using a mouth rinse to kill bacteria. You should also visit your dentist regularly for cleanings and the prevention of other dental and health problems. Doing so can protect more than just your teeth -- it can save your life!

We care so much about preventive care that we have shaped our 5-year warranty program around keeping regular cleaning appointments. As long as you continue to keep your oral hygiene visits every 6-months you can be eligible for free replacement or repair of Dr. Reese’s dental work within the previous 5-years. And if you’ve already had dental treatment, existing patients can be grandfathered into this program.   Call 317-882-0228 to schedule your appointment today!

Which Toothbrush is Better - Electric or Manual?

Whenever we talk about the importance of preventive dental care, we get asked these questions a lot: “What toothpaste should I use?” or “What is the best dental floss?” and even “Which toothbrush is better – electric or manual?” Our answers are all the same. It is not really what you use but how often you use and whether you use these devices properly. You could have the best toothbrush but if you don’t brush properly and consistently then you won’t clean your teeth well enough to prevent problems. Most people just don't brush long enough. Most of us brush less than a minute, but to effectively reach all areas and remove cavity-causing bacteria, it is recommended to brush for at least two minutes. Manual vs Electric Toothbrush

What makes a good toothbrush?

  • Its head should be small (1" by 1/2") for easy access to all areas of the mouth, teeth and gums.
  • It should have a long, wide handle for a firm grasp.
  • It should have soft nylon bristles with rounded ends so you won't hurt your gums.

Which toothbrush is better – electric or manual?

There are reasons why dentists like Dr. Reese recommend electronic brushes over traditional ones:

  • Electric toothbrushes can clean more effectively than regular brushes if you are physically handicapped or have a cognitive impairment. Electric toothbrushes move by themselves so there’s less physical work.
  • Electric toothbrushes have two heads that rotate in opposite directions making it a more effective cleaning instrument. Those using regular toothbrushes usually brush more on the opposite side of their dominant hand (the one that holds the toothbrush).
  • Electric toothbrushes have smaller head sizes making it easier for them to reach hard-to-brush areas.
  • Electric toothbrushes don’t have hard bristles and don’t brush your teeth too hard, scratching enamel or hurting your gums.

Dr. Reese Recommends Sonicare Toothbrushes

Dr. Reese has been selling Sonicare toothbrushes for years and he does so because he knows they work. You can read more about the different toothbrushes we carry in our dental office in this post.

All of our advanced scaling and root planing (SRP) patients will be given a Easy Clean Rechargeable Sonicare tooth brush with the option of upgrading to the Flexcare+ model.

Get Your Teeth Professionally Cleaned

While you might not be able to brush your teeth often and properly enough to ensure that your teeth won’t get any cavities, getting your teeth cleaned professionally by a dentist twice a year would ensure that what you normally would miss cleaning gets cleaned. Dr. Reese values the importance of preventive dental care. His clinic has shaped a 5-year warranty program around keeping regular cleaning appointments. As long as you continue to keep your oral hygiene visits every 6-months you can be eligible for free replacement or repair of Dr. Reese’s dental work within the previous 5 years. And if you’ve already had dental treatment, existing patients can be grandfathered into this program.

Call 317-882-0228 to schedule an appointment and start caring for your teeth today.

5 Health Problems That Your Dentist Can Spot

A connection has already been established how one’s oral health affects his heart. And with mounting appreciation towards having a holistic view on overall health, it comes as no surprise that a dentist can detect existing or potential health problems when you go for dental checkups. For people who have regular oral examinations, their dentist may be the first health care provider to diagnose a health problem in its early stages. 5 Health Problems That Your Dentist Can Spot

Here are five health problems that your dentist can spot:

Heart disease

The food you eat that are bad for your teeth? More often than not, they are also bad for your heart. Foods high in sugar also have unhealthy ingredients like trans-fatty acids that are associated with increasing chances of having heart disease.

It's also possible for cavities themselves to threaten your heart, if the bacteria that produce them find their way into your cardiovascular system. Bacteria associated with tooth and gum disease may also be involved in stroke, diabetes, and respiratory problems—so brush and floss every day.

Studies have shown people with moderate or advanced gum (periodontal) disease are more likely to have cardiovascular disease (CVD) — including heart disease and stroke — than those with healthy gums (no gum disease, gingivitis or early periodontitis).

Obesity

Again, it all comes down to what you eat. A dentist will notice if you consume too many sugary treats and drinks – it will show on your teeth! Continuous acid attacks on teeth enamel make one prone to develop cavities and aside from the possibility that oral hygiene is not that great, a person must have high exposure to fermentable carbohydrates. This type of diet makes one prone to developing obesity.

A dentist who knows your medical history may ask about your eating habits, but you should feel free to ask if what's happening to your teeth might be a sign of other problems.

Diabetes

Aside from developing obesity, you are also raising your risk for diabetes. A tell-tale sign is the smell of acetone on the breath. Patients might also suffer from recurrent multiple gum abscesses.

Long-term and continuous intake of food bad for your teeth leads to dental disease, and then, if not modified, leads to other health diseases. Remember, a healthy mouth is key to overall health!

According to the American Academy of Periodontology, people with diabetes are more likely to have gum disease and other oral health problems. Researchers think this is because diabetes reduces the body’s resistance to infection and slows the healing process, which causes the gums to be among the tissues most impacted and creates a higher tendency for people with diabetes to lose more teeth.

Cancer

Harmful lifestyle habits like smoking not only can produce tooth discoloration and periodontal destruction, it can lead to oral cancer. The carcinogens in tobacco products, alcohol and certain foods — as well as excessive exposure to the sun — increase the risk of developing oral cancer. During routine checkups, your dentist should screen for oral cancer and other cancers of the head and neck, including skin cancer, cancer of the jawbone and thyroid cancer. He or she can feel for lumps or irregular tissue changes in your neck, head, cheeks and oral cavity, and thoroughly examine the soft tissues in your mouth.

Kidney Disease

When the kidneys do not function properly, they release by-products of incomplete protein breakdown. As a result, a patient with kidney disease may have bad breath and may also notice an unpleasant taste in the mouth. Other signs are dry mouth and a metallic taste. With dry mouth, the amount of saliva is reduced and its normal cleansing effect is diminished. This allows bacteria to increase, potentially leading to the development of gingivitis and gum disease.

Other conditions that can be detected by dentists:

  • Leukemia: Swollen and enlarged gums, bleeding gums and ulceration of the mouth are all early indicators.
  • Osteoporosis: The bones that hold the teeth can be spotted for signs of osteoporosis on a dental X-ray.
  • Hodgkin's Disease: A sometimes fatal disease of the lymphatic system. Swollen lymph nodes, a symptom, can be detected in the mouth.
  • Addison's Disease: Affects the adrenal glands resulting in weight loss, severe fatigue and lowered resistance to infection. It can be detected from changes in the pigmentation of the oral tissue and gums.
  • HIV: Indicators in the mouth include ulcers, enlarged tonsils, thrush infections, growths and severe gum disease.

Get checked

A dental checkup is more than just a cleaning. It can save your life!

Oral health is more than just about having clean teeth. While at your next oral hygiene appointment, the dental hygienist will review the integrity of your teeth and gums in order to help prevent or treat gingivitis, periodontal disease, or oral cancer. At Indianapolis Dentistry, your overall health is important to us because we practice whole body dentistry.

We care so much about preventive care that we have shaped our 5-year warranty program around keeping regular cleaning appointments. As long as you continue to keep your oral hygiene visits every 6-months you can be eligible for free replacement or repair of Dr. Reese’s dental work within the previous 5-years. And if you’ve already had dental treatment, existing patients can be grandfathered into this program.   Call 317-882-0228 to schedule your appointment today!

Why Proper Nutrition is Important for Good Dental Health

Dr. Reese’s advice on nutrition when it comes to promoting dental health goes beyond not eating sugar; one must have a balanced, nutritious diet. Our teeth say a lot about ourselves. This is why proper nutrition is important for good dental health. Eating patterns and food choices play an important role in preventing tooth decay and gum disease. If your nutrition is poor, the first signs often show up in your oral health.

Why Proper Nutrition is Important for Good Dental Health

The quality of the food that we eat, their nutritional value and the combinations in which they are eaten can affect oral health, including the likelihood of tooth decay.

A diet that promotes good oral health is not just about the foods you eat or avoid — when and how you eat them is equally important.

What to Eat

What to Eat to Keep Your Teeth

We already know that we need to cut the sugar, soda and sports drinks - as well as avoid certain types of foods to avoid staining our teeth and forming cavities. Now we list foods that you need to eat to keep your teeth:

  • Cheese, milk, plain yogurt, calcium-fortified tofu, leafy greens and almonds, are good for your teeth because of their high amounts of calcium.
  • Protein-rich foods like meat, poultry, fish, milk and eggs are the best sources of phosphorus. Calcium and phosphorus play a critical role in dental health, by protecting and rebuilding tooth enamel.
  • Fruits and vegetables are high in water and fiber, which balance the sugars they contain and help to clean the teeth. These foods also help stimulate saliva production that helps neutralize acid, protecting teeth from decay. Plus, many contain vitamin C (important for healthy gums and quick healing of wounds) and vitamin A (another key nutrient in building tooth enamel).
  • Water is the most tooth-friendly beverage.

Preventive Dental Care

Nutritional counseling is becoming an increasingly important part in preventive dental care. Adequate nutrition, or the lack of it, plays a big part in the prevention and occurrence of disease. And it all starts in our mouths! This is why during dental checkups, Dr. Reese may often ask about your eating habits.

Proper and regular brushing of one’s teeth is just a part of your preventive dental care. You should visit your dentist twice a year to have your teeth cleaned as there are teeth that are more prone to cavities even if you brush your teeth regularly and watch what you eat.

Indianapolis Dentistry is located just north of Greenwood, Indiana, 5 minutes south of I-465 on US 31 between I-65 and Highway 37. To make an appointment or to call for directions, please call 317-882-0228.

Are Regular Dental Checkups Really Necessary?

A common misconception people have about going to dental checkups is that you don’t have to go unless there is an evident problem (tooth decay, tooth ache, tooth trauma, etc.). This is not true.

Preventive Dental Care is Extremely Important

A lot of people ask, “Are regular dental checkups really necessary?”  Are Regular Dental Checkups Really Necessary?

The answer to that would be a resounding “Yes!”

Preventive care like routine teeth cleanings and dental checkups actually save you a lot of money in the long run. Dentists perform a lot of routine maintenance to prevent problems that could happen if you do nothing. Brushing your teeth twice a day isn’t enough to ensure plaque doesn’t form on your tooth enamel causing tooth decay.

Ideally, you should have dental checkups and teeth cleanings twice a year, more if your dentist requires it.

Why are regular dental checkups important?

There are so many benefits you receive from preventive dental care but we are going to give you the top three biggest concerns that might be a potential problem in the future if you don’t go to your dentist regularly:

Periodontal Disease

The body naturally builds up plaque and if it's not removed it embeds underneath the gum tissues and quietly causes periodontal disease. It doesn't hurt but it silently produces enzymes that dissolve away the bones. This can be prevented with regular dental checkups and teeth cleanings.

Tooth Decay

A little cavity can be taken care of. A big cavity becomes a compound problem. In its biggest stage, it can cause pain and swelling and even the loss of a tooth. We don't want to lose teeth because that's the main way of chewing food and our main support system. Cavities have a domino effect if not taken care of right away.

Gum Disease is strongly linked with Heart Disease

There's a strong correlation between gum disease and heart disease. You can read about how our mouths affect our hearts. Plaque on the teeth produces billions of bacteria that end up in the blood stream. While bacteria normally exists in the mouth, gum disease increases that level so dramatically increased that it gets carried through the blood and can end up lodged in the heart and clog blood vessels.

By performing routine examinations, your dentist prevents many larger future dental problems. Case studies have shown that in the long-run people who visit their dentist on a regular basis spend less than those who wait for something to first happen. The money you spend on regular cleanings will still be less than the expense you will make on a major dental surgery. For example, getting your teeth cleaned twice a year and having small cavities filled is less costly than waiting for a tooth ache to come along, which may require a more extensive procedure.

Regular Dental Checkups Can Save Your Life

Regular dental checkups not only preserve your smile, they can also save your life. Every year, around 300,000 new cases of oral cancer are diagnosed around the world. While oral cancer is curable when found and treated in its early stages, the disease symptoms often go unnoticed. Small bumps, spots, or ulcers on the inside of your cheeks, lips, or throat are a common indicator of early oral cancer. However, because these symptoms are often painless and not seen, you may not even know you have a problem. A dentist will check for these early warning symptoms and alert you should any sign of cancer be found.

In summary, if you ask “Are regular dental checkups really necessary?”

The answer is: If you want to preserve healthy teeth and gums, as well as a healthy mouth, regular dental checkups are absolutely necessary.

At Indianapolis Dentistry we care so much about preventative care that we have shaped our 5-year warranty program around keeping regular cleaning appointments. As long as you continue to keep your oral hygiene visits every 6-months you can be eligible for free replacement or repair of Dr. Reese’s dental work within the previous 5-years. And if you’ve already had dental treatment, existing patients can be grandfathered into this program.

Start 2014 with a clean smile.  Call 317-882-0228 to schedule your appointment today!

How Your Mouth Affects Your Heart

Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is a disease that involves the heart and blood vessels. It ranks as the number one cause of death and disability in the United States, with almost 700,000 deaths each year. This statistic accounts for close to 29% of all deaths in the United States. This disease costs Americans billions of dollars every year for health care treatments, medications, disability and loss of life. People are worried about it and spend thousands of dollars trying to prevent it – enrolling in gym memberships, buying supplements, cooking healthy meals – but sometimes they forget to do the fundamentals like brush their teeth everyday. This may sound too good to be true but your oral health is more important than you realize. How Your Mouth Affects Your Heart

Your Oral Health is the Window to Your Overall Health

Your oral health can offer clues about the state of your overall health in the same way that oral and dental problems can affect the rest of your body. In the past, a doctor who suspects heart disease in his patient would most likely not refer him to a gum specialist, but times have changed. Research performed over the past five to ten years indicates possible links between oral health and body health, encouraging physicians and dentists to take a more holistic approach to the overall health of their patients. You might be wondering – how can the health of your mouth affect your whole body?

Your Mouth is the Gateway to Your Body

Your mouth is one of the main entryways of bacteria into your body. This isn't normally a problem because your body’s natural defenses coupled with good oral health care can keep these bacteria under control. However, without proper dental hygiene, bacteria can build up causing infections, tooth decay, and gum disease. This is why the simple habit of brushing your teeth, flossing daily, and seeing a dentist regularly are more important than you might think.

Over time, if infection is uncontrolled, inflammation worsens and the reaction of chemicals being released by the process eat away at the bone structure and gums that hold your teeth in place. This is called periodontitis, a severe gum disease. This can cause inflammation throughout the body, an underlying problem also found in heart disease and rheumatoid arthritis. The inflammation in the body, caused by disease in the mouth, is just part of the link between gum disease and heart disease.

Establishing a Link Between Gum Disease and Heart Disease

In 2009, a paper on the relationship between heart disease and gum disease was developed by the American Academy of Periodontology and The American Journal of Cardiology. While the reasons are not fully understood, it recommends encouraging cardiologists to ask their patients about any gum disease problems, and the periodontists to ask their patients about any family history of heart disease and their heart health. According to the study, people with severe gum disease are almost twice as likely to suffer from some form of cardiovascular disease (CVD) as those without gum disease. In fact, up to 91% of patients with heart disease have periodontitis, compared to 66% of people with no heart disease.

How Does Oral Health Affect Heart Diseases

While the connection between severe gum disease and heart disease remains unclear, there is no question that there appears to be a connection. There are two possible theories - one being that inflammation in the mouth causes inflammation in the blood vessels, increasing the risk for heart attack.  Inflamed blood vessels allow less blood to travel between the heart and the rest of the body, raising blood pressure.  Another theory shows that bacteria found in severe gum disease can also be found in hardened arteries, clearly establishing a connection between the two.

The bottom line is that gum disease might be an early sign of cardiovascular problems. CVDs are very hard to detect early because it shows no visible symptoms until late. Further studies may help establish treatment of both diseases, but until then, consult with your cardiologist and dentist to ensure that your heart health and oral health - and the connection between the two - are as healthy as can be. If you're in the Indianapolis area, contact Dr. Ted Reese, DDS, MAGD, a nationally-recognized dentist and one of the best dentists in Indianapolis.

Are Sports Drinks as Harmful to Kids’ Teeth As Soda?

Dentists have always taken a stand against the consumption of too many juices, flavored drinks, or soda (carbonated beverages) with kids. But today, together with the American Academy of Pediatrics, dentists are now taking a stand against sports drinks too. While most people would equate drinking sports drinks with fitness and assume that it’s a better choice than taking soda, juices and even water, the facts show something different and that our assumptions about sports drinks may need to be realigned with reality.

Are Sports Drinks as Harmful to Kids’ Teeth As Soda?

What’s in a Sports Drink?

Sports drinks contain carbohydrates, electrolytes, minerals, and flavoring. They are intended to replace the water and electrolytes lost during excessive sweating during sports activities. While they are ideal for young athletes who engage in long, vigorous physical activities, in most cases they are unnecessary for ordinary daily consumption. Plain water is still best as sports drinks contain extra calories that young children don’t need.  The calories can just lead to potential obesity and dental problems.

Are They A Better Option Than Soda?

Like soda or carbonated beverages, sports drinks can contain high levels of sugar. Sports drinks can contain as much as two-thirds the sugar of soda drinks:

  • A study from the Harvard School of Public Health found that 12 ounces of a leading brand of cola and a leading brand of energy drink each contained 42 grams of sugar, while a leading sport drink contained 21 grams of sugar.
  • According to a University of Iowa study, a leading sport drink had the greatest erosion potential on both enamel and roots of teeth when compared to leading brands of energy drinks, soda and apple juice.
  • Studies showed that enamel damage caused by sports drinks and flavored juices were three to eleven times greater than carbonated drinks.

What Do Sports Drinks Do to Our Teeth?

According to the International Association for Dental Research, consuming sports drinks often may cause softening, staining, and even erosion of the teeth.

Because of the acids and additives found in sports drinks, teeth enamel may undergo irreversible teeth erosion.  The enamel - the thin, outer layer of the teeth that maintain structure and shape and protect it from decay – can lose calcium because of the acidity present in the sports drinks.

Sugar isn't actually the only causative agent that rots teeth. It is the acid that is produced when sugar reacts with bacteria in the mouth. This is why one may be prone to tooth decay more when they drink sugary drinks all throughout the day (SEE Why Do I Get So Many Cavities?).

Why Sports Drinks Cause More Damage to the Teeth

When one consumes sports drink, they are usually thirsty and are not consuming the drink while having a meal. During a meal, saliva usually neutralizes the acidity in one’s mouth, protecting the teeth. But when one is thirsty, saliva production is decreased so your mouth environment becomes acidic.

When you drink sports drinks to quench your thirst, the amount of sugar in your drink and the acidic environment in your mouth may be greater and cause more harm than drinking soda with a meal. In addition, the chewing of food will increase your saliva flow, reducing the decay began by these sugary drinks.

Preventive dental care for children is of utmost importance because it sets the precedent on how much orthodontic work will be done in their later years. For routine dental check-ups and oral hygiene care in the Indianapolis area, contact Dr. Reese at 317-882-0228. You can also request an appointment for a consultation at their clinic located just north of Greenwood, Indiana in Indianapolis, five minutes south of I-465 on US 31 between I-65 and Highway 37.

How To Handle Tooth Trauma

When you are in an accident and hurt your teeth it can be very scary! Most dental trauma is caused by accidents or contact sports. Most likely teeth get knocked out of place and more rarely are knocked completely out. Following are instructions if you should ever find yourself in these situations.  How To Handle Handle Tooth Trauma Tooth Knocked Out of Place

Your child comes in and says that he fell off his bike and hit his face. Upon close examination you see that his tooth is turned sideways. First wash your hands. Then pinch the crown of the tooth and snap it back into place. The neighboring teeth will help guide its placement. Apply a cold compress to reduce swelling and then call Dr. Reese. He will assess the trauma and if any further steps need to be taken.

Chipped or Broken Tooth 

Imagine your son comes inside to tell you that he was running to the bus stop and tripped. He has chipped his tooth. First, try and locate the tooth fragment and then call a dentist. If the tooth is shattered or more than half gone, try and locate all of the fragments. In some cases, the tooth can be repaired by a dentist with special tooth glue. If the nerve is exposed, it will need to be specifically protected by a dentist's care.

Knocked Out Tooth

It's one of every parent's worst nightmares: your child comes in with a bloodied face you and you realize he's knocked out one of his teeth. First thing, don’t panic! If it’s a baby tooth, it can not be re-implanted. Wash the child's mouth, apply cold compresses to reduce swelling, and call a dentist like Dr. Reese who can access for any other damage.

If it's a permanent tooth, it's critical that the tooth be put back into the socket within 20 minutes to avoid permanent nerve damage. If you can not place it back in the socket, place in a plastic baggy filled with milk, and then place the baggie into a cup of ice. Milk helps protect the root. Avoid washing, rubbing, or touching the root.

Dr. Reese is available for dental emergencies in Indianapolis at all times. If during business hours, Monday through Friday 8am to 5pm, call 317-882-0228. If you have an emergency after hours, please call the emergency pager at 317-394-7009.

How to Encourage Kids to Brush Their Teeth

As adults, we often run through the motions of getting ready for the day with very little thought. Showering, brushing your hair, dressing, and brushing your teeth are all habits we've developed that make us feel better and ready to face the day. However, kids are new to this planet and often don't know the benefits of these routines. They see toothbrushing as a distraction, an activity keeping them from doing something they really want to do. Here are a few things to encourage your child to take care of his pearly whites and make oral health a daily habit. Start Early

Before your baby even has teeth, start using a soft wet washcloth to wipe their gums and tongue. It will get your child used to you taking care of her future teeth. Make sure to take your child to the dentist early and take them with you when you get your teeth cleaned. Show them that it doesn’t hurt and that it’s something you do as well! The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommends that your baby see the dentist when that first tooth erupts, or no later than their first birthday.

Monkey See Monkey Do!

Your child wants to be like their favorite people – you! Take your children into the bathroom with you when you brush your teeth. Show them that it doesn’t hurt to floss. Hand them their own toothbrush to use while you brush your teeth. Or even let them brush your teeth for fun! Have your child brush their own teeth first and let them know they are doing a fabulous job. Then ask if you can get the last really hard to reach spots in the back.

Elmo brushes his teeth

Make It Fun

Children will often respond to brushing their teeth when its fun. Buy a toothbrush with their favorite character on it or one that lights up. Or sing a song while they brush. Use hand held flossers made for kids. And let educational tools help do the teaching. Sometimes kids just don’t listen to their parents, but they might absorb the message from their favorite TV show character.

Pediatric Dentistry

Dr. Reese provides pediatric cleanings (kids get a toy and a special bag with their own toothbrush and toothpaste) to prevent cavities, frenectomies for children with tongue or lip ties, and traditional or ceramic braces for teens and pre-teens. We practice minimally-invasive dentistry for if they do get cavities, which like laser dentistry, is as pain-free as possible (there are also various sedation modalities that can be used). And as your child is getting ready to become an adult, Dr. Reese can also help with wisdom teeth removal.

Indianapolis Dentist on National AGD Board

AGDThe Academy of General Dentistry (AGD) is, "a professional dental association of more than 38,000 general dentists dedicated to providing quality dental care and oral health education to the public. AGD members stay up-to-date in their profession through a commitment to continuing education. Founded in 1952, the AGD is the second largest dental association in the United States, and it is the only association that exclusively represents the needs and interests of general dentists." Dr. Reese is not only a member of AGD, but also sits on the national board of directors. Dr. Reese is the Director of Continuing Education for the Indiana Academy of General Dentistry and represents the dentists of Indiana and Ohio as a trustee to the National AGD Board.

Dr. Reese believes the, "Academy of General Dentistry will become better known and recognized among the general population due to our involvement in the National Ad Council campaign, 'Healthy Mouths, Healthy Lives'. This campaign is sponsored by the Dental Trade Alliance, which is a nonprofit agency. Although this effort involves the financial support of several dental alliances such as the ADA, AAP, our involvement is crucial to keep our organization and members in the limelight as dental care providers. The intended results are not to...focus attention on the importance of home health care, and professional dental care among the lower income families of our country. Focus will be on the preventative care that should be provided for children and the benefits of the improved lifestyle afforded by being free of dental disease."

About Dr. Reese

Accredited, awarded, and accomplished, Dr. Ted Reese will work hard to gain your confidence and trust. He is affiliated with the American Dental Association, the Academy of General Dentistry (AGD), and the Christian Medical Dental Association to name a few. He has been a dentist for over 25 years and looks forward to serving you today.

Indianapolis Dentist on National AGD BoardHe’s not only the best dentist in Indianapolis, but has been elected to the Board of Trustees of the AGD for a three year term which began in July of 2011. This 20-member board is compromised of doctors from around the country and Canada who will direct the organizations 37,000 plus members.

He is also the Director of Continuing Education for the Indiana Academy of General Dentistry and represents the dentists of Indiana and Ohio as a trustee to the National AGD Board. He has served as a Clinical Instructor at the Midwest Implant Institute and is a dental implants instructor.

Dr. Reese graduated with honors from Indiana University School of Dentistry and has continued his education in dental implantology, orthodontics, and TMJ therapy. His passion for biological dentistry has evolved with his understanding and appreciation for dental materials and techniques and their effects on whole body health. Read more about Dr. Ted Reese.

Coconut Oil Pulling

Coconut oil pulling is kind of like using coconut oil as a mouthwash for the purpose of reducing plaque and the bacteria on your teeth. Swishing the oil in your mouth for 10-20 minutes attracts and binds the bacteria, toxins, and parasites to the oil, which is then spit out at the end of the pulling process. Coconut oil pulling also helps re-mineralize and whiten your teeth while thoroughly cleansing the gums. While it cannot cure gingivitis, it can treat it by reducing the bacteria in your mouth that causes the inflammation of the gums in the first place. Coconut Oil Pulling

Oil pulling has been used for thousands of years as an Ayurvedic Indian folk remedy and traditionally, Indian oil pullers have used virgin sesame or sunflower oil, but we prefer to use raw coconut oil as it has a nicer taste and has antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory, and enzymatic properties. This provides the added benefit of killing any unwanted bacteria that may be residing in the mouth, while leaving behind healthy probiotic strains that a typical chlorhexidine mouth rinse might remove. You can read about a recent probiotic vs chlorhexidine mouth rinse study.

What Coconut Oil is Best for Pulling?

Skinny Coconut OilWe recommend a raw, extra-virgin coconut oil like Skinny & Co. Coconut Oil because the more pure the coconut oil is, the more toxins it can pull from your mouth during the pulling process. Place 1 full tablespoon of coconut oil into the mouth (if it’s cold, allow the oil to melt) and then push, swirl, and pull the oil between your teeth, around your gums, and allow it to touch every part of your mouth except your throat. Do not gargle the oil as it is now considered toxic and could further infect your throat. Spit it into the trash or toilet rather than the sink as the oil could clog your sink drain over time. If this interests you, read more about Holistic Dentistry.

Healthy Mouth, Healthy Life

It wasn't that long ago when people accepted tooth loss and the use of dentures as a natural part of getting older. Today however, that simply is not the case. You want naturally beautiful and healthy teeth for life, which is why it makes sense to focus on preventative care. What many people do not realize is that, according to recent studies on oral health, maintaining healthy teeth and gums can have a direct impact on a variety of overall health considerations. It is a fact that daily brushing and flossing is an essential part of maintaining a healthy body.

What's the connection between oral health and overall health?

Oral HealthRecent dental research has confirmed the importance of keeping the mouth as free of gum disease as possible. The health community agrees that the benefits of proper oral care extend far beyond the mouth. Paying attention to good oral care is one of the easiest ways to positively impact your overall health. It's important to remember that dental problems can affect your overall health in subtle ways that may be hard to link to issues with your mouth.

Evidence continues to grow linking periodontal disease and a variety of systemic conditions, including diabetes, heart attack and stroke, and pre-term low birth-weight babies. Much research is being conducted on how periodontal disease can affect overall health. Multiple studies over many years have shown that infection of the gum tissue can initiate a series of inflammatory and immune changes that may have systemic consequences. It is extremely important for patients to understand that good oral health can contribute to their overall health and well-being.

Sonicare Tooth Brushes for SRP

Sonicare Easy Clean Tooth BrushAll of our advanced scaling and root planing (SRP) patients will be given a Easy Clean Rechargeable Sonicare tooth brush with the option of upgrading to the Flexcare+ model. About the Sonicare Easy Clean Tooth Brush

According to the manufacturer, "Unlike a manual toothbrush, the Philips Sonicare EasyClean uses powerful Sonic technology to clean teeth with up to 31,000 movements per minute. These sweeping motions drive fluids deep into the tight spaces between your teeth and along your gum line, resulting in a cleaner, healthier mouth."

Dr. Reese has been selling Sonicare tooth brushes for years and he does so because he knows they work.

Philips Toothbrush Video"The patented dynamic cleaning action of a Philips Sonicare electric toothbrush drives fluid deep between the teeth and along the gum line, for a difference you can see and feel. It's no wonder that our oral care technology is backed by more than 175 clinical and laboratory studies worldwide." Click the image to the right to watch a video, which compares a normal tooth brush to a Sonicare tooth brush.

About the Sonicare Flexcare+ Tooth Brush

FlexCare+ VideoAccording to the website, The Flexcare+, "motivates brushing for improved gum health FlexCare+ is the most advanced reason to recommend Sonicare. It offers advanced features including a new gum care mode that help make it easier for patients to brush longer. By encouraging patients to be more thorough at home, they’ll experience an invigorating clean while you see the improved oral health results." Watch the Sonicare FlexCare+ video by clicking on the image on the left.

More Sonicare Tooth Brushes in Action

Sonicare Tooth Brushes

The links below should include everything you would need to know about Sonicare tooth brushes, including information about gum and dental implant care:

Did you know we offer fluoride-free cleanings?

Spring (Teeth) Cleaning

Spring CleaningsSpring Cleaning is a ritual known throughout the world and in new and old cultures alike. In fact, the very origin of the term is disputed and could have come from many sources. There is no doubt however that a good spring cleaning feels good. It just feels natural to open the windows, get out the vacuum cleaner, and get your home spic and span during those first few weeks of spring. We feel the same way about Spring Teeth Cleanings! Jessica and Trina offer wonderful spring teeth cleaning and can get your teeth feeling brand new! We specialize in non-fluoride cleanings which in addition to the great feeling you get afterwards, prevents cavities, gingivitis, and even gum disease. These ladies remove tarter than can’t be removed by routine teeth brushing at home. We scale, polish, and clean while you sit back and watch tv, listen to your music or ours via noise-cancelling headphones, and just relax.

Your semi-annual teeth cleaning is a good opportunity to ask any dental related questions you have and make sure everything looks great and we also demonstrate the proper flossing techniques. We recommend visiting every six months to have your teeth cleaned for both children and adults.

We have a host of options every week to schedule your cleanings including daytime and evening hours.

Schedule your Spring Cleaning today by calling 317-882-0228 or by filling out our online appointment request form. We can’t wait to see you!

Indianapolis New Year's Dental Resolutions

A New Year's resolution is a great opportunity that many people use to establish some health goals for each year. Unfortunately, most of these goals are too lofty and completely overlook oral health. When you consider that many Americans have some form of gum disease (such as bleeding when brushing or flossing) and don't do anything about it, you begin to understand that this is one area of oral health where action is necessary and in need of some improvement.

Establishing improved oral health goals should start with a thorough dental exam, oral cancer screening, and cleaning. Use this visit to get a refresher course on proper brushing and flossing techniques, sometimes that's all it takes to get your oral health under control.

As for going forward throughout the year, here are some basics that every member of your family should adopt:

  • brush at least twice a day with a soft brush and toothpaste
  • floss once daily
  • limit your intake of sugar, sports drinks, and sodas
  • eat lots of fresh fruits and vegetables
  • drink an adequate amount of water.

Read more about why you get cavities or ask your dental hygienist or dentist for more tips to ensure optimal oral health!

Intraoral Video Camera

An intraoral video camera, one of the latest advances in dentistry today, is a camera used as a scanning device during oral examinations. The intraoral camera allows both the dentist and the patient to view a magnified picture of the teeth and gums on a television monitor. The camera enables us to see the health status of oral tissues, broken or cracked fillings, infections and more. Patients are also able to see before-and-after treatment pictures that allow them to better understand and become more involved in their oral health care.Intraoral Video Camera

Have you ever heard the expression that "a picture is worth a thousand words"? We know this is true because we have seen the reactions on our patients faces when they see their teeth and gums up-close for the first time. It's amazing how a simple video camera can change the way you think about dental care, but it really does work!

We believe so strongly in patient education that we have incorporated this camera into our examination process as part of our commitment to offering you the highest quality, most innovative dental care. Please feel free to stop by our office located just north of Greenwood, Indiana in Indianapolis on US 31 to preview this piece of equipment or to schedule an examination to see firsthand how helpful this new technology is to your overall oral health.

Dangers of Oral Piercing

I'm sure either you or your friends have considered (or may already have) mouth jewelry or other piercings. You may think it looks "cool", but it's our job as your Indianapolis family dentist to alert you to the dangerous side-effects of this trend. Here's what can happen if you go ahead with an oral piercing:

  • Your mouth contains millions of bacteria, and infection is a common complication in oral piercings.  Dangers of Oral Piercing
  • Pain and swelling are other side effects of piercings. Your tongue-the most popular piercing site in the mouth-could swell large enough to choke off your airway!
  • Piercing can cause uncontrollable bleeding and nerve damage as well.
  • You can easily choke on any studs, barbells, or hoops that come loose in your mouth.
  • Chipped or cracked teeth can develop from contact with the jewelry, not to mention that the bacteria breeding around your piercing can cause bad breath!

You may not think any of these things will happen to you, but piercing is a fashion statement that involves more than just deciding on your jewelry style or placement. Piercing could have major consequences on your oral health, so keep that in mind when considering piercing your tongue or other areas inside your mouth.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact our office at 317-882-0228 or we can check your mouth the next time you come in if you have concerns. We love our patients!

Healthy Mouth, Healthy Body

When you think of maintaining your health, do you ever think of your teeth and gums as an integrated part of your whole body? While it may seem secondary, maintaining healthy teeth and gums is important because periodontal (gum) disease has been linked to a host of "systemic" problems. Oral hygiene is "more than a feeling," and it's not just a cleaning anymore. Periodontal disease can affect the health of your whole body because the bacteria from your gums can spread throughout your body, with or without dental procedures.

Bacteria and inflammation associated with periodontal disease have been linked to the following health problems:

  • Bacterial pneumonia   Healthy Mouth, Healthy Body
  • Diabetes
  • Heart Disease
  • Artery blockages
  • Stroke
  • Low-birth-weight and pre-term babies

Preventing and controlling periodontal disease is very important. Here are some tips on how to prevent or control periodontal disease:

  • Brush your teeth with toothpaste thoroughly twice a day to help prevent decay.
  • Clean thoroughly between your teeth daily with floss or another interdental method.
  • For extra help controlling plaque, we can recommend an anti-microbial mouth rinse.
  • Schedule routine oral hygiene check-ups.

Since many people don't know that they have periodontal disease, it's a good idea to make an appointment with our office so Dr. Reese can check your teeth and gums. If you have one of the conditions listed above, or it runs in your family, this is especially important. For advanced cases of periodontis, we have periodontic services and are able to provide periodontal surgery all in one office. Please call 317-882-0228 to give us the pleasure of providing you with outstanding preventive dental care! Sincerely,

The Importance of Mouthguards

Do you spend your weekends driving your family to and from sports lessons or game tournaments? If you've got an active child or teen, we wanted to let you know about the importance of mouthguards to protect your child's developing smiles.

The mouthguard is a safety device that can help name of child protect his/her teeth during sports or recreational activities like skating or cycling. The mouthguard cushions blows that would otherwise break teeth, injure the lips and face, and sometimes even fracture the jaw.

We can create a special mouthguard for your child that will provide comfort and proper fit. This device will be designed and constructed in our dental office.

Although custom-made mouthguards may be more expensive than standard mouthguards purchased in stores, you'll find that their exceptional fit, comfort and overall quality make them worth it. A custom-made mouthguard stays in the mouth and causes minimal interference with speech and breathing.

The sooner we fit a mouthguard, the safer your child's smile will be. Our goal is to provide the best quality preventive dental care for your family in the Indianapolis area. Please call our office at 317-882-0228 to set up an appointment.

Not Just a Cleaning Anymore

Love getting your teeth cleaning? Here are 7 more benefits you should be receiving from your preventative care.

  • Elimination of bacteria - an "under the gums" irrigation system can help prevent periodontal disease and flush decay-causing bacteria from under the gums
  • Detection of periodontal disease - gum measurements are recorded in your "perio chart" to detect bone loss and active infection
  • Oral cancer screening - we utilize an oral cancer screening system called Identifi to detect oral cancer in it's earliest stages
  • Stain removal - coffee, smoking, teas, and other foods and drinks can cause stains on the teeth that polishing the teeth during prophylaxis can help remove
  • Systemic benefits to maintain overall good physical health - limiting the number of bacteria in the mouth can prevent the travel of aggressive bacteria to other organs that could lead to inflamation and infection*
  • Detect decay - old dental work could be breaking down and unrestored natural teeth can have new areas of decay
  • Prevent bad breath - detecting periodontitus in its earliest stages can help prevent bad breath, but it can also be treated after you have it

*Poor oral health has been linked to diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and low-birth-weight babies.

At Indianapolis Dentistry we care so much about preventative care that we have shaped our 5-year warranty program around keeping regular cleaning appointments. As long as you continue to keep your oral hygiene visits every 6-months you can be eligible for free replacement or repair of Dr. Reese's dental work within the previous 5-years. And if you've already had dental treatment, existing patients can be grandfathered into this program.