Yakima, WA Dentist
Reep Family Dental
3804 Kern Road Suite A
Yakima, WA 98902
(509) 388-0331

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Posts for: October, 2016

By Reep Family Dental
October 26, 2016
Category: Oral Health
LifeIsSometimesaGrindforBrookeShields

Ever since childhood, when her career as a model and actress took off, Brooke Shields has enjoyed worldwide recognition — through advertisements for designer jeans, appearances on The Muppet Show, and starring roles in big-screen films. But not long ago, that familiar face was spotted in an unusual place: wearing a nasal anesthesia mask at the dentist's office. In fact, Shields posted the photo to her own Instagram account, with the caption “More dental surgery! I grind my teeth!” And judging by the number of comments the post received, she's far from alone.

In fact, researchers estimate that around one in ten adults have dental issues that stem from teeth grinding, which is also called bruxism. (Many children also grind their teeth, but it rarely causes serious problems, and is often outgrown.) About half of the people who are teeth grinders report problems like persistent headaches, jaw tenderness and sore teeth. Bruxism may also result in excessive tooth wear, and may damage dental work like crowns and bridges; in severe cases, loosened or fractured teeth have been reported.

Researchers have been studying teeth grinding for many years; their findings seem to indicate that it has no single cause. However, there are a number of factors that play a significant role in this condition. One is the anatomy of the jaw itself, and the effect of worn or misaligned teeth on the bite. Another factor relates to changes in brain activity that occur during the sleep cycle. In fact, nocturnal (nighttime) bruxism is now classified as a sleep-related movement disorder. Still other factors, such as the use of tobacco, alcohol and drugs, and a high level of stress or anxiety, can make an individual more likely to experience bruxism.

What can be done for people whose teeth grinding is causing problems? Since this condition may have many causes, a number of different treatments are available. Successful management of bruxism often begins by striving to eliminate the factors that may cause problems — for example, making lifestyle changes to improve your health, creating a soothing nighttime environment, and trying stress-reduction techniques; these may include anything from warm baths and soft music at bedtime, to meditation and mindfulness exercises.

Several dental treatments are also available, including a custom-made occlusal guard (night guard) that can keep your teeth from being damaged by grinding. In some cases, a bite adjustment may also be recommended: In this procedure, a small amount of enamel is removed from a tooth to change the way it contacts the opposite tooth, thereby lessening the biting force on it. More invasive techniques (such as surgery) are rarely needed.

A little tooth grinding once in a while can be a normal response to stress; in fact, becoming aware of the condition is often the first step to controlling it. But if you begin to notice issues that could stem from bruxism — or if the loud grinding sounds cause problems for your sleeping partner — it may be time to contact us or schedule an appointment. You can read more about bruxism in the Dear Doctor magazine article “Stress and Tooth Habits.”


By Reep Family Dental
October 24, 2016
Category: Oral Health
Tags: nutrition  

Most of us are aware of the food and drinks we need to avoid in order to prevent common dental issues like tooth stains and nutritiondiscoloration, cavities, and gum disease. And while preventing problems that can cause serious damage is one of the most important aspects of an oral hygiene and dental care routine, our teeth and gums (like the rest of the body) also need essential nutrients in order to stay strong and look their best.

Dental Care and Gum Disease Prevention in Yakima, WA

Dr. Nic Reep, a dentist at Yakima, WA based Reep Family Dental & Dental Sleep Solutions, advises patients to think of their diet as an extension of an overall health and wellness plan that includes the teeth and gums. In addition to daily brushing and flossing, dental check ups, and professional cleanings, the food we eat is one of the most effective tools in either boosting or harming our oral health.

Dentist Approved Foods for Healthy Teeth and Gums

According to the American Dental Association (ADA), our teeth and gums are usually the first to suffer the effects of a poor diet lacking in essential nutrients and vitamins. Along with avoiding over-consumption of processed foods with excessive added sugar, dentists advise eating foods that contribute to dental health, such as:

  • Milk, cheese, yogurt (calcium)
  • Nuts (almonds are high in calcium, protein, and good fats - without the added sugar)
  • Greens - although leafy greens like spinach and kale may not be the first to come to mind when thinking about dental health, they are rich in a number of essential nutrients such as calcium (which helps to protect tooth enamel), folic acid, and vitamin B, all of which also promote general health for the whole body.
  • Crunchy fruits and vegetables - like apples, celery, and carrots - help to scrape excess food particles from the surface of the teeth, and promote saliva production, which helps to flush out cavity and gum disease causing bacteria after every meal.

Find a Dentist in Yakima, WA

A healthy diet and good oral hygiene practices, including regular dental checkups and professional cleanings, are the best way to maintain healthy teeth and gums, and prevent tooth decay and gum disease. For more information on the diet and dental care routine that is best for you, contact Reep Family Dental & Dental Sleep Solutions by calling (509)-248-0986 to schedule an appointment with Dr. Reep today.


AnAssortmentofOrthodonticToolshelpsusSolveComplexBiteProblems

There are an assortment of techniques and treatments in an orthodontist's toolkit, braces being the most common and best known. Of course, there wouldn't be any tools at all if teeth couldn't move naturally.

Teeth aren't directly connected to the jawbone. An elastic tissue called the periodontal ligament lies between each one, with tiny fibers attaching to the tooth on one side and to the bone on the other. The ligament's elasticity and other qualities allow micro-movements of the teeth as we bite.

The ligament can also adapt to changes in the mouth and teeth by allowing the teeth to move to different positions. That's the basic concept behind braces: we thread a thin wire through brackets attached to the teeth, which we then attach to anchor points (usually back teeth not intended to move) and apply tension to it. Gradually over time, the target teeth move.

But what if your malocclusion (poor bite) is more complicated or the back teeth can't supply enough anchorage for moving the intended teeth? That's where we take advantage of other sources of anchorage.

One such source is the patient's skull, which we can make use of through special headgear worn a few hours a day. The device consists of a strap under tension that runs around the back of the head or neck to a wire housing attached to brackets on the target teeth. If you want to “pull” the teeth forward, the strap would come over the chin, forehead or a combination of both.

We may sometimes want to isolate some teeth to move without moving nearby teeth, such as moving front teeth backward to close a space without affecting teeth further to the rear. We can create a separate anchor point in the jaw with a TAD or temporary anchorage device.

TADs are tiny screws made of stainless steel inserted temporarily into the bone. We loop an elastic band over the TAD on one end and to a bracket or tension wire attached to the target teeth on the other. When we've achieved the teeth's new position we can easily remove the TAD from the bone.

These various tools make it possible to correct difficult or complex malocclusions. They may not always look attractive, but they'll help ensure the final result is.

If you would like more information on available orthodontic treatments, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about this topic by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “Orthodontic Headgear & Other Anchorage Appliances.”