Author Archives: Barton

Damaged tooth with cavity dental caries decay disease - Idaho Falls dentist

8 Things You Don’t Know About Cavities

“Cavities” is a scary word – it seems like your worst nightmare come to life when your dentist discovers a cavity. This irreversible tooth decay is one of the most common ailments in children and has affected 91 percent of Americans over the age of 20.

Cavities are a form of tooth decay that eventually create a hole in the tooth. They are created when leftover food particles react with oral bacteria to create an acid, which gradually attack tooth enamel. Cavities are so common because it’s easy for food particles to get stuck in the mouth’s many hard-to-reach places, allowing the slow decay to go unnoticed.

Cavities can’t be treated yourself and are best avoided with thorough prevention, so it’s important to learn about dental health and develop a healthy dental routine.

Actively fight against tooth decay with these facts about cavities:

1. 700 Species of Bacteria

The mouth contains over 700 different bacterial species, some act as protectors of teeth and gums, some help digest food, and others are harmless. Only a few of these bacterias are linked to the formation of cavities.

Streptococcus mutans is the most common bacteria that is harmful when it gathers in your mouth. When enough food particles build up, the streptococcus mutans bacteria creates an acid which eats away your enamel, leaving the tooth unprotected against decay.

2. It’s Not Sugar’s Fault

Despite popular belief, sugar is not the main cause of cavities, though it definitely assists in the building of bacteria and acid. Consuming any starchy food – including cookies, cake, chips, bread, crackers, pasta, soda, fruit juice, and citrus fruit – can eventually lead to cavities. These foods are full of refined carbohydrates, white flour, or sugar that easily stick to the surface of the teeth, initiating the production of acid.

You can prevent decay by limiting your intake of these foods and brushing after eating them.

3. Cavities Aren’t Just For Kids

According to the American Dental Hygienists Association, about 78 percent of American children will have at least one cavity by the age of 17. This number is alarmingly high, and fuels the common belief that younger ages are more susceptible to cavities. This is not the case as cavities can form at any age, leaving adults to fear cavities just as much as. Children have higher cavity rates as they have yet to understand the importance of routine brushing and flossing, and prefer foods high in sugar and starch.

4. Once it Starts, It Won’t Stop

Perhaps the scariest characteristic of cavities is their irreversibility. When a cavity forms on your tooth, it will first start to decay the enamel, then create a hole in the tooth, which continues to grow as bacteria hides in the hole and is impossible to brush out. Once the decay is present, its damage is permanent and is only fixable with a dentist’s visit. Your dentist can reverse the damage by extracting the infection and using a filling to seal the hole in your tooth.

5. Flossing!

How do you stop cavities? Prevention is the best strategy for keeping cavities at bay. Using toothpaste and drinking water both containing fluoride is an effective way to prevent decay. But the most effective strategy is regular brushing and flossing to get rid of any food particles left in the mouth.

Flossing may seem unimportant, but it allows you to reach hidden spaces a toothbrush can’t reach. Those tight, hidden spaces account for 40 percent of your teeth’s surface area, giving food particles and bacteria plenty of places to hide.

The American Dental Association conducted a survey in 2014 which made some surprising discoveries. It reported only 40 percent of Americans floss at least once a day and only 20 percent never floss, while only two percent of Americans rarely brush their teeth. Cavities aren’t common because Americans forget to brush their teeth, but because we don’t floss. Flossing is the missing piece of the dental routine essential in preventing cavities.

6. Colorful Cavities

As cavities start to form, the decay will cause the infected area to turn a different color. Early signs of cavities appear as white spots on the enamel and will gradually turn dark brown, passing through various shades of light brown as the decay progresses. If left unchecked, the cavity will eventually create a hole in the tooth.

7. Commonly Undetected

It is difficult to detect a cavity on your own as you can’t always feel early decay. Decay begins in the bone of your tooth and if left unchecked, will eventually form a hole which makes its way to the nerves in the center of your tooth. By the time you can feel a cavity, the decay has reached the nerves and has already caused extensive damage.

The best way to prevent this irreversible damage is routinely visiting your dentist who will catch early stages of the decay

8. Worsening the Decay

Prolonging trips to the dentist’s office may allow new decay to create even more damage as cavities are difficult to detect on your own. As a cavity continues to grow, it can eventually lead to a painful jawbone infection, or dental abscess. Early signs of jawbone infection include pain, sensitivity, bad taste in the mouth, fever, difficulty opening the mouth, difficulty swallowing, gum inflammation, or pus drainage.

Schedule your routine dentist appointment to catch tooth decay before it progresses into a damaging cavity. For more information about cavity prevention, symptoms, or repair, contact Idaho Falls Smiles online or call us at (208) 524-1700.

Idaho Falls Smiles is an Idaho Falls dentist

Eliminating Bad Breath

By: Karli Willden

Have you ever been in the middle of a conversation you wanted to escape? Like when the person you are talking to has such horrible breath, you think you are going to be sick? Bad breath is repulsive and can be the reason others may be avoiding you. In order to control bad breath, it is important you stay on top of your personal hygiene habits, watch what you eat, and make sure you always get your routine trip to the dentist in. Below are a few reminders of what you should be doing on a daily basis to combat bad breath.

1. Brush Your Teeth & Tongue

First and foremost, keep up with your daily brushing and flossing. Regular brushing and flossing removes food particles from your mouth, which can get stuck between the crevices of your teeth and rot. Leftover food particles in your mouth can also cause bacteria to accumulate, causing a foul smell. Brush at least twice a day for two-three minutes at a time, or after every time you eat. Also, be sure to brush your tongue as well as your teeth. Your tongue needs to be cleaned just as much as your teeth do. Then, replace your toothbrush at least every three to six months, or when the bristles appear to be worn out.

2. Drink Lots of Water

Staying hydrated is important for your health and day to day functionality. Did you know that drinking lots of water also helps to fight against bad breath? When you are constantly drinking water, it helps to flush your mouth out and keep your pallet clean. Drinking lots of water doesn’t give sugars, acids, or bacteria in your mouth long enough time to sit on your teeth to wreak havoc.

3. Watch What You Consume

What you eat and drink impacts how your breath smells. Certain foods and substances contribute to your bad breath, and some are worse than others, which you’ll want to limit or avoid completely. You should abstain from tobacco, alcohol, and coffee as they are hard on your teeth and cause terrible breath. Sugary or acidic foods can also be the source of bad breath, and should be eaten in moderation. When possible, try to brush after each time you eat to keep your breath fresh and clean. If you are unable to brush after eating, even chewing gum can help to trigger saliva to flush your mouth out and mask the smell of bad breath.

4. Visit Your Dentist

Sometimes bad breath remains even after being dutiful about brushing and flossing. Before you give up completely, schedule a trip to the dentist. Bad breath might actually be the result of a medical condition, which may need some attention. If you are experiencing dry mouth, an infection, or other medical conditions stemming from the nose, throat, or mouth, our dentist can provide more permanent treatments and solutions. Give our Idaho Falls dentist a call today at (208) ­524-1700.

custom Sports Guards Idaho Falls

How to Avoid Unnecessary Tooth Damage

By: Karli Willden

You get one set of teeth in your life and that’s it! How well you take care of your teeth throughout your life will determine how long you get to keep your teeth through the years. Understanding what may put your teeth in jeopardy of damage or decay is the best way to prevent unnecessary damages to your teeth. Below are a few tips on how you can avoid these hazards, and how you can better take care of the teeth that you have.

Potential Problems:

  • Tooth Decay
  • Knocked Out Teeth
  • Teeth Grinding
  • Cracked Teeth

Keep Proper Dental Hygiene Habits

Poor dental hygiene causes unnecessary tooth hazards. For example, when you do not keep up with your daily dental hygiene habits, your teeth and gums begin to decay. Tooth decay can lead to cavities, inflamed gums, infection, tooth pain, cysts, tooth loss, and even damaged nerves. In order to prevent this series of unfortunate events, be sure to keep up with your daily brushing and flossing, and schedule your biannual visit to the dentist for a checkup.

Watch What You Eat

The main purpose for our teeth is to help us eat and chew our foods. While our teeth are strong and designed to chew a wide variety of foods, our teeth are not indestructible. Our teeth can become chipped, cracked or otherwise damaged, if we aren’t careful. With that being said, be cautious eating hard or sticky foods. Limit your consumption of alcohol or coffee, as well as acidic or sugary substances. Avoid chewing anything which makes your teeth vulnerable to breaking, particularly ice or other hard substances. Do not get in the habit of using your teeth as a tool to open plastic packages or bottle caps. Take good care of your teeth, and remember they aren’t indestructible. If your teeth do become chipped or cracked, rest assured restorative dental techniques can fix them, but it’s best to avoid these unnecessary tooth hazards when possible.

Wear A Night Guard

Even when you sleep at night, you are not completely exempt from tooth hazards. For example, tooth grinding is a problem which can cause quite a bit of damage to your teeth if left unchecked. Tooth grinding might be caused by misaligned teeth or stress, but either way can cause quite a bit of wear on your teeth. If your spouse tells you you grind your teeth at night, or if you wake up in the morning with a sore jaw, then you’re probably a teeth grinder. Since teeth grinding is often difficult to control, you may want to get a night guard to protect your teeth. At your next appointment, ask your dentist to make you a night guard to help with this problem.

Wear A Sports Guard

Last, but not least, unnecessary tooth hazards can be avoided simply by wearing an athletic sports guard. Athletic sports, particularly contact sports, tend to cause injuries from time to time, especially in the mouth. Losing a tooth during one of these athletic events would be unfortunate, which is why protecting your mouth in sports such as football, wrestling, hockey, boxing, baseball, or rugby, is essential.

There are a variety of different types of sports guards available from which you can choose, at many different prices levels. You can get a custom sports guard made at your local dentist, or you can buy a generic sports guard at your local sports store, boil it, and have it fitted to your mouth. Ask your local dentist which he or she would recommend for you individually.

If you have any more questions on how you can prevent unnecessary tooth hazards, give our dentist in Idaho Falls a call today at (208) ­524-1700.

Wisdom Teeth Removal Idaho Falls

Is Wisdom Teeth Removal Right For You?

By: Karli Willden

If you are in your later teens, or a parent of a son or daughter in their later teens, it might be time to start thinking about wisdom teeth removal and whether it is right for you. Wisdom teeth, otherwise known as your third molars, can impact your mouth in a less than positive way, and most people who have them will choose to have them removed. Below are some things to consider when deciding whether or not to have them removed. If you have any questions, or would like to schedule a consultation to have your wisdom teeth removed, please feel free to give our Idaho Falls dentistry a call.

Wisdom Teeth Overview

Did you know that approximately 35 percent of the world’s population are actually born without wisdom teeth? Wisdom teeth are the last teeth to grow in, generally making their appearance later on in the teen years between 16-25, if at all! You may not know if you have wisdom teeth or not, unless the dentist has told you so, as wisdom teeth may be difficult to see as they remain under the gum line. If you aren’t sure if you have wisdom teeth or not, ask your local dentist at your next checkup.

To Remove Or Not to Remove

According to the American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons, 85 percent of wisdom teeth will need to be removed at some point. There are three main reasons wisdom teeth may need to be removed, and these include prevention of pericoronitis, tooth decay, and impaction. Pericoronitis is when the tissues around the wisdom tooth become inflamed. Tooth decay occurs when a cavity forms in the wisdom tooth, eating away the tooth and infecting the pulp (innermost part of tooth) or the root of the tooth. Lastly, impaction, or when the tooth doesn’t fully emerge from the gums because another tooth is blocking its path to the surface. Each of these three can cause pain in the mouth, ranging from mild to severe pain.

While 85 percent of wisdom teeth will need to be removed, the dentist or oral surgeon may find upon examination it would be better to leave the wisdom teeth alone. These cases may be fewer and far between, but the dentist may find that removing the wisdom teeth could cause nerve damage or that the wisdom teeth aren’t causing any immediate risks. Wisdom teeth located on the bottom row of your mouth tend to cause more problems, though, than the wisdom teeth located on the top.

Risks of Leaving Them In

If you choose to prolong the removal of your wisdom teeth, here’s a heads up of what you might experience down the road. First, do not be surprised if your teeth become misaligned. All those years of having perfect teeth or braces may soon change, as wisdom teeth can push other teeth out of position. Second, pain is a very real possibility as wisdom teeth are prone to infection, inflammation or impaction. If you are planning on leaving the country for an extended period of time, be sure to have your wisdom teeth checked out and removed if needed. It would be unfortunate to be in a place without proper care and experience mild to extreme pain. Other risks associated may include the development of cysts, inflammation, jaw and sinus problems, and nerve damage.

Wisdom Teeth Examination

If you are in your late teens or early twenties, and you have not yet had your wisdom teeth removed, schedule an oral examination today to determine if wisdom teeth removal is necessary for you. In most cases, wisdom teeth removal is generally recommended, since they are unnecessary and can cause a lot of issues down the road.

It is especially recommended if you plan on living outside the country for an extended period of time, or plan on serving in the military, the Peace Corp, or other volunteer groups where it is required. Schedule your appointment today with Idaho Falls Smiles today at (208) 524-1700 to have your wisdom teeth examined.

Preventative Dentistry Idaho Falls

Practicing Preventative Dentistry At Home

By: Karli Willden

If you would like to have a great smile and avoid oral health issues down the road, it is important you know and apply proper preventative care techniques. Preventative care starts at home with good oral hygiene, but it also means seeing a dentist for professional care and checkups on your oral health. Below are some tips to keep your mouth and teeth healthy and strong with preventative care.

Preventative Care At Home

  • Brush daily with fluoride (2X a day for 2 minutes)
  • Spit & wait to rinse
  • Floss daily
  • Eat a healthy diet
  • Limit your consumption of acidic and sugar foods

Taking good care of your teeth at home is important to avoid plaque buildup and prevent tooth decay. On a day to day basis, you eat foods and drinks which contain particles that stick to your teeth, if not manually removed with regular brushing and flossing. If these sticky substances are not removed, it can turn into plaque over time, which will gradually eat away at your teeth.

Dentists recommend brushing at least twice a day for two minutes, and flossing at least once a day. (Parents with small children should consult with their dentist about appropriate dental care for their little ones.)

If you are not using a toothpaste which contains fluoride, talk to your dentist about which brands he or she recommends. Fluoride in toothpaste helps to prevent cavities, and keeps your teeth healthy and strong. Remember when you are brushing to give it some time before rinsing immediately with water. Spit out the remaining toothpaste, but wait at least thirty minutes or so before drinking or rinsing with water to have the best results.

Preventative Care Through Proper Diet

Also, keep in mind your diet does impact the health of your teeth and gums. If you eat lots of sugary or acidic foods, drinks, or candies, it will take a toll on your mouth. If you don’t want to limit your intake of sugary foods or drinks, which is foremost recommended, there are a few things you can do to minimize its effects on your teeth.

When drinking a sugary soda, drink it all in the same sitting and don’t take sips throughout the day. Each time you take a sip of soda, the sugars in the soda react with the bacteria in your mouth to create acid, which is harmful and attacks your teeth. This process happens every 20 or so minutes after taking a drink, so you can see why you would want to drink the soda all at once. This prevents this process from duplicating multiple times a day.

It is also recommended to drink lots of water throughout the day. Not only is it important to stay hydrated, but it also plays an important role in rinsing the pallet, especially after eating sugary or acidic foods. Chewing sugarless gum also has a similar effect. Chewing sugarless gum activates saliva in your mouth to rinse away any acidic or sugary particles. Doing so minimizes the effect of these sugary foods and drinks in your mouth.

Preventative Care At the Dentist

  • Preventive Checkups
  • Dental Cleanings
  • Dental Sealants
  • Fluoride Treatments

In the paragraphs preceding, you learned about the importance of preventative care at home. You also learned some basic preventative measures you can do to prevent plaque and buildup from turning into cavities. Now, for part two, we will be going over the importance of seeing a dentist semiannually.

Scheduling an appointment to see the dentist twice a year is important for a few reasons. First, you can receive a professional dental exam, which checks not only for cavities, but also any signs of disease or oral cancer. Secondly, a routine teeth cleaning twice a year helps to remove plaque which cannot be removed with a soft-bristled brush. This helps to prevent cavities and other dental work needed down the road.

Dental sealants may also be recommended by your dentist to prevent tooth decay. Since teeth with deep grooves or uneven surfaces are difficult to clean, dental sealants will make these problem areas easier to clean by giving it a flat surface. Talk to your Idaho Falls dentist today to learn more about how you can better take care of your teeth at home and through preventative dentistry. Schedule your next appointment today at (208) ­524-1700!

Mon: 10am – 5pm
Tues: 11am – 6pm
Wed – Thurs: 7am – 6pm
Fri: 7am – 2pm

3375 Merlin Dr.
Idaho Falls ID 83404

Wisdom Teeth Removal Idaho Falls

Everything You Need To Know About Wisdom Teeth

By: Kathryn Hyer

Between the ages of 17 and 25, a person may develop third molars, more commonly known as wisdom teeth. While some never develop wisdom teeth, those that do develop wisdom teeth will often experience pain or discomfort until they are removed. When wisdom teeth come in, many questions may arise such as, when should they be removed? What does the procedure entail, and what is the recovery process like? Below is everything you need to know about wisdom teeth and the removal process. Give our dentist in Idaho Falls a call today if you would like to schedule a consultation.

When Should You Get Your Wisdom Teeth Removed?

While there’s no set age as to when wisdom teeth should be removed, if they begin to cause pain in your mouth, you should consider getting them removed. Many doctors suggest getting wisdom teeth removed while they are still emerged in the gums, and long before they become problematic. This allows the recovery period to go smoother, as the bones and roots haven’t fully formed yet.

Some organizations require you to have your wisdom teeth removed as a health precaution. If you plan on doing volunteer work for an extended period of time with an organization, such as serving an LDS mission or joining the Peace-Corps, the removal of wisdom teeth is generally required beforehand.

While removal isn’t required in the military, it is highly encouraged in order to avoid situations where intense pain may be experienced, without the proper resources available, particularly for those serving overseas.

You should look into getting your wisdom teeth removed if:

  • You feel any pain
  • Notice damage to any nearby teeth
  • Develop a fluid-filled cyst around any of your wisdom teeth
  • Have any tooth decay on any erupted wisdom teeth
  • Experience infection or gum disease
  • Notice food and debris being trapped behind wisdom tooth

What Kind Of Anesthesia is Available?

During wisdom teeth extraction, there are three types of anesthesia options available:

  1. Local anesthesia. The dentist or oral surgeon will administer the anesthesia injections near each extraction. This option allows you to be completely conscious during the procedure. Although you’ll experience a feeling of pressure, you shouldn’t experience any pain.
  2. Sedation anesthesia. This option is more feasible for those who have anxiety about the procedure itself. The anesthesia is administered through an IV in the arm, and completely suppresses your consciousness during the procedure. No pain is felt and the patient has limited memory regarding the procedure. Local anesthesia is also applied to numb the gums.
  3. General anesthesia. This type of anesthesia is similar to sedation anesthesia, with a few differences. Patients may either receive sedation through an IV, or through the nose, or both. Consciousness is lost completely, with no memory of the procedure. A surgical team closely monitors medication, temperature, breathing, blood pressure and fluids.

Recovery Period for Wisdom Teeth Removal

The recovery period typically lasts between three to four days, and in some cases, up to a week. During the healing process, you should follow your dentist or oral surgeon’s instructions on:

    • Pain management. Over-the-counter pain relievers such as Tylenol and Ibuprofen may help with pain relief. Generally, a prescription for pain relievers is given from your dentist or oral surgeon. Experts also suggest icing your jaw to relieve pain and reduce swelling.
    • Bleeding. It’s normal for your sockets to bleed or ooze the first day after your procedure. Dislodging a blood clot from the socket can cause further complications. As such, experts recommend the avoidance of excessive spitting. The dentist or oral surgeon will most likely provide gauze for you to place over the extraction site to assist with blood control.
    • Bruising and swelling. Bruises may take several days to heal, but the swelling of your cheeks will usually improve in two to three days. Icing your cheeks will help them go back to normal at a faster rate.
    • Activity. Avoid strenuous activities for a week that would cause the blood clot to be removed from the socket. On the day of the initial surgery, you should rest for remainder of the day.
    • Food. Chewy, hard, hot and spicy foods should be avoided until they can be tolerated. Only soft foods, such as yogurt and applesauce, should be eaten for the first 24 hours.
    • Tobacco use. Don’t smoke for at least 72 hours after surgery. Chewing tobacco shouldn’t be used for at least a week.


Getting your wisdom teeth removed can be a hassle, but preparing for it doesn’t have to be. At Idaho Falls Smiles, we’re here to ensure you have a smooth experience when it comes to getting your wisdom teeth removed. Everything you need to know about wisdom teeth can be answered by one of our very own dentists in Idaho Falls. If you have any further questions or concerns regarding your wisdom teeth, don’t hesitate to give Idaho Falls Smiles a call today at (208) ­524-1700.


Idaho Falls Teeth Whitening

Do You Want Whiter Teeth?

By: Michelle Tunquist

Your smile is important.  In fact, most Americans believe that their smile is an important social asset.  Feeling comfortable with your teeth gives you an advantage when it comes time to smile.  If you are worried about how your teeth appear, you may be self conscious and awkward.  Most people feel more confident when their teeth are straight, white and clean.  White teeth are considered more attractive than stained, discolored teeth. Choosing to whiten teeth is often a first step in improving a smile since it is pretty simple to accomplish with the help of a dentist.

Whitening Statistics

In 2012 the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry put out a survey about whitening. They found some pretty interesting statistics, including:

  • 99.7% of Americans believe that a smile is an important social asset.
  • 74% of adults believe that an unattractive smile can hurt chances for career success.
  • When asked, “What would you most like to change about your smile?” The most common response was: Whiter & Brighter Teeth

Causes of Discoloration

Baby teeth are whiter than adult teeth, and over time adult teeth get stained and discolored.  There are many causes for teeth to darken including:

  • Genetics. You may get lucky or unlucky here.  Your genetics may mean that you have strong, healthy, white teeth, or you may inherit a defect in the tooth enamel that may make it look darker or discolored.
  • Developmental Disorders. Fevers, jaundice or other illnesses while teeth are developing can cause problems in developing enamel or make teeth discolored.
  • Antibiotics. Use of the antibiotic tetracycline before the age of eight has resulted in discolored teeth.
  • Tooth Decay. Decaying teeth may appear dark or discolored.
  • Foods. Foods that contain tannin, and coffee and tea can discolor teeth.
  • Age. Teeth naturally get darker as we age.

At Home Whitening Tips

There are many simple steps you can take at home to keep you teeth white and clean. Simply brushing and flossing twice a day can make a huge difference in the appearance of your teeth. Other simple at home tips include:

  • Whitening Toothpaste. You are already brushing your teeth, it is simple enough to choose a toothpaste that will whiten as it cleans. These days, most brands offer whitening options, and it is a simple fix.
  • Whitening Kits. There are many whitening kits that can be purchased at the store. Using these for a period of time can whiten your teeth.
  • Prevent Stains. It is probably easiest to prevent stains in the first place. There are many foods that are known to cause stains. Avoiding these foods and other activities known to cause stains will prevent them from occurring. Smoking is known to yellow teeth. Avoid smoking, and drinking coffee, tea, and wine. Or at the very least, reduce your intake of these common stain causing drinks. Soda and sugar filled energy drinks can also cause tooth decay and staining.
  • Chew Sugarless Gum. Chewing gum increases saliva production which in turn fights germs.
  • Rinse Your Mouth. Even if you can’t brush your teeth between meals, rinse your mouth with water. This will keep stain causing foods from sitting on your teeth where they can seep in and cause more staining.

Dental Whitening

The quickest and most effective way to get white teeth is to get a whitening treatment at your dentist’s office. Through the in-office whitening treatment, you can get your teeth ten shades whiter in as little as an hour. This is much more effective than trays and strips bought at the store that need to be used for weeks at a time. In-office whitening done by your dentist is done in a way to protect your gums and enamel, lessening the chance of tooth sensitivity. While tooth sensitivity may still occur, you can talk to your dentist for how to handle this if it arises.

Take Home Kits

If you prefer to use a kit at home, your dentist may also have take home kits available. These are also more effective than what you can purchase at the store because they fit your teeth, keeping the gel from leaking in your mouth. Leaking gel causes gum soreness and makes the treatment less effective. Properly fitted trays prevent that from happening.

Get Your Teeth Whitened at Your Idaho Falls Dentistry

We want you to feel confident in your smile. Whiter and brighter teeth can help you smile with confidence. If you are interested in having your teeth whitened, give us a call at (208) ­524-1700 today!

Idaho Falls Dentist

Healthy Diets Make Healthy Teeth

By: Michelle Tunquist

We all know that we need to brush our teeth twice a day, floss twice a day and visit the dentist every six months. These are “must dos” for good dental hygiene.  What you may not realize is that a healthy diet can have a huge impact on the health of your teeth.  Eat well and enjoy strong teeth and gums.

Must Dos!

These are the absolute minimum requirements for healthy teeth.  They are essential “must do” behaviors that will help keep your teeth from decaying.

  • Brush Your Teeth Twice a Day. Morning and night.
  • Floss Your Teeth Twice a Day. Morning and night.
  • Visit the Dentist every Six Months.
  • Regular check ups can catch issues before they turn into big problems.  A good cleaning can help maintain strong teeth.

Healthy Diet Tips for Teeth

Eating healthy isn’t just important for our body, it is also important for our teeth.  The foods we eat has an impact in how strong our teeth are and can make the difference in their overall health.  Follow these healthy eating tips to get strong teeth and gums:

  • Eat Calcium. Our teeth and gums are made up of calcium, which means we need to eat calcium to maintain healthy teeth and gums.  Calcium can be found in dairy products.  Make sure to eat enough cheese, milk, and yogurt to get the right amount of calcium.
  • Get Your Vitamin D. Vitamin D helps our bodies absorb the calcium we eat.  Unless we get enough vitamin D, then eating calcium isn’t enough to keep our teeth strong.  We get most of our vitamin D from the sun, so get outside and soak up some rays.
  • Don’t Forget Vitamin C. Vitamin C deficiency can lead to dental problems like loose teeth and bleeding gums.  Make sure to keep gums and teeth strong by getting the proper amount of vitamin C.  Vitamin C is found in citrus fruits.  Drink some orange juice or eat a bit of grapefruit.
  • Avoid Sugar. Sugar can easily lead to tooth decay, so it is best to avoid sugar whenever possible.  A diet high in sugary foods is a bad choice for teeth.  Skip the candy and grab some fruit instead.
  • Drink Water. Drinking water increases saliva production which in turn can help battle bacteria.  Water also dilutes sugar and cleans out your mouth.
  • Rinse Your Mouth.  Quickly rinsing your mouth between meals will remove sugar from your teeth and prevent tooth decay.  If you can use mouthwash to kill germs between meals that is great.  If not, rinse with water, which still cleans out your mouth and can prevent cavities.

Eating Right for Strong Teeth

We only get one set of adult teeth that need to last the rest of our lives. Making good choices to protect our dental health will make it so that we can enjoy our teeth for a long time to come. Protecting our teeth isn’t just about brushing them twice a day. We can also maintain dental health by eating foods that will keep our teeth strong. Remember to eat healthy for a healthy smile.

Idaho Falls Dentistry for Healthy Teeth

Proper teeth brushing, flossing and healthy eating habits are vital for maintaining dental health. Regular checkups at our Idaho Falls dentistry are also important. Even with best efforts, we all get cavities.  We can take care of any problems that arise, so that you can smile without worry. Call today at (208) ­524-1700 to set up an appointment.

Idaho Falls Pediatric Dentistry

Tips to Get Your Kids to Brush Their Teeth

By: Michelle Tunquist

Getting kids to brush their teeth can be a chore that few parents look forward to.  If your children are like mine, they’ve been known to run and hide as soon as the words “brush your teeth” are muttered.  Little kids are rarely concerned about the future of their teeth, and many think losing a couple teeth is actually something that they wouldn’t mind.  Changing teeth brushing from a chore to a positive experience can make a big difference in getting your kids to brush.  Here are a few tips for how to make teeth brushing go more smoothly.

  • Show them the Plaque.  Plaque-disclosing tablets color the plaque on your child’s teeth and allow them to really see where they need to brush.  Many kids love to use these tablets and it helps them understand how to brush more effectively.  There are also some mouthwashes that will tint plaque and allow kids to see where they should brush.  You can find plaque-disclosing tablets at the dentist, the pharmacist’s counter and online.
  • Make it Fun. Kids are more likely to brush if it is a positive experience.  Rather than make it  another boring chore, liven it up and make it fun.  Try:
  • Making Bubbles. Have a competition with your kids to see who can make the most bubbles.  This will make brushing fun and encourage them to brush more.  After all, the more they brush, the more bubbles they will make.
  • Brushing with a Stuffed Animal. Let them bring a friend to brushing time.  Simply bringing a stuffed animal will make the process more fun.  Maybe their friend needs his/her teeth brushed too.
  • Singing a Song. Choose a favorite song and play it while they brush, or encourage them to sing a favorite song in their head.
  • Using an Egg Timer. Kids love to use timers.  Set up the timer and have them brush till the sand runs out.
  • Praise Your Kids. Everyone loves to get praised.  When your kids do a good job, let them know you appreciate their efforts.  It takes very little effort to say a positive word, but it can make the difference in how your kids feel about teeth brushing time.
  • Let them Pick the Toothpaste/Toothbrush. There are all types of fun toothbrushes and toothpaste.  Letting your kids pick their favorite character can motivate them to brush their teeth.  Sometimes all it takes to look forward to teeth brushing time is their favorite cartoon character.

Tips for Parents

As parents, we are ultimately responsible for the health of our children’s teeth.  Here are a few tips to help keep their teeth healthy and bright.

  • Schedule your kid’s first appointment when they are one years old.  The earlier they come in, the better.  This allows them to build a positive experience at the dentist and make sure that healthy habits start when they are little.
  • Brush your kid’s teeth twice a day.  Once they begin brushing on their own, make sure to continue to check that they are doing a good job and removing all food residue.
  • Floss your kid’s teeth as soon as they start touching.  Once teeth are close together, food can easily get caught between the teeth and cause teeth to decay.  If regular flossing is difficult, use child friendly flossers.
  • Talk to your dentist about sealants.  Sealants protect teeth and prevent cavities.

Idaho Falls Dentist Keeps Kids Smiling

At our Idaho Falls family dentistry, we care about our littlest patients and want them to enjoy their experience at the dentist.  We strive to make their visit as comfortable as possible.  Call today to make an appointment for your little ones.