Author Archives: Barton

Idaho Dental Hygiene

Brush Your Teeth for a Bright Smile

By: Michelle Tunquist

It’s no surprise that brushing your teeth is important for keeping your teeth clean and healthy.  No doubt you’ve heard it from every dentist you’ve ever visited and also from your parents as a kid.  Brush your teeth at least twice a day to keep your smile bright.

Importance of Brushing Your Teeth

There are tons of reasons for why brushing your teeth is important.  Though kids (and some adults) argue that it is so hard and time consuming, it really is a fast, easy way to keep your teeth and gums healthy.  Two minutes of brushing in the morning, and two minutes at night before bed and you get all these great benefits:

  • Save Money. Brushing teeth is a great way to save money.  Dental work is expensive, and in many cases, easily avoided.  Don’t pay hundreds of dollars to fill a cavity when you can easily prevent cavities by brushing your teeth.  Forgetting to brush and avoiding the dentist can lead to more expensive procedures down the road, like root canals and crowns.  Save your money by brushing your teeth every day.
  • Reduce Chance of Infection. Brushing your teeth is a simple way to reduce your chance of having an infection.  When your teeth get infected, you can get a painful abscess in your gums.  Avoid the pain just by brushing your teeth.
  • Reduces Bacteria. Bacteria in your mouth can lead to tooth decay.  Brushing your teeth gets rid of these nasty bacteria that can cause decay or infection.
  • Removes Sugar. Bacteria love the sugar in your mouth.  When the bacteria feed on the sugar they create an acid that decays your teeth.  Brushing your teeth will remove this sugar from your mouth before the bacteria can feast.
  • Prevent Tooth Decay. Bacteria eat the sugar in your mouth, creating an acid that wears down your teeth causing decay known as cavities.  Simply brush your teeth and reduce your chance of having tooth decay.
  • Reduces Gum Disease. Your gums also need to be cleaned.  Gum disease is painful and can be avoided, simply by–yes, brushing your teeth!
  • Keeps Breath Fresh. Those pesky bacteria also make your breath smell.  Guess what, brushing not only removes those stinky bacteria, but the fresh scent of your toothpaste helps to keep your breath minty fresh.
  • Remove Stains. Soda, coffee, cigarettes and some foods stain your teeth.  Brushing can remove those stains over time.

Do it Right

Since we all know that we should brush our teeth everyday, it is surprising that not everyone is doing it the right way.  Here are some tips for how to get the most out of brushing your teeth.

  • Choose the Right Toothbrush. There are a lot of different choices out there for toothbrushes.  Always choose a toothbrush with soft bristles.  Soft bristles can bend and get under the gums.  Hard bristles can wear away at teeth and gums.  The important thing is to remove plaque, and soft bristles can do this just fine.
  • Be Careful with Pressure. Many people think that it is necessary to really scrub teeth to get them clean and they apply too much pressure.  Since plaque is soft, teeth don’t actually need to be scrubbed with a lot of pressure.  Just like with hard bristles, too much pressure can harm teeth and gums.  Gently massage teeth and gums to remove plaque.
  • Take Your Time. It is easy to get tempted to do a rush job instead of a thorough brushing.  When you wake up late and are in a hurry to get to work, or if you’ve had a long day and just want to get in bed, it is tempting to do a quick brushing.  It is important to brush for at least 2 min in the morning and again before bed.  Don’t rush through the brushing.  Take your time and do it right. Make sure to get every tooth on both sides.
  • Change Your Brush. Unfortunately it is common for people to keep their toothbrush for too long.  Change your brush every 3 to 4 months.  Never share your toothbrush with anyone else, and store it in open air so that it can dry thoroughly to prevent the growth of mold and bacteria.
  • Circular Motion. Another common habit is for people to brush back and forth, from left to right.  However, it is much better to start from the gum and move up and down in a circular motion.
  • Remember Your Gums. A spot where many people miss is right by the gum line.  It is important to have a bristles that bend and can get between the gum and tooth.  This will remove the plaque that has a tendency to build up in that spot.
  • Wait. Don’t rush to brush immediately after eating.  If you have acid on your teeth, the brushing can cause additional damage.  Wait 15 to 20 minutes before brushing or at least rinse with water first.  This will remove some of the acid so that your teeth are not harmed.
  • Use Floss & Mouthwash. At least once a day (twice is better), floss and use mouthwash too.  Food can get stuck between teeth and your toothbrush can’t reach every sport.  Floss can remove food and buildup between teeth and mouthwash can reach throughout your mouth.  A good thorough cleaning is important to keep your smile bright.

Idaho Falls Dentist

Brushing is important for daily care of your teeth.  It is also important to visit the dentist twice a year for a cleaning and checkup. Though good brushing will make tooth decay less likely, some problems can still happen.  Frequent visits keep small problems from turning into large problems.  If you live in the Idaho Falls area, visit our family dentistry to keep your teeth and gums healthy.

Dentist in Idaho Falls to protect your teeth

Soda Can Cause Problems for Your Teeth

By: Michelle Tunquist

Soda is delicious and refreshing. In fact, it is a very popular drink. According to a Gallup poll done in 2012, nearly half of Americans drink soda every day, and according to the Associated Press in 2013 the average American drinks 44 gallons of soda in one year.  That’s a lot of soda! Despite its great taste, it is bad for your teeth.

Why is Soda Bad for your Teeth?

There are three things that make soda a bad choice for your teeth.  They are:

  • Sugar. Sugar is not a great choice for healthy teeth.  Bacteria eat sugar in your mouth and release an acid that causes tooth decay, also known as cavities.  Lots of sugar consumption can lead to lots of cavities.  While brushing can help, it is best not to consume a lot of sugar.  Your teeth and the rest of your body will thank you.
  • Phosphoric Acid. Worse than the sugar, is that soda includes phosphoric acid.  This breaks down the enamel of your teeth and can cause quite a bit of problems.  Your teeth enamel plays an important part in keeping your teeth healthy.  While one soda won’t do a lot of damage, frequent consumption can wreak havoc on your teeth.
  • Staining Power. Over time soda consumption can stain your teeth and contribute to plaque build up, which is yellow in appearance.

What Does Soda do to Your Teeth?

Simply put, soda can erode your teeth and contribute to tooth decay.  While sugar can lead to tooth decay, the real villain of soda is the acid.  Acid can cause erosion of the enamel of your teeth.  Over time erosion of the enamel can lead to:

  • Sensitivity. Eroded enamel can cause sensitivity of the teeth. Cold and hot food and drinks can cause sensitivity and pain. It is difficult to enjoy some of your favorite foods if you can’t bear to eat anything hot or cold.
  • Discoloration. Erosion and tooth decay can also lead to discolored teeth.  No one wants to have yellow or discolored teeth. Too much soda can turn your white smile yellow.
  • Cracking. Eventually erosion can lead to cracking because your enamel is weak.  Not only does this affect the appearance of your smile, but it can also be painful and make eating difficult.

What Can You to Protect Your Teeth?

The best thing you can do for your teeth is to stop drinking soda.  If that isn’t an option, then try the following:

      • Use a Straw. A straw is a simple way to protect your teeth by preventing your teeth from coming into too much contact with the soda.
      • Rinse with Water. After you drink a soda, rinse with water to remove acid from your teeth.
      • Cut Back. At least drink less soda.  You can still enjoy a soda sometimes, but not everyday.
      • Drink Water. When you would normally grab a soda, drink water instead.  Water is refreshing and is good for your teeth.  If you like the bubbly aspect of soda, try a carbonated water.
      • Diet Soda has Acid Too! Diet soda cuts down on sugar, but it still has acid. While it may help cut down on calories, it is still bad for your teeth. Instead of replacing soda with a diet soda, drink more water.
    • Wait to Brush. Immediately brushing your teeth after consuming something with acid is abrasive on your teeth.  Wait 15 to 20 minutes before brushing and rinse with water first.

    Idaho Falls Dentist

    Reducing soda intake is a great way to keep your smile bright.  For more tips on how to protect your teeth, make an appointment with our Idaho Falls family dentistry.  Visit with our friendly dentists to learn the best way to keep your smile bright.

Cone Beam Computed Technology

The Benefits of Dental Cone Beam Computed Tomography (CBCT)

By: Michelle Tunquist

What is CBCT?

CBCT stands for Cone Beam Computed Tomography. Sometimes, this type of technology is referred to as computerized tomography.  It uses specialized x-rays to take cross-sectional images of the body.  Dentists use cone shaped x-rays to take images of the patient’s teeth, mouth, neck, jaw, ears, nose and throat.  The data obtained from the scan is used to recreate 3D images on the computer so that the dentist can get a good look at the patient’s teeth and mouth.

How Can it be Used?

There are many uses for CBCT.  Dentists use the information obtained from the scan to better diagnosis and treat patients.  The following procedures benefit from the use of CBCT:

  • Implant Planning. Dentists use CBCT to assist in implant planning.  The scans from the CBCT give the dentist an accurate view of the patient’s jaw and teeth, and allows them to better plan for the insertion of an implant.
  • Implant Post-operative Assessment. After an implant is placed, dentists can use the CBCT to determine how well the mouth is healing after the implant and if any other steps need to be made.
  • Endodontic Treatment. The CBCT allows dentists to see if there is an infection at the root of the tooth and whether the patient needs a root canal.
  • Impactions and Extractions. A CBCT scan allows the dentist to see if any of the patient’s teeth are impacted or need to be extracted.  It also allows the dentist to plan the extraction.
  • Inferior Alveolar Nerve Location. CBCT technology allows for the superior ability to locate the inferior alveolar nerve so that it can be better protected during wisdom teeth surgery, root canals and dental implants.  Injury to the nerve is associated with a significant reduction in quality of life, so anything that helps protect the nerve is a great benefit.
  • Odontogenic Lesion Location. CBCT can locate any lesions, cysts or tumors that may be located in the mouth.  This can help in the diagnosis and treatment of these lesions.
  • Pathological Characterization. The CBCT can be used to determine if there are any concerns for disease and whether further investigation is needed.
  • Sinus Location. Some dental pain can radiate from the sinuses.  Using the CBCT can locate and view the sinus to help with diagnosis and treatment.
  • Surgical Guide Construction. Information obtained from the CBCT can be used to plan for surgery.
  • Trauma Evaluation. If there is trauma to the mouth or teeth, CBCT can give an accurate look at the trauma and what has been injured.
  • TMJ Visualization. Temporomandibular Joint Syndrome occurs when the joint that connects your jaw to your skull is injured.  The CBCT can help the dentist get a good look at the area to help determine treatment options.
  • CAD/CAM Devices. CAD stands for computer aided design, and refers to technology that allow dentists to better design crowns and implants.
  • Subtle Osteoarthritic Changes. The CBCT can be used to get a good look at the patient’s bone structure so any changes to the bone composition can be noted.
  • Unexpected Clinical Challenges. If there are any unexpected problems during the dental visit, such as a broken needle, the dentist can use the scan to determine how to proceed.
  • Airway Assessment. The scan can allow the dentist to see the patient’s airway and help determine whether a snoring device could be used.

What are the Benefits?

The use of CBCT technology has many benefits that have helped dentists provide excellent care for their patients’ dental health.  X-rays provide valuable insight into what is happening in the patient’s’ mouth, allowing for more accurate diagnosis and treatment.  The following are some of the many benefits of using CBCT:

  • CBCT creates 3D images instead of the 2D images created by regular x-rays.
  • CBCT creates better image quality than a regular x-ray because it reduces scatter radiation.
  • A single scan creates a wide variety of views.
  • A CBCT scan is painless, noninvasive, and accurate.
  • CBCT can create an image of bone and soft skin tissue at the same time.
  • No radiation remains on the body after the scan.
  • There are no immediate side effects.

Are there any risks?

CBCT is an x-ray which means it uses radiation.  There is always a chance of cancer from excessive exposure to radiation.  However, the benefits of using CBCT outweighs the slight risk of exposure to radiation.  Pregnant women should avoid x-rays if possible, and small children should only have x-rays done if medically necessary to obtain a diagnosis.

Idaho Falls CBCT

Our Idaho Falls dental practice uses CBCT technology so that we can provide the best dental service possible.  We want to keep your smile healthy, and CBCT technology is a non-invasive, pain free way to get a stellar look at your mouth.  With the latest available technology, we can get an accurate image of your teeth and jaw, and can create the most effective treatment plan.  Call today at (208) ­524-1700 to make an appointment so that we can keep you smiling.

Restorative Dentist Idaho Falls

What You Need to Know About Dental Crowns

Restorative Dentist Idaho Falls

Tooth pain is never fun. That moment when you take a sip of a cold drink and wince from the pain, is made that much worse knowing that it means a trip to the dentist. If you’re like many people, you will ignore the pain for as long as possible, hoping that it will go away. Unfortunately, pain is often a symptom of a real problem and going to the dentist is the best solution.

Causes of Tooth Pain

There are a variety of reasons why your tooth may be causing you pain. Common causes of tooth pain include:

  • Tooth Decay—Tooth decay is better known as cavities.  These occur when bacteria, acid, food and saliva combine to form plaque on your teeth that then dissolves the tooth, forming holes.
  • Abscessed Tooth—An abscessed tooth is an infection in the root or between the tooth and gums often caused by tooth decay.  Trauma, such as a broken or chipped tooth can also cause an abscess.
  • Tooth Fracture—A tooth fracture is a crack or break in the tooth.  These can result from an injury like a blow to the face or by biting down on a hard object.
  • Damaged Filling—Fillings do not last forever and eventually they wear down and need to be replaced.  They can also be damaged by biting down on hard objects.
  • Grinding—Repetitive chewing or grinding of the tooth can wear down teeth.
  • Infected Gums—Bacteria and plaque buildup can cause gums to get inflamed or become infected.

What is a Dental Crown?

A crown is a tooth shaped cap that covers the tooth and protects it.

When is a Crown Needed?

There are many reasons why a crown may be necessary.  A crown may be used to:

  • Protect a Tooth—A weak tooth may need a crown to protect it from breaking, or to prevent tooth decay.
  • Restore a Tooth—A tooth that is already broken or worn may need a crown.
  • Support a Tooth—A tooth with a large cavity may need a crown to support it and keep it from breaking.
  • Cover Misshapen Teeth—Discolored or misshapen teeth may require a crown for cosmetic purposes.

What is the Process for a Crown?

At many dental practices, a crown requires two visits. On the first visit, a mold is taken to create the crown, the tooth is shaped for the crown, and then a temporary crown is placed on the tooth. Then at the second visit, the actual crown is placed on the tooth. This is a time consuming process that requires multiple visits. At our Idaho Falls Dentistry, crowns can be completed in one simple visit. There is no longer any reason to dread your visit to the dentist. With Cerec Cad Cam Technology, we can do your crown in one visit.

What is Cerec Cad Cam Technology?

Cerec Cad Cam Technology allows the dentist to take a digital image of your tooth and create a crown using computer-aided milling right in the office. Since you don’t have to do a mold of your tooth and wait while the crown is made, this technology allows for less dental visits. Instead, using a camera, the dentist can input the image of your tooth into a computer and create the crown while still in the office. This technology isn’t available at every dental practice.

We Want to See You Smile

We don’t like to hear that people are avoiding the dentist. Using Cerec Cad Cam Technology, we’ve made it so that getting a crown is a much simpler process. If  your tooth hurts, don’t wait to be seen. Our friendly dentists will make your dental visit as easy as possible. Schedule an appointment today for a dental cleaning and learn how to prevent tooth decay. But if you are already in pain, let us help you smile again, because we are here to help—Call (208) ­524-1700 to set up an appointment.

Idaho Falls Restorative Dentistry

How to Stop and Reverse Tooth Decay

By: Karli Willden

Tooth decay is what happens to your teeth when they are attacked by germs and bacteria. Initially, the first stages of tooth decay is when a sticky substance called plaque begins to form on your teeth. This plaque thrives on sugar from the foods and drinks you consume, and it contains bacteria and germs which produce acids in your mouth. These acids will attack your teeth and begin to eat away at its surface, eventually forming a hole in the tooth.

Tooth decay can cause many different dental health issues, including cavities and gum disease. These issues can be painful and costly to resolve, so the best way to avoid these issues is prevention. Listed below are a few tips on how to stop and reverse tooth decay in your daily life.

Visit the Dentist

A routine trip to the dentist every six months is important to make sure tooth decay is under control. By visiting the dentist every six months, the dentist can perform an oral exam to check for areas of possible tooth decay. Any plaque or tartar spotted inside the mouth will be removed and cleaned to stop or prevent any further tooth decay. If cavities are spotted, the dentist will provide restoration services to fill the hole and prevent dental health issues in the future. It is important to make sure your mouth is checked every six months, so you can prevent major tooth decay from occurring.

Regular Brushing & Flossing

Brushing and flossing on a regular basis is important to stop and reverse tooth decay. Brushing in the morning after you wake up is especially important, since during the night bacteria grows more rapidly. The first thing you want to do when you wake up is make sure to brush away the acids inside your mouth which are on your teeth. In addition to brushing in the morning, it is recommended to brush at least twice a day, or after every time you eat. By keeping up with regular brushing and flossing, you can stop plaque from building up and causing tooth decay.

Watch the Foods You Eat

Diet plays a large role in the health of your mouth. If you eat lots of sugary snacks in between meals throughout the day, you are at a higher risk of developing tooth decay. Bacteria found in plaque thrives on sugars and releases acids when the two come in contact. You will have a hard time keeping up with plaque, if your diet contains a lot of sugary foods and drinks. A few foods to consider limiting in your diet throughout your day include: candies, soft drinks, pastries, or other carbohydrates. If you do choose to consume these, make sure to be quick about it. Eat or drink it all at once, and not a little bite or sip at a time. This is important because each time you eat or drink, acids are activated in your mouth for twenty minutes afterwards. Drinking water or chewing gum throughout the day, however, can help to minimize these effects, along with eating cheese, almonds, celery, carrots, apples, or leafy greens. By eating a balanced diet, visiting your dentist every six months, and brushing and flossing regularly, you can stop and reverse tooth decay. Learn more dental health tips today, by checking out our other blog posts! To schedule an appointment with our Idaho Falls dentists, give us a call at (208) ­524-1700.


Amazing dental facts - idaho falls dentist

Amazing Dental Facts

Did you know you’ll spend an average of 38 days brushing your teeth in your lifetime? There are so many amazing, yet little known things about the dentist’s office and the health of your teeth. Check out these amazing dental facts!

You can learn more about your dental health by meeting with our Idaho Falls Dentists. Call us at (208) 524-1700 today!

idaho falls Dental Infographic

When Should I Take My Children For Their First Dental Visit?

  Child at Idaho Falls DentistPart of maintaining a healthy mouth and good oral hygiene is getting an early start!  We recommend starting to bring your children to the dentist around the age of 3 or 4, unless you notice something of concern when helping your children with their at home dental care.  On a child’s first visit, we will introduce them to all the materials and instruments we will be using to clean their teeth.  We have our special “spinning toothbrush” that “tickles” their teeth clean and “Mr.Thirsty” that helps suck up any water “Mr.Squirty” gets in their mouth so they don’t have to swallow it!  After their teeth are all sparkly clean, we will floss in between their teeth and show them how to do it on their own using a tooth flosser.  Next, the child has the choice of several yummy flavors of fluoride we will either brush on their teeth or place in a tray that goes in the child’s mouth.  The fluoride is like vitamins for their teeth to help them grow strong and healthy!  Then it’s the Dentist’s turn to take at look at your child’s nice clean smile!  He will usually count their teeth for Visit to Idaho Falls Dentistthem, checking for any signs of decay as he goes.  After the Dentist is done, the child gets their very own toothbrush bag with new toothbrush, floss, kid flosser, and toothpaste!  The best part is next!  PRIZES!  We have a special token we give to the child to put into our prize machine for being such a great helper!  


 We like to see children every 6 months, just as we do adults, to clean and check all the teeth and catch anything as early as possible before it becomes a problem.  Between the ages of 5 and 6 we will take a few digital films of the child’s teeth to detect any decay that may be starting between the teeth.  We can’t see these areas by visually looking in their mouth, so films help to catch decay early.  In between cleanings, we recommend you help your children at home with their brushing and flossing.  Try to encourage 2 minutes of brushing at least once in the morning and once at night, followed by flossing at night to remove debris from between the teeth.  We also recommend a Act Mouthrinsedaily fluoride mouth rinse if your child is able to swish and spit it out.  A good brand for kids is ACT Anticavity for Kids. For more information on the ACT mouth rinse, click on the image of the bottle to go to their website. 


  Some children may be a little apprehensive at first when coming to the Dentist because it’s new and unfamiliar.  Try practicing with your children at home before their appointment.  Have them practice opening and closing their mouth and count their teeth informing them that when the Dentist looks he will count their teeth too.  Talk to your children about your visits to the Dentist and how you get your teeth cleaned too so they know it’s easy.  Most Idaho Falls Dentistimportantly, be positive when talking with them and try not to use any scary words such as drill, needles, or shots.  We always avoid those words and usually come up with some silly names for the instruments we use so things don’t seem so scary.  Remember, good oral health care habits start at home so help your children to understand the importance of oral health and having their teeth checked by the Dentist regularly.  If you ever have any questions, call us at (208) ­524-1700 and we will be happy to help!
Dental Graph

Tired of Being Numb After a Dental Appointment?

 Idaho Falls Dentist

Can Numbness be Reversed?

Ask us.

By now, numbness is something most of us are used to at the dentist after an injection of local anesthetic. Dr. Heninger and Dr. Frandsen now have a proven way that may speed up the return of sensation in the soft tissues of the mouth after routine care.

The problem…

Numbness can be limiting, affecting your speech, your smile, and your ability to drink. You may even catch yourself drooling.

The solution…

OraVerse® is a breakthrough that reverses unwanted lingering numbness after routine dental procedures where local anesthetic containing a vasoconstrictor was used. In clinical trials, the patients were able to regain normal sensation twice as fast vs. the control group.

Median Time to Normal Lip Sensation

These studies showed that on average people who are given OraVerse not only return to normal sensation twice as fast, but they can smile, speak, and drink normally sooner, and drooling is minimized.

Median Time to Recovery of Normal Function

Idaho falls Dentist

OraVerse is indicated for the reversal of soft-tissue anesthesia, i.e., anesthesia of the lip and tongue, and the associated functional deficits resulting from an intraoral submucosal injection of a local anesthetic containing a vasoconstrictor.

OraVerse is not recommended for use in children less than 6 years of age or weighing less than 33 lbs.

The most common adverse event with OraVerse greater than the control group was injection site pain (5% vs. 4%).

OraVerse is administered by either Dr. Frandsen or Dr. Heninger in the same way the local anesthetic was given so that you can return to normal sensation and function faster.

If you’d like to have OraVerse as part of your next visit, just ask our Idaho Falls dentist for more information.

Dental Icon

National Children’s Dental Health Month!

February is National Children’s Dental Health Month!  During February we want to raise awareness of oral health for children.  It’s important to start good dental hygiene habits at an early age.  This years slogan for the campaign set forth by the American Dental Association is “Get a Gold Medal Smile.”              

Just a few tips for ensuring good oral health of your child’s teeth include:                 

  • Regular dental checkups: cleanings, fluoride treatments, and regular digital films help to catch problems early.  Early detection is KEY!                                   
  • Awareness of Baby Bottle Tooth Decay
  • Dental Emergencies: The ADA has some helpful tips on how to handle different oral emergencies.

Idaho Falls DentistryGive Kids A Smile is a program that we love to participate in every February to help celebrate National Children’s Dental Health Month.  On February 1st we held Give Kids A Smile day in our office to help educate and provide dental health care to children from low-income uninsured families who may not receive it on a regular basis.  We hope that we can help raise awareness of  the importance of proper dental health care for children and for adults as we provide care for all of our existing and new patients!

Idaho Falls Dentistry
Laser Dental Care in Idaho Falls

Did you know our office has a dental laser?

Dental lasers are an exciting new technological advancement in dentistry. The laser can be used to perform certain surgical procedures with little to no pain at the time of the surgery and after. The laser can also be used to treat cold sores and canker sores effectively.  Some periodontal or gum treatments can also be accomplished easier and more effectively with the dental laser. For more information or to schedule an appointment, please call our office at (208) ­524-1700.

picasso lite laserLaser Dental Care in Idaho Falls