Category Archives: General

Preventative Dentistry

Preventative Dentistry & Oral Health Care 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 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 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.


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.

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 drank 44 gallons of soda in one year.  That’s a lot of soda. Despite its great taste, it is bad for your teeth.

What Makes Soda Bad?

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 that 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 Dentistry

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 to make an appointment so that we can keep you smiling.  

What You Need to Know About Dental Crowns

Dental Crowns 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 today for an appointment.