Category Archives: General

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

Idaho Falls Dental Staff

Welcome Yajaira, our new Dental Assistant!

Idaho Falls Dental Staff

Join us in welcoming our newest team member Yajaira!  Yajaira moved from Sacramento, California with her husband and five year old daughter, Leilani, to Idaho Falls to be closer to family. She loves spending time with her family and getting together with friends.  Yajaira has four years of dental assisting experience and speaks fluent Spanish. She is excited to work with our staff and meet all of our amazing patients.  We are excited to have her as part of our staff!  Please join us in giving her a warm welcome!

Idaho Falls Dental office

Thank you Sheri!

sheriOffice Manager Retires After Many Years of Excellent Service at Idaho Falls Smiles

Please join us in thanking Sheri Hansen for her years of hard work as the office manager in our dental office.  Sheri has chosen to retire effective August 1, 2015.  Sheri has been working in dentistry for the last 40 years, the last 17 with Dr. Heninger and the last 6 with Dr. Frandsen.  We know she has played an integral role in helping many of our patients to achieve a high level of oral health.  We wish her the best for her future, she will be missed!

Idaho Falls Dentist - Dr. Frandsen

Congratulations Dr. Frandsen!

Idaho Falls Dentist - Dr. FrandsenWe want to extend a congratulations to Dr. Frandsen on receiving several awards recently for his professionalism and contributions to the dental profession! Dr. Frandsen was Nationally ranked Top 10 by the National Academy for Dental Professionals!  He also received several other awards from the American Academy of Dental Sciences including Laureate to the American Academy of Dental Sciences and Consultant in Dental Sciences to the National Academy of Medicine.  Dr. Frandsen has contributed much to the practice and stays up to date on new techniques and technologies in his dental profession.  He always focuses on providing high quality optimal care for our patients!

Idaho Falls dental staff - Kelauni

Meet Kelauni, Our New Dental Assistant

Idaho Falls dental staff - KelauniWe would like to introduce our newest team member, Kelauni Bradley.  Kelauni is from Eastern Idaho, and was formally trained to be a dental assistant here in Idaho Falls.  Kelauni has five years of dental assisting experience and is excited to get to know all of our patients and friends here at Dr. Heninger and Dr. Frandsen’s office.  Please join us in giving Kelauni a warm welcome to our office!

how to stop snoring, help from your dentist in idaho falls

Do you Snore?

how to stop snoring, help from your dentist in idaho falls


Do you wake yourself or your partner up in the middle of the night due to loud snoring?  Do you wake up with a regularly dry or sore throat?  Have you ever been startled awake by a gasping or choking sensation?  If so, you could suffer from a condition called sleep apnea.  There are 3 types of sleep apnea: Central (CSA), Obstructive (OSA), and mixed sleep apnea (a combination of central and obstructive).  In CSA, breathing is interrupted by a lack of effort.  In OSA, breathing is interrupted by a physical block or obstruction of the airway and snoring is very common.  Many people don’t realize they have sleep apnea especially if they aren’t awakened by snoring or a partner who recognizes an odd breathing pattern.

Sleep apnea can be a life-threatening condition due to the lack of oxygen to the body that can result from episodes.  In OSA, snoring often occurs due to the soft tissues of the mouth and throat relaxing when going to sleep causing the velocity of air to increase as you breathe.  Often an over-night sleep study is required to fully diagnose severe cases of sleep apnea.  However, there are some simple steps that can be taken right here at your dental office to help with sleep apnea and snoring problems.

Dentist in Idaho Falls ID

A simple device called the TAP 3 Elite (Thorton Adjustable Positioner) is a custom appliance used for the treatment of snoring and sleep apnea.  Designed to keep the airway open, this device allows air to pass through by holding the lower jaw in a forward position preventing the soft tissue of the throat from collapsing and obstructing the airway.  As a result, snoring is reduced and breathing is improved.  There are several other devices that work in a similar way to help open the airway and allow for better breathing.  You can consult with your Dentist about the best options for you depending on the severity of your sleep apnea.

snoring appliance to stop snoring, idaho falls dentistBe aware that OSA can be a severe medical problem if left untreated resulting in excessive daytime sleepiness, irregular heartbeat, high blood pressure, and occasionally heart attack or stroke.  These conditions can be life threatening, yet medical and dental treatments are available to help improve or even eliminate sleep apnea issues.  Contact our dental office at (208) ­524-1700 to set up a consult today if you are experiencing any sleep apnea related symptoms.

Dentist in Idaho Falls ID

dentist in idaho falls id

Cavities 101

What are Cavities and Tooth Decay?

Tooth decay is the most prevalent disease for children and adults in the United States, even though it is mostly preventable. Tooth decay occurs as bacteria attaches to the tooth via dental plaque or tartar and feeds off the sugars and fermentable carbohydrates consumed by their host.

Bacteria secrete acidic byproducts break down tooth structure and lower the pH in the mouth, which then activates more harmful bacteria, causing more acid secretion and subsequent breakdown of tooth structure. In response to frequent acid exposure, the outer surface of the tooth loses minerals. This process of losing minerals is tooth decay. If left unchecked, this process can advance to the inner surface of the tooth causing more damage and pain.

Factors of Tooth Decay

There are multiple factors that contribute to tooth decay:

  • Namely genetics (in the structure and formation of your tooth)
  • Types of bacteria that form the normal flora of your mouth
  • Diet – the frequency of exposures to sugars and fermentable carbohydrates (food source for the bacteria)
  • Frequency and quality of oral hygiene
  • Reintroduction and bioavailability of minerals to remineralize damaged tooth structure
  • Frequency and quality of professional dental services rendered or available.

How Decay is Found & Removed

Tooth decay can be found radiographically or clinically during a dental examination. Some decay is minimal and can be remineralized, reversing the harmful process. Other decay is advanced and needs to be surgically removed by the dentist. After decay is removed, the missing tooth structure is replaced with dental filling. Our office uses resin, tooth-colored fillings that are bonded securely in place. Our office only uses products that are rated the highest in safety and efficacy. A well-placed filling can feel, function, and look very nice.

Dentist in Idaho Falls ID

How to Prevent Tooth Decay

Tooth decay may be prevented by modifying diet, hygiene, and remineralization. Being careful with your diet can  limit tooth decay. Exposure to sugar and carbohydrates is the most common cause of tooth decay – the amount of the exposure, the nature of the substance, and its pH also factor in.

A Word on Your Diet

It isn’t bad to have a snack or a treat, but the amount of exposures should be limited. Here are a couple tips to help you have stronger, healthier teeth:

  • Eating a couple candies every twenty minutes throughout the afternoon can be a lot of exposure and keep your mouth acidic, allowing the bacteria to work constantly against you. It is the same with soda. Soda drinking should be limited, sipping on a soda or juice throughout the day keeps the mouth acidic and activates the bacteria.
  • Limit your sugar and carb intake, particularly between mealtimes.
  • Avoid snacks that are sugary, chewy, or dissolve slowly, as these are more retentive in your mouth causing problems for a longer amount of time. Examples are caramels, taffies, and suck-on candies.
  • Avoid foods and drinks that are acidic, particularly between mealtimes, such as some fruit juices, sodas, sports drinks, sour candies, and yogurts.

Important: Clean Your Teeth Regularly

Dentist in Idaho Falls IDThe amount of time and effort you spend cleaning your teeth can make a big difference in preventing tooth decay. Remove plaque buildup and bacteria by brushing at least twice, flossing at least once, and using a mouth rinse at least once a day. Some decay can also be remineralized by adding bioavailable minerals such as calcium or fluoride into your hygiene regimen. These minerals can be found in certain foods, toothpastes, and mouthwashes.

Regular dental checkups can help prevent decay, or detect decay at early easily treatable stages. If you’re due for a dental examination, or desire more information on preventing tooth decay, please give us a call at (208) ­524-1700.

dentist in idaho falls

New Year’s Resolutions: Have You Kept Yours?

The new year is here and we are quickly coming to the end of January. New Year’s resolutions have been made, but have you been able to keep yours? A majority of us probably have lost site of those resolutions and figure there is always next year right!? Well, it’s not too late to start again, and why not make a dental New Year’s resolution! Your overall dental health not  only affects your oral health, but can impact your general health as well.  Healthy resolutions will keep your oral health in check. Below are some suggestions for making your smile a little healthier this year.

  • Eat Fruits and Vegetables: Poor nutrition can affect your immune system, increasing the dentist in idaho fallschance of getting some oral diseases such as periodontal (gum) disease. Fruits and vegetables are full of antioxidants that help improve your body’s ability to fight disease. Many fruits and vegetables that are crisp such as apples or celery help to clean plaque off your teeth and freshen your breath.
  • Limit Alcohol Consumption: According to the Academy of General Dentistry, excessive smoking, poor eating habits, and excessive alcohol use increases the susceptibility of gum recession. This is otherwise known as periodontal pocketing. Not only can excessive alcohol consumption cause oral problems, but it can be damaging to your general health as well.
  • Quit Smoking or Using Tobacco Products: The use of tobacco can harm your mouth in several ways including tooth discoloration, cavities, gum recession, gum and throat disease, dentist idaho fallsand lung and oral cancer. Smokers are more likely to lose their teeth compared to non-smokers. Use of smokeless tobacco is just as harmful to your health. However, the risk of tooth loss decreases when you quit smoking or using smokeless tobacco.
  • Brush Twice a Day and Floss Daily: Brushing and flossing are equally important for your oral health. These habits help protect your teeth from tooth decay and gum disease. Gum disease is caused by the colorless sticky plaque made up of bacteria and builds up on your teeth everyday. Only flossing can remove the plaque that builds up between your teeth which is the area most decay starts. Using a daily mouth rinse that contains fluoride and chewing sugar free gum after a meal are also ways to keep the bacteria inside your mouth at bay. So remember, Brush, Floss, Rinse, Chew!
  • idaho falls dentist officeRoutine Dental Checkups: Seeing your dentist twice a year can help to catch problems early and prevent dental health problems before they cause discomfort or
    become a bigger issue that leads to expensive treatment. Regular visits allow your dentist to monitor your overall dental health and keep watch for areas of concern.

For the new year, resolve to treat your mouth the right way and improve your overall health as well. Your body and your mouth will be saying THANK YOU! Best of lucky from your Idaho Falls dentist!

how to keep your teeth clean on the go, tips from idaho falls dentist

Keeping Your Teeth Clean on the Go

School is back in session, vacations are over.  Between work, school, meetings, dance class, and football practice, you and your kids are constantly on the go.  When you arehow to keep your teeth clean on the go, tips from idaho falls dentist so busy, it can be hard to find time to do everything you should be doing to keep your oral health in check. Brushing your teeth throughout the day between every meal, snack, or drink is not very realistic for many of us.  You should be brushing your teeth at least twice a day, preferably after eating breakfast in the morning, and at night before going to bed when you are done snacking.  Remember to floss at least once a day as well to clean in between your teeth where your toothbrush can’t reach.  It is especially important to brush your teeth after having sticky, sugary foods such as caramels which tend to stick in the crevices of teeth.  The longer these foods sit on your teeth the greater the chance for bacteria to attach and produce cavities.  Keeping your teeth clean in between meals will make for happier dental visits!

Can’t Brush?  Here are some tips for getting a Cleaner Mouth in between Brushing

  • Drink water throughout the day to help cleanse your mouth and wash away plaque and bacteria.  You could even run to the bathroom for a quick rinse and swish with a small bottle of mouth wash that can easily be kept in a purse or at a desk.
  • Chew gum or suck on a mint, preferably sugar free.  These help encourage saliva production which helps neutralize acids in the mouth.  Gum containing Xylitol can help strengthen teeth as well.
  • Eat an apple!  The texture of the apple actually helps to clean your teeth as you eat it!
  • Floss your teeth!  Keep a pack of floss with you in a locker, purse, or at your desk and sneak off to the bathroom to floss your teeth after eating and remove food particles.

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!