What is Bruxism?

If you find yourself clenching or grinding your teeth at night or during the day, or if you wake up with a sore jaw, you may be experiencing Bruxism. This unfamiliar word simply means you are susceptible to involuntarily grinding your teeth, and it’s most common to occur at night. Machen Family Dentist has a simple solution for this bad habit. To stop this from occurring, Dr. Machen may recommend an appliance that can be worn during your sleep. Two different types of appliances she may recommend can both be worn with the same successful results – an NTI (Nociceptive Trigeminal Inhibition) or a Traditional Occlusal Guard.

Idaho Falls Dentistry

Traditional Occlusal Mouthguard

Idaho Falls Dentist

NTI (Nociceptive Trigeminal Inhibition)

What does Bruxism Do?

This involuntary grinding  causes a lot of damage to your teeth. You might not even noticed some of the damage that occurs. The following are common damages caused by Bruxism:

    • Cracked teeth
    • Grooved,  flattened, worn down teeth
    • Chipped enamel
    • Loose teeth
    • Headaches
    • Earaches
    • TMJ disorder

What if Bruxism is Left Untreated?

Because many people clench or grind their teeth without knowing, lots of damage can happen before Bruxism is detected.  If left untreated, you may experience jaw muscle and joint problems even a tooth loose. To make sure no damage is left unnoticed for long periods of time, Dr. Machen recommends a complete exam every six months.

If you have noticed any of the symptoms listed above or think you might be affected by Bruxism, contact Machen Family Dentistry as soon as possible to get prevent any further damage to your teeth.

Are you grinding your teeth? Teeth Worn Flat Due to Grinding - Machen Family Dentistry in Idaho Falls

Teeth Worn Due to Grinding

How to fix chipped teeth. Teeth Chipped Due to Grinding - Machen Family Dentistry in Idaho Falls

Teeth Chipped Due to Grinding

How to fix your teeth grinding. Teeth Worn Flat Due to Grinding - Machen Family Dentistry in Idaho Falls

Teeth Worn Flat Due to Grinding



What to Expect at Your Dental Cleaning

Idaho Falls Dental Cleaning, Machen Family Dentistry

Teeth Cleanings (Prophylaxis)

At Machen Family Dentistry we have two Registered Dental Hygienists who perform teeth cleanings for adult and children. Teeth cleanings are also referred to as a prophylaxis. Our hygienists are trained to evaluate bone levels and evaluate if there is any infection of the gums or bone supporting the teeth. After assessing the health of the gums, and diagnosing that the patient is healthy, the hygienist then proceeds to the prophylaxis.

Specific instruments are gently used to clean the hardened plaque build-up, also known as calculus, that is found on the teeth. One instrument, the cavitron is a tool that our hygienists often use to help efficiently and gently clean the teeth. It is an instrument that squirts water and vibrates to clean the calculus build-up off your teeth. During a pediatric prophylaxis for children, the cavitron is not used. Instead, a light hand instrument is used to help clean off any build-up that may be forming.

After cleaning off the teeth, our hygienists polish and floss the teeth to clean off any excess plaque, in order to leave the teeth feeling smooth and clean. For children cleanings, we use a fluoride varnish which is painted on all surfaces of the teeth. This varnish helps fight cavities and strengthens the enamel of the teeth. Our hygienists are very gentle in their instrumenting and take special care in the concerns of the patients, especially helping our pediatric patients feel comfortable and unafraid during their visit.

Pediatric Dentistry

Pediatric Dentistry Idaho Falls, Machen Family Dentist


Qualified Pediatric Dentist

At Machen Family Dentistry in Idaho Falls, ID we strive to make your child’s experience at the dentist positive, fun, friendly, and to let them know how special they are.  Dr. Machen was invited onto the Honors program in pediatric dentistry and completed advanced studies in pediatric dentistry.  She received the certificate of Merit from the American Academy of Pediatric dentistry and knows the importance of your child’s oral health care and making them feel comfortable coming to the dentist.

First Visit to the Dentist

Your child’s first visit is their “Fun Visit” this is when we take the opportunity to introduce the different instruments, such as “Mr. Thirsty” and to get them familiar with the operatory room.  This allows them to explore and learn about what Dr. Machen does during a visit.

Preventative Health Care

We focus on preventative oral health care for your child. Healthy baby teeth are fundamental to a child’s overall health and development.  Dr. Machen will counsel with the parents and advise them on how to assist their children to create healthy oral habits that will last them a life time.  We also teach your children how to care for their own teeth and the importance of oral hygiene.

Options Available for Specialized Needs

Cavities in Baby Teeth in Idaho Falls - Machen Family Dentistry

~ Nitrous (Helps child relax and feel comfy during a procedure)
~ Complete sedation at Mt. View Surgical Center in Idaho Falls, ID

Teeth Whitening Basics

Idaho Falls Teeth whitening, Machen Family Dentist

One of the first things you notice about people is their smile.  When you meet someone with a beautiful natural bright smile, it catches your attention.  Here at Machen Family Dentistry in Idaho Falls, ID we can help you achieve your best and brightest smile.  Whether you are self-conscious of your smile or just want to maintain your already white smile.  A professional whitening system is a great way to enhance your smile.

Tooth whitening with carbamide peroxide is a safe and effective way to brighten your smile.  Some of your concerns might be the sensitivity to the bleaching product to your teeth.  Dr. Machen recommends the Opalescence Whitening System which is has  a unique whitening formula creating less sensitivity.

During your visit at Machen Family Dentistry we will create your own custom made Bleaching trays that will fit all the contours of your teeth perfectly to give you the optimal results from your bleaching.  The process is quick and easy.  We will take impressions of your teeth using a dental impression material called alginate that is placed in a tray which is put in your mouth to create the exact impression of your teeth.  Then we will pour it into stone and fabricate your personal perfectly fitting bleaching tray which will minimize your exposure to the peroxide ingredients.

Dr. Machen is very experienced and knowledgeable in the field of tooth whitening.  In Missouri she led the legislation efforts to protect the public from unsafe teeth whitening procedures.  She did extensive research on the topic and the safety of peroxide solutions used for teeth whitening.  She presented this information at the Midwest Dental Conference in the spring of 2009 and she helped to write the bill that was eventually passed into law later that year.   She was recognized for her efforts by receiving a presidential citation from the president of the Missouri dental association.



~ Whiten teeth fast, safe, and easy

~ Custom fabricated bleaching trays made in our office

~ Highly viscous gel stays in trays and on teeth

~ 20% Water in formula minimizes teeth dehydration

~ Potassium nitrate for lower sensitivity

~ Carbamide peroxide formula

~ Recommended application 30-60 min, but can be worn overnight

Cavity Reduction Protocol

Idaho Falls Dentist, Machen Family Dentistry

Cavities are caused by three main things: bacteria, a susceptible tooth, and a sugar source. We are attempting to control those factors so that we significantly reduce the cavities in your mouth. You have been prescribed Chlorhexidine and Sodium Fluoride gel.

The Chlorhexidine rinse is used to kill bacteria in your mouth. The Chlorhexidine rinse is to be used once daily for 2 weeks initially and then one week out of every four weeks after that. This is done preferably in the mornings. Swish with ½ ounce of the Chlorhexidine for one minute. Spit out the excess but do not rinse. Do not eat or drink for 30 minutes after swishing.

The Sodium Fluoride gel is used to strengthen and harden the teeth so cavities are more difficult to form. Place half an inch of Fluoride gel on your toothbrush. The Sodium Fluoride gel should be brushed on the teeth for one minute once daily. Spit out the excess but do not rinse. This is done preferably before bedtime. Do not eat or drink for 30 minutes after using the product. Please note that the products must not be used at the same time. They need to be separated by at least an hour.

To reduce the sugar, simply watch the amount of sugar intake and limit it as much as possible. Remember that it takes 20 minutes for a liquid sugar to clear the teeth and it takes 40 minutes for a sticky sugar to clear your teeth. It is recommended to continue using the products until you have a dental check up with a low cavity rate. Please call our office with any questions 208-552-0775.

Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery: Postoperative Instructions

Idaho Falls Oral Surgery, Machen Family Dentistry

General Instructions:

For the first 24 hours following surgery you should be as inactive as possible.  Use this day to care for your mouth and follow these instructions carefully.

  1. Keep the gauze firmly in place for 1-2 hours.  Do not change the gauze unless it is dislodged.  Frequent changing will only increase the bleeding.
  2. Do not rinse the mouth or spit for 24 hours.  After the first day, gentle rinsing with warm salt water and careful tooth brushing is important.
  3. For the first 2 days, limit your diet to mild liquids and soft foods:
  • Avoid carbonated beverages and alcohol
  • Avoid straws
  • Avoid “hot” liquids
  • Proper nourishment is important for healing.  Do not miss any meals.  Drink plenty of fluids.
  1. Do not smoke for 48 hours.
  2. Take pain medication as prescribed.  Following instructions for all medication accurately.
  3. Apply ice to the surgical area (30 minutes per hour) for 24 hours.  Then apply warm moist packs to reduce swelling starting the third day.
  4. Return to the clinic as requested.  If you have complications, please call the clinic or the emergency number listed.


You May Experience:

  1. PAIN

In the events you have some pain and the medicine prescribed for you does not give you relief, please contact the Machen Family Dentistry or, after clinic hours, use the emergency number.


This may be from a number of causes but it is usually a natural reaction of the body to surgery on the oral cavity. If the swelling is extensive, accompanied by pain or continues to increase after the second day, please report to Machen Family Dentistry.


Cleanse your mouth with a gentle rinse of fresh water, then place folded gauze, over the area (do not use absorbent cotton).  Close your jaws tightly upon the gauze for at least 1-2 hours.  Do not become excited, but remain quiet with gauze in place. If the bleeding continues following removal of the gauze, please contact Machen Family Dentistry or, after office hours, call Dr. Machen on her cellular number 208-313-9908.  Often there is a slight ozzing of blood which when mixed with saliva may appear to be excessive bleeding.  Remain calm and treat as described in this paragraph.


This, like the swelling is a natural reaction of your body to surgery.  You can help overcome the stiffness by opening your mouth very wide several times a day and applying moist heat to your jaw muscles.


You may notice a persisting numb sensation following surgery of the oral cavity.  It is usually temporary in nature, and normal feeling will return; however, it is important that this numb feeling be reported to Dr. Machen.


Dry Socket Instructions:

Patients who follow their dentist’s “post-extraction” instructions will greatly reduce their chances of developing a dry socket.

In the event you do developed a dry socket, the dentist will placed a medicated dressing into the socket as treatment.

This dressing will help to ease and moderate the pain.