How To Care For Dentures

Dentures Idaho Falls, Machen Family Dentistry

In the last century, dental technologies have improved drastically, making dental care more readily available than ever before. Among these advances in the dental industry are dentures. It’s estimated 36 million Americans don’t have any teeth, while 120 million people in the U.S. are missing at least one tooth. Of these 156 million citizens who are missing a tooth or teeth, about 15 percent have dentures made each year.

As these dental technologies have progressed, more and more people are recognizing the benefits of dentures, both for cosmetic and practical health reasons. It is projected by the year 2020, approximately 37.9 million people will need dentures. With this tremendous growth in denture usage, it is important to educate oneself on the proper care of dentures. If you’re a member of the denture community, learn more about how to lengthen the lifespan of your dentures, by educating yourself on the proper care needed for your dentures.

1. Handle Dentures with Care   

Some dentures are more fragile than others, depending on the material they are made out of. For instance, porcelain dentures are more fragile than acrylic resin dentures, and should be handled with extra care. Porcelain dentures are easily breakable, especially if dropped on a hard surface, such as the counter or sink.

2. Clean Dentures After Each Meal

Although this tip is self explanatory, it’s always good to be reminded of the necessity to rinse your dentures after each meal. Simply remove the dentures, and rinse them under cold water to remove food debris. It is suggested to place a towel in the sink, or on the counter to avoid breakage if the dentures are accidentally dropped while rinsing them.

3. Brush Your Dentures Daily

Dentures should be soaked and brushed daily with a non-abrasive denture cleanser. This assists in removing food, plaque and other similar particles. Denture cleaner may be purchased at most convenience stores.

4. Clean Your Mouth Daily After Removing

By keeping your mouth clean on a regular basis, the lifespan of your dentures will be lengthened. Use a regular, soft-bristled toothbrush to clean your natural teeth, and a soft brush or gauze to clean the top of your mouth, cheeks and tongue.

5. Soak Dentures Overnight

Since moisture helps dentures to keep their shape, it’s important to soak them each night. Dentures may be soaked in water or a denture soaking solution overnight.

6. Rinse Before Putting Them in Your Mouth

This step is especially critical if dentures are soaked in a solution overnight. Many solutions contain chemicals that may be harmful if inhaled. Getting in the habit of rinsing your dentures every morning before putting them in will greatly benefit you in the long run.

7. See Your Idaho Falls Dentist Regularly

Scheduling regular appointments with your Idaho Falls dentist will ensure that everything is going well with your dentures. The dentist will ensure your mouth and dentures are being properly cared for, and will offer suggestions for improvement if needed. If any discomfort is experienced, see your dentist immediately.


Dentures can last anywhere between 5-10 years, so the better you care for them, the longer they will last! If you are thinking about getting dentures in the near future, Dr. Machen would love to sit down with you and talk about your options. She specializes in partial and full denture creation, and will be happy to address any of your denture questions or concerns. Give Machen Family Dentistry in Idaho Falls a call today at (208) 552-0775 for your first denture consultation!

Happy Visits

Idaho Falls pediatric Dentist


It is generally recommended that a child be seen by a dentist by the age of 1 or within 6 months after his or her first tooth comes in.

What Happens at the First Dental Visit?

The first dental visit is usually short and involves very little treatment. This visit gives your child an opportunity to meet the dentist in a non-threatening and friendly way. Dr. Machen may ask the parent to sit in the dental chair and hold their child during the exam.

During the exam, Dr. Machen will check all of your child’s existing teeth for decay, examine your child’s bite, and look for any potential problems with the gums, jaw, and oral tissues. If indicated, the hygienist will clean any teeth and assess the need for fluoride. She will also educate parents about oral health care basics for children and discuss dental developmental issues and answer any questions

Some children who may be at higher risk for dental problems (for example, those prone to baby bottle tooth decay or those with cleft lip/palate) should have X-rays taken earlier than others. Usually, most children will have had X-rays taken by the age of 5 or 6. As children begin to get their adult teeth around the age of 6, X-rays play an important role in helping Dr. Machen to see if all of the adult teeth are growing in the jaw, to look for bite problems, and to determine if teeth are clean and healthy.

If it’s time for your child’s first “Happy Visit,” give us a call at (208) 552-0775 to schedule an appointment today!

Nonsurgical Periodontal Therapy

Dental Care Idaho Falls, Machen Family Dentistry

Periodontal disease is treated in two ways: nonsurgical and surgical. Surgical procedures are necessary when the disease has further advanced to need a periodontal specialist skills. If a periodontist is needed, our Idaho Falls dentist can give you a referral. Below are common causes of periodontal disease, in addition to nonsurgical periodontal therapies available. If you would like more information on this topic, be sure to give our Idaho Falls dentistry a call today.

Recurring Periodontal Disease Causes:

  • Lack of Plaque Control
  • Diabetes
  • Smoking
  • Deep, Inaccessible Pockets
  • Overhangs
  • Poor Crown Margins
  • Plaque-rententive Calculus

Causative factors contributing to the recurrent disease include deep inaccessible pockets, overhangs, poor crown margins and plaque-retentive calculus. When disease does recur, despite frequent recall, it can usually be attributed to lack of sufficient supragingival and subgingival plaque control. Other risk factors may also influence host response, such as diabetes or smoking.

Nonsurgical Periodontal Therapy

Regular home care by the patient, in addition to professional removal of subgingival plaque, is generally very effective in controlling most inflammatory periodontal diseases. In most cases, simply performing a thorough periodontal debridement under local anesthesia will stop disease progression, and result in improvement in the clinical signs and symptoms of active disease. If however, clinical signs of disease activity persist following thorough mechanical therapy, such as increased pocket depths, loss of attachment and bleeding on probing, other pharmacotherapeutic therapies should be considered.

  • Regular Home Care
  • Periodontal Debridement
  • Mechanical Therapy
  • Pharmacotherapeutic Therapies
  • Augmenting Scaling & Root Planing
  • Maintenance Visits & Professional Plaque Removal
  • Antimicrobial Mouth Rinse & Specialized Tooth Pastes

Augmenting scaling, root planing, or maintenance visits with adjunctive chemotherapeutic agents for controlling plaque and gingivitis, could be as simple as placing the patient on an antimicrobial mouth rinse and/or toothpaste with agents such as fluorides, chlorhexidine or triclosan, to name a few. Since supragingival plaque reappears within hours or days after its removal, it is important that patients have access to effective alternative chemotherapeutic products that could help them achieve adequate supragingival plaque control. Daily home care and frequent recall are still paramount for long-term success.

Nonsurgical therapy remains the cornerstone of periodontal treatment. Attention to detail, patient compliance, and proper selection of adjunctive antimicrobial agents for sustained plaque control, are important elements in achieving successful long-term results. Frequent re-evaluation and careful monitoring allows the practitioner the opportunity to intervene early in the disease state, and to reverse or arrest the progression of periodontal disease with meticulous nonsurgical anti-infective therapy.

Periodontal diseases have a wide range of effects, and should be treated at its first signs. If you have had a periodontal disease in the past, or suspect you may currently have this condition, it is important for you to meet with your dentist to get the professional care you need. Schedule an appointment with our dentist in Idaho Falls today, or give us a call at (208) 552-0775 and we can answer any of your additional questions.

Common Needs For Veneers

Veneers Idaho Falls, Machen Family Dentistry

Thanks to modern technological advances, dentists and patients today have several choices when it comes to selecting materials to fill cavities. Among the choices for cavity filling materials are natural tooth-colored materials such as resin-based composite fillings, and more traditional dental fillings such as those made of metal amalgam. The advent of new materials for fillings has been beneficial, especially in terms of aesthetics, but does not eliminate the appropriateness of traditional dental materials that are stronger, more durable, and less expensive. These materials are best used in situations where restored teeth must withstand extreme forces that result from regular chewing, especially in the back of the mouth.

What Types of Problems Do Dental Veneers Fix?

Veneers are routinely used to fix:

  • Teeth that are discolored — either because of root canal treatment; stains from tetracycline or other drugs, excessive fluoride or other causes; or the presence of large resin fillings that have discolored the tooth
  • Teeth that are worn down
  • Teeth that are chipped or broken
  • Teeth that are misaligned, uneven, or irregularly shaped (for example, have craters or bulges in them)
  • Teeth with gaps between them (to close the space between these teeth)

For further questions about veneers and their uses, contact Machen Family Dentistry or call us at (208) 552-0775.

The Need For Dental Sealants

Dental Sealants Idaho Falls, Machen Family Dentistry

What are dental sealants?

Dental sealants are plastic coatings that are usually placed on the chewing (occlusal) surface of the permanent back teeth — the molars and premolars — to help protect them from decay.

Why are dental sealants placed on teeth?

The chewing surfaces of the molar and premolar teeth have grooves — “fissures” — that make them vulnerable to decay. These fissures can be deep, are difficult to clean, and can be narrower than even a single bristle of a toothbrush. Plaque accumulates in these areas, and the acid from bacteria in the plaque attacks the enamel and cavities can develop. Fluoride helps prevent decay and helps protect all the surfaces of the teeth, dental sealants provide extra protection for the grooved and pitted areas by providing a smooth surface covering over the fissured area.

When are dental sealants placed?

The first dental sealant to be placed is usually on the fissure of the first permanent molar tooth, once the chewing surface of the tooth has erupted completely beyond the gum. This tooth grows in behind the baby teeth. If the chewing (occlusal) surfaces of these teeth are sealed, the dental sealant will help protect the tooth. Except for the wisdom teeth, which come through much later, the molars and premolars continue to erupt until eleven-thirteen years of age and the chewing surfaces of these teeth can be sealed after they have erupted beyond the gum.

Space Maintainers For Children

Dentist Idaho Falls, Machen Family Dentistry

Children may need space maintainers if they lose a tooth early or have a baby (primary) tooth extracted due to dental decay. If either is the case, it is important to know the benefits of using a space maintainer and how it can help support your child’s dental health. A space maintainer is an appliance that is custom-made by Dr Machen in acrylic or metal material. It can be either removable or cemented in a child’s mouth. Its purpose is to keep the space open to allow the permanent tooth to erupt and come into place.

Baby teeth are important to the development of the teeth, jaw bones and muscles and help to guide permanent teeth into position when the baby teeth are lost. If a space is not maintained, then teeth can shift into the open space and orthodontic treatment may be required. Not every child who loses a baby tooth early or to dental decay requires a space maintainer; however, a professional consultation with your dentist or orthodontist should be conducted to determine if using a space maintainer is needed.

Types of Space Maintainers

There are two types of space maintainers for children, removable and fixed.
1. Removable – removable space maintainers are similar to orthodontic appliances and are usually made of acrylic. In some cases, an artificial tooth may be used to fill a space that must remain open for the unerupted tooth.
2. Fixed – there are four different kinds of fixed space maintainers: unilateral, crown and loop, distal shoe and lingual

Partial & Complete Dentures

Dentures Idaho Falls, Machen Family Dentistry

A denture is a removable replacement for missing teeth and surrounding tissues. Two types of dentures are available — complete and partial dentures. Complete dentures are used when all the teeth are missing, while partial dentures are used when some natural teeth remain. Complete dentures can be either “conventional” or “immediate.” A conventional denture, made after the teeth have been removed and the gum tissue has begun to heal,  is ready for placement in the mouth about eight to 12 weeks after the teeth have been removed.

How to Choose a Local Dentist

Idaho Falls Dentist, Machen Family Dentistry

By: Karli Willden

Local dentists are plentiful in nearly every city across the United States. With so many seemingly good options to choose from, it may be hard to come to a final decision as to which dentist might be best for you and your family. Having a good dentist can make all the difference in your overall experience. Below are a few good indications a local Idaho Falls dentistry is a good fit for you.

Consider Availability

Finding a dentist that can accommodate your busy schedule is a big thing. Families and parents may have work schedules or extracurricular activities, which may make it impossible to schedule an appointment. If you find a dentist willing to schedule an appointment at a time that works best for you, keep their name on the top of the list! Another thing to consider is some dentists may not even be accepting new patients. Give the local dentist you are considering a call, and check to make sure they are accepting new patients. Ask if the dentist would be available in emergency situations. A good dentist is an available dentist.

  • Is the dentist taking new patients?
  • Is the dentist office open during normal business hours?
  • Would the dentist be available if an emergency came up?


A lot of people spend a significant amount of time in a car on a day to day basis. When it comes to choosing a local dentist, consider a dental practice near you, so you can spend less time in the car and more time doing meaningful things. Check Google Places to determine how far a dentistry is from your location. Some dentists may be worth the drive for better care and a better experience. Dr. Machen provides services for patients in surrounding areas and patients have been reported saying, “It way worth the drive.”It is up to you to determine if a local dentist is worth the drive, or if you can find an equally good dentistry near you. Dr. Machen has patients in Idaho Falls, as well as patients in surrounding cities which make the drive for her!


Choose a local dentist with affordable dental care and where your insurance is accepted. Without dental insurance coverage, dental fees may be costly. Look for an office that offers cash discounts or no insurance specials. Prior to scheduling a dentist appointment, call and make sure your insurance is accepted at the dental practice. It will save you an unexpected dental bill in the mail. Machen Family Dentistry accepts most insurance companies, check out the list here.


Local reviews can be a great resource when it comes to deciding on a dentist. Reviews come from previous patients who want to share their honest experience at a dentistry. Look at the number of total reviews, and whether the majority of the reviews are positive. Use your best judgement to discern whether or not a dentist may be right for you. Reviews are a great way to determine the level of customer service, the atmosphere of the dental practice, the competency and friendliness of the staff, and the overall care received. Read reviews about Machen Family Dentistry here.  Also, consider talking to your close friends, family or neighbors on their recommendations as well.

Qualifications & Specializations

One of the most important things to look for in a dentist is his or her education, experience, certifications and specializations. Most dental websites will have a page specifically devoted for the dentist, so you can learn more about them. Check to see what makes them stand out from other dentists, and how they continue to make contributions to the field of dentistry. Some dental practices may have a specific emphasis on pediatric dentistry, sedation dentistry, general dentistry, cosmetic dentistry, or family dentistry. Find a dentist near you with the best qualifications and specializations for your unique needs. Machen Dentistry is a family dentistry serving the needs of all, but with special emphasis on pediatric care. Learn more about Dr. Machen here.

Female or Male Dentist

A simple preference may be to have either a female or male dentist. For most people, this may not be a major, deciding factor, but for others it might be important in terms of who they feel the most comfortable with. Also, small children may feel more comfortable with a female dentist rather than a male dentist. It just depends on the unique circumstance and background of each patient and what they prefer. Dr. Esther Machen is one of the few female dentists in the Idaho Falls area. For more information, please feel free to give our dental practice at call at (208) 552-0775.

Basic Facts About Radiographs (X-Rays)

Idaho Falls X-Rays, Machen Family Dentistry


  • Dental Radiographs are commonly called x-rays. Dr. Machen uses radiographs for many reasons: to find hidden dental structures, malignant or benign masses, bone loss, and cavities. Usually x-rays are taken every 6mo-1 year at the Dr’s discretion.
  • The dosage of X-ray radiation received by a dental patient is typically small (around 0.150 mSv for a full mouth series, according to the American Dental Association website).
  • Dr. Machen uses the most up-to-date digital x-rays, which replace the film with an electronic sensor. They require less radiation and are processed much more quickly than conventional radiographic films since they are instantly viewable on a computer.
  • This preoperative photo of a tooth (A), reveals no clinically apparent decay other than a small spot within the central fossa. In fact, decay could not be detected with an explorer. Radiographic evaluation, (B), however, revealed an extensive region of demineralization within the dentin (arrows) of the mesial half of the tooth. When a bur was used to remove the occlusal enamel overlying the decay, (C), a large hollow was found within the crown and it was discovered that a hole in the side of the tooth large enough to allow the tip of the explorer to pass was contiguous with this hollow. After all of the decay had been removed, (D), the pulp chamber had been exposed and most of the mesial half of the crown was either missing or poorly supported.
  • It is possible for both tooth decay and periodontal disease to be missed during a clinical exam, and radiographic evaluation of the dental and periodontal tissues is a critical segment of the comprehensive oral examination.

Relax With Sedation Dentistry

Sedation Dentistry Idaho Falls, Machen Family Dentistry

What is Sedation Dentistry?

Sedation dentistry uses medication to help patients relax during dental procedures. It’s sometimes referred to as “sleep dentistry,” although that’s not entirely accurate. Patients are usually awake with the exception of those who are under general anesthesia.

What are the Levels of Sedation Used?

  • Minimal sedation — you are awake but relaxed.
  • Moderate sedation (formerly called “conscious sedation”) — you may slur your words when speaking and not remember much of the procedure.
  • Deep sedation — you are on the edge of consciousness but can still be awakened.
  • General anesthesia — you are completely unconscious

What are the Types of Sedation Dentistry?

  • Inhaled minimal sedation. You breathe nitrous oxide — otherwise known as “laughing gas” — combined with oxygen through a mask that’s placed over your nose. The gas helps you relax. Your dentist can control the amount of sedation you receive, and the gas tends to wear off quickly. This is the only form of sedation where you may be able to drive yourself home after the procedure.
  • Oral sedation. Depending on the total dose given, oral sedation can range from minimal to moderate. For minimal sedation, you take a pill. Typically, the pill is Halcion, which is a member of the same drug family as Valium, and it’s usually taken about an hour before the procedure. The pill will make you drowsy, although you’ll still be awake. A larger dose may be given to produce moderate sedation. This is the type of anesthesia most commonly associated with sedation dentistry. Some people become groggy enough from moderate oral sedation to actually fall asleep during the procedure. They usually can, though, be awakened with a gentle shake.
  • Deep sedation and general anesthesia. You will get medications that will make you either almost unconscious or totally unconscious — deeply asleep — during the procedure. While you are under general anesthesia, you cannot easily be awakened until the effects of the anesthesia wear off or are reversed with medication. Dr Machen has taken the extra training, certifications to be able to have hospital privileges’ at Mt.View HospitalRegardless of which type of sedation you receive, you’ll also typically need a local anesthetic — numbing medication at the site where the dentist is working in the mouth — to relieve pain if the procedure causes any discomfort.