Work on Your Smile

One of nature’s greatest assets is the smile. What are the known perks to smiling?

Smiling is more than just attractive. It has such a positive effect on those around you that it has been proven to increase your earning power by as much as 15 percent.

It’s a natural mood enhancer. When you smile, your mind registers the mouth movement as a happy mood indicator, and tends to follow suit. The body tells the mind what to believe sometimes. A smile signals that you’re in a good mood, and soon enough after smiling, you will be!

Finally, smiling is just plain healthy. Studies have found that it can lower blood pressure, boost the immune system, and fight pain and depression.

If you don’t smile as often as you should, don’t feel bad. You’re not alone. A recent survey by AAP reported that 80 percent of people are not happy with their smile. If the reason you don’t smile more is because you don’t like the less than stellar shape your teeth are in, there’s a way to improve your smile:

Dr. Allen and our team offer cosmetic dentistry, such as porcelain veneers and teeth whitening procedures, to enhance your smile. With a renewed confidence in your smile, you will experience all of the naturally occurring perks that come with frequent smiling.

An Invitation for Your Family

Dr. Jeffrey Allen provides comfortable dental care to patients of all ages. Call (641) 628-1121 today to schedule a checkup and cleaning, cosmetic consultation, or second-opinion visit. We are located on the west side of the historic town square in Pella. IA. Please see the map for directions.

Early Cavity Detection for Conservative Dental Fillings

Spectra Early Cavity Detection Tool

Tooth decay afflicts 99% of us. With this in mind, you might say that cavities are almost inevitable. Of course, brushing and flossing daily, drinking plenty of water, and limiting starches and sugars will help deter tooth decay. Attending regular six-month checkups will also help. And you should know, checkups have changed as technology has evolved. Dr. Jeffrey Allen now uses Spectra, a revolutionary laser caries detection system that detects tooth decay (dental caries) in the very earliest stage, called demineralization.

Before bacteria can invade a tooth and initiate decay, tooth enamel must be compromised. Human tooth enamel is the second hardest naturally occurring substance on the planet, next only to diamonds. However, when minerals are sapped from tooth enamel because of acids in the mouth, enamel softens and cavities (not yet decay) form. In these vulnerable areas, bacteria invade – Streptococcus mutans, to be precise – and the bacteria cause tooth decay. (more…)

Tobacco Can Help You

If you’re interested in any or all of the following oral health concerns, then tobacco use might be for you:

  • Loss of taste
  • Loss of smell
  • Bad breath
  • Facial wrinkling
  • Stained teeth
  • Less successful periodontal treatment
  • Less successful dental implants
  • Mouth sores
  • Gum recession
  • Tooth loss
  • Bone loss
  • Oral cancer

Of course, there are no guarantees, mind you, but these have all been proven to increase among tobacco users versus nonusers.

The American Academy of Periodontology as well as the American Dental Association advises against it, but tobacco use can help you harm your oral health.

Why would you want to damage your oral health? You would not. If you’re aware of all the oral health risks involved, your decision to use tobacco might now seem crazy, but at least not uneducated.

Whether or not you use tobacco, a dental checkup is wise. There’s a lot dentistry can help you with either way; but by “help” in this case, we mean help you with your health. For a full preventive dentistry treatment, come in for your next dental checkup.

 An Invitation for Your Family

Dr. Jeffrey Allen provides comfortable dental care to patients of all ages. Call (641) 628-1121 today to schedule a checkup and cleaning, cosmetic consultation, or second-opinion visit. We are located on the west side of the historic town square in Pella. IA. Please see the map for directions.

Chocolate Treatment

This may come as a shock, but chocolate is good for you. It has been linked to reducing the risk of heart disease, cardiovascular disease, and type two diabetes. Chocolate makes us healthy while it makes us happy. Give yourself a daily “chocolate treatment.”

Flavonoids in chocolate account for strong antioxidants. In fact, the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry in 2003 found that a cup of hot cocoa that’s made from pure cocoa powder has more than double the antioxidants of red wine, black tea, and green tea. What does this mean? It means that in conducted studies, a seven gram dark chocolate treatment each day has reduced C-reactive protein by 17 percent. Okay fine, but again, what does that mean? Due to reduction in C-reactive protein, cardiovascular disease was lowered by one third in women and one fourth in men.  

The addition of chocolate to your diet decreases your risk of developing cardiometobolic disorders, such as coronary disease, stroke, and type-two diabetes.

Milk chocolate isn’t as full of antioxidants, but at least the milk is good for your teeth. The calcium in milk is essential to bone health, but also, milk adjusts the pH levels in your mouth. Often, an acidic pH is caused by acidic drinks and the acid produced by bacteria feeding on starches and sugars left on your teeth. Milk neutralizes these acids, which protects your teeth!

“Chocolate treatment” can be self-administered at home, or anywhere in public.

For a full preventive dentistry treatment, come in for your next dental checkup.

An Invitation for Your Family

Dr. Jeffrey Allen provides comfortable dental care to patients of all ages. Call (641) 628-1121 today to schedule a checkup and cleaning, cosmetic consultation, or second-opinion visit. We are located on the west side of the historic town square in Pella. IA. Please see the map for directions.

Get Away with Murder by Drinking Water

If you want to kill somebody, this is the wrong article. We’re actually going to discuss the opposite: helping somebody live— healthier and better. That person is you! In the process, we’re going to show you a few things you can get away with while keeping good health

First of all, let’s just get the monetary factor out of the way. Water is cheaper than any other beverage. Enough said. You can get away with spending more money elsewhere if you become a water drinker. In fact, the next time you see somebody drinking water, go ahead and commend him on his prudence, then ask him about the fun things he can afford to buy as a water-man. 

Snack consumption outside of a regular meal continues to increase among Americans, accounting for more than 25 percent of calorie intake each day, according to research presented at the 2011 Institute of Food Technologists (IFT) Annual Meeting & Food Expo®. Don’t think this is all in food you eat. A major portion of the calories is just beverages. What this means is that you can get away with eating a lot more calories if you just switch your drink to water.

Many beverages are harmfully acidic to your mouth and teeth. Water fights acid erosion by balancing the pH of your mouth and rinsing away the acids. So, of course, if you switch to water, you will have less erosion, but in addition, you can get away with drinking your preferred acidic drinks if you’ll just rinse with water immediately afterwards. It’s an easy and powerful preventive measure against serious oral problems, including periodontal disease.

For all you caffeine junkies, you need to know, drinks with caffeine dehydrate you. The antithesis of dehydration is water. The H in H2O stands for hydrogen, from which the word “hydration” derived. The only thing more energizing than caffeine is staying hydrated, which is attained by drinking less caffeine and more water. Their coffees in hand, the guys at the office will be confused as they come your way with tired, dehydrated eyes watching you bouncing off the walls, fueled by cups of water.

Water is the best liquid for your oral health, and it lets you get away with, well, we’ll just say, more!

An Invitation for Your Family

Dr. Jeffrey Allen provides comfortable dental care to patients of all ages. Call (641) 628-1121 today to schedule a checkup and cleaning, cosmetic consultation, or second-opinion visit. We are located on the west side of the historic town square in Pella. IA. Please see the map for directions.

Century-old Dental Breakthrough: Floss

Commercial floss was first manufactured from silk in 1882, but what did we do before then? Chances are, lost more teeth.

 Today, we use a Gore-Tex material to floss our teeth. That is, when and if we in fact floss our teeth. The average amount of floss bought per person each year is 18 yards. Unfortunately, figuring one foot per day comes out to 122 yards per year. The math doesn’t even come close to adding up. People are simply not taking advantage of this vital element of preventive dental care that is today so readily available. Only an estimated 28 percent of people say they floss daily.

 If you aren’t flossing because you don’t understand its importance, hear this:

 Flossing reduces the harmful bacteria in your mouth that feeds on food particles and other bacteria to create plaque at your gum line. The acid produced by the bacteria deteriorates tooth enamel and causes cavities. Additionally, volatile sulfur compounds made from the bacteria cause bad breath. Eventually if left un-flossed and hidden between your teeth, bacteria builds up tarter, which can only be removed by your dentist. At this point, you’re looking at gingivitis leading to periodontal disease. Incurable and detrimental to bone structure, this disease leads to more problems, time-consuming procedures, and spending.

 If you are guilty of not flossing correctly, enough, or even at all, weigh the risks you’re exposing yourself to.  Is  the risk of periodontal disease, tooth decay, and tooth loss a fair trade for not flossing? Dr. Jeffrey Allen and our team will examine your mouth at your next checkup to assess your flossing situation. We will address any developing problems we find, and discuss proper flossing techniques with you. As far as oral health priorities, flossing ranks equal to brushing.

 An Invitation for Your Family

Dr. Jeffrey Allen provides comfortable dental care to patients of all ages. Call (641) 628-1121 today to schedule a checkup and cleaning, cosmetic consultation, or second-opinion visit. We are located on the west side of the historic town square in Pella. IA. Please see the map for directions.

Mall Kiosks to Whiten Teeth: Do They Work?

Between the clothing and shoe stores at the mall, the center walkway features stand alone, booth-like shops, typically attended  by aggressive salesmen. These little shops without walls are called kiosks. Sometimes they sell sunglasses, jewelry, or ten-minute massages in funny little chairs. You might have noticed a kiosk with dental chairs. People sit in the chairs while a device lights up their mouths in a sort of radioactive-looking bluish glow. There might be a screen nearby advertising an instant teeth whitening product and featuring a beautiful model with a heavenly smile.

This kiosk represents a new wave of whitening methods hitting the market, with a claim of high effectiveness for reasonable prices. Are these claims legitimate? Does it work? More importantly, are mall kiosk an alternative to doctor prescribed teeth whitening products? (more…)