Dental Floss Preferences

During your trip to the store, you may have noticed the large variety of both toothpaste and dental floss. When choosing dental floss, which style to choose is simply a matter of preference.

A study conducted by periodontists at University of Buffalo found that nylon waxed dental floss and Teflon floss (wide, plytetrafluoroethylene floss) yield the same results on oral health: they both remove food particles and plaque.

However, of the 60 participants in the study, 75% preferred dental tape, which is thicker than thread floss, it will not fray or break, and slides smoothly between teeth. Usually, people with more room between their teeth like dental tape. (more…)

Teeth Loss and Dementia

Recently, researchers conducted a study that found elderly people who lose their teeth may have an increased risk of developing dementia. The study included more than 4,000 participants, ages 65 and older.

Participants in the study underwent a psychiatric assessment and dental examination. Those who had few or no natural teeth experienced some memory loss or had early-stage Alzheimer’s disease. Many of the patients stated that they rarely visited the dentist.

The best way to protect against developing long-term, serious oral health problems is to keep regular six-month dental checkups and cleanings.  You should maintain healthy hygiene habits at home, as well. The American Dental Association recommends brushing teeth twice daily, flossing once a day, and rinsing with water after meals. (more…)

Smile Make Over Quiz

Have you looked in the mirror and really studied your teeth? Have you decided that you need cosmetic work? I’m Dr. Jeffrey Allen, a Pella, IA, family dentist, and I would like to assist you in reaching your cosmetic goals. Prior to your consultation with me, I want you to identify what you like and dislike about your smile. The following quiz will guide you in determining what changes you would like to make and what results you seek.

1. What color best describes your teeth?

a. Bright white

b. Yellowish

c. Gray-blue

d. Brownish

2. Which term best describes the position of your front teeth?

a. Perfectly straight

b. Gapped

c. Crowded

d. Uneven

3. Which adjective describes the shape of your front teeth?

a. Nice and attractive

b. Pointy

c. Uneven

d. Rough-edged

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Caring For Your Dentures

You strive to keep your teeth healthy throughout life. However, sometimes dentures become necessary. In the same sense that you want to maintain your teeth for a lifetime, you should also maintain the longevity of your dentures.

Dentures, like your teeth, need proper care to ensure that they last. Caring for your dentures also protects oral health.  I’m Dr. Jeffrey Allen, a Pella, IA, family dentist, and I would like to give you some tips on caring for your dentures.

When you remove your dentures, you should do so over a folded towel or a sink full of water to avoid damaging them if you accidently drop them. (more…)

Advantages of Tooth-Colored Fillings

Whiter smiles are brighter smiles. Today most dentists offer tooth-colored composite resins as an alternative to dark amalgam to restore cavities. I’m Dr. Jeffrey Allen, a Pella cosmetic dentist, and I offer my patients tooth-colored fillings so they can retain a white, healthy, natural-looking smile.

A tooth-colored filling is a synthetic material that will not dehydrate or dissolve. These fillings are custom colored to match your tooth enamel, so when a filling is placed, it is practically undetectable. This is beneficial, particularly on front teeth that show when you smile.

While composite resin fillings are my primary choice, in some cases, an amalgam filling is the best material to use. At your visit, we can discuss which type of filling material would work best for your unique situation.

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The Need for Six-Month Dental Checkups & Cleanings

It is said that prevention is the best medicine.  I’m Dr. Jeffrey Allen, a Pella, IA dentist, and I believe this statement is 100 percent accurate. I highly recommend that all of my patients come in for a six-month checkup and cleaning.

During your checkup, I will inspect your mouth for potential or existing problems. Early detection is essential for conservative treatment.  I’ll check for gum disease, tooth decay, cavities, and will examine your bite (how upper and lower teeth fit together). Bite problems cause difficulties with the jaw joint, bruxism (grinding or clenching of your teeth), and abfrication (loss of tooth structure that forms notching near the gum line). (more…)

What is Periodontal Disease?

Periodontal disease, or gum disease, is a chronic infection of the gums and surrounding tissue.  It is caused by bacterial plaque that attaches to teeth and eats away at the gums. If plaque is not removed by proper brushing and flossing, it hardens into a hard substance called tartar. Bacteria in plaque tartar release toxins that irritate the gums and cause a breakdown of the fibers that hold the gums tightly to the teeth.

Periodontal pockets are created at the gum line, and bacteria breed rapidly in the warm, wet, dark environment. Overtime bacteria grow and form bigger and deeper pockets. Eventually, if left untreated, periodontal disease destroys the bone that holds the tooth in place, causing the tooth to loosen or fall out. (more…)