Woman holding a question mark next to a tooth symbolizing asking their dentist in Idaho Falls, Dr. Michael Elison a question.

Ask the Dentist

To receive answers to the most common questions, view the frequently asked questions below.

If you have further questions, please give our office a call, or email us and one of our staff or Dr. Elison will be happy to answer your questions.

Our email address is:  drmike@elisondentalcenter.com

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a dental sealant?

Dental sealants are simply a protective coating that is painted into the deep pits and fissures of the permanent teeth.

How often should I visit the dentist?

The American Dental Association recommends that you visit a dentist every 3-6 months for a cleaning and exam.

What do you look for in your dental check-ups?

A dental check up not only looks for cavities but also looks at the health of your bone and gums. We also check for any signs of cancer in the mouth.

What causes cavities?

Plaque, the sticky colorless film of bacteria and food debris that constantly forms on the teeth, uses sugar as a food source to produce acids that, if not removed on a daily basis, slowly eats away the protective enamel surface of the teeth, creating holes in the teeth. These holes are known as cavities.

What type of toothbrush and toothpaste should I be using?

A toothbrush with soft bristles is the best. Any toothpaste that is recommended by the ADA and has fluoride is best.

Do you offer nitrous oxide (laughing gas) to your patients?


What is gum disease?

Gum disease, or periodontal disease, is a chronic bacterial infection of the gums and bone surrounding the teeth, if left untreated, can lead to tooth loss.

What are the warning signs of gum disease?

There is usually not any discomfort with gum disease until it spreads to the point where the tooth is no longer savable. Some signs are red, swollen gums, tender bleeding gums while brushing or flossing, gums that pull away from the teeth, loose teeth, and persistent bad breath.

Are regular professional cleaning necessary?

Yes. Plaque and bacteria work their way between the teeth and gums, areas that tooth brushes and floss can not reach. Dental professionals have tools to reach these areas and remove bacteria before it destroys the gums and bone that hold your teeth in place. Neglecting professional care can lead to unnecessary tooth loss. A visit every 6 months for a cleaning is recommended.