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Oral Care Issues for Seniors


Oral health is an important and often overlooked component of an older person’s general health and well-being. Omni Dental knows that for many of our older patients, oral health can become an issue when the conditions of aging make it difficult to brush or floss their teeth as effectively as they once did.

Below are 4 common oral health challenges that our older patients encounter:

Dental Caries

It’s not just children who get tooth decay—oral decay is a common disease in people 65 and older.  Research from the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research shows that 92% of seniors 65 and older have had cavities in their permanent teeth. The risk for tooth decay increases because many older adults don’t go to the dentist as often as they used to.  As a result, cavities go undetected and untreated for longer than they should.

Difficulty Eating

Gum disease, missing teeth, infection, cavities, or poorly fitting dentures – all can cause difficulty eating and can force seniors to adjust the quality, consistency, and balance of their diet.


The Oral Cancer Foundation estimate that 20% of elderly people suffer from xerostomia (dry mouth), which means the reduced flow of saliva (saliva plays a crucial role in preventing tooth decay). Common medications that may cause dry mouth are blood pressure medications, decongestants, antihistamines, muscle relaxants, pain pills,  incontinence medications, and antidepressants.

Periodontal Disease

Periodontitis (gum disease) is an infection of the gums and surrounding tissues that hold teeth in place. While gum disease affects people of all ages, it typically becomes worse as people age. In its early stages, gum disease is painless, and most people have no idea that they have it. In more advanced cases, however, gum disease can cause sore gums and pain when chewing.
Scheduling regular appointments at Omni Dental is the key to addressing the above issues – our dental care professionals can provide a combination of education, proactive care, and management to help reduce or eliminate these conditions.

Contact us today and book your appointment!

Celebrate Earth Day on April 22, 2016


The first Earth Day celebration took place on April 22, 1970.  20 million US citizens participated in a celebration of the planet’s environment on that day!

Earth Day has since turned into an international celebration.  Today, Earth Day is celebrated in 175 countries where over 500 million people participate in celebrations.

The Earth Day movement spawned the idea that people should “think green” and encourage legislators to enact laws to protect the planet.  Significant changes have resulted, including the passage of the Endangered Species Act and creation of the Environmental Protection Agency. 


Protect the Planet by Thinking about These R’s:

Refuse – Refuse is to say no to things people offer you that you don’t need, that you never even asked for.   Refuse to buy products that can harm you, your family and the environment.  Say no to plastic grocery bags.  Refuse to buy harmful products, like cleaners.  Buy more eco-friendly options or make your own. Say no to single use plastic.

Reduce – Think about what you use and buy.  Could you use less?  Reduce your junk mail. Reduce your use of disposable bags, plates, cups, eating utensils, and batteries. Reduce the amount of energy you use to heat your home by getting an energy audit.

Reuse  Instead of using plastic bags for your groceries or purchases, bring your own reusable bags. When you go to buy coffee at Starbucks, take a travel mug so you don’t have to get your coffee in a disposable paper cup. Instead of storing food in disposable refrigerator containers, buy containers that can be washed and reused. Don’t use regular batteries. Whenever possible, opt for rechargeable batteries that you can reuse.

Repurpose – Take something and use it for something else.  This requires a bit of thinking and crafty-ness, but doesn’t have to be gorgeous.  Pretty up a regular old cardboard box to use as storage.  Save rubber bands, veggie scraps and more to use in interesting ways.  Reuse an old yoga mat as foot pads for furniture, a tent “door mat” and more.

Recycle – Most cities offer a recycling program to collect used bottles, cans, and newspapers. Recycling includes collecting recyclable materials that would otherwise be considered waste, sorting and processing recyclables into raw materials such as fibers and manufacturing raw materials into new products.

Rethink – Rethink the way you do things so that you do them in an eco-conscious way at all times. Instead of driving to work alone, consider taking the bus or going in a carpool. Walk or ride your bike when you’re only going a short distance. Plan your shopping trips and errand runs so that you can do everything on one day, and do it in a way where you can save time and gas.

Earth Day teaches people that the planet belongs to everyone, so everyone is equally responsible for protecting it. 

Happy Earth Day from everyone on our dental care team – let’s all lead a greener life!

We’re Doing the Bubble Challenge for Oral Cancer Awareness Month!



Did you know that oral cancer kills roughly one person every hour in America? Oral cancer is one of the deadliest cancers in the United States. Approximately 60,000 Americans will be diagnosed with oral cancer this year.

Many patients battle oral cancer by receiving some sort of surgery. Some patients need to have their mouths reconstructed. In some cases, recovery requires the removal of the palates, teeth, or pieces of the tongue. For these people, chewing gum or blowing a bubble is no longer an option.

To show our support and spread awareness of oral cancer, we are doing the Bubble Challenge and blowing bubbles for those who can’t!


Here’s how you can participate:

Step 1: Post a video or photo to social media of you blowing a bubble for those who can’t. Invite your friends and family to join you!

Step 2: Share your post with us by tagging Omni Dental in your photo or video. Let us know if you are blowing your bubble for a friend or loved one.

Step 3: Challenge at least 3 of your friends and family members to join in on the challenge and blow a bubble for a cause!

Step 4: Schedule an appointment for an oral cancer screening with Omni Dental. Your dental professionals are able to detect early signs of oral cancer and provide you with knowledge about what increases risk of oral cancer.

Step 5: Donate to The Oral Cancer Cause Inc. This organization’s purpose is to improve the quality of life for oral cancer patients through financial support. Visit their website to make a donation.


See your Omni Dental team do the Bubble Challenge on our Facebook page! We are showing are support and we’re looking forward to seeing you do the same. Call us today at 888-860-4886 to schedule your oral cancer screening appointment with your local Carter Lake and Council Bluffs dental practice.

Stopping Oral Cancer Before it Starts


Oral Cancer is the 6th most commonly diagnosed form of cancer and is one of the few cancers whose survival rate has not improved.

Every hour of every day, someone in North America dies of this awful disease.

Anyone can develop oral cancer, but some people are at a higher risk. These high-risk groups include those over the age of 50 and men, who are twice as likely as women to develop the disease. Smoking or chewing smokeless tobacco products, consuming alcohol excessively, and constant exposure to the sun at a young age are also risk factors.

The high death rate associated with oral cancer is directly related to how late in its development oral cancer is detected. Regular screening for oral cancer is the key to early detection and survival.  

During your oral care visit at Omni Dental, our dental professionals inspect your oral tissues for sores, unusual red or white patches, lumps, or thickenings anywhere inside the mouth, on the lips, or in the throat and neck area. If Omni Dental discovers abnormal tissues during your visit, a biopsy will be sent to a laboratory to determine if the cells are cancerous or precancerous.

Through a routine visual screening, we can often detect premalignant abnormalities and cancer at an early stage – when treatment is not only less expensive and more successful but can potentially save your life.

Feel free to contact our dental professionals at Omni Dental for more information about our commitment to oral health and prevention of oral cancer at your next scheduled visit!

Bad Breath? Try a Tongue Scraper

Bad breath can have a devastating impact on a person’s personal, social and professional life.

In North America alone, consumers spend 2-3 billion dollars each year on mints, gums, and mouth rinses to try to make their breath “minty fresh.”

Bad breath (officially “halitosis”) can originate from a number of causes, but oral bacteria are the most common source. About 600 types of bacteria grow in the average person’s mouth.  If bacteria act on materials that have been trapped in your mouth, many of them produce unpleasant odors.

Most often, bad breath starts on the back of the tongue, the largest place in the mouth for a build-up of bacteria. In this area, bacteria can flourish on dead skin cells, remnants of food, and post-nasal drip.  As these bacteria grow and multiply they produce volatile sulfur compounds. These chemicals smell a lot like of rotten eggs – definitely not the hallmark of “fresh breath”!

In addition to bacteria on the tongue, halitosis may come from gum disease, tooth decay, or other dental problems. If you have chronic bad breath, it is imperative to have an oral care assessment and to treat any such problems that are found. Treating bacteria on the tongue without treating underlying periodontal disease will only temporarily cure bad breath.

Take control of tongue bacteria by brushing or scraping your tongue, with the possible addition of antiseptic mouth rinses. People who have bad breath have more coating on their tongues than those who don’t, and regularly cleaning the surface of the tongue has been demonstrated to reduce bad breath.

Tongue Scrapers have been designed specifically for the purpose of scraping or brushing the surface of the tongue. Using a toothbrush is not as effective as a tongue scraper.  A toothbrush is designed to clean the hard tooth surface, rather than the spongy surface of the tongue. To keep your breath fresh, you must regularly remove the coating from your tongue. Pick yourself up a tongue scraper or brush and use it every day – it will help keep your breath fresh, and you’ll probably find it will improve your sense of taste.

To learn more about Tongue Scrapers or Halitosis just contact our dental professionals at your next visit to Omni Dental in Council Bluffs or Carter Lake. We’ll gladly help you to maximize your oral health and avoid the embarrassment of chronically bad breath.

5 Minutes to Healthier Gums

We know you live a busy lifestyle, and you tend to rush in the morning. When you brush your teeth and floss in the morning, it’s not uncommon to forget about taking proper care of your gums! When’s the last time you thought about improving the health of your gums? Gums are a vital aspect of a healthy smile.

Unhealthy gums can cause several dental conditions that affect the overall health, look, and feel of your entire mouth. Lucky for you, we’ve compiled a simple guide to healthier gums that will only take you 5 minutes each day.

Why are Healthy Gums Important?

Two words: gum disease! This annoying infection can affect your teeth and all the surrounding tissues in your mouth. Quite often adults will experience gum disease unknowingly, as it does not cause acute pain. However, untreated gum disease can lead to tooth loss in adults.

If you notice any of these symptoms:

– Bleeding gums

– Red or swollen gums

– Bad breath that won’t go away

– Loose teeth

– Receding gum line

Speak with the dental team at Omni Dental dentistry in Council Bluffs and Carter Laker right away!

How To Improve Gum Health in 5 minutes a Day

1. Brush and floss two times per day, the most important time to brush is right before you go to bed each night.

2. Make sure you hold your toothbrush at a 45-degree angle towards the gum line.

3. Move the brush back and forth in short, gentle strokes, brushing both the front and back of your teeth and gums.

4. Use the tip of the brush to get behind your front teeth.

5. Keep your mouth fresh and healthy by giving your tongue a few gentle brush strokes, brushing from the back of your tongue forward. Do not scrub. This helps remove bacteria and freshens your breath.

6. After brushing your teeth for two to three minutes, rinse your mouth with water.

7. Regular oral care consultations with your dentist!

The best way to prevent dental issues is by reserving regular oral care visits at Omni Dental. We look forward to seeing you!

5 Steps To A Straight Smile With Invisalign

If you have an underbite, overbite, crooked, or misaligned teeth, Omni Dental in Council Bluffs and Carter Lake can provide you with clear Invisalign braces to straighten out your smile. The Invisalign process consists of a series of custom-made aligners that are designed specially for you. You will put in a new set of aligners every two weeks, and watch as they magically straighten your teeth gently and gradually. It’s that easy!


Step 1. Schedule A Consultation With An Invisalign Provider

Choosing to use Invisalign clear aligners is an important medical decision. We invite you to schedule a consultation with your Omni Dental team to evaluate your smile and confirm whether or not Invisalign is the right option to straighten your smile. Invisalign can address many dental cases, from simple to complex cases.


Step 2. Collaborate On A Customized Treatment Plan

Since Invisalign clear aligners are custom made to fit your mouth, we need a detailed understanding of your teeth before designing a treatment plan. This step will include taking x-rays and impressions, and creating a 3D model image of your teeth. From this model, we will show you how your teeth will adjust and align over time, and how long you can expect the treatment to last.


Step 3. Wear Your Custom Invisalign Aligners

Based on the personalized treatment plan, our team will create a series of custom-made, clear aligners just for you. The aligners will fit comfortably in your mouth and won’t cause irritation to your cheeks, due to the smooth BPA-free plastic material. The treatment is simple: wear the aligners throughout the day, and take them off only when you are eating, brushing, and flossing your teeth. The aligners will gently and gradually shift your teeth into the desired place.


Step 4. Advance Your Aligners Every Two Weeks

It’s easy to progress through your treatment without frequent visits to our practice. Every two weeks, you will begin wearing a new set of aligners, which will gradually lead you to a straighter smile. Check in with your Omni Dental team in Council Bluffs or Carter Lake approximately every six weeks so that we can monitor your Invisalign treatment progress and make adjustments to your treatment plan accordingly.


Step 5. Reveal Your New Smile

Once you’ve completed your Invisalign treatment, you’ll see a brand new smile and a more confident you! Your Omni Dental team will be with you every step of the way, and can’t wait to celebrate your new smile!


Considering Invisalign as the invisible teeth straightening option for you? Learn More About: How It Works, Benefits, Before & After, FAQ, and your Invisalign doctors by visiting invisalign.omnidentalcentre.com. Dr. Jones and Dr. Nensel look forward to providing you with a detailed smile assessment and Invisalign consultation at one of our two convenient locations in Carter Lake and Council Bluffs.



Good News for Chocolate Lovers this Valentine’s Day!

We all know that eating candy doesn’t typically mix well with keeping teeth healthy – but did you know that dark chocolate may actually be good for your teeth?

When you eat dark chocolate you’re actually consuming a variety of natural phytochemicals with powerful cavity-fighting and health-promoting properties, including:


Polyphenols are a class of naturally occurring chemicals that can limit oral bacteria. They are also able to neutralize the microorganisms that cause bad breath and prevent bacteria from turning sugar and starches into acid. Polyphenols have great promise for their apparent anticancer and anti-inflammatory effects as well as their ability to reduce hypertension and stroke.


Antioxidants are a group of molecules that keep your body healthy on a cellular level and chocolate contains a lot of them. In fact, dark chocolate can contain up to four times the level found in green tea. High amounts of antioxidants in saliva have been shown to fight periodontal disease.


Flavonoids, a group of plant-based antioxidants, have been shown to slow tooth decay. Further, a recent study by researchers at the University of California showed that a particular falvonoid called epicatechin displays a remarkable ability to reduce cholesterol, blood clots and clogged arteries.


Tannins are plant compounds that are found in many of the foods we eat. They’re also what give dark chocolate its slightly bitter taste and dark color. Tannins have been shown to help stop bacteria from sticking to teeth because their molecules bind to bacteria before plaque has time to form.

Chocolate should be at least 70% cocoa for most of these potential benefits to your teeth and body, and should be eaten in moderation, regardless of its health promise.  And of course, we always recommend that you brush and floss after you enjoy any sweet obsession.

So for all of you that love chocolate – enjoy the fact that it’s not just delicious – it may well be good for your oral health!

Periodontal Maintenance – When Regular Cleanings are Not Enough

So, you’ve gone for your regular check-up and found out that this time a regular cleaning is not enough. You need something called periodontal maintenance.

But there’s no need to worry. With the proper oral care plan, periodontal maintenance can be a walk in the park. In fact it is a service that the Omni Dental team have been providing to the Council Bluffs and Carter Lake communities for over 40 years!

Periodontal maintenance (sometimes known as deep cleaning) is a special procedure specially designed to care for patients who have gum disease. While a regular cleaning focuses on the surface of the teeth above the gum line, periodontal maintenance works to remove bacteria, tartar, and debris from underneath the gum line. It is important that this buildup is removed, as if left it will cause the loss of gum and bone matter, causing your teeth to shift, loosen, or even completely fall out.

If you find out you need to undergo periodontal maintenance you can make an appointment with either of our Council Bluffs or Carter Lake teams. If needed, you can be given a local anesthetic to ensure that you won’t feel any discomfort during the procedure. Your hygienist will clean both above and below the gum line as well as perform a procedure known as root planing, where they smooth out the root of your teeth to remove any remaining bacteria. You may also be prescribed an antibiotic to take after the procedure to help any infections clear.

For best results it is recommended that you undergo routine periodontal maintenance every 3 – 4 months to protect against the further erosion of your gums and jaw bone. While gum disease cannot be completely reversed, the right care plan can stop further gum damage in its tracks!

Omni Dental have been caring for the smiles of the Council Bluffs and Carter Lake communities for over 40 years! Contact the Omni team now on (712) 328-8573 to set up your specialist consultation.