teeth whitening alpine

Million Dollar Smile

My experience with Zoom! Teeth Whitening

By Allyson, of Alpine, Utah

When you want the best smile in the state, you head to Dr Garon Larsen, DDS, or so I’d heard. I’d even seen some of Dr Larsen’s work and thought the resulting smiles were beautiful. I wanted to have one of them.

Years ago, I had done in-home whitening and remember how many compliments I received. I remember feeling so pretty with a bright, white smile, and found myself smiling more, to show it off. With bright, white teeth, I felt young, fresh, and “alive!” Over the years, my teeth began to lose that pretty sparkle. My face didn’t seem to light up anymore, with that “wow” factor…I began to feel my age. Call it vanity, call it desperation, but just after my 43rd birthday, I decided to fight it head on. I scheduled my appointment for Zoom!

The day finally arrived. I showed up early for my appointment, and was briefed by the hygienist. She said there may be some sensitivity, and that they wanted to be on top of that, so she gave me a few ibuprofen, and I hopped into the chair.

What seemed only a few minutes later, the teeth were prepped, the mouth was stretched open with a crazy-big retractor, and the cool light-blocking shades were on. We were off and running!

There were three 15-minute sessions with the blue light. It was so peaceful and relaxing, that I had to force myself to stay awake, so my mouth didn’t roll away from the light. I felt one slight “zinging” sensation toward the very end of the third session, but other than that, no pain.

Then for the big moment, the big reveal. When they handed me the mirror, I could not believe it. They told me my teeth had lightened 5 shades. It was pretty incredible. They were so white. Talk about a million dollar smile! I was overjoyed. I feel like it took 10+ years off.

Dr. Larsen recommended taking another 4 ibuprofen that evening, to stay on top of any sensitivity, and to avoid eating anything that would stain a white T-shirt. I followed his instructions, completely. I had only minor sensitivity to cold, with a couple more “zingers” throughout that night. Nothing the ibuprofen didn’t quell.

So, you ask, is it worth it?

Unequivocally, yes! I love it. I am so glad I did it. I just feel better. Once again, I find myself smiling more! Not sure what it is about a white smile, but it really does light up a room, and make you feel better. I feel 30 again. Depending where you are, for a few hundred dollars, and about an hour, you will feel like a new woman. And the cool thing, it lasts about a year. We as women need to stop, take some time for ourselves, and just feel pretty.” I highly encourage Zoom whitening.


What Should I Get Mom For Mother’s Day? How About a Confident Smile

How About a Confident Smile

Mother, wife, grandmother. Will we ever forget the smile of the special women in our lives? Probably not. It’s a big part of the love, admiration and sincere caring we feel from them.

Have you looked in the mirror lately and wondered if your teeth are the same shade as they used to be? Maybe they seem a little darker, maybe even with a touch of gray or yellow. This realization leads to self-consciousness, smile hiding and embarrassment. What a shame, especially for a mother, who’s smile means so much to so many.

Don’t worry! This happens to pretty much everyone with age. We use our teeth a lot, for eating, drinking and speaking, and over time, discoloration can occur. Teeth are very strong, but not invincible.

Aging results in bodily changes that can make us feel like we are falling apart. Joints hurt, we feel tired, and our teeth don’t have the same brightness they once did. Fortunately, there are some very reliable options for regaining some whiter color in the teeth.

Teeth Bleaching

Dental teeth whitening technology is excellent in 2016. We use a method that can change the shade of teeth on average of seven shades, with just one session in-office. It works with carefully controlled chemical processes and LED light.

Won’t my teeth hurt after bleaching?

Sometimes teeth are a little sensitive after a teeth whitening or teeth bleaching. Sensitivity toothpaste and chewing gum can help with this.

Mother’s Day Deal

Show your mom how much you love her this month! We are holding a ZOOM tooth whitening GIVEAWAY: 1 free in-office bleaching for a mother. Stop by our office to enter your mother’s name. Winner will be announced May 23rd.

Also, receive $25 off in-office bleaching for anyone who schedules bleaching in May! ZOOM bleaching is amazing! We are seeing an average of 7 shades whiter, in one in-office session of bleaching! You will love your new, whiter smile!

Get Thorough, Safe Whitening for Your Big Day

When you have a big event coming up, you want to make sure that you’ll look great for the camera! Chances are pretty good that you’ll end up in a photo album on social media or hanging on someone’s wall! If you aren’t perfectly happy with the color of your smile, now is the time to change that. With our in-office whitening availability, we can give your smile a dramatic makeover just in time for you to stand in front of that camera!

It’s tempting to run to the drugstore and grab some whitening in a box. It’s all the same, right? Actually, it’s not. Whitening packaged for a drugstore isn’t very strong, which means it will take quite a while to get results. When consumers get frustrated with the process and begin to whiten more often than they should, those consumers will experience negative consequences, like burning gums and very sensitive teeth.

The In-Office Teeth Whitening Experience

Rather than mess with whitening in a box, come into the office for a better teeth whitening experience! We use Opalescence Boost in our office because it actually works to make your tooth enamel stronger! You’ll see shades of difference after one appointment. We can also provide take-home custom trays when you need a quick boost of whitening. There’s no need for several appointments, bright lights, or any kind of magic whitening experience. We simply apply and remove!

Get ready to smile at your next big event with a brighter, whiter smile! You’ll feel much more confident, and it will be fun to surprise those that you haven’t seen in a while! Contact us today to set up your appointment, and let us know what big event you’re planning for! We can’t wait to help you have the smile of your dreams just in time!

Learn more about teeth whitening in Alpine UT.

dental implants lehi

What Is the Best Way To Replace Missing Teeth?

Dr. Larsen explains the value of dental implants

Have you heard about dental implants? They are great! They are an amazing dental procedure that replaces missing teeth, and they are an awesome option for a number of reasons. First, they help you eat and chew just like normal, because the way they are placed makes them very much like actual teeth. But even though they act like natural teeth, they are made of a strong, safe substance that does not decay, which is the second big benefit. Third, dental implants look natural like a normal tooth.

We feel great recommending dental implants to patients because they are strong, sturdy and dependable. The procedure is quick and relatively painless (less painful than a root canal). Implants are the standard of care for replacing a missing tooth.

As a general dentist, I love placing dental implants. It is the best way to replace a missing tooth. An implant and a crown cannot get decay around them. Because they do not decay, they usually last many years and potentially the rest of your life. Originally, dental implants were an expensive procedure performed mostly by oral surgeons. The dental implant procedure today is a routine procedure, and with a general dentist placing the implant it is more affordable.

dental implants lehi

Why Is It Important to Replace Missing Teeth?

When teeth are missing, the bone in that area dissolves. Usually this bone loss is irreversible. Implants keep the bone in that area from dissolving. The sooner an implant is placed the more the bone is preserved and the better the prognosis.

Sometimes when you replace a missing tooth, you are not able to eat the food you normally eat. With implants, you will be able to eat your favorite foods. If you are missing a tooth, come see me today to see if you are a candidate for a dental implant.

Dental Implant Special

For the Month of April, 2016:
Free implant consultation (including x-rays) and/or $200 off the dental implant, for no insurance and new patients only.

Making Dental Cleanings and Checkups Easier On Moms

Avoid the time commitment and stress that comes with dental visits for your kids, with Dr. Larsen’s Family Days.

Few things are as exhausting, draining and stressful as motherhood. It’s not only a ton of work that never ends, but at the same time your care about your children a lot and want to give them the best of everything, so you never give half an effort.

Healthy children is at the top of a mother’s concerns. As an experienced dental team in Utah, we know that no mother wants their child to suffer with toothaches, cavities, alignment issues, etc. But taking the right precautions for your children’s oral health can be very difficult. Sugar is so abundant in our country and in Utah, that child tooth decay is more common than it has ever been. Parents try to teach good brushing and flossing habits, but sometimes that isn’t enough.

Regular dental cleanings and checkups are very important for keeping your child healthy. But when a mother of multiple children thinks about trying to schedule multiple dental visits, shuttling kids from school to the dentist’s office and back, and all the other battles required to get children to not be angry about a trip the dentist’s, that mother might just put it off.

That’s why we at Dr. Larsen’s office decided to have regular Family Days, where we open up multiple chairs for cleanings. We can get a whole family of children in and out of the office faster than you ever thought possible, with cleaned teeth and a thorough exam.

We do this because we’re a part of our community, and we want to help out all the moms who are super busy and stressed out. We want to make sure your children’s oral health is good, but without sacrificing a ton of time, and your sanity.

Get all the kid’s teeth cleaned and checked, and still make it to soccer practice!

Note: We don’t do fillings or crowns on Family Days, just cleanings and checkups.

The Weird Things Causing Your Dental Problems

“Exercise is the single best thing you can do for your brain in terms of mood, memory, and learning,” according to Harvard psychiatrist John Ratey. What he is not saying, however, is that running and endurance sports can also wreak havoc on your teeth. Local dentists reveal that some surprising things, including running, may to be blame for your dental problems. What’s so bad about running, and what other weird things will result in cavities, tooth decay, and premature tooth loss?

Running Wrecks Your Teeth

“While training, triathletes and runners consume a lot of carbs — specifically sports drinks, bars, and gels — which can lower the mouth’s pH level and lead to tooth erosion and cavities. Also, they breathe heavily through their mouths during training, and that can dry out teeth-protecting saliva,” Glamour magazine writes. Being extra vigilant about brushing and flossing and chewing gum (to produce more saliva) can help runners and endurance sports athletes, if they catch the problem early on.

dental damageSweets Aren’t Necessarily The Worst Foods For Your Teeth

Are you setting yourself up for cosmetic dental procedures, such as cosmetic dental surgery? Before looking into cosmetic dental plans, make sure you are eating right and properly taking care of your teeth. Know that there are foods that may be even worse for you than sweets. Highly acidic and/or vinegary foods, like pickles, wear away tooth enamel, making cavities and tooth decay even more likely.

When Brushing Your Teeth Is A Problem

Dentists caution: you should brush your teeth 45 minutes to an hour after meals exactly. Why? Waiting will give acids time to neutralize and prevent enamel erosion when you brush your teeth. If you already have tooth decay or tooth loss, know a couple of things. One, you are not alone. In fact, 15 million Americans have bridges or crowns to replace missing teeth. Three million, on the other hand, have relatively new dental implants. If necessary, implants may be the best option — with a 98% success rate, according to researchers.

Don’t look into cosmetic dental plans if you don’t need to. Brushing at the right times, being aware of all effects of running, and knowing what foods to avoid can help you keep your teeth healthy.

cavity alpine ut

A Second Round of Cavity Risk

When we think of a cavity risk, our minds automatically shift to children eating candy and not brushing their teeth. We hit a stage of low risk as young adults and start to think that our teeth are invincible from decay. You might rest in that comfort for a while, but you will soon discover that you are far from safe from cavities. In fact, one of the most at-risk ages for cavities takes place much later in life: retirement age.

cavity alpine utOlder adults might be shocked to discover an influx in decay, but it is directly related to dry mouth symptoms. When your mouth doesn’t produce enough saliva, bacteria is not rinsed away and has more of an opportunity to cause decay. The dry mouth symptoms are usually connected to prescription medications, which older adults begin taking around retirement age.

Protecting Yourself from Decay

In order to protect yourself from this influx of decay, you need to do work to stop the dry mouth symptoms. You can talk with your doctor about switching your prescriptions and work to increase your body’s hydration level. Drinking primarily water throughout the day, sleeping with a humidifier, and chewing sugar-free gum are all ways to increase saliva production. You can also set up an appointment for an exam where we can check to make sure that there aren’t any underlying problems.

There is no magic age when cavities are no longer a problem, but there are definite ages where the risk is higher. Know your risk and do what you can to protect your smile from decay, no matter what your age. Contact us today to set up an appointment where we can discuss these things with you! We would love to see you soon.

How Do I Know If I’m Grinding My Teeth?

Bruxism Diagnosis and Treatment in Utah County

Most people don’t realize it, but grinding or clenching teeth is common. In fact, many people who clench or grind their teeth don’t even realize they do it.

Clenching: Holding the teeth together and tightening the jaw muscles.
Grinding (bruxism): Moving the jaw with the teeth held together.

Teeth Grinding. Photo courtesy of Shutterstock.

Grinding results in the visible wear and flattening of the teeth, which can become obvious to the patient and especially the dentist. Clenching results in less obvious flattening and wear, but soreness and pain can still result from the tightening of jaw muscles.
So even if you don’t remember clenching or grinding your teeth, check for wearing and flattening where the teeth come together. Furthermore, if you are experiencing jaw pain or stiffness and you aren’t sure of the source, come talk with Dr. Larsen, who can identify bruxism and prescribe treatment to help with your symptoms.

How Common is Bruxism?

Bruxism is most common in childhood, and prevalence decreases with age. Many people clench and grind their teeth, but most of the time it is not problematic. When pain and teeth damage arise, that is when a person needs assistance.
Many children and adults grind their teeth while sleeping, so it is not a conscious habit they can break. Others apply the strain on their teeth during times of concentration, anger, or stress. When the mind is occupied in this manner, during rush hour traffic in Utah County for example, it’s easy to not realize the wear you’re putting on your teeth.

Why Does It Hurt Us?

The human jaw is quite powerful. It is not uncommon for people to be able to bite with their molars in excess of 200 pounds of pressure, studies show. That is a lot of strain on the teeth, especially if the pressure is repeated over and over again.


At our office, which serves north Utah County, including Highland, we treat many cases of bruxism with a simple dental appliance that you wear in between your teeth. It’s very comfortable, easy to get used to, and much like wearing a retainer. Dr. Larsen will consult with you about how often and when it should be worn.
In some cases, medication may help to relax the muscles in the jaw. Certain relaxation techniques may also be recommended. Bruxism treatment with Dr. Larsen can be an important choice for getting rid of jaw pain, headaches and more.
Call for an appointment: (801) 756-4440

teeth whitening alpine utah

Options for Teeth Whitening

Teeth whitening has become such a common dental procedure that it’s really easy to go out there and choose one method that will suit your goal and budget. From simple whitening toothpastes to strips, gels, and custom trays, you can whiten your teeth at different shades and achieve that beautiful, bright glow you’ve always wanted.

If you’re considering teeth whitening, you can either choose a method you can do at home and at your own convenient time or go to your Alpine dentist for a professional, in-office whitening session. Both options can produce great results; it’s just that at-home choices often take longer than professional options when it comes to getting the whiter shade you want.

At-home Whitening

A great example of at-home whitening that you might be using already is whitening toothpastes. Whitening toothpastes contain a mix of mild abrasives, polishing ingredients, and chemical agents that remove stains on the surface of your teeth.

Another example is over-the-counter whitening gels and strips that contain a stronger whitening agent known as hydrogen peroxide. You can use the strips and gels on your own because they usually come with complete instructions on how to use the product and how frequently you should apply them on your teeth and for how long.

Whitening strips and gels usually call for about 2 weeks of straight usage in order for the person to see results. Of course the final results will still depend on how yellowish your teeth were when you began the treatment and if you were able to use the product as instructed.

teeth whitening alpine utahProfessional Whitening

If you can’t wait for several weeks or months to get the pearly whites you want, then you can go to your Alpine dentist and ask for a professional teeth whitening treatment. Your dentist may discuss two popular options: Zoom! Teeth Whitening and KöR Whitening.

Zoom! Teeth Whitening is a bleaching treatment using hydrogen peroxide. It usually just lasts about an hour and produces very good results. KöR Whitening is a deep bleaching approach that increases the teeth’s ability to absorb oxygen. The oxygen then breaks down and dissolves hard-to-remove stain molecules.

Garon Larsen D.M.D. Advance Dentistry and Personal Care offers professional, in-office teeth whitening for faster and better results. Please call their dental office at 801-756-4440 to set an appointment today.

dental sealant alpine utah

Protect Your Teeth with Dental Sealants

Who would have thought that munching and chewing can actually prevent tooth decay? That is, if you are munching and chewing on fruits and vegetables and not on high-sugar cookies and cakes. As it turns out, healthy food like carrots, apples, celery do not only keep unwanted pounds off, they also help clean away sticky food particles and plaque which can contribute to the formation of cavities. Munching and chewing also promotes the production of more saliva that aids in washing away the bacteria in the sticky food and plaque in your mouth.

Alpine and Highland UT dentist Dr. Garon Larsen provides dental sealant treatment for added protection against tooth decay. A dental sealant is a thin plastic coating applied on the chewing surface of the back teeth (molars and premolars) to act as a barrier against food particles and bacteria that can get into the deep pits and fissures.

dental sealant alpine utahBecause the back teeth’s narrow pits and fissures are hard to reach and clean, sealants serve as a lasting solution.

Putting the dental sealant on your teeth is quick and easy and takes only as little as 5 minutes per tooth. After thoroughly cleaning the tooth surface, a weak acid will be applied to roughen up the surface and make it ready for the dental sealant. After the surface has dried up, next to be applied is the liquid sealant, which easily bonds onto the tooth enamel. Depending on the type of sealant used, the coating can harden either with or without the use of a special light, turning the liquid sealant into a hard plastic varnish.

If you believe that an ounce of prevention is worth more than a pound of cure, then visit Alpine dentist Dr. Larsen to receive dental sealant protection for your back teeth. Call (801) 756-4440 today to schedule your quick appointment.