Boise Dentists Blog

At Summit Dental, we love sharing our everyday life. Sometimes we'll post about tips on brushing your teeth or about how much we love our new office. Check back often to see what the latest is at our Boise Dentist Office.

Boise Dentists Discuss: Response to Article on Bisphenol A and Dental Materials

There have been some questions lately directed towards Boise Dentists about the presence of Bisphenol A (BPA) in dental materials that we use for treatment. BPA has been a hot topic in the news over the recent past and is mostly in response to consumer goods such as plastic bottles or linings in cans that contain certain amounts of BPA. There was a recent article published by the American Dental Association in response to some concern over BPA in dental materials and this will be summarized as follows bellow.
Most FDA approved dental materials are made with bis-GMA a product that does not break down into BPA. Some dental sealants when placed are associated with low levels of BPA; this one-time exposure to BPA from sealants is about 200 times lower than the daily level EPA considers safe. Also, studies have shown that the benefits of dental sealants outweigh the potential risk of a brief BPA exposure. There are alternatives to sealants that may contain BPA such as glass ionomer materials. It is customary that after a sealant or composite filling is placed it is rinsed or wiped and this also reduces exposure. Overall, researchers have shown that sealants and composites should continue to be used due to their proven benefits, which outweigh the potential risks.
Source Cited: “News Coverage on Dental Materials and Bisphenol A”

Back to School is a good time for a Dental Check-Up: Advice from Boise Dentists

Getting the kids back to school can be a busy time of year, but it is also a good reminder to make an appointment for a dental cleaning and check-up exam. There can be many distractions for younger children when getting back into the routine of being in the classroom. It is important that their teeth and overall oral health is not another distraction taking away from their focus and fun while back in school.

Childhood caries (dental decay) is one of the most prevalent but also preventable diseases that children face. A simple trip to the dental office to examine the health of the teeth and gums, review proper oral-hygiene techniques and to discuss recommendations for ways to improve oral health can aid in preventing tooth problems. Proper fluoride intake and diet choices can be very important to developing children’s teeth.

So it is important not to let the bi-annual trip to the dental office go to the wayside during all of the hustle and bustle of school beginning, especially after a long summer break. If you suspect your child has a source of tooth pain or discomfort contact our Boise Dentists at Summit Dental Group for advice on the next step so the school year can be a fun and productive.

Boise Dentists Discuss: Generalized Sensitivity and Over Aggressive Brushing

Rarely is there a day that goes by that as Boise Dentists we do not see a patient with a case of tooth abrasion caused by over aggressive tooth brushing. This usually presents itself as a saucer shaped concavity near the gum line of the teeth. A lot of the time patients report some generalized sensitivity as well from this condition.
     The cause of the tooth abrasion is generally using too much pressure against the base of the tooth with a toothbrush. This along with a non soft-bristle toothbrush, or a more abrasive toothpaste are the major factors contributing to this condition.
     Recommendations to help prevent further abrasion of the teeth would be too lighten up on the pressure. All that is required to properly clean the teeth is the pressure you would generate from holding the toothbrush between your index finger and thumb. A soft bristle brush is always recommended as well. The ideal brush is an electric toothbrush that you simply place on all the surfaces of the teeth and it does all the work for you, no extra pressure required. Top brand name electric toothbrushes can be found in our Boise Dental office or at the supermarket for an affordable price. Some recommendations for tooth sensitivity would be trying an over-the-counter toothpaste for sensitivity, or prescription strength with higher concentration of fluoride and/or desensitizing agents. Hopefully this advice helps, and the number one thing to remember is lighten up…

Teeth whitening trays to help prevent tooth decay: Advice from Boise Dentists

Teeth whitening trays to help prevent tooth decay: Advice from Boise Dentists

There has been a recent article published by the Journal of the American Dental Association stating that there is some positive research to help support this theory. The study conducted involved a tooth-bleaching agent carbamide peroxide (CP) at a 10% concentration and its effects on plaque, gingival health and caries.
The patients involved in this particular study were special-care patients who would have somewhat compromised oral health. The tooth-bleaching agent was applied using custom fitted trays to deliver the gel. It appears that the elevated pH level created by the gels leads to an unfavorable environment for the decay process to occur.
Although there is further research that needs to take place this research article reviewed by Boise Dentists looks promising in improving oral health in patients with special care needs and a possible benefit/side-effect of at home teeth whitening gels.

Why Remove Your Wisdom Teeth: Advice from Boise Dentists

This question has been asked many times and the answer really depends on each individual. The article below is very concise and informative on why some wisdom teeth are recommended for removal or “extraction”. As a general rule it is better to have the wisdom teeth removed at a younger age, late teens or early twenties, so that healing will take place more rapidly.

Wisdom teeth are a valuable asset to the mouth when they are healthy and properly positioned. Often, however, problems develop that require their removal. When the jaw isn’t large enough to accommodate wisdom teeth, they can become impacted (unable to come in or misaligned). Wisdom teeth may grow sideways, emerge only part way from the gum or remain trapped beneath the gum and bone.

Extraction of wisdom teeth is generally recommended when:

  • Wisdom teeth only partially erupt. This leaves an opening for bacteria to enter around the tooth and cause an infection. Pain, swelling, jaw stiffness and general illness can result.
  • There is a chance that poorly aligned wisdom teeth will damage adjacent teeth.
  • A cyst (fluid-filled sac) forms, destroying surrounding structures such as bone or tooth roots.

If you have any questions regarding your wisdom teeth, don’t hesitate to ask one of your local Boise dentists at Summit Dental Boise.

Source Cited:


The Benefits of Chewing Gum: Advice from Boise Dentists

There are some added benefits to chewing sugarfree gum in addition to freshening your breath. An ingredient called xylitol is used by a lot of the mainstream sugarfree gum makers. Xylitol is a sugar-alcohol and has a different chemical make up than regular granulated sugar. The sugar-alcohol interferes with the bacteria in your mouth and their ability to metabolize and produce acid which contributes to the breakdown of tooth enamel. Therefore it can be a very beneficial ingredient.

Chewing sugarfree gum with xylitol stimulates the production of saliva and has been shown to help reduce tooth decay by up to 40%. When used as part of your oral care routine, chewing sugarfree gum can neutralize the plaque acid attacks which can cause tooth decay. Chewing sugarfree gum with xylitol such as Orbit or Trident with xylitol after meals and snacks is a convenient way of maintaining good oral care throughout the day, or when brushing your teeth is not possible. If you have any questions about oral care, don’t hesitate to ask your local Boise dentists at your next appointment with Summit Dental Boise.


Brushing vs. Flossing: Advice from Boise Dentists

I have often been asked which comes first, brushing or flossing. It turns out that the sequence is not what is important. Rather, it is the action of brushing and flossing that makes the difference. Here is an article from the ADA addressing the subject.

Should I Brush or Floss First?

The sequence makes no difference as long as you do a thorough job. Look for products that have the ADA’s Seal of Acceptance. Choose a toothbrush that feels comfortable in your hand and in your mouth, and use it twice a day. While tooth brushing removes plaque from tooth surfaces, it can’t do the entire job of removing plaque. Cleaning between the teeth daily with floss or other interdental cleaners removes debris from between the teeth, where your toothbrush cannot reach. An ADA-Accepted dental floss or interdental cleaner is recommended.

How do you know if you’re doing a thorough job? Your dentist may recommend using plaque disclosing tablets available over-the-counter at pharmacies and other stores that sell oral hygiene products. You take these tablets after you have brushed and flossed your teeth. Red dye will stain plaque that has not been removed showing you spots that need additional cleaning.

If you have any questions about proper oral care, don’t hesitate to ask your local Boise dentists at your next appointment with Summit Dental Boise.

Source sited:


Stressed Out? You May Be Taking it Out On Your Teeth

The technical term for teeth grinding is bruxism and it is common among many adults and teenagers. “Keep a stiff upper lip” or “get a grip!” That’s often the advice we get—and give—on how to cope with stress. If you take it too literally, the result could be grinding your teeth or clenching your jaws. It’s called bruxism, and often it happens as we sleep, caused not just by stress and anxiety but by sleep disorders, an abnormal bite or teeth that are missing or crooked. Symptoms include a dull headache or a sore jaw. You could have teeth that are painful or loose from severe grinding. This can lead to fractures in your teeth. Your dentist can fit you with a mouth guard to protect your teeth during sleep. If stress is the cause you need to find a way to relax! Physical therapy, muscle relaxants, counseling and even exercise may help reduce tension. Don’t make your teeth the brunt of your stress. If you think you might be grinding your teeth, don’t hesitate to inform your local Boise dentists at your next appointment with Summit Dental Boise.

Sources cited:


Replacing Old Fillings: Advice From Boise Dentists

I know there have been patients that when it is recommended a filling be replaced they ask themselves this question: If my tooth doesn’t hurt and my filling is still in place, why would the filling need to be replaced? There are many reasons a filling may need to be replaced and more times than not, the best time to treat the condition is before you notice symptoms. Constant pressure from chewing, grinding or clenching can cause dental fillings and restorations to wear away, chip or crack. Although you may not be able to tell that your filling is wearing down, your dentist can identify weaknesses in your restorations during a regular check-up. If the seal between the tooth enamel and the restoration breaks down, food particles and decay-causing bacteria can work their way under the restoration. You then run the risk of developing additional decay in that tooth. Decay that is left untreated can progress to infect the dental pulp and may cause an abscess. If the restoration is large or the recurrent decay is extensive, there may not be enough tooth structure remaining to support a replacement filling. In these cases, your dentist may need to replace the filling with a crown. If you have any questions regarding your fillings, or notice a persistent ache in one or more of your teeth, don’t hesitate to inform your local Boise dentists at your next meeting with Summit Dental Boise.

Source Cited: