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Its wedding season! Have you scheduled your annual dental exam?


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How often do you visit your Boise dentist?

Regular Boise dental exams are an important part of preventative health care. Dr. Robert Studebaker recommends that most children and adults should see their Boise dentist for a regular cleaning and check-up approximately every six months. During a dental exam your Boise dentist or hygienist will clean your teeth and identify any underlying oral health problems as well as evaluate your risk of developing tooth decay.

Why Boise teeth cleaning and exams are important

Regular Boise dental exams help to prevent future problems while protecting your overall oral & general health. It gives your Boise dentist the opportunity of detecting any problems before they become serious while providing you with tips on caring for your teeth in the long run.

During your Boise dental cleaning, plaque and tartar deposits that have built up on the teeth over time are removed. Because your mouth uses saliva to wash away bacteria, it also contains calcium and other substances that build deposits on the teeth. Over time these calcium deposits build up causing the right conditions for bad bacteria to thrive next to the gums. Cleaning polishes the surface of the tooth so that bacteria are then unable to stick to them, and you have a better opportunity of keeping your teeth clean at home with regular brushing, and flossing.

In honor of this summer wedding season among other special events, Summit Dental also offers custom bleach trays for optimal teeth whitening. Boise teeth whitening is the No. 1 requested cosmetic service today. With a Boise teeth cleaning, many external stains can be removed while promoting good oral health while a professional teeth whitening Boise treatment can help you look and feel your best at your next major event!

Bright, white teeth are a classic characteristic of a beautiful smile. Teeth darken over time because of genetics, food and drink (especially red wine, coffee, tea and mustard), tobacco use and other factors.

If the color of your teeth makes you feel self-conscious or reluctant to smile, we can help you. Everyone deserves a smile they can be proud to share, and a teeth whitening Boise treatment at our Treasure Valley office can help you achieve a smile you will love.

What to expect at your Boise teeth cleaning

During a dental exam, the dentist or hygienist will:

  • Evaluate your overall health and oral hygiene by discussing any problems you have or medications your taking.
  • Take dental X-rays
  • Evaluate your risk of tooth decay, root decay, and gum or bone disease.
  • Evaluate your need for tooth restoration or tooth replacement.
  • Check your bite and jaw for problems.
  • Remove any stains or deposits on your teeth.
  • Demonstrate proper cleaning techniques for your teeth or dentures.
  • Assess how much fluoride you’re getting.






Understanding Gum Disease


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What is Gum Disease? What causes it?

Gum disease is an infection of the gum tissues around your teeth. Often times gum disease is painless and can go undetected in those that rarely visit their Boise dentist for a Boise teeth cleaning. While everyone suffers from gum inflammation (gingivitis) at certain times in their life (caused by excess plaque forming on the teeth) it is important to note that not all inflammation develops into gum disease (periodontist).

It’s important to visit your Boise dentist for routine exams and cleanings as an excess in plaque build-up can lead to gingivitis. An early symptom of gingivitis is bleeding of the gums when brushing your teeth. If left untreated, gingivitis can lead to a more serious issue called periodontist (gum disease). Periodontist causes the inner layer of gum tissue and bone to pull away from the teeth and form pockets. These pockets then collect debris and can easily become infected.

Warning Signs & Symptoms

While many times gum disease can go undetected without any painful symptoms it’s important to prevent gingivitis or periodontal disease by practicing good oral habits and visiting your Boise dentist for a regular exam and Boise teeth cleaning. In some people gum disease often only affects certain teeth like molars. Often times the symptoms of periodontal disease are often subtle but there are still warning signs you should look out for:

  • Swollen, red, tender or bleeding gums
  • Gums that have pulled away from the teeth
  • Loose or separating teeth
  • Reoccurring bad breath or bad taste in the mouth
  • Changes in dental work or the way your teeth fit together

Risk Factors

  • Poor oral hygiene
  • Smoking or chewing tobacco
  • Genetics
  • Crooked teeth that are hard to keep clean
  • Hormones or pregnancy
  • Diabetes
  • Medications, including steroids, certain types of anti-epilepsy drugs, cancer therapy drugs, some calcium channel blockers and oral contraceptives


There are a variety of treatments for gum disease ranging from nonsurgical therapy to restoration surgery depending on the stage of the disease and your overall health.

Non-surgical Treatments for Gum Disease:

  • Professional Boise teeth cleaning
  • Scaling and root planningA deep-cleaning, nonsurgical procedure removing plaque and tartar from above and below the gum line.

Surgical Treatments for Gum Disease:

  • Flap surgery/pocket reduction surgery
  • Bone grafts
  • Soft tissue grafts
  • Guided tissue regeneration
  • Bone surgery

Prevention is the key. Prevent gum disease with regular Boise dental checkups and exams are very important. Treatment methods depend greatly on the type of disease and how far it has progressed. Practicing good dental health habits are essential at preventing periodontal disease. Brush your teeth at least twice a day, floss regularly, exercise, eat a balanced diet and schedule regular Boise dental visits for a lifetime of healthy smiles.





Bad Breath (Causes & Treatment)


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What is Bad Breath & What causes it?

Bad breath. Everyone gets it. It can spoil close moments or cause embarrassment in others. It can be the result of many different factors ranging from everyday foods we eat to poor dental habits among signs of more serious medical issues.

In most cases, bad breath is an unfortunate side-affect of foods being broken down in the mouth. Garlic or onions for example are main culprits when it comes to stinky breath. Brushing and flossing help but the odor from these types of foods tend to stick around until your body has successfully processed them.

Another cause of bad breath is from poor dental habits. Brushing and flossing teeth daily prevents food particles from remaining in your mouth which promotes bacterial growth between teeth, gums and on the tongue. Smoking or chewing tobacco products are also a cause for bad breath. Not only are these products unhealthy but they also happen to stain teeth, irritate gums, and reduce your ability to smell & taste your favorite foods.

What Health Problems Are Associated With Bad Breath?

In rare cases, bad breath can also be a warning sign of something much more serious. If you suffer from bad breath consult with your Boise dentist at your next Boise teeth cleaning to discuss treatment options. The first key to good oral health is the prevention of periodontal (gum) disease. Other causes of bad breath can include poorly fitted dental applications, yeast infections or dry mouth (xerostomia) among sinus, throat, or lung infections.

Tackling Bad Breath – Prevention & Treatment

While treatment of bad breath depends on the cause it’s a good idea to practice good oral health habits to ensure the overall health of your mouth. Below are some tips to help tackle your bad breath issues:

  • Brush and floss your teeth on a regular basis. Brushing your tongue or using a tongue cleaner also helps remove bacteria and buildup from eating and drinking.
  • See your Boise dentist regularly to ensure your Boise dental work is properly fitted and cleaned.
  • Don’t smoke or chew tobacco.
  • Drink plenty of water to help wash bacteria from your mouth among other health benefits.
  • Chew sugarless gum to stimulate the production of saliva to help wash away unwanted bacteria.
  • Keep in mind that while mouthwash may temporarily hide bad breath odors, it does not treat the underlying cause.
  • Natural remedies include chewing on mint or parsley.

In conclusion, if you’re concerned about what’s causing your bad breath, make an appointment to see your Boise dentist. Regular checkups allow your Boise dentist to detect any problems such as gum disease, dry mouth, or medical disorders.

Maintaining good oral hygiene, eliminating gum disease and scheduling a regular professional Boise teeth cleaning are essential to reducing bad breath issues. Don’t forget to brush at least twice a day and floss regularly!



A Flossing Guide to Better Health


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Why Flossing is so important

For your best smile restoration, brushing isn’t enough. Ask your Boise dentist at your next Boise teeth cleaning, and Dr. Robert Studebaker will tell you that while floss may seem like a simple piece of string, it is an important tool at preventing bacterial buildup that leads to problems like cavities, bad breath, and gum disease.

Flossing also removes food particles trapped between your teeth and gums that tooth brushes can’t reach while boosting your overall health by lowering the chances of developing gum disease which compromises your immune system leading to problems like heart disease and other major problems throughout the body.

While ideally you should be flossing after every meal, keep in mind that during the night, your salivary flow is very low which promotes bacterial growth while you sleep. Floss every morning and before bed each night to remove any food particles between your teeth from eating throughout the day.

What kind of floss should you use?

Just by going to the dental aisle of your local drugstore, you’ll see there are several varieties of floss to choose from. When it comes down to a specific brand keep in mind no floss is more effective than another when it comes to cleaning your teeth. It all comes down to what type of floss you prefer, and feel comfortable using when it comes to your daily regimen. No matter what type you choose, flossing helps to promote clean teeth and remove food particles and bacteria.

ADA Approved: Flossing Tips & Pointers

  • Start with about 18 inches of floss. Wrap most of it around the middle finger of one hand, the rest around the other middle finger.
  • Grasp the floss tightly between your thumbs and forefingers, and use a gentle shoeshine motion to guide it between teeth.
  • When the floss reaches the gum line, form a C shape to follow the contours of the tooth.
  • Hold the floss firmly against the tooth, and move the floss gently up and down.
  • Repeat with the other tooth, and then repeat the entire process with the rest of your teeth, “unspooling” fresh sections of floss as you go along.
  • Boise dental crowns & bridges & Boise tooth implants should brushed and flossed like any natural tooth.
  • Flossing before you brush is also a good idea. The fluoride from the toothpaste has a better chance of reaching between the teeth. Don’t skip flossing because you think your mouth is clean after simply brushing.
  • Last but not least, don’t forget to floss the backs of your last molars. Gum disease & decay often occur in the back teeth.


Post Care for your Best Smile Restoration

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Restoring a smile depends heavily on what you want or need. Do you have missing teeth? Decayed or chipped teeth? Do you simply want whiter teeth? All these factors play into what kind of procedures the Boise dentists at Summit Dental will use.

For the best smile restoration, our Boise dentists use a combination of veneers, crowns or implants to give you an award winning smile but ultimately it’s up to you to care for it. Listed below are some tips and guidelines for the procedure your Boise dentist might suggest.

Caring for your teeth after whitening

There are several rules to follow after a teeth whitening procedure. A tooth whitening procedure removes a protective layer of your tooth called the acquired pellicle during your Boise teeth cleaning or whitening process. While removing this layer doesn’t result in any permanent enamel loss, it does however take twelve to twenty four hours for the barrier to fully develop once again. New stains are then easily developed over the next 48 hours after your procedure.

It is important NOT to consume dark or yellow staining substances. Don’t smoke, avoid coffee/tea, red or other colored beverages, lipstick, and various fruits and veggies such as tomatoes, and berries. In addition, do not use any colored toothpastes, gels, or colored mouthwashes for at least 48 hours.

Veneers & Crowns

Veneers are very strong but also brittle. Caring for your veneers is almost identical to caring for your teeth normally. Avoid biting your fingernails, chewing on ice, or using your teeth to open food or drink packages. Furthermore, brush, and floss your veneers routinely with a non-abrasive fluoride toothpaste as suggested by your Boise dentist.

You should also return to your Boise dentist for regular professional maintenance. Porcelain veneers require being polished with a specially formulated, non-abrasive paste, and should be inspected for any problems or damages.

While a crowned tooth does not require any special care, remember to practice good oral hygiene by brushing at least twice a day and flossing regularly. Like veneers avoid biting on hard surfaces such as ice, popcorn hulls, etc.


Boise tooth implants are very durable, and last many years. They require the same “maintenance” as real teeth, including brushing, flossing and regular Boise dental check-ups. Below are some guidelines for the initial recovery of post-surgical implant placement, and the replacement tooth:·

  • Take prescribed pain medication as needed for pain.
  • Take all prescribed antibiotics to prevent infection.
  • Drink only clear liquids; a soft diet is recommended for the first few days.
  • Use an extra-soft toothbrush twice daily to clean pre-existing teeth or other implants, being careful to avoid the surgical incision area.
  • Clean between teeth once a day throughout the entire mouth except at the surgical site.
  • If recommended, use saltwater rinses or non-alcohol antimicrobial mouth rinse two times daily.

Replacement tooth home-care guidelines

  • Brush twice daily with low-abrasive toothpaste.
  • Floss regularly.
  • If recommended, use inter-dental brush, rubber tip, soft picks or water irrigation one to two times daily.

Have more questions about smile restoration? Stop by our Boise dentist office for a consultation, or leave us a comment or question below.


Teeth Whitening: To Bleach or Not to Bleach

Looking to get your teeth pearly white for the holidays? At-home bleaching kits are becoming increasingly popular. Here’s what one Boise dentist has to say about this teeth whitening option:

What Are Bleaching Trays?


An example of the bleaching solution you put in the trays (Image via Flickr by Whiter Image)

First, bleaching trays come in an at-home kit that you get from your Boise dentist. Teeth whitening this way starts with your Boise dentist making trays designed to perfectly fit your teeth before sending you home with the peroxide for whitening. Simply place a small amount of peroxide around the trays, and sleep with them in for 3-4 nights of the week. Your teeth will slowly brighten up in about 3-4 weeks.

The Benefits of Using Bleaching Trays for Teeth Whitening

That’s the process of using bleach trays. Here are the benefits:

  • Affordability. Bleaching trays are kind of the middle ground of teeth whitening—it gives good results, but isn’t too expensive.
  • Speed. All things considered, a month for white teeth isn’t asking very much.
  • Comfort. Because the trays are specifically made for your mouth, you don’t get as much peroxide on the gums or other areas that could be irritated by, say, regular whitening strips.

The Disadvantages of Using Bleaching Trays for Teeth Whitening

While a good fit for many people, some people might find these problems:

  • Teeth sensitivity. If you grind your teeth or just have sensitive teeth, using bleaching trays can be uncomfortable.
  • Damage to tooth enamel. Bleaching trays do take away a little from your tooth enamel, so if you grind your teeth or know you are running low on tooth enamel, you may want to consider other options.
  • Time. Other types of teeth whitening can be done in an hour, so there is a longer wait than, say, the in-office treatment.

So, should you use bleaching trays? It depends. For most people it is a resounding yes! But if you grind your teeth, have really sensitive teeth, or need them white fast, an in-office treatment is a better way to go.

Have more questions about teeth whitening? Stop in and ask a Boise dentist!


A Dental Self-Examination: What To Look For

Image via Flickr by Holtsman

Image via Flickr by Holtsman

While no replacement for a semiannual Boise dentist check up, you can also give yourself a self-exam to make sure that your teeth are in good health with these five steps:

1. Missed Plaque

The most important thing you can do is make sure that you are properly brushing your teeth and removing plaque. You can do this by purchasing a disclosing tablet or solution, which stains the plaque on your teeth and can reveal where you are not reaching with your brush. The process is simple:

  1. Brush your teeth carefully.
  2. Use the disclosing solution as directed.
  3. Check in a mirror to see where the solution has shown up.
  4. Brush again, more carefully, to see if you can remove all the areas of plaque

2. Hot/Cold Sensitivity

If your teeth are sensitive to hot and cold, you may have a cavity, root canal, or other problem that our Boise dentists should know about. It could also mean that you have sensitive or soft teeth, in which case our Boise dentists may suggest that you use special toothpaste. The test for hot and cold sensitivity is even simpler:

  1. Drink a mouthful of cold water and hold it in your mouth for several seconds. Take note of any areas that are sensitive to this.
  2. Take a sip of a hot liquid and swish it around your mouth. A sensitivity to hot things is less common and tends to be caused by more serious problems, so the pain from this should be very noticeable.

3. Bite Sensitivity

Bite sensitivity could be a sign of several dental issues including teeth grinding, cavities, or an abscess. To check for this, bite lightly but firmly onto the handle of your toothbrush to see if this causes pain. You can also lightly tap each of your teeth, keeping track of any teeth that react poorly to this. If you experience pain, come in for a Boise dentist check up and see if you need a Boise night guard.

4. Loose Teeth

Yet another sign of teeth grinding and also a warning of a root canal, abscess, or similar problem, you can easily check this by seeing if you can wiggle any of your teeth. If you can, immediately schedule an appointment with our Boise dentists to see what is wrong.

5. Red or Bleeding Gums

While you can have the same about of redness or bleeding around all of your teeth, you can also only have redness and swelling in certain areas. For instance, you may find your gums look unhealthy in hard-to-reach areas that you have difficulty brushing, or you may find that the gums around dental hardware (like a retainer) is especially inflamed. Take care to carefully brush and floss the areas to see if you can restore the gums. If not, come or an appointment for a Boise dentist teeth cleaning.

By looking into these five steps for a dental self-examination, you can further help keep your teeth healthy and happy every day of the year, not just the days you have a Boise dentist check up.

Have you ever given yourself a dental self-exam? What did you discover?

For more information, see:



4 Signs You Need a Boise Night Guard

Image via Flickr by k.kazantzoglou Life is full of surprises!!!:)

You’ve probably heard about a Boise night guard to help with Bruxism (teeth grinding), but aren’t sure if you need one. Here are four signs that you grind your teeth and need a Boise night guard to protect them:

1. You Wake Up With a Headache

Bruxism (teeth grinding) is hard on every muscle from your shoulders up, so it can easily cause migraines or headaches. If you wake up with a headache, you might want to visit Boise dentists to see if you need a night guard.

2. Your Jaw Clicks or Is Sore

By putting so much pressure on your jaw throughout the night, you might find that it is sore or stiff, especially in the morning. Long-term Bruxism can even result in your jaw clicking or getting stuck.

3. You’ve Noticed Changes in Your Bite

As you keep so much pressure on your teeth and jaw for so many hours in the night, the pressure can cause your teeth to shift. This can mean loose teeth, or an unmatched bite. Over the long term, teeth grinding can actually change the way your face looks because it affects your teeth and jaw so much.

4. Your Teeth Are Easily Cracked or Chipped

Bruxism not only moves your teeth, it also weakens them.  A dental patient with Bruxism is much more likely to have a cracked tooth or to chip a tooth. A Boise night guard would protect teeth from this by preventing your teeth from grinding against each other.

Have you used a Boise night guard? Have you noticed a difference?





Have a Boise Dental Emergency? (yes sometimes things happen on the weekend)

So you’ve cracked a tooth, lost a filling, or are in severe pain on a Saturday and don’t think you can get an appointment until the work week. Here’s what you can do:

Image via Flickr by Commander, U.S. 7th Fleet

Call the Boise Dentists at Summit Dental, Even After Hours

First thing you can do is call our Summit dental office in Boise to see if we can help or if we have any available weekends. Boise dentists make themselves available for phone consultations during a Boise dental emergency as well. In a Boise dental emergency, our dental office will connect you with one of our Boise dentists for a quick consultation. Our Boise dentists will let you know what you need to do until you can see a dentist and can even let you know if you can’t wait and need dental care immediately.

Save a Lost Tooth or Even Tooth Fragments

If you’ve chipped a tooth or lost an entire tooth, find the pieces, avoiding touching the tooth’s roots if you can. Sometimes our Boise dentists can re-implant the tooth, especially if you get to the office within 30 minutes of the accident. Before then, avoid touching or cleaning the tooth’s root and keep it in a cup of milk.

Take Care of the Pain from a Boise Dental Emergency

What you are probably wanting to know most of all, however, is what you can do to get the area from the Boise dental emergency to stop hurting. Below are a few things you can do:

A wet compress. Place an icepack next to your cheek to dull the ache, or even get a cloth wet and lightly bite down on it if that helps.

A wet tea bag. A similar idea as the compress, the tea also has tannins that will help with swelling and pain. Simply place the tea bag (dunked in cold water) next to the area in pain. You can lightly bite on it if that helps as well.

Over-the-counter Boise tooth pain medicine and pills. Take the recommended dosage of ibuprofen or naproxen sodium so it can start working to bring down your pain level as well. Don’t, however, place a pain reliever next to the Boise tooth pain. These pills were meant to be swallowed, not applied topically, and they can be harmful to your teeth and gums. Instead, look for a pain relieving dental gel at your local pharmacy.

Salt water.  Mix up a cup of salt water and slowly rinse and spit. Not only will this help with pain, it also gets rid of bacteria.

Have you had a Boise dental emergency? What happened?