All Posts tagged boise dental

Coconut Oil as Toothpaste?

Coconut Oil as Toothpaste?

Studies are starting to reveal that coconut oil is a heart-healthy food that can help keep your body running smoothly and efficiently in a number of ways. According to WebMD, coconut oil is used for diabetes, heart disease, chronic fatigue, Crohn’s disease, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), Alzheimer’s disease, thyroid conditions, energy, and boosting the immune system. But what about coconut oil when it comes to your oral health care?

Organic Toothpaste Options & ADA Seals of Approval

One of the biggest reasons people switch to organic Boise dental care products from commercial Boise dental care products is to avoid artificial chemicals and additives. Specifically, all-natural organic toothpastes or other natural options like coconut oil do not contain added chemicals, dyes, sweeteners, and flavorings.

A recent study by the Athlone Institute of Technology in Ireland discovered that coconut oil treated with enzymes (a process similar to the digestive process) inhibited the growth of most strains of Streptococcus bacteria, including Streptococcus mutans, the acid-producing bacteria blamed for causing Boise dental tooth decay.

But based on the lack of currently available evidence, oil pulling (or brushing your teeth with coconut oil)  is not recommended as a regular Boise dental hygiene practice, and certainly not as a replacement for standard, time-tested oral health behaviors and ADA endorsed products. In fact, the ADA recommends that people should follow a standard Boise dental hygiene regimen that includes twice-daily tooth-brushing with fluoride toothpaste in addition to cleaning in between teeth with floss at least once a day.

So What is the Best Toothpaste?

The most important thing is to brush twice a day, floss regularly and visit your Boise dentist for regular Boise dental exams. Keep in mind though that most Boise dental decay is caused by plaque – a sticky, colorless microorganism that constantly forms on your teeth. Plaque that is not taken off by regular brushing and flossing can later harden into tartar – a crusty deposit that can only be removed by your Boise dentist. Plaque also contributes to gum disease – a potentially serious infection that can erode bone along with destroying the tissues that surround the teeth.

While brushing and flossing are important factors when it comes to maintaining optimal Boise dental health, you can see why picking the right toothpaste is important. However, with so many brands and new options to choose from, selecting the right one for you and your family can be a daunting task. Talk with your Boise dentist. Only your Boise dentist can help narrow the field by discussing what your “special” brushing needs are, and what ADA approved products they would recommend might work best for you.


Overcoming Boise Dental Anxiety

Overcoming Boise Dental Anxiety

Do you suffer from anxiety before every single one of your Boise dental exams or procedures? If the answer is yes, you are not alone. More than 75% of Americans feel anxious when visiting their dentist. Not only do some people not look forward to visiting their Boise dentist  but their regular physician as well. While the majority of Boise dental procedures aren’t painful, sometimes just being examined is enough to make people feel stressed.

People develop Boise dental anxiety for many different reasons:

  • Pain – Pain is one of the main things people develop anxiety over. The fear of pain is most common in adults 24 years and older. This may be because for many of them, their early Boise dental visits happened before advances in “pain-free” dentistry were developed.
  • Feelings of helplessness and loss of control – Many people develop phobias based around certain situations – such as flying in an airplane – in which they feel they have no control. They may feel they can’t see what’s going on or predict what’s going to happen leaving them feeling helpless or out of control.
  • Embarrassment– The mouth is an intimate part of the body. Often, people may feel ashamed or embarrassed to have a Boise dentist look inside. This may be a particular problem in they’re self-conscious about the appearance of their teeth. Boise dental treatments also require physical closeness. During a treatment, a hygienist’s or Boise dentist’s face may be just a few inches away. This can make people anxious and uncomfortable.
  • Negative past experiences – Anyone who has ever experienced pain or discomfort during a previous Boise dental procedure is likely to be apprehensive and anxious the next time around. In circumstances such as these it’s best to talk with your Boise dentist about any past experiences so that they can talk with you about what to expect during your current procedure.

Once you’re here at our Boise dental office, it’s important to remember to take some slow, deep breaths to relax. Then, try to relax your muscles by sitting back comfortably. If you’re still feeling anxious, be sure to let your Boise dentist at Summit Dental know. We deal with nervous patients all the time and can offer additional relaxation techniques for you to try.

* Remember Boise dental anxiety and fear do not discriminate. Its part of our job to help you through your dental journey and overcoming your Boise dental fears! We not only care about your oral health but your overall health and happiness as well. The key to coping with dental anxiety is to discuss your fears with your Boise dentist. Once your Boise dentist knows what your fears are, he or she will be better able to work with you to determine the best ways to make you less anxious and more comfortable.


Repairing a Chipped Tooth

Repairing a Chipped Tooth

Finding a broken piece of your own tooth inside your mouth while eating can be a strange and unpleasant experience. It can feel even worse if you’ve experienced an accident that caused your tooth to chip or break. While tooth enamel is incredibly tough, its not invincible. Broken and chipped teeth can occur due to a variety of reasons such as eating hard foods or biting down on a fork or a spoon. Tooth decay can also cause your teeth to be more vulnerable to damage. If you’ve got a damaged tooth, don’t panic; your Boise dentist at Summit Dental is here to help when it comes to your best smile restoration.

A chipped tooth can be restored in the following ways:

  • Fillings. Fillings don’t just cover cavities, in fact, sometimes they are used as a quick, easy, and affordable way to repair a chipped tooth. Fillings are best for small chips, and can be placed in just one Boise dental visit.
  • Bonding. If your front tooth is chipped, your Boise dentist will most likely recommend bonding. With bonding, your Boise dentist will slightly roughen the surface of your tooth before applying an adhesive substance and attaching the bonding material. They will then shape the material and use an ultraviolet light to harden it. Anesthesia is usually not needed, and the process can be done in as little as one visit.
  • Veneers. Veneers are thin pieces of tooth-colored porcelain that are attached to the front part of your tooth. Like bonding, your Boise dentist will slightly roughen the front of your tooth before applying an adhesive, and attaching the veneer. However, veneers are formed in a lab, and they require a 2-3 week turn-around time before your Boise dentist can place them. While this process takes a bit longer, it does allow for a more beautiful, custom fit.
  • Crowns. For larger chips, Boise dental crowns may be in order. A crown is a tooth colored cap that covers the surface of the tooth and provides protection. While regular Boise dental crowns often required two or three Boise dental visits, advances in oral health technology have allowed your Boise dentist to provide a faster, more effective solution. In fact, with the help of Cerec digital impressions, your Boise dentist can create and place a brand-new, custom made crown in just one visit. CEREC digital impressions provides a digital picture of your tooth before converting it into a 3-dimensional virtual model. Your restoration design data is then sent to a separate milling machine that contains a ceramic block that matches your tooth shade. About 10-20 minutes later, your all-ceramic, tooth-colored, best smile restoration is finished and ready to bond in place.
  • Root Canal. If your chip is so large that it reaches your tooth’s pulp, a root canal may be in order. With a root canal, your Boise dentist will remove the dead pulp from your tooth before cleaning out the root canal and sealing it to prevent additional bacteria from getting in. Your tooth is then covered with a Boise dental crown as mentioned above.

Should you chip a tooth, it’s important to see your Boise dentist as soon as possible. However, until you can see your Boise dentist, it’s important to rinse your mouth with salt water and cover any jagged areas of the chipped tooth with dental wax to prevent any cheek or lip injuries. Remember to eat soft foods, and try not to chew with the broken tooth. A chipped tooth can be vulnerable to further damage and infection, which could ultimately result in tooth loss.


Protecting Your Child’s Teeth with Boise Dental Sealants

Protecting Your Child’s Teeth with Boise Dental Sealants

As parents, we work hard at taking care of our kids in order to keep them healthy and safe. We also pester them about brushing and flossing their teeth everyday in an effort to keep decay and cavities at bay. While proper brushing and flossing habits are certainly vital for a healthy mouth, there are other Boise dental options like Boise dental sealants that can provide a little extra protection against cavities and decay. Thats why we’d like to take this time to provide you with a little information about this treatment and why its important when it comes to your little one’s smile.

What are Boise dental sealants?
A Boise dental sealant is a thin layer of plastic that is applied to areas like the back teeth that are used for chewing. Just like knights wearing armor to protect them from injury, your Boise dentist places Boise dental sealants onto teeth to protect them from cavities, and decay. Boise dental sealants act as protective barriers to keep food, plaque, and bacteria away from tooth enamel.

Who should get Boise dental sealants?
Since decay can happen early on in life, we highly recommend that children and teenagers get Boise dental sealants. Boise dental sealants are often placed on permanent molars as soon as they come in (erupt). However, this can also be an effective form of protection for adults, as well. After all, who doesn’t want to protect their teeth from cavities?

What does the process entail?
Boise dental sealants are strong and durable and can stand up to hard chewing forces. The process of getting Boise dental sealants is painless and simple. Your Boise dentist will apply the sealants by painting them onto your child’s molars. Once painted on, the sealant will bond with the tooth’s enamel and begin to harden.

What to expect after a Boise dental sealant treatment
Once your child’s teeth are sealed, they are free to eat and drink what they like. However, when they first bite into something, it may feel a bit odd but that feeling will soon go away. After a few days, they won’t even know the Boise sealants are on their teeth.

How long do dental sealants last?
While every patient is different, Boise dental sealants can effectively seal teeth for up to ten years. Your Boise dentist will check the quality of the sealants when your child goes in for their routine Boise dental exams. If one is chipped or damaged, it can easily be replaced. As long as the sealants are undamaged, they will protect your child’s teeth against decay and plaque.

Boise dental sealants are a wonderful preventive measure for protecting your child’s smile. Here at Summit Dental, we would be more than happy to talk with you during your next visit about keeping your child’s smile healthy with this simple procedure.


Teeth Whitening 101: Bleachorexia

Teeth Whitening 101: Bleachorexia


In America, teeth whitening has taken an ironic turn over the past decade. In a desperate attempt to have the whitest teeth possible, many people attempt to mimic award-winning celebrity smiles by bleaching their teeth to oblivion.

Your Boise dentist refers to this teeth whitening craze as “bleachorexia”. “Bleach junkies” are patients that abuse in-office and at home bleaching agents, leaving teeth eroded, prone to sensitivity, and extremely unhealthy, despite their dazzling exteriors.

The media has also done a good job when it comes to marketing whiter smiles. Unfortunately the whitening agents used in most over-the-counter bleaches can irritate the gums, causing them to recede while making teeth brittle, chalky and so thin they appear to be translucent when overused.

Bleach Junkies

“Bleach junkies” use a variety of combinations to whiten their teeth: professional bleaching trays, at-home whitening kits, toothpastes, and a few sessions at a “bleaching spa”. For these people, their teeth are never quite white enough, so they’ll do anything to brighten their smile. Ironically though, over bleaching can actually strip away protective enamel, not only making teeth weak and more prone to decay but allows the underbody of the teeth (which is naturally more yellow) to show through.

If you’re a “bleach junkie”, your Boise dentist will spot your bad, bleaching habit right away. They will then inform you that once you’ve damaged the enamel of your teeth, its pretty much gone for good because it doesn’t grow back. Instead you’ll be considering things like veneers or Boise crowns & bridges to repair the damage.

While bleaching can be done safely, especially under the guidance of a Boise dentist, the advent of at-home bleaching kits and spa bleaching treatments have made it all too easy for “bleach junkies” to double up or triple up on treatments at the expense of your Boise dental health.

Rules of Thumb

At Summit Dental we know that bleaching can be very effective, and safe in moderation. A good rule of thumb is that the color of your teeth should match the whites of your eyes. It’s when your bleaching all the time, beyond what is recommended — that’s when you run into problems. If you are wanting lighter teeth, it’s important to consult with your Boise dentist about your best smile restoration options and preferred whitening method as they are best qualified to remove any external stains while promoting proper Boise dental health.

Schedule an appointment today, and let our Boise dentist help you will all your bleaching needs. We would love to see you!!


What Causes Adult Tooth Loss?

What Causes Adult Tooth Loss?

Your Boise dentist will do everything they can to avoid tooth loss in their patients, but sometimes it is unavoidable. Before you need Boise crowns and bridges, Boise tooth implants or dentures, keep reading to learn about some of the most common causes of adult tooth loss so you can try your best to avoid them:

  • Gum disease: The number one cause of tooth loss in adults is gum disease (periodontal disease), an infection of the structures that support the teeth. Once gum disease reaches and destroys the alveolar bone, teeth begin to loosen and will eventually fall out or need to be extracted.
  • Tooth decay: Cavities (tooth decay) are permanently damaged areas on the enamel of the teeth that develop into tiny openings or holes. If left untreated, cavities not only destroy tooth structure but can lead to infection in the supporting bone as well.
  • Tooth injury: An injury to the tooth can be caused by a number of reasons: auto accidents, falls, sports, etc. The tooth can either be knocked out or damaged in such a way that may require an extraction. If you play sports, your Boise dentist recommends using a mouthguard to protect your teeth.
  • Tooth fracture: Tooth fractures can range from minor (chipping) to severe (fractures of the root). A serious fracture should be treated promptly, and Boise crowns and bridges may be the answer, but depending on the location of the fracture and how deeply it extends, the tooth may or may not respond well to the repair, and may need to be extracted instead.

What are the risk factors for tooth loss?

  • Poor oral hygiene: Poor dental hygiene can lead to a wide variety of Boise dental health problems. People who only occasionally brush and floss their teeth are more likely to develop tartar, plaque buildup, and other bacteria that can cause decay.
  • Not visiting the dentist: Seeing your Boise dentist every six months for a cleaning and checkup helps to prevent a patient from developing any serious Boise dental health issues while ensuring that plaque and tartar do not build up over time.
  • Smoking: People who smoke or use smokeless tobacco are more likely to develop periodontal disease that can cause tooth loss. If you are a smoker it is crucial to visit your Boise dentist on a timely schedule.
  • Various health conditions: People who suffer from high blood pressure, diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis and other chronic health issues are more likely to suffer from gum disease and other major Boise dental health problems.

When you pay attention to your Boise dental health, you can significantly reduce your risk for tooth loss. Schedule an appointment at Summit Dental today, and your Boise dentist can help to provide you with an accurate diagnosis when it comes to adult tooth loss in addition to a variety of treatment options.


Boise Dental Confessions: Your Mouth Can Be a Window to Your Overall Health

Boise Dental Confessions: Your Mouth Can Be a Window to Your Overall Health

Your Mouth:  A Window To Your Overall Health

We are familiar with the term, “your eyes are the window to your soul”. Well, your Boise dentist will tell you that your mouth is a window to your overall body’s health. In fact, your oral health is directly connected to many other health conditions beyond just your teeth & gums. Many times, initial symptoms of a disease will show up in your mouth first. In other cases, infections in your mouth, such as gum disease, can cause problems in other important areas of your body. Gum disease can actually be directly linked to diseases like diabetes, heart disease, and certain forms of cancer.

Here’s a look, in detail at some of the diseases and conditions that may be linked to oral health:

  • Cardiovascular disease. Cardiovascular disease. Research indicates that several types of cardiovascular disease can be directly linked to your Boise dental health. These include stroke, heart disease, and clogged arteries. In fact, according to the Academy of General Dentistry (AGD), people who have chronic gum disease are at higher risk to suffer from a heart attack.
  • Pregnancy and birth. Gum disease has been linked to premature birth. Research shows that mothers with gum disease have a greater risk of delivering preterm, low-birth-weight babies. This is why it’s vital to maintain excellent Boise dental health before, and during pregnancy.
  • Diabetes. Research indicates that there is an increased prevalence of gum disease for those who suffer from diabetes. Diabetes has been known to not only increase your risk of gum disease, but tooth loss, dry mouth, cavities, and a variety of other oral infections as well. Conversely, poor Boise dental health can actually make your diabetes more difficult to control because serious gum disease may have the potential to affect blood glucose control while contributing to the progression of diabetes.
  • HIV/AIDS. Your mouth may be the first part of your body to show signs & symptoms of HIV infection. Common symptoms include ulcers, dry mouth and related painful mucosal lesions. People with HIV may also develop persistent white spots or unusual lesions on their tongue or in their mouth. Infections such as candidiasis (thrush), can also be an indicator that your immune system is not working properly – and Boise dental health can be an important indicator of how HIV is affecting your body.
  • Osteoporosis. Osteoporosis is a health condition that greatly affects the bones, and may show up in your teeth during the first stages of bone loss. Systemic loss of bone density in osteoporosis, including bone in the jaw, may create a condition where the bone supporting your teeth is increasingly susceptible to infectious destruction. It can also trigger other Boise dental health issues, including gum or periodontal diseases and loss of teeth. Your Boise dentist may be able to spot this on a routine clinical examination or with Boise dental X-rays.
  • Other conditions. Many other conditions can make their presence known in your mouth before you know anything may be wrong. These can include certain cancers, eating disorders, Sjogren’s syndrome, Alzheimer’s disease, etc.

Overall, one thing is clear: your mouth is a window to your overall body’s health. Taking good care of your teeth and gums is imperative when it comes to taking care of your whole body. One of the main things you can do at home is daily brushing and flossing. Another is to regularly visit your Boise dentist for regular Boise dental cleanings and checkups. At Summit Dental, we care about your overall health, especially when it comes to your teeth & gums. We hope to see you soon!


Boise Dental Advice: How to make losing teeth fun!

Boise Dental Advice: How to make losing teeth fun!

When your child loses their first tooth, its natural to want to celebrate but for many children, it can also be a scary time. Not only are they dealing with the uncertainty of losing their first tooth but may be experiencing some discomfort and pain from the larger adult tooth pushing its way through their gums, forcing the smaller tooth out as well. Your Boise dentist suggests explaining to your child about this process and how it is a rite of passage. By doing so you can help them feel excited about these changes while helping them to cope with the loss of their teeth.

When does a child begin losing their teeth?

Kids will start losing their baby teeth around the age of six. Normally your child will begin losing his or her teeth in approximately the same order in which they came in. Before they start losing their teeth, parents can teach their child about the Tooth Fairy while teaching them proper Boise dental habits. Gently remind them that the Tooth Fairy only wants healthy baby teeth, not teeth with cavities. Doing so will help your child get excited about taking care of their teeth.

Caring for your child when they start losing their teeth:

1. Visit Your Boise Dentist

You can help your child prepare to lose their baby teeth by taking them to visit their Boise dentist for a Boise dental checkup. A Boise dentist will then look at their teeth, predict when they will come out and help your child understand what he or she should expect.

2. Prepare Your Children for Any Bleeding

Often times, there may be a little bleeding that accompanies a loose tooth. Gently remind them that this is nothing to worry about, and that its a natural thing that happens but it wont last very long. This will help your child eliminate any scary thoughts about losing his or her baby teeth.

3. Comfort Your Children

When your child finally loses his or her first baby tooth, its time to celebrate! Some parents choose to take this opportunity to introduce their child to the Tooth Fairy to help make the experience an exciting time rather than a scary one. Whatever you choose to do, make a big deal out of it!

By the age of 13, your child will have developed most of his or her permanent teeth; with the exception of their wisdom teeth – which usually erupt between the ages of 17 and 21. Good Boise dental habits are very important during your child’s tooth eruption and exfoliation stages. Keep in mind that the loss of a first tooth is a memorable experience for children. It is also a good time to reinforce positive Boise dental habits. Encourage your child to brush and floss their teeth twice a day for strong permanent teeth while taking them to visit their Boise dentist for regular checkups!


Are Boise Dental X-Rays Safe?

Are Boise Dental X-Rays Safe?

YES! Boise dental X-rays have been safely used in dentistry for well over a century. In fact, X-rays help your Boise dentist visualize problems and diseases of the teeth and surrounding tissue that cannot be seen with a simple Boise dental exam. They are also helpful in assisting in the preparation of other Boise cosmetic dentistry, best smile restoration procedures that can include: Boise tooth implants, braces, dentures, etc.

Today the amount of radiation you are exposed to has significantly decreased as technology has advanced. Of course there are always risks when it comes to any diagnostic procedure, but the benefits of Boise dental X-rays far outweigh those risks. In fact, Boise dental X-ray tools and techniques such as lead aprons, and focalized cones are specifically designed to limit the amount of radiation you are exposed to, and every precaution is made to ensure that radiation exposure is As Low As Reasonably Achievable (the ALARA principle).

Radiation exposure comes from a variety of environmental factors in addition to any healthcare diagnostic or treatment tools. To better understand this perspective, a person during a one year time span, is expected to have 360mRem from the sun, air, etc. By comparison, a single set of bitewing X-rays is 0.3mREM. Keep in mind though, radiation does accumulate in our bodies over a lifetime, and additional exposure should be avoided whenever possible.

Boise dental X-rays can be used to:

  • Provide your Boise dentist with the ability to see areas of decay that may not be visible during an oral exam, especially small areas of decay between teeth.
  • Identify decay occurring beneath an existing filling.
  • Reveal bone loss or changes that accompany gum disease.
  • Changes in a Boise root canal resulting from infection.
  • Assist in the preparation of a best smile restoration such as: Boise tooth implants, braces, dentures, or other Boise cosmetic dentistry procedures
  • Reveal an abscess (an infection at the root of a tooth or between the gum and a tooth)
  • Reveal other developmental abnormalities, such as cysts and some types of tumors



The Importance of Boise Dental Care During Pregnancy

The Importance of Boise Dental Care During Pregnancy

Pregnancy & Boise Dental Care

The dentists at Summit Dental Group, understand how exciting anticipating the arrival of your new bundle of joy can be. As a Boise dental practice that cares, your Boise dentist would also like to take the time to provide you with some important but gentle reminders when it comes to your oral health during pregnancy.

As your body changes, the amount of bacteria in your mouth also changes. While scientists don’t understand all the reasons for this change, they do know that during pregnancy, your mouth is more susceptible to complications due to bacteria that can result in an increased risk for gingivitis or periodontal disease. Your Boise dentist also knows that the hormonal changes can create a more favorable environment for gum infections and other diseases to develop while you are pregnant.

Bleeding Gums & Gingivitis

During pregnancy, you may experience an increase in gingivitis even if you see your Boise dentist for a Boise teeth cleaning in addition to brushing and flossing your teeth daily. Symptoms of gingivitis are: increased bleeding of the gums with routine daily care, and more tenderness in the mouth. The reason for this is due in part to the increase in blood flow and volume that occurs naturally during pregnancy. Since there is more blood flowing through your veins, your gum tissues can become slightly engorged. Pain and tenderness are also symptoms of gingivitis.

Helpful Home-Care Remedies In Combination With Regular Boise Dental Care Visits

Often times, brushing your teeth two times a day may not be enough. If you only floss on occasion, now is good time to start making this activity a daily habit. While mouthwash is advised, a mild salt water rinse may feel better than any commercial brands.

Remember, bacteria in the mouth circulates throughout your entire body. Harmful bacteria can compromise your immune system and may increase your risk for respiratory illnesses and cause other strains on your immune system. Even if you eat healthy, pathogens as well as nutrients can be passed onto your baby. Remember to stay up on your home-care routine, and schedule a Boise teeth cleaning during your pregnancy in order to care for you and the health of your little one.