All Posts tagged boise dentists

Boise Dental Myths & Misconceptions

Boise Dental Myths & Misconceptions

At Summit Dental Group, our Boise dentists love helping patients from around the Treasure Valley achieve healthier, brighter smiles. Whether you need preventative dental care or a best mouth restoration, you can trust us to provide you with the most advanced dentistry options.

We are always accepting new patients. In fact, we love sitting down with you to discuss your smile goals and provide you with the best oral health care tips. The more information you have about your smile, the better your chances are of maintaining healthy teeth and gums. That’s why we’d like to provide you with a list of dental myths we’ve debunked that may be hurting your oral health.

Dental Myths Debunked

Flossing isn’t important, and if your gums bleed, you should avoid it.  Brushing your teeth on a regular basis is a no-brainer, however, if you don’t floss you’ll miss those hard-to-reach areas that brushing fails to clean. Flossing helps to remove unwanted food particles in between teeth and build up plaque — which can often lead to gum disease. If your gums tend to bleed after brushing and flossing, it’s usually a sign that you need to be more diligent about your home dental care. Although it may seem best to avoid flossing, doing so will actually increase your risk of developing gum disease and tooth decay.

It’s better to use a hard toothbrush vs a soft one.  People often think a hard-bristled toothbrush will clean their mouth better. However, a hard-bristled toothbrush can actually wear down your enamel or cause damage to your gums. Instead, you should always use a soft-bristled toothbrush to clean your teeth. It’s also important not to brush in a hard or aggressive way. Plaque doesn’t require a hard-bristled toothbrush to be removed and hard brushing can damage your gums, causing them to recede. In truth, people often forget to replace their toothbrush as often as they should. At Summit Dental group, our Boise dentists recommend getting a new toothbrush every 3-4 months (or when the bristles become worn). We also recommend using a soft-bristled toothbrush to keep your teeth and gums healthy.

Boise teeth whitening treatments can be harmful. There is some truth to the dangers of many over-the-counter, and DIY teeth whitening treatments because they have the potential of causing damage to your teeth and gums. This is because many of these products or home remedies have different ingredients and come in a variety of strengths. There’s also room for human error when trying to whiten your smile on your own. However, a professional Boise teeth whitening treatment at Summit Dental won’t hurt your teeth or cause gum damage. However, there may be a little sensitivity afterward but it won’t cause any prolonged harm. Our Boise dentists would never suggest a treatment that would compromise the health and integrity of your smile.

Sugar causes tooth decay. While excessive sugar consumption is never recommended for your oral or overall health, it’s not the direct cause of tooth decay. In fact, it’s actually the acids left behind by sugar that are to blame. Sugar and carbohydrates produce acids. When those acids combine with the saliva in your mouth, plaque is formed. Preventative dental care includes brushing or rinsing your mouth with water after eating sugary foods. Keep in mind, however, that if you don’t tend to eat a lot of sugar, you can still develop tooth decay if you don’t practice good oral hygiene.

Everyone needs their wisdom teeth removed.  Think of wisdom teeth like your appendix or tonsils. They don’t currently serve much of a purpose like they once did at one point in our existence. In fact, most dentists agree that not everyone needs to have their wisdom teeth removed. However, wisdom teeth can become a problem if they erupt or start to decay inside your mouth. These problems can severely impact nearby healthy teeth causing pain or lead to jaw infections and cysts. If your wisdom teeth are causing you problems or pain, it’s important to seek out the professional advice of your Boise dentist as soon as possible to have them examined or removed.

Summit Dental Group

Anytime you hear something new or what is good or bad for your smile, it’s best to bring it up to your Boise dentist at your next exam and teeth cleaning. We can provide you with the best and most accurate information to help you maintain optimal dental health. Not only are we concerned about the beauty of our patient’s smile, we are also concerned about the overall health of our patients. If you would like more information or want to schedule an appointment, contact Summit Dental Group at (208) 345-8962 today.


Boise Dental: The Truth Behind Oral Health Care Products

Boise Dental: The Truth Behind Oral Health Care Products

We’ve all seen the advertisements and television commercials for oral health care products that claim to make your smile healthy and beautiful. These include whitening strips, toothbrushes, toothpaste, and chewing gum. Even more, many of these products are easy to find at your local grocery store and come in a variety unique flavors while promising fast results. However, many of these products can actually be harmful to your teeth over time. That’s why the Boise dentists at Summit Dental would like to keep you informed and educated about the truth behind many of these popular over-the-counter oral health care products.

Over-The-Counter Whitening Strips

Whitening strips come in a wide variety of brands and promise fast, easy results. Easily applied they claim to whiten your smile in a few as two weeks. The truth behind whitening strips is that they contain hydrogen peroxide, which works to whiten your teeth by penetrating the porous enamel. Hydrogen peroxide then produces oxygen that reacts with the discolored enamel of your teeth to chemically change it, providing you with temporary results. However, this chemical reaction can weaken the outer layer of your enamel, causing it to erode over time. In some cases, the damage done can be permanent. Teeth can also become darkened and more susceptible to staining than they were before.

It is far better to seek out a teeth whitening treatment from a Boise dental professional. Your Boise dentist will check your teeth to ensure they are healthy and that discoloration isn’t the result of something far more serious than staining. Whitening under the supervision of a Boise dentist can also prevent burns and other potential damage that many over-the-counter products can cause.

Whitening Toothpaste

Using a whitening toothpaste may seem like the easiest way to control unwanted stains. However, whitening toothpaste can also cause permanent damage your teeth. That’s because many kinds of whitening toothpastes contain tiny abrasive particles that remove stains by scratching the outer surface of your enamel. After scratching away the stained layer of your teeth the layer below the stain starts to appear whiter. However, this can result in the loss of enamel which can lead to tooth decay and other expensive Boise dental procedures. That’s why you should always consult with your Boise dentist about what toothpastes they suggest using and more importantly the safe teeth whitening treatments they provide.

Hard-Bristled Toothbrushes

Some people think that a hard-bristled toothbrush is a perfect tool for obtaining a whiter, brighter smile. However, they can actually damage your teeth. While toothpaste is already somewhat abrasive, adding the harsh scrubbing of a hard-bristled toothbrush can further scrape away your enamel. Additional damage can also be caused if you brush your teeth soon after eating or drinking something acidic. Acid softens the enamel of our teeth making the top layer much more susceptible to erosion. That’s why the Boise dentists at Summit Dental always suggest using a soft-bristled toothbrush for the best and safest results.

Chewing Gum

Some brands of chewing gum use xylitol instead of sugar as their main ingredient. Xylitol is a natural sweetener that can help prevent cavities and reduce plaque. However, there are some negative effects of chewing gum on a regular basis. For people that chew gum in excess, sticky residue can be left behind making your teeth the ideal breeding ground for bacteria. Gum can also potentially pull out fillings while stressing the jaw over time. Instead of chewing gum, you may want to consider the occasional sugar-free breath mint to help freshen your breath while increasing bacteria-fighting saliva production.

Summit Dental Group

It’s important to spend a little time researching the oral health care products you use to maintain the long-term health of your teeth and gums. At Summit Dental Group we believe that preventative care and education are extremely important to optimal dental health. We focus on thorough exams, checking the overall health of teeth and gums, knowing how crucial this is to preventing dental disease.

Not only are we concerned about the beauty of our patient’s smile, we are also concerned about the overall health of our patients. Whether your dental needs are a complete exam and cleaning, a full mouth restoration, or anything in between, Summit Dental Group will provide exceptional care as we restore and enhance the natural beauty of your smile.

If you are looking for safe, effective oral health care services, contact us at (208) 345-8962 to schedule an appointment.



Reasons Not To Be Nervous About Boise Dental Implants

Reasons Not To Be Nervous About Boise Dental Implants

Over the years, Boise dental implants have gained popularity for their life-like appearance and longevity. These qualities are attributed to a titanium post embedded in the jawbone. Because titanium acts like a natural affinity to bone, new cells grow and adhere to the dental implant over time, making a strong, durable connection.

Of course, dental implants require implant surgery — a prospect many people get nervous about when choosing this replacement option. However, implant surgery is a routine treatment that causes very little discomfort in the trained hands of your Boise dentist with a very high success rate.

That’s why we’d like to provide you with the following reasons Boise dental implants are nothing to be nervous about:

Treatment Is Precisely Planned

Dental implant surgery is a relatively minor procedure. Your Boise dentist will map out all the placement details ahead of time. For complex situations, an X-ray or CT image will be used as a surgical guide to determine the exact location for each implant before an incision is made to create a small channel to hold the implant.

Treatment Can Be Performed With Local Anesthesia

Dental implants are usually easier to undergo than a tooth extraction. As long as you’re healthy enough for that procedure, you shouldn’t have any problem with implant surgery. Using a local anesthetic, your Boise dentist will numb the implant area and surrounding tissues while you remain conscious. If, however, you have any anxiety, our dentists can provide you with a sedative or anti-anxiety medication before the procedure.

There’s Minimal Discomfort Afterward

Thanks to advanced implant techniques and a pre-planned surgical guide there will be very little tissue disruption. Incised tissues will be stitched normally with self-absorbing sutures. In most cases, a mild anti-inflammatory drug such as ibuprofen will be used to relieve discomfort unless a stronger pain reliever is needed.

Keep in mind that dental implants heal fairly quickly with a very high success rate. After a few weeks, your Boise dentist will attach a permanent crown to the titanium post. Once in place, you’ll have a fully functional and confident smile to last a lifetime.

Summit Dental Group

If you are missing one or more teeth and would like to speak to a Boise dentist about dental implants, contact Summit Dental Group today at (208) 345-8962. We would be more than happy to evaluate your dental health, answer any questions you may have, and discuss your available treatment options.


Boise Dental Tips for Seniors

Boise Dental Tips for Seniors

As we get older, it’s easy to think that parts of our bodies will simply “wear out”. This is especially true when it comes to our teeth. However, nothing can be farther from the truth. By taking care of your teeth and gums, you can maintain a healthy mouth well into your senior years. Not only will you be able to eat delicious foods and smile confidently, you’ll set your body up for better overall health. That’s why the Boise dentists at Summit Dental Group would like to provide you with the following dental tips for seniors.

Brush and Floss Often

First and foremost, it’s important to brush and floss at least twice a day. However, as you age, your teeth and gums require a little extra time and attention. After the age of 50, plaque can build up quickly and be more difficult to get rid of. That’s why you may want to start brushing your teeth after every meal. You should also brush your teeth when you wake up and before you go to bed.

Be Gentle on Your Gums

Healthy gums are an important part of a healthy body, regardless of your age. But it’s important to be gentle on your gums when taking care of them. Gum recession can cause the root surfaces of your teeth to become exposed. This can increase sensitivity and make them more susceptible to decay. That’s why you should always use a soft-bristle toothbrush when you brush.  

Clean Dentures Daily

Just like your teeth, dentures need to be cleaned daily. Cleaning your dentures will remove food particles and dental plaque while preventing stains. However, they cannot be cleaned with normal toothpaste. Toothpaste is abrasive and can damage dentures. That’s why you should always use a product specifically designed for dentures.

Watch for Side Effects of Medications

Many medications come with side effects that affect the mouth. One of the most common issues is dry mouth. Dry mouth cannot only accelerate tooth decay but cause gum disease as well. Without saliva to wash away plaque and neutralize acids, it’s important to keep an eye out for any changes to your teeth or gums. Always contact your Boise dentist if you notice any changes.

Drink Lots of Water

Drinking lots of water comes with numerous health benefits. Especially for your teeth and gums. Water helps rinse away and dilute acids produced by sugars and bacteria in your mouth. This, in turn, will help prevent cavities and tooth decay while making it easier for you to swallow.

Visit Your Boise Dentist Regularly

As you age, the nerves inside your mouth become less sensitive. That means you may have dental issues without even realizing it. Seeing your Boise dentist for regular cleanings and oral exams is important for maintaining your oral health into your senior years. Make sure to schedule an appointment at Summit Dental every six months or more frequently if you’re experiencing regular dental issues.

Contact us at (208) 345-8962 today!


Keeping Smiles Healthy at School

Keeping Smiles Healthy at School

Between early morning drop-offs & establishing homework schedules with your kids this fall, keeping their teeth healthy while they’re at school may not be your #1 priority. While it may seem like a mundane task, packing an apple instead of a fruit roll-up or cookies in their lunch can help boost your child’s oral and overall health in addition to keeping unwanted cavities and unexpected Boise dental bills at bay.

Boise dentist, Dr. Robert Studebaker warns that too much sugar can cause bacteria in the mouth to generate acid which over time wears away enamel causing tooth decay (cavities). While kids love their sweets, moderation is important. Overconsumption can not only hurt their teeth but provides an addicting, temporary jolt for kids that is typically followed by a sugar “crash” leaving them hungry, and lethargic which isn’t how you want your kids to feel during afternoon classes.

Instead, your Boise dentist at Summit Dental recommends the following Boise dental recommendations to help keep smiles healthy before, during, and after school:

  • After breakfast, or before leaving for school, have your child thoroughly brush their teeth with a fluoride toothpaste to remove the buildup of problem causing bacteria in their mouth accumulated overnight while sleeping. Brushing after breakfast (or any meal) not only removes leftover food particles but helps to eliminate bad breath (halitosis) as well.
  • Fill your child’s lunchbox with healthy foods and snacks. Whole grain breads, lean meats, nuts, cheese, apples, or bite-sized carrots are not only healthy but help to clean the teeth and gums naturally. Remember that old saying “an apple a day helps to keep the doctor away”? The same goes with your Boise dentist.
  • If their school allows it, send your child to school with a couple sticks of sugar-free gum to chew before and after lunch to help stimulate saliva to buffer acid and dislodge leftover food particles stuck in between teeth.
  • Children with extensive Boise dental work such as braces or removable retainers should take care to brush their teeth and rinse any dental appliances after every meal in order to keep their teeth happy, and healthy.

In the end, make sure to schedule a Boise dental visit during the school year for a checkup & regular Boise teeth cleaning. Ask your Boise dentist about protecting your children’s teeth from cavities with options like sealants – a thin coating of translucent material that acts as a barrier to cavity-causing bacteria.



The Do’s and Don’t’s of Boise Teeth Whitening

You know you want to get your teeth whitened, and you’ve heard plenty of things that you should and shouldn’t do with the process. Here are four things you should keep in mind:

Image via Flickr by Kaptain Kobold

1. Do research and ask your dentist in Boise which whitening methods work the best for you.

While you should do your own research, you can also get valuable information by talking with your dentist. Boise dentists at our Summit Dental Office offer three methods of Boise teeth whitening: extra-strength whitening strips, an in-office teeth whitening Boise treatment, and customized whitening trays. The teeth whitening trays offer a great mix of affordability and customized work and is our most popular choice.

2. Don’t wait until the last minute to get teeth whitening in Boise.

Unless you choose an in-office treatment with a Boise dentist, you’ll need at least a few weeks to get to your teeth to the desired whiteness. Give yourself a month with the extra-strength Boise teeth whitening strips or customized trays.

3. Do become extra vigilant with daily dental hygiene.

By brushing your teeth and flossing twice a day, you can keep your teeth the beautiful white you want them to be long after your teeth whitening Boise treatment. You can further keep them white by rinsing your mouth or brushing after eating or drinking anything extra sugary.

4. Don’t drink staining liquids during or right after your Boise teeth whitening treatment.

If you want to see results quickly and want them to last, avoid drinking tea, coffee, soda, and other dark liquids that are more likely to stain teeth. A patient’s teeth are especially vulnerable to staining right after a teeth whitening Boise treatment, so it is especially important to avoid these substances during and soon after the bleaching process, no matter which method you choose. The same goes for smoking or chewing tobacco—it yellows your teeth, so limit use, rinse after using, or (best of all) cut it out completely.

What have you learned from getting your teeth whitened? Let us know!



Teeth Whitening: Boise Dentists’ Recommendations for the Holidays

Teeth Whitening: Boise Dentists’ Recommendations for the Holidays
Christmas and New Year’s usually means plenty of family time, parties, and pictures. Want your teeth to be white and sparkly for the holidays? Here are our tips!

Start Teeth Whitening in Boise Today

We’ve mentioned before that there are three types of teeth whitening. Two of those types are home kits—professional-strength Crest Whitening Strips, and customized whitening trays. The customized trays are our most popular method of whitening because they are affordable and offer quick and impressive results. The results are gradual enough to make the process look natural and to let you decide how white you want your teeth to be. They also allow you to touch up your smile every few months so you can always have a bright smile.
For this at-home teeth whitening, Boise dentists recommend allowing three to four weeks to get to your desired level of brightness. That means you need to start the whitening process this week to be finished by Christmas! You can speed up the process by using the trays or strips once or even twice a day.

Be Vigilant with Brushing and Flossing

Keeping teeth clean is the best thing you can do to keep them white—you can help get a whiter smile by simply brushing and flossing three times a day. Remember that doing a great job brushing your teeth doesn’t mean brushing really hard (which can damage gums and tooth enamel) but brushing for a longer period of time (usually about two minutes).
Getting a new toothbrush can help you keep the best dental care and hygiene as well. A sonic toothbrush will clean your teeth extraordinarily well and can be even more valuable if you are brushing around dental work like braces or a permanent retainer. Some electric or sonic toothbrushes will even time themselves so that you know you are brushing for a good two minutes.

Stay Away from Dark Foods

No matter what type of teeth whitening, Boise dentists highly recommend staying away from coffee, tea, soda, and other dark, staining foods that can diminish your teeth whitening results. This is especially true for the day after a one-appointment teeth whitening, but it still holds true for the at-home kits or any time you want your teeth especially white and pretty. If you can’t go without your morning coffee or afternoon Diet Coke, you can lessen its impact by diluting the color with milk in coffee and by rinsing with water immediately after drinking.
Whatever type of teeth whitening you decide on, these tips will help you get your teeth sparkling for pictures by Christmas.
(Image via Flickr by ColorblindRain)

Dental Care During Holiday Vacations

Dental Care During Holiday Vacations

With Fall décor officially over and every store moving full-steam ahead with Christmas deals and decorations, our Boise dentists wanted to offer some dental care tips for holiday vacations. After all, staying as a guest in someone else’s home can wreck your regular routine, including your dental care regimen. Here are some things you can do to keep your teeth happy and healthy through the New Year:

Address Dental Issues for Pain before the Holidays

Our Boise dentists know that you don’t want to be spending any time at our dental office during your holiday week. We’d rather be with our families, too! So don’t put off a cavity filling, root canal, or dental crown until after the New Year. If you get the work done before your trip, you can work with the Boise dentists who know you and your specific needs. You can be comfortable in the office, and you know what you expect as far as payment goes. If you wait until the pain is unbearable during your guests’ stay or your vacation away, you have to visit a dentist you don’t know and who may or may not be covered under your insurance, and you have to either pay for a temporary fix or for an expensive procedure with a dentist you aren’t familiar with. Not to mention that you had to take precious time out of your relaxing holiday.

Have an Emergency Dentist Plan

Ask our Boise dentists if and when they are heading out of Boise for Christmas or New Year’s so that you know when you need to get your appointment in. For the days when our office dentists are gone, you should already have the name and number of the emergency dental office you’ll call. You don’t want to waste precious vacation days trying to find a dentist while in terrible amounts of pain!

Keep Up with the Portable Toothbrush

One of our previous articles suggested bringing a portable toothbrush to Thanksgiving dinner so you can brush whenever you remember to. The same idea applies to a vacation, when your routine is all mixed up. By keeping some disposable brushes in your car, purse, pocket, or bag, you can keep up with brushing whenever you remember – whether you are out shopping, on the road, or getting ready for an evening out. The pre-pasted brushes don’t even need water. Simply unwrap, use, and throw away.

Take Some Time to Relax

Family is great, but they can also cause plenty of stress. The amount of Christmas programs, dinners, guests, and food to attend, entertain, or prepare is enough to cause anxiety attacks. They are also why many people end up making last-minute dentist appointments during the holidays due to teeth grinding or clenching. This can cause headaches, jaw pain, or even chipped teeth. They can also irritate existing problems or dental work. So save yourself and your teeth from pain by finding moments to yourself to unwind. It’s good for your teeth!
With these tips, we at Summit Dental hope you have a relaxing vacation that is full of only good surprises and experiences.

Boise Dentists: We’re Thankful for Our Roots!

Boise Dentists: We’re Thankful for Our Roots!
With so many good things happening around Summit Dental this year, we wanted to take a step back and look at where we’ve come from. We have a solid history of excellent Boise dentists, staff, and care, so let’s go back and remember where it all began:

Then: Summit Dental Office Opens in 1975

Summit Dental opened for the first time in 1975 with Dr. Terry Gustavel and Dr. Skip Pierce. Located on Overland Road in the Boise Bench, the office was converted from an old house. The practice remained here for three years, already growing from a beginning patient base of 10 patients a day, or around 500 patients total.
While in the house, the practice had two doctors, two assistants, one hygienist, and a front desk assistant (who was the wife of one of the doctors). Dr. Pierce is still an associate of the practice, and several of the assistants and hygienists from those beginning years are still here working with us today!

The First Move: North Latah Road in 1978

In 1978, the Summit Dental Office moved from Overland Road to North Latah Road near Ann Morrison Park. This dental office is where Summit Dental truly began to grow and expand, taking on Dr. Carson Mooney, then Dr. Robert Studebaker, and finally Dr. Lance Ritchie.
This office is also where our beloved fish tank came to be! Coming around sometime during the 1980s, the Summit Dental fish tank has been a proud element of our waiting room for over 20 years. The tank experienced an upgrade during our recent move, including a switch to all live coral and the addition of several new types of fish.

Now: Office Moves to Americana Boulevard in 2012:

With 23 staff members and close to 6,000 current patients, Summit Dental moved to a custom-built facility in August of 2012. Coming a long way from a converted house, this office boasts 16 patient rooms, a beautiful waiting area, and a separate kids’ waiting room, not to mention a prime location. We easily see 100 patients in a day, coming a long way from our beginning of 10 patient appointments per day in 1975.
We’re so thankful for great Boise dentists, staff and of course great dental patients! We know that many families that began with us in 1975 are still with us today. So thank you so much for growing with us! We can’t wait to see what good things will happen in the coming years!

Advice from Boise Dentists: Dental Care During Holiday Meals

Advice from Boise Dentists: Dental Care During Holiday Meals
As a day that centers around an hours-long meal of iconic and sugary foods (marshmallow sweet potato casserole, pecan pie, and cranberries, for example), Thanksgiving offers plenty of opportunity for tooth decay. If you want to make sure you teeth stay healthy for Christmas, take a look at our tips for Thanksgiving Day:

Rinse with Water.

Sugary treats like candy and desserts (and even sweet fruit) provide plenty of nutrients for the bacteria in your mouth, building up plaque. The acids in these foods can stay in your mouth for 20 minutes or more, so rinse with water as soon as you are done eating, or even in between dishes.

Take a Portable Toothbrush.

Many portable toothbrushes are no longer than the palm of your hand, making them incredible easy to place in a pocket or purse. Colgate Wisps don’t even need water to use. Coming pre-pasted, these brushes also have a pick on the end of the handle so you can floss. By brushing as soon as you are done eating and before a food coma sets in, you can protect your teeth from bacteria and plaque.

Brush When You Remember.

A portable brush means you can brush whenever, not just when you get home, tired and ready to fall asleep. Even if you know you will have a few drinks or snacks later, brush when you think about it so that you can’t forget. You can always brush again later!

Eat Dessert Close to the Main Course.

Try to eat your desserts close to your meal, as your mouth produces more saliva then and can better clean and protect your teeth from sugary foods. If that is not an option, try chewing sugar-free gum with xylitol afterwards. The gum will help your mouth produce more saliva while the xylitol sweetener may even encourage enamel growth.
Enjoy your Thanksgiving with friends and family while also protecting your teeth with these great dental care tips for a holiday meal. Happy Thanksgiving from our Boise dentists and the rest of the Summit Dental office staff and team!