All Posts tagged boise

Protecting Your Smile & Your Heart

Protecting Your Smile & Your Heart

While we all know that it’s important to take care of your mouth, research suggests that your Boise dental health has an even bigger impact on your life than you even realize. At Summit Dental Group, we provide general dentistry treatments that not only help our patients maintain their smile but improve their overall health as well. We pride ourselves in helping our patients (big or small) enjoy their beautiful smiles in addition to an excellent quality of life. We consider our patients as members of our family, and we are committed to educating you about the connection between your Boise dental health and your general wellness. Below is some information linking dental care to your heart health:

Gum Disease

Plaque is known to coat your teeth in bacteria, increasing your risk for cavities but did you know that it can also develop beneath your gums causing periodontal infections? There are two stages of gum disease & the first is gingivitis. People with gingivitis develop swelling gum tissue that is tender. A sign that you might suffer from this condition is bleeding caused from flossing. If caught early, gingivitis can be easily treated with improved Boise dental hygiene. However, if left untreated, gingivitis (gum disease) can progress into periodontitis – an advanced condition of gingivitis in which the gums actually begin to pull away from the teeth forming pockets of harmful bacteria. Periodontitis then leads to either tooth loss, systemic infection, or both. This form of gum disease may require more intensive treatments such as deep cleaning, or in severe cases, oral surgery.

Periodontal & Cardiac Health

Health studies suggest there is a correlation between cardiac (heart) health and periodontal (gum) health. Patients who suffer from gum disease are more likely to have heart conditions compared to those who dont. The Academy of General Dentistry has actually found that patients with persistent periodontal infections are more vulnerable to heart attacks. In addition, a report from the Journal of the American Heart Association has reported that subjects who lost teeth to periodontitis were 57% more likely to suffer from a potentially life-threatening stroke. While researchers still don’t fully understand the relationship between oral health and heart disease, they do however believe it can be the result of systemic inflammation and infection.

How to Protect Your Heart Health

While the studies on Boise dental care and your heart health can be sobering, they also allow you to take simple yet effective steps for preventing your risk. Your Boise dentist suggests taking the following steps to keep your gums clean and healthy:

  • Brush your teeth for two minutes twice a day.
  • Floss your teeth between meals, or at least once per day. *This is especially important because flossing is the only way to remove unwanted plaque between teeth and beneath the gum tissue.
  • Visit your Boise dentist for biannual cleanings and exams. During your visit, your Boise dentist will assess your gums for any swelling or other signs of gum disease. If you happen to be diagnosed with periodontal infection, don’t panic, he can prescribe you with an appropriate treatment to address this condition.

In conclusion, the first step to improving your well being is to understand what influences it. To learn more about gum disease and your cardiovascular health, contact our office today to schedule an appointment with your Boise dentist.


Caring for your Child’s Teeth this Halloween

Caring for your Child’s Teeth this Halloween

Everyone loves Halloween, especially our little ones as this is the time of year they make out like bandits when it comes to their favorite sweet treats. In order to keep your little monsters smile healthy, the Boise dentist at Summit Dental offers some practical tips when it comes to your little monsters below:

Sort the candy together

For safety reasons, its not only vital to sort the candy together for safety reasons, but from a Boise dentist perspective, its also a time when you can separate the bad from the worst. A good rule of thumb is to let your kids pick out their top 10 favorites and put the rest away for the night. The next day have them separate the stack into two parts. Taffy, caramels, gummy bears, or anything sticky, or chewy should go into the first pile while the rest of the candy should go into the second pile.

Our Boise dentist suggests avoiding the first pile completely. We know its hard but Boise dental cavities are more prone to develop when exposed to sugary, chewy substances that linger on your teeth. Oral bacteria thrives in this environment and converts these substances to acid that in turn, can lead to cavities. Instead, steer your child toward stuff that dissolves quickly like suckers, and hard candies followed up with a good tooth brushing.

Regulate their candy consumption

Since Halloween is such a fun time for our little ones, it’s important to balance celebrating the holiday and maintaining a healthy, and teeth. Keep an eye on their sweet intake. While the amount of sugar you eat doesn’t necessarily determine whether or not you’ll get a cavity, its about how long sugars linger in your mouth. A great tip from Dr. Robert Studebaker is to set a daily limit of how many candies your child can have so you can remember how many ghoulish confections they’ve eaten. Dont let a fun holiday turn into an expensive Boise dental visit down the road.

Provide them with sugar-free gum

Not only does chewing gum help you ration your intake of sweet treats, it helps to produce saliva which in turn helps to buffer acid and dislodge left-over, sugary particles stuck in between teeth. Research has also shown that sweeteners in sugar-free gum like Xylitol and Sorbitol help to starve bad bacteria, allowing your mouth to replenish essential minerals to your teeth.

Brush & Floss!

Halloween is not a day for slacking. Its quite the opposite actually. Make sure your child sticks to their twice-a-day brushing & flossing routine to help remove any sticky residue left over from their favorite treats. In an ideal world, encourage your child to brush their teeth after eating any candy. Halloween is also a great time to schedule a Boise dental check-up or Boise teeth cleaning in order to keep your and your little ones teeth happy and healthy!


Protecting Your Child’s Smile During Sports Season

Protecting Your Child’s Smile During Sports Season

An essential element that goes along with rooting for your child during their next soccer, football or basketball game this fall is protecting their smile. Any Boise dentist will tell you that sports-related injuries to the mouth are just as common as a suffering from a sprained ankle among young athletes.

Mouthguards are designed to protect your childs teeth and gums from major Boise dental injuries. If your child loves to participate in his or her favorite after-school sports, it’s important that a mouthguard is worn in order to preserve the integrity of their teeth.

Types of Mouthguards

There are three basic types of mouthguards your child can wear in order to protect their smile: the pre-made, the “boil-and-bite, or a Boise dental, custom-made mouthguard. Available at your local drug store, sporting goods, or super store, make sure to pick one that is tear-resistant, well fitted, and comfortable for your child to wear. It is just as imperative for those who wear braces or a retainer to wear a mouthguard as well. Surprisingly inexpensive, mouthguards are a great way to prevent major Boise dental expenses should a sports related injury happen.

Caring for your Child’s Mouthguard

Similar to any oral hygiene or Boise dental appliance, its important to care for and clean your child’s mouthguard in order to keep them safe and healthy while maintaining its integrity.

  • Make sure to store the mouthguard in a protective case – Don’t let it get tossed onto the floor of your car after practice only to have them put it back in their mouth covered in germs & debri.
  • Have your child clean their mouthguard after each use as they would their own teeth  with a gentle scrub from their toothbrush with toothpaste before rinsing, and drying.
  • Replace the mouthguard at the beginning of every new sports season in addition to it becoming worn or no longer fitting properly.
  • Store the mouthguard at room temperature. Hot cars or window sills can easily cause the mouthguard to melt and lose its protective form.
  • Dont let your child chew or cut any piece off the mouthguard.
  • For children who wear retainers, a retainer should be removed before wearing a mouthguard. If your child wears braces, your Boise dentist can help design a specialized mouthguard to fit and protect their smile.

Keep in mind that no matter how hard we try to protect our children, accidents do happen. In case of a dental emergency, contact your Boise Dentist, Dr. Robert Studebaker ASAP. We can provide you with over-the-phone recommendations as well as scheduling an appointment depending on the severity of your childs Boise dental emergency for their best smile restoration.


How to Understand and Decide on a Dental Insurance Plan

How to Understand and Decide on a Dental Insurance Plan
Finding good dental insurance plans—or any good insurance—is stressful. How do you know if you have found a good plan? Remember that we would love to help you, so call us and talk about what plans you are looking at. We’ll do our best to help you understand your options. When you go over your options alone, however, keep in mind this list of things to look for:

What to Look Out For

A Waiting Period. Many insurance companies have a one-year waiting period where you are paying for insurance but cannot use it. If this is the case, you might be better off looking for a different plan or just paying out of pocket.
Limits. Dental insurance plans usually have a ceiling on what they will pay per year. This amount may be measured per family or per person. Consider the dental expenses you think your family will need to see if this plan’s limit will suit you.
Coverage. Some insurance companies will only cover silver fillings (the ones that contain mercury) and will not cover composite fillings for cavities. This is another red flag that may mean this insurance plan is not a good fit for you.
Stipulations. Every plan will have some stipulations about copays, pre-existing conditions, limits, and other things already mentioned. Be sure you look over what these stipulations are to see if they are compatible with your family’s needs.
Coverage Percentage. Every dental plan should state rather clearly what percentage of your dental fees they will cover (usually around 60 percent or 80 percent). But you need to ask if this is 60-80 percent of the doctor’s fees, or 60-80 percent of the insurance company’s set fees. Here’s the difference: insurance companies create set fees for what theythink a cavity or cleaning should cost, regardless of whether your Boise dentist’s fees are different. You can see how this could cost you, so make sure you clarify this with your insurance company.

Do Dental Patients Really Need Insurance?

The short answer is that it depends. Dental patients should look at what they need and what insurance would cover, but the decision is mostly personal preference. Here are some examples of what you could consider:
Mostly Preventative. Most older people probably just need preventative care, so simple dental insurance like a $700 limit to use on whatever the dental patient wants or needs is probably enough to cover biannual cleanings, check-ups, and the like. For those looking for another simple dental insurance option, flex spending accounts are generally a good idea as well.
A Waiting Period. If there is a waiting period, however, you may be better off without insurance and instead pay out of pocket.
For Lots of Dental Work. If you need a lot of work done on your teeth, really good dental insurance could be a huge help. But know that for something like dental implants, most insurance companies won’t cover much. Coverage for these procedures has improved over the years, however, so you may get coverage up to 40 percent.

The Bottom Line

In order to discover if you have a good dental plan and if it’s worth the investment, ask lots and lots of questions. And call us to go over your options! We’d love to help you find the best plan and can help you pick up on the red flags of a bad plan.
Any other questions about finding a good dental plan? Give us a call or stop by our office!

Jack Tobin Is Our September Cavity Free Super Star Winner!

Jack Tobin Is Our September Cavity Free Super Star Winner!
Congratulations to Jack Tobin for being September’s Cavity Free Super Star Winner! By regular brushing and flossing, Jack kept his teeth healthy and cavity free for his appointment. Thanks for coming in, and for taking such good care of your teeth and gums, Jack!

All children ages 3-14 who have no cavities get to join the Boise Summit Dental Cavity Free Super Star Program! Each child will be entered in a monthly drawing for 2 Free Movie Passes! We will also place their names on our website as we want everyone to know that we are proud of these children who have been doing a great job taking care of their teeth and gums at home!

Advice from Boise Dentists: Budgeting Tips for Dental Care

Advice from Boise Dentists: Budgeting Tips for Dental Care
We know that times are hard and patients can use all the help they can get in affording the good care they need for their teeth. While we’ll spend later posts talking about how to understand insurance and health care laws, this week we are offering tips and tricks to affording everyday dental expenses.

Take Care of your Teeth

The biggest way you can save money on dental costs is by keeping up with daily dental hygiene. If you take good care of your teeth, there will be fewer cavities, whitening treatments, and other dental expenses to pay for.
Annual dental office appointments are equally important as they clean up your teeth and check for problems that could become serious if left alone. If you have dental insurance, check to see if it covers an annual cleaning. Most insurance plans do. While it may hurt to go to the dentist once a year, it can catch dental problems early so they do not become large expenses later.
If you need more motivation, Michelle at calculates that her family would have saved $8,000 by getting dental insurance and taking better care of their teeth!

Address Problems and Pain Early

If you haven’t been keeping up with yearly or semi-annual dental office appointments, make sure you at least schedule a dentist appointment early on when experiencing discomfort. Waiting too long can turn a simple cavity into a very expensive and painful root canal. Of course, if you brush and floss every day, your chances of needing a cavity filled will significantly decrease anyway.

Create an Emergency Fund

This idea does not strictly apply to dental patients but is instead a theory of being prepared for all sorts of financial emergencies. The idea is to keep money saved but easily accessible for surprise expenses like dental work, car repairs, and other emergencies. Dave Ramsey recommends starting with $500, and moving towards a goal of $1,000. This way when you need to fill a cavity or undergo a dental procedure, you don’t have to stress about coming up with the money—it’s already there. After the expense you can once again work up to the full amount of $1,000. While this doesn’t save you money on the actual expenses, it can really cut back on the stress these emergencies cause.
By taking the time to keep up on dental hygiene, you can stave off the costly expenses of cavities, teeth whitening, and other dental procedures. Do you have any other tips for saving on everyday dental expenses? We’d love to hear them!

Landon Schweiger is July’s Cavity Free Super Star Winner!

Landon Schweiger is July’s Cavity Free Super Star Winner!
Congratulations to Landon Schweiger for being July’s Cavity Free Super Star Winner! At six years old, Landon kept his teeth healthy and cavity free for his appointment by regular brushing and flossing. Thanks for taking such good care of your teeth and gums, and enjoy your two movie passes, Landon!
The Summit Dental Super Star Cavity Free Program was created to show recognition to those special patients who demonstrate excellent home care in between dental visits and therefore have no cavities when they come in for their dental check-up.
All children ages 3-14 who have no cavities get to join Summit Dental Super Star Program! Each child will be entered in a monthly drawing for 2 Free Movie Passes! We will also place their names on our website as we want everyone to know that we are proud of these children who have been doing a great job taking care of their teeth and gums at home!

The Chocolate Drawer and Other Favorites: What Our Hygienists and Office Staff Love About Summit

The Chocolate Drawer and Other Favorites: What Our Hygienists and Office Staff Love About Summit
We’ve been wondering what your favorite things about Summit Dental are, so we thought we’d share a few more of ours as well. Here are three of our hygienists’ and office staff’s favorite things about working at Summit Dental Group.


The chocolate drawer. One of our office’s longest traditions, the chocolate drawer is a place for everybody to grab their favorite piece of candy. It is full of any and every kind of chocolate, from Twix to Milky Way to Hersey chocolate bars. We all take turns filling the drawer as well so it always has a good stock, just what we need if we’re having a rough day or need a late afternoon pick-me-up. We can’t quite remember how it started besides the fact that we have an office full of women, so of course chocolate is a great idea!


Office field-trips. These trips are a great time for us to hang out and relax together while creating a solid team environment. They may be as simple as a few rounds of Frisbee golf, or we might make a longer day out of it by floating on the river. One year we even rented a bus and went down to Jackpot to check out the concerts and casinos! Made to bring us together as a team, these fieldtrips include some of our favorite memories of Summit Dental.


The Summit gang. Of course the staff and team at Summit are what make working at this dental office such a great experience. We get along so well together and have such a great work atmosphere. You’ve already heard some of our favorite places to get together for lunch or drinks so you know what a great time we can have! In addition to going out together after work or during lunch, we also like to throw together a girls’ getaway where we go out for dinner or try a new project. Some of our favorite times include going to a ceramics place to paint pottery, or heading to Need to Bead for some creativity.


With something like a chocolate drawer, you have to know that Summit Dental Group is a great place to work with an environment that is hard to beat, whether for us or for you as our patients. Of course, something like a chocolate drawer or office fieldtrip is just the cherry on top of a great working environment, made possible by our amazing team of dentists and staff!

Theo Almerico is Our June Cavity Free Super Star Winner!

Theo Almerico is Our June Cavity Free Super Star Winner!
Congratulation to Theo Almerico for being June’s Cavity Free Super Star Winner! Theo was entered into our monthly Super Star drawing by caring so well for his teeth that he didn’t have any cavities at his dental check-up. Keep up the good work with flossing and brushing, and enjoy your two movie tickets!

All children ages 3-14 who have no cavities get to join the Summit Dental Cavity Free Super Star Program! Each child will be entered in a monthly drawing for 2 Free Movie Passes! We will also place their names on our website as we want everyone to know that we are proud of these children who have been doing a great job taking care of their teeth and gums at home!


Our Favorite Boise Shops for Dessert!

Our Favorite Boise Shops for Dessert!

Looking to satisfy your sweet tooth? We love a good cup of coffee or a delightful pastry, so here are our Boise dentists’ favorite places to go for coffee or dessert!

Our Boise staff love their coffee and can recommend several places around town where you can great mocha or regular coffee. Stop by Dutch Brothers for a latte on the go on your way to work, or choose one of the delicious monster scones at Big City Coffee when walking around downtown Boise. We also think Moxie Java offers some of the best blended iced coffees, perfect for hot summer weather! For a little more of the sweet stuff, we have to recommend the donuts and coffee at DK Donuts. This place has been around forever and still serves some of the best and freshest donuts in town!

A’Tavola is one of our favorite restaurants in all things—from lunch to dessert! The atmosphere, the gourmet food, and the sweets make it a great place. They serve locally-roasted coffee from Dawson Taylor, and have a beautiful display of yummy goodies to choose from. If you are looking for a great dessert date or a place to meet a friend, stop here for unique and delicious pastries.

If you love taking the kids to get ice cream or milkshakes, make sure you get the best sundaes in town at Goody’s Goodies in Hyde Park, or head to Blue Cow or U-Swirl for a great frozen yogurt. Our Boise dentists and staff love Goody’s not only for their great ice cream and old-fashioned feel, but also for their excellent location. We love the historic neighborhood, full of antique stores and specialty shops for browsing, in addition to its several summer festivals and events. When you are wondering where to take your kids for a frozen yogurt, we love Blue Cow for their unique flavors like peppermint stick and eggnog, while U-Swirl is great with Candy treats like Reese’s frozen yogurt, in addition to having other seasonal flavors.

While we love to go out for a cup of coffee and a donut or ice cream, we also know the importance of taking care of our teeth after eating something sweet.  It is always best to brush your teeth right away, but when this is not possible, at least swish with water and chew sugar free gum or mints, as this will help stimulate saliva flow to help buffer and clear the sugary treats.

We hope you enjoy a dessert from one of our recommendations! What are some of your favorite places to snack?