When it comes to maintaining your oral health, the most commonly offered advice includes brushing and flossing daily and visiting your downtown Boise dentist regularly. While these habits work to protect the health and integrity of your teeth and gums, there are, however, common daily habits that risk damage to your teeth. Below are some unhealthy habits to be aware of to prevent damage and injury that may harm your teeth resulting in costly repairs.
Using Your Teeth As Tools
You wouldn’t use a screwdriver to hammer a nail, would you? Of course not! The same rule applies when it comes to opening packages, bottles or performing other tasks with your teeth. Unless your job involves chewing food, you should never use your teeth as tools.
Grinding Your Teeth
Grinding weakens the structure and enamel of your teeth. You could also end up with a chipped tooth or joint pain in your jaw from overly-stressed facial muscles. Stress is often the main culprit for teeth grinding. That’s why it’s important to practice relaxation techniques and to talk with your downtown Boise dentist about getting a mouth guard.
Brushing Too Hard
Many people think that in order to clean their teeth properly they need to brush aggressively. However, nothing could be further from the truth. Brushing too hard puts essential tooth enamel that you can’t get back at risk. To prevent this from happening, make sure to brush your teeth with a soft toothbrush using gentle pressure.
Biting Your Nails
Biting your nails not only puts you at risk of ingesting harmful bacteria and viruses, it can also chip your teeth and distort your jaw placement. While it’s a hard habit to break, doing so will provide you with healthy nails, while keeping you and your teeth healthy.
Smoking is a dangerous habit that poses serious risks to your Boise dental and overall health. Nicotine can not only hurt the enamel of your teeth, but the smoke from cigarettes contains thousands of chemicals that can destroy healthy cells and cause cancer. For your health and the health of those around you, smoking is an important habit to break.
Summit Dental Group
At Summit Dental Group, our Boise dentists understand we all have bad dental habits. After all, bad habits are easy to form. The good news is that we can break bad Boise dental habits once we learn to recognize them and how they are affecting us. This, in turn, helps us to commit to changing our behaviors.
To find out more about habits that may be hurting your Boise dental health call us at (208) 345-8962. Our dedicated team of dental professionals would be more than happy to set up an appointment and answer any questions you may have.
Today is the day to catch up with family members, and count your blessings while being grateful for all that is good in your life. Not to mention eating all the excellent feast of foods! However, the holiday season is no time to slack on your Boise dental care! To keep you happy and healthy this Thanksgiving, your Boise dentist has compiled the following Boise dental tips:
Shorten Your Meal Time. The length of a typical Thanksgiving meal can be one of the most damaging aspects to your Boise dental health. While it’s important to enjoy the company of your family and friends throughout the day, it’s also important to keep in mind that exposing your teeth to continuing foods can make it easier for cavity causing bacteria to accumulate in your mouth. Instead of passing the time by constantly eating, focus this time on sharing stories, watching movies, or playing games.
Stay Hydrated. Drinking water while enjoying rich, sweet foods helps to wash away debris and prevent plaque formation. Lightly rinsing your mouth with a swallow of water between bites helps to improve saliva flow that helps to fight off cavities. Water is also an excellent replacement for more damaging drink options like juice or soda.
Brush and Floss. Take about thirty minutes after you’ve finished eating to brush and floss your teeth. You can also bring xylitol gum to chew after the meal, which could help wipe away leftover food particles on your teeth, improve your saliva flow, and assist with your digestion.
Ditch the sticky sides. Side dishes like cranberry sauce not only stick to your teeth for hours they also happen to be acidic, creating an ideal environment for bacteria to infect your gums and eat through your enamel. Other sticky offenders are pecan pie and mashed potatoes. If you do indulge it’s important to make sure you swish with water after eating and brush your teeth to wipe away the gummy remains.
Make a Post-Holiday Boise Teeth Cleaning Appointment. While we all grieve the holiday weight gain, the desserts and long meals associated with Thanksgiving and Christmas are also tough on your teeth. A post-holiday Boise teeth cleaning can help scrub your teeth and prevent any issue before they become uncomfortable or costly. Keep in mind that your Boise dentist can also perform a variety of best smile restoration options including a Boise teeth whitening treatment to provide you with a brighter smile for holiday photos and celebrations.
Depending on your best smile restoration procedure, there are a variety of options to choose from when consulting with your Boise dentist about restoring damaged teeth.
Image via Flickr by Vee Viveee
Traditionally dentists had no choice but to use metal fillings and crowns. A crown is used to cover or “cap” a damaged tooth. Materials used to cap teeth include gold and metal alloys, acrylic and ceramic. A bridge may be recommended if you’re missing one or more teeth. Bridges span the space where the teeth are missing, and are cemented to the natural teeth or implants surrounding the empty space. As with crowns, bridges have often been made with the same materials. Until now…
Summit Dental now offers the breakthrough technology of the CEREC. CEREC crowns can restore stability to your mouth without compromising the health and beauty of your smile. The CEREC system allows your Boise dentist to fashion and produce an attractive, durable crown, inlay, or onlay in just one visit.
Unlike other materials, ceramic porcelain is often preferred because it’s strong, and much more attractive. Porcelain dental crowns not only provide a better natural color match than any other crown but are more suitable for people with metal allergies. Ceramic and porcelain crowns are the number one choice for the best smile restoration of your front teeth.
The CEREC machine used by Summit Dental generates high-quality dental restorations with the aid of 3D computer technology. By creating a 3D image of your tooth, the CEREC machine generates a model of your custom crown. During this procedure you can listen to music, relax, and wait while the CEREC unit mills the restoration. Your Boise dentist will then place the final crown before you leave the office.
Not every situation is right for an inlay or onlay, but your trusted Boise dentist will assess your problem and determine the best solution for you. By utilizing the CEREC machine, only one appointment is necessary to complete the restoration. During your visit, your tooth will be prepared by removing any tooth decay or filling and is cleaned. After that a digital impression is made. This image is converted into a 3D computerized model of your tooth, which is used as a guide to design your new restoration. Once your Boise dentist is happy with the newly designed tooth, this data is sent to an onsite milling machine, which fabricates your new tooth from a high-quality ceramic block. The CEREC machine then creates a custom inlay or onlay for you.
Image via Flicker by flickr.com/eflon
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.
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!
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!
Ever wondered why dental records are used to identify a person? Or if teeth are as strong as diamonds? We’ve collected a list of dental myths to set the record straight.
1. Ninety percent of systemic diseases have oral manifestations.
True. This includes diabetes and thyroid problems. So yes, a dentist may be able to tell if you have an underlying health problem just by looking in your mouth.
2. If you’ve lost a permanent tooth, put it in milk.
. A permanent tooth can only live so long before being returned to your mouth, but putting it in milk can make it live longer. As mentioned in another dental article
, be sure not to touch the tooth’s root! And call us right away to schedule an emergency appointment.
3. If you lost or broken a crown, you can fix it with superglue.
False. This is a terrible idea for several reasons: mainly, the crown may have fallen out for a reason (like underlying tooth decay) and should be seen by a dentist as soon as possible. Besides that, superglue isn’t made for your mouth. For a temporary fix before you reach the dentist, try dentist cement from the pharmacy.
4. Teeth are the hardest substance in the human body.
. An article by a Waco dentist
explains why: the unique protein found in teeth affects the mineral crystal formation of your teeth, making them much stronger than bone.
5. Teeth are harder than diamonds.
6. Every person has a unique tongue and tooth print.
True. That is why officials can rely on dental records to prove the identity of a person.
Do you know any more dental trivia? We’d love to hear it!
A spacious office with new equipment and a better layout gives us a better environment to do our best work, but it also allows us to work together with our patients to provide the best care and give the best answers. Here are our favorite things about the new office, and how it helps us work better together with our patients:
Spacious rooms: The new office patients’ rooms are large, comfortable, and quiet. Hardwood floors, natural light, and plenty of extra floor space and seating help patients to sit comfortably during appointments. This allows for more relaxed dentist and patient interaction, which is greatly appreciated on both sides.
Top-of-the-line technology. In addition to spacious rooms, we are very excited to work with the latest dental technology in each patient room. One of the features that is most convenient are the large format computer displays; these are used to show patients intra-oral camera pictures of what we are seeing, and it really helps us communicate problems we are seeing in the mouth.
Many diseases cannot be seen when we examine the mouth, so these pictures and x-rays help us see small areas of decay between teeth, bone loss caused by infection or gum disease, and many other things, including the position of unerupted teeth. The large format screens allow us to then demonstrate the problems we see in the mouth so that our patients can clearly see the problem, and then we can work together to resolve it.
The Summit team. Finally, by working with such experienced clinicians, we can share ideas on treatment decisions with each other and learn from each other’s experiences. This helps us find the best possible treatment for every patient. Also, working with such a friendly and outgoing staff really helps create an enjoyable environment to work in on a daily basis.
Last but not least, we love being a part of a dental practice with such a long standing of 35 years, and which has an established reputation of being a high-quality and friendly office, with truly great patients. We are excited to carry on the Summit reputation in a new location with the same great service, staff, and patients!
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!
While we are so excited to show off the new space and equipment of our new Boise office this month, we are so glad that some things will make the transition with us, like our fun-loving office environment and friendly staff. Every part of our office aims to make patients feel comfortable and welcome, and we pride ourselves on listening to their specific situations and needs. After all, we believe that patient relationships are the core of who we are! Here is a list of things we are glad to keep:
A welcoming waiting room.
Not only will we have a comfortable waiting room, the space will have expanded so that kids can have fun at the dentist with a kid-friendly area complete with soft flooring, toys, and a television that shows favorite Disney and Pixar films.
Patient-centered staff. If anything, being in a space that is tailored to be exactly what we need may make us even more enjoyable to be around! We don’t just want to take care of your teeth; we want to hear about your family, your summer vacation and everything in between. Our patients are the heart of our work, so we want to form long-lasting relationships that allow us to really know our patients!
A fun-loving office environment. With such an outgoing staff, it is hard not to catch the atmosphere of fun that our Boise dentists, hygienists, and office workers create. Office staff at the front desk welcome patients into the office before our hygienists sit and talk with them in the dental chair. Finally, our Boise dentists are personable and relaxed. If you want to see just how much fun we have hanging out together, head to our Staff page to see pictures of our dentists, hygienists, and office staff. Whether it is our interaction with you or with each other, you can’t help but notice that we love our job.
We may be moving to a new building, but our signature office environment full of welcoming spaces and friendly staff is one thing we are certainly excited to be taking with us. What are you hoping to see in the new Boise office?