Author Archives: Dr. Aníbal López

Choosing the Right Toothpaste

If you have been to the dental care aisle, you know that the wall of choices can be difficult to sift through. With all of the options available, it can be hard to figure out which toothpaste is right for you.

Every toothpaste claims to deliver the whitest, brightest smile that no other toothpaste can compare to. That said, is there really much difference between all the options? Let’s explore some different types of toothpaste to help you figure out which one may be best for you.

Fluoride

Fluoride is one of the most important factors when choosing a toothpaste. To receive the American Dental Association (ADA) Seal of Acceptance, a toothpaste must contain fluoride.

Over time your enamel is weakened by acid-producing bacteria on your teeth. Fluoride helps to strengthen your enamel and is an important tool to protect against tooth decay. It is highly recommended for patients to choose a toothpaste that contains fluoride and has the ADA Seal of Acceptance.

Tartar Control

Some patients may have a hard time with plaque building up on their teeth. Over time this plaque can harden and turn into tartar which is one of the major contributors to gum disease. Toothpaste that is specially designed to control plaque build-up contains abrasive agents that helps remove tartar.

That being said, this toothpaste is not a replacement for regular biannual cleanings from Dr. López. Professional cleanings remove plaque that you may not be able to reach with regular brushing and flossing.

Whitening

Teeth whitening toothpaste is popular for patients that want to lighten their teeth by multiple shades. These kinds of toothpaste are not designed to bleach your teeth. Instead, they are formulated to remove surface stains. Therefore, it can take weeks to start seeing any significant results.

If teeth whitening is your goal, we recommend trying a professional teeth whitening service. Ask about our whitening treatments during your next visit.

Desensitizing

Sensitive teeth can make it difficult to eat cold or hot food. For these patients desensitizing toothpaste is a great option. It’s important to remember that it can take several applications before sensitivity is reduced. If desensitizing toothpaste is not enough, contact our office and we can help you find a treatment plan that will relieve your sensitive teeth.

Unique Flavors

Sometimes patients just want to find a way to make brushing fun again. For these patients, a toothpaste that has a unique flavor might be a perfect choice. From standard choices like mint to more exotic options like bacon or chocolate, if you’re looking for a unique way to spice up your oral care regimen, a uniquely flavored toothpaste may be just the thing for you.

Your Ideal Toothpaste

Ultimately the best toothpaste is the one that helps you stay consistent with daily brushing. While there are many great options, your ideal toothpaste is the one that gets you to brush for two minutes twice every day. Dr. López is delighted to answer any of your questions and can help you find the toothpaste that meets your needs.

Visit Summit Dentistry

Our mission is to help patients achieve healthy smiles that they can show off with confidence. Dr. López and his dedicated team at Summit Dentistry have the knowledge and experience to make your dream smile a reality.

From teeth cleaning and whitening treatments to veneers and dental implants, we have the treatment options to help you achieve your ideal smile. Schedule your next appointment with Dr. López today.

The Five Keys to Your Dream Smile

If you want a happy, healthy smile that you’ll be proud to show off, then you’re not alone. Dr. López and his team are delighted to help you achieve the smile of your dreams. Here are the top 5 keys to a smile you’ll be proud of for years to come.

1. Brushing

Brushing twice daily for at least two minutes is the first key to good oral health. That said, if you aren’t brushing properly, then there’s still room for improvement. It’s important to not only brush the outside surface of your teeth but the inside and chewing surfaces as well. It’s also important to brush along the gumline to remove the plaque that causes gum disease and tooth decay.

Replace Your Toothbrush

To avoid using a toothbrush that’s worn out and ineffective, replace it every 3-4 months. A great way to remember this is to swap out your toothbrush whenever the season changes so that you are changing brushes four times a year.

2. Flossing

Flossing is the next key to an outstanding smile. You only need to floss once daily to reach the areas that a toothbrush misses. If traditional flossing doesn’t meet your needs or is too difficult, then there are many alternatives.

Oral Irrigators

Oral irrigators use a jet of water that gently removes debris from in-between teeth. If sticking something between your teeth doesn’t appeal to you, then an oral irrigator is a great choice.

Floss pick

Floss picks are small plastic disposable flossing devices that come with a pre-threaded piece of floss attached to a handle. They’re easy to maneuver and extremely convenient.

Interdental Brushes

Interdental brushes are specially designed with thin bristles that glide between teeth. You don’t have to throw them away after a single use and can be used for up to a week.

3. Mouthwash

Using mouthwash is another fantastic tool patients should use to maintain good oral health and improve their smile. Not only does it help clean areas that brushing may miss, it also strengthens teeth so they are more resistant to decay. Additionally, it helps to freshen breath and kill cavity-causing bacteria.

There are many different kinds of mouthwash, but it is best to use ones with fluoride for the best results. While mouthwash doesn’t replace the other steps in your dental regimen, it’s a great way to improve oral health and keep your smile shining

4. Diet

What you eat is a key indicator of how your smile will develop. With good eating habits, you can strengthen your smile and prevent a lot of staining you would otherwise experience.

Sugar

Too much sugar in your diet is bad for your teeth and the rest of your body. You might think it won’t affect your smile, but sugar can have devastating effects. The sugar itself doesn’t harm teeth–It’s the acid-producing bacteria that feed on the sugar causing the damage. Cutting back on sugary beverages and drinking lots of water will help to reduce the sugar in your diet and it will have a significant impact on the health of your teeth.

Milk

Second only to water, milk is the best thing you can drink to protect your teeth. It not only contains the calcium your teeth need to stay strong, it also coats your teeth reducing the effects acidic foods have on your smile.

Acidic Drinks

Many of our patients’ favorite beverages are highly acidic. These drink such as soda, coffee, juice, and wine are major contributors to teeth staining. Limiting consumption of these beverages will help to keep your teeth clean and bright. If you need help removing stains or you want to lighten your smile, Dr. López provides professional teeth whitening services.

5. Regular Bi-Annual Cleanings

Even if you have a stellar dental regimen and a diet that’s smile friendly, visits to the dentist shouldn’t be avoided. Dr. López can find oral problems you may not be aware of and he can prevent dental complications from becoming more severe. Additionally, our deep cleanings will remove plaque that has built up under the gumline in places you can’t reach with self-dental care.

If you do have any roadblocks to your ideal smile, Dr. López will work with you to solve them. Whether you need a teeth cleaning or root canal, or if you need a more in-depth procedure such as dental implants, our team at Summit Dentistry is here to clear the path to your dream smile.

Schedule Your Visit Today

Using these five steps, we’re confident our Spokane patients will achieve their ideal smiles. Dr. López and our staff are here to ensure any dental problems are solved in an easy and stress-free environment. If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to call us. Schedule your next visit to Summit Dentistry today.

What’s all the Fuss about Flossing?

At Summit Dentistry in Spokane, we believe that flossing is vital for proper oral care. While brushing twice daily is essential, it won’t reach all the areas that need cleaning. Preventing oral complications before they arise is the best way to avoid costly oral procedures down the road. While it is not the only step necessary for proper oral care, flossing is necessary for a healthy smile.

Flossing helps remove the debris that your toothbrush can’t reach. If you don’t floss, plaque can build up between your teeth and below the gumline. This plaque buildup leads to tooth decay and gum disease.

Gum disease is a serious infection that threatens the health of your smile. Over time, gum disease will lead to difficulty in chewing, bleeding gums, and loose teeth. If left untreated, it can eventually cause you to lose your teeth. Research links gum disease to heart disease, stroke, respiratory disease, and premature births. Flossing is an easy way to prevent so many complications, but it’s surprising to discover how few people actually do it on a daily basis.

The American Dental Association found that only 40% of Americans floss at least once a day and 20% don’t floss at all. If you’re ready to start flossing regularly, here are some important tips for choosing and using the floss that best meets your needs.

Types of Floss

There are two main types of floss, nylon floss, and PTFE floss. Although both are great choices for keeping your smile healthy, there are some key features that distinguish the two. If you would like to learn more about good oral care or would like to schedule your next cleaning, call Summit Dentistry today.

Nylon Floss

Nylon (multifilament) floss is made up of many nylon strands and is available in both the waxed and unwaxed variety. Waxed floss glides between the teeth and is less prone to snapping than unwaxed floss. It’s also softer on the gums. Although unwaxed floss is more likely to snap, it can be better at getting in between teeth that are crowded.

PTFE Floss

Also known as dental tape, PTFE floss is made from Polytetrafluoroethylene. Patients with wide enough gaps between their teeth may find this floss to be ideal. Although it can be more expensive than nylon floss, it is much less likely to snap and tear when you’re flossing. Many patients who choose PTFE floss say it feels more comfortable than nylon floss.

No one type of floss will work best for everyone. Both nylon and PTFE floss have their strengths and are great options depending on what you need and prefer.

Flossing Technique

Once you have your chosen floss, it is important to practice proper flossing technique to maximize the benefit of your teeth and gums. Here are some tips you can use to become a flossing expert.

Wash your hands

It’s important to always wash your hands before flossing. You will be sticking your fingers in your mouth, and washing your hands is an easy preventative measure to avoid exposing yourself to unnecessary germs.

Proper Length

It is recommended to use about 18 inches of floss. The goal should be to have about two inches of floss between your hands held by your index fingers and thumbs. The other 16 inches or so should be wrapped around the middle or index fingers on each hand. Using this technique will give you the leverage to manipulate the floss more easily and make it easier to use a clean section of floss as you work your way around your mouth.

Be Thorough and Gentle

When flossing, make sure not to skip any of your teeth. In addition to being thorough, it is also important to be gentle. Do not force the floss between teeth which could bruise or damage your gums. When you floss each tooth, make sure to floss below the gumline and to use a clean section of the floss between all teeth.

Schedule Your Appointment

At Summit Dentistry, we understand that maintaining good oral care habits can be difficult. We care about your health and want to make it easier for you to maintain proper oral care. Dr. López is committed to working with patients to provide them with the quality care they deserve. We encourage you to click through our website to discover all the ways we can get you on the road to your perfect smile. Schedule your next visit today.

Brush Up On Brushing: The Top 5 Brushing Mistakes

Brushing mistakes

To most adults, brushing our teeth is second nature. Most people have a routine that they follow every day that involves brushing their teeth in the morning and at night. But patients have picked up bad brushing habits that are keeping them from optimum oral health. Improper dental care can lead to a decline in health, and nobody wants to end up in the dentist’s chair more often than they need to be! At Summit Family And Cosmetic Dentistry we are dedicated to helping you develop good habits to protect your oral health.

Brushing Mistake 1: Using The Wrong Toothbrush

The toothbrush aisle can be overwhelming, as most stores carry a massive variety of different brands and styles. A lot of our Florence patients tell us that they really don’t know what type of toothbrush they should look for and end up grabbing one at random.

Don’t let this mistake keep you from choosing the right brush. When shopping, use these guidelines to help you make your selection:

Size – Choose a toothbrush with a head that fits your mouth. If you have a smaller mouth and find it difficult to reach every corner and side of your teeth with your toothbrush, opt for a brush with a small head.
Bristles – Dr. Griffin recommends soft-bristled toothbrushes to all of his patients. Brushes with medium and hard bristles are dangerous, as they can damage your enamel and gum tissue. Most toothbrush packaging will indicate the bristle texture.
Handle – Choose a handle that fits comfortably in your hand, kind of like a fork. Patients with smaller hands may want to look for thin or small brushes.

Brushing Mistake 2: Not Brushing Long Enough

Maybe you’re already aware that you’re making this mistake. In the morning rush or late at night, it’s not unusual to want to quickly drag the toothbrush across your teeth and move on. This is a huge mistake, however, and can lead to adverse consequences down the line. Dr. Griffin recommends that his patients brush their teeth for 2 minutes twice per day in order to give each section of their mouth the proper amount of attention and care.

2 minutes may not seem like a long time, but when you’re standing in front of the bathroom mirror, it can feel more like 10. Find a song or music video around 2 minutes long to play while you brush. The time goes by quicker when you have something to focus on. Most electric toothbrushes are automated to run for 2 minutes at a time as well, taking the guesswork out of your brushing time.

Brushing Mistake 3: Overdoing It

While it may seem like a good idea initially, brushing your teeth too much can be almost as harmful as not brushing enough. Brushing more than 3 times per day can wear down your tooth enamel and damage your gums, leading to tooth decay and gingivitis. Yes, that’s right—brushing your teeth too much can cause cavities!

Plaque is so soft that it can actually be removed with a rag if you can reach it. Thoroughness is more important than toughness when it comes to brushing. Doing it 2 or 3 times per day for two minutes at a time combined with flossing and regular dentist visits is usually enough to keep your teeth healthy, bright and white.

Brushing Mistake 4: Using The Wrong Toothpaste

Choosing The Right ToothpasteNot all toothpaste is created equal. There’s different toothpaste for different goals, so it’s important to choose a type that suits your individual needs.

Tartar Control – If your teeth are prone to buildup and you’re looking to keep them free of plaque, choose a tartar control toothpaste. Tartar control works to protect the teeth and gums from gathering harmful plaque that causes tooth decay.
Whitening – Pearly-whites not looking so pearly? Consider a whitening toothpaste. These brands generally contain a small amount of bleaching agents that work to rid your teeth of the yellowing stains.
Desensitizing – Patients with sensitive teeth often find success with desensitizing toothpaste. Utilizing chemical compounds that block the minuscule holes in the enamel, desensitizing toothpaste can keep your teeth from stinging when they come in contact with hot or cold foods and drinks.
Children’s – When shopping for your children’s dental health, make sure to choose a toothpaste that suits their unique needs. Choose a paste with a smaller amount of fluoride than your own, as too much fluoride could actually damage their delicate teeth. Select a flavor that they enjoy as well so brushing their teeth feels less like a chore and more like a treat. Keep toothpaste out of reach, as your young children may want to eat it! Remember, before your child turns 2, choose a toothpaste without fluoride.

Brushing Mistake 5: Overusing Your Toothbrush

A lot of patients neglect to change their toothbrush out when it’s time. If your brush is looking frayed and broken, toss it in the trash and get yourself a new one. Frayed bristles will not clean as effectively as tight ones, allowing plaque and bacteria to remain on your teeth. Plus, worn bristles can actually damage your delicate gum tissue, creating an entire host of problems that you certainly want to avoid.

Most dentists recommend changing your brush out every 3 months, but if your bristles are looking frayed before that, do your teeth a favor and change it out.

Visit Summit Family And Cosmetic Dentistry For More Tips

Who knew that brushing your teeth could be so complicated? It’s a habit that most of us learned when we were young, so it may come as a surprise that you’re doing it wrong. Luckily, Dr. López at Summit Family And Cosmetic Dentistry in Spokane is here to help you kick your brushing faux pas to the curb to get your dental health back on track. If you have any more questions or want to see if you need to brush up on your brushing, make an appointment with our office today!