Tag Archives: nutrition and dental health

Stay Cavity Free this Halloween

sugary treats on Halloween

Are you ready for Halloween?

With just a week left before a flood of trick-or-treaters descend on your doorstep, we’re heading into crunch time. Getting the last few touches up on front-yard decorations and making the last few adjustments to your costume can quickly absorb any free time you have left before Oct. 31st. And with good reason – Halloween is a fun holiday for every age and is often considered the kickoff to the holiday season.

At Summit Family & Cosmetic Dentistry, we want you to enjoy your Halloween worry-free. But before you and your family binge on your candy haul, be sure to keep these tricks in mind to protect your smile from cavities or an accidental emergency:

Stick to Chocolates!
Like anything else, all candy is great in moderation. However, some sweets are certainly better for your teeth than others. Lollipops and hard candies in particular are major culprits behind poor oral health. Because these treats can’t be easily eaten without letting it dissolve for an extended period of time, patients are essentially bathing their teeth in sugar, which can increase the risk of cavities and gingivitis.

Rather than putting your teeth at risk, our Spokane dentist recommends opting for chocolates and other softer candies. Not only are Hershey’s and M&Ms easier to chew (limiting the risk of broken teeth), they don’t stick to teeth and any debris left behind is easily washed away from your smile.

Having a Filling or Crown? Keep Away From Caramels
This one is for our teen and adult patients who also enjoy indulging during this spooky season. Caramels, taffy, and other sticky sweets are especially notorious for damaging dental restorations and have been known to pull out fillings and crowns. If you want to avoid an emergency dental visit, stay away from caramels.

Satisfy your Sweet Tooth with an Apple
While treating yourself to sweets every once in awhile is great, it’s easy to go overboard, especially on Halloween. To keep your smile healthy, our dentist in Spokane recommends alternating candy with smile-friendly snacks like celery sticks, apples, and carrots. Not only are these whole fruits and veggies great for your diet, they’re also excellent for your smile!

Remember to Brush & Floss
Whether you’re going out trick-or-treating or planning on sneaking a few treats while passing out candy, remember to brush and floss twice a day! Neglecting important oral hygiene steps, especially after a night of sugary treats can increase your risk of developing oral health problems, including cavities and gingivitis.

Enjoy Your Halloween!
Our team at Summit Family & Cosmetic Dentistry wishes you a safe and happy holiday! If you do happen to experience a dental emergency while enjoying your haul, give Dr. López a call – we’ll fit you in for an emergency visit as soon as possible.

Health Smiles Start with a Healthy Diet

We’re all are familiar with the phrase “you are what you eat.” But did you know your diet can impact the health of your entire smile?

Recent studies published in the Journal of Biomedicine and Biotechnology add greater support to the theory that there’s a strong relationship between diet and smiles. Unhealthy diets that are low in protein and vitamins but high in refined carbohydrates have been shown to increase the risk of cavities and gum health. Other studies, like this one conducted by the WHO Collaborating Centre for Nutrition and Oral Health and the Centre for Community Oral Health Programmes highlight that nutrition has an impact on the development of teeth and can even trigger the preconditions that encourage the development of oral cancer.

Given the long term consequences of these preventable diseases, there’s little question as to why so many dentists are now educating patients of all ages on the importance of a healthy diet.

So What Makes a Smile Friendly Diet?

Many studies agree – the best diet for a healthy smile is a balanced one. This means a diet full of fresh fruits and vegetables as well as lean protein and plenty of water. Smile friendly diets also limit sugar intake, avoiding sticky candies or fruits as well as starchy, carb-heavy foods like potato chips.

So what does this all mean for your day to day life? Here are some of the top foods and drinks our Spokane dental team recommends picking up on your next trip to the grocery store.


Blueberries, raspberries, and cranberries are all rich in anthocyanins, which prevent bacteria from attaching to the surface of teeth. Try adding them to a cup of Greek yogurt for a delicious parfait or throwing them into your next salad for a pop of freshness.

Crunchy Fruits and Vegetables

Craving the crisp of a good potato chip? Get a satisfying and healthy crunch by swapping out chips for celery, snap peas, apples, or carrots at lunch time. These crisp fruits and vegetables help “scrub” away plaque from teeth as you eat them, keeping cavity-causing bacteria at bay.


You probably already know how important vitamin D and calcium are for your bones, but were you aware of how important these essential vitamins are for your teeth? Milk, cheese, and yogurt are all excellent ways to strengthen teeth and fight demineralization of tooth enamel. Cheese in particular has also been shown to increase saliva production, which in turn helps wash away plaque and bacteria from teeth.

Leafy Greens

Spinach and kale not only provide your smile with important antioxidants and iron, they also contain high amounts of vitamin A, beta-carotene, and calcium. Each of these vitamins play a unique and important role in protecting the health of the smile and body.


Are you a fan of garlic? You’re in luck. This pungent bulb contains allicin, which has antifungal and antibacterial properties. Allicin helps kill off gum-disease causing bacteria while protecting the good bacteria that resides in your smile.

Lean Protein

Protein is an important building block to every aspect of a healthy lifestyle and your smile is no exception. Lean meats like chicken, turkey, and fish can all help strengthen teeth and protect your smile.

Get the Full Scoop – Visit Summit Family & Cosmetic Dentistry Today!

At our Spokane dental practice, our team is dedicated to helping patients care for their smiles. This includes choosing a healthy, sustainable diet that promotes good oral and overall health. Whether it’s time for your next teeth cleaning or you have questions about what kind of diet promotes a healthy smile, give us a call! Dr. López and his team are here to help you and your family achieve a beautiful smile.