Orthodontics can help straighten your teeth and give you a smile you can be proud to show off. If your teeth are straight and your bite is perfect, you can speak and eat easier. Straightening your teeth boosts confidence, and allows you to be comfortable around others. Not only is straightening your teeth good for cosmetic reasons, but orthodontics can help reduce your risk for cavities and gum disease. Finding that perfect treatment for you is a big decision, so you want to weigh all of the factors. 

At Smile Dental National City, we offer many orthodontic options for our patients. We have a detailed consultation process for new patients that are interested in orthodontic treatment. This allows our doctors to perform a detailed exam, and take a look at your teeth and mouth. Depending on the severity of the correction, and condition of your teeth can help determine what orthodontic method is best for you. Our team will listen to your goals, and develop a customized treatment plan to help you choose the orthodontic option that works best for you.

What Should I Consider When Choosing Clear Aligners vs. Braces?

Cosmetic – Do you want a treatment that is more discrete, or are you comfortable wearing brackets and wires that do not blend in? Clear aligners cannot be seen by others, and braces do not blend in as much.

Comfort – What do you expect as far as how sore you will be during your treatment? Will the brackets and wires irritate your gums and mouth? Clear aligners are smooth and braces may rub your gums initially until you get used to the treatment.

Convenience – How often do you need to visit our office for appointments during your treatment? Both clear aligners and braces require regular visits to the dentist to monitor your progress.

Effort – Are you committed to wearing your aligners or braces for the required amount of time to complete the treatment? Clear aligners have to be worn for a certain time each day, so you need to be committed in order to ensure results. Braces are bonded to your teeth, so there is no worry about not wearing them like there is with clear aligners.

Cost – Compare the cost of both treatments and choose which one works best for you.

Are Braces Better Than Invisalign?

Whether you choose clear aligners or braces, you will be able to achieve the smile you have always wanted. Orthodontics today are a lot different than they were in previous generations. They are more comfortable, and easily worn with less discomfort. 

Clear aligners are worn in a serious over time to gently move teeth into place. Clear aligners are less noticeable compared to braces, and can be removed for eating and drinking. Traditional braces use brackets and wires, and have an option for clear ceramic brackets instead of the metal color we are all used to seeing. Both methods are highly effective with outstanding results. It really comes down to choosing the method that will work best for your lifestyle, and level of correction needed.

Interested in Finding a Dentist in National City That Specializes in Orthodontics?

If you are looking for a San Diego dentist that offers orthodontic options, Smile Dental National City can help. Let our team help you get that straight smile you have always wanted. We have many options, and our highly trained staff can help you choose the option that works best. Don’t live with a smile that bothers you, or leaves you uncomfortable around others. Correcting your teeth is easy, and we can help you achieve the smile of your dreams.

Our new National City location is now open and is taking new patients. We are conveniently located off of the 805 freeway, making us a great choice for families living in the area.

To schedule your appointment call us at (619) 477-2787, or email us at smiledentalnationalcity@gmail.com.

Chewing ice is a habit many people can not break. That crunchy texture and cool feeling makes chewing ice addictive. Many of us chew ice mindlessly without even realizing we are doing it. Unfortunately, chewing ice can damage our teeth, and can lead to further more complicated issues.

Why is Chewing Ice Bad for You?

Why is Chewing Ice Bad for You?


Chewing ice can damage your tooth enamel. Our enamel is the hardest substance in the entire body, but ice can still cause damage. Our enamel protects our teeth from cavities and wards off acid and sugar. If you damage your teeth from chewing ice, your teeth can be more prone to tooth decay. Chewing or eating ice can also cause teeth microfractures which are tiny cracks in your teeth. Over time the cracks can become worse if you do not seek treatment, and more serious issues can develop. Patients should seek emergency treatment, and call our office right away if you think you may have a cracked tooth.

Oral Appliances

Ice chewing can also cause damage to oral appliances such as braces or retainers. The ice is so hard that patients risk cracking a bracket or damaging wires. This can result in an expensive trip to the orthodontist. Knowing what habits can cause harm is important, so you can avoid another visit to the dentist.


If you chew ice and have fillings, your filling could become loose or cracked. If this happens you must visit our office for immediate repair. Cracked or loose fillings can cause damage and further decay if not treated promptly.

Our team at Smile Dental Lakeside provides our patients with information on what habits to avoid in order to keep your teeth and mouth healthy. We discuss good oral hygiene, and what patients should be doing at home to take care of their teeth. To avoid unnecessary trips to the dentist, patients should avoid chewing ice. 

Need to Schedule an Appointment?

If you are interested in scheduling an appointment, we encourage you to contact Smile Dental Lakeside. Our doctors provide the highest level of service in a comfortable and calm environment. Your oral health is our priority, and we treat all of our patients like family. Both of our locations have state-of-the-art technology and equipment, allowing our team to bring the very best procedures and services to our patients.

We have a new location in National City. Our Smile Dental National City office is conveniently located near the 805 freeway and is accepting new patients. 

To schedule your appointment contact Smile Dental Lakeside, and our friendly staff will be happy to assist you.

There are three ways of dealing with cavities in a tooth:

  1. Small Cavities: Drill out the decay and fill the cavity with composite (typically called a “filling”)
  2. Bigger Cavities: File down the decayed portion of the tooth, and then place a “crown” over the remaining healthy tooth
  3. More decay than healthy tooth: Extract the tooth and replace it with an implant or bridge.

For option #2, you may remember visits to the dentist when they took impressions of your teeth (using the putty-like substance in a mouth tray) and then sent those impressions to the dental lab, who would send back a crown for the dentist to place on your tooth.

This process has been updated and improved with the advancement of dental technology. At Smile Dental Lakeside, we are using the Medit i500 Intra-Oral Scanner.

This device produces more accurate scans, in turn producing longer lasting crowns that usually fit on the first try. With up to ten microns (one micron = one millionth of a meter) of detailed scan, the crown will have a greater fit than standard impressions. This process is more eco-friendly than traditional impressions, as the scans are sent to the dental lab digitally. Your visit to Smile Dental will be faster without the impressions process and there is faster turnaround for the crown, so it can be installed sooner, producing more accurate (better fit to your tooth) and longer-lasting crowns.

Schedule an appointment today so we can clean your teeth, check for cavities and any other dental issues that we can address for you. The sooner you come in, the better your results will be, as many dental issues are time-sensitive

Teledentistry is gaining popularity and allows our doctors to use information technology to communicate with patients remotely using both audio and video. Teledentistry gives patients the ability to receive quality care via a virtual dental appointment in real-time, and from any location. At Smile Dental Lakeside we provide exceptional care using high-end technology, and always strive to give our patients many options for their dental care.

Teledentistry allows our doctors to provide consultations, diagnosis, and help to avoid unnecessary visits to the emergency room. With the latest COVID-19 concerns, teledentistry complies with social distancing, and gives patients access to our doctors without having to leave your home. Smile Dental Lakeside continues to follow the CDC guidelines closely, and more information can be found on our COVID-19 Resources Page.

What should patients expect during a virtual dental appointment?

Scheduling your teledentistry appointment is easy, and our friendly staff at Smile Dental Lakeside is available to answer any questions you have regarding your teledentistry appointment. Once you have the appointment scheduled, we will give you instructions on how to connect with us using the camera on your smartphone or computer. Our doctors will listen to your concerns, and ask a series of questions to determine the best course of action. 

Our team will also use past x-rays or records to help with the diagnosis, or to prescribe medication. If further treatment is needed, our staff will help patients schedule an in-office visit. Dental emergencies such as root canals, extractions, or discomfort require patients to visit our office. If patients do require an in-office visit, we will screen patients to ensure they are healthy before scheduling the appointment.

Teledentistry is easy for patients of all ages, and provides a safe and effective way to give patients access to our doctors. At Smile Dental Lakeside your oral health is our priority, and we strive to provide quality care in a relaxed environment where our patients feel like family.

How can patients schedule a virtual appointment?

Scheduling your virtual appointment at Smile Dental Lakeside is easy. To schedule your virtual appointment with us, please call our front desk. Our friendly staff will help answer any questions you may have, and provide all the necessary instructions to set up your appointment with one of our doctors.

If you are in need of a dentist in Lakeside, and are interested in finding out more about teledentistry, contact Smile Dental Lakeside to schedule your appointment with one of our staff members.

Dear Smile Dental Patient,

As you are aware, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has issued warnings and precautions to healthcare providers worldwide regarding coronavirus (COVID-19). 

We are taking every precaution necessary to limit the exposure of any virus within our office. For that, we ask for your thoughtful participation in taking these actions. 

  1. Upon your arrival at our office, we kindly ask that you use the hand sanitizer that we have provided.
  2. Please disinfect your hands before using any pens to fill out any documents that we may need from you. 
  3. If using the restroom or exiting and reentering our office, we ask that you use the hand sanitizer provided upon reentry. 
  4. Please inform us if you are currently experiencing a fever, cough, or difficulty breathing. 
  5. Please note that we will be limiting social distance, including handshaking, as a means of decreasing possible transmission of coronavirus (COVID-19). 
  6. Please inform us of any recent travel outside of the US to areas considered level 3 precaution by the CDC, which includes the following countries: Italy, South Korea, Iran, and China (as of March 5, 2020). 
  7. Please inform us if you have traveled within the US. 

We thank you for your consideration and participation in these office policies. 

Smile Dental Lakeside

Dr. Arthur Santos, DDS
Dr. Ivan Santos, DDS 

Dear Smile Dental Lakeside Patients, 

We hope this letter finds you and your family in good health. Our community has been through a lot over the last few months, and all of us are looking forward to resuming our normal habits and routines. While many things have changed, one thing has remained the same: our commitment to your safety.

Infection control has always been a top priority for our practice, and you may have seen this during your visits to our office. We want to tell you about the infection control procedures that we follow in our practice to keep our patients and staff as safe as possible.

Our office strictly follows infection control recommendations made by the American Dental Association (ADA), the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). We follow the activities and communications of these agencies so that we stay up-to-date on any new rulings or guidance that may be issued. We do this to make sure that our infection control procedures are current and adhere to each agencies’ recommendations.

You may see some changes when it is time for your next appointment. We made these changes to help protect our patients and staff. For example:

  • Our office will communicate with you beforehand to ask you a few screening questions. These questions will be asked of you again when you are in the office.
  • We have hand sanitizer that we will ask you to use when you enter the office. You also find some in the reception area and some other places in the office for you to use as needed.
  • Appointments will be managed to allow for social distance in between patients. That might mean that you are offered fewer options for scheduling your appointment.
  • We offer virtual consultations via Zoom and Teledentistry. You can schedule a timeframe to speak to the Doctors by calling the front desk or booking a time slot via our website. 
  • We will do our best to allow greater time between patients to reduce waiting times for you, as well as to reduce the number of patients in the reception area at any one time.

We look forward to seeing you again and are happy to answer any questions you may have about the steps we take to keep you, and every patient, safe in our practice. To make an appointment, please call our office at (619) 334-8743.

Thank you for being our patient. We value your trust and loyalty and look forward to welcoming you back to our practice as our patients, neighbors, and friends.


Smile Dental Lakeside

Dr. Arthur Santos, DDS
Dr. Ivan Santos, DDS 

We’re very excited to share our new website. This also helps us show off all the changes we’ve made to our office.


Due to the current COVID-19 pandemic, and based on guidance and recommendation from the CDC, Smile Dental Lakeside has decided to close the practice until further notice. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us directly. Thank you for your patience and understanding.