The Dangers of New Miracle Dental Treatments and How To Filter Out Those That Work

The Story of Someone’s Bad Dental Visit:

I came across a blog post the other day about someone who had sworn off dentists after discovering treating a cavity only to have the same tooth break a few months later. The scenario they described was that they had two fillings, one on each side. One of the fillings was painful causing them to have to eat and chew strictly on the opposite side.

After a few weeks, the tooth on the other side that had the filling broke. They blamed the break on the dentist’s preference of using composite resin fillings over mercury amalgam fillings.

Due to the experience, they proceeded to try a whole brand new dental regimen. This individual went on to proclaim that their current dental hygiene regimen that consisted of a coconut oil rinse and brushing with an all-natural toothpaste has served them better than any dental checkups could.

They also said that even though they haven’t had a checkup in a while, they’re absolutely sure that they are healthier now than when they went to the dentist because of these amazing new techniques they were using.

Testing New Dental Techniques

If you watch enough television, listen to enough media, or read enough online news; there is always going to be some new product or new doctor that says they have the newest simplest cure all product or technique for your dental health.

I remember not too long ago, Dr. Oz had everyone and their mother doing body cleanses saying that a simple drink will erase years of bad eating habits and restore your health like no other food can.

The problem with these listening to these sources is that their sole purpose is to sell you a product, get you to watch for ratings and not necessarily to improve your health.

Afterwards, another scientific program went and tested Dr. Oz’ claim of the clean and tested two groups of people. A control group who ate normally and a group who endured the cleanse.

After what seemed a week they tested both groups for any improvements based on blood tests, BMI and a host of other health metrics.

What they discovered?

There was absolutely no change.

Being Empirical – The Blogger’s Claims

Back to the blogger who’s post I outlined in the beginning of this post.

Their New Dental Health Regimen Is the Best Way to Prevent Dental Health Problems

I’m not saying that all-natural remedies won’t have any positive effects; I’ve heard many good things about coconut oil rinse and whitening your teeth and preventing bacterial growth.

But before proclaiming that there is a single cure all to any dental health woes, it is very important to be objective in testing your results.

I’m not saying that the new regimen did not help, but it could be that the person never brushed or flossed before following their new regimen. Every single study I’ve read has proven that there is no more effective way at cleaning your teeth than flossing your teeth. Not many do it, but I’m sure this single tasks done daily would have greatly improved the person’s health.

The person also went on to say that even though they didn’t have any X-Rays they were sure that the prior tooth decay that they had all been healed due to their new regimen.

That’s a very dangerous claim because some people might actually believe them and their new miracle regimen. I’ve learned over time that people that never doubt themselves are hardly ever to be trusted and people that are normally right, doubt themselves a lot.

Without having a professional examine the tooth and take a look underneath the tooth structure for tooth decay, there is absolutely no way I would take someone’s word on the miracle improvement in health solely due to their new health regimen.

They also went on to say that:

Mercury Amalgam Fillings are Far Superior to Composite Resin Fillings

dental fillings

This just left me astounded. With all the studies about mercury poisoning and the negative side-effects amalgam fillings have I don’t know why anyone would conclude the amalgam would be superior to composite.

Strength of the Filling:

With the continual improvements of the composite resin, the latest resins on the market do compare quite well in strength and longevity to mercury amalgam fillings.

Health-Risks involved with Fillings:

In terms of long-term side effects, without a doubt I would say composite is superior especially with all the findings over the last century about the dangers of mercury poisoning.

Appearance of the Fillings:

composite dental fillings

When weighing appearances, the white filling looks natural and preserves the look of your teeth.

Overall conclusion of which Filling is Best:

Everything I’ve read and from every professional I’ve interviewed the overall theme of the conversations or findings is generally positive with the only negative connotations being that they generally aren’t as strong but do note that composite fillings are consistently improving and have more pro’s than con’s.

When discussing mercury amalgam fillings the general feeling is that they are trying to prove that “they aren’t that dangerous” for your health and outline findings to show how they aren’t so negative for your long-term health. I don’t know about you but anytime a study tries to prove to you that it “should be safe” and there is an alternative route that has more positives; I’d stay away from the choice that “should be safe”.

I apologize for the wordy post it’s just that when someone proclaims that they have a new miracle technique or cure for anything I’m always like to chime in to ensure no one throws out all their good habits in favor of an unproven technique.



White Teeth Teens – Appearance vs Reality in Dentistry

Exams are finally over, phew! I apologize for the lack of new posts. Been studying and preparing for summer classes and taking it easy and put on the Lordes album.

Lordes album - Pure Heroine

While subconsciously listening to the album one song on the track really woke me up and got me to listen.
The track:

White Teeth Teens – Lordes 

To summarize, the song basically uses the phrase “white teeth teens” to denote the popular in crowd in society. The whole substance versus reality comparison gets weighed in the song. Bringing dental hygiene in as the forefront of her focus to weigh the appearance of perfection against hidden substance.

Appearance vs Reality of Dental Hygiene

I remember when I was in middle school. I had never really focused too much on appearances when I was younger. I had always heard about the commercials about “getting whiter teeth” for a “perfect smile” but never really fell for it. That was until one of my class mates who roamed in my social circle had their teeth whitened and after the procedure proceeded to tell everyone in our group that our “teeth were so stained.” Being young and easily influenced I immediately stopped smiling for months and began to feel very self-conscious. It’s crazy how youth “popularity” is so focused on appearances and how the shade of the person’s teeth has now become a new way to judge whether someone is beautiful or not. Now that I’ve matured and become a bit more self-assured I’m not as focused as I once one on appearances. Especially living up to the unfathomable standards that are only accomplishable through artificial means. Fact: Natural human teeth are not supposed to be 100% white. We’re human! We don’t have to have perfectly white teeth to be beautiful or to signify that we are healthy. A while back I decided to look into teeth whitening. Being someone who likes to look at all sides of the coin, I consulted a few professionals and was astounded to find out that people would rather spend their dental budget on getting their teeth to look healthy rather than actually being healthy. They would pass on taking care of developing teeth decay or getting a dental cleaning for their teeth to stay healthy and elect to spend their money on getting whiter teeth. I shake my head sometimes at society thinking how much we as a society spend on validation from our peers rather than investing in things that will help us grow. On the brightside, at least more attention is being paid to the dental area even if it’s not quite for the right reasons. And a round of applause for the young and talented Lordes who is letting teens and her listeners know that it’s okay not to be a “white teeth teen” but to be a naturally imperfect yet unique individual.

The Truth About the Dangers of Dental X-Rays

Dental X-ray

I’m finally back from the pain of exams and the celebration of the Christmas season!

So with the new semester starting, the work load has decreased for a little bit and I thought I’d share some information I collected when I was paranoid about X-rays and the amount of radiation it exposes you too.

As we all know, radiation exposure is terrible and can have many unknown side-effects. I remember a few years ago hearing all my friends warning against getting any type of x-ray after watching Dr. Oz.

Before jumping to conclusions about the impending doom associated with certain procedures I always test it and look for empirical evidence to see how true a claim is.

Sidenote: I really dislike the Dr. Oz program. A couple of weeks ago, he did an episode that many of my girlfriends tuned in to see about drinking ridiculously awful tasting vegetable smoothies as a “cleanse” or as he put it a Detox for your body. They were absolutely miserable for what felt like an eternity after constantly complaining about how much will and strength they needed to complete the detox.

I’m a firm believer that there is absolutely no way a short-term “detox” can undo the unhealthy habits over prolonged period. Yesterday I tuned into a scientific study that also wanted to test Dr. Oz’s claim. They tested the blood of a control group who ate normally versus the test group that took part in Dr. Oz’s detox.

The conclusion they found was that: 

1. The Detox drinks were absolutely terrible in taste and drained them of their mental ability just to complete it.

2. There were absolutely NO distinguishable differences both positive or negative between the group that took part in the Detox and those who ate normally.

3. All Detox participants felt cheated out of the cleanse they felt entitled to after suffering for over a week!

In conclusion, I really do not place any emphasis on any of the claims Dr. Oz makes as they all seem more concocted to entertain, surprise and to sell quick fixes to an audience than to make positive differences in people’s lives.

Okay so back on topic.

How Dangerous are Dental X-Rays?

If you’ve been a reader on my blog, you know that I’m a total health freak.

So I did some research over the years before exposing my body to anything that could potentially be harmful.

Especially since many of my friends will refuse to undergo X-rays of any sort.

Let’s start off with why the dentists need the X-Rays in the first place?

The Purpose of the Dental X-Ray

Dental X-rays are enable the dentist to see and underneath your gums to check whether or not there is any decay beneath the gums that is beginning.

This is very very very useful because any decay that is caught in the early stages can be easily and painlessly treated and it can greatly help you in saving money by not having to take care of the issue when it develops into something more negative like a root canal!

So now that we’ve established the importance of the dental x-ray we’ll look at whether or not the benefit is greater than the risk.

The Truth About Dental X-Ray Exposure

Dental technology is constantly evolving. I remember when I was a child having the dental assistant stick sharp pointy dental x-ray film in my mouth that would rate as a 7/10 in terms of discomfort.

They would they proceed to have me hold it in place by biting down for a few minutes or so prolonging that discomfort.

I hated dental X-rays.

Today, most modern offices have converted to a more comfortable digital x-ray that is a wired sensor that goes into your mouth. Gone are the pointed jagged edges and it is now definitely more comfortable.

So the modern digital x-ray is definitely more comfortable but how have things changed in terms of radiation exposure when compared to the film x-rays.

Digital Dental X-ray

I spoke to many different x-ray companies to get a sense of the exposure that I would encounter when going through a dental x-ray. I also spoke to many scientists to get a more objective sense of how much radiation exposure we get by going through a x-ray.

I found that with modern technology, the radiation exposure from a set of digital dental x-rays was less than a day in the sun. Wow!

After hearing this and comparing the numbers myself to ensure I wasn’t lied to I was baffled. Inside I laughed at all my friends who would reject dental x-rays only to have to spend several hundreds of dollars at a later date because their early tooth decay that could have been prevented had grown into a root canal. Ouch!

Dental X-ray Exposure

Now that was only for the the newer digital x-rays, the older technology was far harder to get information on since they have existed for so many years and range from old old to just kind of old.

What Kind of Dental X-Ray to Look for When Going for A Dentist Appointment?

So for those who have would like to minimize the radiation exposure I have these tips:

1. Dental offices do a good job protecting you with the lead aprons. Some even have aprons that cover the neck. These are the really good dentists.

2. If you have a choice of dental offices, go to one that has digital x-rays. The modern technology has WAY lower dosages of radiations compared to the older film x-rays.

3. Definitely have the dental x-rays done. Catching tooth decay in the early stages can help save you a lot of money and not only that, can save you a painful experience at the dentist. The cost: well if you go to a dentist that has digital x-rays, the exposure is less than that of a day spent in the sun which isn’t bad in my book.

Well I hope this clears up any myths or concerns you may have had about dental x-rays. The lesson I’ve learned from this is always keep up good habits so that you won’t have any drastic problems later.

Funny how this also applies to life, so with that I will go hit the books so I won’t fall too behind in this last semester before summer!

Happy 2014 everyone!

FREE!! My new book called “How to beat Dental Phobia”

For those who have extreme fear of the those necessary visits to the dentist, check out this book:


A week or so ago I published my new book called “How to beat Dental Phobia” I wanted to offer it for free but in my rush I didn’t tick the right box and it went out on sale instead of for free. I have now resolved this small error and its back on Amazon for free until December the 4th!Dental fear cover2

I wanted to offer it to anyone that has a “Phobia of the Dentist” or knows anyone that has. This book is ground-breaking in its ability to lower and even get rid of, completely any fears that anyone may have about going to the dentist.

But that’s not all……..

Something else that I offer in all of my self-help books is my help and support. If you download my book and feel you need help with anything I will work with you for free, helping you deal with…

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Easiest and Quickest Way to Floss with Orthodontic Braces

So I just had my regular tightening of my braces and in the appointment prior to this my dentist gave me a new type of flosser to try because I told her I’d be doing my best to floss and yet some areas of my gums were still really puffy.

I mean an hour a night before bed to use those dental threaders in order to clean in-between my teeth and I still wasn’t doing a good enough job.

So I substituted my regular routine of flossing using a threader with using a flosser.

The only reason I tried them was:

1. My dentist recommended it to me.

2. I found it that it literally saved me 30 mins or more a night as it’s really easy to use.

3. It’s called Platypus and I’m a big Phineas and Ferb fan!

What Makes This Flosser Different?

How is this flosser different than other flossers you may ask?

Well I wasn’t able to use the standard flossers as the plastic arms are too thick to fit in-between my brackets and underneath the braces wire. The Platypus flosser allowed be me to get in between the brackets as it has a flattened edge that allows it to easily reach in-between the brackets.

Now I must admit, I’ve never been a fan of the flossers as I didn’t think they could reach around the the tooth with the same ease as it had that plastic frame to hold the floss.

To my surprise, my dentist remarked how great of a job I had been doing taking care of my teeth during the appointment. I told her the only difference was that I now used the flossers instead of the standard floss.

Better Than A Toothpick Too!

The Platypus also has a toothpick like end on the opposite side of the flosser. At first I didn’t like it much as I’m used to the Gum Soft-Picks which were always great at getting out any remaining food or bits stuck between my teeth.

I still use it but I’ve found the Platypus one to be quite useful ever since the day I ate spinach and could not for the life of me remove it from my brackets. To anyone how likes their vegetables, the Platypus has a few small spike like points on the pick end of it that allows it to easily grab hard to remove food off your brackets which is a life saver.

So if you’re under going orthodontic braces treatment right now and hate to floss I definitely recommend trying the Platypus Orthodontic Flosser. In case you’re looking to try them, Amazon has the best deal I’ve found so far to purchase them.

Platypus Ortho Flosser for Braces.

Warning Signs of a Bad Dentist and How to Find a Good Dentist?

So with the recent scandals in dentistry such as the BC rogue dentist providing unlicensed treatment to patients; I thought I put together a little guide to help you watch out for shady dentists as well as tips for finding a good dentist.

1. Do Your Homework and Make Sure the Dentist is Licensed to Practice.

This is one that people sometimes assume. We assume that the dentist is trained and licensed to practice. Even dentists from overseas that would like to help patients in Canada or the U.S., must complete training in the country they wish to practice in.

Standards of care in dentistry differ from country to country and I’ve heard that there are significant costs difference in some countries. One of my friend’s once told me her sister had her teeth extracted in another country for $5. I’m not saying that it was bad quality but $5 would hardly cover the costs of sterilizing the instruments, the supplies such as gauze and cotton rolls and not to mention the dentist’s time. I know if it were me and I had someone quote me $5 for a procedure that impacts my health and is very, very painful if done incorrectly without freezing; I would think twice.

So how can we ensure that the dentist we’re seeing is licensed. For Canadians, the Royal College of Dental Surgeons of Ontario or RCDSO has a dentist lookup feature on their website to ensure your dentist that you’re thinking about seeing is licensed.

For those looking for a new dentist, here’s the link:

So I’ve been pretty busy with the start of school, but I do have several more tips and pointers for those looking for a new dentist. So check back shortly and until then remember to brush and floss every day.