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!

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.


How Can A Dentist Help With TMJ?

Great post for those who have clicking or popping in their jaw when they bite.

It’s a symptom of TMJ which dentists can help treat sometimes with orthodontic braces or in severe cases with surgery. Occasionally if you’re lucky sometimes it just goes away by itself, usually through changes in stress level or coping with stress.

Great read:

How Can A Dentist Help With TMJ?.



Bedroom Dentist in BC

CBC share of the Bedroom Dentist in BC:

This makes me absolutely sick. More interesting is the comments and how some are justifying his actions.

My thoughts on this to come.


Back to School 2013: Dental Checklist for Parents and Children to Stay Healthy

Every once in a while I find great tips from the ODA.

I found this great checklist for parents to check off before their kids head back to school.

ODA offers caregivers a back-to-school dental checklist

Book a dental exam, stock up on toothbrushes and other tips from the Ontario Dental Association

TORONTO, Aug. 7, 2013 /CNW/ – Much to the chagrin of children everywhere, the new school year is just a month away. The Ontario Dental Association (ODA) suggests parents take advantage of these last few weeks of summer vacation to ensure their kids return to school with an A-plus in dental health.

“Now is the perfect time to get the whole family in for a dental examination before the school year begins and schedules fill up,” says ODA President Dr. Rick Caldwell. “Children go through growth spurts, including their mouths and jaws, so ask your dentist about appropriate toothbrush and brushing techniques.”

A dental exam can also uncover problems that might go undetected. “Your child may be feeling well, but tooth decay often doesn’t present symptoms in the early stages,” warns Dr. Caldwell.

It has been reported that tooth decay is one of the leading causes of absences from school. In its Report on the Findings of the Oral Health Component of the Canadian Health Measures Survey 2007-2009, Health Canada found that in the space of one year, 45.7 percent of children six– to 11-years-old reported time lost from normal or school activities due to oral health problems.

“The pain and discomfort of tooth decay can impact a child’s self-esteem, along with their ability to focus and learn,” says Dr. Caldwell. “The good news is that it can be preventable; parents can help their children by teaching them good oral health habits.”

To emphasize the importance of prevention, the ODA has a back-to-school checklist for parents.

  • Schedule regular dental exams with your dentist for the year.
  • When shopping for back-to-school clothes and supplies, be sure to include new toothbrushes on your list. A child’s toothbrush should be changed every three months or immediately after an illness.
  • Make sure your child brushes at least twice a day and flosses daily. To encourage healthy habits, let your child watch you brush and floss your teeth as often as possible. Children are wonderful imitators, and there’s nothing like a parent’s example to teach them healthy dental practices.
  • Prepare a healthy and nutritious shopping list for your child’s lunch, including fruits, vegetables and cheeses for snacks. Avoid soft, sticky sweets that get stuck in your child’s teeth or stay in the child’s mouth for a long time, such as raisins, caramels and lollipops.
  • Educate your kids on the importance of oral health. Visit the ODA’s Kids’ Zone at, our interactive, digital playground that helps encourage proper oral health habits.

“Healthy habits learned at a young age are the building blocks to a lifetime of good oral and overall health,” says Dr. Caldwell. “Help your kids get an A+ in oral health!”

Cosmetic Dentistry 101: Best Dental Procedures to Help Your Smile


A cosmetic dentist are capable of doing procedures to help in helping the aesthetics with their smile through smile makeover, whitening teeth, Invisalign clear braces, tooth veneers, composite bonding, whitening, dental implants as well as other dental enhancements. A smile makeover uses methods for example dental implants, dental veneers and teeth whitening can now transform a patient’s previously reluctant grin in a fully-fledged beaming smile.

For many people, an extreme gap or space between their two front teeth, referred to as a Diastema, can give rise to a person’s deficiency of self-esteem or confidence today’s society. Through the use of cosmetic dental procedures the gap could be closed and help out with restoring the individual’s confidence.

Cosmetic dentistry also uses Porcelain fillings. Porcelain fillings tend to be more natural-looking than the standard amalgam type filling which doesn’t blend when compared to color of the tooth.

Cosmetic dentistry differs from other aspects of dentistry because of the fact clientele may well basically haven’t any health care desire to have their requested treatment but be entirely worried about the cosmetic appearance with their teeth. Having an unattractive smile can make one feel inadequate and embarrassed to fully smile and show their teeth, driving them to seem reserved, or somewhat less friendly.

Some cosmetic dentists while emphasizing the cosmetic important things about their procedures also provide positive benefits to their cosmetic treatments. Finding a good and reliable dentist, which will help you with your entire teeth or gum vanity issues at while looking out for the oral health is incredibly possible. Regular visits for a dentists, twice a year, also can go a long way in preserving the fitness of your teeth. If you have cavities or another dental health problems they actually do need to be treated through your dentist before any aesthetic smile makeovers will start to ensure the cosmetic treatments doesn’t have to be undone later on to treat cavities and other oral problems. With the correlation from the healthy smile as well as a beautiful one, regular visits can be one of the most cost-effective solutions to ensure you possess a beautiful and healthy smile.

Patients which has a smile that shows a great deal of their gumline can be improved by laser or surgical gum contouring. It’s important to verify with your general dentists to ensure you get a periodontal exam to test to see if your a candidate because of this procedure.

Teeth whitening sessions are arguably the most popular cosmetic dentistry procedure available from today’s dentist.
Patients seeking the brightest and whitest smiles can under go tooth whitening procedures that is made available from many dentist. The reason our teeth tend to yellow as time passes is sometimes caused by the dentin percentage of our tooth. Dentin is yellow in color and which is one of the reasons why teeth produce a dull, unattractive color.
Teeth whitening is one of the most requested treatments helping to remove stains around the teeth a result of teas, coffees, smoking, and also other foods which were high in pigmentation.

Professional whitening offered via your dentists is known to be stronger, more potent, quicker and safer than over the counter products.
It’s been noted by many dental studies that whitening your smile can often cost more than your hard earned money. The whitening procedure commonly is made up of bleaching agent, often bleach, and a UV light. When choosing the proper procedure to preserve the brightest of one’s smile ensure that you choose one which doesn’t cause damage to your teeth or skin. Whitening treatments to prevent would be any procedure that uses UV light. UV light treatment could be particular damaging. Often times the radiation exposure getting used is so intense that it can cause more damage than spending a complete day out in the sunshine during the sun’s peak UV rating. Not only include the lights damaging to your skin in addition they are significantly which can offer no whitening profit to your teeth.

During the tooth whitening procedure, the active agent in whitening your teeth will be the bleach which is applied instead of the lights. The lights are often used like a mere spectacle during the procedure. The bleaching agent that is used could also damage the structure of the tooth if used incorrectly. Often times once the teeth of whitened patients were compared to patient who may have not undergone whitening procedures, it was concluded the the whitened teeth were weakened. The teeth which are whitened were proven to have more exposited grooves on the tooth’s enamel. These grooves weakened the tooth ensure it is more susceptible to cracking and breaking.

An alternative to tooth whitening for stains that can not be removed through standard bleaching is bonding or teeth filling. Dental filling can be a commonly know procedure used by damaged surfaces with the teeth, tooth decay, and restoring cavities but sometimes also be used to solve chipped and damaged teeth. Today, you might choose the colour of your dental fillings created from porcelain or composite materials that match the color of your natural teeth. Do you smile very rarely because you are involved about your crooked teeth. Bonding is additionally very useful in repairing chipped, broken and discolored or decayed teeth. It is cosmetic dentistry procedure where a dentist attaches a tooth colored enamel in your tooth. Tooth bonding which has a composite resin will help rebuild teeth while filling in the space helping to repair the chipped or broken servings of a damaged tooth. Through bonding the appearance of the smile can be mended for patients with shortened or worn down teeth. Through the professional use of bond a shorter tooth could be built up for the same length because longer tooth to preserve your smile.

Porcelain veneers can turn a bad pair of teeth in a dazzling set. If you have gaps between teeth another procedure that can help is Veneers. As opposed to traditional dental fillings which involve molding tooth into place from the mouth, veneers are fabricated in dental labs to fit the look of your smile and are fitted and adhesively bonded into place through your dentist. Dental labs may help fabricate custom veneers, dental implants and dental crowns to boost the appearance of your teeth. Veneers are applied by using a cement bond relating to the veneer plus your tooth, a light is used to harden the veneer towards the tooth.

There is no requirement for sedation, no requirement for drilling with no need for adhesives. If you have crooked, chipped, stained, or missing teeth, then this smile makeover is a superb way to transform your smile into something you will be proud of inside of a few basic steps.

If you see your jaw looking strange or from proportion in comparison to the most your face, then you may need tooth braces to fix that problem.
Braces can also help correct gaps between teeth. Through the use of orthodontics, cosmetic dentists will physically reshape and reposition tooth to align your smile. There are a variety of options for braces like speed braces and Invisalign braces.

Patients thinking about speed braces should ensure that they have healthy bone levels beneath their gums to be sure that the teeth are not moved faster compared to the body are prepared for. As the process does shave several months off treatment time, patients must also know that the increased speed does also increase the risk of relapse and might not be well suited for all patients.

Invisalign braces that are clear braces have drastically increased in popularity in the past. Invisalign is similar to traditional braces but are made of clear plastic that slowly adjust your teeth after a while while remaining almost completely invisible.

Cosmetic dentists are greatly in need nowadays, thanks towards ever increasing popularity and trend towards an attractive smile in the present society. Some are family dentists, many specialize in cosmetic dentistry although some are experts in the growing field with the dental implant. Things to consider while looking for a dentist to improve the appearance of your smile would naturally be the cost of cosmetic dentistry, such as the make that the most important consideration. It’s far better to pay a tad bit more for a smile that you’ll be delighted with rather than to skimp and regret it. After all a restored smile is perceived as naturally of the patient then it’s even more attractive.

Cosmetic dentistry, though it can be expensive, is a relatively painless procedure with a high satisfaction rate. Cosmetic dentistry could be the art and science of oral care to improve teeth’s health|In fact, various tooth whitening processes are a tiny percentage of this awesome oral art form. Your cosmetic dentist can reshape your teeth, close spaces, restore worn or short teeth or customize the length of your teeth. Whether your teeth are discolored or chipped, misshaped or crooked as well as if your gums are too prominent, cosmetic dentistry can help improve your smile.  It may be possible to get teeth veneers, tooth implants or even dental crowning to acquire an incredibly brilliant looking smile.  Patients should discuss their dental needs with an orthodontists before making a decision on whether invisible braces are ideal for them.  However when you have an oral disease you possibly will not be well suited for some cosmetic dental procedures.