DIY…Dentistry?

Hey, I’m as crafty as anyone. Give me a good Do-It-Yourself project and an online tutorial and I’ll make something half-decent or have fun trying! But there is a new trend on the internet that is making all us dentists very nervous – DIY Dentistry.

Unfortunately, due to the barriers to dental treatment in our society, I can see why people are tempted to try DIY Dentistry. The online “kits” and “tutorials” look easy, are very cheap, it’s well marketed, and websites are full of positive testimonials and success stories. But what about the cases that go wrong?

DIY Dentistry Isn’t Effective or Safe

The biggest threat of DIY dentistry is that it isn’t conducted in a controlled environment and under professional medical supervision. How do YOU know if you are a good candidate for the procedure? Do you have healthy roots and gums that will support this type of treatment?

The two most common examples of DIY dentistry are extractions and orthodontics, both of which can have major consequences if not done correctly.

There are stories of people removing their own teeth or using rubber bands on their teeth in an attempt to improve alignment. Both of these DIY tactics can be catastrophic to your smile. People who remove their own teeth may not remove the entire tooth AND they could be setting the stage for a serious infection. If you’re doing your own orthodontic treatment, especially with rubber bands, you risk serious tooth or gum damage. The rubber bands can slip underneath the gums, causing the teeth to be lost or gums to recede. Sadly, you will almost never receive optimal results from these techniques. So, what happens next?

Cleaning Up DIY Dentistry is Expensive

One of the big reasons people elect to do their own treatment is the price. Orthodontic treatment alone will typically cost thousands of dollars. An extraction, on the other hand, is only a few hundred dollars. But your costs can skyrocket if your DIY project goes wrong, and there are now reports of patients attempting to perform their own treatment and then needing tens of thousands of dollars in restorative dentistry, corrective orthodontics, treatment of gum disease, etc. Some people have even been hospitalized due to major infections.

Talk to the Professionals

When it comes to DIY projects, I urge you to stick with home improvements, crafts, and cakes. Instead, ask your dentist what your options for treatment are. Ask your insurance company to verify what procedures are coverage, or ask your employer if there are options to enhance your dental benefits so that certain procedures, such as braces, might be better covered. Don’t risk permanently damaging your health before you’ve considered all the possibilities.

Our team at Horizon Dental would be happy to help you achieve optimal oral health and we are happily accepting new patients. You can contact us by clicking here!

Let’s “Spring Clean” Your Oral Health

Winter is passing and signs of spring are all around us! Does this inspire you to start spring cleaning your home and yard? Before you grab your bucket, squeegee, and mop, take a moment to think about your dental health routine. Check out these tips to “spring clean” your oral health routine so your smile is healthy, vibrant, and ready for the new season!

1. Start your spring cleaning by replacing your toothbrush!

The American Dental Association recommends you replace your toothbrush (or brush head, if you use an electric toothbrush) every three to four months, or sooner if the bristles become frayed or if you’ve been ill. When was the last time you replaced YOUR toothbrush?

Since we’re on the topic of toothbrushes, here are a few additional spring cleaning tips:

  • Never share your toothbrush.
  • Store toothbrushes upright if possible so they can air-dry faster after use.
  • Rinse your brush thoroughly with tap water after use.
  • Invest in a UV sanitizer to extend the lifespan of your toothbrush if you get frequent colds or infections

2. Spring to that floss & try something new

Do you find it tough to remember to floss every day? You may just need to try a different type of dental floss! Consider these popular variations on traditional floss:

  • Waxed floss: Waxed floss is a commonly used option and comes in a variety of flavors (cinnamon, mint, bubble gum – even surprising flavors, like bacon!).
  • Dental tape: Dental tape is a thin “ribbon” of floss that slides between teeth easily. I especially love Crest Glide Pro-Health.
  • Floss picks: Floss picks are a good option if it’s difficult or painful to open your mouth wide enough to use traditional flossing methods or if you’re on-the-go.

3. Spring into action and visit your favorite dentist and dental hygienist!

As you check things off your spring cleaning to-do list, don’t forget to make sure you have your family’s dental visits scheduled! Early morning and after-school appointments book up fast throughout the year, so we recommend booking ahead to ensure you get a time that’s convenient for each member of your family.

4. Don’t forget that spring cleaning your routine can get you that summer smile

Now’s the perfect time to talk about whitening options – click here for more information about our Spring Whitening Promo. A freshly whitened smile may be just what you need to feel ready for spring and summer!

Spring is a time for new beginnings

Now is the perfect time to get things back on track with a fresh toothbrush, new floss options, and a dental checkup and cleaning. These quick and easy steps can help you enjoy a healthy smile throughout the season!

I hope this post got you thinking. If you have any questions or comments I’d love to hear from you. If you like what you see, please share with your friends and follow me on Google +, Facebook, or Instagram!

And if you’re looking for a dentist in Kamloops, we are happily accepting new patients! You can contact us by clicking here!

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