Dental insurance remains confusing. Visits to the dentist seem to be expensive, no matter what. Technology improves every day, so, DIY dentistry should be okay, right? You want a practical, financially sound solution. Exploring options appears wise, but don’t be led astray by false information, clickbait articles, or delusions of a free and easy dental plan.

This article will escort you through some everyday online items, over-the-counter solutions, and do-it-yourself dentistry examples. Mostly, this article will tell you what not to do and what to be wary of.

Shortcuts Are Risky

This is not general advice. Every dental association or board of dentists you search online asserts the claim to avoid DIY dentistry. Practice at your own risk and keep reading to understand what to avoid.

Adult Teeth and Gums Do Not Grow Back

Dentistry is not as forgiving as you might think. Bones heal, and the body is made to recover. This does not hold for teeth and gums. Once the damage is done, an infection becomes a concern that can affect your entire body. Dentists take this seriously by using face masks, gloves, and sanitized equipment. Hint: all that gear is meant to protect more than your teeth.

Teeth Whitening

At-home teeth whitening can be more dangerous than you might think. You’ve likely heard of charcoal and plastic molds. The wrong charcoal or plastic can have serious consequences. The wrong chemicals can permanently damage your teeth’s structure. Over-the-counter whitening may look safe (and the ads promise the same) but can still prove problematic.nDiscussing these issues with a dentist isn’t expensive, and always advisable.

Dental Veneers

The short answer is that “one-size-fits-all” doesn’t fit all. X-rays and moldings require time, expertise, lab, and higher costs. Companies that sell veneers have to keep their costs down. Which implies a cookie-cutter approach. Don’t be fooled; these aren’t “close enough.” Online retail veneers don’t hold up long term, either. An imperfect fit puts pressure in the wrong places can alter your bite and alignment.

Improper alignment and bite can harm your jaw joints and the complications add up from there and can lead to occlusal disease.

At-Home Braces and Aligners

Make-shift braces and DIY at-home aligners sound great (and the ads say so) but prove to be sketchy at best. Here’s why: They move teeth fast, too fast. Moving teeth and changing your alignment within six months, damages bone and gums. It doesn’t allow teeth to settle in place, which means teeth revert.

The official word and warning by national boards and associations of various countries caution against using rubber bands, dental floss, or other objects acquired from the internet. Rubber bands have been known to make their way under the gums. This can cause inflammation, a series of complications, and lead to bone loss as well as tooth loss.

Keep in mind that orthodontists undergo two to three years of specialized training in addition to dental school. There’s no guarantee (and it’s unlikely) that the same company selling DIY products for orthodontic procedures maintains the same training or level of expertise.

Do-It-Yourself Cavity Filling

All dental plans in North America cover cavity filling. If you’re not invested, know that complications and declining oral health means increased costs down the road. The pain from a cavity can mean more than just a cavity. The amount of decay might require an inlay, onlay, crown, or root canal. Pain alone doesn’t tell you the extent of how your teeth are affected. Important to mention is that a DIY cavity filling entails a DIY dental examination, too. Something that only an expert is qualified to carry out.

Tooth Extraction

Tooth extraction is a form of oral surgery and should be carried out by a professional. By professional, we do not mean internet professionals; we mean dentists. Chemical numbing agents, prescription drugs, stitches, and special instruments are all part of tooth extraction. The risk of at-home tooth extraction is huge, especially in damaging the periodontium, which is the soft tissue, ligaments, and bone that support your teeth.

Prevention Is the Best DIY

Preventive is cheap, more comfortable, and the best solution in taking care of your smile. Brush your teeth at least twice a day. Floss and rinse with mouthwash. To stay in charge, seek dentists for their expert advice and guidance. They understand that one size does not fit all, and unique challenges often arise. An experienced Montreal dentist will always keep your teeth, finances, and comfort in mind.

Teething can be a difficult stage for both parents and children, but there are some ways you can help relieve your child’s pain. We’ll cover some of the basics of teething, the unforgettable stage during which your child’s baby teeth erupt through their gums.

Typically your child’s teeth start to erupt between four to seven months of age, though some children will start teething earlier (as early as three months) and others later (at twelve to fourteen months). Every child is unique in this, so don’t worry if he or she deviates from the four to seven-month timeline. Front teeth are usually the first to appear, followed by incisors and molars. Teeth usually come in pairs.

First, try to recognize the signs of teething. Your child’s gums will become more swollen before teeth erupt. You may notice changes in your child’s behaviour, such as increased irritability, loss of appetite, and difficulty sleeping.

During teething, children drool more than usual. If you notice drool around his or her mouth, wipe it off with a cloth. Excessive saliva can dry the skin around your child’s mouth. You may want to use moisturizer or cream to soothe chapped skin.

Some signs of teething include sucking on fingers and pulling on ears, which children do to distract themselves from the pain. Your child may also bite and chew on toys to relieve the pain in his or her gums.

Teething has also been associated with a slight fever, but you should contact your doctor if this fever is at or over 38 degrees (Celcius). A fever above 38 degrees is not normal for teething and might be a sign of illness or infection.

How to Soothe Pain from Teething

It’s hard to watch your little one in pain. Luckily, there are some things you can do to make the process of teething easier for your child.

Give your child chilled or hard food to chew on. Cool a fruit in the fridge, then give it to your child to chew on. Pampers recommends putting fruits in mesh to prevent a choking hazard. You can also use harder fruits or vegetables like raw carrots or apple slices, or tougher foods like crust or breadsticks. If you give your child something to chew on, you should always be watching to make sure he or she does not choke on pieces that break off.

Use teething rings. Teething rings are safe because there is no material to break off. You can put teething rings in the fridge to cool, as the low temperature will give extra relief to painful gums. That being said, don’t put teething rings in the freezer, because frozen objects can harm your baby’s gums. Also, don’t tie the teething rings to a necklace, because this could become a choking hazard.

Use teething gels. Teething gels are not proven to be effective, but they are on the market. Make sure you are only using anesthetic gels that are child-safe. Be aware of homeopathic remedies, because some of these have harmful side effects. If your child is struggling through teething, ask your doctor which products are safe to use.

Give your child approved painkillers. Some painkillers are safe for children, such as paracetamol and ibuprofen. Ask your doctor about approved brands and strengths for painkillers. Do not use painkillers that contain benzocaine or lidocaine, as these are extremely dangerous for infants, and may even cause death.

Cool a damp washcloth. Soak a clean washcloth in the sink and ring out the water until the fabric is damp. Put the washcloth in the fridge to cool, then fold it up smaller and give it to your child to chew on. Always watch to make sure that your baby does not choke.

Massage your baby’s gums. First, make sure that your hands are clean. Then, you can run your finger along your baby’s gums to help soothe the pain.

Use a cold spoon. Put a small, metal spoon in the fridge to cool. Rub this along your baby’s gums.

Chill a favorite toy. Put your child’s favorite toy in the fridge to cool. Of course, make sure that it is safe for chewing and not filled with any liquids or gels. Your child may enjoy chewing on something familiar, and its cold temperature will soothe painful gums.

Play or cuddle with your child. Sometimes distraction can go a long way. And, since you’re both probably exhausted from this difficult phase, the comfort that comes from cuddling never hurts.

Dental fear or dental anxiety is difficult for all parties, children, parents, and technicians alike. Children’s anxiety (and subsequent uncooperativeness) is one of the most important issues in pediatric dental care. As dental care is an important element of your child’s health, he or she needs to cooperate during treatment.

Many researchers have been looking into the causes of dental anxiety, determining why certain children experience debilitating fear, whereas others can sit through procedures with little problem. These studies observe family dynamics, socioeconomic factors, and yes, the anxieties of parents.

While pediatric dentists are trained to address children’s unique needs (and fears), there are some steps parents can take to make visiting the dentist easier. We’ll walk you through various aspects of children’s dental fear, from the effect parents have in provoking anxiety, to strategies that can help calm down your child at the dentist’s office.

Dental Anxiety in Research

Many studies have sought to investigate the link between children’s and parents’ dental anxiety. A study conducted by the University of Madrid found that one anxious family member could significantly increase the anxiety of the others, in a process called “emotional contagion.” This study found that fathers’ anxiety had the most significant impact in communicating danger to children.
A study in Gothenburg, Sweden found that out of 99 school-aged children, 45% who demonstrated problematic behaviour in the dentist’s office had a parent with similar fears.

Another research study in Hong Kong found that family structure has a significant impact on children’s dental anxiety. Children from single-parent families had significantly less anxiety than those from nuclear families. Boys with siblings tended to experience more dental anxiety than only born children.

Accompanying Kids During Treatment

Due to changes in parenting styles, more and more adults want to accompany their children in the dentist clinic. If you choose to sit with your child in the treatment room, try to maintain a calm, patient demeanor. Children will react when they perceive your anxiety because they assume there is danger.
When dealing with your child’s dental phobia, it’s necessary to be patient, even if he or she is throwing a tantrum. Remaining calm will help put your child at ease faster, whereas scolding may escalate the situation.

Some children may behave normally when their parent is not in the room, which is something to consider before deciding to sit in during treatment. Both the dentist and parent have a role in soothing or agitating the child’s anxiety. If one parent has a phobia of the dentist, whether, from general anxiety or a negative experience, it’s best to have the other parent accompany the child so that that parent’s fear is not transmitted.

What Dentists Do to Help

Pediatric dentists are trained to deal with dental anxiety in children. These Montreal dentist specialists have many strategies they use when interacting with children. Dentists can make the process easier by smiling and joking with the child, even distracting him or her by telling stories, or asking the child to solve a riddle or puzzle. The pediatric dentist also takes steps to monitor the clinic’s environment.
Some pediatric dentist offices may have a television or music playing in the background to distract the child. They might hang cartoons and kid’s posters to make the clinic seem friendlier. Some general practices have posters with graphic images of oral diseases, such as severe tooth decay or periodontal disease. Pediatric dentists will avoid having these posters in treatment rooms for children.

Pediatric dentists and dental hygienists may also wear colorful scrubs and masks. These might have familiar cartoon characters or animals on them, which allow the child to connect with his or her surroundings. As many children fear the noise or appearance of certain instruments, some technicians will give them silly names to make them seem less frightening.

What Parents Can Do

First, parents should do everything they can to remain calm. Don’t threaten to punish your child for misbehaving in the dentist’s office. Some parents tell their child they will get an injection if he or she doesn’t behave, but this associates negative feelings with the dentist, leading the child to think that dental treatments are punishment for bad behavior.

If your child is in distress, speaking in an even, a gentle tone will help them calm down faster. Try to avoid using certain words that could trigger anxiety, like “pain,” “sharp,” or “injection.” Dentists are trained to avoid these words and describe procedures in a way that makes them sound less frightening.

Don’t talk about negative experiences with the dentist around your children. This will only encourage them to develop a negative perception of the dentist’s office.

Lastly, be open with your child. Tell them ahead of time if they are going to the dentist so they have time to prepare. Try not to go into much detail if they ask questions, but rather respond with simple answers, to prevent their imagination from getting out of control.