3 Ways to Pay Your Dentist LESS!

Dr. Kyle Hornby

Most people have been told by their Kitchener Dentist that it is good practice to brush their teeth 2-3 times per day and to floss at least once. And yet, many that commit to this routine still require treatment to repair teeth and fix gum defects as they age. So, there must be more to oral health that just brushing and flossing.

There are some habits, medical conditions, medications and dietary items that can cause problems in the mouth. Sometimes, these factors can cause gum recession, tooth decay or "cavities", and broken teeth. There are also some secrets I will share that are both inexpensive and hugely effective at minimizing dental costs.

With this post, my goal is to empower you with knowledge that will help you spend less money at the dental office! For each section, I'll present some factor that can be harmful to your oral health and cost you large amounts in dental treatment. Then, at the end of the section, I'll tell you a few simple and inexpensive things you can do to keep from incurring these expenses. Sound like a good deal? Okay, let's do this!

1. Pop & Energy Drinks Destroy Teeth

Pop and energy drinks dissolve your tooth enamel. The double hit of acidity and high sugar load causes rapid and severe decay. If you drink a lot of these items, you've probably noticed orange, brown, or black, rough discoloured areas on your teeth near the gum line. Those are cavities. Gum line cavities are a hallmark of regular pop or energy drink consumption. Dental fillings to repair these cavities are very costly.

So, how do you solve this problem and save on dental treatment costs? Best option is to discontinue drinking these beverages. Second best option is to cut consumption to 1 can per week or fewer. If you continue some level of consumption, introduce a high-fluoride toothpaste like Colgate Prevadent. Pop and energy drinks are mounting an acid attack on your enamel. Colgate Prevadent will strengthen your enamel and give you a stronger shield.

2. Tooth Grinding/Clenching can Break Teeth, Cause Jaw & Muscle Damage & Lead to Gum Recession

So, carrying on with the theme of protecting your teeth and gums to reduce dental costs, let's talk about inexpensive ways to combat tooth grinding. Tooth grinding or "Brusixm" is one of the most damaging habits with respect to teeth, jaws and gums. The effects of tooth grinding are widespread and can be very costly over time. Here are some of the costly outcomes brought about by grinding:

  • Cracked and Broken Teeth. Patients sometimes report waking up with a piece of their tooth/teeth missing. They may also develop biting sensitivity over time. Sharp pain on biting is a hallmark of teeth that are cracked due to tooth grinding. Some patients stop chewing on the affected side of their mouth. Once teeth reach this point, your Kitchener Dentist will often recommend a dental crown and sometimes root canal treatment. When teeth crack or split completely, your Dentist can no longer repair them. In these extreme cases, extraction of the tooth may be necessary.
  • Jaw & Muscle Pain/Damage. When you lock your teeth together and then grind them, you are exerting a lot of side-to-side or lateral force. The resistance from having your teeth locked together is the basis for heavy reactive forces on the jaw (temperomandibular joint or TMJ). The constant clenching and grinding can also leave muscles in your cheeks, temples and necks extremely sore during the day. Some patients even report frequent tension headaches. If you continue to grind your teeth without preventive care over time, you can cause permanent damage to your jaws.
  • Gum Recession. Tooth grinding can lead to excessive pressure around the gumline as teeth absorb heavy downward and lateral forces. This can lead to moderate to severe gum recession over time. Tooth grinding can also accelerate the course of gum and bone tissue loss in Gum Disease or "Periodontitis".

So, how do you solve this problem and save on dental treatment costs? Invest in a night guard. Night guards are fairly inexpensive and they act to cushion teeth during heavy nighttime grinding. They also provide a smooth surface that your teeth can slide around on and this eliminates the dangerous side-to-side, lateral forces that do so much damage during grinding. Wearing a night guard in between your teeth at night will save you from the high costs associated with jaw and muscle physiotherapy, repairing broken teeth and fractured bridges and implants, and it will save you from having to pay for gum grafts to treat recession. I have seen patients damage costly prosthetic work with nighttime grinding. Make sure to protect your investment!

A good general article on Tooth Grinding can be found via the ADA website here.

3. Dry Mouth (Xerostomia) Causes Rapid Severe Tooth Decay

Dry mouth can occur for a number of reasons. The most common reasons are medication-induced dry mouth and dry mouth due to routine marijuana consumption. But, why is dry mouth so destructive? Well, good saliva flow breaks down and removes plaque and carbohydrate from your teeth and gums. When your flow is low, huge amounts of plaque and carbohydrate collect on your teeth. The plaque and carbohydrate accumulates throughout the day causing rapid tooth decay and severe gum inflammation.

So, how do you solve this problem and save on dental treatment costs? Well, you can do a few things. First, try a saliva substitute. Many people use Biotene but GC America's Dry Mouth Gel seems to do more for patients. These saliva substitutes lubricate teeth and gums to reduce plaque collection. Ask your Kitchener Dentist what salivary substitutes they recommend. Drinking larger volumes of water more frequently, during and after meals will go a long way as well. Second, you need something that can really displace and remove the plaque that does accumulate. Consider using an electric toothbrush as they've been proven to remove plaque from teeth more quickly and easily compared to manual toothbrushes. Third, integrate a high-fluoride toothpaste like Colgate Prevadent into your daily routine.


I could write 10,000 words about minimizing your dental treatment costs (and, I may be releasing 10,000 words on this topic soon). However, with this post I chose to focus on a few of the most detrimental factors that end up costing you money at your Dentist in Kitchener. If you can catch these problems early on, and use some of my simple and cost-effective suggestions, you'll save yourself tens of hours in the dental chair in addition to saving thousands of dollars. If you have any questions regarding my suggestions, please reach out to me by e-mail at info@enamelrepublic.com.

I hope that this article has been helpful to you and thanks for reading!

By Dr. Kyle Hornby, Kitchener-Waterloo Dentist

If you would like to arrange a No-Charge Meet & Greet consult with me, give us a call at (519) 576-8160 or request a consult here.

Our Kitchener Dental Clinic is conveniently located in Downtown Kitchener and we are a short drive away for families in Waterloo, Breslau & St. Jacobs. Our central location means we truly offer family dentistry near you!

This article is meant to promote understanding of and knowledge about general oral health topics. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional advice, diagnosis or treatment. Accordingly, always seek the advice of your Kitchener Dentist or other healthcare provider regarding a dental condition or treatment.

Enjoy a fresh start.
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