Instruments and Books Uncategorized

Transforming the Future of Canadian Dentistry with Internationally Trained Dentists

Internationally trained dentists (ITD) must overcome significant barriers to becoming qualified and licensed dentists working in Canada. That includes massive piles of verifiable documents, thousands of dollars, and numerous highly challenging exams.

This entire equivalency process is also hard to understand, especially for those immigrants that are still learning the language or are unused to information gathering in a new country.

That is why organizations designed to help ITDs along their journey are necessary to improve our country's dental and oral health.

There is a bigger goal that often gets overlooked, and that is unifying the many international students, immigrants, and working professionals focused on improving not only the lives of their families with a lucrative career but the social needs of Canadians by providing an essential service.

To that end, we had the unique opportunity to meet with Dr. Luca Salvador, founder of the Internationally Trained Dentists Association of Canada (ITDAOC).


Since March of 2021, this organization has focused on providing fair and equal representation for ITDs, offering helpful guidance, and remaining an outstanding advocate for improving the equivalency process.

Dr. Salvador received his HBSc from the University of Toronto in 2013 and was awarded his Doctor of Dental Surgery from Poznan University of Medical Sciences in 2018. This places him in a unique gray area of Canadian dental regulation as his primary degree is from a Canadian school while his doctorate is from Poland.

We discussed the future of ITDs and general oral health in Canada and how the equivalency process should be transformed to ensure a brighter future for the country.

A Long & Expensive Process

It helps to understand a bit about ITD equivalency programs. At its core, the National Dental Examining Board (NDEB) created the equivalency process for those international dentists with education, experience, or training. The idea was to get all dentists working in Canada to the same baseline of practice standards.

This is a valid concern as no one wants to interact with a dentist who is not qualified to perform operations, cleanings, or other procedures. The problem is this process is highly cost-preventative and often extremely confusing to the average ITD.

Add on top of that the immigration process, and you have a recipe that prevents more highly qualified dentists than it helps.

“If it costs $100,000 CAD or more to undertake the equivalency process and you know you are looking at a historical passing return of roughly 40%,” says Dr. Salvador, “then that is significantly below what it should be. Our goal is to encourage regulators to validate our equivalency exams using Canadian graduates.”

This is a strong argument about the NDEB equivalency process because the current belief is that 100% of Canadian dental school graduates could pass the same exams given to ITDs. Dr. Salvador and his organization have a simple ask to these regulators - prove it.

If the belief is that Canadian dental school graduates can pass these same exams without preparation, then all the ITDAOC is asking for is validation.

That is currently the vision of the short-term goals of this organization, to transform the equivalency process so it is more welcoming, cost-effective, and realistic for the backgrounds of those ITDs that apply and painstakingly pass through to the other side.

A Question of Immigration

While the short-term goals may be to update the NDEB equivalency process, the longer-term issues surround the regulation of immigration concerning dentists. There is a shortage of skilled labor for dentists in Canada.

There are roughly 12,000 job openings expected in dentistry from now until 2028, and only about 7,000 available students and trained individuals to fill them. That leaves a massive service gap, especially for rural or hard-to-reach communities.

In the meantime, you have a long line of trained individuals highly motivated to make the jump to Canadian citizenship. Canada has one of the better international reputations for immigration, but that does not mean it cannot be improved, especially in an area concerning a high-in-demand technical skill requiring specific knowledge.

“There are thousands of internationally trained dentists in Canada right now,” continues Dr. Salvador. “We’re ready to work, but can’t. So the issue is how to address the regulatory barriers preventing our forward progression as well as the self-regulation question.”

This is, again, a valid point. Most of the mechanisms in place to hold organizations like the NDEB accountable are critical and require experts in dentistry to set the rules, not those without any experience. There needs to be a check and balance on the regulators in charge of the equivalency process.

“We give them credit for recent positive developments,” says Dr. Salvador, “but more needs to be done so ITDs are given a fair opportunity to improve Canadian society.”

One of these improvements is a proposal that the new NDECC exam, a highly reliant skills component and bespoke situational judgment component, be separated into two entities. This way, if you pass one and fail the other, you are only forced to retake the other.

The Question of Cost & Awareness

ITDs are asking for fair treatment because the perception is that they are treated as something less. A good example of this was the recent global pandemic during which many equivalency exams were canceled. On the whole, the NDEB did a good job of ensuring the flow of qualified dentists through the process, except for ITDs.

Dental schools would not allow ITDs to use their facilities for the ACS exams. This could be outside of the NDEB’s control, but that resulted in a significant drop in qualified ITDs that could then progress through the process and start serving Canadian communities.

Every time there is a delay to the equivalency process, it costs those ITDs hundreds to thousands of dollars. These are individuals living in a country where they most likely do not have local support, a high-paying job, or the resources to recover from such setbacks.

If the goal of the Canadian government is to bring more services to citizens in all provinces, it only makes sense to make the process of ITDs smoother. Any failed exam due to improper design or elements beyond an ITDs control wastes thousands of dollars and months of their lives.

“Many competent dentists fail when they shouldn’t have,” continues Dr. Salvador. “That extends their process by months, if not years, and costs them thousands of dollars.

This is a big issue that has not been addressed in a satisfactory way yet. There are gaps in supplying us with information to validate what they are telling us. There should be fairness in the equivalency process because it is a challenging journey for all to undergo this series of exams.”

The problem here is representation. At many planning meetings and annual reviews, the only people allowed in the room are from the NDEB or supporting organizations like the Federation of the Canadian Dental Students Association (FCDSA). Other groups, like Dr. Salvador's, are often excluded from the meeting rooms.

This breakdown in transparency fosters apprehension and mistrust that there is an authentic effort to great a fair and just equivalency process.

“We have submitted fundamental questions over the last 6 months for which we have not received answers,” says Dr. Salvador. “That’s a big issue because if they’re not willing to discuss or address these issues openly with us, then we have to go through other means to get these issues addressed.”

The Birth of the ITDAOC

Dr. Salvador had the opportunity to meet with the executive director of the NDEB, Dr. Marie Dagenais. This was a good meeting where concerns were heard, but questions still remain unaddressed.

“I don’t think she is a bad person at all,” says Dr. Salvador. “I think she has good intent and a very challenging job. The problem is communication and transparency. When questions go unanswered, how are we to know we are receiving a fair chance to succeed?

Many ITDs come from countries where speaking out against authority has severe consequences. We’re trying to encourage people not to be afraid in Canada.

People move here because they don’t want to deal with stuff like that anymore. It is about improving the process, so the next generation of ITDs doesn’t go through the same issues ours has.”

When you visit the ITDAOC website, the very first words you see are “Together, we are strong.” This is the best representation of Dr. Salvador's organization.

Go to their board of directors. You’ll find all ITDs with truly impressive backgrounds and recent accolades working in Canada to help improve the dental profession. This is not a group of outsiders.

These are people living, working, contributing, and thriving in Canadian society seeking to make things a little better for those that follow in their footsteps. Can you think of any more authentic Canadian pursuit?

Fair Representation Breeds Trust and Opportunity

We could not be prouder to have had the opportunity to sit and discuss the future of ITDs and oral health in Canada with Dr. Luca Salvador. It is good to know there is an organization dedicated to helping ITDs find a brighter future here in Canada.

At the end of the day, it is all about having a voice at the table of decision-makers. Creating a representative body of ITDs, so they receive a fair chance at building a life in Canada that contributes to the betterment of their people.

If you would like to learn more about Dr. Salvador and the ITDAOCplease visit their website. They frequently post to their blog, host online and in-person talks, and advocate to numerous regulatory bodies within the Canadian government for fair and practical initiatives.

New members are welcome to join at any time. When you become a member of ITDAOC, you will be kept up to date with all the latest initiatives, news, and outreach programs being leveraged to improve the future of ITDs seeking a bright future in Canada.


Canada has long held a reputation around the globe as a warm and inviting country full of people who value respect and fair treatment.

Seeing an organization like the ITDAOC grow is not only a bellwether that there is an issue but a strength that Canada is a free space where voices can and must be heard to enact positive change.

We fully support Dr. Salvador and the rest of the ITDAOC Board and membership in their endeavors and will be closely watching the future developments of this well-meaning and necessary pursuit.

Karen Nunez was born in Valenzuela, Philippines. She received her Doctor of Dental Medicine degree from Centro Escolar University in Manila.

Karen currently is a practicing oral health care professional based in Alberta, Canada; and runs a Blog where she writes a slew of articles to empower internationally trained dentists to integrate into Canadian dentistry.

Read more of her blogs here.

KIDS Uncategorized

11 Best Cities to Live in Canada

Canada is a beautiful country with so much to offer ITDs and immigrants looking to build a new life. From the rolling hills of the East Coast to the rugged mountains of the West, this nation is brimming with charm and culture.

As more people from across the globe look to relocate here, choosing where to live in Canada is becoming easier said than done. There are so many attractive options for the best cities to live in in Canada based on the cost of living, job opportunities, quality of life, entertainment, attractions, and more that it can be a bit overwhelming.

That’s why we’ve compiled this list of some of our favorite Canadian cities from coast to coast that are great for immigration. So whether you’re thinking about moving abroad or simply looking for your next travel destination, consider these 11 cities to find work and life as an ITD in Canada.

What are the Best Cities to Live in Canada?

So many factors go into answering this question, though, that it's not always easy to know where to start. Canada is a vast country, ranked second largest globally, with only Russia above it. However, it is 39th by population. That means there is a lot of land to explore and enjoy without feeling like you are packed into apartments like sardines.

The total population is over 35 million people strong who speak primarily English and French. Some areas will have more French speakers than others. Still, you can easily get by with English because so many tourists enjoy the natural beauty of Canada. It is located just above the United States, which primarily speaks English.

There is a lot of opportunity in Canada, which made narrowing down the list to only 11 cities to live in challenging. We looked at factors like:

♦ Cost of Living

♦ Job Availability

♦ Crime Rate

♦ Quality of Education

♦ Total Population

And more!

As an ITD, it will come down to where the opportunities are, but this list will give you a general idea of some more welcoming areas that are more open to people from other cultures. The entire country is a warm, inviting place to build a home, but many immigrants like to start where people from their country have also moved to Canada. Let’s dive in.

1 - Ottawa

Ottawa is the capital of Canada and the second-largest city in the country. It's also one of the most educated cities in Canada, with 45% of its population having a college or university degree. That is probably because there are two major universities in the city - the University of Ottawa and Carleton University.

Ottawa was named after a native tribe meaning "to trade," which was fitting for its location on what was originally a crucial Aboriginal trading route between east and west. Today it's home to many government offices as well as being considered one of North America's greenest cities - something you'll notice when you visit.

With over 1 million people living there, Ottawa isn't too big or small. The population is expected to grow exponentially over the next few years. In addition, it has new investments from Canada’s immigration drive.

There are many well-groomed outdoor paths for riding a bike or enjoying a walk in the hotter summers. While the winters can be pretty cold, the city comes alive with great activities, festivals, and events.

This is a bilingual city that speaks both French and English, meaning that many public services will be available in either language.

The job market in Ottawa is vibrant because this city is home to Canada’s federal government offices, which employs a considerable number of the population. That means there is a low unemployment rate and a high demand for services to the middle to upper-class families, which dentistry benefits from.

At a Glance: 

♦ Unemployment Rate: 6.3%

♦ Median Family Income: $102,000 CAD

♦ Cost of Apartment: $700-$1,400 CAD

♦ Cost of Gallon of Milk: $9.49 CAD

♦ Population: 1.3 million

♦ Foreign-Born Residents: 23.4% of the population

♦ Fun Fact: More engineers, scientists, and PhDs per capita than any other city in Canada.

2 -Vancouver

Vancouver is the largest city in British Columbia and the third-largest metropolitan area in Canada. It's located on the south shore of Burrard Inlet, a natural harbor home to one of North America’s biggest ports.

The city has been growing steadily over the past few decades, but it hasn't become overcrowded or overly developed like other cities with similar populations. Vancouverites celebrate their natural beauty and relaxed lifestyle as a point of pride (and they're probably right). This is a place where you can go hiking or snowboarding for half your year and has plenty of indoor activities to keep you busy during those cold months when outdoor activities aren't possible.

There are stunning beaches, islands, and coastline, as well as a vibrant urban center with many entertainment and knowledge centers rivaling most major cities across the globe. However, that also makes it one of the more expensive destinations on our list. If you can find lucrative job placement, then this is an excellent place to move.

Vancouver is on our list of best cities to live in Canada because it is so diverse and has a thriving economy. A colossal entertainment sector brings in many supportive jobs in the area, and plenty of housing is easier after the city converted much of the 2010 Winter Olympic centers into apartments.

If you want the best schools, hospitals, and medical care with easy-to-use public transportation and surprisingly mild weather, this is the place to be.

At a Glance: 

  • Unemployment Rate: 5.2%
  • Median Family Income: $96,423 CAD
  • Cost of Apartment: $1,000-$2,100 CAD
  • Cost of Gallon of Milk: $10.45 CAD
  • Population: 2.1 million
  • Foreign-Born Residents: 42.5% of the population
  • Fun Fact: Recently ranked as the third most livable place in the world and 10th cleanest city in the world.

3 - Burlington

Burlington is a city in Southern Ontario, Canada, and the capital of the Halton Region. It is located on the shores of Lake Ontario, north of Toronto and south of Hamilton.

The city was ranked as the safest municipality in Ontario by Crime Rate Statistics Canada for two consecutive years (2010–2011), according to its 2011 police statistics report. The City has also been recognized as one of Canada's top ten retirement destinations by Sun Life Financial.

This makes Burlington one of the favorite cities of expats from the U.S. and other European countries. It is also an area that sits between urban living and the great outdoors, due in part to the significant number of parks, walking trails, bike paths, and other quality of life enjoyments.

With so many out-of-towners moving to Burlington, there are a lot of job opportunities due to numerous new businesses popping up all of the time to serve the growing population. It has a broad economic base that adds to the region's overall stability and does not suffer from a single industry overtaking another due to its diversity. A lot of people actually work in Toronto and then use the commuter train to go home to one of the best places to live - Burlington.

While all of Canada is family-friendly, this is known as one of the more “small-town feels” areas of the country that loves younger families. Shopping, dining, and education are all top-notch, and there is a rich active lifestyle supported by local communities that welcome people of all backgrounds.

At a Glance: 

  • Unemployment Rate: 5.2%
  • Median Family Income: $93,588 CAD
  • Cost of Apartment: $900-$1,900 CAD
  • Cost of Gallon of Milk: $10.60 CAD
  • Population: 186,948
  • Foreign-Born Residents: 24.1% of the population
  • Fun Fact: Burlington has more species of lilacs than almost anywhere else in the world.

4 - Oakville

Oakville is a city in Southern Ontario, Canada, part of the Greater Toronto Area (GTA). It's home to over 222,000 residents and has become a popular destination for those seeking to live in the GTA without sacrificing amenities.

The Oakville Chamber of Commerce said it best: "Oakville has been successful because we’re not Toronto." If you're looking for a smaller community with great schools and plenty of green space but still close enough to get into the big city whenever you need to—this is your place.

You are living right up against Lake Ontario, which provides a significant amount of entertainment, commerce, and tourism to the area. This is also only 30 minutes from downtown Toronto and about an hour from Niagara Falls on the U.S. border.

We put this on our list of the best cities to live in Canada for ITDs because of how welcoming it is to younger families and children. Between the broad array of arts, culture, music, sports, museums, festivals, and educational opportunities, this is an incredibly vibrant community for staying busy. No matter your background or interest, you can find plenty to do in Oakville.

Jobs are easier to find here because of the major industries in the area. Siemens, Ford, General Electric, and UTC Aerospace all have significant operations in the area. You’ll find a good portion of the population employed in science, pharmaceuticals, and eldercare.

At a Glance: 

  • Unemployment Rate: 6.2%
  • Median Family Income: $113,666 CAD
  • Cost of Apartment: $1,900-$3,400 CAD
  • Cost of Gallon of Milk: $10.01 CAD
  • Population: 211,382
  • Foreign-Born Residents: 30% of the population
  • Fun Fact: More than 1.4 million tourists visit Oakville every year.

5 - St. Albert

If you want access to all the amenities that come with living in a large city without having to deal with all the traffic or busy streets of downtown, then St. Albert is the best choice. The cost of living here is lower than in other parts of Alberta, which makes it an attractive option for those looking for a place where they can still afford rent or mortgage payments but get more bang for their buck.

There is an abundance of high-paying jobs due to numerous industries moving into the area to serve the growing population. In addition, you get all the amenities of schools, healthcare, and recreation, as well as excellent outdoor green spaces along the Sturgeon River. This is a very family-friendly area and hosts the International Children’s Festival, which brings in more than 55,000 people annually.

Even though this is one of the best cities to live in, be prepared for some cold winters that can include temperatures 20 degrees below. A lot of people choose to live in St. Albert and then commute to Edmonton, another place on our list of the best cities to live in Canada. That is partly because there is a significant amount of the population works in the nearby oil, gas, and energy industry. This is a surprisingly vibrant science and technology sector of Canada with a strong IT and biotechnology drive for new innovation.

At a Glance: 

  • Unemployment Rate: 5.2%
  • Median Family Income: $131,300 CAD
  • Cost of Apartment: $850-$1,295 CAD
  • Cost of Gallon of Milk: $9.37 CAD
  • Population: 65,589
  • Foreign-Born Residents: 23% of the population
  • Fun Fact: Voted the #1 best small city to live in Canada by MoneySense Magazine.

6 - Boucherville

Boucherville is a city in Quebec, Canada, and is considered one of the oldest places in the country. It's also home to some pretty good eats, with restaurants like Au Pied de Cochon and Maison Boulud nearby.

Commute time from Boucherville to Montreal (where most jobs are located) is just 24 minutes—which means that if your commute takes longer than that during rush hour, then there's something wrong with your car or something else about your life situation that needs fixing.

The average income in Boucherville has been rising steadily over time for full-time workers (like doctors and lawyers). That increase makes this option one of the best cities to live in for building a future with your family.

This is another location that is popular with expats from the U.S. because of the outdoor activities, sporting opportunities, arts, culture, and relative closeness to Montreal. You’ll need to brush up on your French as roughly 90% of the population prefers to speak that over English. That means being bilingual is essential to finding a dentistry position in Boucherville, Canada.

Other areas of job placement include aerospace, software, pharmaceuticals, technology, manufacturing, and transportation.

At a Glance: 

  • Unemployment Rate: 4.3%
  • Median Family Income: $97,401 CAD
  • Cost of Apartment: $1,500-$2,800 CAD
  • Cost of Gallon of Milk: $9.87 CAD
  • Population: 40,753
  • Foreign-Born Residents: 5-10% of the population
  • Fun Fact: Excellent location for nearby festivals like the Montreal Jazz, Le Grand RibFest in Laval, and Igloofest.

7 - Calgary

Calgary is a cosmopolitan city and an economic center for southern Alberta, situated at the confluence of the Bow River and Elbow River in a large valley surrounded by mountains on all sides. It is home to many cultural festivals, including the Calgary International Stampede, one of North America's most famous rodeos, the Calgary Folk Music Festival, and Truckfest, which takes place every summer at Heritage Park Historical Village.

The economy of Calgary has been built on oil and gas production since its inception, but today it also relies heavily on agriculture (especially beef), tourism, transportation equipment (principally aircraft), financial services, and high-tech industries such as information technology (IT) companies engaged in global business services operations such as call centers for international airlines or hotel chains.

More than 1.5 million people live in this busy city that expanded rapidly after the railway was built. As a result, you get a rich mix of old rural landscapes with young urban development, making this an excellent addition to our best places to live in Canada.

There are many jobs in various industries like film, aerospace, health, tourism, and dentistry. This is due in part to the vibrant influx of new business and the benefits from the highly successful 1988 Calgary Winter Olympic games that helped grow residential and financial opportunities.

At a Glance: 

  • Unemployment Rate: 5.3%
  • Median Family Income: $105,060 CAD
  • Cost of Apartment: $1,300-$2,200 CAD
  • Cost of Gallon of Milk: $8.70 CAD
  • Population: 1.33 million
  • Foreign-Born Residents: 33% of the population
  • Fun Fact: Home to one of the youngest populations in Canada, with an average age of 38.

8 - Halifax

Halifax is a beautiful city on the east coast of Canada. It offers residents an excellent quality of life, a lower cost of living, and access to jobs. If you're looking to raise a family in Canada or move back home after being away for a while, then this could be the place for you.

This is the regional capital for Nova Scotia and the 2nd fastest growing area for expats and immigrants. That is probably because the incredible coastline and laid-back lifestyle make it a lovely place to retire or enjoy a slower pace of life.

Halifax has a sister city of Dartmouth, connected by bridges over the Bedford Basin. Living there means access to twice as many educational, healthcare, and industrial opportunities. This also means double the outdoor development, parks, and natural beauty!

You get some cold temps being so close to the coast and plenty of snow, but the locals make it a fun and enjoyable season with festivals and plenty of places to dine where everyone hangs out together.

At a Glance: 

  • Unemployment Rate: 4.7%
  • Median Family Income: $69,553 CAD
  • Cost of Apartment: $949-$1,850 CAD
  • Cost of Gallon of Milk: $8.51 CAD
  • Population: 431,479
  • Foreign-Born Residents: 9-12% of the population
  • Fun Fact: Halifax rents Point Pleasant, a beloved park, for one shilling a year from the British Government.

9 - Quebec City

Quebec City is the capital of the province of Quebec and the second-largest city in Canada. It was founded by Samuel de Champlain in 1608 and became a British colony until 1759 when it was restored to France.

Quebec's climate is quite similar to southern Ontario's, although winters tend to be colder due to its northern location. Summers are also more humid than they are further south due to prevailing winds coming off Lake Ontario.

This is one of the oldest cities in the country and a UNESCO World Heritage site because of its architecture and historical importance. There are a lot of cultural amenities in this city and a vibrant food and dining option as many expats with culinary training love to immigrate to Quebec City. However, you will need to know French as less than 2% of the population speak English fluently.

There is a log of timber, aerospace, and hydropower employment opportunities and not so much in the IT or science sector. The reason it is so affordable to live in Quebec City is that you are in store for a harsh winter. While you get some of the most intriguing winter festivals in the world, you also have a long spate of short dark days with more than enough snow.

At a Glance: 

  • Unemployment Rate: 3.9%
  • Median Family Income: $59,881 CAD
  • Cost of Apartment: $949-$1,450 CAD
  • Cost of Gallon of Milk: $7.65 CAD
  • Population: 542,298
  • Foreign-Born Residents: Roughly 6-8% of the population
  • Fun Fact: The delicious french fries in gravy or other dips known as Poutine originated in Quebec City.

10 - Saskatoon

Saskatoon is the largest city in the province of Saskatchewan and is one of Canada’s fastest-growing areas. The strange thing about this place is that it does not feel like a city. When you are walking around the mom-and-pop shops and local restaurants, you get the sense this is more of a village, even though it has more than 273,000 people.

Everything feels outdoorsy in this place to live, with various parks, playgrounds, and recreational opportunities. As agriculture and livestock are major industries, you get delicious local foods. An expanded IT, biotech, and manufacturing interest are growing at a breakneck speed for new job placement.

The cost of living is relatively low because there is so much farmland nearby, but you will have severely cold winters. Unfortunately, this is one of those locations in the world where you have to be prepared for winter because the temps and snowfall can take over all aspects of life in the city.

Despite the rough weather, this tight knight community of happy and fun-loving people welcomes newcomers with open arms.

At a Glance: 

  • Unemployment Rate: 4.7%
  • Median Family Income: $79,001 CAD
  • Cost of Apartment: $900-$1,200 CAD
  • Cost of Gallon of Milk: $8.03 CAD
  • Population: 273,010
  • Foreign-Born Residents: Roughly 15.6% of the population
  • Fun Fact: More than 8,200 local residents gathered in Victoria Park to host the world’s largest snowball fight on February 1, 2016.

11 - Edmonton

Wrapping up our list of the best cities to live in Canada is Edmonton. Here you find a wonderful city that is friendly to pretty much anyone that comes to visit or stay. This is due to the area being host to over fifty yearly festivals in art, culture, folklore, food, holidays, music, and more.

You have plenty of shopping and sporting events throughout the year, as well as a city, focused on creating more green space whenever possible. That makes this one of the best urban environments to still enjoy outdoor living in the world.

The weather here is going to be cold, and the city is spread out a bit without much public transport as of yet. You will need a car to get around the city and surrounding area. This is the capital city of Alberta and has a huge population, so there is plenty to do when things get a little chilly come winter.

At a Glance: 

  • Unemployment Rate: 6.1%
  • Median Family Income: $97,800 CAD
  • Cost of Apartment: $975-$1,300 CAD
  • Cost of Gallon of Milk: $9.76 CAD
  • Population: 981,280
  • Foreign-Born Residents: Roughly 24% of the population
  • Fun Fact: Edmonton receives 2,299 hours of bright sunshine annually, with some days having up to 17 hours.

Wrapping it Up

All of these cities can offer you a great quality of life ITD option, as well as a high employment rate, low crime rate, and access to amenities. When deciding on the best cities to live in in Canada, think about what you need from your new home and where these needs might be met.

As ITDs exploring new opportunities, we cannot emphasize enough the power of networking. Speaking with fellow peers and mentors will be the best way to connect with these areas of the world. Take your time to explore the different amenities and features of each city before making your decision. All in all, you cannot go wrong with setting up your family through a dentistry career in the beautiful country of Canada!

Also, Check Out the Related Article:  How to Immigrate to Canada as a Dentist

About the Author

Karen Nunez was born in Valenzuela, Philippines. She received her Doctor of Dental Medicine degree from Centro Escolar University in Manila.

Karen currently is a practicing oral health care professional based in Alberta, Canada; and runs a website where she writes a slew of articles to empower internationally trained dentists to integrate into Canadian dentistry.

Read more of her blogs here.


How to Become a Dentist in Canada – An Easy and Simple Guide for ITDs

For international students and ITDs, how to become a dentist in Canada can be a lengthy and costly. With so many steps involved, it’s easy to feel lost and overwhelmed. We’re here to help!

This guide will cover how to become certified by the National Dental Examining Board of Canada (NDEB) and start practising as a Canadian dentist. 

The route to NDEB certification will depend on a few factors:

– Where you received your dental education

– Whether you want to be a licensed general dentist, specialist, or both

If you need more personalised help, we recommend contacting an immigration consultant for help.

Here’s how to become a dentist in Canada for Internationally Trained Dentists.

How To Become a Dentist in Canada

IDTs who want to become a licensed general dentist and graduated from a non-accredited general dentistry program will need to follow the steps below to become a dentist in Canada.

Step 1: NDEB Equivalency Process

The NDEB Equivalency Process can be a long, tedious and costly for ITDs. First, you must apply and be approved before you can begin taking exams.

Let’s take a look at the NDEB Equivalency Process step by step.

  1. Create an NDEB Login

The first step is to create an NDEB profile. Your online profile will allow you to submit all necessary documents and start the Equivalency Process.

To create your profile, you will need:

-A passport-style photograph in JPG or PNG format

-A valid credit card

Of course, you will also need access to a laptop or desktop computer.

When filling out the form to create your profile, the NDEB will ask you several questions, including your:

1. Graduation date

2. Graduation school

3. Name and address

4. Unit side (left or right-handed)

If your school isn’t listed in the dropdown menu, you will need to contact NDEB to find out your next steps.

  1. Fill Out and Submit All Required Documents

Once you have created your profile, you can begin submitting all of the required documents and the Confirmation of Degree Completion Form. Don’t worry, the NDEB provides detailed instructions on how to submit all of your documents.

The NDEB also provides a detailed list of the documents you need, what they are and their acceptable forms.

Additionally, you will need to sign, date and submit the Equivalency Process Required Documents Form. The form is just to verify that you:

-Acknowledge and understand the documents you need to submit

– Authorise the release of your academic record information to the NDEB

Basically, the Board is looking for documents that verify:

Your Credentials

» Confirmation of Degree form, which you will send to the university from which you graduated. Your university will fill out part of the form, and send the completed document back to the NDEB office.

» Official academic record with the original university stamp and the university official’s signature. If you attended multiple universities, you must send your official academic record from each one.

» Original final dental degree that was awarded on the date of your graduation in its original language. Please note that provisional degrees, letters of completion, certificates and graduation statements are not acceptable.

» Translation of academic record (if applicable). If your academic record was recorded in a language other than English or French, you must provide a verbatim translation by a certified translator.

» Internship completion certificate in the original language it was issued. This document is only required if your dental program required an internship to obtain your final degree. Also, if your academic record shows clinical work, then an internship completion certificate is not required.

Your Identity

» Government issued photo ID, such as a foreign passport, Canadian driver’s license or Canadian passport.

» Name change documentation (if applicable). Documentation will also be required if your legal name is different from any names that appear on your documents. A legal name change document, marriage certificate or sworn affidavit will suffice. The NDEB provides detailed information on acceptable documents for name changes.

Once your documents have been submitted, they will go through the verification process. Credential verification is a multi-step process that can take some time, so be patient. If there’s an issue with any of the documents, the NDEB will contact you and provide you with information on how to fix the problem.

You can also view the status of your documents through your online profile.

When all of your documents have been accepted and approved, you can finally register for the Assessment of Fundamental Knowledge (AFK) exam.

  1. Take the Assessment of Fundamental Knowledge (AFK)

The AFK is the first exam in the Equivalency Process. You will need to get a passing score (75) before taking any other exams in the Equivalency Process.

Here’s what you need to know:

⇒ The AFK will test your knowledge of applied clinical science and biomedical science.

⇒ The exam consists of 200 multiple-choice questions.

⇒ The AFK is broken into two parts. Each part lasts two hours.

⇒ There are two exam formats: electronic (at Prometric testing sites), and booklet format (at select testing sites).

To take the AFK, you must:

⇒ Register, and pay the fees for the exam. The costs for this exam are $800.If you’re taking a paper exam, no other steps are required.

⇒ For electronic exams, you will need to schedule your exam through the Prometric website.

The NDEB provides detailed information about what you can expect when taking the AFK, including the check-in process and question formats. You can view their booklet in PDF format here.

You can also take an online self-assessment to see if you’re ready for the AFK exam.

After the AFK exam, you have two routes you can take:

⇒ Take the ACJ and ACS/NDECC exams, OR

⇒ Complete a Qualifying and Degree Completion Program

Option 1: ACJ and ACS/NDECC Exams

  1. Take the Assessment of Clinical Judgment (ACJ)

The purpose of the ACJ exam is to gauge your ability to make a diagnosis and clinical decisions. It will also focus on oral radiology and your ability to make radiographic interpretations and diagnoses.

Here’s what you need to know:

⇒ The ACJ is an intense exam that lasts 5 hours with a 30-minute break.

⇒ The test consists of 120-150 multiple-choice questions.

⇒ Each section will have questions related to case-based diagnosis, clinical decision-making and treatment planning.

Paper exams are not available for the ACJ. You will need to:

⇒ Register for the exam and pay the fee through your NDEB profile. The fee for this exam is $1,350.

⇒ Schedule your seat time with Prometric.

  1. Take the Assessment of Clinical Skills (ACS)/NDECC™

The ASC (now known as the NDECC™ or National Dental Examination of Clinical Competence) will test your clinical skills on simulated patients.

Here’s what you need to know:

⇒ The ACS/NDECC spans two days.

⇒ You will be asked to perform 12 dental procedures on manikins in a clinical environment.

⇒ The fee for the exam is $9,000.

Under previous rules, you were only permitted to take the ACS a maximum of three times. Starting in 2022, examiness can take the NDECC™ as many times as they need within a five-year period.

The NDEB has created a helpful video that explains (in great detail) what to expect during the ACS.

Option 2: Qualifying and Degree Completion Programs

The AFK is required, but you can choose Qualifying and Degree Completion Programs as an alternative to the ACJ and ACS exams.

These are known as bridging programs, and they help internationally trained dentists  become familiar with dentistry in Canada and the country’s dental practices.

Bridging programs typically span 5-6 months. Once completed, students can enroll in the second or third year of a Doctor of Dental Surgery (DDS) program. Completing the DDS program will take 2-3 years.

Not every university offers a bridging program, and those that do may have different entry requirements. It’s important to contact an institution first to determine whether they offer this program and their requirements to entry.

Once completed, you will be eligible for the NDEB Certification Process. You can view a list of programs here.

Step 2: The NDEB Certification Process

You’re halfway there! Once you have gone through the Equivalency Process, you can then go through the Certification Process to become licensed and start practising.

There are three steps in the Certification Process:

  1. Take the NDEB written exam
  2. Take the OSCE exam
  3. Obtain your certificate and license
Certification Process Exam Fees

Before we get into details about each step, let’s talk about fees. Here’s what you’ll need to pay:

⇒ NDEB written exam: $1,000 ($1,100 if outside North America)

⇒ OSCE exam: $1,000 ($1,100 if outside North America)

⇒ Application fee: $450

Once you have paid the fees and passed the exams, you will be issued an NDEB certificate.

  1. Take the NDEB Written Exam

The NDEB exam will test your knowledge of applied clinical science and basic science.

Here’s what you need to know:

⇒ The exam consists of 300 multiple-choice questions.

⇒ The testing period spans two 150-minute sessions. One session is administered in the morning, and the other in the afternoon.

You can take the exam up to three times. It’s worth the time and effort to focus on NDEB exam preparation and ensure that you’re ready to take the exam.

  1. Take the Objective Structured Clinical Examination (OSCE)

The OSCE is similar to the ASJ. It will assess different aspects of clinical judgment, including:

⇒ Making a diagnosis

⇒ Treatment planning and methods

⇒ Prognosis

⇒ Clinical decision making

Here’s what you need to know:

⇒ The exam will be administered in two parts, both on the same day.

⇒ The OSCE will consist of 50 multiple-choice questions and one constructed response.

⇒ Each question will have up to 15 answers, and one or more may be correct.

⇒ You will be askedto review case information to answer questions, such as case history, photographs, dental charts and radiographs.

The NDEB provides a PDF with detailed information on preparing for the exam and what to expect on your exam day.

  1. Obtain Your Certificate and License

Once you have passed the written exam and the OSCE, you will be able to obtain your NDEB certificate.

If you chose the Qualifying and Degree Completion Programs route, you must also provide proof of graduation. However, if you went through the Equivalency Process, proof of graduation won’t be necessary.

Once you’re certified, you can contact the Dental Regulatory Authorities (DRA) about licensing.

2023 Changes to the Certification Process

NDEB Canada will be changing the Certification Process starting in 2023 with the launch of the NDEB Virtual OSCE. The new exam will combine the written exam and the OSCE into one exam that will be administered electronically in one day.

Costs and Considerations for ITDs

The road to becoming a dentist in Canada is a long and difficult one for ITDs. However, if it’s your dream to live and work in Canada practising dentistry, then it will be worth every penny and minute spent on exams, studying and preparation.

Still, it’s important to consider the less obvious costs of becoming a licensed dentist in Canada. In addition to exam fees, you must also consider:

⇒ Cost of living: Don’t forget that you will need to cover the costs of living in Canada. This will likely mean that you will need to work part-time or full-time while saving for and preparing for your exams.

⇒ Time: The Equivalency Process and Certification Process will take time. You may need time off of work or to go part-time in order to have the time for preparation, study and self-assessments.

The time commitment is just as concerning as the cost of living and exam fees. Many ITDs ask, “How long does it take to become a dentist in Canada?” Unfortunately, it’s difficult to provide an answer simply because every student is different.

It can take 18 weeks just to verify your documents to create an NDEB profile. The time it takes to go through exams will largely depend on whether or not you pass on the first try. Some exams are only given twice per year, so the entire process from start to finish can take years.

Simply put, to become a dentist in Canada as an ITD, you must be committed and prepared to invest the time and money into the process. However, it’s well worth the effort to obtain your certification and license. 

Stay tuned for more helpful and informative articles about ITDs!


8 Best Dental Products of 2023

You're reading this blog post because you want to have beautiful teeth and a beautiful smile. It's the new year, and it's time for your resolutions!

In this post, we'll go over 8 product reviews of dental products for the year 2023.

We'll include tips on how to take care of your mouth (teeth and gums) as well as practical recommendations on which products will work best for what type of person or lifestyle.

So read through our list below and by the end, you should have an idea about which one is right for you!

Ready? Let's go.

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Whitening Kits

First, whitening kits are the best option for those who want to use professional-grade whitening treatments at home. 

With enough supplies for at least weeks or months of regular use, things like these can bring out a before-and-after smile that will undoubtedly impress anyone on the receiving end. 

If you already have an idea of your loved ones' favorite brands then all the better. If not, don't worry—we offer some below. 

As long as the manufacturer's instructions are followed, hydrogen peroxide and carbamide peroxide-based tooth whitening are shown to be safe and effective

Smile Brilliant Whitening Kit


We know that the best way to get a whiter smile is through professional whitening. But, not everyone can afford it! That’s why we created Smile Brilliant – so you can have your own teeth whitened in the comfort of your home for less than half of what most dentists charge. Our kits are customized to fit your needs and budget.

 You don't need an expensive dentist appointment or any special training - just follow our simple step-by-step process at home with our easy-to-use kit. In just two weeks, you'll see a noticeable difference in how white your teeth look! Plus, if you're not satisfied with the results after using all of the gel provided by us, we will refund 100% of what you paid for this package! No questions asked. So give it a try today and let us help make sure that every time someone looks at your smile they say “wow” instead of “hmm…”

Smile Brilliant is the first company to bring customized whitening kits directly to your door. Our business model cuts out dentist inefficiencies and passes savings onto you. You can choose how much gel you need, as well as whether or not your teeth are sensitive. We’re here for everyone!

With our easy-to-use at-home kit, we make it easier than ever before to get a brighter smile without having to go through the hassle of visiting a dentist. If you have any questions about our products or services, don’t hesitate to contact us today!

If you're looking for a heavy-duty whitening system that can take on even the darkest stains, look no further than Smile Brilliant's T9 NON-SENSITIVE SYSTEM. This system is perfect for those who drink coffee, tea, or wine regularly, or smoke – and don't want to sacrifice their teeth' natural sensitivity in the process. Plus, at 27 applications of whitening gel, this system offers great value compared to other brands.


Looking to achieve brighter, pearly whites without any of the sensitivity that often comes with other whitening products? Smile Brilliant has the perfect solution – our T6 NON-SENSITIVE SYSTEM! This set is perfect for those with average stained teeth and includes everything you need to get started: custom-fitted trays and 18 applications (top and bottom) of whitening gel. Plus, with regular use, you can enjoy brighter teeth in as little as two weeks!


The T3 NON-SENSITIVE SYSTEM (light stains) is the perfect product for those who are looking to achieve a bright smile without having any pain or sensitivity. The best part about this system, aside from its ease and effectiveness in removing stains - which we all know can be difficult sometimes-, is that it doesn't have natural side effects on your teeth because nothing gets applied near them; so you'll never develop cavities or get an infection!


When it comes to a brighter smile, the first step is making your impressions. Backed by science and made in-house at our lab using custom-fitted trays mail everything back for us within 3-5 business days so we can craft an accurate build around what you need! Once complete whiten & relax with white energy-free products included as well as a carefully engineered gel that works best on each individual's dental needs

Get started on your own customized whitening kit from Smile Brilliant today!


Click Here to Order Now!








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A toothbrush upgrade makes an excellent gift for someone who has already invested in at-home whitening treatments.

That's because a great electric toothbrush can help support the process by behaving like a personal tooth brushing coach for cleaner, whiter teeth. 

Compared to their manual counterparts, electric toothbrushes are specially designed to more effectively fight plaque and stains more effectively, promote better gum health, and increase saliva production. The added stimulation from a powered toothbrush promotes better blood flow to the gums, making them stronger.

If the studies weren’t enough, we interviewed a practicing dentist recently, Dr. Roswin Grewal, in his opinion of electric toothbrushes:

“I recommend patients use an electric toothbrush as it can be easier to use and does a better job of cleaning. They’re worth the initial investment, and I recommend any oscillating brush.”


cariPRO™ Electric Toothbrush

The cariPRO™ Electric Toothbrush is another top electric toothbrush on the market. Designed with a non-slip, anti-splash ergonomic grip, this brush is ready to go as soon as you are with five brush modes on standby:

  • Clean
  • White
  • Massage
  • Gum care
  • Sensitive 

Don't worry about wires, either, since the cariPRO toothbrush comes with a mobile wireless charging dock so that you can space it to your needs. 

Thanks to its angled and tufted DuPont™ bristles, it’s capable of polishing away stains and plaque without irritating teeth or gums. And because it comes with two different brush heads with a tongue scraper, two members in the family can use it—even more if you order more brush heads. 


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Water Flossers

Another great gift for those who cherish their teeth whitening treatments is a water flosser.

The use of oral irrigators can reduce gingival inflammation and better clean around dental implants, which is why they’re preferred over floss. Plus, it's the perfect combination to keep both gums and teeth healthy and strong—which everyone loves!

Dr. Roswin Grewal - a practicing dentist in Calgary;  AB, Canada says,

Water flossers are an excellent way to flush your teeth, get rid of germs, and fend off acid attacks. They’re engineered to reach the deepest crevices of your teeth and use high-pressure water to rinse them out. 

It’s like flossing, but way more fun and effective. 

Dental care tips from Dr. Roswin  Grewal



It is important to brush twice a day, once in the morning and once at night. Also flossing is just as important, if not more important than brushing. It is commonly not a priority for people! Brushing cannot clean between the teeth and only flossing can clean these areas. Flossing can be a tough habit to build, if you are a person that does not floss at all you will need to start somewhere! I recommend patients to build the habit slowly with baby steps, flossing say 1 or 2 specific days a week, and then eventually the goal is to build the habit to be flossing daily! 

CariPRO water Flosser


The best water flosser for improving gum health is delivered right to your door. Save up 50% on comparable high quality units! More effective than string, it delivers a clinically-proven cleaning session that will make teeth whiter and improve breath smells more in just one use - without the need of threads or other accessories.


1. Stop messing with string - flossing is annoying!  And wasting time on a silly string can be even worse, so why not just do it? It's easy and painless (not to mention more effective) than dental picks or other methods of plaque removal; plus you'll feel better about your breath when others compliment the cleanliness in their mouth from seeing how well-groomed yours has become over time. 2x More.

2. A premium water flosser is the perfect way to keep your teeth clean and healthy. It's even more effective than string, with 3 times as much dental benefit for implants or braces! You have nothing risk-taking this product - it comes right at your doorstep so there will be no surprises come check-up time when Dr.'s say "wow look what you did!"

3. The flossing ritual will be a thing of the past, as you'll have two times more success when it comes to implants and braces (vs string-based). Your mouth is going from being healthy enough for just about anything.


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Are your loved ones active, and do they play dangerous sports? Or do they grind their teeth at night? Get them the oral protection they need to keep their beautiful smile intact with mouthguards or nightguards. 

A quality mouthguard protects the gums, teeth, and jaw from injuries while playing sports or participating in other activities where injuries are most likely to happen.

Just make sure to clean your mouthguards periodically and not wear them all the time. Mouthguards, over time, could trap bacteria on the gum’s surface,  which could grow plaque or harmful bacteria in the mouth. 

Now admittedly, the gifting aspect is a bit tricky since, for some brands, you'll need to send the company your oral impressions before getting your mouthguard made. So it's a bit of a giveaway, but a worthy one, nonetheless.

Remi’s Custom Night Guards

Remi’s Custom Night Guards is an affordable, comfortable option that's great for those who want something that'll last and work well.

These custom-made nightguards by dental professionals feature an ultra-thin design with the highest quality material to ensure comfort and security even when you're sleeping. 

The Remi Custom Night Guards also cover the front teeth instead of just the back, so you won't have to worry about shifting while you sleep. And for the late-night teeth grinders out there, these mouthguards are great for protecting your teeth.

They're a reliable brand that delivers in 2-4 business days in the U.S. along with a 30-day money-back guarantee. New mouthguards are delivered every six months, though you'll have to spend $49 for them.


Smile Brilliant Night Guards

Do you grind your teeth at night?

If so, it’s time to stop the damage and save on costly dental bills. Smile Brilliant Nightguards are custom-made for you by a dentist in just two weeks. They protect your teeth from grinding while allowing you to talk and drink water. You can even wear them during sleep! And with our 100% satisfaction guarantee, there’s no risk in trying them out today.

With over 40 million Americans suffering from bruxism (teeth grinding), this is an epidemic that needs to be stopped immediately before more damage is done! Stop the pain now with Smile Brilliant Nightguards - get yours today!


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Oral Probiotics

The best way to keep your oral and sinus health in check? Rejuvenate! This all-natural formula helps fight plaque build-up, decay & presents the ultimate solution for bad breath. It also supports natural immune defenses by building new bacteria that reside within our bodies’ mucosa (the thin layer of closely related tissue found just beneath the outer surface). With this product you can expect improved gum wellness as well enhanced dental hygiene overall – it will be like nobody else knows what they're missing out on until then…

Your mouth contains over 700 species of bacteria, and a healthy microbiome is crucial to your overall well-being. Good or bad? You decide! The Science Of A Healthy Mouth will teach you all about the difference between good vs bad guys in terms on oral health: 

Good Bacteria (Lactobacillus Plantarum) are those naturally occurring types that fight off invasive microbes like plaque and tartar while maintaining our natural balance; they're also known as natural flora which helps protect against dental cavities - not so much if there's an imbalance because then we might end up having more cavity problems than ever before...then again once things get back into proper order with these helpful bugs

Good bacteria are the natural inhabitants of your mouth that keep the bad stuff in check. They help fight off invasions from outside microbes and maintain a healthy microbiome, which leads to better breathless plaque accumulation- healthier gums as well as enhanced immunity for ears noses throat infections (ENT).

Bad bacteria

Plaque and tartar buildup is a common dental problem that can lead to serious health problems if left unchecked.

The bad news is, these bacteria are very hard to remove from your teeth. They’re protected by an outer membrane that prevents antibiotics from penetrating the film on your teeth. Even when you brush regularly, plaque and tartar buildup continues to accumulate because brushing alone doesn’t get rid of enough bacteria or their waste products. 

Dental probiotics are designed specifically for oral health care and have been shown in studies to reduce plaque formation by up to 50%. They also help promote natural tooth remineralization while reducing cavities caused by acid erosion (decay). In addition, they fight gingivitis-causing bacteria with regular use. You can even add them into your daily routine without having any side effects like other dental treatments since they're completely natural!

Most of us don’t realize that the health of our mouths and sinuses is directly linked to our overall health. 

We all know that we should take probiotics, but it can be hard to remember or find time to do so. Also, most probiotic supplements have a limited shelf life which means you need to keep buying more expensive products regularly. 


CariPRO™ Dental Probiotics is an easy way for everyone in your family (including pets) to get healthy bacteria delivered right where they need it – their mouth! Unlike other oral care products on the market, cariPRO™ uses patented technology that delivers live cultures directly into the dental biofilm and saliva without ever touching teeth or gums. This provides maximum protection against cavities and gum disease while also strengthening immunity throughout the body. Plus, with a 2-year shelf life, there’s no reason not to use this product daily!


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Remember: if you want to give the perfect gift this year, be sure to choose one that'll truly help your loved ones achieve long-lasting oral health for life.

And no matter what their favorite color is, chances are they'll appreciate anything that does just that. It’s also a great, sure-fire way to make Santa’s nice list because who doesn’t love a beautiful smile? 










Karen Nunez is a practicing dental health care professional in Alberta, Canada. She's passionate about educating her readers on achieving optimum dental health through extensive research on the latest dental topics and providing science-backed product recommendations. During her free time, you can find her glued to her favorite Paulo Coelho books and concocting the best chocolate cupcakes her loved ones go crazy about.



Dr. Roswin Grewal was born and raised in Calgary; Alberta, Canada He completed his dentistry degree at the University of Sydney in Australia. He first practiced in the rural town of Coffs Harbour, New South Wales, Australia prior to coming back to Canada. He likes to travel, exercise, play sports such as basketball, ice hockey, and swimming. He also enjoys reading and learning new things!



Best Clear Aligners (Invisible Braces)

Admit it, you’ve probably stood in front of the mirror dreaming of the perfect smile. A true eye magnet. We all have. 

But the sheer cost and time of traditional orthodontic treatment make it nothing more than a pipe dream. But what if it didn’t have to be? 

Enter At-Home Clear Aligners

Yes, even some parts of dentistry have moved online. Who would’ve thought? Now, you can get straighter, whiter teeth without stepping a single foot out of the house. And no, your dentist doesn’t set up shop in your living room, but they can send you some life-changing products to bring out a new you. 

In this comprehensive guide, we talk about the ins and outs of at-home teeth alignment treatment and shed light on why it’s important, how the process works, and the best at-home aligner brands to look out for.  

What are Clear Aligners?

Known also as invisible aligners, clear aligners are an orthodontic treatment for misaligned or crooked teeth. Like braces, they apply constant pressure on your teeth to gradually move them into shape. But unlike braces, they’re virtually invisible and removable.

An aligner tray is customized for every patient, depending on the degree of tooth misalignment (malocclusion).

When do I need aligners?

Dental aligners are capable of treating a variety of different cases. If you have one of the following conditions, then you could be a good candidate for aligners:

Crowded teeth (happens in small mouths, where teeth overlap one another, stick out, and/or get pushed inside)

Crooked teeth (teeth that don’t stand front-faced and straight)

Diastema (small or large gaps between the teeth)

Overbites (upper front teeth overlap the lower front teeth)

Underbites (lower front teeth overlap with the upper front teeth)

Open bites (outward-slanting front upper and lower teeth that don’t touch when mouth is shut)

Misaligned primary (baby) teeth (to make room for the developing permanent teeth and existing baby teeth, clear aligners may be used during phase I orthodontic treatment. Suitable for children between ages 6 to 10)

In-Office Aligners vs. At-Home Aligners

Clear aligners come in two types:

The most popular option among aligners is in-office alignment. These aligners must be received from a licensed doctor, and treatment is more intensive. 

At-home aligners, also known as direct-to-consumer aligners, are less expensive than in-office aligners. Since the application and treatment are completed remotely (your aligner is delivered), you won't have to visit a dentist or orthodontist for checkups. It’s the future of clear aligners. 

At-home and in-office aligners are both made from clear, medical-grade, BPA-free plastic.

Some aligners may or may not touch your gums. With a 'scalloped' design, the trays sit comfortably along your gum line, which makes the trays less irritating and even more invisible. 

In other aligners (most options at home), the gum line is not trimmed. As a result, they partially cover your gums and might cause more irritation at first. But most people aren't bothered by it as the discomfort is minor. 

For this article, we’ll be talking about at-home aligners.

Getting Your Dental Aligners: The 4-step Process

If you’re looking to straighten your teeth, you’re probably also curious to know how the entire dental alignment transaction works. In this short section, we outline the process for getting your at-home invisible aligners:

1. Get a customized treatment plan

The first step is to schedule an appointment with an orthodontist or make an order online for an impression kit. In person, a dentist will examine your teeth and scan your mouth, or for the at-home teeth aligning treatment, you can send back the impression kit with the mold of your teeth (after biting into the “goopy putty”). 

An individualized treatment plan will then be developed—we won’t bore you with this part; just let the experts handle it.

2. Your aligners are made and delivered

Using 3D technology, your custom treatment plan will be digitally created once your teeth impressions from the goopy putty have been inputted. Following approval of the digital models, the aligners are made in a production facility.

As soon as you accept treatment, the process begins. It can take up to 3 weeks for some aligner brands to ship you the product. The preliminary impression kits usually take less time to reach your door. 

3. Wear and replace your aligners accordingly 

You'll replace your aligner trays every one to three weeks (they’ll be sent to you periodically). For teeth straightening to be effective, you need to wear them for about 20 to 22 hours a day.

Single aligners can only move teeth slightly (1 mm or less) so multiple aligners are needed.

With each set of aligners, the teeth will slowly move into the correct position. You’re looking at anywhere between 3 and 24 months to complete the treatment. 

4. Flex that smile at day, keep it conditioned at night

Once treatment is complete, a custom retainer is created from a mold of your newly straightened teeth. These retainers are meant to be worn every night while sleeping to ensure your teeth don’t slowly move back to their original position. 

Why Should I Get Clear Aligners? 

They are invisible

These appliances are almost undetectable when worn on the teeth since the aligners don’t require brackets and metal wires. 

If you have many interactions with others and your smile plays a big role, clear aligners can help maintain your confidence and approachability

Aesthetic dental anomalies have shown to be a strong motive for bullying for children especially, which can affect their upbringing and social development. That includes braces themselves. So people who suffer from social anxiety and insecurities can take the subtler route with invisible aligners and fix their teeth. 

They are more convenient to use

Unlike traditional braces that restrict your menu options to foods like hard, chewy, and brittle, clear aligners can be taken out of a case while you eat, so you can eat any food you want while wearing them.

Less risk of chronic conditions and injuries

Your oral and overall health can be negatively affected by misaligned teeth. Overcrowding can result in excessive wear and tear on your enamel since they’re grinding on each other so much. Teeth that protrude can also cause discomfort in your mouth and can even lead to speech problems and headaches

Not to mention, misaligned teeth and jaws have shown to affect mental health especially in children and teenagers who get bullied for crooked teeth, and thus have low levels of confidence and self-esteem. 

On a more positive note, clear aligners treatment has shown to significantly improve periodontal health. 

Easier to maintain proper dental hygiene

Clear aligners have been shown to facilitate oral hygiene and reduce the number of appointments and emergency visits

Besides taking out the aligners when you want to eat, removable clear aligners allow you to clean your gums, teeth, and other dental parts thoroughly. 

And, the removable aligners themselves can be cleaned separately, so you won’t have to try and maneuver your toothbrush around delicate wires and brackets.

Reduced treatment times

Compared to metal braces, clear aligners may reduce treatment time by half. Clear aligners usually treat your alignment problem in as little as twelve months, while traditional metal braces can take over two years to work.

But only your dentist can provide you with an accurate diagnosis and treatment time estimate based on your individual alignment issues.

Some Things to Look Out For With Clear Aligners

Clear aligners can be amazing. But there are some drawbacks, too. We mention them in this section:

They’re not for everyone

For starters, clear aligners are not the best option for those with severely crooked or misaligned teeth. In cases where they must be gradually repositioned upward or downward for better alignment with the rest of your mouth, conventional braces get the job done more effectively.

Clear aligners, studies show, were also not as effective in producing adequate occlusal contacts (where your teeth meet when your mouth is closed), controlling teeth torque, and retention.

Aligners require your cooperation

The success of clear aligners depends heavily on the patient's cooperation. You may want to remove them more often than necessary due to their ease of removal. 

To have successful alignment and keep pace with your treatment schedule, your clear aligners should be left in your mouth for at least 22 hours daily for the duration of your treatment. As long as you leave them in, other than for eating or brushing, you can easily stay in control of your progress. 

However, if you have a strong tendency to keep taking them out, traditional metal braces might be better since they cannot be taken out at will.

You’ll need to do more brushing and flossing

You won't have to change the details of your oral hygiene routine. You can still use your regular toothbrush, floss, and mouthwash. But you’ll need to use them more frequently—after every meal specifically. 

Imagine wearing clear aligners and the spinach from lunch is trapped between your teeth for everyone to see. Not only is that a socially lousy look, but if you don’t remove all of the plaque and food particles from your teeth, you’re more likely to develop cavities as they remain there for a longer time.

Popular Invisible Aligner Brands: Your Best Options

You’ve learned all you need to know about clear aligners. Now, you might be looking for directions. Where do you go to buy the best clear aligners? In this section, we’ve reviewed the best possible options based on public approval and service. 

1. NewSmile

NewSmile is a pretty recent company founded in early 2020—but they skyrocketed to stardom for their fantastic service. With NewSmile, you can have clear aligner treatment designed remotely and administered from the comfort of your own home.

Pricing $1499/ yr or $79/ mo (As of Jan. 03, 2022)

Check Latest Price

Night aligners Pricing $1699/yr or $88/mo (As of Jan. 03, 2022)
Treatment Length 4 mos-10 mos
TeleDentistry Yes
0%  Down Payment Available with a monthly plan. 
Impression Kit $89
Shipping Front Door Delivery

Impression Kit Free Shipping


NewSmile costs $1,499. Even though this isn't the absolute cheapest option available for teeth alignment in Canada, it still represents thousands of dollars less than braces or Invisalign, as well as nearly $800 less than SmileDirectClub. 

You can keep track of your progress with the NewSmile Aligner Monitoring App. 

The NewSmile customer satisfaction rating is excellent. Even though they don't have as many customer reviews as some of their competitors, we were able to find more than 100 reviews of their services, most of them positive.

If at the end of your treatment, your smile does not match the one in your treatment preview, NewSmile will "work with you to identify the cause, and will help you achieve the results you desired."


You might not be getting the most specialized treatment since they use a team that includes both orthodontists and general dentists.

Nighttime-only aligners from NewSmile cost $200 more, even though they’re exactly the same as the all-day aligners.


Shop Now


Clear Aligners Delivered To Your Home | NewSmile Clear Aligners



2. SmilePath

 SmilePath is another at-home invisible aligners provider. They’re unique because they make clear aligners financially accessible to anyone, even if their credit score needs some work. 

Simply make an order online and send your molded teeth to them. They’ll evaluate your eligibility and send you image previews for what your teeth might look like at the end of the treatment. Like what you see? They’ll start making your aligners as soon as you approve and ship them to you within a few weeks. 

Pricing $1399 - one time 

$78/mo  (18 mos)

$117/mo  (12 mos)

(As of Jan. 03, 2022)

Night aligners Pricing $1499 - one time

$84/month (18 mos)

$142/month (12 months)

(As of Jan. 03, 2022)

Treatment Length 6 mos. - 8 mos.
TeleDentistry Yes
0%  Down Payment Available for an 18-month plan.

$295 for 12-month plan

$299 for Night Aligner 12-month plan

Impression Kit $55
Shipping FREE shipping within Australia

(Up to 3 weeks)


As an additional convenience, SmilePath offers a nighttime option so that you can wear your aligners only at night.

The pricing for at-home clear aligners from SmilePath is the lowest available. Additionally, they frequently provide discounts on their website, which further cut their great rates.

They have an excellent customer service team that can answer all of your tough questions professionally and politely.

They use high-quality plastic aligners produced by supplier Retainer Essix, with over 15 years of industry experience. 


While some of their competitors offer free tooth scanning in their physical offices, SmilePath requires you to make your own molds of your teeth.

Although SmilePath aligns your teeth more quickly than braces or Invisalign, it is not the fastest option. Other brands can complete the alignment in only three months, while SmilePath usually takes at least six months.

The aligners won't arrive as quickly as others, so you might have to begin your treatment a week or two later compared to other providers.


Shop Now

Check Out SmilePath Discounts

Smilepath - Affordable & Effective Clear Aligners

3.Straight My Teeth

As the lowest price provider, Straight My Teeth makes treatment affordable for a wide range of people without compromising quality. Alongside affordability, at-home clear aligner companies like Straight My Teeth eliminate all in-person checkups, a true godsend during the pandemic. 

Pricing £654 - one time

£45/mo (12 mos) with £359 Downpayment

(Price as of Jan. 03, 2022)

Night aligners Pricing £704 - one time

£50/mo (12 mos) with £399 Downpayment

(Price as of Jan. 03, 2022)

Treatment Length 4 mos-8 mos
TeleDentistry Yes
0%  Down Payment No
Impression Kit Included in one-time price. 

£44.99 separately

Shipping (12-14 business days)


Straight My Teeth has the lowest prices on the market by far. For your full treatment, you'll only pay £999 (or less if you catch a sale). The fee also includes one set of aftercare retainers and a whitening kit.

Retainer Essix manufactures the plastic for Straight My Teeth aligners, a reputable and established dental supply company.

Their customer service staff is consistently praised for their responsiveness and professionalism in online reviews.

On par with the industry average, treatment takes an average of 6 months.


You might not be working with the most qualified professional on your case when you visit Straight My Teeth as they have unlicensed dental technicians on staff.

Refinements cost an additional £150 if you are unsatisfied with your results at the end of treatment.


Shop Now

Check Out Discounts Now

4. AlignerCo

AlignerCo is relatively young as far as home aligner companies are concerned. So far, they have flown under the radar in the U.S. and Canada since opening their doors in May 2019. 

Although they have not had any marketing campaigns like SmileDirectClub, they have generated some buzz by offering prices well below the industry standard, quickly establishing themselves as an affordable service.

Pricing Check Latest Price

$1135 - One-time payment which includes Impression kit 

               and a set of Retainers

Night aligners Pricing Check Latest Price 

$1235- one time

Treatment Length 4 mos - 8 mos
TeleDentistry Yes
0%  Down Payment Available with a 12-month plan 
Impression Kit $55
Shipping Up to 3 weeks


Everyone can apply for the SmileFlex Easy plan since there is no credit check (although it requires a $345 down payment).

Among all the companies offering at-home aligners, AlignerCo's $1,635 sticker price is easily one of the lowest, and sometimes they run promotions that further cut the price.

All AlignerCo aligners are made from Essix plastic, a reputable and experienced dental products company.

Anyone who does not wish to wear their aligners all day can opt for the NightOnly treatment offered by AlignerCo.

Customers consistently praise them for their attentive, helpful service.


To begin your treatment, you will need to order an impression kit from AlignerCo since it doesn’t have any physical locations offering free tooth scans.

On their website, AlignerCo claims to offer orthodontist-designed treatment plans, but they actually use both orthodontists and dentists. Both are highly qualified to design and oversee your treatment, but if you are sure you want to work with an orthodontist, AlignerCo might not be the best option for you.

Compared to some of its competitors, AlignerCo may be a bit slower with delivery and treatment.

Their shipping policy is foggy, and their impression kits aren’t eligible for returns.


Shop Now

Check Out AlignerCo Discounts

ALIGNERCO Clear Aligners


At-home clear aligners are a new era. They’re budget-friendly, convenient, and intuitive—if you buy from the right brands, that is. Not to mention, they’re a safer and more sanitary option to in-office alignment during the pandemic. 

After reading, you’re now fully informed about at-home clear aligners and what to expect if you order from the best brands. The road to straighter teeth has never been straighter. Start flexing a newborn smile in no time with clear aligners delivered to your doorstep. 


Karen Nunez is a practicing dental health care practitioner in Alberta, Canada. She's passionate about educating her readers on achieving optimum dental health through extensive research on the latest dental topics and providing science-backed product recommendations. During her free time, you can find her glued to her favorite Paulo Coelho books and concocting the best chocolate cupcakes her loved ones go crazy about.




Tongue Cleaners

Mastermedi Tongue Scraper

Tongue Scraper with Travel Case - 2 Pack, Fights Bad Breath, Medical Grade 100% Stainless Steel, Great for Oral Care, Tongue Cleaner for Adults and Kids, Easy to Use with Non-Synthetic Handle

Let's get rid of gunk and bad breath using this 100% stainless steel tongue scraper. This gentle medical grade tool can keep you plaque-free, spruce up your taste buds and helps you enjoy every last bite.

Orabrush Tongue Scraper, Tongue Cleaner Helps Fight Bad Breath, 4 Tongue Scrapers

Has a dual action tongue cleaner using ultra-soft bristles that loosen the dirt-carrying bacteria and build in scraper that removes the bacteria from the surface of your tongue. Guys, you are looking at the #1 Tongue Cleaner in the U.S.

4PCS Tongue Scraper, Stainless Steel Tongue Cleaners, 100% BPA Free Fresher Tongue Tools, Healthy Oral Hygiene Brushes, Medical Grade Reusable Stainless Steel, Eliminate Bad Breath

Designed with double side curved shape which can thoroughly clean tongue, remove oral dirt, and improve overall oral health. Also comes with a high medical grade stainless steel U-shaped tongue scraper to satisfy all your tongue cleaning needs.



Dental Care Tools

Steel Dental Wax Carving Tool Kit




Why You Can’t Stop Smiling With Whiter Teeth

A smile is contagious–that’s not just a saying, but a scientific fact. Dental aesthetics has been shown to boost your self-esteem– fact again. Needless to say, a beautiful white smile helps, but a dirty, yellow one doesn’t.

Here are some effective teeth whitening products- to brighten your smile. Just pull a chair- and start choosing the teeth whitening system that works best for you.

You will be delighted that most of them are affordable and give quick results.

When you finally get a brighter and dazzling smile, you will wonder why you can't stop smiling.


Formulated by dental experts to effectively whiten stubborn coffee and wine stains.

Whitening strips that work like magic

Whiten your teeth in as little as 9 minutes a day. Absolutely No Harmful chemicals and No animals were used for testing.

Teeth Whitening Kit

Start smiling with confidence. Use it Now and be Impressed!!!

The Mighty Magical Wands

A gentle and nonirritating way to whiten your teeth. Proven and Tested. Try it.

MySmile Teeth Whitening Kit, Teeth Whitening Light with 3 Non-Sensitive Teeth Whitening Gel, Carbamide Peroxide Teeth Whitening Pen for Home, Travel Tooth Whitening, 10 min Fast Result Teeth Whitener

See the difference in just 1 hour. A whitening product that will not cause teeth sensitivity. Try it NOW.

MySmile Teeth Whitening Strips, Non-Sensitive White Strips Teeth Whitening Kit, 14 Sets Teeth Whitener for Tooth Whitening, Remove Stain From Smoking, Coffee, Soda, Food, Wine


Make your teeth brighter. These whitening strips are for heavy coffee and tea drinkers.

Crest 3DWhitestrips Glamorous White At-home Teeth Whitening Kit, 14 Treatments, 8 Levels Whiter



Want to Have a Beautiful and Healthy Smile?

Do you want a beautiful and healthy smile?

 Here’s a dirty little secret: gum disease, tooth decay, and pain won’t get you there. But, proper oral hygiene can result in a nice smile and prevent most dental diseases. The American Dental Association (ADA) reminds us that our mouths are windows into the health of our bodies, and it is essential that we follow the recommended guidelines for optimum oral and dental health.

So what are those, you ask.

 Read further.

  • Brush your teeth twice a day for 2 minutes with fluoride toothpaste.
  • Floss or clean in between your teeth once a day.
  • Replace your toothbrush every 3-4 months
  • Visit your dentist regularly
  • Eat a healthy balanced diet and limit in-between snacks

No matter your age, oral health is important because your teeth are with you till the end. Beyond just health benefits, almost 60% of people feel more confident and positive simply by being satisfied with their smile.

Better social life?

Here we come.

 The pro tips in this bite-sized read are for preventative care to avoid painful diseases and costly treatments, and teeth whitening tips to boost your confidence for a better lifestyle.

 Let’s get started.

Brush Your Teeth with a Powered Toothbrush

Proper oral hygiene and a beautiful, healthy smile are age-old testaments to brushing your teeth regularly (twice a day). But frankly, you can do better than manual toothbrushes. In today’s age, it’s far more effective to remove plaque, germs and thereby avoid gum diseases with a powered toothbrush. Plaque is the sticky, colorless film that adheres to the surfaces of your mouth within four to twelve hours after brushing. And you would not want to hear this- the house of bacteria forming in your mouth.

But worry no more, I researched some products for you that I believe will help you decimate those microscopic germs.

Product Recommendations

Philip’s Sonicare toothbrushes are industry leaders with patented technology for oral cleansing. The following two options are not only affordable and highly effective, but smart in tech, too:

Philips Sonicare ProtectiveClean 4100 Rechargeable Toothbrush

Philips Sonicare ProtectiveClean 4100 Rechargeable Toothbrush can remove up to 7x more plaque than a manual toothbrush in a set 2-minute timer. You’re also reminded when it’s time for a replacement to maximize the effectiveness of every brush long-term. The pressure sensors ping you if you’re brushing too hard for your teeth and gums, and the adjustable speeds/preset modes help you gradually build up brushing power.

Philips One By Sonicare Battery Toothbrush

Philips One By Sonicare Battery Toothbrush: the micro-vibrations from the powerful motor and the tapered bristles effectively polish your teeth to the bone (pun intended). This brush is better for traveling as it flexes a 3-month long battery life, compared to 14 days with the first option. It also has a 2-minute timer with notifications every 30 seconds.

Rinse with Therapeutic Mouthwash

There are two kinds of mouthwash: cosmetic and therapeutic. We recommend the latter because, in addition to just breath-freshening (like in cosmetic mouthwash), therapeutic mouthwash has active ingredients to control/reduce gingivitis (gum disease), plaque, and tooth decay. You’re hitting more birds with one stone. Although, keep in mind that children should not use this product unless directed by a dentist.

The American Dental Association says mouthwash can be a helpful addition to your daily hygiene routine since the cleansing chemicals can touch areas your toothbrush may have trouble with. Therapeutic mouthwashes contain antimicrobial agents, like Chlorhexidine and Cetylpyridinium and essential oils, which are effective in reducing the germs in your mouth.

Product Recommendations

Two products worthy of recommendation are:

Lumineux by Oral Essentials

This mouthwash is packed with ingredients that are alcohol and toxin-free. It contains aloe vera which has a soothing and healing effect. 

A study shows that aloe vera has the ability to reduce plaque and gingival bleeding, and it does not stain your teeth, unlike Chlorhexidine.

Dead Sea Salt and Xylitol are also proven ingredients to reduce the harmful bacteria in your mouth. What more you can ask for a mouthwash?

Periogen Rinse: containing baking soda within its formula, this mouthwash is equipped to efficiently reduce the acidity of plaque fluid and improve periodontal health

This rinse has been clinically proven to prevent and reduce tartar; safe and not acidic with a pH of 7.5; and does not contain bleach and alcohol. It is great for kids at least six years of age and adults with braces, implants, or bridges. 

The formulation is to prevent plaque (the sticky colorless film that binds on your teeth) from hardening into tartar- the bacteria build-up that irritates your gums. Tartar is that gunk that covers your tooth, gets under your gum line, and sticks to your fillings or dental work

This award-winning mouthwash is a sure way to bring down the calcified coats on your gum lines. 

Use Oral Irrigators to Clean in Between Your Teeth

Also known as dental water jets or water flossers, oral irrigators force out plaque and food debris between teeth and below the gum line with a high-pressure pulsating water stream. It’s like a water toothpick you can use to improve oral health.  

You ask me why they are Oral irrigators better than regular flossing or interdental brush?

 Here’s why:

  • It reduces gingival bleeding
  • Lessens gum inflammation
  • Aids in plaque removal

If you wear braces, have non-removable bridgework or crowns, dental implants, or bleed easily, oral irrigators are a viable option to flush out sensitive, hard-to-reach areas. Complemented with a sonic toothbrush, irrigation can significantly reduce plaque and gum inflammation compared to flossing and a manual toothbrush.

Product Recommendations

You know where to find powered toothbrushes (previous section). But, you may be wondering where to look for your water toothpick to eliminate manual brushing and flossing. We have two solid recommendations for their performance and reliability:

Water Flosser, Professional Cordless Dental Oral Irrigator by Laluztop: you can choose between 5 pulse water flow modes. The 360º rotatable nozzle allows you to reach those hard-to-reach areas. The waterproof irrigator is incredibly versatile with 2 standard jet tips, 1 orthodontic tip, 1 periodontal tip, 1 nasal cleaning tip,1 tongue cleaner, and 2 toothbrush heads.

Cari Pro Cordless Water Flosser

This FDA-registered dental product comes with a two-year warranty to ensure you are happy with your purchase. It comes with the traditional four tips- standard, ortho, pocket, and brush tips. The waterproof design makes it safe for baths and showers as well.

Want to get rid of a tiny steak strip in between your teeth? Choose the Pulse button to flush out annoying food debris that makes your mouth taste funny; or  Soft and Normal - for the typical day of your no-string- flossing!

Use Teeth Whitening products

A healthy smile can be more than just its literal meaning. Whitening your teeth has some dazzling indirect benefits, too. It has been shown that dental aesthetics like whiter teeth have a positive effect on the oral-health-related quality of life, psychological well-being, and self-esteem. You’re also seen as more attractive–so people are more drawn to you, thus aiding in better social interactions and relationships. Remember that smiles are contagious–white smiles, though.

Product Recommendations

Before trying teeth-whitening products, it’s best to consult with your dentist if you have oral health conditions like existing tooth fillings or gingivitis. With that out of the way, some popular and highly effective teeth-whitening products are:

Crest 3D White Whitestrips Professional Effects Kit

If you use the strips once a day consistently for 30 minutes, you could remove 14 years’ worth of stains for a whiter smile.

You may be wondering how they work: each of the plastic strips you apply to the front of your teeth are coated with a gel that contains either Carbamide Peroxide or hydrogen peroxide–chemicals known to whiten teeth. Once applied, the special peroxide gel will seep into the teeth to help remove stains and lighten the teeth.

Cali White Vegan Teeth WHITENING KIT with LED Light

You can expect to see a 2-8 whiter shade smile within just 7 days of use–for 10-30 minutes a day. Their patented Universal Comfort fit Tray, and Custom Thermoform trays provide complete upper and lower bite coverage, allowing the gel to fill crevices between teeth and whitening molars, giving a uniform whitening effect on all teeth.

The VEGAN plus-side: If you choose to purchase this product, you can ensure that you’re supporting a cruelty-free production because no animal tests and harm are done.

Parting Words

You made it to the end. Congrats. Hopefully, you’ve realized that the right tools are essential alongside your daily oral health best practices. Taking these preventative measures for your oral health and using the whitening products for a beautiful smile will not only save you agony in the long run, but boost your confidence, self-esteem, and mood, too.

Go kill some nasty oral bacteria and shine your dazzling white teeth to blind some eyes, tiger.






More helpful blogs coming!

More dental blogs coming soon!