The “Do-It-Yourself” movement is trendy these days. Despite most reasonable people agreeing that dental treatment should be left to dentists, plenty people across the globe have tried to solve their own dental issues with often catastrophic results.
Dental care should never be an amateur DIY pursuit and should be prescribed, delivered, and monitored by a licensed dentist.
There are countless home remedies and methods for dental care. The vast majority of these solutions are ineffective at best and at worst, they cause permanent damage to your health and teeth.
Let’s talk about some do-it-yourself dental trends and why you should avoid them.
1. DIY Whitening
Many people swear by the results they get when brushing with baking soda alone, or baking soda mixed with hydrogen peroxide. It is true that these materials can provide what look like great results, but over time they can be disastrous for your teeth. Baking soda is a highly abrasive material, which makes it great for cleaning teeth and potentially scrubbing stains out of enamel. Similarly, hydrogen peroxide is a potent antiseptic and bleaching agent. But using one or either of these exclusively in place of toothpaste is a bad idea. The characteristic of baking soda that makes it effective in the short term ends up wearing away enamel, causing irreversible damage to teeth.
Similarly, many home remedies recommend the use of lemon juice.
The acidity of lemon juice can erode the outer layer of teeth. Occasional lemonade won’t harm you, but repeatedly applying lemon juice to your teeth can be detrimental.
2. DIY With Charcoal:
This is also a whitening method, but it deserves its own section, because it’s gaining so much popularity — much to the dismay of dentists everywhere! Charcoal has many beneficial properties, but there’s no proof yet that it works for whitening. What we do know is that it can cause enamel deterioration and tooth erosion, which of course is terrible for your teeth.
It’s understandable to look for shortcuts to a better smile, but Dr. Kshama strongly recommends you avoid methods and remedies that haven’t been researched. The same is true of “too good to be true” deals offered by non-dental professionals.
3. DIY Extractions:
Scarily enough, there are step-by-step instruction on the internet for how to remove a tooth at home. This is incredibly dangerous. Infection, gum damage and root damage are just a few of the possible consequences that can cause bodily and permanent harm.
4. DIY cleaning :
Some patients simply don’t like to wait 6 months between visits and have DIY tooth scalers that can be purchased at drug stores. Using these can cause serious damage to your gum tissue or tooth surface.
4. DIY Braces:
The idea of having straighter teeth in fewer than six months might sound promising, but DIY dental work in the form of at home braces or aligners is a bad idea. The DIY appliances can move teeth too fast, damaging bone and gums. It also increases the chances of teeth moving back into their original position.
Anyone can design appliances that straighten teeth—that part is easy. It is knowing what needs to be done and why that makes seeing an orthodontist the only rational option of straightening your teeth.
People are using rubber bands to close dental gaps and straighten their teeth. Viral videos are only making this trend worse, but dental alignment is right up there with extractions when it comes to things that should NEVER be tried at home. The risks are numerous: infection; tearing gums that may not heal properly; cutting off blood supply; and damaging the attachment between the tooth and gums, reducing support for the tooth and even leading to tooth loss.
Recent videos and posts of how to perform “do-it-yourself” or DIY dental procedures have become so popular and have only resulted in a rise of patients suffering from DIY procedures gone wrong. These are problematic trends that can have serious consequences.
“Don’t put your oral health in jeopardy—always leave it to your dentist to handle it with utmost care.” says Dr. Kshama, a leading dental practitioner with a Masters degree in Advanced Prosthodontics.
Dr Kshama Chandan is running her private practice at ‘House of Tooth’ in Mumbai and continues to provide the best quality dental care to all her patients.