A Wake-up call to stop DIY Dentistry!

One of the most significant notes to follow is that not all trends are to be followed! Period! The ever-growing buzz of social media creates a new trend every alternate day. Most of the millennials or youngsters succumb to these trends blindly without even giving a second thought. So, what is a DIY? DIY is a term used to denote ‘Do it yourself. It’s a practice that is followed at home which is seen on any of the social media platforms. But, is practicing DIY dentistry scientifically, correct? Well, the answer is a big ‘No’!

Everyone practices DIY trends following social media influencers. These influencers do a million DIY things for instance a face pack to hair masks. Dental treatments on the other hand cannot be done at home that too without professional guidance. It is simply putting your oral health at risk! The dental treatment done by a professional Dentist and quick-fix techniques like DIY are two entirely different things. The dangers of DIY dentistry are increasing at a staggering rate and the aftermath has to be dealt by a dental professional. What are different DIY dentistry trends you should beware of?


1)DIY teeth whitening

The chase for that ‘perfect white smile’ is never-ending! Everyone dreams to have a splashing white smile. But instead of consulting the dentist, people fall prey to a lot of hearsays. Some of them are like using whitening kits at home, applying a mixture of hydrogen peroxide with water on teeth or rubbing a raw lemon on teeth, and of course, applying baking soda directly on teeth.

These abrasive options are not less than any toxic chemicals. Also, the application of certain chemicals in concentrated form without any guidance from a trained dental professional can only deteriorate dental health. All these options may give an instant white glow but in the long run, they are extremely harmful since these DIY options abrade the outer layer of the tooth.

2)What is DIY teeth straightening?

Really? Can you really do it yourself (DIY)? Teeth straightening isn’t like taking a walk in the park! It’s a year-long treatment meticulously planned through numerous dental x-rays and study models and executed by an Orthodontist. How can such a lengthy treatment be done at home? DIY braces or teeth straightening is a concept where people use elastic bands called gap bands to close the gap between their teeth. It is done following an online video tutorial where the influencers teach step by step on how to place the elastic bands.

It is an extremely hazardous trend and can lead to devastating dental problems. The sudden shift in teeth positions can be harmful to the jaw joint, facial muscles, the bone surrounding the teeth and at times can even lead to loss of the tooth. 

Composition with toothbrush and teeth whitening powder

3) Is DIY charcoal teeth whitening really authentic?

Charcoal products have created a great buzz in the cosmetic industry including face masks and toothpastes lately. Activated charcoal is nothing but a fine powder consisting of wood, coconut shells, few natural ingredients which are oxidized under tremendous heat. It’s an over-the-counter product (OTC) and not a Dentist’s prescription per see.

These charcoal toothpastes being absorbent removes external surface stains to some extent. But everyday use of these toothpastes is absolutely not recommended. It’s an abrasive toothpaste and everyday use can ruin the enamel of the tooth exposing more of the second layer called dentin. Thus, the teeth appear more yellow over a period of time!

Also, some charcoal toothpastes may not contain fluoride. Fluoride is the most essential ingredient of a toothpaste since it has anti-cavity properties and helps in tooth remineralization. A 2017 review study has given an alarming call to Dentists to warn their patients about the regular use of charcoal toothpaste since it lacks sufficient research and safety!

4)DIY teeth cleaning does not work?

Teeth cleaning is the most basic dental procedure. People who have a tendency to form stubborn tartar and calculus on their teeth should get them cleaned at least once in a year by a dental professional. But there are a group of people who want to get their teeth cleaned at home by merely following a tiktok video.

These videos recommend rubbing a banana peel on the teeth to remove the plaque, debris and calculus. But people who blindly follow these tricks are not aware that banana peel is rich in fructose, which in fact gets deposited on the teeth and can lead to more plaque deposition. Hence such blind trends should not be followed.

Woman in sweater on gray background take pill from pill for tooth pain
Woman in sweater on gray background take pill from pill pack with smile

5)DIY dental care

However hard we try to escape that dental appointment it is simply not possible. Many people indulge in popping excessive pain-killers or biting on clove or rubbing clove oil on the painful tooth. These quick fixes are no gain in long run and will only give temporary relief.

Thus, it is always advised not to take self-prescribed medicines for tooth pain as it can be very dangerous. Getting the tooth pain relieved by a Dentist through proper treatment and only Dentist prescribed medications for a certain period of time is the ideal way of dealing with dental problems.


  • Not all social media trends are to be followed and one of them is DIY dentistry.
  • Teeth whitening at home using harsh chemicals can ruin the health and quality of teeth in the long run.
  • Instant teeth whitening pastes like charcoal toothpastes can only give an instant glow for a short period however the safety remains under question.
  • DIY teeth straightening with the help of elastic bands can lead to potential dental problems like bone loss, infections, jaw joint problems etc.
  • Quick fixes to avoid dental appointments by popping excessive pain killers can be very dangerous.
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scanO (formerly DentalDost)

Stay Informed, Smile On!

Author Bio: Dr Priyanka Bansode has completed her BDS from the prestigious Nair Hospital & Dental College, Mumbai. She has also completed her Post Graduate Fellowship in Microdentistry from Government Dental College, Mumbai and a Post Graduate Dip. In Forensic Science & Related Laws from Mumbai University. Dr Priyanka has a vast and a diverse experience of 11 years in clinical dentistry and has maintained her private practice of 7 years in Pune. She is keenly involved in community oral health and has been part of various diagnostic dental camps, attended several National & State Dental conferences and is an active member of many social organisations. Dr Priyanka was awarded the ‘Swayam siddha Puraskar’ by the Lion’s Club, Pune in 2018 on the eve of International Women’s Day. She believes in creating an awareness on oral health through her blogs.

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