Dentists warn the dangers of DIY in dentistry

Last updated Apr 15, 2024

Last updated Apr 15, 2024

Do-it-yourself is a very popular trend worldwide. People watch DIYs on the internet and try them right from fashion, home decor to medical and dental treatment.

One must understand that fashion and home decor differ from medical treatments as you are directly dealing with your life. Have you ever noticed how can they put your life and teeth at risk by doing DIY dentistry?

The American Dental Association (ADA) launched a public awareness campaign against DIY in Dentistry. According to 2017 survey by the American Association of Orthodontics, about 13% of its member orthodontists have seen patients who have tried DIY teeth straightening and caused irreparable damage to their teeth and bite.

Also, AAO found that 70% of patients seen by its members who took part in the study were between 10-34 years of age.

Here are a few dental treatments and hazards which you may face while trying DIY dental-care.

Cavity Filling

Using foreign materials for tooth repairing is very dangerous. Only a qualified medical professional is trained to perform these operations. If the DIY work goes wrong, you could end up with a severe painful infection, which at times is irreparable.

Teeth whitening with baking soda and hydrogen peroxide

Baking soda is a highly abrasive material which cleanses the teeth. Similarly, hydrogen peroxide is an antiseptic and bleaching agent. However, using one of these for a long time instead of toothpaste is highly risky. The baking soda is effective in the short term but it wears off the enamel, and irreversibly damage teeth. Hydrogen peroxide too contributes to this process and also can cause a burning sensation that should not be done every day.

Tooth Scalers

DIY tooth scalers are available at the drug stores. These tools resemble the shape of dental hygiene tools but lack in strength and precision. The dental hygienists and professionals are well trained and skilled in how to use these instruments. Using improper techniques or wrong instrument can cause serious damage to your gum tissue or tooth surface.

Tooth extraction

If you consider pulling your teeth at home, please stop! Tooth extraction is the most complicated and partially painful procedure. Therefore, you must visit a dentist who is specially trained for such procedures. At times, you may not require extraction and your tooth can be saved by a root canal or dental filling treatment.

DIY Orthodontics

There are several companies that manufacture and deliver clear aligners by mail and claim to straighten the teeth without visiting or showing to an orthodontist. But there are a number of patients reporting negative feedback. Most common complaints include clear aligners not fitting into the mouth. These aligners may hurt the gums and cheeks due to improper fitting.

Recently, the American Association of Orthodontists (AAO) issued a consumer alert about the “gap bands” and other home remedies used for straightening teeth. It was accompanied by a graphic picture of teeth that was seriously damaged by placing a rubber band around them. 

Always do proper research and consult dental professional before trying any DIY treatment. Our teeth and health are very precious. Hence, never put your oral and overall health in jeopardy.

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scanO (formerly DentalDost)

Stay Informed, Smile On!

Author Bio: Dr. Vidhi Bhanushali is the Co-Founder and Chief Dental Surgeon at scanO (formerly DentalDost). A recipient of the Pierre Fauchard International Merit Award, she is a holistic dentist who believes that everyone should have access to oral healthcare, irrespective of class and geography. She strongly believes that tele-dentistry is the way to achieve that. Dr. Vidhi has also spoken at various dental colleges, addressing the dental fraternity about dental services and innovations. She is a keen researcher and has published various papers on recent advances in dentistry.

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