The “Do-It-Yourself” movement is trendy these days, but unfortunately, some people are applying the DIY approach to dentistry. There are countless home remedies and methods for dental care. The vast majority of these solutions are ineffective at best. At worst, they cause permanent damage your health and teeth.
Some DIY options seem outrageous, but sadly, there are people trying them all the time. Kids and young adults are especially susceptible. If you think “my kid would never do that,” just look at the many YouTube videos of normal, well-adjusted kids trying crazy DIY methods!
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.
DIY Braces: 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.
DIY Whitening: Many home remedies have some combination of lemon juice, hydrogen peroxide or baking soda. The acidity of lemon juice can erode the outer layer of teeth. The occasional lemonade won’t harm you, but repeatedly applying lemon juice to your teeth can be detrimental. Over-the-counter hydrogen peroxide won’t get you the results you’re looking for, and because it’s not designed for dental use, you run the risk of accidentally ingesting too much. As for baking soda, the grittiness can be detrimental to your enamel, causing you more problems in the long run.
DIY With Charcoal: This is also a whitening method, but it deserves its own section, because it’s gaining 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. Casazza 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. Your teeth and oral health are simply too important to risk.