"Don’t believe everything you hear (or read).” That’s wisdom worth following especially for all the DIY (Do-it-yourself) advice you’re privy to.
DIY is good for many circumstances. But DIY dentistry…not so much.
The thing about the DIY approach is that it has the potential to save you some costs and perhaps time. But the downsides - relative to your oral health - are full of risks.
The realities and risks of DIY dental treatment
First, let’s explore some of the common DIY dental procedures making the rounds.
DIY dental fads are an internet click-away.
- Teeth whitening with charcoal and lemon juice
- Cavity filling
- One-size-fits-all veneers
- Braces and aligners
And if you can imagine…
- Tooth extraction (ouch!)
Curiosity might lead you to explore your do-it-yourself options. But it’s a good idea to not give your curiosity full access.
DIY trends have gained enough traction that over 16,000 dentists associated with the American Dental Association (ADA), the American Academy of Pediatric Dentists, the American Association of Orthodontists and more have turned up the volume on their warnings about the serious risks of DIY dentistry.
Former ADA president, Dr. Joseph P. Crowley confirms,
“Public health and safety is our number one concern, and that’s why we are taking steps to educate the public about DIY dentistry,” 
A chief executive of the British Dental Health Foundation warns,
“DIY dentistry is both dangerous and unnecessary. It is all too easy to make the problem worse, which could result in more invasive and expensive treatment, so I urge those considering self-treatment to think again.” 
It’s a good idea to understand the specific risks associated with the above mentioned DIY dental trends.
Beware: DIY teeth whitening
There’s no supportive, scientific evidence that charcoal works for teeth whitening. Or that lemon juice is without risk.
- Charcoal is abrasive and can affect your tooth enamel.
- Lemon juice can cause tooth erosion.
Beware: DIY cavity filling
The cause of your tooth pain requires more than a temporary fix such as using DIY filling material. A diagnosis from a licensed dentist is your best solution for sourcing your pain and providing the correct treatment.
Beware: DIY one-size-fits-all veneers
We get it, cosmetic dental procedures can be expensive. And when you want an attractive smile fast, it’s easy to seek an easy and potentially cost-saving solution.
Even so, over the counter, snap-on veneers come with risks to your oral health.
- Poor fit can damage your gums and jaw.
- The underlying issues that are creating your teeth issues could go untreated and lead to more costly treatment.
Beware: DIY braces and aligners
Professional orthodontic treatment can be ignored due to related costs. Taking matters into your own hands is risky because tooth movement and achieving proper, healthy alignment is a complex procedure.
- Teeth, gum, and bone structure must be considered.
- Painful and damaging outcomes can result from homemade, DIY, or unsupervised teeth straightening approaches or products.
Beware: DIY tooth extraction
It’s fine (under most circumstances) to pull you child’s baby teeth. But mature, adult teeth are a much different process.
- Tissue infection can occur where the tooth was located.
- Lack of professional sterilization and preparation of the extraction area can produce serious infection.
- Root breakage can happen leading to the need for a surgical procedure.
A better alternative to DIY dentistry
The temptation to seek DIY options is common. Costs, available time, and convenience might be factors relative to your dental care.
But the longterm impact of ineffective or risky alternatives could end up being more costly and inconvenient.
Why not take advantage of another option that:
- Helps you avoid tooth damage and/or disease
- Encourages you to take advantage of preventive and restorative dental treatment
- Leads you to consider available solutions for accessing dental care.
One alternative solution starts with an online dental visit that includes:
- Free scans
- Convenient, time-saving access to low cost, virtual dental consultations with a licensed dentist
- Connection to in-person dental care with dentists in your zip code
Explore the following resources to get acquainted with virtual dental care and the importance of prioritizing your oral health:
Why DIY when there’s another cost-effective, convenient, and easy-to-use dental solution?
The Dental.com team of dental professionals are trained to identify, diagnose, and treat any dental condition. From toothaches to second opinions - you’re covered!
- Access a 24 hour dentist now from your personal, private, and secure account.
- Select a reason for your visit using a brief questionnaire.
- Receive virtual dental care from a licensed dentist when you provide your issue details, any photos, and/or dental/health records.