Don't DIY Your Dental: The Risks of At-Home Dental Treatments
In recent times, there’s been a huge increase in the availability of ‘do-it-yourself’ dental products and treatments designed to be used at home. From teeth whitening to ultrasonic cleaning, the internet offers up all kinds of non-professional dental gadgets - but are these ‘magic fixes’ really all they’re cracked up to be?
The unfortunate reality is that, in most cases, not only do these DIY dental treatments fail to deliver the results they promise, but they can also pose serious risks and even long-term damage to your oral health.
In this article, we’re taking a look at some common DIY dental solutions and revealing why, when it comes to your oral health, there’s never a substitute for safe, professional treatments.
Teeth whitening products
Made extremely popular by social media influencers, DIY teeth whitening products come in all shapes and sizes - from whitening strips to UV kits and charcoal toothpaste - all pitched as a quick and simple way to get rid of stains and achieve a brilliant white smile.
However, these non-professional teeth whitening treatments can actually expose your teeth and gums to significant and nasty damage, including burns to gums from bleaching ingredients, damage to the protective layer of tooth enamel, increased pain and sensitivity in teeth and gums, and spotted or patchy teeth due to an uneven spread of bleach.
Ultrasonic teeth cleaning devices
There’s nothing like the feeling of having the plaque and tartar removed from your teeth during a professional clean. Unfortunately, trying to replicate this at home with DIY cleaning tools can result in severe damage to your gums.
Cheap ultrasonic devices have been known to cause oral health issues such as gum recession, burns, irritation, and even nerve damage, due to their sharp edges, heat and vibrations. What’s more, if tartar gets pushed under the gumline, this can result in infections and long-term dental problems.
Sports mouthguards can be instrumental in protecting your teeth and mouth when playing contact sports such as football. And when it comes to mouthguards, there’s a big difference between getting a custom-fitted product from your dentist and buying a one-size-fits-all mouthguard.
A custom-fitted mouthguard will be tailored to the shape and size of your mouth, reducing the risk of the mouthguard falling out or causing irritation to your gums, and providing the protection you need. In addition to being a bad fit, a cheap mouthguard may use poor quality materials that don’t offer the same level of strength and safety.
DIY teeth straightening
Many people dream of having straighter teeth and a more even smile, so it’s not hard to understand the appeal of DIY teeth straightening products promising perfect teeth for a fraction of the cost. Unfortunately, DIY braces or aligners aren’t effective solutions and can even make existing oral health problems much worse.
When you undergo professional orthodontic treatment, your dentist will perform a number of critical steps, including checking for issues such as undiagnosed gum disease that could be worsened by orthodontic treatment, hidden problems such as unerupted teeth, or whether your teeth alignment is caused by a more serious oral condition such as cancer or bone disorders.
What’s more, cheap DIY aligners often use materials that aren’t designed to be used in the mouth, leading to further dental complications.
There’s no doubt that DIY dental treatment isn’t worth the risk. To address oral health concerns safely and professionally, talk to your National Dental Care or DB Dental practitioner - you can find your local practice online now.