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Why you should avoid DIY dentistry

Following the latest trends and hacks on social media can be fun and informative, but there's one realm where "do-it-yourself" should never be your motto.

You should never try to do dental work that typically requires a professional on your own.

Over-the-counter tools

As more oral health product manufacturers introduce dental instruments to the consumer market, more patients are seeking treatment as a result of misuse of these devices.

Some dental instruments advertised in magazines and sold in pharmacies resemble scalers — instruments used by dentists and dental hygienists for removing tartar and other deposits from the tooth surface. The improper use of these products can easily harm your gums and teeth, leading to sensitivity, gum recession, infection of the gums, tooth chipping and other problems. Misuse of the devices can also lead to periodontal (gum) abscesses when tartar is pushed under the gumline.

Dentists and hygienists have had years of education and training in the proper use of these instruments to clean teeth and remove tartar. Don't try to clean your teeth with these instruments at home. You can do more harm than good. Rather than attempt to advise patients on proper use of these devices, dentists and hygienists usually tell their patients it's safest to avoid using them at all.

Regular professional cleaning is more effective than using over-the-counter dental instruments to pick at your teeth. In between dental visits, the best way to clean your teeth is by brushing and flossing.

Dentistry hacks, social media trends and DIY solutions

"Make your own implants at home! Save a fortune by whitening teeth with this simple household cleaner! Build your own braces!!"

When it comes to dental work, the old maxim applies: If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

Before diving into the latest TikTok trend or trying a budget DIY teeth-whitening hack, consult your dentist.

Preventing, diagnosing and treating dental issues takes expertise, and dentists go through years of study and training so they'll know the right way to approach a problem. The health of your teeth and gums is crucial because your oral health has a direct impact on your overall health. 

In the end, the best at-home care consists of these simple "hacks" you can always do yourself:

  • Brush your teeth twice daily.
  • Floss at least once a day.
  • Avoid smoking and tobacco.
  • Eat a healthy diet. 
  • Visit the dentist regularly and ask about any home solutions before attempting them.

Last updated February 15, 2022

The oral health information on this website is intended for educational purposes only. Always consult a licensed dentist or other qualified health care professional for any questions concerning your oral health.