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Dental Hacks You Should Not Try

Posted by Steven Lim Joseph Fields Sep 10, 2019

Sometimes, taking care of our teeth means being updated with the trends. We think some people have done it, so it must work for us, too. However, jumping into current movements, like doing DIY solutions and trying "dental hacks” without consulting with your Reno family dentist, may pose more harm than good to your teeth.  

What are Dental Hacks?  

Let’s face it. Not everyone is okay with the idea of visiting the dentist for dental treatment. The reasons range from lack of awareness to dental anxiety. However, one obvious reason why people don’t go to dental clinics is that it can be pricey. Thus, the same people resort to trying dental hacks instead.  

Below is a list of famous dental hacks you should never try at home.    

  • Removing Hardened Plaque at Home  

Just because you’ve already seen a dentist using a dental scraper doesn’t mean you can already do it on your own. Dentists spend years of training to learn the process of effectively removing hardened plaque from your teeth. They study the correct techniques, like the direction of the scraper’s movement and the amount of pressure used.

This should be enough to tell you it’s not easy to make teeth beautiful and clean, and an amateur like you shouldn’t try it.  

Without substantial knowledge, you may damage your enamel and gums. Tartar may also be accidentally shoved under your gums, which will cause oral health problems. Because dental scrapers have a sharp edge, you may damage soft tissues in your mouth as well, like your tongue, lips, and cheeks. Most of the time, this damage may need another dental procedure, entailing more money and time.  

You may see dental scrapers in your local grocery or drug store, but dentists don’t recommend you buy one and try it at home.  

  • Bleaching Your Teeth with Pure Hydrogen Peroxide

Hydrogen peroxide is a mild antiseptic famous for removing germs and whitening teeth. With this logic, people think it’s safe to rinse your mouth with pure hydrogen peroxide. While it can be useful when mixed with an equal amount of water to clean the mouth, it’s still risky. Hydrogen peroxide should not be swallowed; thus, swishing it around your mouth incites a potentially dangerous outcome.  

Additionally, pure hydrogen peroxide is carcinogenic. So, longer contact with gums or ingestion should be avoided. Some people use this product as a whitening agent. However, this may only cause gum recession and enamel damage without achieving your desired results.  

The risk of damage increases under the following circumstances:

  • Strong concentrations of hydrogen peroxide such as those higher than 3 percent
  • Leaving the hydrogen peroxide in contact with teeth for a longer time (like 1 minute when swishing and 2 minutes when brushing as a paste)
  • Applying the hydrogen peroxide more than once a day  
  • Pulling a Tooth

Unless we’re talking about a baby tooth, pulling a tooth by yourself causes more harm than good. Many unwanted complications can happen from doing this. It may result in cavitation - an infection inside a hole in the bone where the tooth formerly resides. You may also snap the root before it’s all out. Moreover, this can damage the surrounding teeth.  

In the case where your tooth is showing signs of tooth decay, there’s a good chance it’s due to an infection. Pulling it by yourself leaves you with an infection and an open wound – a horrible combination for your overall oral health.  

Dentists, on the other hand, use sterile equipment to prevent infections. They can also prescribe antibiotics to prevent the wound from being infected. They would also check first if pulling the tooth is the best resort. Maybe the tooth can still be saved using a different dental procedure. Thus, pulling a tooth yourself may cause infections or the need for a surgical procedure to fix it.  

  • Filing Your Teeth

Because people think it’s less invasive and harmless, they opt to file their own chipped tooth. While it’s normal to feel concerned with the appearance of your teeth, self-shaping them is more harmful than you think. By doing so, you can remove enamel – that white protective layer over your teeth.  

Tooth enamel is only 2.58mm thick on average, which means there’s even a little room for dentists to commit mistakes. With your knowledge or lack thereof, you destroy an essential covering of your teeth.  

A damaged enamel will make the tooth look yellow and more vulnerable to further staining and damage. Self-shaping may also remove too much of the tooth, which affects your bite. This, in turn, results in a variety of other oral health problems such as:

  • Tooth sensitivity
  • Increased risk of tooth decay
  • Yellow and weak teeth
  • Greater chance of chips or breakage  
  • Making Your Own Braces

You may have seen YouTube videos of “gap bands.” They’re teeth-straightening techniques with the use of rubber bands. Rubber bands are used to tie the teeth together and close the gap. However, these video tutorials are done by “influencers” with no orthodontic training and knowledge of how teeth move and how this should be done.  

Many reasons explain why people make their own braces. Most of them think this dental procedure is expensive and unaffordable. Some of them can’t wait for a dental procedure to align teeth because they may be bullied at school or at work. While these reasons are understandable, risking yourself with DIY braces just don’t cut it.  

More reasons why DIY braces are not safe:

  • There’s no supervision of a trained orthodontist.
  • Orthodontic treatment is very precise.
  • DIY braces can lead to clenching problems, muscle spasms, jaw pain, and jaw joint problems, to name a few.  
  • Teeth can fall out.
  • The risk of permanent damage is highly possible.  

Consult with Your Reno Family Dentist Today

While it’s acceptable to get worried about teeth imperfections, jumping into DIY solutions to solve the problem is not advisable. Instead, you should consult with a dentist since they have studied and practiced it for many years.  

At Smile Design Implant Center, we value your oral health as much as we value ours. We will design an honest treatment plan for you to achieve the best results for your dental woes. Dental care is not something you should entrust to inexperienced hands, so contact us instead.

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