During the COVID-19 pandemic, on-site dental checkups became almost impossible because of social distancing restrictions. Many dental practices have to close or limit admissions to emergency cases. Those with non-urgent issues have to book appointments and wait until it’s their turn to see their dentist.
While in lockdown, many elective dental procedures have to be modified because of safety reasons. These include dental implants, tooth extraction, cosmetic dentistry, and teeth whitening. Meanwhile, those who experience pain and discomfort and can’t see their dentist during the lockdown have resorted to alternatives or “hacks” to ease the pain.
Dental hacks are becoming quite common, especially on social media platforms. These people suggest home remedies for dental woes and avoid costly medical costs. While dental hacks are quite tempting to try, putting your oral health into your own hands comes with dangers. In this article, we’ll discuss popular dental hacks and their health dangers.
Don’t pull your teeth
Having an excruciatingly painful loose tooth is a serious concern. It can cause a lot of discomfort that people feel tempted to yank it out themselves, thinking it will ease the pain. They resort to extreme measures such as tying the tooth to a thread using the force of another heavy object to pull the tooth out.
Unless it’s a baby tooth, pulling the teeth can do more harm than good. Pulling your tooth causes cavitation, a hole in the bone where the tooth has been removed that eventually leads to infection.
In tooth extraction, dentists have to use proper sterile instruments to reach the deepest part of the tooth and clean the area properly. Self-extraction or doing it without proper training can cause the root to snap or get infected, which requires complex dental surgery to fix it.
Don’t create your own braces
Braces are quite pricey, so it’s not surprising why some creative minds turn to alternatives to avoid the costs. But braces are expensive for a reason—the procedure requires the expertise of a professional orthodontist and involves the use of a variety of dental appliances to get the treatment you need.
A new online trend surfaced online after young people are tying their teeth together using rubber bands to close the gaps. While the technique seems to work, this risky hack has serious consequences that may affect the overall teeth alignment.
Gambling with your oral health is a dangerous game to play with. The stakes are higher when you have to do your braces yourself. Moving the teeth is a very complicated procedure than people imagined. While it looks easy, dentists have to take several years of training before they can actually provide braces.
Dentists have to consider a lot of things before providing braces. This includes the condition of the bone, gum, and overall oral health. Moving the teeth without checking potential issues might lead to unnecessary pain and even tooth loss.
Don’t bleach your teeth
Tooth whitening is an increasingly popular beauty trend for those who want to get those pearly white teeth. This paved the way for commercial whitening products, from whitening gels, strips, toothpaste, and kits. Others who don’t want to spend money on professional teeth whitening turn to home remedies and weird hacks, such as oil pulling, acidic fruits, and activated charcoal. While these whitening solutions are becoming more accessible, never give in to their product claims easily.
Another cheap hack is applying raw hydrogen peroxide directly to the teeth. Hydrogen peroxide has carcinogenic effects and causes significant damage to the tooth enamel when applied in high concentrations. Another severe side effect is the inflammation of the teeth roots.
Hydrogen peroxide would work for the teeth if a professional dentist conducted the procedure. It requires a controlled application and the use of properly fitted teeth whitening trays. Doing it at home can lead to severe enamel damage and gum recession.
Don’t remove plaque by yourself
Plaque scrapers are available in the market, but dentists strictly prohibit them. The removal of tartar and plaque from the teeth requires professional help, as they have to undergo training before doing the procedure themselves.
Over-the-counter plaque removers have sharp instruments that may accidentally cause gum recession or damage. It can also push the tartar beneath the gum line, which leads to bigger problems.
We all want cheap and fast solutions for everything, but this can get us into real trouble if our health is at stake. Dentists go through years of schooling and training to understand a variety of dental problems. They use materials, instruments, and techniques approved by global dental associations. Depending on your oral health to unprofessional work can lead to even bigger consequences. So give your teeth a favor and steer clear of viral dental hacks.