One of the biggest new trends emerging in dentistry might also be the most dangerous.
As a growing number of videos depicting do-it-yourself dentistry hit YouTube, more and more people are avoiding the cost of visiting a dentist office to perform advanced dental procedures on themselves. What many of these people don’t realize is just how harmful DIY dentistry can be to one’s teeth.
According to an April 15 CBS New York article, many of these DIY dentistry videos show the viewer how to straighten his or her teeth at home using rubber bands, wires or even hair elastics. Some of these videos have received hundreds of thousands of views since being uploaded.
“I have seen more than one instance where harm has been done,” Dr. DeWayne McCamish, of the American Association of Orthodontists, said.
There are also a growing number of individuals who purchase over-the-counter dental first aid kits when they have an emergency in lieu of visiting the dentist, according to the UK Guardian. These kits, which are intended to serve as only a temporary fix for lost fillings, caps and crowns, are being used as permanent treatment.
It might seem like common sense to avoid the dangers do-it-yourself dentistry; but many people who can’t afford to visit a dentist or orthodontist feel there is no other alternative.
For Tina Hicks, who couldn’t afford to pay an orthodontist to fix her tooth gap, paying $20 for a set of “gap bands” seemed like an affordable solution, CBS New York reported — yet they soon became too uncomfortable for her to use.
“They were cutting into my gums. It was super painful,” she said.
Do-it-yourself dental treatments might seem like a major cost savings, but there is no substitute for dental treatment from a trained professional.