The prevalence of do-it-yourself (DIY) projects has turned regular people into interior designers, carpenters, wedding planners, chefs, and, alarmingly, dentists. DIY trends empower consumers to create their own unique products, but when it comes to dental care, some trends are better left to the professionals.

DIY dental care can offer whitening products, teeth-straightening tools, and even DIY mouth guards and night guards, but there are many, many dangerous components to these products — starting all the way at the beginning.

Products created by companies pushing DIY dental care are rarely regulated, and the advertising rules for these products are lax. Teeth whitening products are a prime example of this. Companies put harsh chemicals, such as silica or bleach, into their whitening products, which will cause teeth to get whiter. However, the chemicals in these products can cause burns, enamel damage, receding gums, and other dangerous and sometimes permanent effects. Other products can safely fight stains or protect your teeth from further stains, but they will not actively whiten or restore tooth color. But companies are allowed to slap the “whitening” moniker onto the product, raise the price, and dupe customers out of more money.

(Note: The wisest choice is to select toothpaste that actively fights cavities, plaque, and bacteria with fluoride and other cleaning agents.)

DIY dental care can have costly, permanent penalties. Your teeth’s enamel can wear down, and once it disappears, it’s gone for good. Your gums can be damaged or infected, and you may even destroy teeth beyond repair. This will require total replacements and costly treatments.

The cost of DIY dental care is often attractive to those who try it, but the dangers, costs of repair, and time put into regaining the health of your smile after a mishap or accident are not worth saving a few extra dollars on the initial treatment. Instead, your dental team can help you find a solution to any concerns or ailments you want to fix.

But there is one way you can get a great smile at home: prevention. Take control by regularly brushing, flossing, and visiting the dentist. Get started and schedule your appointment today.

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