Disastrous dental 'hacks' have been enough to set dentists' teeth on edge.
An emerging trend on the popular video-sharing platform Tik Tok has seen people posting how-to tips on dental issues at home.
Information includes how to close a gap between teeth with rubber bands or smooth uneven edges with nail files.
The very thought of doing either of these things is enough to make dental professionals like Dr Mikaela Chinotti wince.
This Dental Health Week, the Australian Dental Association (ADA) warns people of the problems associated with DIY dental hacks taking over social media.
As the ADA's oral health promoter, Dr Chinotti said they do not recommend any form of do-it-yourself treatments at home or otherwise.
"What you think may save you money in the short term may end up costing you more in the long run when you still have to seek professional dental care to fix what you have tried to remedy yourself," she said.
The ADA has uncovered a host of dodgy dental DIY trends and issued some do-nots.
Nail files and sandpaper are not suitable for smoothing and grinding the edges of the teeth.
The grit is too hard and rough to be used without damaging tooth enamel.
Professional dental polishing equipment and materials are specially designed for teeth, so instead, speak with your dentist about adjusting any minor imperfections.
Home-made toothpaste made from rough and scratchy materials like baking soda, bentonite clay, charcoal, cinnamon, salt and powdered eggshells is also not a good idea.
They may even cause the user an unwanted reaction.
Over-the-counter toothpaste is lab-tested to remove stains without damaging your teeth.
Steer clear of crushed cucumbers, kiwifruit and strawberries to whiten teeth.
These foods contain acids that, over time, can dissolve the white tooth enamel.
Cola and apple cider vinegar are even more acidic than the fruit.
They should not be swished around the mouth to remove stains.
White tooth enamel can be dissolved by frequently using these drinks, and it doesn't grow back.
Don't brush your teeth straight after drinking anything acidic, including soft drinks, fruit juice and even kombucha - wait at least an hour, so you don't scrub away softened tooth enamel.
Dr Chinotti said it's not a good idea to try and straighten your teeth or close gaps yourself.
Elastic bands and hair pins can scratch, injure and strain the teeth, gums and jawbone, causing permanent damage that may require professional dental treatment or, worst-case scenario, could result in tooth loss.
Orthodontists and dentists are specially trained in tooth movement and use precise measurements and equipment to adjust the positioning of the teeth gradually and safely.
Rubbing your teeth with a 'magic eraser' does not work.
This small white sponge is designed to remove stains on kitchen work surfaces, not teeth.
While these products feel soft, they're made of hard plastic and may damage the tooth enamel, which doesn't grow back.
"Stick to using magic erasers for cleaning stubborn kitchen stains," Dr Chinotti said.
Don't apply hydrogen peroxide or other bleaches like the ones purchased from the pharmacy to bleach hair directly to your teeth.
They can cause chemical burns to your mouth and throat or, much worse.
Professional teeth whitening products are approved and assessed for safety.
Take-home whitening products from your dentist are much safer for achieving the best results.
They always use plastic trays customised to the shape of your teeth with safe levels of peroxide.
Never put an aspirin tablet inside your mouth next to your gums if you have a toothache, as this can cause a burn on your gums.
As always, see a dentist for the professional help you need.
For more information and dentist's advice on over 90 oral health topics, visit the site teeth.org.au - brought to you by the Australian Dental Association.
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