DIY Dentistry: From super glue to gum to Play-doh

A YouTube search for "Do It Yourself Dentistry" returns over 6,000 videos. Anything from making your own bridge to closing a gap between teeth using hair elastics.

The do-it-yourself trend may save money initially, but the dentist we spoke with says that at-home fixes can often land you back in the very dentist's chair you'd hoped to avoid in the first place. 

The dentist's chair strikes fear in the hearts of many.  Not to mention the bill that comes afterward.  That's why some are turning to "Do It Yourself Dentistry" -- creating YouTube tutorials about how to make braces out of floss, repair chipped teeth with glue and even craft dentures for under $15.

Dr. Stephanie Kethcart has seen dozens of at-home fixes over the past 10 years. One of the most popular: repairing a cracked tooth.

"They're concerned that they don't want to go around without a tooth in so super glue on the crown or the tooth and stuck it back in myself," said Kethcart.

Dr. Kethcart says that super glue is toxic and the damage can mean a root canal. And glue isn't the only "sticks substance" getting patients in trouble.

"Gum, I've seen wax."

Play-doh makes a toy -- clay for cavities in their own mouth.

Others turn to powdery kits to whip up a replacement tooth, just like one of Dr. Kethcart's patients did.

"He says he just pops it in for a party.. and uses it so it fills the space... don't want to be using this while you're eating," she said.

And how about the age old trick of tying floss to your kid's loose baby tooth? Turn's out, that one's actually okay.

"You know, just don't torture your children when you do that and don't scar them for life."

Dr. Kethcart says it's not a good idea for adults to pull out their own teeth since there are deep roots attached. That said, if you end up with a broken tooth, she says it's okay to use Elmer's glue until you can get to the dentist. It's safe for both adults and kids.

Dr. Stephanie Kethcart
727 E Bethany Home Rd # A100
Phoenix, AZ 85014
(602) 279-1641

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