Q: Can I use an emery board to file down a tooth that broke until I get to my dentist?
A: I used to do a comedy bit back in my NY Improv days, circa 1990, called: “the home vasectomy kit”. Let’s just say I killed with that one. Then I segwayed into how when you read about diseases in magazines, you start to think you have it: “Do you get headaches when hit in the head with a hammer? You may be suffering from (enter disease of the month here.)
During the last seven plus months, many people have resorted to some creative home dental treatments, such as using Crazy-Glue, tape, nail files, and many over the counter dental remedies from the supermarket. Not good. Here’s why:
Store- bought, “boil and bite” mouth guards: DANGER! Will move your teeth randomly causing you to need braces and can cause ulcers on the gums. Also; dogs love’em!
Cavity fillers; Dent Temp: DANGER! Rarely stays in the tooth and can cause allergic reactions to patients allergic to a chemical called eugenol.
Dental pain topicals such as Ambisol, DANGER! Will cause chemical burns and mask a more serious problem.
Using aspirin as a topical: DANGER! Will burn a hole in the gum down to the bone if placed next to a painful tooth.
Denture repair kits: DANGER! Rarely work and have harsh chemicals that can be ingested by the patient.
And dental wax: DANGER! Usually too soft, melts away and is swallowed.
Self-Whitening with baking soda or bleach from the kitchen cabinet DANGER! Will not whiten teeth and will only cause GI problems.
Teeth Filing with your everyday nail filer to fix uneven, chipped or rough edges. DANGER! Too much chance of infection and damaging teeth.
Tooth Extraction, when a tooth is painful or bothering you DANGER! Only do this if it is a baby tooth and is extremely loose. Otherwise you risk snapping the tooth off at the gum line, leaving a root tip below the gum line like an infected splinter.
As they say….Don’t try this at home kids….call in a professional.