We’ve seen some wild and crazy things on the Internet. We’ve also seen some dangerous things on the Internet. DIY braces and DIY orthodontics would qualify as all three of these. It seems wild and crazy that people think it’s OK to place everything from hair ties to random wires on their teeth to straighten them. It’s also dangerous because these “DIY” methods can do far more harm than good. In some cases, they can even lead to tooth loss. Who wants to get partials or dentures before they turn 20?
The team at Smith Orthodontics are trained professionals who use products specifically designed to move your teeth properly without causing damage to your jaw or face. We have seen the good these products do for our patients. Unfortunately, we’ve also seen the bad that DIY attempts can do.
People, especially teenagers, often find “DIY” instructional videos online for everything from cooking to crafts to home renovations. Some things are great for DIY — quick and easy recipes, ideas for children’s games, and creating your own Little Free Library. Those all sound great. Then, DIY instructional videos are not great and can be downright dangerous. DIY braces and DIY clear aligners are very, very high on that list.
Some things should just be left to the professionals. Moving your teeth is one of those things. We’ve seen videos where people recommend using regular rubber bands and even hair ties to close gaps in your teeth. This is a terrible idea because it can cause more issues than it solves, and it won’t address the underlying reason why your teeth have a gap, which means the gap will likely return. That’s assuming your teeth don’t loosen to the point of falling out first.
Why You Shouldn’t Do Your Own Braces
We’ve stated that it’s a bad idea to do your own braces, but why is it a bad idea? Surely, putting a rubber band around your incisors isn’t dangerous, is it?
Yes, it is.
Here are five reasons why you should avoid DIY braces:
- Tooth movement isn’t controlled: Your teeth need precise movements to put them into their proper places. Professional braces provide control that DIY braces cannot provide. Without these precise movements, you could cause more problems, from a misaligned bite to loose teeth to tooth loss.
- The bands can slip under the gums: Trends that suggest using elastic bands or hair ties to close tooth gaps pose a danger because those bands can slip under the gums. This can cause infection or can choke off the root of the tooth, which holds it in the jaw. This can lead to tooth loss.
- The material can be toxic: Standard rubber bands, hair ties, and even wires may contain toxic material because they’re not designed to go into the human body. Over time, this toxicity can make you ill.
- You could face thousands of dollars in repairs: The damage from DIY braces will need to be repaired. This could cost you far more in medical, dental, and orthodontic bills than you likely would have paid just getting braces in the first place.
Only a trained professional can move your teeth safely: Orthodontists spend years in dental school and orthodontic certification to learn how to move teeth precisely and properly so as not to damage your oral or overall health. These precise movements not only straighten your teeth but also line up your bite, which prevents excessive tooth wear and jaw pain later. You cannot get this with DIY braces.
What Is DIY Orthodontics?
Not all do-it-yourself orthodontist kits come from suggestions on TikTok. Many people order clear aligner kits from mail-order services, believing they’ll get the same results as from an orthodontist except at a cheaper price. But such products aren’t always the easy solutions they seem to be.
These products require you to make an at-home impression to send them for your aligners. These won’t provide the details our digital 3D x-ray systems will, which could lead to imperfect treatment plans. In addition, these programs don’t take into consideration other oral issues. Gum disease, tooth decay, and infection can affect how well treatment will go and how it should go. Mail-order impressions may not make these issues clear.
Not all patients are ideal for clear aligners. An orthodontist is trained to spot any issues that could make clear aligners a lesser option. We also can give you options that will work best for you. Also, if problems come up during treatment, a mail-order system may not recognize that problems exist or be able to adjust. Orthodontists can make adjustments throughout the treatment process, so you get the best results.
The bottom line is that you won’t get better treatment at home or through the mail than you will get at your local orthodontist.
Paying for Professional Braces
You may be thinking about diy braces or diy orthodontics because you’re concerned about the cost of braces or clear aligners. For patients in the Wichita, KS, area, Smith Orthodontics has several financing options that can lighten that burden. From custom down payments to extended payment plans, we can work with you to make it easier to afford your treatment with braces or clear aligners. We will provide professional results using the latest products and technology. Not only will you get the proper, complete care you deserve, but you will also get the smile of your dreams!