For some, the idea of DIY braces and mail-order aligners is attractive because they cost less than dentist-guided orthodontics. However, some solutions can damage both your teeth and your bank account. Before taking matters into your own hands, schedule an appointment with our orthodontic office to discuss your options.
What are DIY Braces?
The internet is filled with videos and “tutorials” on alternatives to traditional braces. Small rubber bands are the most common DIY orthodontics advice. Please understand this does not work and is, in fact, dangerous. It does not provide you with a safe, long-lasting solution for misaligned teeth.
Why are Rubber Band Braces Dangerous?
Moving your teeth without professional guidance can cause a blockage of blood supply to teeth, resulting in discolored and infected gums, root damage, and even tooth loss. Obviously, missing teeth, bleeding gums, and serious infections are not the results you want to see from braces, but these risks are inherent in DIY orthodontics.
Another danger is that your teeth can shift back if you move them too quickly. The amount of damage you can do to your teeth will require further professional help, likely in the form of costly restoration.
The Risks of Mail-Order Aligners
The American Dental Association (ADA) and the American Association of Orthodontists (AAO) have issued consumer warnings against mail-order braces. Without a proper diagnosis and direct supervision by a dentist in an office, you risk tooth loss, infection, and permanent bite problems using at-home aligners. Many patients have underlying problems such as tooth decay, gum infections, or abscessed teeth that can be aggravated by orthodontic treatment.
Furthermore, some conditions call for treatment with traditional braces instead of aligners. A salesperson in an office can’t make that call; only an in-person examination by an orthodontist can.
The Case for In-Office Treatment with an Orthodontist
The AAO explicitly states that moving teeth is a healthcare procedure that requires the professional experience of an orthodontist. It must be done very gradually so teeth and gums will not be damaged.
Our office is staffed with a knowledgeable, experienced orthodontic team devoted to improving smiles in a proper, hands-on manner. We pride ourselves on working with each patient in a safe, professional environment.
DIY braces pose a significant danger, especially to children and young adults who, surveys show, take healthcare advice they find on the internet seriously. However, the pain, irreparable damage, and costly fixes are not worth it. When it comes to dental care, leave it to the professionals.