What Are the Risks of “Do-It-Yourself” Braces and Is It Safe for Your Smile?
For people who are wanting to straighten their teeth, braces are a modern marvel that can make that happen for just about anyone under proper supervision. And while the cost of orthodontics makes some people hesitate, you wouldn’t try a do-it-yourself gallbladder surgery or BOTOX injection, would you?
Everything comes with risks, and the harmful option of doing braces yourself deserves serious scrutiny. It is because DIY braces gone wrong can leave you with a long, painful recovery, not to mention the cost of fixing the damage in the future. It’s no wonder that selling and distributing non-professional do-it-yourself braces is illegal!
DIY braces often involve paper clips, fishing line, floss, and rubber bands. While saving money seems to be the key motivator behind doing your own, the cost of fixing the damage is not worth the risks, which are plenty! Some of the objects used are bad for your health as well as your teeth.
- Damage to the gums
- Gum disease and infection
- Issues with the jaw or bite inconsistencies
- Root shortening or resorption
- Loss of otherwise healthy teeth
You have to remember that one size doesn’t fit all. So even getting online aligners can cause dentition problems because they need bite pattern customization. It is why you have your bite analyzed by our orthodontist, so a personalized treatment plan is created for your smile.
When it comes to your health, saving money by cutting corners can have serious consequences. You are probably safe to go ahead and paint your walls yourself or lay down flooring because neither of those should harm your health if they are not properly done. However, it is not the same case with your mouth! Our orthodontist is specially trained, and the products and technology used to align your smile are proven to be effective and safe!
Rely on the Experts
Both the American Dental Association (ADA) and the American Association of Orthodontists (AAO) promote orthodontist treatments under the expertise and protection of an experienced, trained, certified professional. You want to make sure someone is monitoring your outcome, and you have resources if there is an emergency or problem along the way. When it comes to your oral health, safety is crucial; otherwise, you risk permanent damage to teeth and gums, including tooth loss!
Some DIYs involve rubber bands to lessen spaces between teeth, which can cause the tooth to rotate or tip. Metal objects like twist ties and paper clips easily injure your soft oral tissues, including your gums, cheeks, or tongue. If left untreated, they can lead to an oral infection. Traditional orthodontics controls the pressure placed on your mouth as teeth gradually shift into their new position. An at-home version can be too loose and ineffective or too tight, loosening your teeth. In some cases, you might end up causing damage that leads you to require emergency dental care with problems to your jaw or gums.
Our orthodontic treatments ensure that your progress and shifting are supervised and controlled, and your smile is healthy when the braces or aligners come off. You don’t want to end up with a smile made worse from mistakes or improper usage. It is why we have you come into the office regularly to adjust your braces or safely switch to your next set of clear aligners.
Questions To Ask Yourself
The American Association of Orthodontists (AAO) suggests asking yourself the following if you are considering at-home braces:
- Will this DIY braces’ treatment be based on information from having my X-rays taken, including assessing my skeletal structure with full scans of my teeth and my upper and lower jaws?
- Will there be a licensed dentist or orthodontist supervising the creation and customizing of my aligners?
- Are my teeth and gums healthy enough to undergo orthodontic treatment?
- If there is an emergency, can I see a dentist or orthodontist in person?
Saying no to any of these questions means risking your dental health, and you could end up with decaying or abscessed teeth or worsening gum infections from the DIY orthodontic treatment. So while you can easily save money by painting your home yourself or installing a new deck on your own, it is dangerous to turn to DIY orthodontic treatment.
If you want straight teeth and an aligned bite, we invite you to call our team to schedule an appointment with our orthodontist. If financing is a concern, we offer payment options to help you get the beautiful smile you deserve! Your oral health and your smile are important to us!