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What Are the Risks of DIY Braces?

Ever since YouTube began helping people execute do-it-yourself (DIY) projects with accuracy and success, it’s become tempting to take on more challenging projects to save money. While this strategy works for learning how to crochet or paint your home, straightening your teeth should not be on that list any more than performing surgery or juggling fire.

Whether you are reading articles or watching videos about the DIY braces trend, at-home orthodontics using “equipment” like hair or rubber bands, elastic strings, earring backs, paper clips, glue or 3D printer technology is a dangerous practice. The American Association of Orthodontists (AAO) reports that 39% of their orthodontists who saw patients using DIY braces needed corrective and restorative treatment afterward!

Potential Damage from DIY Orthodontics

Whether you want to align your teeth or close a gap between them, DIY braces raise your risk of gum infection as well as damage to the teeth and bone. Moving teeth is a biological process, and if it’s not done properly, a healthy tooth’s root can absorb back into the body and dissolve, causing you to lose the tooth or even multiple teeth.

Without the guidance of a trained orthodontist who understands your oral anatomy, there is no control over the pressure being applied to your teeth. Your teeth are connected not only to the gums but to the blood supply that makes you vulnerable to infection, particularly if you tear gum tissue that doesn’t heal correctly. This can damage the attachment between them while support is lost. If you’re using a rubber band that slides up and accidentally cuts the attachment, you lose the needed support.

DIY braces can not only cause gum infection and tooth loss but also jaw and bite problems and lifelong dental issues. Some folks who have experimented with DIY braces have found themselves experiencing bruxism (grinding and clenching their teeth), shooting pain, issues with their jaws, and muscle spasms.

Professional Orthodontic Treatment

Using household items doesn’t work the same as braces designed for the task. Certified orthodontists use equipment that has passed rigorous testing standards to ensure its safety and effectiveness. Orthodontists complete education, training, and hands-on experience so they can accurately diagnose, supervise, and implement the orthodontic process. By understanding how the jaw, mouth, and tooth movement works together, they can avoid harming your teeth or gums.

Benefits of a Thorough Orthodontic Evaluation

An orthodontist will evaluate your teeth and gums to determine the alignment process needed to straighten your teeth without causing harm. This typically includes an oral and facial analysis, review of your dental records, taking images (intraoral and facial) and X-rays (panoramic and cephalometric), and taking impressions to create models of your teeth and bite.

Developing a formal treatment plan ensures the straightening process leaves your mouth in better, not worse, shape when you are done. Replacing damaged or lost teeth is costly and not worth the risk to save some money now. Protecting and investing in your healthy smile is as crucial as having a healthy heart to your well-being.

Visit Dabney Orthodontics

The good news is you don’t have to risk your health or your smile by doing it yourself. Working with Dr. Dabney and our team is more cost-effective in the long run when it comes to fixing crooked, crowded teeth and aligning your bite. With a variety of treatment options available, from traditional braces to Invisalign, our skilled orthodontist can safely straighten your teeth and correct your bite, leaving you with a brilliant smile. Call our office today to learn more!