Entrusting our dental health issues and aesthetic goals in the hands of an orthodontist falls into the category of common sense. Or that’s supposed to be a rule of thumb, at least. However, for the past few years, a troubling trend has emerged on the Internet: people who stay away from the ‘natural order’ and attempt to create their own orthodontic treatment plan while divulging their secret on the Internet through videos!
Right from the start, here at Loudoun Orthodontics, we stand against such DIY teeth straightening practices, and for good reasons. The required level of orthodontic training, proper diagnosis, and the dangers of aggravating dental health issues make home treatments undesirable and dangerous. It is crucial for you to learn that the mouth plays a significant part in the body’s general health, which is why any wrong step in home orthodontic treatments can cause serious medical issues.
Our mission as orthodontists is to care not only for their dental health but for their general health as well. For that reason, today, we’re going to discuss in detail the subject of DIY teeth straightening and learn more about the dangers associated with this practice to teach our patients that professional teeth straightening has no valid substitute!
What are DIY Braces?
As the name suggests, DIY braces are nothing more than teeth-straightening methods used outside the professional setting of an orthodontist’s office. To ‘create’ braces, people make use of household objects such as paper clips, rubber bands, earring backs, and fishing lines and follow directions from unaccredited Internet videos. In other instances, people purchase DIY braces kits directly from the Internet, once again from unaccredited sources.
Do DIY Braces Work?
With more people giving this DIY teeth straightening trend a shot, should we consider it as well? From the start, the answer is a clear, resounding no – DIY braces are not just ineffective but also dangerous. And the flaws of this approach are made clear by its name: with no orthodontist to examine the patient’s medical history, consider the mouths’ overall structure, and put together a professional, safe treatment plan, DIY braces are doomed to fail right from the start. Always remember that professional orthodontists receive years of training before being entrusted with our dental health, which is why their input is fundamental.
Why are DIY Braces Risky?
As we’ve seen in the previous paragraph, DIY teeth straightening doesn’t entail the presence of a trained professional – patients end up diagnosing their own cases, creating their own dental impressions, and administering their own treatment! Such a picture turned into a scary thought for the American Dental Association (ADA) and the American Association of Orthodontists (AAO), who issued consumer warnings against such practices.
Patients who ignore such warnings and proceed with their DIY teeth straightening treatment expose themselves to a myriad of dental and health issues, such as:
- Tooth damage, wear, and loss
- Tooth gaps
- Tooth sensitivity
- Bone, jaw, and gum damage
- Infections caused by foreign bacteria
In most cases, all of these issues translate into expensive medical care, ultimately defeating the purpose of cutting down on costs in the first place!
Why is DIY Teeth Straightening Still a Thing despite Its Risks?
Although the numerous risks associated with DIY teeth straightening should act as a strong deterrent, unfortunately, some people are still willing to take these risks and put their health in jeopardy.
The first reason to be named in this equation is an overall DIY trend growing in our society. By citing the example of a college student, who used a 3D printer to create his own set of clear aligners, people are confident that they can achieve the same feat without costly professional treatments. However, such attempts are subject to sheer luck, which doesn’t belong in the orthodontics field.
The second reason is linked with financial aspects. Due to low costs and convenience, DIY teeth straightening solutions attract many people. However, what they save on DIY solutions ends up being invested in expensive medical care, if not more.
Last but not least, the growth of the Internet drove people towards looking up solutions online rather than in a dentist’s office. While a quick search on the Internet can give us basic information regarding dental issues, it is essential to know that no two patients are the same – what works for others might not work for you! For that reason, online searches are not a valid substitute for actual visits to the dentist.
Why Professional Teeth Straightening is the Right Option?
Because teeth straightening requires a safe and personalized approach, there’s no doubt that professional teeth straightening trumps any DIY approach. With so many technological improvements over the past few years, orthodontists are more than capable of delivering that perfect smile of your dreams without any risks pertaining to your health.
In matters that concern general health, financial aspects and other Internet trends are less than sound arguments. Instead of putting yourself in danger, value your safety with professional teeth straightening.