Online videos that feature teenagers claiming to have repaired their crooked teeth with DIY braces are causing concern with family dentists. While YouTube and other video platforms can help you learn to do nearly anything with “how-to” videos, the idea of dental braces made at home is forcing a number of patients into serious dental repairs.
The common misconception that repairing gaps in teeth is a simple process has led many people to attempt the job themselves. However, orthodontics is very complex and should only be performed by a professional dentist.
Dentistry work extends far beyond the condition of your teeth. A skilled dentist will consider your overall oral health before performing any orthodontics work. What works in repairing one patient’s dental problems may not be a good fit for another. When major dental procedures are attempted in your bathroom, the results are not only detrimental to your teeth, but your entire body can also feel the effects if infection sets in.
What Are DIY Braces?
Perhaps the most dangerous element of braces made at home is that teens are using random household objects to “fix” dental problems. Everything from paper clips and rubber bands to earring backs and fishing line are repair methods used in the videos. What many young people don’t realize is that the small pieces, like those from an earring, can become lodged beneath the gum line. Even the DIY braces “kits” should be avoided, as they’re often distributed by unaccredited sources.
Straightening teeth doesn’t only focus on reducing gaps. Braces are designed to align the upper and lower teeth to reduce wear and lessen pressure on the jaw. Those who attempt to create their own braces don’t take into consideration the overall structure and health of their mouth.
One of the most popular methods of homemade dental braces is placing a rubber band around teeth to pull them together. In some cases, the method may offer some results. However, it can also cause serious damage like tooth loss, tooth fracture, gum damage, root damage or other medical difficulties.
Homemade Braces vs. Professional Orthodontics
Major advances in orthodontic treatment mean braces don’t have to be the traditional metal brackets and metal wires from years ago. An orthodontist at DeJesus Dental Group can introduce you to the many types of braces and how even traditional braces have been modernized over the past decade.
The overall experience of having braces placed on your teeth is a very custom and personalized approach. Dentists are now able to make patients more comfortable and the procedure is much less invasive than in years past. If braces have been recommended for you or your child, ask your dentist about these options:
- Digital dental impressions: Advancements in the industry have eliminated the pink goo once used for dental impressions. A 3D scan of your mouth can now give the orthodontist a comprehensive look at your mouth.
- Lightweight brackets: Gone are the days of heavy metal brackets. Today’s braces are made of plastic, ceramic, or lightweight metal. The material is less bulky and can properly align teeth more quickly than antiquated methods.
- Clear brackets: For many kids, the appearance of metal braces can be a challenge. Today’s materials allow your orthodontist to create clear or tooth-colored brackets, making the braces less noticeable.
- Invisalign: In many cases, invisible braces like Invisalign treatment can be used to correct minor to moderate dental challenges. Invisalign is also a good option for adults in need of minimal orthodontic work.
With so many orthodontic treatment options, there’s no reason to turn to at-home braces as a cure for misaligned teeth. Using a rubber band or fishing line is clearly not a personalized approach to addressing your dental challenges and could lead to severe gum or root damage.
Benefits Of Invisalign
Invisalign is one of the most popular styles of invisible braces. The clear plastic aligners are worn for a set period of time before the next aligner is molded and used to replace the current piece. Over time, Invisalign treatment works to straighten your teeth and close gaps. The aligners can be worn without anyone noticing you’re wearing braces and easily removed to eat and drink. Compared to traditional braces, Invisalign aligners are easy to clean and allow you to smile confidently thanks to the clear style.
Do DIY Braces Work?
Braces are a professional medical procedure that slowly shifts teeth through bone and manipulate bone growth. Attempting to straighten your teeth on your own could create so much gum damage that the tooth can’t be saved. Ligaments that hold your teeth in place can begin to break when you use homemade braces. If a tooth is lost, the replacement will cost far more than the price and ease of professional braces, like Invisalign.
Another dangerous aspect of DIY braces is the damage that can be caused to your enamel. The scraping of metal parts or constant rubbing of a rubber band can permanently destroy a portion of your enamel. When the protective layer of your teeth is weakened, you suffer from sensitivity and are more prone to cavities. The gum line is also jeopardized by metal pieces in homemade braces. Small cuts from sharp points can lead to infection and the bacteria from the household objects can easily seep into the open wounds.
Don’t Try This At Home
A beautiful smile and straight teeth can boost your self-confidence. Many orthodontic patients are wary of traditional branches that require metal, bands, and regular visits to your Bridgeport or Shelton dentist. For those who want a straight smile without traditional metal braces, invisible braces are a great solution.
Invisalign clear plastic aligners are comfortable and fit over your teeth much like a mouthguard. These clear aligners can straighten crooked, crowded, uneven, or gapped teeth through a series of personalized trays that shift your teeth over time to their correct position. Unlike cumbersome traditional braces, one of the Invisalign benefits is you can remove the aligners to eat and care for your teeth. As you consider options to straighten your teeth, know that any option other than professional orthodontic treatment comes with several risks, while Invisalign offers the results you want without anyone knowing you’re wearing braces.
Dangers Of DIY Braces
Homemade braces have the potential to cost you your teeth, overall health, and a costly dental bill just to repair the damage. Before you order a DIY braces kit online or load your mouth full of rubber bands, consider the list of damages you can do to your mouth:
- Irreparable damage to your teeth.
- Painful bone damage, tooth wear, and tooth loss.
- Jaw and gum damage.
- Bacteria from foreign objects can cause infection in your mouth.
- Create new gaps between teeth.
- Create tooth sensitivity.
- Need for expensive dental repair to replace lost teeth.
Instead of putting your teeth and health at risk, schedule a consultation with your Bridgeport or Shelton dentist to talk about your orthodontics options.
DIY Braces vs. Full Mouth Reconstruction
DIY braces can leave you with pain and irreparable damage to your gums. Instead of ordering a questionable kit in the mail and trying to perform complex dentistry in your bathroom, have Dejesus Dental Group create a full mouth reconstruction plan. Getting straighter teeth should be just one part of your oral health plan. Whether you need to have wisdom teeth removed, teeth whitening services, or chipped or broken teeth repaired, your professional dentist can create a step-by-step plan that will address each problem area.
A full mouth reconstruction plan considers the overall health and condition of your teeth. Braces made at home are solely concentrated on closing gaps, without considering the dangers that stem from the at-home methods.
How To Pay For Braces
The price of braces may be one reason many people are trying to perform dental work at home. Covering the cost of braces is an investment in your oral health, but that shouldn’t force you into a dangerous at-home solution. In fact, attempting to make your own braces and damaging your teeth could cost you more in the long run. Our office offers a free orthodontic consultation and a current promotion provides ceramic braces at the same cost as metal braces.
After the consultation, most dental insurances pay a portion of the treatment cost. Our office also offers some financial support options that may work for your family. Schedule your complimentary orthodontic consultation to get information on payment options.
DIY braces are not only a danger to your teeth, but they can negatively affect your overall health. It’s not enough to do whatever it takes to repair crooked teeth. You need healthy teeth and gums to sustain a lifetime of good oral health. Don’t trust your oral care to household objects or a kit off the internet. Call DeJesus Dental Group to ask questions about teeth straightening and how braces can be incorporated into your treatment plan and benefit your smile.