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The Dangers of DIY Braces

The Dangers of DIY Braces
Posted on 02/12/2020

For some kids getting braces is something of a rite of passage into adulthood, however there has been an online trend recently that’s causing kids to do irreversible damage to their teeth. Recently numerous videos have been popping up of kids explaining how to make do-it-yourself (DIY) braces have blown up on the internet. What these videos do not tell you, is how harmful DIY braces can be to your oral health.

What Are DIY Braces?

In order to make DIY braces, one would fasten household items to their teeth and move them where they think they should be. In the videos found online, teens and young adults use household items like rubber bands, dental floss, fishing line, earring backs, paper clips, and more. Some kids may claim that the items “get lost” during the night, but in reality what is happening is that they are becoming lodged underneath the gums. What young kids may not realize about braces is that there is more to them than simply closing gaps between your teeth, but also to align the upper and lower teeth to reduce pressure on the jaw and keep teeth from wearing on each other over time. If kids attempt to move their own teeth, they are likely not taking consideration to other areas of the mouth that professional braces will correct.

What Are the Effects of DIY Braces?

Braces are a medical procedure that involve slowly and cautiously moving teeth through bone and facilitating bone growth. By trying to straighten your teeth on your own, you may very well damage your teeth and gums so severely that we would be unable to even save a tooth. There are ligaments that hold your teeth into the bone and when you move your teeth, these ligaments begin to break. Replacing a missing tooth is an expense that adds up to tens of thousands of dollars over a lifetime.

Even if your tooth does not actually fall out, you could damage the enamel on your teeth which can lead to sensitivity and even cavities. Another side effect of DIY braces are cuts in your gums that can cause further health issues. Your mouth is filled with bacteria, as well as the household objects used to make DIY braces. When these objects cut into the gums, that bacteria is introduced to the bloodstream and may have very severe side effects on your overall health.

Advances in Orthodontics

Modern braces have come a very long way in the past ten years, which means that patients have a more comfortable and less intrusive experience. Here are a few ways that braces have been made more comfortable:

  •  No More Pink Goo
    • Digital impressions are a recent dental advancement that allows dentists to take 3D scans of your mouth digitally, eliminating the need for the old fashioned, goopy impression material.
  • Smaller and Lighter Brackets
    • Modern brackets are made of plastic, ceramic, or lightweight metal, making braces more comfortable and less bulky. They also align teeth more quickly than they did years ago.
  • Flexible Wires and Color Choices
    • The wires that connect to the brackets are now more flexible and lighter than ever, which means that there is less pain. Kids can also choose braces with colored bands to make each appointment a little more fun!
  • Nearly Invisible Brackets
    • Tooth-colored and clear brackets now exist which are significantly less noticeable than traditional metal brackets.
  • Invisalign
    • Clear aligners are not only less visible than traditional braces, but also just as effective. They are however only recommended for those with minimal orthodontic needs.

How to Make Braces More Affordable

A common reason children are trying DIY braces is due to how expensive they may seem to some, However there is no need to attempt to straighten your teeth yourself! In fact, trying to straighten them on your own will most likely cost you more money in the long-run. Meister Orthodontics can provide you with an orthodontic consultation, which is a great way for you and your child to discuss dental concerns, learn about the in-depth treatment options, and decide what treatment is right for your family. If you have any questions regarding our treatments or consultations, or even our payment options, please contact us with anything you might like to know or to schedule your first visit. Meister Orthodontics of St. Paul, MN is happy to help with all of your orthodontic concerns!