Over the past decade, “Do It Yourself,” or DIY braces have taken on a whole new life of its own. The popularity of this concept has taken off from websites like YouTube and Pinterest, giving instructions to people for creating these clear aligners and braces. DIY is an alarming trend, mainly because not only are people making these braces, but they’re also self-treating their oral health. Not only is this dangerous, but DIY straightening can do more harm than good. Dentists are meant to create unique treatments planned around your teeth, and when unsupervised, can cause unintended, long-term consequences.
The Dangers of DIY Orthodontics
There are two types of DIY Orthodontics available, and both of them are problematic.
The first type of DIY braces are part of an internet trend where individuals have demonstrated orthodontics that can be made with anything from paperclips and rubber bands to fishing line and plastic. These items are not made for teeth aligning, which can lead to severe problems for a person’s teeth.
The second variety is available from companies that will provide clear aligners and other orthodontic appliances without involving a dentist. While the devices are made for aligning teeth, there are numerous problems that can result without the oversight of a qualified dentist.
For many of the insecurities people have about their teeth, these are the problems that can happen when you attempt to fix them by yourself with either of these methods:
- Gap Teeth: Closing the gap between teeth can lead to permanent loss. Teeth aren’t exactly square, so using rubber bands to straighten then can cause the rubber bands to work its way under the gums and loosen the tooth’s root.
- Protruding Teeth: When the top front teeth sit out more, it can leave large gaps between the front top and bottom teeth. Attempting to fix these issues without supervision can cause the upper teeth to shift in abnormal positions. In some cases, people have begun wanting the “snaggletooth” trend, where young people are having their canine teeth turn into tiny fangs that protrude outward, which can also cause harm.
- Overcrowding: Even when attempting to make homemade palatal expanders, the risks are too high to count. Expanding the palate without supervision can cause the teeth to relapse back into their original position and obstruct bone growth to the point where tooth loss can happen.
- Overbites and Underbites: Misaligned jawbones caused by malocclusion can usually be corrected with braces and space maintainers, but those who decide that DIY is a cheaper option will likely face more problems jawline in the future. TMJ disorder can develop and potentially cause the teeth to become more prone to bacteria growth, leading to periodontal disease and even jawbone decay.
Why Should A Dentist Oversee Your Teeth?
Dentists don’t just provide teeth cleanings and oral exams. As dentists, our goals are to find safe, practical solutions for tooth problems and work with our patients to find the best possible treatment plan that works for them. When you begin trying out DIY orthodontics, you won’t have any oversight from your dentists about what movements are healthy and safe. Dentists can create a safe working environment for such corrections and have a strategic plan to move the teeth into the proper position.
So, what does a dentist recommend? Invisalign is one of the most affordable options for gaping, overcrowded, and protruding teeth and brings just as much convenience as DIY braces without the risks. To learn about how Invisalign can help straighten your teeth, contact Dr. Alina Huang at Glow Dental NYC, located in New York, NY, for more information, and schedule an appointment today.