Thanks to the internet, you can quickly look up how to do pretty much anything, whether it’s plumbing, fixing your car, or…straightening your teeth? It’s true! DIY braces are a pretty big trend right now, with people using all kinds of household items like rubber bands and even superglue to give them more even and attractive smiles. Have they found a cheap and easy way to fix crooked teeth? In reality, attempting your own orthodontic treatment can actually cause WAY more harm than good. Here are 5 reasons why your dentist says you should always leave braces to the professionals.
1. The teeth won’t stay in place
DIY braces can definitely move misaligned teeth, but the problem is, in most cases, they won’t stay in their new positions. The teeth naturally want to drift back to their original orientation, which is why dentists have patients wear retainers after their braces have come off. Even if a homegrown method works, the results will likely go away over the course of a few weeks or months.
2. It can cause tooth loss
Shifting the teeth is actually very sensitive business. Go too slow, and a treatment can seemingly take forever, but if you go too fast, you can actually damage the roots of the teeth as well as the bone surrounding them. The results? Pain, loose teeth, and even tooth loss!
3. Infections are a real risk
Dentists use sterilized metals and plastics for braces because they are literally going to be placed into someone’s mouth, so any bacteria can easily cause an infection. The items used for DIY braces are NOT medical-grade, which means someone can easily expose their teeth and gums to harmful bacteria, which can spell trouble for both their smile and overall health.
4. Success is not guaranteed
There is a reason that dentists have to get an undergrad degree, complete dental school, finish a residency, and take special training in order to be qualified to offer braces—effectively straightening the teeth is very difficult! The people touting DIY braces usually don’t have this kind of experience, so even if their method successfully moves the teeth, that doesn’t mean they’ll end up where a person wants. This can result in further misalignments that cause more aesthetic issues and even create problems for eating and speaking.
5. It may cost you more in the end
If someone tries DIY braces and then goes to see a dentist in order to fix any problems that have developed, that can end up costing WAY more than simply getting braces in the first place! Fixing or replacing a tooth is very expensive, and if someone has bone damage, it may even require surgery to correct.
If you want to straighten your teeth, then you deserve a treatment that is both safe and guaranteed to work. While you won’t find that online, your dentist is more than ready to help. You don’t even have to get metal braces anymore–you can opt for a much more discreet solution with Invisalign. Basically, save yourself the pain and stress of trying to straighten your own teeth and just leave it to the professionals—your smile and your wallet will thank you!
About the Author
Dr. Masha Kogan is a family, restorative, and cosmetic dentist based in Westport, CT. For patients dealing with crooked, crowded, or gapped teeth, she offers a number of solutions that can help improve the smile both aesthetically and functionally, including Invisalign and porcelain veneers. To learn more about your options, she can be contacted through her website.