In this age of Youtube and online tutorials, “Do It Yourself” (DIY) projects are gaining popularity. In some cases, these projects are a great way to save money and teach yourself a new skill, but in other instances, they can be downright dangerous. Do It Yourself Braces are an example of a DIY project that can cause more harm than good.
What Are Do It Yourself Braces?
Lately, DIY braces videos and stories have been making the rounds on the Internet. These videos and “how to” articles claim that people can practice orthodontics in the convenience of their home using everything from hair bands, rubber bands, and elastic strings to 3D printer technology. Just do what an undergraduate at the New Jersey Institute for Technology did, they claim: create aligner molds by taking a mold of your teeth using alginate powder and print out a set of plastic braces for less than $60. What could possibly go wrong?
The Dangers of Do It Yourself Braces
Unfortunately, a number of things could go wrong. To begin with, DIY bands and braces won’t have the effect you seek. People who desire smiles transformed will find plastic braces inadequate to do the job as effectively as a trained orthodontist using more reliable equipment and materials. But worse than being potentially ineffective, these methods could be dangerous. Numerous organizations such as the American Association of Orthodontists AAO have warned against the practice of attempting to move one’s own teeth.
The absence of an initial examination of the teeth and gums and the lack of a follow-up process means serious problems might not be identified. The average person has no idea what is happening beneath his or her own gums and is not qualified to make the kind of regular band adjustments that a certified orthodontist can make.
Medical professionals have warned against these at-home attempts to move teeth. Do It Yourself methods,they say, can lead to a variety of problems, including any of the following:
• jaw and bite problems
• an increased risk of infection
• serious damage to the gums
• an eventual loss of teeth
• lifelong dental problems
Without a formal treatment plan process and expert knowledge, you can end up doing far more harm than good.
Why You Should Only Trust Your Teeth to a Professional
Certified orthodontists receive a detailed education and undergo rigorous training. They have received a four-year post-graduate education, during which time they have studied the minutiae of jaw, mouth, and tooth movement. They’ve gone beyond dental school to obtain highly specialized knowledge in orthodontic procedures. Furthermore, they have practiced their trade on numerous real patients and possess an expert knowledge of the latest orthodontic technologies. Why risk damage to your teeth and gums when you can transform your smile in the safety of a medical office and under the trained guidance of a professional?