DIY braces may sound cheap, and may sound tempting, but don’t be fooled. DIY braces can cause permanent damage to gums and may even lead to tooth loss. That won’t give you much to smile about in the long run!
What’s Going On? How are people making cheap braces?
Believe it or not every day cheap rubber bands are one of the key ‘tools’ being used by designers of DIY orthodontic treatments. YouTube videos have surfaced showing teenagers taking cheap hair elastics, cutting them and tying them around those teeth they wish to move. The vlogger instructs their viewers, (mainly teens) to wear the bands for at least a few weeks, saying it's “gonna hurt, especially the first few days...but don't give up because it's totally worth it in the end”. Weigh up the risks! We don’t think it is “totally worth it” if it means losing your front teeth!
Another YouTuber posted a video about their DIY braces, “a simple tool that will close the gap in your front teeth without braces”. They even advise that while the rubber bands do hurt, the “pain lessens significantly over time”. The “initial” pain of DIY braces treatment might only be the beginning if permanent damage is the result.
In the USA, an American university student has created DIY plastic aligners with a 3D printer, and has used them in an attempt to straighten his teeth without the supervision of a specialist orthodontist. Sounds clever and innovative? Think again! Your teeth and gums can be easily damaged if you do not have the correct training to diagnose and manage problems in the mouth. Any DIY dental treatment, including orthodontics, can be very risky.
Why are DIY braces a bad idea?
Orthodontic treatment is about more than just creating a beautiful smile. It involves moving the teeth and jaws, which can have a hugely positive impact on your dental health, your bite and even the shape of your face.
Attempting to close a gap or straighten your teeth yourself significantly increases the risk of infection and serious damage to your teeth and gums, which can ultimately result in tooth loss, once a tooth is lost, it may not be able to be replaced at all, and even if it is, this will be at a huge expense. It is also worth considering that repairing any form of damage from DIY procedures could be far more expensive than the investment in specialist orthodontic care.
Who is the best person to perform orthodontic treatment?
If you need orthodontic treatment for functional reasons, or would just like to improve the look of your smile, a specialist orthodontist is the most qualified specialist to plan and provide your treatment. Orthodontists have in-depth knowledge about how to safely move your teeth and jaws to get the best results.
In Australia, orthodontists have not only studied for a general dental degree, but have also completed an additional 5,000 hours of full-time specialist training in the field of orthodontics.
Orthodontists in Australia must have:
Orthodontic treatment has come a long way since the days of metal braces. There is a whole range of contemporary treatments that are designed to be less noticeable and comfortable, so it’s worth looking into your orthodontic treatment options.
In the meantime, please be wary of any suggestions to move teeth with 3D braces, rubber bands, dental floss, or other objects! DIY braces of any form is not worth the risk and straightening teeth is always best left to the experts.