Although “Do It Yourself” projects are popular, cost-effective, and rewarding, there is one trending project you do not want to tackle on your own — straightening your teeth. YouTube tutorials featuring teenagers demonstrating how to straighten their teeth with common items such as dental floss, paper clips, and rubber bands are surging in popularity. That’s right — DIY Braces are on the rise, and the results are dangerous and less than desirable. The American Association of Orthodontists has issued a consumer alert warning against DIY braces. Take a look at why this practice is extremely dangerous:
- Change in Tooth Color - Moving teeth on your own can result in cutting off the blood supply, leading to teeth permanently fading to brown or gray in color.
- Inflammation - Loss of blood supply will cause the gums to become painfully inflamed and infected. This can lead to permanent loss of bone and gum tissue.
- Root Damage - Moving teeth incorrectly can cause roots of teeth to become damaged, leading to pain, infection, and loss.
- Tooth Loss - In some cases, DIY braces have even resulted in tooth loss! Read more here about how one person paid $50,000 to replace two front teeth after failing with DIY braces.
- More Expensive - In the long run, the cost of trying to repair damage caused by these DIY methods is often far more than the cost of seeing an orthodontist to straighten your teeth.
Orthodontists attend a total of 10-12 years of college, dental school, and residency to learn how to properly align teeth without damaging tooth structure, gums, and bone. This is one DIY you should leave to the pros. Kids, don’t try this at home! Parents, be on the lookout for the above symptoms, and if you’re concerned your child is attempting to straighten his or her teeth on their own, contact an orthodontist immediately!