DIY Orthodontics: Don't Risk Losing Your Teeth

Posted on: 29 July 2015

If you've ever thought about getting braces, but were put off by the cost, you might have been tempted to resort to drastic measures in order to get straighter teeth. Thanks to the internet and lots of amateur video "experts," there's certainly no shortage of tips and DIY orthodontic methods that are being bandied about.

However, before you try to DIY your dental improvements, you need to know why orthodontists want to warn people against these methods. Here is the scoop on why DIY orthodontics can be dangerous for your teeth.

You'll experience tooth loss instead of a straight smile

For those people who fear having braces put on their teeth or who think that the cost of orthodontics is too high, the temptation to go DIY with their orthodontic treatments can be pretty strong, especially so many "success" stories online to back up the effectiveness of some DIY methods. There are very professional-looking sites devoted to selling gadgets designed to close gaps between teeth or straighten ones that are crooked. Buyer beware, the results of using some of these products can be bad for your teeth.

The American Association of Orthodontics warns against using any type of band directly on the teeth in order to close a gap. The bands can move into the gum line, damaging the roots of the teeth being treated and leading to tooth loss and decay.

Your teeth might not be ready for treatment

Another growing trend in DIY orthodontics involves taking a mold of your teeth and sending it off to a company which then sells you one or more clear orthodontic "braces" that are designed to correct any problems you have with your dental alignment. There are several problems with this approach, one of which is the fact that you aren't having an orthodontist look at your teeth beforehand to see if they are healthy enough to even undergo re-alignment. 

With no orthodontic supervision, you could damage your teeth and make your problem worse. An orthodontist isn't just looking to straighten your teeth; they also keep an eye on your overall dental health and follow-up care. Once your braces come off, the orthodontist will most likely have you wear a retainer, but the mail order orthodontics companies may not even offer such a product, and you could risk undoing any success you may have achieved.

You could overlook other dental problems

One of the most important reasons why you should steer clear of DIY dental treatments is the fact that, without a checkup from your dentist and orthodontist prior to treatment, you could be overlooking existing dental problems that could impede the effectiveness of any treatment. X-rays and oral exams by a professional orthodontist are really the only way to be sure that your teeth are in good enough shape to handle an alignment process.

Gum disease, tooth decay and infections can not only make the alignment process ineffective, they can also cost you your teeth. Try to move a tooth that has been weakened by decay and you could risk snapping it off. Overlook an infection in your tooth or gums, and it could spread throughout your mouth and other parts of your body. Periodontitis could occur before or during your DIY orthodontic use and put your teeth at risk of weakening and even falling out.

A simple checkup with your orthodontist could save your teeth, and having your orthodontic work done by a professional could mean the difference between improving your style and losing it.

The next time you're tempted to go with a DIY method for your orthodontics, just remember that there's a reason why your orthodontist went to school for all those years. Click here for more information on your orthodontic options with a professional.