“Do it yourself” can be a money-saving and educational approach to many kinds of projects, including home improvement, car maintenance or computer repairs. But it’s not a safe approach to orthodontics.
On YouTube, social media and elsewhere, contributors are sharing videos and articles about DIY orthodontic methods they claim will straighten teeth. They use everything from dental floss and rubber bands to paper clips and earring backs.
We can’t stress enough how dangerous this trend is. Just by putting items like these into their mouths, DIYers are risking permanent damage to their teeth and bite. Even a small injury could lead to infection or other complications. Improperly using rubber bands or other devices to try to make adjustments could cause significant and irreparable damage to the teeth, jaw and gums.
In fact, the American Association of Orthodontists has issued multiple warnings about the dangers of DIY orthodontics. In its latest post, the association states:
“Many [do-it-yourself methods] have the potential to cause extensive damage to teeth, bone and soft tissue that could require expensive and extensive restoration by a multi-disciplinary team of dental specialists.”
Recently, a new company called Smile Direct Club has been advertising DIY orthodontics. Although they make this option seem very appealing, many patients who have chosen this option have been very disappointed with the communication and with their results.
When we first see a new patient at Roanoke Valley Orthodontics, we create a custom treatment strategy around the patient’s needs. This process requires us to predict how each tooth will move and how the bite will come together to create the most beautiful smile and healthy, functional bite.
We can only suspect why people try their hands at DIY orthodontics. Are they afraid that getting braces will be painful? They shouldn’t be. There’s no pain when the braces go on. Patients might experience a little soreness after getting braces as the teeth start to move, but this can be alleviated with over-the-counter analgesics such as ibuprofen (Advil) or acetaminophen (Tylenol).
Patients (or parents of patients) who are concerned about cost should explore payment arrangements. At our complimentary consultation, we discuss with you how we will work with your insurance so that you will receive the best benefit possible. We also provide several payment options, including zero down and zero-interest financing, and we have a family care program that includes discounts for additional family members. We also accept CareCredit.
So, please don’t put your new smile in danger. The only way to get beautiful, healthy, lasting results is to work with an experienced orthodontist. To request your complimentary consultation at any of our three locations, please call 540-563-1640 or use our appointment request form. For more information about starting treatment, visit the New Patients section of our website.
— The Roanoke Valley Orthodontics team