TikTok and other social media platforms are great for some things but not so great for others. Sure, you can find some delicious recipes, the latest dance moves, and some hilarious commentary, but you can also find harmful things like do-it-yourself braces.
DIY braces aren’t new, but they’ve gained momentum thanks to social media. Kids purchase “kits” from Amazon and other online sites and use them to put their own braces on their teeth.
They don’t realize that orthodontics is a very precise, delicate science. Professional orthodontists undergo years of schooling and training to learn how to move teeth properly without damaging them. People who perform DIY orthodontics aren’t trained and have no idea the damage they can do. They soon learn the damage can be significant, and they still don’t end up with straight teeth.
Wilson & Hendrickson Orthodontics can sometimes repair the damage from DIY braces, but other times, the patient’s teeth are damaged beyond repair. We want to make sure it doesn’t get to that point. Before doing anything drastic like homemade braces to straighten teeth, let us explain the effects of homemade braces on teeth.
What Are DIY Braces?
“How to make braces at home” hacks can range from placing an elastic around your front teeth to close a gap to purchasing DIY braces kits and “installing” them yourself. It’s hard to believe such kits are sold, but they are.
Some people try to close gaps in their teeth with elastics, from hair elastics to rubber bands. Often, it’s a gap between the two front upper teeth.
Are DIY Braces Safe?
Here’s the short answer: No. At-home braces can do permanent damage to your teeth and jaws if not removed quickly enough once the damage sets in. How do they damage your teeth? We can give you a long list of examples of DIY braces gone wrong. Here are five ways they can damage your teeth, just to name a few.
At-Home Braces Can Accelerate Tooth Decay
Adding braces involves using the right materials and placing them in the right places. DIY braces don’t do either of these things. They can make it more difficult to clean your teeth and keep them healthy.
You can easily develop cavities and tooth decay behind DIY braces, which can cause your tooth to rot. That’s because the wrong material can destroy your enamel, the protective coating on your tooth. Without it, bacteria get into the tooth’s living tissue and eat it away, causing cavities and even infection.
They Can Move Teeth Too Fast
Your teeth move through a process. The jaw around the root of your tooth breaks down, allowing the tooth to shift. Then, it rebuilds itself behind the tooth. The teeth must move at a certain pace, so this natural process happens as it should.
At-home braces can move teeth too fast, leaving the jaw little time to rebuild itself. This can leave the teeth loose and can cause the crooked teeth to become more crooked than before. Your treatment time should take this into consideration.
They Can Move Teeth in the Wrong Direction
Professional braces move certain teeth in certain ways at certain times. Some teeth may need to be held in place while others are moved out of the way. Other teeth may be twisted and need teeth straightening before they move.
DIY braces don’t take any of this into consideration. They’re meant to move the teeth in one general direction. The problem is that may not be the direction they need to move. The result could be teeth that are more crowded or crooked than before.
They Can Slip Under Your Gums
One of the dangers of using elastics to close gaps is those elastics can slip under the gums. Instead of squeezing the crown of the tooth, they end up squeezing the root. This can cut off circulation to the tooth and cause the tooth to die. What you end up with is black or brown rotting teeth.
If you think that sounds painful, it is. It’s even more painful if the braces do this. Professional orthodontists use a special bonding agent to keep the braces in place.
DIY kits don’t use that same bonding agent, which means the braces can slide up your teeth and into your gums. The sharp metal can cut your gums, causing them to bleed and even get infected. Ouch!
They Can Cause Your Teeth to Fall Out
Broken-down jaws, rotting teeth, dead roots, cut gums — you can probably guess where all this leads. Without immediate repairs, your teeth can fall out. If you’ve damaged your gums and jaws, replacing those missing teeth can be very difficult and costly. You may end up with a partial or, in extreme cases, dentures.
Dentures as a teenager? That should definitely make you think twice about DIY braces.
Safe Orthodontic Treatment
The only way to ensure your treatment is done correctly is to leave it to the professionals. At Wilson & Hendrickson Orthodontics, we care about your oral health and treatment outcome. We want you to be proud of your new smile, and we want that smile to last your lifetime.
Before any treatment, we need to know exactly where your teeth are, their condition, and where they need to go. That’s why we start your treatment with a thorough examination and detailed digital X-rays and images of every part of your teeth and jaws.
We use sophisticated software to create a detailed treatment plan. This plan shows how and when we will move each tooth.
We use some of the best braces and clear aligners in the industry, including Advanced metal braces, clear ceramic braces, and Invisalign clear aligners. These offer tried-and-true results to our patients.
Finally, we follow up your treatment with retainers that will keep your teeth in their proper places once your braces or Invisalign are removed. We follow up with you to ensure you keep that beautiful new smile, and we do all of this with your oral health as our top priority.
You can’t get any of that with DIY braces.
Safe Braces Treatment in Topeka, KS
Braces treatment is a precise science that needs to be left to the professionals. Otherwise, you may not end up with the results you wanted.
If you’re ready for proper braces treatment, schedule an appointment with Wilson & Hendrickson Orthodontics for braces or Invisalign in Topeka, KS. Let us show you what proper, professional braces treatment can do for you.