8 Reasons Not to Try DIY Braces
Let’s face it. Orthodontic work is not cheap. And if you and your child needs braces, you might be tempted to try this new fad in DIY braces. There is DIY everything these days, right?
What exactly are DIY braces you might be asking? Simply it means that you fabricate them on your own like a college student who reached internet fame with his DIY 3-D printed braces that cost him only $60 to make. Others who don’t have the same resources as this college student have used every day items like rubber banks, aluminum foil and paper clips to make their own braces.
No matter how tempted you are though to save a few bucks, don’t mess with your own teeth. There is a reason orthodontist have to have so many years of schooling and training before they are allowed to work on your teeth. DIY braces are dangerous because there are no safety protocols in place.
Here are 8 reasons not to try DIY braces:
Appearances Can Be Deceiving
The health of your teeth is so much more than just the appearance of your smile. While DIY braces may appear to work as evidenced by before and after photos of people who have done it, there is no way of knowing what is happening inside the teeth and gums or with the jaw structure. You need X-rays for that and that means seeing an orthodontist. Doing this on your own without any expert supervision can lead to a host of problems down the line.
Unsupervised Tooth Movement Is Dangerous
Tooth movement needs to be precise. If you move them too fast or into the wrong position, you will end up damaging your bone and gums and make any bite issues worse.
Pain and Discomfort More Likely
Because these are not custom fit for you by a professional, then most likely you will experience more pain and discomfort wearing your DIY braces then you would if you went to an orthodontist for your braces. With orthodontist-approved braces, some discomfort in the beginning is expected, but that eventually fades away as you get used to the braces. That pain while you are wearing a DIY version is a warning sign to you that the tooth are not being moved in the correct way.
An Increased Risk for Infection
When you are putting everyday items into your mouth, you are putting yourself at risk for infection. There is no way of knowing what kinds of germs are on them and you don’t know if you will have an allergic reaction to having these foreign objects in your mouth. Also the inappropriate movement of your teeth can cause teeth to be pushed into each other which can also lead to infection.
With a professional orthodontist, however, you can feel confident that all the materials used are safe and will not increase your chance of infection.
Relapses More Common
Any orthodontist will tell you that there is always a chance that your teeth will move back into their original position, even with proper orthodontic treatment. That is why most people have to wear retainers for a while after their braces are taken off. When you do your braces yourself however, it is very unlikely that you will know to or have the means to follow-up with retainers.
More Costly in the Long Run
The sticker shock of orthodontic treatment can hit you hard and if lack of funds means either no treatment at all or the DIY variety, it can seem really tempting. What you have to keep in mind though is that the reason braces are expensive is not the equipment used, but for the expertise of the orthodontist giving you the treatment.
With that knowledge and experience guiding your treatment, you could end with shelling out a lot more than the cost of getting braces from the orthodontist in the first place because of all the damage that will need to be fixed. Replacing a lost tooth alone can cost thousands of dollars. And what if some of the damage is permanent or you can’t afford to fix it, and you end up more embarrassed by your smile than you were in the first place?
The AAO Has Issued Official Warning
The growing popularity of DIY braces has led to the American Association of Orthodontists (AAO) to issues an official warning against DIY braces. One of the case studies mentioned was a patient who used rubber bands to try to fix a gap between his or her front teeth. Instead of getting the desired results however, the patient ended up losing teeth because the band dug into the gums destroying the roots of the teeth.
Safer Alternatives Do Exist
Don’t let this doom and gloom overwhelm you though. On the brighter side, safer alternatives do exist. With a little research you can find orthodontists who donate their services to those with economic challenges. This is great option if you are already living paycheck to paycheck.
Another option is to find an orthodontist who offers a payment plan that will work for you. Many orthodontists are very willing to offer flexible payment plans.
Cost can also vary depending on the type of braces you get as well. There are so many more options than there used to be. Besides the traditional metal braces, there are ceramic braces, lingual braces and Invisalign aligners.
Before writing off professional orthodontic treatment as a possibility, schedule a few free consultations with a couple of orthodontists. This way you can get a full evaluation and find out what are the best options for your particular situation. During these consultations also talk cost and your financial restraints. Don’t be embarrassed to talk money. You may be surprised to find that there is a way you can afford braces after all.
In the end though, keep in mind that if you want safe, effective orthodontic treatment for you or your child, then you will need to make some sort of investment into it. Orthodontists spend years and lots of money on tuition to hone their craft and that is what you are paying for: their expertise. Don’t risk your or your child’s health by cutting corners.
Want to learn more about the dangers of DIY braces? Contact Orthodontics Limited for more information.