Everyone wants a bright, dazzling smile highlighted by perfectly straight teeth. To achieve that goal, some young people are following the advice of YouTube videos that feature people promoting DIY tooth-straightening tutorials. Although some of these people may have fixed gaps in their teeth using everything from hair elastics to paper clip wires to 3D printers – DIY dentistry is not the safest way to obtain straighter teeth.
What Are DIY Braces?
Since about 2012, mostly preteens and teenagers have been using YouTube videos to promote homemade, or DIY braces, to close gaps in their teeth. For instance, one particular video featuring a young woman who claims to have closed a gap in her teeth with hair bands got more 100,000 views. Yet dentists strongly caution kids to avoid following these tutorials, which can be downright dangerous.
What Can Happen If I Use Homemade Braces?
Dentists and orthodontists caution teens that using DIY methods to straighten their teeth can cause damage to their teeth and gums. One of the main problems is that everyday objects you find around the house are full of germs and are not designed to put in your mouth. Additionally, using wires or fishing line on your teeth can cut your skin and gums, causing infection. As tempting as it may be for you to try straighten your teeth with inexpensive materials with no medical appointments, the risk is too great. DIY braces cause the following problems:
- Permanent tooth damage
- Loss of teeth
- Pain due to tooth wear or bone damage
- Damage to the gums and jaw bone
- Infection due to foreign objects in the mouth
- New tooth gaps
- Need for costly dental repair
Why Should I See an Orthodontist for Braces?
Orthodontists undergo years of training to learn about tooth and jaw anatomy and have specialized expertise on the correct application of orthodontic devices for teeth straightening and other conditions. When you visit an orthodontist, you’ll receive the following care:
- An initial consultation to see if braces are necessary
- X-rays, photos, and models of teeth to determine an appropriate course of treatment
- Thorough discussion of braces treatment plan
- Application of braces
- Ongoing checkups to verify progression of treatment and to change or replace parts of the braces as needed
- Removal of braces and fitting of retainers if necessary
- Follow-up visits to ensure good outcomes
What Are My Options for Braces?
Under the care of an orthodontist, you’ll find out if your unique case requires traditional metal braces or can be corrected using Invisalign, also called plastic aligners. If you have a jaw misalignment or severe overbite or underbite, you’ll probably have the best outcome with traditional metal braces. If you have crowded or crooked teeth, Invisalign might be your best option.
Save the DIY trend for arts and crafts. Never entrust a YouTube video to give you accurate, safe medical advice for straightening your teeth. Remember, only a trained orthodontist can do that for you. If you’re ready to learn how to straighten your teeth the right way, make an appointment today with the highly trained team at Amazing Smiles Orthodontics. We have convenient offices located in Long Island, Brooklyn, and Forest Hills to serve you with professional, compassionate care.