D.I.Y. Braces: A Bad Idea In Every Case

The science is pretty conclusive: study after study has shown that good dental habits aren’t just good for our teeth: they are good for our health overall. Unfortunately, there are serious obstacles to proper dental care in our country. Dental coverage in many areas is lacking, with many patients having no insurance or access to professional care. Worse yet, kids in impoverished households are reduced to sharing toothbrushes.

In an alarming development, there have recently been increasing reports of people using do-it-yourself methods to straighten their teeth, rather than going to a professional orthodontist. As detailed in a new report in the Chicago Tribune, rubber bands, fishing line and even paper clips are being used by patients at home–and it’s very dangerous.

In a dangerous trend, young people are using rubber bands and other DIY solutions to straighten their teeth

recent survey of orthodontists revealed that almost 13 percent of orthodontists have seen patients who have tried do-it-yourself teeth straightening. And not surprisingly, there are plenty of reports of damage resulting from these attempts. Unfortunately, there have been some who have achieved limited success, and publicized their experiences online.

But just because one person gets away with self-dentistry (and puts it on YouTube, naturally) that doesn’t mean it’s a good idea.

It’s not: In particular, putting rubber bands on your teeth can cause quick and very permanent damage. In some instances, the bands can actually be absorbed into the guns themselves, leading to sever damage, even permanent tooth loss. This can happen in a matter of weeks or even days, an indication of just how destructive this practice can be,

Parents need to be aware of these risks, and make sure their kids are getting the professional care and attention they need. Bad decision early in life can lead to lifelong dental issues, and taking positive steps now will pay huge dividends later. Call us for that appointment today, and we’ll see you in our Moraga dental offices!

Dr. Scott Lothamer, The Moraga Dentist