What better feeling than figuring something out yourself; or even better that your DIY project saves money. Like anything else, common sense goes a long way. For example, watching an online video that helps you install light fixtures is great, but watching a video to do major electrical wiring of your house is not only ill advised, but it’s also dangerous. This brings us to the growing trend of DIY braces. In the last few years there’s been an increased number of DIY braces tutorial Youtube videos, and a few have gone viral.
Teeth need at least 8 hours of consistent pressure to begin moving. These DIY videos advocate wearing rubber bands around your teeth all day and night to close spaces and therein lies the danger. The shape of the teeth are not cylindrical, they are conical. Roots become thinner as you move towards the end of the root. The problem is that the rubber band slowly slides down the tooth towards the thinning end of the root. As it works itself down the root, the rubber band creates irreversible damage to the gums and permanently erodes the bone that supports the tooth. Worst of all, the rubber band can get trapped under the gums out of the reach of the individual. If this happens, the person must seek immediate care from a dental professional or risk losing their teeth (see picture below).
In the event that a person attempting to close a space does it successfully, that does not mean the space will remain closed. Remember retainers? They are meant to prevent teeth from moving back to how they were before braces. As a matter of fact the space between the two central incisors usually requires a bonded retainer due to a high tendency of reopening.
Moral of the story, it’s best to leave certain things to professionals. Orthodontists require 10-12 years of training after high school. Most state insurances cover orthodontic treatment based on the severity of the case. If that is not an option, many offices have interest free payment plans.