Monday, March 6, 2017

DIY Orthodontics on the rise

            If something breaks around the house, many of us will go to YouTube to see if there is a video that explains how to fix it. For many things this can be very helpful, but for others it can lead to bigger and more expensive problems. There has also been a recent trend where people have been trying to straighten their teeth with DIY orthodontics. In theory it may seem like a great idea, but the repercussions of incorrect use can be very damaging.
            To straighten their teeth, people are using potentially dangerous objects. These include paper clips, fake retainers, rubber bands or string. Even if you get the physics of tooth movement to work, most people fail to understand that moving teeth is a biological process. It involves bone that dissolving and rebuilding as teeth are moved into new positions. If not done at the proper intervals or with forces placed in the correct direction, you can cause serious problems.

What are some of the problems you could cause doing DIY orthodontics?
  • You can cause the teeth to become too loose and lead to tooth loss.
  • You can tilt the teeth into bad positions that will to tooth sensitivity or need gum surgery.
  • You can create food traps that will lead to staining, gum disease, or cavities.
  • You can create improper forces on the teeth that lead to fractures.
  • You can create problems and pain in your jaw joint. 

The bottom line is you are likely to cause painful and expensive problems by attempting DIY orthodontics. In the long run, you would have been better off paying for the expertise of the orthodontist or dentist to diagnose and treatment plan your case properly. So do yourself a favor and leave the DIY projects to things that are much more straight forward and don’t have major repercussions.

For more information, visit

Lee T. Brown, DDS

Brown and Kupper, DDS