Beware of DIY Braces and Home Orthodontics - Hardy Pediatric dentistry & Orthodontics

Beware of DIY Braces and Home Orthodontics

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DIY Braces Dangers

DIY braces and home orthodontics are now becoming a current reality due to technological advances and online tools, however, there is more to straightening your smile than meets the eye. Bypassing an experienced doctor for straightening your teeth, and opting for an “inexpensive fix” for straightening your teeth, will end up costing you much more in the long-term. The American Association of Orthodontists distributed a public service announcement to help protect consumers stating that “moving teeth is a medical procedure and needs personal supervision by an orthodontist.” Our team at Hardy Pediatric Dentistry and Orthodontics is dedicated to helping you achieve your smile goals safely.  


A Penny Saved is Not Always a Penny Earned

Benjamin Franklin coined a phrase many years ago:  “a penny saved is a penny earned” which is a great lesson in the benefits of being frugal. But frugality must be tempered with common-sense practices as well.  Advances in technology have brought us many tools to help us be more independent citizens, but watch out for some easy traps that you can fall into if you trust the tools more than you should.  Do it yourself (DIY) braces and mail-order aligner systems have been attempted by penny-savers and broadcasted online as a “safe” avenue for your care, when the exact opposite is true.


The Dangers of DIY Braces

In order to understand why the American Association of Orthodontics distributed a public service announcement urging against the use of home orthodontics and DIY braces consider the following:

  • Rogue Bands: One of the DIY braces approaches for home orthodontics is using elastic bands to close gaps in teeth.  Elastic bands may seem small and harmless, but they can cause you real, big problems if not used correctly. The most common disaster with elastic bands used incorrectly is that they can get lost under the gumline.  A lost or forgotten elastic can forfeit the health of your tooth/teeth even causing you to lose them entirely.  Elastic bands used inappropriately can also cause teeth to tip toward one another instead of moving the correct, parallel fashion.
  • Accidental aspiration.  Products that are not administered by a trained orthodontist can dislodge and cause serious dangers to your health.  You can choke or aspirate on small bands misplaced in your mouth.
  • Messing up your bite.  When you move some teeth closer together, it causes gaps between other teeth.  If teeth aren’t moved at the correct rate and in the correct way you can create serious bite problems.
  • Adding time and expense to orthodontic treatment.  When you attempt DIY braces or home orthodontics you are setting yourself up to more expense and orthodontic treatment times to correct your actions.
  • Disfigured teeth.  Home orthodontics can seriously endanger the health of your teeth and can even cause disfiguration of seemingly healthy teeth.
  • Infection.  Moving teeth inappropriately can create gum pockets around your teeth, irritate gums, and set your gums and bones up for infection.  In some cases, permanent teeth loss has resulted from home orthodontics and DIY braces attempts.
  • Loose teeth. Moving teeth with too much force too quickly can make them loose and disrupt their stability leading to tooth loss.
  • Teeth collisions. Teeth that are moved inappropriately can collide with your bottom teeth causing teeth to break/chip.


Orthodontics Requires Seven Years of Post-College Education

There is a legitimate reason that orthodontists acquire seven years of post-college education to become experts at the science and art of orthodontics. Such qualifications can’t be matched by an “ortho-by-mail” process, or DIY braces techniques.  Home orthodontics risks permanent damage to your teeth including:  root shortening, bone or tooth loss, tooth decay and other serious issues.


Schedule a Consultation to Discuss Orthodontic Treatment

Orthodontic treatment done by one trained in the field of orthodontics, who is examining you regularly and monitoring your specific needs, is the ONLY trusted and true way to safely and effectively straighten your teeth.  Cookie-cutter approaches to orthodontics and DIY braces are dangerous, and will lead to expensive consequences.  Learn about your orthodontic treatment options and how you can benefit today!  If you have more questions about the types of treatment offered by Dr. Hardy at our Erie office, or would like to schedule a consultation, please contact our office today at 720-887-6003 to make an appointment.