Do it yourself braces (DIY braces) or aligner dental braces are becoming a popular yet dangerous trend which can cause long-term damage to your teeth and gums, as well as pose other serious health risks. While some of these methods actually do straighten teeth,without orthodontic supervision, the roots and bone can be harmed by moving teeth too fast, and the new straightened teeth can cause misalignment among the other teeth, throwing off the bite. Our orthodontist, Dr. Greg Greenberg, at RxSmile Orthodontics in Frisco offers Social Six Braces and Six Month Smiles that are short term orthodontic treatments that line up only the upper and/or lower anterior teeth, which are the most visible, in six months for aesthetic purposes.
Recent Do-it-yourself Braces (DIY Braces) On the Internet
This story received enough media attention that Rolf G. Behrents, Editor-in-Chief of the American Journal of Orthodontics and Dentofacial Orthopedics wrote an editorial: Do-it-yourself impressions and clear retainers: A fairy tale (Am J Orthod Dentofacial Orthop 2016;150:205-7 0889-5406).
Some of the recent DIY braces and how-to videos that can be found on the internet include:
- Direct Mail Order Braces
- Gap Bands and DIY Braces
- 3D Imaging to Create Your Own Braces
- Social Six Braces and Six Month Smiles
The American Association of Orthodontists (AAO) recently published a consumer alert stating, in part, that “…Moving teeth is a medical procedure and needs personal supervision by an orthodontist…Moving teeth without a thorough examination of the overall health of the teeth and gums could result in the permanent loss of teeth, which may result in expensive and lifelong dental problems…”
Some at-home orthodontics are definitely more dangerous than others, but using any method to move your teeth without an in-person consultation with a dental professional who physically examines your mouth, teeth, and gums (including x-rays) has the potential to cause more harm than good.
Moving teeth without dental supervision can lead to:
- TMJ (Temporomandibular Joint Disorder) Disorder: Misalignment of teeth can result in TMJ, a painful syndrome which affects the jaw and can lead to limited jaw movement, chronic headaches, ear and hearing problems, and muscle spasms through the neck and shoulders.
- Root Resorption: Applying too much force on the teeth can cause the roots to breakdown and shorten which can lead to tooth instability and tooth loss.
- Lack of functional occlusion/malocclusion: Teeth do not line up optimally for biting and chewing which can cause fractures and improper wear on teeth
- Gum Recession: Gaps occur between teeth and gums and allow bacteria to build up
- Fractured Teeth: From improper stress on the teeth
- Enamel Erosion/dental Root Reath: Teeth can be moved too quickly cutting off blood flow from the roots which leads to root death
- Tooth Loss: Teeth can fall out due to the root dying or if they become too loose
Benefits of Using an Orthodontist
While paying half the cost for direct mail aligners may save money, and not going to the orthodontist for checkups saves time, utilizing the expertise of a qualified experienced orthodontist is priceless if a problem occurs. Your orthodontist has specialized, extensive knowledge and training that equips him or her to administer orthodontic treatment including:
- Initial in-person examination with x-rays
- Proper diagnosis through thorough evaluation
- Determine orthodontic plan based on first-hand information
- Monitor the entire orthodontic process
- Handle any problems that arise
- Make adjustments to the treatment plan when necessary
Simply put, orthodontics are only as effective as the expertise of the one who designs and applies them. Treatments that work in theory may not take into account all of the complex biological factors of the individual patient.
Dr. Greenberg is a Premier Provider for Invisalign® clear dental aligners and offers them as an orthodontic treatment option. Before any patient is recommended for Invisalign®, Dr. Greenberg conducts a thorough orthodontic exam to ensure that the product fits the patient’s specific needs. Patients who choose Invisalign® are monitored personally at periodic appointments throughout the entire process. If cost is a problem, our office offers a variety of payment plans.
Our goal at the RxSmile Frisco orthodontics office with Dr Greg Greenberg is to provide highly personalized and comprehensive orthodontic care for our families in the Frisco-Plano metropolitan area. If you need additional information or have experienced complications with Do-it-yourself braces (DIY braces) or aligners and would like to make an appointment with our orthodontist, Dr. Greg Greenberg, please call 972 335 1300 Monday through Thursday, or submit an online appointment request and we will respond within one business day.