Unfortunately, a spate of YouTube videos has convinced many Australian teens to try to make their own braces. Orthodontists have strongly warned against this practice. Here's a look at some of the harm it may do.
1. DIY Braces Can Be Painful
When orthodontists move someone's teeth, there may be slight discomfort for a day or two especially after adjustments are made. However, orthodontists go through extensive training so they know exactly what levels of pressure are appropriate. With DIY braces, there is no exact science or professional training backing the process. As a result, when someone feels pain due to DIY braces, that is their body saying, "Stop. Remove these rubber bands," and if that call is ignored, serious mouth injuries could ensue.
2. DIY Braces Could Lead to Oral Damage
Uncontrolled pressure on the teeth may cause the roots to become unstabilised. That could cause teeth to become loose or even fall out. In other cases, the pressure can lead to nerve damage. Nerve damage can manifest itself as pain, tingling, and swelling, and to take care of nerve damage, you typically need a root canal.
3. DIY Braces Are Ineffective
Even in cases where DIY braces don't lead to extensive oral damage, they can shift the teeth into the wrong spot. Most DIY methods rely on the use of rubber bands looped around other teeth. That can cause the teeth to shift in a downward fashion and potentially overlap with other teeth. In many cases, people who try DIY braces end up needing more orthodontic work than they did before they made their own braces.
4. DIY Braces May Introduce Germs
When someone puts rubber bands into their mouth, the bands may have all kinds of germs or bacteria on them. As these germs rub against the teeth, they may leave residue, potentially worsening the risk of built-up plaque and cavities. When orthodontists work on mouths, they make sure the tools and environment are sterile.
5. DIY Braces Are Expensive
The allure of DIY braces is that they are supposedly a low cost way to avoid orthodontic care. However, based on the points above, DIY braces can often end up being much more expensive than real braces. If your child wants braces and you are having trouble affording them, you may want to look for an orthodontist who is willing to take incremental payments or one who works on a sliding scale.