Are the Risks of DIY Teeth Straightening Worth Taking?
Orthodontists are warning against these do-it-yourself teeth straightening inspired by social media due to questionable results and various side effects. These DIY teeth straightening devices include using rubber bands, fishing lines, and paper clips, which could result to further teeth misalignment, gum irritations, and even tooth loss.
DIY Straightening Online Trends
For those who are conscious about their smiles and want to correct gaps, there are numerous tutorials on how to straighten teeth without braces that you can easily find on the internet. A simple search would reveal that majority of these individuals trying their own straightening procedures are teenagers.
One popular device is the use of rubber bands, a technique dubbed as the “gap band” method. There are those who say that they’ve successfully closed gaps and spaces in their smile by stretching small rubber bands over their teeth, so that the bands can pull the teeth closer together.
Risks of DIY Teeth Straightening
Although there are success stories, the risks that they carry are actually costly and serious. For example, if a rubber band slides to the top or bottom of the teeth and ends up wedging into the gum line, retrieving the contraption may prove difficult without professional help. If you decide to just leave the band in the gums as well, this can cause an infection and even weaken the gums surrounding the tooth to the point where it actually falls out.
“People get lucky sometimes. It’s hard to predict who’s going to be lucky and who’s not going to be lucky. If (these kids) miss something, if they don’t catch something, if something happens, it’s tens of thousands of dollars in dental work to fix these problems. And some things may be irreversible.” (Dr. Jeffrey Kwong)
In fact, there is good reason for orthodontists to warn against these DIY procedures. A recent survey conducted by the American Association of Orthodontists found that 13% of these dental care professionals see patients who have tried DIY straightening techniques. In a statement, the organization said that some of these attempts have caused severe damage including tooth loss and lead to costly repairs.
So just in case you were thinking of trying out one of these DIY teeth straightening procedures, think of the risks.