The Dangers of DIY Orthodontics

gap between teeth

Bronx, NY – It seems these days you can find a do it yourself video for just about anything. We all want to save a little bit of money and time, but sometimes a DIY project can end up costing a lot more than we bargained for.

If you do a Google search on how to close a gap between teeth, you’ll find YouTube videos showing DIY solutions. It may sound easy enough, but a recent article by the American Journal of Orthodontics and Dentofacial Orthopedics highlights why taking orthodontic matters into your own hands is a very bad idea.

The article discusses the story of a young Greek boy whose parents opted to use a small rubber band wrapped around their son’s top two teeth to close a gap. After only two days, they noticed the gap was gone. But, so was the rubber band that was used.

That rubber band didn’t break or accidentally get swallowed – instead, it created severe damage that resulted in the child losing the two teeth the rubber band was meant to correct.

What happened? The rubber band didn’t stay in place, but rather worked its way up into the gums until it had disappeared. There, the rubber band not only irritates the roots of the teeth, but it can destroy bone and soft tissue, leading to gum disease and tooth loss.

The American Association of Orthodontists reported in 2017 that about 13% of their members had reported an increase in the number of patients who had tried a DIY orthodontic method. And of that number, nearly 40% of them had to provide corrective treatment. That treatment can be costly – DeWayne B. McCamish, DDS, MS, president of the American Association of Orthodontists estimates that it will cost roughly $20,000 to replace a lost tooth over the course of a person’s life or seeking additional orthodontic treatment to correct the poor results from DIY orthodontics.

In a world full of selfies and obsessed with social media, we are seeing an increase in a desire to improve appearances. But taking matters into your own hands can be dangerous. Attempting to close a gap in your smile on your own can increase your risk of infection, and cause serious damage, including gum disease and tooth loss.

If you are looking for the right option to close a gap or straighten your smile, the best person to help you is a trained and certified orthodontist. We sit down together and come up with a suitable treatment plan. We discuss the main concerns about your teeth, the risks and benefits of straightening your teeth after evaluating periodontal health, the expectations and limitations of treatment, and the different options in creating your improved smile. We have the knowledge and experience to provide you with the smile of your dreams, using a treatment option that is proven and safe. So, just say no to DIY orthodontic methods and save your smile by visiting Riverdale Family Orthodontics instead of YouTube.

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