By now, you’ve probably seen the advertisements for or heard about do-it-yourself orthodontics. At ARCH Orthodontics, we’ve had some questions from patients, so we thought we’d take a look at this type of treatment and discuss how safe or unsafe it can be for your smile.
Everyone from ABC News to the New York Times has covered the phenomenon of at-home straightening and countless people across the country have watched YouTube videos showing regular people who insist they were able to fix their smile without seeing an orthodontist. But healthcare professionals along with the American Association of Orthodontists (AAO) warn against do-it-yourself therapy.
How Do You Straighten Your Smile At Home?
There are numerous ways and tools people have been using in an attempt to fix their teeth at home. People have used:
- Paper clips
- Rubber bands
- Dental floss
- Fishing line
- And more
There are even popular, amateur videos on YouTube that show how people create their own personal at-home straightening apparatus. One of the most popular at-home options includes taking a mold of your teeth and sending it away to a company who creates “custom” plastic aligners for you. According to the AAO, 13 percent of orthodontists who belong to the organization said they had patients who tried to use at-home orthodontics.
Is It Dangerous to Fix My Teeth At Home?
We do not recommend that any patient at any age try do-it-yourself straightening. It’s potentially dangerous and costly as it could permanently damage teeth, requiring expensive restorative care in the future.
ARCH Orthodontists have extensive education and training to ensure patients receive the very best care and that your teeth are straightened safely and effectively. Shortcuts can be dangerous — especially when you’re dealing with something that’s so important as your bite and smile. You should see a professional for x-rays and proper advice, instead of simply trusting a mail-order company or an online video to give you the results you want to be healthy. Effective orthodontic treatment comes from regular visits with your ARCH orthodontist and retainer therapy to make sure your smile looks great for years to come.
If you have questions about how to straighten your smile, please call one of our nine greater Boston locations. We can arrange a visit to speak with you about treatment options and all of the ways we make care affordable for you!
Visit our offices in Bridgewater, Brockton, Randolph, Canton, Westwood, Orleans, Hyannis, Hyde Park, and Stoughton.