Risky Fads: DIY Braces

Woman grimacing due to ill-fitting braces

When it comes to braces, appearances can be deceiving; DIY braces have become some of the latest trends among teenagers and adults. But what exactly are DIY braces? This fad has become highly popular due to the number of costs saved, the customization, and supposedly easy installation. However, as orthodontists, we do not recommend the use of DIY braces. DIY braces are highly dangerous and can create impact harm to your teeth.

What are DIY braces?

DIY braces, also known as fad braces or fake braces, are customized “look-alike” creations that imitate braces’ appearance. These braces can be made with paper clippings, rubber bands, fishing line, or anything you can think of that would potentially provide support for your teeth. Originally, the popularity of the idea originated from the story of a college student 3D printing their braces. Since then, many companies have emerged as a whole new section of DIY aligner companies, providing customization braces parts to appeal to consumers wishing to save money while also aligning their teeth.

The Dangers of DIY Braces

First, let’s state right off the bat that the ADA and the American Association of Orthodontists do not approve of DIY braces of any kind. Any aligner companies you hear from online sources are not legitimate, especially if they do not ask for x-rays or any information about your current teeth. Even with that discouragement, DIY braces are not truly made to straighten and align your teeth. When placed incorrectly, they can cause serious harm to your teeth and gums, including:

Unsupervised Tooth Movement – When an orthodontist is not observed, the teeth can move unnaturally, causing the teeth to move out of their sockets and become loose. Loose teeth have a high risk of falling out, causing permanent, irreversible damage.

Pain and Discomfort – Wearing DIY braces can also cause pain and discomfort to the teeth and gums, creating damage to the inside pulp cavity and surrounding soft tissues. Lesions, nerve damage, and inflammation put your teeth at serious risk.

Higher Risk of Infection – Even with the risk of losing teeth, if the teeth become loose, this leads the gums and jawbone at a higher risk of infection, whether by cavities or by gum disease.

More Costly Overall – DIY may seem cheaper, but it can run at high costs in the long run. Normally, DIY braces sold can cost at least $2,000, compared to normal orthodontic treatment between $5,000 and $7,000. But if there’s any permanent damage, the costs to repair your teeth and gums can lead to more follow-ups, more costs out of pocket, and less coverage from your insurance.

The goal of orthodontists is to provide an aesthetically pleasing appearance and check on the function of the patient’s bite. When working with patients, our goals are to prepare their mouths and keep them healthy for the next 30 to 40 years. At Wade Williams Orthodontics, Dr. Wade Williams can provide safe, effective orthodontic treatment supervised and less costly overall. To find out more, schedule an examination today at our office, located in Woodlands, TX, to get the braces you need for straighter, healthier teeth.

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