In our previous blog, we talked about the growing pains of being a teenager with braces. Just as teenagers are self-conscious about wearing metal braces, they’re even more self-conscious of having crooked and gapped teeth.
This is evident from the dangerous rising trend of “do it yourself braces” tutorials that have been surfacing on the internet.
With the rise of the Internet and the vast pool of knowledge out there, people tend to think they can do anything by themselves, even orthodontics.
One 14-year-old YouTuber has caused a stir on the internet, as she’s taken her orthodontics into her own hands, when she posted a YouTube tutorial called “Cheap easy braces!! Without going to the dentist!!!”
Shalom DeSota was a 14-year-old with a gap between her front teeth that was giving her low self-esteem. She wanted straight teeth, but she couldn’t afford braces. So, she did want any fourteen-year-old would do, decided to make her own out of rubber bands. Well, technically Goody elastic hair ties.
In the video, she shows how to wrap rubber bands around her two front teeth, and warns her viewers that “it’s going to hurt. Especially the first few days – it’s really going to hurt, and you’re going to want to give up, but don’t, because it’s totally worth it.” DeSota’s video went viral with over 600,000 views, and tons of comments. The video attracted a lot of buzz.
Unfortunately, what she fails to mention in her “how to” video is that trying to straighten your teeth at home can cause serious permanent damage to your teeth and gums, and even lead to tooth loss. And taking a gamble like this with your dental health and having to restore your tooth and gum health would be far more expensive than getting Invisalign.
Last September, the American Association of Orthodontists issued a warning against using these elastic bands as makeshift orthodontics. In other countries, like Thailand, Indonesia, and China wearing fake braces became a fashion statement. In Thailand, these band were banned completely, after leading to 2 deaths.
While these do it yourself braces might seem like the ultimate life hack, they can leave your teeth mangled, colorless, and even cut off your teeth’s blood supply. One news story shows a man who lost his front teeth from another kind of DIY braces that we’re sold on the black market.
What’s the Difference Between DIY Braces and Real Braces?
Like rubber band braces, orthodontic treatments work by applying a constant pressure to the teeth. Unlike rogue DIY braces, orthodontic treatments are keenly adjusted to apply a gentle pressure, knowing exactly which direction the teeth will move.
If being an Orthodontist were as easy as wrapping your teeth with rubber bands, we wouldn’t spend so much time in college! When we fit our patients for braces, we use advanced technology to ensure that your arch will shift into the right shape for our mouth.
The moral of the story? If you have crooked teeth, but can’t afford it, then find a provider, who offers affordable orthodontic care. Some providers will even set up payment plans, so you can get your braces paid for in sensible installments. The cost of a DIY experiment gone wrong would be far more than being self-conscious of your crooked teeth or paying to rehabilitate gum and teeth issues.