If you haven’t heard of the do-it-yourself or DIY hype yet, then you must have been living under a rock. The start of the 21st century is the beginning of the rise in popularity for DIY trends. The access to technology further opened up doors to several creative minds developing different techniques and strategies catering to almost everything we need.
From DIY hand-crafted jars, life hacks, repairs, and even out-of-this-world recipes — you’d think you’ve seen it all — well, not quite. Several dental hacks, specifically DIY braces and kits found online, are now the root of concern and worry among parents, dental health care specialists, and the like.
What Are DIY Braces?
One reason that makes these DIY tutorials appealing to the masses is that you don’t need to spend much money to do it. Materials can be found around your house or simply from the nearest stores around the block.
However, it is the same convenience that makes DIY braces dangerous and life-threatening. Harmful and toxic materials are used, such as superglue, earring backs, paper clips, rubber bands, and even fishing lines, to fix dental problems.
Due to the nature of fixing teeth through braces, many resorts to faster, easier, and cheaper ways to do it. What people don’t realize is that they need to consider the different kinds of dental issues before going through the procedure. For instance, correcting crossbites, impacted teeth, narrow palates, asymmetrical jaws, crowded teeth, and the likes require specifically designed ortho appliances that DIY braces lack.
In a 2017 survey conducted by the American Association of Orthodontists (AAO), 13% of their member orthodontists have had patients who attempted this DIY hype, and some of which have caused irreparable damage. Thus, the AAO continuously warns the public not to consider it.
As much as some DIY hype is fun and helpful, we need to clarify where to draw the line. These will cost you not only your teeth but also your overall health and hospital bills. Thus, before thinking about buying those homemade DIY braces kit online or tempted to try a popular video you just watched, consider these dangers and keep them awake in your mind:
Though this sounds obvious, there is more than having a mouth infection from trying this hype. Most of the materials used did not undergo proper sterilization and are non-medical-grade; thus, the damage on your tooth enamel will further result in teeth chipping or fracturing.
Since some materials used can injure the inside of your mouth, the accumulation of bacteria in those fractures and sores will eventually prevent your tissues from healing. This will also cause gum infection that, if left untreated, can spread to your bloodstream, which will further require immediate surgery or, in severe cases, even result in death.
Permanent tooth loss
One of the steps for the DIY braces is to wrap rubber bands and other elastic materials around your teeth to supposedly close gaps. However, due to a lack of scientific basis, this will not guarantee proper positioning for your teeth but instead causes more damage to its roots. This causes tightness around them and reduces the blood flow, thus further destroying your roots to permanent tooth loss.
Contrary to popular belief, having braces does not only equate to straightening one’s teeth. It reduces pressure on our gums and bite, as well as align the jaw. Thus, dental professionals’ digital imaging and physical examination are vital in assessing your dental alignment. Failing to do so will impact your face shape and increase your risk for wear and tear. This can further lead to cracks, fractures, and bone damage.
Speech and bite issues
Our mouth is an essential part of our ability to speak. Thus, it’s necessary to check and correct its movement and positioning. The damage caused by DIY braces can change your speech pattern, further developing impediments.
Our smile is proven to be one of the most powerful tools to make us feel better. It is not so surprising why many of us make our dental health part of our overall priority. However, to achieve that, we need to seek absolute care and advice from professionals as unsupervised teeth straightening will only lead to inflammation and other health issues.
Experts also claim that dental inflammation plays a crucial role in developing depression, anxiety, schizophrenia, and other mental health issues. Know that there are no DIY instructions for the emotional trauma and health issues these types of trends can put us through. Thus, we should all be cautious, responsible, and do further research before trying anything that’s trending on the Internet.