A quick Google search can yield answers to basically anything and social media and YouTube videos of do it yourself projects are very easy to find. But one area that should not be left as a DIY project is orthodontics.
In recent years, more do it yourself videos of people claiming they’ve corrected their own orthodontic issues have popped up. And orthodontists everywhere are growing increasingly concerned about these videos. Our primary goal is to provide excellent care for our patients, and as part of that, we must speak out against these DIY-ers.
Orthodontists are worried about this new trend because it can create a host of problems that you might not ever think of. One trend that is especially worrisome is the use of rubber bands to close gaps. YouTube videos show people who claim they’ve closed large gaps simply by buying a bag of rubber bands and wrapping the bands around the teeth to close the gap. But what these videos don’t show are the risks associated with this process.
Wrapping rubber bands around your teeth could cause serious issues. The trend is so alarming that the American Association of Orthodontists actually issued a consumer alert, telling patients that the trend may leave them at “a substantial risk for irreparable damage.”
The rubber bands may not stay in place and could shift up and get lodged in the gums. The pressure can also be too strong and cause damage the nerves and tissues around the tooth, leading to very serious issues including as bone loss, tooth mobility and gum disease.
When we close a gap in the mouth, we then have to look at the rest of the bite. One can’t simply just move a tooth or two without it impacting the entire bite. One of the biggest components of orthodontic treatment is creating a stable, healthy bite that functions properly. If we only focused on closing gaps and straightening teeth, we would leave patients with a bite that could lead to a lifetime of other dental issues.
The goal of orthodontic treatment cannot only be cosmetic. While the end goal is also a beautiful smile, it is also to create a properly functioning bite. A bite that isn’t lined up properly can lead to difficulty chewing, as well as improper wear that can lead to chipping, breaking and even tooth loss.
We all wish there were quick and easy solutions to our problems, but orthodontic treatment requires the expertise and experience of an orthodontist who understands tooth movement, and how to create a treatment plan that will result in your ideal smile and bite. If you want a smile that will last forever, there are no shortcuts, and a do it yourself options might exacerbate the problem.
Dr. Salmassian is a Board Certified Orthodontist and specializes in comprehensive orthodontic care for the whole family. For any Questions regarding this article or to schedule your complimentary orthodontic consultation please contact our office at 661-222-7444 or visit us at www.salmassianortho.com