You may have seen do-it-yourself teeth straightening services advertised on the internet or during podcasts. These at home orthodontics services claim to be able to straighten teeth by mailing new (often clear) dental correctors to your home every few weeks. Some even advertise their products help consumers by allowing them to skip the orthodontist.
However, these at home orthodontic products can cause problems, which is why the American Dental Association discourages do-it-yourself orthodontics. In fact, the ADA reported that almost 13% of its orthodontists are seeing patients who have tried these kinds of services, and some of these patients now have irreparable damage. Here are some of the dangers of these do-it-yourself orthodontics:
- Moving teeth without an orthodontist can cause the permanent loss of teeth! If a patient has bone loss at the root, those teeth may fall out if they are moved because they are not sufficiently anchored in the gums. Many patients with bone loss don’t even know it without X-rays.
- At-home orthodontics can result in malocclusion, the misalignment of a patient’s bite during the process of straightening teeth. The upper teeth should fit slightly over the lower teeth with the points of the molars fitting into the grooves of the opposite molar. Malocclusion causes tooth overcrowding or abnormal bite patterns, and in some cases, teeth may loosen to the point where removal is necessary.
- Your gums may not be healthy. It isn’t enough to just know the placement of a patient’s teeth. The health of the gums is equally important. Without a firm grasp of a patient’s gum health, moving teeth could cause permanent damage.
- Everyone’s teeth are different. A one-size-fits-all approach isn’t ever going to be right for everyone. That’s why it’s important for you to seek personalized care that ensures you get the best results for you.
Medical procedures (like moving teeth) should only be done under proper medical supervision. When it comes to your health, it’s always best to talk to qualified dental professionals in-person to discuss your options, concerns, and any issues that may arise.