Orthodontics: DON’T Try This At Home

  • January 30, 2016

The Internet has changed the world in a lot of ways, but some of the things you can find online are just wrong. What’s worse, some of them can be bad and even dangerous.

Online videos of people promoting do-it-yourself “braces” are one example of these unhealthy ideas.

Orthodontic care should take place under the supervision of a trained professional. If you live in Central Kentucky, you can find those dental professionals at any Beaumont Family Dentistry in Lexington.

We offer traditional braces, Fastbraces®, and Invisalign because they are safe and proven orthodontic treatments for our patients.

There’s a saying in the legal profession. “A man who is his own lawyer has a fool for a client.” You might say something similar for people who decide to be their own orthodontist.

What’s Wrong With DIY ‘Braces’?

You may have seen a video or a news story about videos showing people putting elastic bands around their teeth.

The person in the video was not a dentist or an orthodontist. That means the person in the video has not studied teeth or had any training on how to move teeth.

Can elastic bands move your teeth? Yes, they can.

Will they move your teeth where you want them to go? We don’t know, and neither do you. That’s the problem.

That elastic band could pull your teeth any number of ways, and many of them could make your problem — or the problem you think you have — a lot worse.

Another risk is that the band could move to a different location on your teeth.

The American Journal of Orthodontics and Dentofacial Orthopedics reported on what could happen with that band. If you keep it on too long, it may become impossible for you to remove on your own.

The band could start to move closer to the roots of your teeth. As this happens, it could dig into your gums, increasing your risk of gum disease.

In the worst case scenarios, the bands could start to pull the roots of your teeth loose, and you could end up losing your teeth.

We are pretty sure that is not what you want from your orthodontic treatment.

How Dentists Use Elastic Bands

This may seem confusing since orthodontists and dentist may use elastics (tiny rubber bands) as part of orthodontic care. The difference is that elastics are used with other types of orthodontics.

For example, someone who is using traditional metal braces may have rubber bands that connect to different parts of those braces — not his or her teeth, to the braces.

These rubber bands are used to assist the metal wires and brackets in pushing and pulling the wearer’s teeth into a new position. The brackets and wires guide the movement so that the teeth move where they should.

The wires and brackets are almost like train tracks for your teeth. They keep the teeth moving in the right direction without veering off some other way.

Orthodontic Options

Our team at Beaumont Family Dentistry will not recommend orthodontic treatment for patients who do not need it and will not benefit from it.

If you do need treatment, we will discuss which options will work on your particular tooth alignment problems. Together we can find the best option for you.

Here are some examples of the orthodontics we offer:

▶︎ Traditional braces — These will work on almost any problem that you might have. Metal brackets and wires (and elastics) work together to control the movements of your teeth for long-lasting results.

▶︎ Ceramic braces — These are similar to traditional braces except the brackets are made of a ceramic material, which more closely matches that color of your teeth, instead of metal.

▶︎ Fastbraces® — These braces use a special triangular-shaped bracket. This allows them to do the same work as traditional braces in less time.

▶︎ Invisalign — This system uses clear, plastic aligners to push your teeth in different positions instead of the brackets and wires you will find with other types of orthodontics.

Leave This To The Professionals

Some things are OK to do on your own.

For instance, you should be brushing and flossing your teeth to keep them healthy. Moving your teeth safely requires a higher level of knowledge and understanding, however.

If you need orthodontic treatment, our team can discuss payment options to help you afford the care that you may need.

If you have any question about orthodontics, please contact any Beaumont Family Dentistry office in Lexington or make an appointment with the online form for the office nearest to you.

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