Many people want to straighten their teeth but may be apprehensive about getting it done professionally. Due to money concerns or perhaps dental phobias, some people look into do-it-yourself (DIY) orthodontics. While DIY orthodontics might sound like a good idea, it can lead to damage that may cost you even more time and money later, so our team at Lunsford McCaffrey Orthodontics urges you to schedule professional treatment instead. To learn more about the dangers of DIY orthodontics in West Palm Beach, Florida, or to schedule a consultation with our orthodontist, call 561-964-5200 today! Dr. Kevin McCaffrey can provide the safe, effective and professional orthodontic care you need for a smile you will love.

Eight Reasons Not to Try Do-It-Yourself Orthodontics

First Things First
Before we go over the reasons why DIY orthodontics may cause more problems than it is worth, here are some questions you might want to ask a provider before you begin professional orthodontic aligner treatment.

  • What level of Invisalign® clear aligner provider are you?
  • Are you a Board Certified orthodontist?
  • Do you have good positive reviews for aligner treatment?
  • Have you ever treated a case like mine before?
  • Can you correct my bite with aligners?
  • What type of aligners do you use?
  • What are the differences between the available aligner systems?
  • Do you use a digital scanner when creating aligners?
  • How many patients have you treated with aligners in the past year?
  • What if I need more aligners during my treatment?
  • What will happen when my treatment is done?

1. What You See May Not Be What You Get
When looking for DIY orthodontic tips and methods, you will probably see many before and after photos of people who claim to have successfully used a DIY method to straighten their teeth. Even if the results may look excellent in the photos, there is no way to know what is happening inside the teeth, under the gumline or within the jaw structure. Only X-rays and other professional diagnostic tools can tell you if your orthodontic treatment is actually successful. Not getting the entire picture of your oral health can lead to bigger problems later.

2. Moving Your Tooth Without Professional Supervision Is Dangerous
Your teeth are fixed securely in your jawbone for a reason and should not be moved without specialized attention to detail. Tooth movement that is too quick or in the wrong direction can damage your jawbone and worsen your bite.

3. You Are More Likely to Hurt Yourself
Professional orthodontic specialists have received training to minimize pain and discomfort when realigning a patient’s teeth. When you attempt to realign your teeth on your own without that training, you are far more likely to apply pressure or force incorrectly to your teeth and cause unnecessary or excessive discomfort. Mild discomfort is normal in the beginning of professional orthodontic treatment, but if you are experiencing moderate to severe pain that is not subsiding during DIY treatment, you are likely causing damage to your teeth and mouth.

4. Risk of Infection Is Higher
Certain materials and items simply are not designed to be placed in the mouth, especially everyday items you find in your home. Germs and bacteria found on everyday items used in DIY orthodontics can have adverse effects in your mouth or may even trigger allergic reactions. Professional orthodontists use only high-quality dental materials approved and designed for use in oral treatment, greatly reducing the risk of infection.

5. Relapses Are More Common
There is always a chance your teeth will move back into their original positions even after professional orthodontic treatment. Orthodontists therefore issue retainers for patients to help them keep their teeth aligned after treatment is completed. Without proper orthodontic treatment and certainly without retainers, your teeth are more likely to shift out of alignment again after they are straightened with DIY orthodontics.

6. DIY Orthondontics Will Cost You More in the Long Term
Professional orthodontic treatment can be expensive for many patients, which prompts them to seek alternative solutions. However, orthodontic treatment is expensive not because of the materials or equipment used but because of the orthodontist’s expertise. Without professional guidance and attention to detail, you may end up having to spend even more money having damage fixed caused by DIY orthodontics. For example, if you end up losing or severely damaging a tooth due to improperly applied pressure or movement, replacing just that one tooth can cost thousands of dollars.

7. The AAO® Warns Against It
The American Association of Orthodontists® has issued an official warning against the use of DIY orthodontics. In one of the case studies they cite, a patient tried to close a gap between their teeth using rubber bands. The bands dug into the patient’s gum tissue, destroying the tooth roots. The patient subsequently lost those teeth.

8. There Are Much Safer Alternatives
We understand that orthodontics can be costly, but our team is here to help you with any financial concerns you might have. We offer affordable and flexible payment options to help you receive the safe, efficient and comfortable orthodontic care you need. We invite you to schedule a consultation with our orthodontist and discuss any concerns or questions you have about orthodontic treatment.

In the End

Overall, as tempting as DIY orthodontics might sound for both your schedule and wallet, you will want safe treatment that properly realigns your teeth and does not damage your oral health. Orthodontists invest in 10 to 12 years of specialized education to deliver proper care and results for their patients. Please do not risk your health by trying DIY orthodontics. Call our office and set up a consultation with our team today. We are looking forward to helping you achieve your dream smile!