My first experience with DIY orthodontics was about ten years ago when a teenager took her own braces off. It was two weeks before I was supposed to and she didn’t take into account that her clear braces needed a special tool to be removed. Consequently, she broke them all to the point where she had to go to her family dentist, get her whole mouth numbed (ouch) and then get what remained of the braces ground off…….
I’ve not seen cases of this latest DIY fad (video link) here in North Dakota, but if it is, there is much to be concerned about. The reason for braces (or invisalign) in the first place is to get controlled movement of the teeth. Lets take the “midline diasthema” or “space between two front teeth” example of this girl’s video.
- A rubber band alone will only have a constricting force and will not guard against up and down or rotation movements. In addition, space will be created between the next teeth and the front teeth. What next, 3 rubber bands? Then 5? Then 7?
- If the teeth aren’t moved properly, they will start to have “traumatic occlusion” with the lower teeth leading to a myriad of painful and expensive consequences.
- Is it really feasible to wear a rubber band around your teeth the required near full time to move the teeth?
- If the elastics drift up toward the gums, irreversible and expensive damage can be done to the supporting tissues of the teeth. I believe there are examples of people losing teeth from it drifting farther and farther up and a rubber band can’t be seen on an X-Ray.
- Once the teeth are moved together how will they be retained? Spaces like this must be held together for at least 3-6 mos and even then the fix isn’t permanent without periodic retainer wear.
It sounds like in this girl’s case the concern about not seeking professional orthodontic care was the investment. If the issue is as minor as just a space like this the investment can be surprisingly low either with braces or Invisalign. We have 0% interest payment plans, and no down payment required for those that qualify. Finally, for those that are financially disadvantaged the Jerene’s Wish program is something to look into and is a program exclusive to my practice.
As you can see, I don’t want financial challenge to be a barrier to getting the life transforming smile that orthodontics can offer. Read Jerene’s story, we’ve been standing by that mission for 10 years now. Come in for a complimentary consultation (no referral necessary) and lets chat about what options work best for you!
~ Dr. John