Are homemade braces safe, and do they work?

The Dangers of Homemade Braces

by Dr. Lavonne Fore

In the age of instant knowledge and DIY everything, it’s not surprising that orthodontics has been affected by this as well. Orthodontic treatment can mean money, time and effort spent on braces or Invisalign. Even though professional treatment is completely worth it in the end, many people are starting to try and fix their smiles themselves. Big mistake!

DIY home projects and artwork can be fun, but homemade braces? There are definitely consequences to this can be quite severe. So if you’re looking to DIY this aspect of your life, think again. Here are the dangers of homemade braces.

What Are Homemade Braces?

What are homemade braces anyway? Let us explain. This type of “treatment” is comprised of using commonly found household items to serve as braces, such as:

  • Paper clips
  • Rubber bands
  • Fishing wire
  • Dental floss
  • Earring backs

Due to an overwhelming number of videos found on the Internet, this form of DIY orthodontic treatment has become a big problem. What many people fail to remember is getting a beautiful smile is much more than just straight teeth. Often times there are underlying issues to be addressed and properly diagnosed before the right method of treatment for your unique situation can be determined. Choosing to do this yourself can have some heavy consequences.

Limitations of Homemade Braces

Trying to straighten your teeth on your own can result in big trouble like tooth loss and gum damage. Braces work by gently moving the teeth to the proper places in the mouth. When orchestrated by a professional, this results in a perfect smile, less discomfort and overall better self-confidence. When this is tackled by you, it can result in the ligaments beneath your gums breaking and your teeth falling out. Pretty serious, right?

Not only are you at risk for losing teeth, you’re also increasing your chances of damaging the enamel on the teeth, which can lead to the formation of cavities. Even more serious is the bacteria you’re introducing into your body from the foreign objects you’re placing in your mouth. This can cause substantial health problems if this bacteria makes its way into your bloodstream after one of these objects cuts your gums.

The Importance of Professional Orthodontics

Children have also been known to attempt to create braces for themselves. If you notice these common household items appearing in your child’s bedroom or bathroom, ask if they are trying to DIY their smile and let them know about the potential consequences.

If your child needs braces, it’s important to get the right care for them, so they have the best end result possible. The last thing you want them to do is damage their teeth beyond repair. An orthodontist will evaluate them, formulate a plan designed for their needs, and treat them with the proper equipment and practices. No DIY project is worth risking your health over.

At Charleston Orthodontic Specialists, our friendly team is ready to help you find the right treatment plan for your smile! Call (843) 642-8100 to learn more.

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