The American Association of Orthodontists (AAO) says that over 13 percent of orthodontists see patients who have tried DIY teeth straightening treatments causing irreparable damage.
Everyone has seen the ads for various at-home orthodontics options. Direct-to-consumer clear aligners that can be used without leaving the house for appointments are tempting for people who want a straight, healthy smile. Those aligners, however, have the potential to harm the wearer and create lasting damage to their teeth and jaw.
How Orthodontics Work
When teeth are moved with braces or clear aligners, the bone around the moving teeth is broken down and rebuilt. Essentially, you’re reshaping your mouth’s skeletal structure. While this is normal and part of the process for teeth straightening procedures, doing so on your own, without the direction of a licensed orthodontic professional, could lead to irreversible and expensive damage.
Having an uneven bite presents many problems, including:
- Tooth pain
- Erosion of joints
- Headaches or migraines
- Severely worn teeth
- Teeth that chip, break, or crack
- Teeth become oversensitive to heat or cold
- Misaligned/overcrowded teeth
How At-Home Orthodontics Cause Harm
Because straightening teeth affects the entire bone structure, attempting to align your teeth on your own could lead to bite problems. Without a professional guiding you through the process (or, even better, actually doing it for you), one small mistake could reshape your jaw in a way that’s even more detrimental.
With self-serve dental aligners, the risk of introducing more problems to the scene is much higher than if a professional orthodontist takes charge of the transformation process. After all, they have the education, training, and know-how to get the job done–and done right. Even practicing dentists and orthodontists don’t treat their own teeth!
Common Issues With At-Home Orthodontics
The actual damage that can be caused varies from person to person, but the common issues that orthodontists and dentists are seeing include:
- Results Are Not Guaranteed
- Aligners Aren’t For Everyone
- No Exams – Just Photos Or Putty Impressions
- Don’t Detect Diseased Gums Or Tooth Decay
- No Supervision To Check Progress Or New Issues
- Actually Costs More Money Than Advertised
- Leave Worse Dental Issues Than You Had
- Damage To Teeth And Gums From Ill-Fitting Aligners And Rapid Tooth Movement
Permanent Damage From At-Home Orthodontics
Unfortunately, sometimes the damage is permanent. Proving these services to be dangerous and often reckless. Parts of your mouth can be damaged to the point of no return, including:
- Alveolar bone, the thick ridge on your jawbone that holds the teeth
- Tooth roots
- Gum tissue
Questions To Ask Your Orthodontist
The American Dental Association (ADA) and the AAO have issued consumer warnings against at-home braces. The AAO tells anyone considering DIY orthodontics to ask the same questions of a mail-order company that they would of their own dental professional, including:
- Is this treatment based on information from my X-rays, skeletal structure and full scans of my teeth and upper and lower jaws?
- Is there a dentist or orthodontist supervising the making of my aligners? Is that person licensed?
- Are my teeth and gums healthy enough to support orthodontic treatment?
- Can I see a doctor in person in an emergency?
If the answers to these questions are hazy or hidden, you could be putting your mouth and your health in danger.
What To Consider
If you are considering do-it-yourself aligners for straighter teeth, consider the potential outcomes of such a choice. While it may appear to save money initially, fixing the problems that can come with DIY treatment can end up costing more than having your teeth aligned by a professional. With so many factors in play that can hurt your smile even when you’re trying to fix it, getting the professional results you need and want by putting the future of your teeth into the care of a licensed orthodontist is the best choice for your smile.
How We Can Help
When you visit us, you ensure that you receive the best care available and the best possible outcome. We specialize in healthy smiles! If you would like to learn how we can help you achieve the smile of your dreams, please contact us for an initial complimentary orthodontic consultation for you or your child by calling Glass Orthodontics at (757) 204-7770 or scheduling online.