Why DIY Braces are So Dangerous for Your Kids

 In Family Dentistry

For many teenagers these days, wearing braces is considered a rite of passage into their adult lives.  It’s a treatment that they’re excited to receive, as they shape their smiles for the rest of their lives.  However, a frightening trend that originated online is causing kids to jump the gun and do irreversible damage to their teeth and mouths.  Parents need to beware of the videos circulating around the internet of kids making DIY braces, as participation in this is not just ill-advised, it can be harmful to your child’s overall health.  

So, just what are DIY braces?  These “braces” are being made from household items that kids are fastening together to put on their teeth where they think they should be.  They’re using things like dental floss, fishing line, rubber bands, paper clips, earring back, and more to try to fix their teeth.  What’s more is that these pieces they’re using tend to “disappear” in their mouths, but the scary truth is that they’re ending up lodged underneath their gums.  

Now, getting braces isn’t just about closing gaps between your teeth.  Braces are designed to keep your teeth from wearing on each other and align your upper and lower teeth in order to reduce pressure on the jaw.  But, the kids trying to move their own teeth don’t understand this; they’re not trained professionals who have had years of schooling on all of the different oral health areas that must be considered for braces to correct.  Thus, they can do some serious damage.

The Effects of DIY Braces

What a lot of people fail to recognize is that braces are a medical procedure.  It’s something that must be supervised and performed by a professional, as it actually involves cautious, slow movement of the teeth through bone while also influencing bone growth.  So, if you try to do this on your own, you end up damaging your teeth and gums so severely that even a professional won’t be able to fully correct the damage or save all affected teeth.  When you move your teeth, you begin to break down the ligaments that hold your teeth into the bone. This can result in the loss of teeth if not done correctly, and replacing a missing tooth is just one more expense you can add to the bill of damage.  In fact, you could be looking at tens of thousands of dollars over the rest of your lifetime!

Even if your child is one of the lucky ones whose teeth don’t actually fall out from DIY braces, they could still damage the enamel on their teeth, which leads to sensitivity and cavities.  They may also be looking at further health issues, as the DIY braces leave cuts in the gums that fill with harmful bacteria that enter into the bloodstream, introduced from both the outside as well as from the household materials themselves.      

For those seeking teeth straightening, modern braces have made some incredible advancements over the past decade.  This means that parents and their kids have more options than ever before to correct their smiles through braces that are now more comfortable and less intrusive.  So, don’t let your child fall victim to this harmful trend, and talk to your dentist today about corrective options.

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