In recent years, do-it-yourself braces have gained a lot of traction. These mail-order options can be purchased online, and the aligners are delivered straight to your doorstep. This option may initially seem convenient, easier and less expensive than traditional in-office orthodontic procedures. The truth is, mail-order braces often result in the need for more extensive, costly treatment in the long run.
It takes the experience and knowledge of a professional orthodontist to skillfully and safely move your teeth. Consider the following hidden dangers of straightening teeth on your own and why it is always recommended to receive braces treatment under the direct care of a dentist or orthodontist.
The Problem With DIY Braces
Traditionally, when a patient decides to straighten his or her teeth, he or she may visit an orthodontist who has specialized training and experience treating a wide range of misalignment issues. With trending DIY teeth aligner kits, patients are skipping a critical first step toward correcting their teeth: consulting with a trusted professional.
Prior to getting braces or any type of orthodontic care, an orthodontist first conducts a comprehensive exam of a patient’s mouth before recommending treatment, which includes making sure the teeth are healthy enough to move. Throughout the course of treatment, patients follow up for routine checkups and adjustments to better ensure teeth are moving safely and efficiently. A professional regularly monitors the progress throughout the length of treatment, offers advice and answers any questions the patient may have to achieve the desired results.
On the other hand, at-home, mail-order braces rely on DIY impressions of the teeth, aren’t supervised by an orthodontist, and do not consider the unique condition of your oral health. Unlike professional braces, if you have a problem during your at-home straightening process, you have no one to regularly monitor your progress, no one to ask for advice, and no one to answer your questions.
Another problem with mail-order braces is that the aligners cannot be tailored to your individual needs. If a few of your teeth are moving more slowly than others, or if a tooth is shifting in an abnormal position, you won’t have the guidance of your orthodontist to help identify or adjust these issues. Aligners should always be sized and designed to custom-fit your teeth after an in-depth examination with your orthodontist.
Do-it-yourself alternatives to braces can cause long-term damage to your teeth, exacerbate existing problems or create health issues, such as:
- Increased risk for tooth decay and oral infection
- Damage to your gum tissue or roots
- Loss of natural, permanent teeth
- Bite or jaw development issues
- The need for painful restoration procedures
Leave It to the Experts
At the end of the day, the temporary cost savings and convenience aren’t worth the potential health risks associated with DIY braces. If you are thinking about mail-order braces, consider finding a reputable dentist or orthodontist in your local area instead to discuss which reliable, tested and effective treatment options are available for your needs and goals.