It’s essential to take excellent care of your smile at home, but anything more ambitious than brushing or flossing should always be left to the experts.
Unfortunately, people take matters into their own hands for many different reasons. Just last year, a TikTok trend encouraged teens to reshape their teeth using nail files, with some unfortunate consequences.
DIY dentistry is almost guaranteed to deliver a poor outcome. Worst-case scenario, you could cause irreversible damage to your teeth and gums.
It often costs more to put things right than to see a trained dentist or specialist in the first instance.
The risks of DIY orthodontics
People often turn to DIY dentistry for a quick fix, but occasionally, they’ll attempt more lengthy specialist treatments like orthodontics from the comfort of home.
All kinds of household items have been used to move teeth, including dental floss, elastic bands and even the backs of earrings. While it might be tempting to give DIY braces a go, the risks can be huge.
- If you don’t see an orthodontist for a consultation before you start your treatment, you won’t know whether you’re suitable for braces or more at risk of complications like root resorption.
- Attaching braces to your teeth at home can cause pain and irreversible damage to your enamel and gums. There’s also a risk of swallowing parts of your brace that aren’t attached securely.
- Orthodontists align teeth very gently and precisely. If you move them too quickly, it can be painful, and you can damage the roots of your teeth, which could eventually lead to tooth loss.
There is an endless list of risks and complications depending on how you choose to straighten your teeth at home. Rubber bands, for example, can slip below the gumline, where they can damage the bone that supports your teeth.
You’re also extremely unlikely to succeed at straightening your teeth yourself. Closing a small gap, for example, might seem simple, but you need to consider all the neighbouring teeth and your bite. Closing a space in one area is likely to create a gap somewhere else if you’re not treating the whole arch.
Last but not least, an essential part of orthodontic treatment is retention. We fit retainers and supervise your results for 12 months to make sure they last. Without retention, your teeth will quickly move back to where they started.
A good step up from DIY braces are mail-order aligners, where every stage of your treatment is coordinated online, from your consultation to your aftercare.
To get started, you’ll post off moulds of your teeth for a clinician to review. They’ll send you back a treatment plan to approve before 3D printing your custom-made aligners. You’ll wear each set of aligners for the advised time to gradually straighten your teeth.
Mail-order aligners are much safer than DIY braces, but remote treatment comes with its own risks. The quality of your care won’t come close to treatment with a specialist orthodontist.
Why you should see a specialist
Specialist orthodontists train to be dentists before specialising in orthodontics. Dentists can provide teeth-straightening treatments, but many leave braces to the specialists.
Specialist Orthodontist Dr. Jackie Bracken (pictured below) has a wealth of knowledge and experience in orthodontics and is also an Invisalign Diamond Apex Provider.
At your first appointment, she’ll take the time to understand your goals and examine your teeth and jaws to check your suitability for braces. We might take some X-rays and photos, as well as a digital scan, to show you your projected outcome.
You can choose from metal or clear fixed braces or almost-invisible Invisalign aligners. Invisalign has straightened millions of smiles worldwide and is more sophisticated than most mail-order aligners.
Thanks to features like attachments and techniques such as IPR, we can achieve flawless results that wouldn’t be possible without face-to-face appointments.
During your treatment, we’ll keep a close eye on your progress with regular appointments and our DentalMonitoring app. If you have any concerns, we’re always available to help.
Towards the end of your transformation, we’ll work closely with you to give you the very best outcome. It’s this attention to detail that can really make a difference to your final smile.
Our prices include removable retainers, and you can upgrade to fixed retainers for extra peace of mind. We can even whiten your smile at the end of your treatment for the perfect finishing touch.
To find out more about why it’s best to see a specialist, contact us to arrange your no-obligation consultation with Dr. Jackie Bracken.