The Dangers of At-Home Orthodontics

at-home orthodontics

The trend of DIY (do-it-yourself) is great for those that are looking to save money and spend the time to learn how to do it on their own. DIYs can be beneficial and cost-effective in certain situations, however, orthodontics is not one of them. We only have one set of adult teeth, you don’t get a second chance, and therefore you don’t want to damage them by the dangers of at-home orthodontics. 

DIY orthodontic treatment with a poor outcome can often cause permanent damage and may leave your teeth worse than when you started. 

Types of At-Home Orthodontic Treatment

Researched on the Internet

Unfortunately, doctor Google’s medical degree can’t be verified. While what we see on the internet can be inciting, and our society has shifted towards instant gratification, orthodontic treatment is not something you can complete in a few hours in your kitchen. 

What you see others doing on YouTube may not work for you, everyone has different teeth, gums, dental health history, and needs. We’re all different – it’s why we create a custom treatment plan for you. 

Yes, we’ve seen it all too. The people that are using elastic bands, hair ties, and paper clips to straighten their teeth. Do you know what they aren’t showing? The mass amounts of failed before and after photos of others who have also tried these methods but haven’t had a positive result. While on the surface it looks like the positive cases have been done well, you don’t see the permanent damage to the gums, and possibly even bone loss. 

Mail Order / Direct to Consumer Orthodontics

There have been a growing number of mail order and direct-to-consumer orthodontics in recent years. Direct-to-consumer orthodontic companies promise the same results you would receive in an office with an experienced orthodontist. These claims can be very enticing, as they claim to be risk-free while saving consumers thousands of dollars. 

While their commercials and marketing materials showcase the glowing testimonials they receive, they don’t show the patients that didn’t provide a testimonial. These patients, the large majority, are often out of thousands of dollars because the end result isn’t what they had hoped or had been promised. 

We often see patients coming into our offices after trying these direct-to-consumer orthodontic companies as they are still needing a specialist to fix the damage caused by these cheap treatments. 

We know orthodontic treatment can be expensive, it’s why we provide high-quality orthodontics at an affordable cost. We work with our patients to make their treatment fits into their budget as we don’t believe anyone should be limited by financials when wanting to achieve their new smile. 

The Dangers of At-Home Orthodontics 

There’s a reason orthodontists have several years of schooling under their belt, there are many things to consider when creating a treatment plan. If treatment isn’t managed by an orthodontist in person there are many things that could go wrong. 

Not everyone who uses direct-to-consumer orthodontics has these risks, however when doing it this way you are at a higher risk. 

Gum Disease & Gum Loss 

Before any orthodontic treatment begins, it’s important that an orthodontist takes orthodontic records of every patient to help determine the gum health and look for any sign of gum disease. If teeth that have gum disease move there is a risk of long-term damage to the gum and the teeth. 

While it may not seem big, something as small as a tight aligner can cut into the gums and expose a tooth root. When this happens this is anything but a small problem. Unfortunately, the gum may never heal properly and it could leave the tooth exposed. 

Teeth Movement

Sure, you may find that you are able to move your teeth when it comes to DIYing your treatment, but how do you know that you moved them in the right direction or angle? It takes orthodontists years to learn how to properly shift teeth into their desired position, and it’s individualized for each person. 

Experimenting with moving your own teeth, with the knowledge of how to do it safely, can result in negative life-long results. It’s not about how you move your teeth, but who moves them that matters. 

Loss of Bone and Teeth

One of the worst outcomes from at-home orthodontics can be tooth loss or bone loss. This can have a devastating impact on your oral health and overall health. Saving money on the initial orthodontic treatment won’t mean anything when you have to pay far more to fix the damage from the treatment. 

Dissatisfaction with the Result

What we often see the most is patients being heartbroken when their at-home orthodontic treatment didn’t deliver the results they had hoped for. For most, they had spent years dreaming they could fix their teeth, but to them that’s all it was – a dream. Until they saw an ad for budget at-home orthodontics and they thought it would answer their dreams.

While a lot is often promised to consumers about DIY orthodontic treatment, many cases cannot be fixed with at-home orthodontics as they require complex movements. The only effective treatment that is safe and efficient, is seeing an in-house orthodontist to have a braces or Invisalign treatment custom-made for you.