At Tooth Wranglers, we’re passionate about helping our patients achieve the beautiful, healthy smiles that they deserve, and it always warms our hearts to see their joy when they finally reach that goal. But while we encourage patients to get excited about their orthodontic treatment, recently, we’ve been seeing something that truly scares us – the concept of “DIY,” or “Do It Yourself,” braces. We’re going to dedicate this blog to explaining everything that’s wrong with this concept – and to demonstrating just how much damage you can do to your teeth if you attempt orthodontic treatment without a certified orthodontist.

Special Training – for a Reason

All told, it takes a lot of work to be an orthodontist. In addition to regular dental school, orthodontists complete at least 2 additional years of specialized training to learn the complex procedures and techniques of moving teeth. That makes for a minimum of 10 years of higher education to be an orthodontist! And this is for good reason – orthodontics is a hugely complicated endeavor and involves making permanent, irrevocable changes to the teeth, jaw, and entire facial structure. Without this training, it’s impossible to accurately predict and facilitate teeth movement.

That’s why this new trend of “DIY braces” or “gap bands” is so frightening for us. It seems that many teenagers, in an attempt to gain the benefits of braces without all the orthodontist visits, are wrapping small elastic bands around gapped teeth, hoping that the pressure exerted by the rubber band will move their teeth in a similar fashion to braces.

Not only will this absolutely not work, but it also poses an incredible threat to your teeth. Braces use special, finely calibrated forces to carefully nudge the teeth in the right direction. In contrast, a rubber band applies a crude force to the teeth and gums, cutting off blood supply to the gums. This can cause severe inflammation, infection, bone loss, root damage, and could very well cause teeth to fall our. Let us be exceedingly clear: “DIY braces” are not only ineffective, but incredibly dangerous. Please, if you or anyone you know is even thinking about trying this, don’t!

We know braces can be difficult to afford, but it’s certainly not worth permanently damaging your mouth for. At Tooth Wranglers, we work hard to make orthodontic care affordable for all of our patients – and we can do the same for you. If you’d like to find out more about our financial options, head over to our financial & insurance page.

Contact Your Albuquerque, NM Orthodontist

Have more questions about orthodontic treatment or our practice? We’re here to help. Feel free to reach out to us at our contact page or use our easy online form to schedule an appointment at our Albuquerque, NM office. We look forward to hearing from you, and we’ll see you back at this blog for more updates and info on taking care of your teeth the right way!