Because the US Food and Drug Administration doesn't regulate dentistry or orthodontics, a new trend has emerged in do-it-yourself activities. Americans are now ordering kits by mail from companies that claim the kits will straighten crooked teeth at home for a fraction of what dentists would charge. The FDA considers "aligners" to be prescription devices and has approved several designs
Here are 3 reasons why DIY teeth straightening is a really bad idea:
1) The use of rubber bands can kill your teeth.
Some kits, and several online video creators, advocate using small rubber bands to remove gaps or to straighten teeth.
The problem with this method is that the bands can rot the teeth or can get caught beneath the gum line and cause infection and other issues.
Here's a picture of what the damage can look like if you do try the rubber band approach.
2) Aligners can cause damage to teeth and tissue.
If there are additional problems with your teeth, causing misalignment, gum disease or other problems, no mail order company is going to notice. The companies do require you to sign a form claiming you visited a dentist as part of your treatment, but many people won't do so since they are trying to save money.
If other problems aren't diagnosed and treated, the DIY aligners can cause damage to teeth, bone and soft tissue of the mouth. You won't save any money if you have to be treated for advanced dental disease caused or made worse by mail order teeth straighteners.
3) The kits aren't necessarily cheap.
Individual "trays" that re-align teeth can cost over $100 each; if you require 6 or 7 of them, you are paying a large amount to receive no dental care at all.
Others pay as much as $900 to $2000 for these straightening kits, depending on how severely crooked their teeth are. If you're paying this much for a treatment that works, fine. But investing this much without a solid guarantee of success puts your teeth, and your wallet, at risk.
A board-certified orthodontist, such as Pedodontics P.C., is the only professional who should be trusted to straighten and align your teeth or your child's teeth. They have options today such as 3D printing that may soon lower the cost of in-office orthodontia. The most important consideration, though, is that you aren't trusting strangers with important health decisions.
Your orthodontist will be there throughout your life and your child's life, making sure you have beautiful, healthy smiles for many years to come.Share
16 February 2015
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