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The Dangers of “DIY” Orthodontic Treatment

July 20, 2017

When it comes to your teeth, there’s a big difference in making your own bookshelves and correcting your bite. DIY should be left to Pinterest.

You can find a surplus of do it yourself orthodontic techniques on the internet, which even include mail order impressions to get clear aligners, without even seeing a dentist or orthodontist. The American Association of Orthodontists (AAO) is urging consumers to beware of these internet videos and websites which encourage people to try and straighten their own teeth. Moving teeth is a medical procedure and needs personal supervision by an orthodontist.

According to AAO, patients need to be wary of any suggestions to move teeth with rubber bands (aka gap bands), dental floss and other objects ordered on the internet. Moving teeth without a thorough examination of the overall health of teeth and gums could result in irreversible damage or permanent loss of teeth.  In return, this evolves into an expensive and life-long dental issue. Orthodontists receive two to three years of specialized education beyond dental school and are well-trained in the overall health of the mouth as well as the biologic processes of straightening teeth and aligning the bite. Therefore, it’s important to leave it up to the professional!

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“It’s very concerning to me that individuals are considering these dangerous treatment options,” said Dr. David Birdwell. “I’ve had extensive training in straightening teeth, which is in conjunction with aligning the jaws correctly and understanding the risk factors of specific types of movements. I couldn’t imagine not seeing my patients every 6-10 weeks to check on their progress. It’s vital for me to monitor my patient’s treatment progression and I make it a priority to ensure the end result is not only beautiful,
but as importantly, healthy.”

Dr. DeWayne McCamish, AAO president, spoke recently via satellite with more than 20 television and radio stations.
Dr. McCamish explained the importance of in-person care by an orthodontist during orthodontic treatment and emphasized the dangers of do-it-yourself orthodontic treatment. With him was a former patient who came to Dr. McCamish for help after attempting to close a diastema (gap between the front teeth) with
elastics – and estimates spending $40,000 or more over his lifetime to replace his natural teeth. View the “Good Morning America” segment on DIY orthodontics with Dr. DeWayne McCamish, AAO president.

Let’s get it right the first time!

Orthodontic treatment is an investment and Orthodontic Arts wants you to get it right the first time. Relying on a professional orthodontist such as Dr. David Birdwell ensures that your treatment isn’t just a quick fix but a life-long one.

Contact our office so we can chat about your different treatment options to achieve a smile that’s healthy AND fits your budget.