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Many people equate braces with wealth and prestige, so it comes as no surprise that fake and DIY braces are one of the newest trends. With their inexpensive cost of about $100, not only do fake braces not fix any malocclusion issues, they can damage the enamel on the teeth and lead to open sores.
What Are Fake or DIY Braces?
Fake braces look like real braces — they’re made with a piece of bent wire that is attached to the teeth with rubber bands and fake brackets. They’re not fitted by an orthodontist or another dental professional, they’re obtained from beauty salons and street vendors. This do-it-yourself method of obtaining braces is definitely not a good idea!
DIY Rubber Band Braces And Other Oddities
Firstly, the internet abounds with stories about people who try to make braces by using rubber bands, hair elastics, paper clips, and other items that were never intended to be used as orthodontic appliances. Using these unorthodox methods can damage the roots of your teeth and cause your teeth to fall out. Braces gently and slowly realign the teeth, which is essential for a permanent and safe solution. Rubber bands can slip on the teeth or they can become lodged in the gums and require surgery to extract. Other outré items used for DIY braces include earring backs, dental floss, and Super Glue. All of these items can cause irreparable and permanent damage to your teeth and can be hazardous to your overall health as well. Super Glue was never marketed for internal use.
What Are Mail Order Braces?
Like an orthodontist, mail order braces require an impression of your teeth in order to make braces. With a mail-order dental company, however, you’ll receive two trays and a container of putty that will enable you to take an impression of both your upper and your lower teeth. The impression is returned to the company, examined by an orthodontic professional who’s not necessarily an orthodontist. Then your aligners are created and returned to you. You’ll receive several sets, and you’ll wear each set for about two weeks until your teeth are straightened.
What Are 3D Braces?
Amos Dudley, a digital design student, made internet fame by his $60 braces that he made using a 3D printer. Although he’s apparently satisfied with the results, not everyone has access to a commercial 3D printer, the price of which usually runs from $6,000 to $750,000. His procedure used the same techniques that orthodontists use to straighten teeth, although Dudley’s teeth weren’t severely misaligned or damaged.
Is DIY Orthodontics Safe?
The short answer is no. Orthodontists need a bachelor’s degree before they can enroll in general dentistry training, and then they spend several more years of training in the specialty field of orthodontics. It’s impossible to replicate their expertise without their training, so those who try the trend of DIY braces or dentistry can jeopardize both their dental health and their general health. Problems that can occur with DIY dentistry include:
- Root destruction
- Tooth loss
- Lead poisoning from the metals
- Parts can become dislodged and create a choking hazard
- Worsening of the misalignment when the braces are removed
- Damage to the tooth enamel
What Types Of Problems Can Affect My Braces?
Braces are very complex and the type of braces you need depends on the severity of misalignment that you have as well as other dental issues such as cavities or periodontal disease. Issues that can occur include:
- Periodontal disease
- Severe malocclusion
- Impacted teeth
Visit An Expert
It’s important to visit an expert even if you are determined to follow the do-it-yourself trend in dentistry. A dental x-ray can detect an impacted tooth and a dental exam can detect hidden issues that might become severe if left untreated. Although braces are expensive, there are alternatives that a professional can supply, and you’ll receive professional treatment and detection at a price that’s competitive with the do-it-yourself procedure. Usually, a DIY treatment will cost about $1,000 overall. However, there are types of corrective measures that will cost only slightly more and you’ll have the advantage of the expertise of a professional. Particularly for those who have only mild misalignment, this can be an excellent choice.
Those who have severe misalignment or who have multiple issues will most likely not benefit from the DIY treatment and can cause their issues to become more severe. Without the use of the retainers that accompany braces from an orthodontist, your teeth will more than likely revert to their original state. Sometimes the misalignment will become worse.
Meet The Orthodontist: Dr. Adam Schulhof
Orthodontist Dr. Adam Schulhof obtained his medical degree with honors, and his practice focuses on lingual orthodontics, one of the newer forms of braces. Rather than being placed on the front of the teeth like traditional metal braces, lingual braces are placed on the back of the teeth, so they’re virtually invisible. Dr. Schulhof has spent years collaborating in the development of lingual braces because they’re one of the best on the market.
Dr. Schulhof’s treatment approach is unparalleled and he always endeavors to determine the treatment protocol that will work best for his patient. Accordingly, he has dedicated his life to providing the best orthodontic care possible for his patients and offers several types of braces, including:
If you need orthodontic treatment in the New York or New Jersey areas, call our New York office at (212) 861-1859. Or our New Jersey office at (213) 524-9450. We look forward to speaking with you and welcoming you into our orthodontic family.
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125 East 69th Street
New York, NY 10021
What is the DIY Braces Craze? (Why it’s NOT a Good Choice)
Dr Schulhof graduated with high honours from the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey and received his specialty training from Columbia University.
His early interest in lingual orthodontics has led to him becoming the top provider for Incognito in the U.S. and the world. Dr Schulhof was part of the LingualCare Clinical Advisory Board and is now a Key Opinion Leader for 3M and Incognito. He has presented lectures on lingual orthodontics throughout the U.S. and worldwide. Dr Schulhof is also active in research and development and was a major contributor to the development of Incognito Lite. Recently, New Jersey Orthodontist Dr Schulhof has opened a satellite practice in NYC.