Will you help me? My daughter saw a video on youtube by a teen who is doing her braces herself because her parents can’t afford braces. We’ve been saving up to get our daughter invisalign teen, but just don’t have all the funds….yet. I expect we will by next summer. But, my daughter is impatient and I saw her watching the video and trying to do it herself. I’m not dentist, but I think this is dangerous. Will you tell me what I can say to her?
Dear Worried Mom,
You’re right to be concerned. I’ve seen the video you’re referring to (if we’re thinking of the same one). There are a couple of pretty serious things that can go wrong with this:
- Dentists move teeth in two stages. This is true whether you use traditional braces or Invisalign. First we move the teeth and then we have a rest period for the bone to reform over the newly positioned tooth root. With the do it yourself method, you’re tipping the teeth which doesn’t take the root into consideration. Eventually, your teeth can come loose and even fall out.
- The bands that the teens are using can actually cut off the blood supply in their gums. Even just a minor blood supply cut-off can change the color of her teeth. Fully cutting it off can lead to painful inflamation and infection.
I know it seems like forever to your daughter now, but waiting will not only give her a more beautiful smile, but do it in a safe way that doesn’t put her teeth or health at risk.
This blog is brought to you by Tulsa Dentist Dr. Ryan Noah.