The dangers of DIY” Do It Your Own” Braces

Everyone desires to have straight, beautiful teeth. Often, the desire to have good things collides with the desire to save money. It is true that braces can be quite costly for many families, especially those with many kids. Full treatment can run into thousands of dollars.

This has led to the emergence of a new 'do-it-yourself' trend, with some videos on YouTube showing how it is done. The movement is popular especially with teens. While the videos make it look really easy, trying to move your teeth yourself is a risky affair. It can ruin your smile.

Although cheap DIY braces may sound rather tempting, they are really a bad idea. The risks far outweigh the benefits. Don't be fooled as you will end up having little to smile about.

A consumer alert warning has been issued by the American Academy of Orthodontics, the American Journal of Orthodontics, and Dentofacial Orthopedics against DIY dental solutions.

 "DIY remedies"

There are various techniques broadcast on YouTube plus other sites that claim to help people achieve professional outcomes with DIY remedies. These include:

●Elastic strings

●Plastic mold kits

●Rubber bands

Rubber bands or elastic strings may look rather harmless. However, they may slide up the tooth and end up lodging inside the gums hence cutting off the blood supply.

Plastic mold kits, also referred to as "braces by mail ", are poor quality devices offered by devious companies that can cause irreparable harm to teeth. In fact, they cannot be seen with the usual X-ray, and this will prolong the duration between diagnosis and treatment.

Beware of dangerous ideas

Beware of the internet; it is full of dangerous ideas on how to do everything by yourself – including performing your own medical procedures. Of late, different videos have been doing rounds about tips for straightening teeth. They claim to close gaps using hair bands plus other home goods. These techniques will not produce the result you desire, regardless of the promises made. Besides, they are dangerous and may do more harm than good. By experimenting with these techniques you risk permanent damage – or worse.This includes teeth loss, severe pain, or infection.

DIY tooth straightening poses many dangers which unfortunately some people don't seem to see. Moving teeth is actually a medical procedure that should be supervised personally by an orthodontist. Unsupervised procedures performed by inexperienced persons can lead to severe problems.

It is dangerous to try closing a gap or straightening your own teeth. As such, you will do yourself a lot of good by being cautious about any suggestions to move your teeth using any of those devices or other objects offered online.

DIY projects are best for home repairs or craft

DIY projects are best for simple things such as home repairs or craft projects – NOT braces. Remember, you only get a single set of adult teeth after your milk teeth fall out. That is why it is crucial to entrust their care to a professional orthodontist who has the necessary skills to protect your dental health, while giving you an attractive smile that you will always take pride in. 

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Do wisdom teeth make my teeth crooked and does it needs to be removed?

Is there a relationship between the emergence of wisdom teeth and the teeth getting misaligned after braces? If so, what is this relationship, you may ask? Well, just because the lower front teeth apparently start getting crooked around the same time wisdom teeth start erupting, the latter have always been thought to be a 'spoilers'.

Although it is widely believed that wisdom teeth tend to push the other teeth, making them crowded, experts say that is not the case. As a matter of fact, anterior crowding of teeth which are not held by retainers is as a result of latent growth of the mandibular and reduced resorption of bone inside anterior mandible. 

A study conducted at the University of Iowa by department head, Dr. Tom Southard established that wisdom teeth do not actually put enough pressure on the teeth that are in front of them to the extent of making them to become crooked. In his study, he inserted sensors between the teeth. The sensors were meant to compare the pressures both with wisdom teeth and without them.No difference was detected.

 Dental Check-ups Important

In case it seems like the wisdom teeth become partly visible and you have them either trapped underneath the gum line or they start growing horizontally in the jaw, their removal becomes necessary. In fact, the earlier in life you undergo this procedure, the better. As we grow older our bones become harder, hence this increases the chances for complications arising from wisdom tooth removal surgery. Dental check-ups are crucial in monitoring, catching and correcting potential problems and that is why we should have them on regular basis. 

As You Age Your Teeth Change

Experts have discovered through studies over the years that teeth tend to drift forward regardless of whether people have wisdom teeth or not.

What causes teeth to move forward as you age is still not very clear. Despite the fact that wisdom teeth will not undo the effects of braces, still your teeth and bite are bound to change as you grow older. Your bite can deepen, making your teeth to increasingly overlap.

Dental Issues

While wisdom teeth do not cause front teeth to crowd as it was previously believed, it is still possible for them to trigger complications such as causing crowding in the back teeth. It might not be easily visible but this can still lead to jaw difficulties as well as other health problems.

If not removed, wisdom teeth may possibly become impacted hence lead to other problems such as:

  • Defects in bone plus soft tissues, and behind second molars
  • Second molars' root resorption
  • Crowding of back teeth
  • Growth of tumors around crowded teeth
  • Gum disease

This is why, irrespective of their effects on orthodontic results, wisdom teeth are usually removed in almost all patients.
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What is the ideal bite?

The ideal smile is desired by almost every person, but not many people realize the importance of an ideal bite. You may be surprised to know how many people fail to realize that they have a problem with their bite. It's not until they develop a problem or are informed by an orthodontist about it, do they understand that their bite is off. So, what really is an ideal bite? An ideal bite may be described as a bite where the teeth of the upper jaw come in contact with those of the lower one at the same time when the mouth is closed. At the same time, the top teeth should only cover half of the lower ones at max.

There are a number of different types of abnormal bites that may be developed due to certain habits in young children or due to other dental manipulations. Here we describe the most common abnormal bites that a person can have.



  • A Deep bite, is one where the upper incisors cover the lower teeth too much when your mouth is closed.
  • An Open bite is one where the upper teeth just do not overlap with lower ones enough.
  • A Cross bite is a type of bite where the teeth cross over one another because the arch isn't perfect.
  • An overbite is where the upper teeth stick out in front of the lower ones. 


How do we develop poor bites?

There are multiple causes of these abnormal bites. Some can be caused due to damage to the teeth, or have been affected by trauma impacting jaw development. It's common to have misalignments after a dental procedure, but not treating that condition can lead to long-term problems for you. Sometimes, a common treatment like a dental filling or a root canal may shift your tooth into a misaligned position that disturbs your whole bite.

Another reason can be inflammation. The Jaw joints are susceptible to being inflamed, and any such process can lead to severe pain and inability to open or close the mouth. Also, some people have bad habits like grinding their teeth which can lead to bite defects.

A bite defect, although initially not of significance, can cause problems in the long run. They can cause discomfort on closing your teeth and can be cosmetically deforming. Also, any abnormal bite that is making a particular tooth touch the lower jaw first, will result in extra sensitivity and pain in that tooth. Besides this, an abnormal bite may cause severe wear of your teeth by constantly grinding against each other. This will make your enamel wear down at a much faster rate than normal to expose your teeth to harmful carious bacteria.

So, are there any ways that you can correct these problems?

As a matter of fact, there are. You can have that ideal bite, and the good thing is that it isn't complicated either. There are a number of ways that an orthodontist can assess a bad bite and treat it. Once the cause is identified, the orthodontist can improve the cosmetic appearance as well as the function by correcting the problematic tooth or teeth with manipulating your teeth and jaw. These procedures can help relieve the pain and discomfort during eating, talking or just closing your mouth, in general.All in all, we do know the importance of having the perfect smile, it's time we get that perfect bite too!  

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Health Benefits of Having Braces

There is no doubt in anyone's mind that the payoff of getting braces is having a great smile once they are removed. However, the aesthetic advantage of braces is just one of the many benefits that might not be known to a lot of people.

Correct alignment of teeth not only looks good but it also feels good to chew with them as they are more effective in gnashing food into tiny pieces. This easier and more effective way of breaking down what we eat also leads to easier digestion and is very helpful to those who might have nutritional or chewing problems.

Proper positioning of teeth also helps in speech through correction of certain speech impediments or lisps caused by gap/spaces and improper alignment of teeth that might make it hard to pronounce certain sounds or words. The correction of tooth positions also aids in the proper closing and opening of our jaws and can address jaw problems and/or prevent grinding that tend to wear away certain teeth.

The achievement of this alignment also makes cleaning of the teeth and gums easier. Food tends to get trapped in between teeth and they become more difficult to remove upon brushing and even flossing. The build-up of plaque and bacteria in these areas promotes the occurrence of gum disease. If this is not addressed properly it can ultimately lead to the destruction of bone that supports our teeth through the condition called periodontitis. This loosens the teeth in time and can make them mobile; in their advanced stages, the tooth involved will have to be removed since they have become non-functional.

Medical Experts has also led to believe that poor oral health can lead to various health conditions such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes, dementia and respiratory infections.This is due to the fact that your teeth provides a direct path to your bloodstream where the infection can enter.

The presence of braces becomes a great reminder of how important it is to properly brush and floss our teeth because the brackets themselves are potential food traps. This reinforcement of dental hygiene will be carried out even after the removal of the braces and helps maintain healthy teeth.

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Can you use mouth wash instead of flossing?

Anyone who has tried flossing (and unsuccessfully prevented injuring their gums in the process) will know that it can be challenging to get into this habit.

The question is if mouth wash can be used as an alternative to flossing. We hate to be a bearer of bad news but the answer is no.

Many people would hands down choose mouthwash over flossing thinking that the former can be a substitute for the other. However, these two dental aids have different uses and are both needed to keep our teeth and gums healthy. 

"So what does mouthwash really do?" you might ask. Mouthwashes or mouth rinses are liquids we swish around the mouth usually after brushing and flossing. Most mouth washes that you can see in the supermarkets usually address bad breath but a lot of them also prevent bad bacteria from increasing in number in the mouth or sticking onto tooth surfaces.

While flossing involves the use of good hand dexterity, mouth washing gives us a hassle free way of cleansing around the inside of our mouth. It is also useful after dental surgery for areas that are not easy/painful to brush.

As good as all of these sound, flossing still tramples mouth washing in terms of removal of food debris and bacteria because it actually involves mechanical removal on the tooth surface. Much like how toothbrushes work, flossing scrapes away the bacteria in between the teeth that tooth brushing is not able to remove. 


A lot of us believe that flossing is an optional addition to brushing but these two go hand in hand in cleaning different areas of the teeth. After eating, you can see food debris that gets stuck in between teeth. Brushing these areas might make us feel like they're clean already, however, thin films of bacteria are still lodged in these tight areas and they can only be removed by flossing. If these area are not cleaned, in time cavities can develop which then means another trip to the dentist for new fillings. 

Granted mouth washes prevents and/or kills bacteria on our teeth, it does not effectively remove everything on the surface. A lot of mouth wash brands also only offer temporarily relief from bad breath. This can make us think that our mouth is clean because of the fresh and pleasant taste it leaves (and make us even lazier with using the floss).

The way to look at tooth brushing, flossing and using mouth wash is to see them as a triumvirate of oral health essentials. They each serve a specific purpose in cleaning our teeth and gums and needs to be used with proper technique to be able to be efficient.

As much as we'd like mouth wash to replace flossing, we definitely cannot substitute one from the other. Flossing may seem like a tedious thing but it ultimately gets the job done in preventing gum diseases and tooth decay.

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What is the Difference Between an Orthodontist and a Dentist?

Aren't dentists the same as Orthodontists? Aren't dentists - Orthodontists?  Well if not, what are the differences between a dentist and a orthodontist?

The short answer is that an orthodontist is a specialist dentist that focuses specifically in teeth, jaws and face to ensure not only for aesthetics, but also functionality.  An orthodontist studies much longer than a dentist and carries out significantly more training courses.

​When deciding on whether you want to have lingual braces, clear braces or even Invisalign braces, it is always recommended to see a specialist for more information.

​Generally once a dentist is certified through the means of a Bachelor degree, a full time course is required on top to become a specialist orthodontist which is done through a Masters of Science in Orthodontics. 

Orthodontic courses are generally very popular and some training facilities require extensive full time experience in the field before accepting new students.

If you would like more information on our Orthodontist, you can read about Dr Jeremy Chin and the team.

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