Beware: The Dangers of DIY Orthodontics

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Minneapolis, MN – Today we live in a do-it-yourself (DIY) world. Think about it – travel agents are no longer needed to book travel, people shop for homes and cars online, and YouTube videos have become the go-to for learning how to do just about anything.

Now, that DIY world is unfortunately trickling into the oral healthcare industry.

DIY Braces – A Dangerous Trend

The American Association of Orthodontics is so concerned about this alarming new trend that they have issued a PSA video announcing the dangers that come with attempting to straighten your teeth at home. Horror stories are emerging detailing how teens are actually wrapping elastic bands around their teeth to close an undesirable gap, resulting in irreversible damage and sometimes requiring surgery to repair it.

DYI Dental Don’ts

Recently, some companies are presenting themselves as mail-order orthodontics companies selling Invisalign knockoffs. One company offers a sequence of plastic aligners from impressions that the consumer takes at home.

For an initial fee of $95, buyers receive a kit with instructions on how to take their dental impressions at home and upload photos of their teeth from their smartphone. They are asked to sign a statement confirming that they have seen a dentist and had professional x-rays taken, even though the consumer is not required to submit a copy of the x-rays or get confirmation from the dentist.

Can this kind of treatment work? No, it cannot. Patients need to determine what the proper treatment is by seeking a comprehensive diagnosis from an orthodontic specialist. Only a trained and certified orthodontist possesses the training and knowledge required to determine the best treatment options for the patient.

While these online companies typically provide email and phone support, there is no one there to monitor progress personally and identify key factors in a patient’s case. These factors include whether the patient’s teeth are matching together properly, if the teeth are getting too loose or interfering with adjacent or opposing teeth, or how to identify any issue that would require additional treatment.

DIY Beware

Just because someone can straighten his or her own teeth on a DIY basis doesn’t mean that they should. There is a legitimate reason that orthodontists require seven years of post-college education to become experts in the science and art of orthodontics.

With DIY healthcare treatments, the doctor-patient relationship is devaluated – or practically eliminated – and could seriously compromise your oral health. With DIY dental care, the relationship that is so crucial to proper oral care has been downgraded to smartphone interaction.

Dr. Eisenhuth and her team are skilled and knowledgeable dental professionals, helping those in the Minneapolis, St. Paul and Apple Valley areas achieve their very best smiles. She is one of Minnesota’s top orthodontists, offering experienced and compassionate care to all of her patients.

Don’t take any chances with your oral health. Call the office of your ORTHODONTIST today at (651) 447-6768 to schedule your free consultation. While you’re here, we’ll discuss professional teeth straightening options such as Invisalign and alternative treatments to determine the best treatment to reach your goals.

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