DIY Braces: They May be Cheap, but They are Not a Good Idea
By Mina Levi, DDS, 03/25/2015
You may have seen a few stories floating around on the internet about people who have had success with cheap, $5 DIY braces in closing gaps in their teeth like this one. This method may be cheap and affordable, and you don’t have to go into the dentist for check-ups as often, however, there are many major problems that this can cause. Dentist San Francisco Mina Levi, DDS explains in this article some of the problems that can occur and why you shouldn’t try DIY braces.
1. Periodontal disease. Rubber bands that people have used as at-home braces can work their way under the gums where a person can no longer reach them or pull them out. This can separate the tooth from the gums and leave areas where the gums can collect bacteria and become infected. Even if the rubber band is retrieved, the attachments will be lost and the gums will harbor bacteria in those areas until the gums are healed with periodontal treatment and maintenance at a dental office.
2. Tooth loss. If rubber bands that sink below the gum line are un-retrievable, the separation of the gum and the tooth will continue and the rubber bands can wrap themselves around the root of the tooth, causing severe infection. The detachment of the gums from the tooth at this level can cause tooth loss alone, but with infection also in consideration, the tooth may be lost along with bone structure. The tooth will then need to be replaced with dentures or an implant. Implants are not an option, however, if there is too much bone loss in the area.
3. Lead poisoning. Metal that is found in DIY braces kits that are sold on the black market have been found to have traces of lead. Using this metal and putting it into your mouth can lead to lead poisoning; this can be fatal.
If the cost of professional Invisalign or metal braces is what may cause you to try DIY braces, please talk to Dentist San Francisco Mina Levi, DDS about the multiple financial options that are available to help you pay for Invisalign treatment such as in-office payment plans and Care Credit. If the multiple office visits is what is causing you to think about DIY braces, we can also talk to you about how often you will need to come in to the office and why, and we will try to make the treatment as seamless as possible for you. Please do not use DIY braces, as you could lose your perfectly healthy teeth. To learn more about Invisalign treatment, visit our Invisalign page here or give us a call at (415) 513-5066.
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