If your smile is less than perfect, you might find yourself looking for fast, easy, and inexpensive ways to align your teeth. Unfortunately, this common problem has many people looking to the web for DIY repairs, resulting in an uptick in dental injuries. Here are three reasons DIY orthodontic care is a bad idea, and why you should only trust a dentist to align your teeth.
1. Prerequisite Exams Improve Your Comfort and Safety
You might think that straightening your teeth at home is convenient, especially since you won't have to make an appointment with your dental care provider. However, those early appointments are crucial for effective treatment planning, especially since damaged teeth are dangerous to move.
During early orthodontic exams, your dentist checks your teeth carefully for issues like gingivitis, tooth decay, and anatomical abnormalities. Since foreign objects like wires, brackets, and bands create extra places for bacteria to hide, orthodontic work tends to increase instances of gum disease, which could potentially harm your teeth.
The displacement of teeth that are already compromised by decay could lead to painful dental fractures. Anatomical abnormalities like extra teeth or a complicated midline could mean all of your efforts are in vain.
If you decide to superglue earring backs to your teeth and straighten your smile with a straightened paperclip, you might end up with a raging case of periodontal disease or a smile that doesn't seem to budge.
On the other hand, by meeting with your dentist and having a careful exam, your doctor can develop a customized treatment plan especially for your smile. Your doctor will talk with you about orthodontic timelines, safety, and treatment phases, increasing your comfort and eliminating your risks for developing serious problems.
2. Teeth Need Gentle, Constant Pressure to Be Moved Correctly
If you have ever wondered why braces and invisible aligners are left on the teeth for months or years, the fact of the matter is that moving teeth is no easy feat, and the process involves a great deal of complex biology for it to go off without a hitch. The teeth require constant, gentle pressure to move correctly, which is why wrapping those gapped teeth in a few rubber bands is a recipe for disaster.
When your dentist puts braces on your teeth, the wire gently presses the teeth into alignment, creating pressure on one side of the periodontal ligament while alleviating pressure on the other. Over time, this gentle force creates bone resorption on one side of the tooth and bone growth on the other side, helping the tooth to shift while strengthening the support system around the tooth.
Unfortunately, when teeth are moved too quickly, which is commonly the case with DIY orthodontic techniques, it can damage the periodontal ligament so severely that it creates bone loss around the entire tooth, causing severe pain and even tooth loss.
When it comes to orthodontic care, remember that there are no quick fixes. Working with your doctor might take more time, but he or she will ensure that your teeth are safe and present when you are finished with treatment.
3. DIY Orthodontics Don't Account for Retaining
After the teeth are successfully moved, retainers keep your smile in the appropriate position. Bone tissue healing takes time after orthodontic treatment, and the teeth tend to gravitate back to their original positions - unless a retainer is in place.
Unfortunately, DIY orthodontic treatments don't account for retaining, which means even successfully straightened teeth will move out of place unless you happen to have a custom retainer.
On the other hand, when you work with an orthodontist, you can choose from permanently fixed retainers, removable options, or nightly varieties to keep your teeth perfect for the rest of your life.
Avoid danger and take the guesswork out of the orthodontic process by coming in to see us here at Steckbeck Family Dentistry. In addition to working hard to make sure each and every one of our patients is comfortable and happy, our dentist uses state-of-the-art procedures to help people to enjoy straighter, brighter, and healthier smiles as soon as possible.