Amazon Prime, Door Dash, InstaCart…. these are just a few of the places people order from daily to get all the essentials, take out food, toilet paper, groceries, cat toys(…just me?! okay.) Americans are getting very used to the idea of ordering essentials online and having those items promptly shipped directly to them…but should this practice be extended to orthodontic treatment or more specifically to removable tooth movers or aligners?
The time has come where people are “able” to order these aligners off websites and get “a perfect smile at a fraction of the cost…”. The important question is, how effective and safe are these mail order aligners?
Would you trust yourself to treat a broken bone at home and get it back in the correct alignment? No? Because we aren’t orthopedic surgeons, right?
We all would love a “Hollywood” smile, but is risking doing permanent damage to our teeth by taking the cheaper and more “convenient” option worth it? A study done in 2012 had people look at pictures of others and describe their attributes, without knowing it was really a study about crooked/straight teeth. More than two-thirds of people said that they perceived the people with straight teeth more successful, happy, and having a better social life. So whether we like to admit it or not, appearances matter. When people try to take shortcuts to get this smile whether its DIY orthodontics or mail order aligners that aren’t under supervision of an orthodontist, some pretty ugly things can happen like losing teeth, having misalignment issues that can effect your jaw and bite, etc…
The American Dental Association and The American Association of Orthodontists caution against using these mail-order companies. There is a whole YOUTUBE section about DIY orthodontics and the AAO strongly recommends you do not do any of this and to always consult an orthodontist first!
One of the most common DIY “fixes” is where people use small rubber bands to go around the teeth that need “correcting” like a gap between the two front teeth. This can be detrimental! Not only can this cause AVULSION(loss of teeth), but can cause a weakened tooth support system by ruining the periodontal ligament( the ligament that holds the tooth into the gum and bone), but even if this “straightens” your teeth you can cause a traumatic bite which means potential fractured teeth and TMD (tempromandibular disorders.) https://www.aaoinfo.org/blog/diy-orthodontic-treatment-a-case-study/ You don’t want to end up like this poor kid!
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June 8th 2021— Drs. Reid & Reid are sponsoring the SAFELIGHT HUMANITARIAN AWARDS https://www.safelightfamily.org/
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