Is this really A Thing?!
We’d like to think “tens of thousands” of YouTube views doesn’t necessarily mean all or even most viewers tried it at home. We hope. Who hasn’t watched more than one video for the sheer OMG factor of it – like the one here?
But apparently the American Association of Orthodontists has grown concerned enough to issue a consumer alert against trying to straighten your own teeth – whether with rubber bands, paper clips, or mail order devices. “It is the AAO’s position,” they say elsewhere,
that patients should always see an orthodontic specialist to move teeth and achieve a proper bite. “DIY” at-home treatments without orthodontic supervision, such as attempts to close gaps with rubber bands or paper clips, significantly increase the chances of irreparable harm. Orthodontic treatment is a complex medical procedure, and there is no “one size fits all” approach. Treatment is customized for each patient, taking into account all relevant information.
The trend of do it yourself orthodontic treatment appears to be increasing in North America and the United Kingdom, as well as other areas around the world. A quick Google search of the term “do it yourself orthodontics” will reveal the extent of the problem.
Well, you might be thinking, orthodontists stand to lose money from people straightening their own teeth. Of course they’re concerned!
On the other hand, the person dead-set on DIY ortho stands to lose some teeth or create other expensive-to-fix dental problems – which kind of defeats the purpose of ortho-on-the-cheap.