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Are you thinking about straightening your teeth at home?
If you are here, you have likely just seen a Do-It-Yourself dentistry infomercial.
Did You Know? DIY dentistry can be hazardous to your health.
Both the American Dental Association (ADA) and the American Association of Orthodontics (AAO) issued a warning stating that at-home dentistry can be dangerous to your oral health.
While neither organization outright dismisses DIY orthodontics, they encourage you to consider the possible risks.
First, is your smile worth the risk you might take on one of these at-home teeth straightening kits?
To help you discover the answer to this question and to help you see beyond the cameras, the bright lights, and the celebrity endorsements of the TV commercials, we discuss at-home braces and aligners in detail below so you can better understand how this treatment works — and how it can also go terribly wrong without professional dentist supervision.
Get ready to learn…
- How Straightening Your Teeth at Home Works
- Key Questions to Ask Before Ordering Online Braces
- The Dangers of DIY Dentistry & At-Home Orthodontics
- Safe Straightening Treatments for Your Smile
And, much more.
First, let’s talk about the different kinds of at-home straightening treatments available to you and how they work.
How Straightening Your Teeth at Home Works?
In recent years, straightening your teeth at home has become increasingly popular.
Direct-to-consumer companies like SmileDirectClub and SnapCorrect made it possible for you to order your orthodontic treatment online and get it shipped straight to your door.
Some people like the idea of at-home aligners because at home aligning kits cost roughly half the price of professional treatment and you don’t need to pay extra visits to your local dentist or orthodontist office.
However, when it comes to your oral health, don’t just blindly trust what you see on TV without maintaining a healthy level of scrutiny.
Keep in mind that the only way you can ensure optimal oral health is by seeing your local dental care provider regularly especially when you are undergoing specialized dental treatment.
As far as the price, remember in the end, you get exactly what you pay for and what you don’t pay for.
And, on top of that, at home aligners and clear invisible brace kits place a lot of responsibility on you as the patient.
Here’s how at home teeth straightening kits work.
The Allure of Cheaper Braces: How The At-Home Braces & Aligners Advertising Pitch Preys On You
You are watching your favorite TV show.
Next, up pops a flashy 30-second TV commercial with a celebrity you know that has the type of smile you have always wanted. They go on to share the benefits of how easy it is to straighten your teeth at home in as little as X months!
They sell you the dream – A perfect smile, in less time without the expense of traditional braces or clear aligners.
After all, it makes sense, right? You are cutting out the middleman, and what could possibly go wrong? Well, a lot actually.
Your trusted celebrity would never steer you wrong, right? Well, think again.
By thinking you can save a buck or two, you go to the website and self-diagnose your oral care needs all without the help of a dentist.
As instructed, you take a few choice pictures of your smile and send the pictures to a remote orthodontist, who will evaluate your case.
Congratulations! You are approved! Imagine that? Everyone’s a Winner!
Your sight unseen orthodontist determines you’re a perfect candidate for the at home orthodontics treatment based on a photo you shot with your cell phone. Again, what could go wrong, right?
You’re at home teeth straightening kit arrives, and now you are responsible for monitoring your treatment progress.
Does this sound familiar? Do you see the common thread here?
You are on your own, and worse yet, without the supervision of a dental professional directly overseeing your care. For this reason, you should take extra caution and do EXTRA due diligence before you risk starting an at home dental treatment method like this.
If you are still considering pursuing at-home braces or aligners, keep reading to find out what questions to ask before starting your at home dental treatment.
Key Questions to Ask Before Ordering Braces Online or By a Mail Order Dentist
Since you will be accountable for your treatment, it’s important to know all the details before you get started.
According to the AAO, here’s what to ask the provider before you order braces online or by mail.
Q: Does the direct-to-consumer company perform diagnostic tests like x-rays before proceeding to your treatment?
A: If the answer is yes, then you should understand whether this is included in the initial price. If the answer is no, ask yourself if you’re comfortable altering your appearance without supportive diagnostic reports.
Q: Does your treatment plan include in-person appointments with a dentist or orthodontist?
A: If the answer is yes, how many visits do you receive as part of the do-it-yourself dentistry option? If the answer is NO, consider the risk involved in undergoing a life-altering dental treatment without any professional supervision. Do you genuinely want to jeopardize your dental health with the hopes it will work?
Q: Do you know the name of your remote orthodontist assigned to you? What are their qualifications and credentials?
A: If you don’t know the name and credentials of your orthodontist, how can you know if they are trustworthy? If you research products before you buy them, don’t you think you should also conduct research before receiving a medical service?
Q: How many treatment options are available to you? For example, do you have a choice between braces or invisible aligners?
A: If the direct-to-consumer company only offers one specific treatment, how can you know this is the best option for you?
Q: What are the risks involved in this method of treatment?
A: Every dental treatment comes with risks. Be sure to evaluate what they are and how they can affect you and your smile. To learn more on this topic, check out the next section of this article.
Now that you know some of the most critical questions to ask before you straighten your teeth at home on your own let’s discuss how DIY dentistry can go wrong.
Don’t Fall Prey To Good TV Advertising: DIY Dentistry & At Home Orthodontics Can Be Dangerous
Can at-home aligners ruin your teeth? Can braces online mess up your mouth?
In short, YES!
There’s a reason why the ADA and AAO both warn against at-home aligners kits. Here are the main risks associated with DIY dentistry and orthodontics.
The Main Risks of DIY Dentistry and Orthodontics
- Gum damage and gum recession
- Difficulty biting down
- Oral infection
- Tooth loss
As you can see, DIY dentistry can be hazardous to your dental health.
To avoid putting your oral health at risk, we strongly recommend consulting a dental professional before pursuing a dental home treatment. Your trusted oral health care provider will make sure your aligners fit your smile so that you can minimize risk.
If your dental aligners don’t fit properly, these aligners can make your problems much worse. For example, they can push teeth even further out of alignment. Worse yet, this can result in gum damage, or worse, an oral infection.
Some smiles need more care than what your at-home treatment can provide. Allow your trusted dentist to look at your teeth and tell you whether at-home treatment is right for you.
Otherwise, you can subject yourself to botched at-home dentistry experiment. At which point, you might end up needing even more dental work to correct your crooked teeth than you did when you started home teeth straightening treatment; costing you even more money.
Botched DIY Dentistry Can Result In:
- The need for extensive antibiotic treatments.
- Unforeseen tooth extractions.
- Another round of alignment treatment
- Even more out of pocket expenses.
And much more, which can cause you years of frustration and set you back even more financially!
As you now know, DIY dentistry and orthodontics, as seen in the TV advertising highlight reel, does not always work out so well and they can become dangerous fast.
Read on if you want to straighten your teeth safely.
Safe Straightening Treatments for Your Smile
Luckily, there are ways for you to safely and effectively straighten your teeth. Keep reading to discover what they are.
Your Two Main Options Include:
Clear aligners, such as Invisalign
Braces and traditional orthodontics
To learn more about your treatment options right now, reach out to our Leander dental office.
Safely Straighten Your Teeth
We’re not saying that at-home dentistry can’t be safe. But, you must weigh the risks to your short term and long-term oral health before pursuing. Make sure to speak with your Leander dentist, who has your best interest in mind, before making a commitment to an expensive at home teeth straightening treatment.
Keep in mind that orthodontists study for an average of 10 years in undergraduate, postgraduate, and doctoral schools before they start straightening teeth.
If you want the best results and if you’re going to reduce your risk of infection or worse, then we recommend you see a dental professional.
Entrust Your Smile With Apple Springs Family Dentistry
Providing Quality Orthodontics to Leander, Texas & the Greater Austin Area
Your smile is important to you. And it’s delicate. Treat it with care.
Place your teeth and oral health in trusted hands.
Trust the experts at Apple Springs Family Dentistry, located near the major intersection of Lakeline Blvd. and Crystal Falls Pkwy in Leander, Texas.
See why this dental office is considered the best in Leander dentistry and orthodontics.
To schedule your appointment, click here or call us now at 512-212-9711.