Dangers of Do-it-Yourself Braces in Marlborough
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Dangers of Do-it-yourself Braces

Everyone wants to save a buck. So when YouTube videos of how teens and adults straightened their own teeth start going viral, you are tempted to jump on the bandwagon. Doctors Carvalho and Roth are orthodontic experts and want to warn all teens and adults in the Marlborough, Northborough or Newton Centre areas against taking the task on yourself.

Whether it’s designing your own plastic aligners similar to Invisalign products, or creating your own movement process with rubber bands, completing these medical treatments on yourself is risky business. Buzzfeed recently reported on 23-year-old Amos Dudley who created his own “homemade” set of plastic aligners. Dudley, a college design student, designed 18 sets of aligners using his school’s 3-D printer at a cost of only $60. He turned in the project for a class, and then wore the aligners to move his teeth.

Most people don’t have access to the expensive equipment used by Dudley, but they’ve turned to everyday household items to create fake braces. One of the earliest YouTube DIY braces videos showed 14-year-old Shalom DeSota looping rubber bands around her front teeth to close a gap between her two front teeth. More than 600,000 people viewed her video, sending it viral across the web.

Many other videos show teens making braces with hair elastic ties, paper clips, backs of earrings, electrical wire, fishing line, and more.

What ARE the dangers of do-it-yourself braces?

    • DIY braces can lead to infection – Foreign objects in the mouth can introduce bacteria into your system. You also risk tearing the gums, which might not heal properly and will be prone to infection.


    • DIY braces can lead to bone loss and root damage – A rubber band left in your mouth for extensive time can work itself under the gums, force itself into the gum line and start to wear the bone away. The band actually strangles all nutrients to the tooth and permanently damages the supporting bone structures.


    • DIY braces can lead to serious bite changes – Most DIY braces focus on only a portion of the teeth in your mouth. The problem is while these teeth move to close gaps; other teeth become further apart changing the way your teeth meet or your bite. Other teeth, left without support, can become unstable and drift, changing the way you chew and speak.


    • DIY braces can lead to tooth loss – If the rubber band wears away at the bone below the gum line, the tooth doesn’t get the support it needs. The tooth will eventually wiggle itself out of the socket and fall out costing more to fix


  • DIY braces can lead to relapse – While these DIY methods may move your teeth, you will have no control over the movement. This quick, unsupervised movement is likely to make your teeth move back to their original position even faster that the time it took for you to originally move them.

Look to Carvalho & Roth for braces or Invisalign payment plans

Clearly the motivation for all of these DIY braces options is money. That’s where we can help. Carvalho & Roth Orthodontics will work with your dental insurance to make sure any benefits are awarded for your braces needs. Our finance experts will also work with you on a payment plan for your braces or Invisalign treatments that will suit your needs and budget.

While you might paint your own house, orthodontic treatment is a serious medical procedure that requires a professional. Doctors Carvalho and Roth are graduates of the Harvard School of Dental Medicine, have years of orthodontic specialists training and have advanced master’s degrees. They are experts in moving teeth and aligning jaws. Count on them when it comes to properly moving your teeth in a safe and effective way.

We encourage you to call us immediately at our Marlborough, Northborough or Newton Centre, MA, offices if you have been fashioning your own braces. You might start to see damage from DIY braces in 4-6 weeks after using the rubber bands. It’s never too late to ensure that your teeth and jaw are healthy and not in danger.

If you’re ready to consult orthodontic experts for your braces or Invisalign treatments, call us to schedule your first free appointment and find out how Carvalho & Roth Orthodontics can help. We’ll assess the health of your gums and teeth and let you know if anything needs attention. We look forward to helping you create that bright, beautiful, straight-tooth smile you’ve always wanted.

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