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CEO DATELINE – Orthodontists speak out against do-it-yourself teeth straightening

March 20, 2017
By Walt Williams

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The American Association of Orthodontists is finding little to smile about in a recent rise in the number of patients trying to straighten their teeth using homemade braces and other “do-it-yourself” techniques.

A recent survey by AAO found that 13 percent of the group’s members said they had treated patients who had tried DIY teeth straightening, ABC News reported. The association also points to an increase in the number of online videos purportedly showing viewers how they can straighten teeth using paperclips, rubber bands, dental floss and other household items.

AAO is concerned about the uptick in interest about DIY teeth straightening, which the group said could cause permanent damage to teeth and gums.

“It’s really a shame when someone comes in after attempting DIY orthodontic treatment and we determine that the damage they’ve done to their teeth is so extensive that teeth cannot be saved,” DeWayne McCamish, elected president of AAO, said in a statement. “By the time a layperson recognizes something is wrong with their teeth, it may not be reversible, even with professional help.”

The cost of replacing a lost tooth can amount to more than $20,000 during a person’s lifetime, he added.

"You have to remember that the goal of good orthodontic treatment is obtaining a healthy, beautiful smile for a lifetime–-shortcuts can be disastrous,” McCamish said.