Dangers of “Do It Yourself” Orthodontic Treatment

December 12, 2019

Dangers of “Do It Yourself” Orthodontic TreatmentAs we enter the holiday season, we know everyone is trying to put their best self forward preparing to gather around with loved ones. A good-looking smile with even teeth can be a major confidence booster and helps to make a lasting impression on others whether on a date, reunion, or even interview.

Each year millions and even billions of dollars are spent on products to help people achieve that beautiful smile. These days there are dozens of products and methods spreading across the internet claiming they can get your teeth to “pearlfection”. There are even some who have resulted in making their own concoctions of dental care to save on money.

Please heed our warning, when it comes to dental care, doing it on your own can have dangerous and disastrous results.

Recent videos and posts of how to perform “do-it-yourself” or DIY dental procedures have become more popular and resulted in a rise of patients suffering from DIY procedures gone wrong. These are problematic trends that can have serious consequences.

We’d like to warn you about some of these dangers in hopes that you will see through the false promises they give. Instead, save yourself the trouble and toothache of DIY treatments and come to us for your dental needs.

Home-made Orthodontics

An internet trend that has come to our attention is the increasing videos and articles on how to make your own braces. While we understand that many people consider braces a rite of passage and trendy look, it is important to note that orthodontic treatment is a dental procedure and not something one should take into his or her own hands.

What are they?

To make these DIY braces, people fasten household items to their teeth to move their teeth to where they think they should be. Some of these items include rubber bands, dental floss, hair ties, paperclips, and earring backs.

A popular method of DIY orthodontic treatment is to use clear hair ties to close a gap or straighten teeth.

The idea is to wrap these ties around the misaligned teeth and after an indeterminate amount of time (daily or nightly wear), the gaps are supposed to close and straighten your bite. A small pack of these hair ties costs around $5 and some people who claim to see results in as little as 45 days. The appeal of DIY braces can be awfully attractive, but it is truly a case of you get what you pay for–and you should beware!

Straightening your teeth isn’t just about closing gaps; braces help align the upper and lower teeth to reduce pressure on your jaw and keep your teeth from wearing on each other over time.

What are the effects of DIY orthodontics?

The shape of teeth vary greatly as each mouth is unique. It can be easy for those rubber bands and ties to slide into soft tissue. Once embedded into your gums they can be difficult and nearly impossible to remove without professional help.

If left untreated, it will continue to move further into your gum line causing nerve damage as it makes its way towards the root of your tooth. This process will cause the crowns of your teeth to extrude as the roots are slowly killed and the tooth becomes loose and falls out. The loss of teeth and nerve damage are common complications that we see from DIY orthodontics but are not the only things to worry about. Other complications include:

  • Choking on makeshift brackets such as earring backs
  • Metal clips such as paper clips and other metals can become toxic if left in the mouth for extended periods
  • The snapping of bands directly onto your teeth can crack your enamel. Enamel loss is permanent.
  • The gums can become infected, resulting in serious and often expensive treatment
  • Crooked smiles due to teeth being moved at the wrong angle.
  • Pain and lacerations from bands sinking into soft tissue
  • Long term issues and pain from moving teeth too quickly.

Quality dental care is not quick, easy or inexpensive. Creating the perfect smile is a practice that requires education, training, experience, and skill to know how to properly and safely move teeth.

Mail-Order Products

Mail-Order dentistry or “teledentistry” is now on the rise. Instead of going to a dentist or orthodontist, there are now direct to consumer companies that will supply you with orthodontic appliances. These companies will often send an at-home impression kit for you to make your own impressions and mail them back to the company for evaluation. The company will then decide if you meet their criteria and once approved the aligners are made and sent back with instructions on how to correct your teeth at home.

These products are significantly cheaper making them appear to be more convenient to consumers. However, the criteria for the company’s acceptance does not take into account clients who might suffer from oral health issues such as gum disease and dental decay. These conditions often cause the misalignment of teeth and cannot be corrected with mail-order productions.

Mail-Order companies have the goal of making money by selling you products that should be supervised by qualified oral health professionals and are willing to compromise consumer health and safety for the sake of profit.

Dangers of Mail-Order Orthodontic Treatment

Orthodontists do more than just straighten your teeth. They identify and treat oral health concerns before considering treatment. This is why a comprehensive exam is performed before recommending any form of orthodontic treatment. With mail-order companies, other issues that the consumer might have can easily be overlooked as they can’t be seen with a simple impression kit.

Some dangers of these products are:

  • Poorly fitted products – A one-size-fits-all aligner or impression mold done without a professional evaluation can lead to poorly fitted aligners that may result in the loss of teeth, damage/infection of gums, inability to open/close jaw, and often teeth are left worse after receiving mail-order treatment.
  • Lack of supervision – There is no supervision with mail-order companies. Your teeth might move faster or slower than anticipated which is why orthodontic treatment requires frequent check-ups to see your progress throughout treatment. Without a dentist or orthodontist supervising you, issues will go unnoticed and may lead to further problems.
  • Aligners aren’t always the right choiceAligners are not the ultimate solution to uneven or misaligned smiles. Your mouth is unique and different treatments may be required for you to achieve your perfect smile.

It is important to remember that orthodontic treatment is a medical service, not a simple product or device to buy easily. Dental health professionals are here to decide what treatment plan will work best for you. Though these options can be tempting on the wallet, often consumers find themselves spending more money in the long-run when they come in for treatment to fix issues created by mail-order or DIY products.

Your teeth will thank you for putting your trust in dental professionals when it comes to achieving your perfect smile. Bring your questions and desires with you during your next Bracify 3D Orthodontics appointment and we will be sure to help you. Together, we will make a safe plan on how to achieve your best smile.

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Gum Disease, Diabetes, and Orthodontic Treatment

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Get The Most Out Of Invisalign

Get The Most Out Of InvisalignDo you have crooked or crowded teeth, or perhaps an overbite but don’t want to wear braces? Invisalign might be the right solution for you. Over 7 million people across the world are currently using Invisalign to correct their smiles and every day the number grows. This month, we’d like to take time to remind our patients of the benefits of Invisalign and how to care for their aligners this holiday season.

What is Invisalign?

Invisalign is an invisible, removable, and comfortable aligner that will give you a beautiful and straight smile. It is an orthodontic alternative to traditional braces where the patient wears a series of custom-made clear plastic aligners that gently and gradually move their teeth into alignment so that the patient can achieve a healthy bite where the top and bottom teeth properly function and fit together. Clear aligners are great for those who have crooked teeth, crowded teeth, gaps, overbites, underbites, open bites, or even crossbites. However, it is important to note that even though clear aligners can treat a variety of orthodontic conditions, it may not be the best treatment option for everyone.

The Difference

Unlike traditional braces, clear aligners put the treatment’s effectiveness on the patient’s shoulders as the patient is responsible for wearing the aligner constantly. For the treatment to work properly, aligners should be worn for at least 22 hours each day unless otherwise instructed. Patients should remove the aligner to eat, drink, brush, and floss their teeth only. Otherwise, they should be worn night and day.

Benefits of Invisalign

There are many orthodontic teeth-straightening treatments available. The most recognized is traditional metal braces that use wires and brackets to move your teeth. Traditional braces can be painful, uncomfortable, and put limitations on diet, which makes clear aligners like Invisalign an appealing alternative to many patients.

Some of the benefits of clear aligner therapy include:

  • They are custom made to fit the patient’s teeth
  • They are removable
  • They are easier to keep teeth and gums clean and healthy
  • They are clear and discreet
  • They are less likely to irritate your gums and cheeks
  • They can help prevent wear on teeth from tooth grinding

How does it work?

Clear aligners work like any other orthodontic appliance where pressure is applied to the teeth, gradually moving them and reshaping the supporting soft tissue and bones. An orthodontist will conduct a full dental exam of the patient’s mouth to assess the most appropriate treatment option. This exam may include digital scans, photographs, impressions, and x-rays. After the orthodontist concludes that Invisalign is right for you, a series of clear aligners are created specifically for your unique dental goals and lifestyle needs.

How long does the treatment take?

The length of treatment can also vary depending on what the patient’s goals are and the condition of the teeth. Your orthodontist will be able to give you a better estimate of how long treatment will take once your doctor has customized your treatment plan. Generally, aligners are changed every 2 weeks to gradually move the teeth. The total number of aligners can vary from patient to patient, though on average patients can go through anywhere from 20-30 aligners during treatment.

Holiday Handling

Though the holidays may look a little different this year, we still would like to remind our patients to take care of their aligners and treatment during the seasonal festivities.

  • Remember to remove your aligner while eating and drinking
  • Store your aligner in its case when not in use
  • Clean your case and aligner regularly with warm water and a soft-bristled brush. Your orthodontist will instruct you on the proper cleaning methods for your aligner.

Even if you can enjoy your favorite holiday sweets and treats, it is important to wear your retainer the recommended hours to maintain your treatment schedule.

If you are interested in Invisalign and wonder if it is right for you, schedule a consultation today. Your orthodontist can suggest the right form of treatment as Invisalign may not be the best treatment method for everyone. For more information, please contact Bracify 3D Orthodonics today.

Gum Disease, Diabetes, and Orthodontic Treatment

Gum Disease, Diabetes, and Orthodontic TreatmentDid you know that over 30 million people in the United States are currently diagnosed with diabetes? As the number rises in our country, awareness is vital to the prevention and management of this disease. November is National Diabetes Awareness Month, and we would like to join orthodontists across the country in spreading vital information about how diabetes can affect your oral health and influence orthodontic treatment.

What is Gum Disease?

Gum disease, also known as periodontal disease, is a condition where bacterial growth within the mouth results in an infection of the surrounding and supporting soft tissue of teeth. One of the most common causes of gum disease is the build-up of plaque that hardens into tartar which can only be removed by professionals. This buildup irritates the gums causing them to become swollen, red, and recede. As they recede higher, the infection continues to spread and can lead to eventual tooth and bone loss.

There are two stages of gum disease: gingivitis and periodontitis.

Gingivitis is the first stage of gum disease. The common symptoms of gingivitis include swollen or red gums that may bleed during brushing and flossing. There is no bone or tissue damage at this stage and teeth are often firmly rooted in place. This stage is reversible with dental cleanings and good oral hygiene habits.

Periodontitis is the second stage of gum disease and is the result of gingivitis being left untreated. During this stage, the inner layers of gum and bone have receded from your teeth and formed pockets. These pockets allow for food and bacteria to grow inside leading to further infection. Common symptoms of periodontitis include sensitive teeth, receding gums, the shifting or loss of teeth, and bad breath. If left untreated, the infection can further spread into the bone and jaw area. Periodontitis requires professional treatment and possible surgical options.

Diabetes and Gum Disease

Gum disease is often caused by plaque buildup and though there is no difference in buildup between those with diabetes and those without, diabetic patients are more susceptible to infections, increasing their risk of developing gum disease. For this reason, patients must practice good oral hygiene practices.

Additionally, gum disease can lead to an elevation in blood sugar levels that may cause complications for diabetic patients. High blood sugar levels can also encourage plaque buildup furthering the development of gum disease and making it harder for patients to control their blood sugar levels and gum disease.

Patients diagnosed with diabetes are also more susceptible to tooth decay, thrush, and dry mouth. Fortunately, these conditions and diseases can be prevented and managed if you maintain a healthy dental regimen while managing your diabetes.

What does that mean if you need orthodontic care?

Depending on the severity of your condition, orthodontic treatment may or may not be possible. In moderate to severe cases, gum disease can cause your teeth to shift into undesirable positions during treatment. In other cases, the inflammation of gums may cause bleeding and sores due to friction against the appliances during treatment which can lead to infection. These complications may cause treatment to stop early to avoid increasing patient risk of infection.

However, that doesn’t mean that if you are diabetic and have gum disease you are unable to receive orthodontic care. We will conduct a thorough evaluation of your teeth to determine the best course of treatment. If necessary, we will start by getting your gum disease under control. Once both your gum disease and blood sugar levels are stable, we can begin orthodontic treatment. In some cases, we may recommend aligners as opposed to traditional braces as aligners are removable allowing patients to eat, drink, and clean their teeth easily even with mild cases of gingivitis. Aligner therapy can be a great alternative to patients in maintaining good oral health even with gum disease.

For more information on gum disease and orthodontic treatment or to schedule an appointment, contact Bracify 3D Orthodontics today.

What are Space Maintainers?

What are Space Maintainers?
If your child loses a tooth early, for whatever reason, they may need a space maintainer. It is important to understand the benefits of a space maintainer and how they can help to support your child’s oral health.

What is a space maintainer?

A space maintainer is an oral appliance custom-made by orthodontists or dentists made of metal or acrylic. Similar to a retainer, a space maintainer helps to keep the surrounding teeth from moving and preserves the space for the permanent tooth to grow and develop properly. Not all children who lose their baby teeth early will require a space maintainer, but it is recommended that you seek a professional opinion to determine if treatment is needed.

Why are they important to my child’s oral health?

A space maintainer is important because they help to keep your child’s teeth in the right positions. When you lose a tooth, the surrounding teeth may shift towards the empty space. If this happens before your child’s permanent tooth erupts, it can cause issues with your child’s oral development and may lead to future orthodontic treatment.

Types

Space maintainers can be removable (similar to retainers) or they can be fixed and cemented to your child’s mouth. There are four kinds of fixed space maintainers:
Unilateral – Unilateral space maintainers are often used to maintain the space of a single tooth. One side is wrapped around the tooth to secure it from shifting and the other side has a metal loop to maintain the necessary space.
Crown and loop – The crown and loop space maintainers are similar to unilateral ones, except the metal loop is affixed onto a crown to ensure there is enough space for new teeth.
Distal shoe – A distal shoe space maintainer is made of metal and often used for slow-growing molars. This maintainer is more complex and often inserted into the gum line to hold the space.
Lingual – Lingual space maintainers are often used when multiple teeth are missing, especially in the front of the mouth. This device is fixed to both sides of the mouth and attached to the molars.

Treatment

Your child may experience some discomfort during the beginning of the treatment period as it may take a while for your child to adjust to the space maintainer. Once inserted, your dentist will explain how to care for your space maintainer as well as foods you should avoid. Similar to other orthodontic appliances, sticky, chewy goods can loosen or become stuck on your space maintainer and should be avoided.

It is important that children maintain good oral hygiene practices even with a space maintainer. Regular check-ups will be scheduled to monitor the progress of treatment, but your child should also continue to visit the dentist every six months for professional cleanings and routine examinations of their oral health.

For more information on space maintainers or schedule an appointment, please contact Bracify 3D Orthodontics today.

Orthodontic Treatment and Your Health

Orthodontic Treatment and Your HealthA smile is one of the first things you notice about someone. In terms of orthodontic treatment, the most notable and noticeable benefit from orthodontic treatment is the improvement of your smile. A bright smile is not just a symbol of confidence, but it can also be a sign of good health. In addition to improving your smile and boosting your emotional and psychological wellbeing, orthodontic treatment can optimize your oral health and improve your overall quality of life.

5 Benefits of Orthodontic Treatment

1. Orthodontic treatment can alleviate speech impediments.
Your teeth and jaw play an essential role in your ability to speak clearly. Misaligned teeth can affect your speech pattern. Orthodontic treatment can reposition your teeth to allow for clearer, more precise speech. This can improve self-confidence, interpersonal relationships, and overall quality of life.

2. Orthodontic treatment can decrease your risk of oral disease.
An uneven smile with misaligned teeth can be difficult to clean, brush, and floss properly due to deep crevices between teeth. These hard-to-reach places can allow harmful bacteria to build up and turn into tartar and plaque leading to the development of cavities, tooth decay, and periodontal disease. If left untreated, these conditions can lead to bone loss within the jaw and possibly the loss of teeth. Straightening your teeth through orthodontic treatment helps enable you to clean them properly and can considerably lower your risk for oral health conditions.

3. Orthodontic treatment can improve jaw function.
Sometimes orthodontic treatment can be used to correct a bad bite or malocclusion. Ensuring your bite fits together is important as misaligned teeth can place additional stress on the jaw and supporting structures of the mouth. This pressure can lead to abnormal wear-and-tear causing discomfort or pain and affecting your ability to chew, bite, and even speak.

After orthodontic treatment, your jaw can return to its natural position reducing pain, improving function, and relieving other symptoms of jaw dysfunction such as migraines, neck pain, and facial pain.

4. Orthodontic treatment can lower your risk of oral injury.
A malocclusion or misaligned teeth can weaken your teeth and their supporting structure making your teeth more susceptible to chipping and breaking up. This can be especially true for patients who often engage in high-contact activities such as sports. This can lead to infection and the need for extraction in severe cases.

5. Orthodontic treatment promotes a healthy body.
A healthy mouth promotes a healthy body. Your teeth and jaw work to break down your food effectively before it reaches your stomach. Misaligned teeth or malocclusions can cause large bites to not be broken down correctly increases the risk of reflux. This can affect your stomach lining and possibly tooth enamel. This poor digestion can even impact your body’s ability to absorb nutrients properly. There is also some medical evidence that supports oral health in connection to a variety of health issues beyond the mouth such as an increased risk of diabetes, stroke, and heart disease. Harmful bacteria can enter from the mouth and make its way to the bloodstream, lungs, and gut affecting the entire immune system. Orthodontic treatment can help to decrease your risk of these health conditions by promoting good oral health to limit your exposure.

Orthodontic treatment can benefit patients of any age. Early treatment, especially in children, can help to create beautiful smiles that last a lifetime saving many patients time and money in the long run. The length of treatment will vary depending on each patient’s condition and overall goal. For more information on the benefits of orthodontic treatment or to schedule an appointment, contact Bracify 3D Orthodontics office.

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