DIY Orthodontics: What You Need to Know

Your dentist in Hyde Park agrees that there is nothing more beautiful than a smile that’s healthy, confident, and straight. These days, there are more and more ways to fix your smile. We thought we’d take some time to address the surge in do-it-yourself or at-home smile straightening. Let’s talk about why DIY orthodontics is not the best idea for you and your smile.

Promises, Promises

Everywhere you look today from TV to online ads there seem to be new DIY aligners popping up every day. The truth is mail-ordered braces, or at-home aligners, are starting to become something of a fad. They make grand promises of straightening your smile quickly and without any appointments with a dental health professional like your Hyde Park dentist. Check social media: people across the country are raving about their results, and there are plenty of reviews out there, too. It seems like these orthodontic solutions are the end all, be all of straightening teeth. The truth is, DIY orthodontics is  NOT a miracle fix, and you need to be wary of the claims and promises these companies make.

Help Yourself

It’s important to understand that when you’re straightening your teeth, you’re moving bones and repositioning your bite. That’s a big deal, especially when you don’t have your dentist or orthodontist supervising the progress. To get ideal results for you and your smile, you really should have x-rays in the beginning and someone by your side to review how your bones are moving and your smile is changing. With mail-order orthodontics, you send in a mold of your teeth and hope for the best. You might find it’s not the same as having a comprehensive treatment plan monitored by a dentist or specialist. It’s like driving a car, but you only know how to ride a bike. The results can be dangerous!

We’re All Different

Just because you can go online and order some clear aligners for your smile, doesn’t mean you’re going to get the straight smile you’re promised. Everyone has a different bite and smile. Sometimes clear aligners just won’t work. If you’re one of these people who won’t see results from aligner therapy, you won’t know until you’ve already wasted time and money on your smile. (You might also do some unnecessary and unwanted damage to your teeth.) The companies selling the clear aligners won’t tell you that the product might not be the best fit for you. Some of the not-so-hot reviews for mail-order orthodontics say that people felt like their teeth were worse after they started treatment. This could be attributed to aligners that didn’t fit right or placement issues that needed to be addressed by a dental health professional.

We hope you’ll schedule an appointment at our dental office in Hyde Park so we can talk about the right way to straighten your smile. There are plenty of options out there, and we have the tools and technology to assess what will work best for you. You can have a straight smile that’s cheap and fixed fast, but it’s best to leave it up to the professionals, and, as they say on TV, don’t try this at home.

All About Orthodontics

At our dental office in Hyde Park, we’re honored to take care of your family’s smiles. From regular cleanings, fillings, and restorative dentistry, we’re here to ensure healthy grins all around. But what happens if your teeth are crooked or overlap? Is it something to worry about? The truth is, if teeth aren’t straight and lined up correctly, we may recommend orthodontics — and for good reasons.

Straight Teeth Are Healthier Teeth

Having a set of straight teeth can directly affect both dental health and mental health. Unfortunately, too many people are worried and bothered by crooked teeth- which can keep them from laughing and smiling with confidence. Getting a straighter smile can transform someone’s self-esteem and boost confidence.

Crooked teeth are also more difficult to clean properly due to the overlapping and overcrowding. When we aren’t able to properly brush and floss our teeth, our risk for decay, cavities, and even gum disease increases. If not treated quickly, these dental problems can lead to more serious concerns or need for advanced treatment, such as a root canal, fillings or a crown, and even tooth loss.

Orthodontic issues may also lead to advanced oral health problems as well as whole-body concerns. A smile with uneven teeth can make breathing difficult and could eventually lead to sleep apnea, which is a serious problem. Many sleep apnea sufferers actually stop breathing several times a night! This alone has been linked to constant sleepiness and poor concentration at school or work. Additionally, a misaligned smile may make chewing difficult, contribute to digestive problems, and even diminish bone density in the jaw.

Straight Teeth May Still Need Orthodontics

The main goal of orthodontics is usually to create a symmetrical, straight smile. However, there are times when a visibly straight grin still needs orthodontics. Why? The bite, or the way the teeth come together, may be off. This is known as malocclusion or a “bad bite.” If left untreated, a misaligned bite could result in pain and long-term complications. It’s best to get an evaluation from your dentist in Hyde Park so that any potential problems are caught and treated before they have a chance to turn into large issues including:

  • Increased risk for chipped teeth
  • Speech impairment in kids
  • Severe headaches
  • Damage to tooth enamel

What Causes Crooked Teeth in the First Place?

Even though crooked teeth are incredibly common, no one thing causes them. Some of the things that can contribute to a crooked smile include:

  • Poor habits as a child such as thumb sucking
  • Early tooth loss before an adult tooth is ready to erupt
  • A small jaw
  • Facial injury
  • Genetics
  • Mouth breathing
  • Incorrect tongue posture

If you’re unhappy with your smile or are unsure whether you or a family member could benefit from orthodontic treatment, call your Hyde Park dentist for a checkup. Dentists are trained to identify whether a crooked grin may be troublesome and will be able to recommend the best orthodontic treatment for your individual case.