Kids are doing DIY braces on YouTube and the results are scary

As the cost of dental care continues to increase, people are turning to Do-It-Yourself alternatives for common problems. A quick YouTube search will produce dozens of videos on how to whiten your teeth, how to fill your cavities, and even how to drain an abscess from inside the mouth. Recently, however, the most popular videos have become those teaching people how to make their own braces.

Orthodontics are more often than not expensive mostly because there just isn’t a lot of competition as far as alternatives for people that want procedures done. Healthy teeth are a significant societal acceptance factor, leaving individuals with a less than stellar smile to feel self-conscious. The cost of braces ranges anywhere between $3,000 to $13,000, and with growing economic struggles it is leaving many people out of options to take the necessary steps to have problems fixed. Even those lucky enough to have procedures covered by insurance will still pay a hefty amount out of pocket. This has resulted in people taking strange and desperate measures to create the perfect smiles of their dreams.

Most of the DIY methods require the user to apply small rubber bands around the teeth that need the correction. For example, if you have a gap in between your front two teeth you would tie the rubber band around them as if you were binding them together. The object is for the pressure of the rubber bands to cause the teeth to shift closer together. People that have tried this have claimed to see results in as early as four weeks, but what they are not seeing is the possible underlying damage this is causing.(RELATED: Get all the news Google is hiding from you at

Braces are more than just sticking metal in your mouth to make your teeth straight, and expertise is required of the biology of teeth and the physics of moving them. The teeth also need to be monitored throughout the moving process so that corrections can be made if necessary. While the DIY methods offer the desired results much faster than traditional braces what the users may not realize is that if you move a tooth too fast, you can cause damage to the bone and gums. Also, if you don’t put the tooth in the right position, you could throw off your bite, causing major jawbone problems in years to come.

Unsupervised movements of teeth can set you up for a high potential of relapse, where the tooth will move back into its previous position faster than it took to move it originally. And last but certainly not least of the potential hazards is the possibility that the rubber bands, aside from causing bleeding and discomfort, can travel below the gum tissue and become stuck or even extract the tooth. Many of these cases have resulted in the loss of teeth, which can cost upwards of $20,000 to repair, assuming it can be repaired at all.

In orthodontics, much of the cost of surgery is for the expertise of the surgeon, not the equipment being used. But one must weigh the pros and cons of DIY remedies when it comes to this kind of procedure, especially considering the outcome if it goes wrong. Most of the DIY tutorials have a disclaimer from the person making the video warning of the side effects and stating that they assume no responsibility for any negative outcomes. Moving teeth without a thorough examination of the overall health of the teeth and gums could result in the permanent loss of teeth, which may result in expensive and lifelong dental problems. (Related: Find more news about dentistry at


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