Orthodontists warn against growing social media trend of DIY braces

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HOUSTON - Do it yourself videos on social media are great for makeup or teaching a young man how to tie a tie, but a dangerous new trend is causing devastatingly painful and expensive oral injuries in young people. Do it yourself braces!

“Teenagers taking matters into their own hands, putting rubber bands around their teeth, trying to close the space. I’ve seen some teenagers putting paper clips, gluing it to their teeth, thinking it will move their teeth in the proper way, proper direction,” Dr. Vladimir Tabakman with West Houston Orthodontics and Bellaire Family Orthodontics said.

Tabakman joins the American Association of Orthodontists in saying it won't work! Don't do it!

"We've seen some bone loss, we've seen gum loss, we've seen root resorption," Tabakman said.

Thirteen percent of orthodontists in the AAO report seeing patients who've 'tried it at home.'

“We had one patient come in that put the rubber bands between the front teeth. Teeth moved too fast. We ended up referring patient to a periodontal specialist. They had to actually get a bone graft done because teeth moved too fast. Not too much fun,” Tabakman said.

Trying to save money by avoiding proper treatment only ends up costing these patients more in the end.

“Most offices including our office offer 0 percent financing, very affordable monthly payments and down payments, in order to save you dollars now. It might end up costing you many many thousands of dollars down the line,” Tabakman said.

The crux of it all, orthodontics are like any other healthcare practice. It's best when left to the professionals!

Or as Tabakman said, “You wouldn't do your own surgery if you had to do it, orthodontics is the same thing, you don't want to do it at home.”