Are Do-It-Yourself (DIY) Braces Safe? - Premier Orthodontics

Today, the Internet allows information and ideas to spread at lightning speed and to reach millions, if not billions, of people. This connection is incredible in allowing people to stay informed, share their voice, and learn new things! Unfortunately, it can also lead to the spread of potentially dangerous ideas.

Remember the Kylie-Jenner-lips shot glass hack (or, rather, fail) that made its way across Facebook? Hundreds of teen girls “plumped” their lips by sucking the air out of shot glass, causing their lips to be puffed and swollen. Most see the trend as a bit silly, but mostly harmless. Did you know, however, that repeated attempts can lead to scarring and permanent disfiguration? Our verdict: not worth it.

The stakes are even higher when it comes to DIY (do-it-yourself) braces.

rubber-408193_1280What Are DIY Braces?

Have you seen video tutorials for “gap bands,” the supposed teeth-straightening method using rubber hairbands? For those of you who haven’t heard of this “technique,” it’s basically tying pairs of teeth together using rubber bands to pull them closer, closing the gap. The practice has been popularized by individuals with no orthodontic training or understanding of how teeth move and how quickly (or slowly!) this should be done. All they have is a following on YouTube, a bit of gumption, and a pack of rubber bands. Unfortunately, gap bands can lead to injury and even loss of teeth – something that is absolutely not worth it.

Why Do People Use DIY Braces?

There are many reasons why people attempt DIY braces, all of which are essentially understandable. Perhaps they think braces are too expensive and unaffordable for them. Maybe they’re feeling impatient with a tooth gap and are being teased at school. Or they possibly just don’t see the danger and figure, why not? Well, there are many reasons why not!

Are DIY Braces Safe?

The short answer is an emphatic NO. Not at all. DIY braces are not safe.

In the case of DIY techniques, it might be tempting to brush off doctors’ opinions as representing unlikely situations. However, when it comes to DIY braces, the possibility of permanent damage is very real.

afraid-19086_1280Here’s why DIY braces are not safe:

  • There’s no oversight from a trained orthodontist. Orthodontists typically spend about 10 years learning, training, and practicing to become an orthodontist, with 2 to 3 years specifically dedicated to orthodontics, which tells you quite a lot about how much there is to know to safely move teeth!
  • Orthodontic movement is very precise. Moving teeth too quickly or within the wrong paths can cause the roots of teeth to resorb, which means the roots can actually dissolve. On top of that, DIY braces can lead to clenching problems, muscle spasms, problems with jaw joints, and shooting pain, to name a few.
  • Your teeth can fall out! Yep, not usually a consequence you get from most DIY projects you see on Pinterest, right? However, the use of rubber bands was one of the earlier methods of tooth extraction in orthodontics. With gap bands, aka DIY braces, the rubber bands work their way down below the gums and around the roots of the teeth. We’ll spare you the gory photos of what this looks like, but trust us — it isn’t pretty!
  • You risk permanent damage. Even if your teeth don’t actually fall out from DIY braces, the risk of permanent damage to the teeth roots and to the gums is very high.

The American Association of Orthodontist has even issued a consumer alert warning individuals against the practice of DIY braces!

metal-braces1Why You Don’t Need DIY Braces

OK, you get it – DIY braces are a bad idea! What if you still feel like braces or Invisalign are out of reach for you and your family financially, though? Well, most dental plans cover some of the cost of braces, and we have several financing and payment plan options at our Premiere Orthodontics office. We will work with you to make a beautiful smile a reality, and not one that will break the bank!

We also work with the Smiles Change Lives foundation, which provides an avenue to receive orthodontic treatment based upon income and need verification.

In other words: you have options! Before you decide to “do it yourself,” give the pros at Premier Orthodontics a call. Our initial consultation is free, and we will work with you to find a way to afford braces that are safe. We are here to help!


"I just started taking my 5yo here and he needed a lot of work. The staff here has done an awesome job of making him comfortable during some tough procedures. After 3 pretty intense visits, he still walks right in with a smile."

Curt S.

curt s review

"Dr. Coles is a fantastic orthodontist who cares about his patient well-being. It’s a great feeling to look forward to every appointment. I have complete confidence in Dr. Coles and his staff and have recommended him to my friends. My mom recommended orthodontist, Dr. Coles to me and it was the best decision of my life. I am highly satisfied with my care and treatment!"

Ruben F.

ruben f review

"I can’t say enough good things about premier orthodontics. The staff and orthodontists are amazing. They explain step by step procedures and I completely trust them. I can’t Thank them enough for what they’ve done for me!"

Annette P.

annette p review

"Dr. Coles and his staff are caring and professional! I would definitely recommend this office for any orthodontic needs. My son, daughter, and myself are former and current patients. State-of-the-art office with wi-fi, water and cookies in the lobby. It’s a pleasure coming here!"

Dana P.

dana p review

"From the consultation until the completion of my daughter’s treatment, everyone at Premier was awesome to deal with. They even squeezed us in when we showed up on the wrong week for our appointment. There was literally no issues during the entire process. They communicated everything clearly and we’re always very professional, supportive, and flexible. I can’t recommend them enough, they are the best!"

Kevin M.

kevin m review

*The reviews listed are from actual patients of Premier Orthodontics. Individual results may vary. Reviews are not claimed to represent results for everyone.

read more reviews button
facebook review
google review
health grades review
yelp review

Chandler / Gilbert, AZ Orthodontists For Braces
3160 S Gilbert Rd, #1
Chandler, AZ 85286

Click For Directions

chandler gilbert orthodontist office

Maricopa, AZ Orthodontists For Braces
21083 N John Wayne Pkwy, Suite C105
Maricopa, AZ 85139

Click For Directions

maricopa orthodontist office

Phoenix, AZ Orthodontists For Braces
26232 N Tatum Blvd, #200
Phoenix, AZ 85050

Click For Directions

north phoenix orthodontist office

Phoenix, AZ Orthodontists For Braces
2827 W Peoria Ave #100B
Phoenix, AZ 85029

Click For Directions

central phoenix orthodontist office

Phoenix, AZ Orthodontists For Braces
2525 W. Carefree Hwy, Building 6,
Ste.140, Phoenix, AZ 85085

Click For Directions

happy valley orthodontist office

Glendale, AZ Orthodontists For Braces
20329 N 59th Ave,
Glendale, AZ 85308

Click For Directions

arrowhead glendale orthodontist office

Casa Grande, AZ Orthodontists For Braces
1969 N Peart Rd #24
Casa Grande, AZ 85122

Click For Directions

casa grande orthodontist office
complimentary smile analysis button

Arizona (AZ) Orthodontists, Dr. Dustin Coles, Dr. Tyler Coles, Dr. Daniel Coles, Dr. Hemali Kothari, Dr. Prashansa Sharma-Makwana, and Dr. Ben Chiou of Premier Orthodontics offer the most advanced braces for children, teens and adults, including metal braces, clear ceramic braces, damon braces, Invisalign and orthodontic treatment. With 7 convenient orthodontic offices located in Chandler AZ, Maricopa AZ, Casa Grande AZ, and Phoenix AZ, there is sure to be an office convenient to you. Call us today for a free consultation for braces at any of our seven conveniently located orthodontic offices in Arizona!

© 2018 Premier Orthodontics
Designed by

Translate »