DON’T DIY YOUR MOUTH!
Spreading Awareness of the Dangers of DIY Orthodontics
The phrases “do it yourself” and “orthodontics” should never go together. And yet, some parents attempt to fix their children’s smiles themselves, often with disastrous results. Earlier this year, The American Association of Orthodontists (AAO) shed light on this troubling trend on their blog – highlighting the dangers of this DIY approach and urging readers to consult a professional. We applaud AAO for directly confronting this serious issue.
Framed as a case study, the post presents the story of a young Greek boy with a gap between his front teeth. Wanting to improve their son’s smile, but unwilling to see an orthodontist, his parents came up with a simple solution: a little rubber band. Stretched between the two teeth, the band closed the gap in two days – before disappearing into the boy’s gums.
Severe gum disease and tooth dislocation followed. Even after multiple dental procedures and surgery, the boy’s front teeth couldn’t be saved. Thankfully the orthodontic professionals at the University of Athens stepped in, and the patient was eventually able to have a beautiful smile. According to AAO, the orthodontists moved his remaining upper teeth forward and reshaped the canines and lateral incisors. The boy’s tooth gap is finally gone for good – although after far more extensive treatment than it would have taken if he had seen an orthodontist in the first place.
This is why AAO’s covering this subject matters. His parents wanted to help him, but they didn’t understand just how damaging manipulating teeth can be when you don’t know what you’re doing. Blog posts like this help spread awareness and can prevent near-tragedies like this one in the future.
Wanting to improve their son’s smile, but unwilling to see an orthodontist,
his parents came up with a simple solution: a little rubber band.
Many of us here at Ortho Technology are regular readers of AAO’s blog, and this article exemplifies why. It’s a straightforward, illustrative piece that speaks to both professionals and the general public alike. We can’t recommend this resource enough to members of an orthodontic office and their patients. It’s a great idea to point new hires and patients to aaoinfo.org/blog.