DIY dentistry is booming.
From mail-order teeth whitening to DIY teeth straightening, more and more people are looking for the quick fix.
Social media has made it easier than ever to market these products to consumers who perhaps don’t know any better.
After all, if a slew of celebrities take selfies with a DIY teeth whitening kit, talking about how amazing it is, your average consumer’s going to buy into that image.
But what about the newest DIY dental fad that’s entered the market: DIY teeth aligners.
The companies who sell these promise their products are fast, effective, and a third of the cost of treatment from an orthodontist.
But do these DIY aligners really work as well as advertised?
Or, to put it another way, when can these quick fixes work? And when is it better to visit a dental professional?
DIY teeth straightening kits and their effects on your oral health
Thewealth of information online has made consumers more sophisticated.
At least, in somerespects.
But consumers are not health professionals. They are not qualified to make decisions about the best method to improve their oral health.
Which isn’t to say, these DIY teeth aligner kits can’t work, or that you shouldn’t try them. But it’s important to understand what it is you’re trying.
After all, the worst—usually—that can happen with DIY teeth whitening kits is damage to the gums and potential permanent tooth sensitivity.
But DIY teeth aligner kits are moving teeth which can affect your jaw. And if you know you’re in good oral health, then it’s possible a DIY kit may help.
Good oral health, in this case, means you don’t have gum disease or any other underlying problems with your jaw, gums or teeth.
Orthodontics fix more than the eye sees
Even when straightening teeth for cosmetic reasons, there are still functional considerations and benefits of treatment.
Functional considerations for straightening teeth
When looking at crooked teeth, it’s bad dentistry to look at a tooth in isolation, says Dr Theresa in her Bite Magazine interview.
The tooth, the top and bottom arch, as well as their relationship to each other, needs to be examined. It’s only when these aspects are considered, can an accurate orthodontic treatment plan be created.
3 functional benefits of straight teeth:
- Straight teeth are easier to clean, and so help with maintaining good oral hygiene.
- Straight teeth are good for your bite, which helps with chewing.
- Straight teeth tend to last longer than crooked teeth.
Orthodontist vs at-home straightening kits
The upside of at-home aligner treatment is the cost. The downside is it can only treat a very small number of orthodontic cases. And even then, it’s difficult for results to be guaranteed.
The upside of orthodontic treatment from an orthodontist is they can assess your treatment as you. Which means if modifications and adjustments need to be made, this can be done as part of your treatment.
The downside is the cost. But only compared to the DIY teeth aligner kits.
The face-to-face time you get with an orthodontist cannot be mimicked by a phone call or video call.
The expertise and experience of an orthodontist to help you achieve your desired results cannot be packaged and sold in bulk…at least, not yet.
Do at-home teeth straightening kits work?
It does seem that in some cases, they can work.
And if you’re okay with the possible side-effects/complications of DIY dentistry, then it may work for you.
However, if you are looking for comprehensive care, attention to detail and predictable outcomes, then you may want to visit an orthodontist.
To find out more about how to get the best outcome for you, or to request a consultation, please contact us today.