Do Yourself a Favor and Don’t “Do it Yourself Braces”

By Alan D. Shoopak, D.M.D.

You read that correctly. There are companies out there that are selling products and services that enable unsuspecting patients to “Do it Yourself” or “DIY” braces at home. As a medical professional with over 30-year years of practice experience, let me be very specific as to WHY this DIY is a very, very bad idea. In a day when apps seem to fix everything with a touch of a smartphone, straightening teeth is not something you want take lightly. There is a reason the average Orthodontist has over 10 years of education and training, in addition to multiple years of real-patient practice. Straightening teeth safely, correctly and effectively takes a special professional—your neighborhood Orthodontist.

Dr. Shoopak’s Reasons Why DIY Braces is a bad idea:

  • If you move teeth inappropriately you can severely damage the bone and soft tissue that can lead to gum disease and tooth loss.
  • Your home space is not regulated by the Department of Health, nor equipped and maintained by trained medical professionals and technicians to perform the necessary procedures.
  • By law, Certified Orthodontic Technicians aren’t even allowed to place Orthodontic brackets into your mouth without direct supervision of a licensed dentist.
  • Without proper training and real world experience the impression material can be aspirated into the lungs and be lethal.
  • The molds needed to determine what adjustments your teeth might need with the use of braces, wires etc. are only “usable” if they obtain all of the soft tissue and teeth surfaces. Only a trained technician would know what a proper and “usable” impression is.
  • Bad impressions could lead to improvements that will cause an irregular bite, and result in irregular or “uneven wearing of teeth”. This can also affect speech and chewing.

This is a DIY Braces case that was presented by the American Journal of Orthodontics and Dentofacial Orthopedics (Warning: Graphic Images)

About Alan D. Shoopak, D.M.D.

Dr. Shoopak is the founder of Orthodontic Specialists of Florida, with more than 34 offices throughout Florida. Dr. Shoopak attended the University of Tampa where he received his Bachelor of Science degree. He graduated from Tufts School of Dental Medicine in Boston in 1982, and earned his Orthodontic Certificate in 1984. Dr. Shoopak is a member of the American Association of Orthodontists, the Southern Association of Orthodontists and the Florida Association of Orthodontists as well as other local, regional and national Dental Association.