The prominence of digital technology has spurred a wave of innovation and unprecedented convenience in our society. Unfortunately, it’s also allowed the creation of companies promising people shortcuts that aren’t exactly safe. This includes the world of orthodontics. In fact, new businesses keep popping up that say people can get straight teeth by getting orthodontic treatment completely from home.
While it may sound like another jump forward in orthodontics, there are lots of reasons why at-home orthodontic treatment is not your best option.
One type of at-home orthodontic treatment being marketed to patients is “mail-order” braces. There are several companies selling this product and they all operate on the same premise. They claim you can create a mold of your teeth at home and ship it to them, and they will start sending you clear aligners you wear to straighten your teeth.
It sounds like the next big thing! Why would anyone hesitate to straighten their teeth if they don’t have to interrupt their schedule to visit the orthodontist’s office? Well, that’s exactly the problem. These types of at-home treatments don’t include an orthodontist in the room who can get a close look at your teeth and supervise your treatment. Sure, our phone and computer cameras are more advanced than ever, but the photos they take are nowhere near the images gathered with professional orthodontic technology.
We also doubt you have an x-ray machine in your home. X-rays are an important part of every initial exam because all types of orthodontic treatment have to take into account what is going on below the gum line to create the right plan and properly straighten your teeth. X-rays are also likely to be taken during your treatment to ensure everything is progressing as it should be.
Even more dangerous are online tutorials telling kids how to make DIY braces. While it sounds outlandish, there are videos that are easily discoverable instructing kids and teens to make braces out of paperclips, glue, and other household items. The scary thing is these tactics may actually result in tooth movement, but are almost certain to cause irreparable damage to the teeth and gums. Using household products not designed to be used in the mouth can also cause infection.
Both DIY braces and mail-order braces are not at all worth the risk. While both promise to save you money, you may very well end up needing more extensive treatment, and possibly even surgeries, to fix problems with your teeth later on.
Consults at Milnor Orthodontics
There’s simply no replacing the expertise and attention of an orthodontist who can safely supervise your orthodontic treatment. During your initial assessment, we’ll gather images of your teeth using advanced scanning technology, which only takes a few minutes. Then we’ll create custom braces or Invisalign aligners and start your treatment. We’ll carefully monitor your progress to make sure your smile remains healthy and is progressing well.
You can also get an initial quote by doing a free virtual consult, then decide whether or not you want to schedule an in-office visit to get started. Whichever way you decide is best, you will always have an experienced, qualified orthodontist keeping track of your treatment and making any necessary modifications.