During the past few years a trend has occurred, mainly among teenagers and young adults to construct and wear their own “braces.” These makeshift braces, have been made of common household items such as rubber bands that are inexpensive and easily accessible.  While being hailed as an affordable, “effective” teeth alignment treatment, the use of materials that aren’t intended for use in the mouth has led to dental complications that are more severe than the original crooked bite.

Do-it-yourself dentistry isn’t confined to braces. For many years patients have participated in pulling their own teeth. Now, both teenagers and adults have gotten creative in inventing their own makeshift fillings and crowns.

Those who take their dental treatment into their own hands do so for a variety of reasons. Dental care can be expensive for people with dental insurance as well as those without dental insurance. Some people think that they have to have dental insurance or else they can’t go to the dentist. That couldn’t be further than the truth.

Fear of going to the dentist can also be strong, encouraging patients to do the same procedures themselves instead of trusting a dental professional. Still other patients think the state of their teeth and gums are beyond treatment and may be too embarrassed to have a dental professional to look around inside their mouth.  DIY dentistry, then has shown itself as an alternative.

DIY Dentistry Risks

The use of rubber bands, paper clips and paper products such as paper towels may not seem like anything that could pose any health risks to your mouth. However, serious, or even irreparable harm can occur, causing gashes in tissue, bone loss, and even loss of teeth.

Gum Issues

Rubber bands and the use of possible sharp objects like paper clips can not only irritate your gums, but it can injure and weaken them and increase one’s risk of gum disease. Gums are made of soft tissue that is delicate and easy to scratch. Injured gums pose as an open door to germs and bacteria that can lead to infection. Rubber bands can push the gums down and away from teeth forming pockets in which plaque can accumulate, creating the risk of gum disease, tooth abscess and tooth decay. Tooth loss can even occur as the support and stability of the gums weaken.

Alignment Issues

Dentists have schooling and experience when it comes to aligning teeth and correcting bites. Patients, however, don’t typically have this knowledge.

Those that go ahead and make their own braces or teeth aligners don’t have the knowledge of professionals. They only know what they can see. When DIY people take charge of moving and shifting their teeth themselves, problems often arise.

The most common problem that arises in moving one’s teeth oneself is moving teeth into the wrong position or shifting teeth too far or not far enough.

Teeth constantly move. When one tooth moves, the other teeth will also move and shift. Crooked teeth can cause teeth to get crowded or form gaps where plaque can form. Teeth that grow in crooked can weaken teeth enamel and jawbone structure. One’s bite may become irreparable without the need for reconstructive surgery.


The mouth is full of both good and bad germs. Injury to the gums, the root of teeth and tooth enamel can not only lead to gum disease, tooth decay and tooth abscess, but can also increase the risk of infection. The soft tissue in the mouth and the mouth’s connection to other systems of the body mean that an infection in the mouth can infiltrate and affect other parts of the body, leading to possibly serious health issues.

Do-it-yourself dentistry may seem like a tempting alternative to scary, expensive professional dental care. However, it doesn’t have to be that way. The costs, hassle and embarrassment aren’t worth the risk. Irreparable damage can occur and both oral health and other health conditions can arise when one tries to put your dental treatment into your own hands.

The dental office doesn’t have to be a place to be afraid of. At Madison Smile Solutions, we strive to make each patient feel comfortable. We utilize the latest dental technology to give patients a quick and enjoyable experience. Whether you need orthodontic work or a routine check-up, contact us today to schedule an appointment.