The Dangers of DIY Teeth Straightening Systems

The pop up of invisible DIY teeth-straightening systems has been pretty hard to ignore lately with its promise of perfect teeth for a fraction of the cost and no consultation visits required. However, as the old saying goes: if it seems too good to be true it probably is.

What if I told you that I could get you your monthly groceries for $10 and bring it to your house in 45 seconds without knowing where you live or what you like to eat? You would say to yourself, “Oh good. I’m talking to a crazy person” (but hopefully in your own head to spare my feelings). The same thing applies to us wishing we could get the same caliber of orthodontic treatment without consulting a trained professional for checkups along the way: it just won’t be done correctly.

One of the fun, whimsical things about teeth is that every person’s teeth react slightly different to treatment, for example, some people’s teeth will move faster or slower than others or they might go off course. The entire foundation of DIY checkup-less treatment (that orthodontic treatment is a one-size-fits-all scenario) is seriously flawed because treatment can easily go off course. Now don’t get me wrong, I’m all for having confidence in ourselves but we don’t know better than the doctors who studied 7 years and have decades of experience doing exactly this. I want no hand in attempting to straighten my own teeth, I can barely do my own makeup. At least with makeup, you can remove it in seconds if you botch it. If your winged liner tests its wings out for real and makes a bold escape attempt off your lid, you just wipe it off- it’s an easy fix.

Correcting off-course DIY teeth straightening isn’t an easy fix and can severely affect your long term health. We’re talking permanent damage to jaw joints, muscles, gums and teeth. Not only will this be very painful but you will end up paying infinitely more on remedial treatment to correct it than you ever would have saved by choosing this DIY option. Sometimes it’s not correctable at all and you just have to live with it. Yikes on bikes. It’s a no from me. I want a trained professional to do it! The grizzly side effects of this type of treatment are due to a few factors. Firstly, this treatment doesn’t require x-rays to check for hidden wisdom teeth, overcrowding, tooth decay, cracks in teeth or anything more sinister like tumors or cysts. No orthodontist would dream of starting treatment without assessing an x-ray first, it’s just too risky. Secondly, the lack of checkups means that it might be months before anyone notices that treatment has gone off course and at that point, it could be very difficult to correct. It would be like attempting to drive to Sydney only to realize that you have accidentally driven to Canberra because Siri fell asleep. Who really wants to end up in Canberra?
This begs the question- what kind of “orthodontists” are working for these types of companies where there are such nonchalant approaches to safety and treatment? The kind who don’t want to put their name to their work and instead like the ability to hide behind a big company when treatment goes poorly. Some of the orthodontists employed by these brands are not registrable Orthodontists in Australia and the jurisdiction that they work under may not be clear to patients. Their dental license could easily be from a different country which doesn’t hold the same standards. Sure, in these countries they might even be legends in their own lunch box, but there’s a reason they’re not running a successful practice in your neighbourhood. If they could be, they would be! 

Licensed orthodontists must meet standards set by the orthodontic profession and the government of Australia, so a significantly discounted price should be a red flag. There is no undo button for your face. The way I see it, in most areas of your life bargains are great but not when it comes to your family’s health, wellbeing and faces! You wouldn’t barter with a surgeon for a cheaper knee reconstruction so why would you do it with orthodontic treatment, something that has long term effects on your health and the face you show to the world?

I’m a big fan of doing things once and doing them correctly. That’s why I plan my grip on my groceries so strategically when carrying them up from the car- I’m only making one trip. Don’t be fooled by the illusion that this kind of treatment will get you anywhere close to the results you would get by seeing a trained orthodontist. They studied how to do this for years so that we didn’t have to, so how about we let them take the lead on this one?

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