DIY braces trend makes B.C. orthodontists grit their teeth

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If you look on social media, you’ll see do-it-yourself projects are all the rage.

But the B.C. Society of Orthodontists is alarmed by the number of people they are seeing trying out DIY braces.

A U.S. report found nearly 13 per cent of orthodontists are seeing patients who have tried DIY teeth straightening using things like rubber bands, dental floss, fishing line and paper clips.

The BCSO says some of those attempts have caused irreparable damage and lead to costly repairs.

“The consequences can be quite traumatic. Teeth can be lost,” Todd Moore, president of the BCSO told On The Coast host Stephen Quinn.

Moore says patients who try this are often trying to close a gap between their front teeth using a rubber band stretched across the teeth.

That rubber band will often slide up the teeth toward the gums.

“It can keep sliding along the roots and actually extract the teeth slowly,” he said.

Videos on websites like YouTube offer online tutorials or how to craft braces or straighten teeth at home.

The BCSO places the blame for this new trends squarely on these videos.

Moore says another issue is people ordering braces online that can make problems worse.

“When patients are looking online and they’re concerned about one tooth or one gap, they can be creating an imbalance to their overall bite,” he said. “Bone can be lost, which equals teeth being lost. It’s important to have a harmonious bite.”

The BCSO encourages people to consult an orthodontist if they are considering getting braces.

Listen to the full interview:

With files from CBC Radio One’s On The Coast

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DIY braces trend makes B.C. orthodontists grit their teeth

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