A recent survey by the American Association of Orthodontists found that nearly 13% of its member orthodontists are seeing patients who have attempted Do-It-Yourself (DIY) teeth straightening. Some cases have been particularly severe, resulting in irreparable damage to the teeth.
Some methods employed in DIY teeth straightening include the use of common household items such as rubber bands, dental floss and paper clips. Other practices include biting on pencils and applying force on the teeth with the fingers. In Singapore, some people have resorted to purchasing plastic braces and teeth alignment kits from online shops. These kits are sold freely and are priced between $7 to $50. Constructed from hard plastic, these devices are worn overnight and claim to replicate the effects of proper Orthodontic braces treatment by pushing the teeth into the right position and proper alignment after a few months.
However, according to DeWayne B. McCamish, DDS, MS, President of the American Association of Orthodontists, these practices are due to ignorance with most people being unaware that moving teeth is a biological process that involves bone dissolving and rebuilding as teeth move into a new position. With such an intricate process, moving teeth cannot be subject to crude and rudimentary measures but are best done under the direct supervision of an orthodontist who uses sophisticated diagnostics to best determine the treatment plan and process.