There has been a recent trend among teens that is leaving orthodontists and parents worried. Kids have been using rubber bands or dental floss in lieu of braces for a quick and cheap DIY remedy to straighten teeth and close gaps. At first glance it seems like this solution should not cause much more than some discomfort, but it has been proven that this practice can lead to complications to the teeth, gums, bones, and may even lead to death.
The American Association of Orthodontists has weighed in on this issue because it has led to numerous health complications for those who use this method instead of seeing a professional dentist for braces. Moving your own teeth using just rubber bands or dental floss can damage the blood supply to your teeth which will lead to bruising in the tooth. A bruised tooth will become discolored, and discoloration may be permanent. In addition to this, the blood flow damage can also affect the gums leading to infections, damage to the jaw, and loss of teeth. Instead of getting the benefit of a straighter smile, teens may be looking at the extraction of these teeth and a need for dental implants.
It is important for parents to know what to look for when dealing with this situation. The most obvious thing is to look for rubber bands tied to your child’s front teeth, although if they are using clear rubber bands or dental floss this may be difficult at a glance. The tension from the rubber bands may cause your child’s gums to bleed or appear irritated. Also, as previously mentioned, your child’s teeth may appear discolored, though by the time discoloration appears, it’s already too late.
One way for parents to get a good opportunity to examine their child’s teeth is with periodic oral hygiene inspections. The American Dental Association has recommended that parents should closely supervise the oral hygiene of children up to age 14, and periodic inspection after that are also valuable. Instituting this practice will give you a good opportunity to make sure your child isn’t attempting some type of DIY orthodontics.
It is not a myth that braces are expensive, but it is important to keep an open dialogue with your child. The appearance of your teeth are a major source of self-esteem, and any sort of abnormality may be a huge issue for your child.
If your child expresses such strong desire for straighter teeth that you think they might take that much risk to fix their gaps then it is worth taking them to a dentist to ensure that the procedure is done safely and correctly. If not, then you could be looking at even greater expenses to fix lost teeth, or worse. We offer a number of convenient payment options that may be able to help you fit braces into even a tight budget.
If you are looking for advice on the matter, please feel free to contact us online or call us at 509-368-7788 in Spokane or 509-228-3998 in Spokane Valley. Our trained cosmetic dentists can help guide you through your various options to help ensure that you find the right fit for you and your child.
Or office in Spokane is located at:
3151 E. 28th Ave.
Spokane, WA 99223
Office phone # 509-368-7788