With more brands and online hacks popping up everyday, promising you straight teeth and a confident smile, it can be pretty tempting to skip the research and opt for the cheapest option. However, teeth straightening, like any medical procedure involves a certain amount of due diligence and research. Choosing the cheapest option, though convenient on the pocket, can often be very risky.
Many times it’s hard to differentiate between legitimate, doctor-approved solutions and risky DIY teeth straightening methods. In this article we help you navigate through the world of online orthodontics and equip you with information that empowers you to make the right choice for you!
What is DIY teeth straightening?
DIY teeth straightening refers to methods of aligning teeth that are unsafe due to lack of doctor supervision and involvement. As the name suggests it’s an at home, do-it-yourself solution and comes in various forms, from using rubber bands for aligning teeth to at home impressions kits.
It also is substantially cheaper than other straightening alternatives as no duty of care or quality control is involved.
Why are DIY orthodontics risky?
Medical procedures condensed into DIY home projects come with their own risks – for starters it’s customers with no experience or knowledge about orthodontic or medical treatments administering the procedure on themselves. The lack of supervision or involvement by a certified dentist means that you’re exposing yourself to an increased risk of infection and tooth damage.
No duty of care means that no one is held responsible for the safety and success of the treatment. If something goes wrong, sometimes the orthodontic treatments required to fix the damage are much more expensive than having taken precautions at the beginning.
Orthodontic treatments involve the movement of your jaw and teeth which impacts your bite, dental health and the shape of your face. Messing around with it and self-treating can lead to irreversible damage. Often times it can be in the form of periodontal or gum diseases, tooth loss, root resorption, tooth loss, harmful changes to the bite and creation of gaps in teeth.
So why is it still a thing despite its risks?
Despite the risks DIY solutions bring to consumers, some people still choose to go ahead with them mainly due to:
Rise in popularity and trend in DIY solutions
In 2016, a college student 3D printed his own set of clear aligners. He calculated the estimated distance needed to move his set of teeth to his desired position, and used his school’s 3D printer to make his own aligners. Although his DIY braces did turn out successful, it is worth noting that during the process he felt uneasy due to being afraid that he had made errors during the previous calculations and design of his aligners.
His success was then revered by many, driving the idea and hype behind DIY solutions. However, while it did turn out successful for him, consumers should note that this is a method that leaves the movement and straightening of your teeth up to pure chance and luck.
Most consumers who turn to DIY solutions instead do so because professional orthodontic treatment is costly and out of their budget. They wouldn’t mind giving DIY solutions a try due to their low cost and convenience.
However, you should never trade your dental health for convenience. Just as you would invest in a good pair of shoes to give your soles comfort, investing in a teeth straightening solution that would safely move your teeth to your desired position is equally crucial.
Increased accessibility to the Internet
With the increased accessibility to the internet, more and more consumers are relying on the Internet for dental advice instead of approaching their local dentist. Of course, a quick Google search or two about symptoms you’re facing can be helpful, but you shouldn’t completely rely on the Internet to solve any dental problems you face.
Any diagnosis you get on the Internet is likely to be inaccurate and unspecific to your condition as only general information about various conditions are provided on the Internet.
So while those quick fixes to straighten your teeth with rubber bands might promise you straighter teeth, know that everyone is told the same thing, irregardless of the type of bite or condition their teeth are currently in.
What are the alternatives to DIY teeth straightening?
Orthodontic treatment can be expensive, we get it. But playing around with DIY orthodontics can lead to costs that can further burn a hole in your pocket, moreover it can seriously affect your health. Putting the pro’s (cheaper price, time convenience) and con’s (irreversible damage to teeth, increased risk of infection, even more costs to counter damage etc.) together, it doesn’t make sense to opt for DIY solutions, especially since the consequences involved are pretty severe.
There are plenty of other alternatives on the market that can straighten your teeth, while maintaining safety with doctor supervision.
Invisalign is the market leader when it comes to Invisible Braces brands. Manufactured by Align Technology, Invisalign has treated more than 3 million people since 1997. They were pioneers in their field and used technology to revolutionise the dental field with their innovative, virtually invisible clear aligners.
Invisalign is a common choice of clear aligners among working adults, and is growing in popularity amongst teenagers as well. Sometimes Invisalign cases require you to wear attachments, especially for cases where movement to the back teeth has to be made. Invisalign cases require monthly dental visits to tighten attachments and monitor progress.
Invisalign treatment in Singapore costs upwards of $8,000. The best way to start treatment with Invisalign is to visit your neighborhood dentist. They’ll be able to advise on the next steps to get started on your Invisalign journey.
Metal braces are a common method of teeth straightening, especially amongst teenagers. They involve metal brackets, rubber bands and archwires. These are fixed on the teeth surface using orthodontic strength glue.
Many people prefer metal braces over other alternatives due to their strength and versatility. Metal braces are popular among children and teenagers as their bites are still forming and they help create healthy bites.
Metal braces are doctor supervised orthodontic treatments and require monthly dental visits to monitor progress, tighten wires and change rubber bands. They vary in cost and range between $3,500 and $7,000, based on complexity of treatment.
Zenyum Invisible Braces
Zenyum Invisible braces are adult clear aligners. They are affordable alternatives to Invisalign and metal braces. Founded in 2018 in Singapore, Zenyum has transformed thousands of smiles all across Asia.
Zenyum Invisible Braces are $2,400, 70% more affordable than other alternatives on the market. You can either make a one time payment or pay in monthly installments of $800 over three months.
Zenyum is not DIY orthodontics, it’s innovative healthcare. We are transforming the inequitable nature of the dental landscape by providing an effective, affordable and cutting-edge solution, not to mention one that is safe and dentist monitored!
Treatment progress can be remotely monitored via our app, or you can go for an in-clinic consultation with your dentist – the choice is up to you! Zenyum puts you and your convenience at the centre of your smile transformation.