There are many videos on the internet showing people who have supposedly straightened their teeth using DIY methods instead of going to see an orthodontist, but dentists are warning against this practice as it could lead to permanent tooth damage and possibly even tooth loss later on.
A woman from Washington State has more than 100,000 views on YouTube as she explains how she used elastic hair bands to bring her two front teeth together to close up a large gap in just 44 days. Although she is happy with the result, a New Jersey dentist has spoken to abcnews about the dangers of such practices; Dr Joseph Banker warned that moving the teeth too quickly can lead to root resorption, which may cause the teeth to become unstable and could even lead to tooth loss.
The American Journal of Orthodontics and Dentofacial Orthopedics have also weighed in on the debate, saying that the rubber bands could slip under the gum line and it becomes extremely difficult ‘if not impossible’ to remove them and avoid infection. In a statement, the dental body explained that ‘the teeth extrude, the crowns fan out as the roots are pulled together, the teeth become increasingly mobile, and then they might just fall out.’