Growing trend among teens: DIY braces

KANSAS CITY, MO (WCMH) — A growing collection of DIY tutorials on YouTube has a number orthodontists concerned.

The videos show teenagers making their own braces out of everyday items like paperclips, super glue and hair ties. One of the videos has racked up more than a million views.

DIY braces YouTube video (Source: YouTube)
DIY braces YouTube video (Source: YouTube)

“She’s using hair bands! She doesn’t understand if she is doing it inappropriately, she could lose her two front teeth,” said Dr. Guy Deyton, an orthodontist in Kansas City, after viewing the video. “I am so horrified and fearful that they are going to do harm to themselves.”

Deyton looked into the growing trend of DIY braces, and what he found was horrifying. The homemade braces can cause teeth to fall out, infections and in the worst cases, severe disfigurement.

Orthodontists aren’t the only ones troubled by this new trend. Olivia Juda and her father Robert Judah were taken aback when Deyton told them about the YouTube videos.

“It sounds pretty horrifying,” Robert Judah said.

Olivia told KCTV that she would rather have crooked teeth than face the possible consequences of DIY braces, and she understands how long the process of straightening teeth can be.

“I just got my braces on last November,” she said.

Deyton says that if people are concerned about the cost associated with orthodontia work, they should look into resources that offer reduced rates or even free dental work rather than turn to this dangerous trend.

“I feel like after looking at this I need to go do public service announcements and warnings,” Deyton said. “If you don’t know how to move your teeth, you could lose your teeth.”

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