Dental experts warn against DIY braces TikTok trend

Eufemia Didonato

Millions of people have watched TikTok videos on DIY braces and tooth gap trends. Now medical experts urge users not to do any procedure themselves. COLUMBUS, Ohio — Scroller beware when advice is offered with a quick medical fix. Orthodontists and dentists are combatting videos online of misinformation and even […]

Millions of people have watched TikTok videos on DIY braces and tooth gap trends. Now medical experts urge users not to do any procedure themselves.

COLUMBUS, Ohio — Scroller beware when advice is offered with a quick medical fix. Orthodontists and dentists are combatting videos online of misinformation and even harmful procedures.

“There are surgeons that take out appendix and there’s ophthalmologists that do cataracts and I have yet to see a TikTok video of someone trying to remove their own cataract or their own appendix,” said Dr. Larry Hutta, a Doctor of Dental Surgery for 36 years at his practice Hutta and Hutta: Orthodontics in Westerville. “And for some reason, they think that well their tooth is indestructible and it’s maybe it’s not alive, but indeed it is.”

Do-it-yourself braces and the tooth gap trend have millions of views, showing rubber bands, glue, wire, pliers, and other household items to move teeth and alter your smile. Some videos post updates everyday following the DIY attempt.

“When you overstress the tooth by putting too much force on it, by household rubber bands, versus one that we might use, you know, all of the movements that we make are very calibrated,” said Dr. Hutta. “They’re very, very gentle, consistent forces, the force to a tooth. What would be bad would be an intermittent heavy force, that can cause a tooth to disrupt the relationship it has with the bone, you can lose the tooth, you literally can start to move a tooth and it could, it could die, and it could fall out.”

In many of the cases, savings from avoiding a professional could come back to haunt you, and most likely will. Hutta says on average a 24-month case runs about $5,000-6,000, with financing options available and help from insurance.

“Every tooth that you may damage or lose, to do an implant and a crown is $5,000 or $6,000 for one tooth, and that tooth, never as good as it was when it was a natural tooth,” said Hutta. “It can be catastrophic, you could think you’re saving a couple of thousand dollars doing it yourself and $10,000 or $15,000 later, you’ve got a mouthful of crowns and implants. And you probably will look worse than when you started.

Hutta’s practice and many others in the Columbus area offer free consultations to answer your questions.

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