3 Signs Your Teen May Be Experimenting With DIY Braces

A disturbing new trend is putting teenager at risk: DIY orthodontics. Some teens who are concerned about the appearance of their teeth are trying to straighten them on their own, without the guidance of a trained orthodontist. Unfortunately, teens do not understand the complex process of gently shifting teeth, and their unsupervised efforts can result in damage to teeth, gums, and bones. Below are some signs to watch out for that may indicate your child is trying or is thinking about trying homemade orthodontics:

They Become Increasingly Concerned With Their Teeth

It is normal for teens to be self-conscious about their teeth and occasionally wonder if their teeth are crooked. But if your teen regularly comments on their teeth or makes statements about not liking their teeth or being teased about their teeth, you should take their statements seriously. Consider making an appointment with an orthodontist to prevent homemade solutions from being used and address the concerns of your child. 

They Have Sores, Cuts, or Tenderness In Their Mouth

If you think your child may be using homemade solutions, there are certain physical signs you should watch out for. While sores or cuts inside the mouth may be difficult to see, you can notice tenderness if your child refuses to eat or has trouble eating. Similarly, their speech patterns may change slightly if they have just completed an attempt at homemade orthodontics. By watching closely for signs of tenderness, you should be able to spot when and if your child may be trying dangerous straightening methods on their own. 

They Are Watching Videos of DIY Orthodontics 

You should occasionally check your child's viewing history on video websites. Many teens learn how to do various homemade Orthodontics from videos online. If your child has watched any of these videos, you should talk to them about their concerns. If they have watched several DIY videos, you should assume that they have or will soon try homemade solutions and make an appointment with an orthodontist as soon as possible. 

Because DIY Orthodontics are becoming more popular, it is important to talk to you children about the dangers of at-home treatments as well as their low likelihood of producing lasting positive results. If your child has tried at-home procedures, you should take them to an orthodontist as soon as possible to determine if they have done any damage and create a treatment plan. 

Contact an office like Cobbe Dental & Orthodontics for more information and assistance.