Doctors warn about dangers of DIY dentistry - WFSB 3 Connecticut

Doctors warn about dangers of DIY dentistry

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Doctors warn about dangers of DIY dentistry (CBS) Doctors warn about dangers of DIY dentistry (CBS)
(CBS) -

There are a lot of “Do It Yourself” videos out there for various projects, but there's one topic that has raised some questions.

There are YouTube videos on “Do It Yourself” dentistry.

Videos have surfaced showing how to straighten teeth with elastic bands or wires and experts are calling it a prescription for disaster.

“I have seen more than one instance where harm has been done,” said Dr. DeWaye McCamish of the American Association of Orthodontists.

Tina Hicks turned to the internet because she said she couldn't afford a traditional orthodontist to fix a space between her two front teeth.

“The perfect smile for me is a smile with no gaps,” she said.

She spent $20 on “gap bands” to try to fix the problem, but said they were so uncomfortable that she had to stop using them.

“They were cutting into my gums. It was super painful,” she said.

Experts said the gap bands are considered one of the most dangerous of the internet quick fixes and can cause tooth loss and ongoing dental problems.

"A tooth is shaped like an ice cream cone. That rubber band, as it goes up the teeth, it pulls that tooth out of the bone,” McCamish said.

Hicks said she is learning to live with the space between her teeth, and doctors agree that the internet is no substitute for a dental professional.

"We are dealing with a medical procedure. We are dealing with how a person is going to be for a lifetime. This is not today and tomorrow. This is forever,” McCamish said.

Orthodontists can also spot untreated cavities or underlying gum infections before any teeth strengthening is done.

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