WASHINGTON (WBAY) - A warning from the American Association of Orthodontists: IT's urging people to beware of internet videos and websites encouraging people to straighten their own teeth.
Videos for "do-it-yourself braces" are easy to find online. And over the last few years, dentists have noticed a growing problem.
"What's happening is that children are watching YouTube videos, and as a result, trying to do dentistry on their own," Dr. Richard Gesker of Dental Associates said.
In the videos, teens and young adults use paper clips, fishing line and other household items to try and straighten their teeth.
"They're using earring backings and they're using dental floss to literally bond their teeth together and to force the teeth to move. Now what happens is, with that tooth, the tooth itself , yes it will move, but it will move directly out of the bone," Gesker says.
And according to Dr. Gesker, the end result is much more expensive dental work to fix the damage.
"I appreciate their ambition of such young providers and wanting to be so invested in their oral health. It's irreversible damage is what they're causing themselves and to their siblings as well."
Gesker encourages teens and their parents to take advantage of free consultations to discuss their dental concerns and learn more about proper treatment options.