DALLAS-Do-it-yourself is a good option when trying to save money, but the latest D.I.Y. trend could cost you your smile.
Orthodontists like doctor Yugal Behl say there's a disturbing trend happening. Teens skipping the professional and instead using things like rubber bands and paper clips to try and brace themselves at home!
“Some kids I think are out of the social trends they want to try things at home, they get trapped into that and it’s sad, it’s sad,” said Behl.
If you've ever had braces, or had to pay for them, you know both can be a real pain, but doctors warn that doing it yourself can be extremely dangerous.
When you are doing that you are hurting your teeth, you are damaging your tooth structure. The most common side effect that we have seen is the gum tissue getting infected and the bone levels going down,” added Behl.
One of the most severe cases came after a teenage girl used a rubber band to straighten her smile.
“We saw the rubber bands were inside the gum and it has caused so much bone destruction and almost like she lost the front two teeth,” he said.
David Campbell has spent nearly $50,000 to restore his smile after trying to straighten his own teeth as a child.
“The rubber bands due to the shape of my teeth were actually going up into my gums and wrapped around the root of my teeth and killed off my teeth at the root,” said Campbell
That won't be the case for eighth grader Jahzara Chin.
As she got new bands on her braces, Chin couldn't imagine why anyone would try all this at home.
“It’s not professional at all and it’s probably not going to help,” she added.
For this orthodontist, that's good news, his training and professional supervision, ensuring a bright smile comes about safely.
“We straighten teeth. We give people the beautiful smile,” said Behl.
A smile that could be ruined forever, so please, don’t try this at home.