I saw a segment on Good Morning America today about kids posting “how to” videos online for DIY braces. When I researched the topic, it looks like it’s been around most of the morning shows as a warning for parent to educate them on the potential damage that can be done by DIY braces.
There are a number of videos your kids could be watching on YouTube showing them how to tie string with paper clips, rubber bands, or other methods in an attempt to straighten their teeth. This is a terrible idea! On GMA, they showed one guy who had tied rubber bands around his two front teeth and the rubber bands keep disappearing into his gums and “strangling” his two front teeth until they died and had to be pulled. He estimated the total costs to him for correcting this DIY method to be between $40-50K. The dentist they had on the segment also stated that the damage can be done in a matter of days and can cost double what normal braces would cost to correct (if the damage can be corrected at all). If you suspect your kids may be doing this, make sure you show them these horror stories and get them to a real orthodontist!