What Are Mail Order (DIY) Braces? Gluck Orthodontics (2022)

A perfect smile is worth more than money can buy, yet some people still try to cut costs on their orthodontic treatment by choosing to use DIY methods that are often unsafe or ineffective. While you may see tons of advertisements online and are passed around on social media, the truth is that DIY braces often fall sort of the goals that you want to set for your oral health.

What Are Mail Order (DIY) Braces? Gluck Orthodontics (1)

Image by Steve Buissinne from Pixabay

Table of Contents

Before you Start

Before you hop on the latest trend, make sure that you and your family understand this information about why it’s simply not worth learning how to make your own braces at home.You should first know that it’s completely impossible to make professional grade orthodontic appliances at home. For instance, you could never learn how to make your own braces if you want traditional metal types because these require precision when they are placed on your teeth.

(Video) Getting Braces - Step By Step

For this reason, the majority of mail order braces companies use clear plastic aligner trays that they make using impressions that you make of your teeth. While you may be fine with aligner trays that are made to work like Invisalign, you need to know that you will not receive proper monitoring throughout your treatment that is necessary to make sure that it works.

It’s a Bad Start

One of the biggest problems with DIY Invisalign is that the treatment begins with you doing the bulk of the work yourself. Typically, one of these companies will send you a kit that tells you to make an impression of your teeth. While it may seem simple enough to put putty into a tray and bite down, the truth is that this only creates a small snapshot of how your teeth fit together at that moment. When you have issues with your bite, you may bite down differently each time. Alternatively, you may have trouble completely biting into the putty. Even an accidental bump or debris particle can throw off the impressions and lead you to receive an incorrect fit for your aligner trays.

Once you take your impressions, the mail order company then uses these to manufacture your trays before sending them your way. To seem professional, the company may ask for x-rays from your current oral health care provider, but this still does not give enough information for them to create a treatment plan. A full in-person mouth examination is critical for making sure that you get the right type of treatment to fit your needs.

What Are Mail Order (DIY) Braces? Gluck Orthodontics (2)

What are the Risks with Mail Order Braces?

Trying to do your own braces comes with many risks. Unfortunately, you may not notice that you are causing damage to your teeth and gums until it is too late. With mail order orthodontics, you may receive plastic aligner trays that are not perfectly fitted to your mouth.

When this happens, you could experience irritation on your gums and cheeks due to the friction. Alternatively, a poorly made impression could cause the trays to not push your teeth into the right positions. You also need regular orthodontic exams to make sure that the treatment is working. With DIY braces, you could keep wearing your trays for months without seeing any benefits.

Aprofessional orthodontist monitors your teeth and bite for changes throughout your treatment so that adjustments to your tray can be made as needed. Remember that your mouth is constantly changing, and the position of your teeth can be affected by things such as an injury, illness or newly emerging wisdom tooth. All of these things are caught by in-person orthodontic visits, and mail order companies simply cannot get an accurate view of your mouth when they are many miles away.

Do They Even Work?

The truth is that mail order orthodontics can actually work in some instances. However, they are not as effective as an in-office treatment plan, and you place your health at risk by forgoing professional care. You should also be aware that these types of braces are not for everyone.

(Video) How to Get Straight Teeth Without Braces - Gluck Orthodontics

For example, you may require a different type of appliances such as traditional braces or a palatal expander if you have severe tooth crowding. These mail order companies also fail to provide proper follow-up treatment. Often, retainers are critical for making sure that teeth stay in place once you have the ideal smile.

Understand How Straightening Teeth Works

When you just look at your teeth in the mirror, you see imperfections. Such as two teeth overlapping or a huge gap between several teeth. While this perception of your smile is important, you must also know that an expert looks at your teeth in a different way. When we look at your smile, we see how the different mechanisms of your mouth all work together to create the way your teeth fit.

For instance, did you know that that little flappy piece of tissue on your top gums that is called a labial frenum can sometimes be the wrong size and pull your front teeth apart? Without treating that, you will find that any gaps that you close with Invisalign will just keep coming back. Additionally, your bite, or the way that your jaws close together, can also affect the positions of your teeth. If you grind your teeth or clench your jaw, then this can place tension on the ligaments that hold your teeth in place and cause them to move.

Straightening your teeth requires us to look at multiple features of your mouth that you might not even think about. We can also guarantee you that any company that advertises at home braces is not taking a full view of your mouth before sending you the devices. Unless they provide an in-person consultation.

Think About the Need for Additional Treatments

We’ve already discussed how some people need a frenectomy to correct issues that cause gaps between the front teeth. And there are more treatments that may be needed to support what the clear aligners are doing. While it is rare, some people need to have a tooth extracted. This is most common when you have an extra tooth or a baby tooth that never fell out and is causing problems in your mouth.

There are also certain situations where you may not be a candidate for treatments such as Invisalign initially. This often occurs if you have a severe issue with your bite. Or extreme gaps between your teeth that need traditional braces to correct at first. Some people are also not a candidate for clear aligner trays simply because they do not have the type of personality to remember to keep the aligners in their mouth. This is common with teenagers. Who are still developing the maturity that they need to comply with a treatment plan that relies upon them to be responsible.

So I Need an Orthodontist?

There are several things that your orthodontist can do to help you get straighter teeth instead of relying on DIY Invisalign. First, your orthodontist will perform a thorough oral exam. This exam may include them checking your bite visually as you open and close your mouth. They may also take measurements of your jawbone and the spaces between your teeth. During your in-person consultation, you can also expect your orthodontist to ask questions about your lifestyle.

(Video) How Do You Take Care of Braces?

For instance, you may not be the ideal candidate for Invisalign if you tend to forget things easily since the trays must be removed and put back into your mouth at various points during the day. In this case, you may be a better candidate for traditional braces, but a mail order company would never tell you that.

Rubber Bands and Other Attempts

The internet abounds with stories about people who try to make braces by using rubber bands, hair elastics, paper clips, and other items that were never intended to be used as orthodontic appliances. Using these unorthodox methods can damage the roots of your teeth and cause your teeth to fall out. Braces gently and slowly realign the teeth, which is essential for a permanent and safe solution. Rubber bands can slip on the teeth or they can become lodged in the gums and require surgery to extract.

Other outré items used for DIY braces include earring backs, dental floss, and Super Glue. All of these items can cause irreparable and permanent damage to your teeth and can be hazardous to your overall health as well. Super Glue was never marketed for internal use. Watch here for a video of the wrong thing to do.

In-Office Orthodontic Care with Dr. Gluck

When you seek care at a traditional orthodontics office, you receive that personalized touch that makes a big difference in your final results. While a millimeter may not seem like much, it makes a big difference in how your smile looks, and your braces may need these tiny adjustments as you progress through your treatment plan. You will also find that the costs between the two types of braces are comparable, but you get so much more from a regular orthodontist. When you know that someone is able to visually check your teeth for signs of progress, you can trust that it is easier to stay on track with your treatment plan.

Besides that, it’s just easier to have professional handle things such as making impressions rather than trying to stress out as you attempt to do it yourself. Are you so eager to get straighter teeth that you’ve explored mail order orthodontics? If so, we understand and have seen the results from low-quality DIY attempts. Give Dr. Gluck a call today so he can show you how we can work together to give you the best results for an amazing smile.

Gluck Orthodontics
2002 Richard Jones Road
Suite A-200
Nashville, TN 37215
Phone:615 269 5903

(Video) Can Seniors Get Orthodontic Treatment?

What are Mail Order/DIY Orthodontics? [Why They Fail]

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What Are Mail Order (DIY) Braces? Gluck Orthodontics (5)


Dr. Joel Gluck has practiced orthodontics since 1983 when he opened his own office in Nashville. He earned his undergraduate degree atWashington University in St. Louis, and his dental degree atthe University of Tennessee. Dr. Gluck then completed an orthodontic specialty residency at the University of Michigan, one of the top five orthodontic training residencies in the country. He also wrote an original thesis and received a Master of Science degree.

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Do mail in braces work? ›

Recently, companies have started popping up that offer to straighten your teeth completely from home, without going to a dentist's office. It sounds like a tempting offer, but don't be fooled; mail-order aligners can be dangerous, and they might even damage your teeth rather than fixing them.

What are the 3 options for braces? ›

Keep reading to find out more!
  • Traditional metal braces. Metal braces are the most common type of teeth straightening treatment available today. ...
  • Ceramic or clear braces. Ceramic braces have become a popular choice. ...
  • Lingual braces.

How can I make braces at home? ›

I've taken a paperclip and unfolded it into a u-shape check to see that the paperclip fits

How can you get braces fast? ›

How Can I Speed Up My Braces?
  1. Wear your elastics. They work with the wires to guide your teeth. ...
  2. Keep your teeth clean. Braces make it harder to keep your teeth clean, but not much harder. ...
  3. Be gentle when you're eating with your braces and wires so they don't break.

What is the average cost for aligners? ›

The national average for clear aligners ranges from $3,000 to $5,000; whereas, traditional braces range from $3,000 to $7,000.

Can aligners cause damage? ›

DIY Teeth Aligners Can Cause Irreparable Damage

Treating the teeth without considering the underlying problems can worsen existing conditions or create new conditions. Some of the “DIY braces gone wrong” stories include bleeding gums, loose teeth, difficulty chewing and swallowing, tooth loss and jaw pain.

Which type of braces work faster? ›

Currently, clear aligners offer the fastest correction speed. For reference, Invisalign treatments can be finished in several months, whereas metal braces can take several years. It's not just clear aligners that offer speed. Another form of fast-correcting braces is self-ligating braces.

How can I straighten my teeth in 2 weeks without braces? ›

6 Surprising Ways To Straighten Teeth Without Braces
  1. Incognito Hidden Braces. Got to love that name right? ...
  2. Retainers. Most people would receive a retainer after you completed treatment with traditional metal braces. ...
  3. Headgear. ...
  4. Dental Veneers. ...
  5. Invisalign. ...
  6. Impressions Invisible Aligners.
25 Apr 2019

Which type of braces is best? ›

Orthodontic patients generally find ceramic braces more comfortable to wear than metal ones. The high-quality materials aren't abrasive, so they won't irritate your gums or the sides of your mouth (a common complaint for metal brace wearers).

Can u get fake braces? ›

Fake braces, also known as fashion braces, look similar to real orthodontic braces in that they're made with a piece of wire and brackets. The wire is molded to fit the shape of the teeth' exterior and then glued onto the teeth.

Can you put braces on by yourself? ›

Homemade braces are no match for professional orthodontic equipment. Selling and distributing non-professional do-it-yourself braces is illegal, and if caught, fines and jail time can be involved.

Does hot water speed up braces? ›

If you rinse with hot water and use hot water in your water pik and drink hot soups and beverages, your teeth will move faster. If you want your treatment to go super-fast, listen to Dr.

Can you straighten a tooth without braces? ›

Can you straighten your teeth without traditional braces? Yes! With remote teledentistry, you can straighten teeth without traditional metal braces without monthly in-office visits and under the guidance of a state licensed dentist or orthodontist.

What is a good age to get braces? ›

However, a general rule of thumb is your kids should look at getting braces between the ages of 9 and 14. Usually, this is before they've gone through puberty. If they've already gone through it, this means it'll be harder to adjust their jaw and/or teeth, as they've already settled into their post-puberty positions.

Which is better aligners or braces? ›

Comfort: Generally speaking, aligners are more comfortable than braces. Although the teeth can still be somewhat tender as they begin to move, the lips and cheeks tend to be less irritated as the plastic aligner is smoother than the metal or porcelain braces.

Is braces cheaper than Invisalign? ›

Traditional metal braces are slightly more affordable than Invisalign. While the cost of Invisalign is covered by more and more insurance companies, you're still more likely to have a little more coverage for metal braces. If cost is a concern, metal braces come out the winner here.

Why are my teeth turning yellow with Invisalign? ›

During Invisalign treatment, it is important to take care of your dental hygiene because it can affect your teeth, making them yellow or stained. In addition, if you do not take proper care of your Invisalign tray, it can also turn yellow.

Can aligners make your teeth fall out? ›

Well, not quite so simple. While Invisalign does move your teeth, bone is what holds them in place. Otherwise, they'd fall out! The pressure that Invisalign exerts on your teeth also puts pressure on this bone structure (allowing the teeth the space they need to move into a straighter position).

Is Invisalign OK for seniors? ›

When we think of braces, we tend to think of kids and teenagers, but Invisalign treatment is a great option for adults and seniors. In fact, Invisalign® can be used on patients in their 40s, 50s, and even 60s. If you would like to treat crooked or gapped teeth, Dr.

Is 63 too old for braces? ›

In short, no, you are never too old for orthodontic treatment. Your orthodontist considers many variables when developing your customized treatment plan, but age is rarely a deciding factor. Orthodontic treatment can be as successful for adults as it is for adolescents.

What type of braces are cheapest? ›

Standard metal braces use metal brackets and wire to realign your teeth over months or years. Standard braces are usually the least expensive, but they're also the most noticeable. You can expect to pay about $3,000 to $7,500.

What is the quickest way to straighten teeth? ›

In mild to moderate cases, Invisalign is typically the fastest method to straighten teeth. Some malocclusions (teeth misalignments), like front-to-back bite issues, may require you to wear rubber bands to fix the issue. Rubber bands attach to your braces or Invisalign trays to help align your jaw.

Is it possible to move teeth with fingers? ›

Finger Pressure

Braces and clear aligners use pressure to reposition teeth, so it makes intuitive sense that other forms of pressure could similarly move teeth. Some people will use their fingers to push recessed teeth forward or to try to twist teeth into straighter positions.

Can teeth be straightened in one day? ›

Yes, teeth can be straightened in a single day in some circumstances, dental bonding can be used over the surface of the teeth to give the illusion of straightness. Some practices also have digital technology allowing them to manufacture a series of dental veneers.

What are the 4 types of braces? ›

There are 5 main types of braces available today:

Metal braces. Ceramic braces. Self-ligating braces. Lingual braces.

What can't I eat with braces? ›

Foods to avoid with braces:
  • Chewy foods — bagels, licorice.
  • Crunchy foods — popcorn, chips, ice.
  • Sticky foods — caramel candies, chewing gum.
  • Hard foods — nuts, hard candies.
  • Foods that require biting into — corn on the cob, apples, carrots.

What are side effects of braces? ›

Common Side Effects of Braces
  • Mild Discomfort. Some discomfort with braces is totally normal and should be expected. ...
  • Irritation. ...
  • Jaw Pain. ...
  • Difficulty Eating. ...
  • Tooth Decay. ...
  • Decalcification. ...
  • Allergic Reactions. ...
  • Root Resorption.
18 Nov 2018

How do you make fake braces for Halloween? ›


How do you straighten your teeth with rubber bands? ›

A gap band is a DIY method that aims to close gaps between teeth. To do this, a small elastic rubber band is placed around the affected teeth. The pressure from the tight band causes fast and harmful movement in the teeth.

Do braces hurt? ›

Braces can cause discomfort or pain while the person is wearing them. Usually, people will only feel pain or discomfort when an orthodontist first fits the braces and after regular brace tightening. They may also feel pain if part of the brace is rubbing or poking into the inside of their mouth.

What are fake braces called? ›

Wearing fake braces, also known as cosmetic braces or DIY braces, is an emerging “cool” trend among teens and twenty-somethings.

Do fake braces hurt? ›

Lastly, fake braces commonly lead to mouth sores that can become infected and be very painful. The glue used to attach the brackets to the teeth can also cause tooth discoloration and even tooth decay.

Why do people buy fake braces? ›

The reason for artificial braces being cheaper is simple—they're not the real deal. They're just an accessory for your teeth. So, if you are under the impression that fake braces can actually straighten your teeth, you are mistaken.

What are DIY aligners? ›

What are DIY aligners and when did they enter the Indian market? DIY orthodontics refers to straightening of teeth at home without seeing an orthodontist regularly. They are also less expensive. These aligners entered the Indian market in 2016.

Do braces start working immediately? ›

Although you may not notice any visible change for the first two to three months of treatment, braces begin working immediately. If your discomfort is painful, you can use an over-the-counter pain reliever after adjustments.

Does cold loosen braces? ›

Like the ice pack, the water's cold temperature will help decrease inflammation. Unlike the ice pack, however, drinking cold water will numb the inside of your mouth. If placing an ice pack against your face isn't enough to relieve your braces pain, try drinking cold water instead. Sucking on ice cubes works, too.

What can you drink after braces? ›

If you have a soda, please brush your teeth thoroughly as soon as possible. We suggest milk, water, fruit juices, Crystal Light, or Snapple. During sports, it is best to drink water, because many sports drinks, including Gatorade, are also very acidic.

How do they fix crooked teeth in adults? ›

3 Ways Cosmetic Dentistry Can Fix Crooked Teeth
  1. Dental Veneers. Porcelain dental veneers are a popular option for people with minor misalignments or small gaps between teeth. ...
  2. Invisible Braces. ...
  3. Dental Bonding. ...
  4. Cosmetic Dentistry in Shippensburg, PA.
1 Jun 2019

How do you fix a crooked front tooth? ›

Whether you want to solely address crooked front teeth or treat bite problems like crowding and protrusion, some options for correction methods include the following:
  1. Braces. Spitz says braces work for a variety of patient needs. ...
  2. Dental aligners. ...
  3. Veneers.

Will my teeth shift back if I wear my retainer again? ›

The new retainer will only be able to keep your teeth where they currently are; it cannot always realign your teeth back to their fresh-out-of-treatment position. Teeth that relapse significantly will likely require another orthodontic treatment.

Do braces hurt more when you're older? ›

While it is generally recommended that orthodontic treatment is undertaken during teenage years, it is not because braces hurt more for adults. No matter what age you are, you will likely experience the same level of discomfort after an adjustment which will dissipate in the coming days.

Do braces change your face? ›

With braces, the change to your face shape is a gradual one. It's less obvious in adults, whose skeletal features are already completely developed. During your orthodontic consultation, our Ottawa orthodontist, Dr. Charles Cohen, can pinpoint which areas, if any, might change once your teeth are properly aligned.

Is 18 too late for braces? ›

If you're thinking about correcting your smile with braces as an adult, it isn't too late. While braces are commonly thought of as a treatment for children or teenagers, they can actually be used for anyone of virtually any age – once most of the adult teeth have emerged.

Can I do Invisalign through the mail? ›

Do Mail-Order Aligner Companies Use Invisalign Aligners? No. Invisalign aligners are only available through licensed, trained orthodontists in an accredited office.

Is byte a good company? ›

As a United States-based company that is a member of the American TeleDentistry Association and the Better Business Bureau, Byte is one of the best companies to go to for at-home teeth alignment. Byte is an excellent alternative to metal braces or other more traditional forms of orthodontic treatment.

What is the cheapest Invisalign company? ›

AlignerCo currently offers the cheapest invisible aligner treatment plan, with an initial price tag of $1,145. The company also provides three payment options, including two financing plans. The first financing plan, called SmileFlex, lets you pay for treatment starting at $81 per month over 12 months.

How can I straighten my teeth without braces at home? ›

Invisible Aligners

Invisible aligners are the most popular at-home alternative to braces these days. With these, you can straighten your teeth at home at a significantly cheaper price than traditional metal braces and treatment only lasts an average of six months.

How much does Invisalign cost USA? ›

Invisalign costs range from $1,800 to $9,500, depending on the complexity of the problem. The average cost for a teenager is $3,000. A typical adult would spend $5,700 for a “full” treatment. These averages compare to $3,000 to $7,000 for traditional wire-and-bracket braces.

How much does Byte cost a month? ›

How Much Do Byte Aligners Cost? Byte has two payment options for both all-day and at-night alignment systems. For the all-day aligner system, you can either complete a one-time payment of $1,895 or a $349 down payment with a monthly charge of $83 for 29 months, which comes to $2,763 with an interest rate of 7.76%.

Can bytes fix crooked teeth? ›

Byte's remote dental team can fix most mild to moderate dental misalignments, including crowding, spacing, and slight bite problems, safely and efficiently.

What disqualifies you from getting Invisalign? ›

Patients who have dental implants, bridges or TMJ disorder may not be the best candidates for Invisalign. If your teeth are on the smaller side or they're misshapen or eroded, Invisalign may not be practical.


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