DIY braces…WHAT?

As you may have seen on YouTube or in the news, there is a disturbing trend called “DIY braces”.  People are watching YouTube videos on how to close gaps between their teeth using household items such as hair band elastics and paper clips. There are even companies where you can take a do it yourself impression and mail it in for “custom” in home braces… DON’T DO THIS! In order to have a great orthodontic result it is very important to have a board certified orthodontist such as, Dr. Fleming, perform a comprehensive initial exam and monitor your results throughout your treatment. During these exams,  she will diagnose and monitor the straightening of your teeth as well as the health of your teeth and gums. DIY braces or simply closing a small gap between your 2 front teeth seems like a good idea until something goes terribly wrong. This form of “in home” orthodontics can cause permanent damage such as mouth sores, tooth decay, damage to your roots and even loss of teeth. Doesn’t sound so good now, does it?

The American Association of Orthodontists (AAO) has issued a consumer warning about using elastics for at-home dental work. Part of their warning states:

“DIY” at-home treatments without orthodontic supervision, such as attempts to close gaps with rubber bands or paper clips, significantly increase the chances of irreparable harm. Orthodontic treatment is a complex medical procedure, and there is no “one size fits all” approach. Treatment is customized for each patient, taking into account all relevant information.”

At Fleming orthodontics we are dedicated to health of your teeth and gums, so if you are considering braces or invisalign please contact our office for your complimentary exam and a personalized treatment plan just for you! We look forward to hearing from you and your family.


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What is Hyperdontia?

Have you ever heard of people having “extra” teeth? The medical term for this condition is called Hyperdontia. You may also hear us call the extra teeth “supernumerary teeth”. Normally a child is born with 20 primary teeth and 32 adult teeth. Primary teeth are the first set of teeth that erupt and typically erupt between birth and age of 36 months. Permanent teeth then take the place of the primary teeth and are usually fully-erupted 21 years of age.

The cause of hyperdontia is not clear however, it is thought to be genetics. Hyperdontia affects between 1 and 4 percent of the population in the US, most cases are limited to a single tooth.

So, what is the best way to deal with hyperdontia? It really depends on the case. The treatment plan Dr. Fleming suggests will vary according to the potential problem posed by the supernumerary teeth, as well as their type. Orthodontic treatment certainly may help, but extraction of the extra tooth can also be a good option. We recommend a child receive an oral evaluation no later than the age of 7. This will help us to determine if your child has hyperdontia and the proper course of action.

If you suspect you or your child may be suffering from hyperdontia, please give Fleming Orthodontics a call to schedule a complimentary appointment.

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