Alborzi Ortho - November 2018

235 N. SanMateo Drive, Suite 300 SanMateo, CA 94401-2672 Tel: (650) 342-4171

705 Purissima Half Moon Bay, CA 94019-1934 Tel: (650) 726-6321

The Alborzi Standard

November 2018

STAY AWAY FROM THIS DIY TREND Orthodontic Treatments That Cause Major Problems

If you are familiar with the nursery rhyme “The Little Red Hen,” you likely remember the hen’s token phrase, “I’ll do it myself!” In this story, the hen decides that she is going to make bread from scratch, a process which involves planting wheat, harvesting it, taking it to the mill, making flour, and ultimately, baking the bread. She asks her friends for help with every step of this process, but when they decline, she merely states, “I’ll do it myself!” You might be wondering why I would induce nostalgia to spotlight the little hen’s ambition and independence. Due to the prevalence of DIY trends in modern society, this story is especially relevant. Unfortunately though, when it comes to DIY orthodontic treatment, people who follow the hen’s advice might find themselves in an unsatisfactory predicament. “When it comes to self- diagnosing or self-treating your health, DIY trends can cause major problems.” Many patients ask me about DIY orthodontics, but each time they do, I give the same answer: “Stay away!” The popularity of sites like Pinterest and YouTube give people the false idea that as long as they do their research, they can do most anything at home. But when it comes to self-diagnosing or self-treating your health, DIY trends can cause major

problems. These DIY kits are marketed as invisible aligner treatments that you can apply at home without the need of a doctor’s visit. You start by filling out a form online and pay a nominal fee to request materials from the company. The company will then send you a kit to take an impression of your teeth at home. You send the impressions back, and they propose a treatment plan. The plans are reportedly reviewed by a licensed dental professional, but you are responsible for monitoring your own treatment. These kits have gained popularity primarily due to their allegedly low cost, but in most cases, they cause more issues than they fix. Those issues result in them scheduling an appointment with their orthodontist, which, ironically, is what they were trying to avoid in the first place. Now, I see the appeal to these DIY treatments, but it is my responsibility to inform people of their risks. The No. 1 problem with these

is essential to determine whether or not a patient has bite problems. Working to straighten your teeth without taking your bite into consideration can cause severe damage. The companies that pedal these products seem more interested in straight teeth than healthy ones. Additionally, these kits don’t require an examination of your gums. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, half of adults age 30 and older suffer from some form of gum disease. The prevalence of these periodontal issues is even more problematic when DIY treatments

kits is that they don’t require an examination of patients’ teeth. For example, when a new patient comes into my office, I first examine the anatomy of their teeth and their underlying bone structure. This data

are used because the invisible aligner actually accelerates the disease process, ultimately doing your mouth more damage than if you had done nothing at all.

–Dr. Alexa Alborzi

(650) 342-4171 | 1

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