BC Society of Orthodontists Responds to American Association of Orthodontists Report

Increase of DIY Teeth Straightening Attempts Among Patients Concerns Local Orthodontists

British Columbia - In a recently released report, the American Association of Orthodontists (AAO) revealed that nearly 13 percent of its member orthodontists are seeing patients who have tried do-it-yourself (DIY) teeth straightening. The reported ages of people attempting to straighten their own teeth ranges from 8 to over 60.

AAO reports the most common materials used to attempt DIY teeth straightening include rubber bands, dental floss, fishing line and paper clips—as well as DIY methods such as biting on pencils, creating fake retainers and pushing teeth with fingers.

“The cost and pain associated with attempting to straighten your own teeth without the proper training, materials and tools can be extensive,” said Dr. Todd Moore, British Columbia Society of Orthodontists (BCSO) President. “Not only can DIY treatment cost time and money down the road, but patients could potentially be causing irreparable damage that will affect teeth and mouth for years to come. A patient wouldn’t attempt to set a broken bone on their own, so they shouldn’t attempt to fix structural issues either.”

The AAO survey conducted among its members indicates some of these DIY teeth straightening attempts have caused irreparable damage—leading to some costly repairs.

“The cost of dealing with replacing a lost tooth can easily exceed $20,000 over a lifetime,” said DeWayne
B. McCamish, DDS, MS, AAO President.

AAO attributes the trend of DIY teeth straightening to social media video content, such as YouTube video tutorials.

“People have become accustomed to using social networks to learn how to cook their next meal or fix their car,” said Dr. Moore, “but it doesn’t take much searching to find DIY or Pinterest fails. While DIY is a worthy goal for making birthday cakes and painting homes, it definitely is not one for orthodontic work.”

Orthodontic specialists receive an additional two-to-three years of additional schooling beyond dental school. Moore emphasizes that British Columbia residents interested in straightening their teeth receive expert advice from a trained and certified orthodontist.

“People need to understand that orthodontic treatment should be performed by a highly-trained specialist,” said Dr. Moore. “Orthodontic specialists are experts in diagnosing, treating and preventing structural oral issues. Only an orthodontic specialist can provide patients with the best possible outcomes.”

About Dr. Todd Moore

Dr. Moore grew up in Vancouver and earned his Bachelor of Science (Hons.) in Biochemistry and Master of Science Degree in Dental Science from the University of British Columbia. He earned his Doctor of Dental Surgery degree from the University of Western Ontario, followed by a Certificate in Orthodontics at the Eastman Dental Center, University of Rochester. He is board certified with the American Board of Orthodontics and is also an examiner for the Royal College of Dentists of Canada. Dr Moore maintains private practices in Vancouver and Richmond as a partner in the Pediatric Dental Group.

About the BC Society of Orthodontists

Founded in 1963, the British Columbia Society of Orthodontists (BCSO) has been the voice of board-certified orthodontists in British Columbia for 50 years. The organization is dedicated to promoting the highest standards of excellence in orthodontic education and quality of patient care.

BCSO Mandate

  1. Promote high standards of orthodontic practice in the province of British Columbia.
  2. Encourage and sponsor research in orthodontics.
  3. Disseminate knowledge and information in orthodontics to its members and to the public.
  4. Cooperate with other societies with similar interests in furthering the above purposes.
  5. Encourage good fraternal and professional relationships among its members.
  6. BSCO works closely with provincial, national and international organizations within the fields of dentistry, orthodontics and dentofacial orthopedics.

Press/Media Contact: Brittany Larsen
Ph: 801-983-8464