Where are these kids’ parents? In yet another disturbing TikTok trend, teenagers are removing their own braces while using a spoon. The DIY braces removal trend follows a long list of dental procedures that desperate people are resorting to amid high prices and long wait times.
Bad Dental Idea #1: DIY Braces Removal
A viral video reposted by Dr. Grant Collins aka @TheBracesGuy shows a teenage girl prying her braces off her own teeth. In her hand is a spoon. Anyone with an aversion to the thought of nails on a chalkboard can imagine how frightening this is.
“Ummmm, don’t do that,” says @TheBracesGuy. He then explains 3 reasons for not removing your own braces (never mind the part about the spoon):
- You need to remove the residual glue from your teeth with a dental drill.
- Your teeth will shift immediately afterward, which means that you need a retainer for a period of time post-removal.
- If your teeth shift because you don’t immediately put a retainer in, you will need to start the entire process over again.
Another TikToker @keegotlevi explained her own DIY braces removal procedure. She ordered a pair of surgical orthodontic bracket removal pliers from Amazon. They were $11.79 and arrived in 2 days.
“During the pandemic, I had braces. And when I went back to the dentist, they wanted to start my time over,” she explained. After she removed her braces, she used an electric nail file to remove the glue.
“Make sure you use the buff. Because if you don’t use the buff, you’re going to scrape your teeth and have like, lines all over your teeth,” she added. The DIY braces removal video was posted as a response to questions the TikToker received after showing herself removing her own braces. She then happily munched on a variety of crunchy foods. She also opened a can of soda with her teeth, which is face-palm material.
Bad Dental Idea #2: DIY Polymer Application for Tooth Gaps
The very bad DIY braces removal procedure isn’t the only terrible dentistry concept warping teenagers’ minds on TikTok right now.
Other DIY dental procedures on TikTok include self-application of dental polymer in an attempt to fill gaps.
“The bacteria that got trapped between the polymer and her tooth and is now decaying straight through the enamel,” someone commented.
Bad Dental Idea #3: DIY Veneer Application
Another trend is self-application of veneers.
The veneer video should be enough to dissuade anyone contemplating such a maneuver. The woman’s teeth are protruding and enormous, practically resembling those teeth everyone gets at Halloween. Part of the reason for this is that veneer application requires partial and superficial removal of enamel prior to placement. So plopping veneers on top of your teeth is definitely going to look bad.
Bad Dental Idea #4: DIY Tooth Enamel Filing
While all of these DIY dental procedures are incredibly dumb, the sad truth is that dentistry is way too expensive in America. About 77 million adults in America don’t have dental insurance. Further, dental insurance doesn’t cover everything, like orthodontics and cosmetic procedures.
BuzzFeed reported that many Americans were flocking to get their dental care. These “dental refugees” could often get over 70% discounts, with a crown quoted at $600 in Oregon only costing $190 in Mexico. But not everyone had positive experiences, because with the low cost also comes a lack of oversight.
Thailand is known for its very good dentistry as well. The exchange rate of US dollars to Thai Baht is phenomenal and you can get complex dental procedures done professionally for a fraction of the cost of in America. The problem is the cost of plane tickets, which average from $1,000 to $2,000 roundtrip.
Lesson of the Day: Removing Your Own Braces, Other DIY Dentistry All Very Bad Ideas
The moral of the story? Trained professionals might be expensive, but they’ll save you a lot of heartache, headache, and possibly toothache in the long run. If you’re desperate to get some dental work done, consider finding some work and a decent dental insurance plan.