Wanting straight teeth and a perfect smile often seems an innate desire in all people and cultures. However, quality treatment can sometimes be hard to come by, and real braces installed by orthodontists can cost a lot of money.
This has spurred some people to make fake, or DIY, braces either to become a geek chic fashion icon or to actually try straightening their teeth.
This article covers DIY and fake braces, how they’re made, why people would use them, and any risks associated with them.
Key Takeaways: Do It Yourself Braces for Teeth
Can I Get Fake Braces?
Yes, you can get fake braces whether you want to wear them as a fashion statement, for a play, or even to a costume party.
How Much Does It Cost to Get Fake Braces?
Fake braces are not made by orthodontists and can range from $10.00 for a cheap costume pair to more than $300 for a high-quality set used for movies or other film productions.
Where To Get Fake Braces That Look Real
You can get fake braces online or from your local Halloween costume shop.
Are Fake Braces Illegal?
Selling fake braces for costume parties or as a fashion accessory is not illegal. However, making money from selling fake braces as an alternative to the ones made by orthodontists for treating crooked teeth is illegal and could be punished with jail time or fines.
What Will Happen If You Wear Fake Braces?
If you’re using fake braces as a fashion statement and securing them with orthodontic wax, these fakes shouldn’t have any effect on your oral health or the structure of your teeth.
However, if you’re using fake braces to straighten your teeth, you could be at risk for serious damage and possibly hurt your gums and teeth.
If you want to straighten your teeth and are looking for alternatives to braces, check out our article on the different types of braces.
Can I Make My Own Braces?
Yes, you certainly can make your own braces at home. Once again, if you’re planning to do so for fun or a party, go right ahead. But, you should never try to make your own braces or retainers to straighten your teeth.
Do it yourself (DIY) braces for fashion purposes can be made with beads, metal wire, bobby pins, or a paper clip, and super glue.
How To Make Your Own Braces That Work
Making DIY braces to straighten your teeth is strongly advised against as it could seriously damage your teeth and enamel.
To understand why do-it-yourself (DIY) braces can be so dangerous, you’ll need to know how they are made.
The most common are described below:
- Take paperclips, a bobby pin, or a piece of metal wire and use pliers to bend it into the shape of your teeth along your jaw.
- The most common replacement for brackets is earring backs. Use super glue to stick them to the right spots on the paperclips, bobby pin, or wire so that they can pull your teeth into the correct position.
- Use rubber bands to increase the pull by linking them between brackets.
- Often, children will use actual glue or denture adhesive to stick the brackets to their teeth. We do not recommend this as it could damage your or your child’s teeth or enamel.
Some children simply use a rubber band wrapped around two teeth to create pressure and pull them into the right position. All of these methods are incredibly risky and could result in serious health issues.
Do Homemade Braces Work?
There is no doubt that DIY braces made of earring backs, rubber bands, and paper clips that people bend to fit their teeth exert some sort of pressure on your teeth. However, without an orthodontist’s expertise, imaging services, and the scientific approach behind making braces, DIY braces will not work and can do more damage to your teeth than help straighten them.
Risk of DIY Braces: Why DIY Braces Are Dangerous
DIY braces are incredibly dangerous to your overall oral health and the structure of your teeth.
Using glue or adhesives from home to stick DIY brackets or earring backs connected to paper clips onto your teeth could damage or break off your tooth enamel. Wrapping a rubber band around your teeth to close a gap could hurt and cut off blood supply to your teeth and cause gum damage, which is serious and often difficult to treat.
DIY Braces Gone Wrong
Do it yourself, or DIY braces can go horribly wrong and cause permanent damage to your mouth, teeth, and gums.
Often, children will use superglue to stick a bracket to their tooth or end up using toxic materials to shape their homemade braces. This could not only destroy the health of their teeth but could leave them sick too if they’re not careful.
Orthodontists everywhere are familiar with stories of DIY braces and children having to be rushed to the doctor to have the braces removed.
Not only can these temporary adverse effects impact your life, but using DIY braces could even worsen your tooth alignment as there is no orthodontist’s plan, check-ups, or any way of determining in which position the teeth must end up in.
DIY Braces vs. Real Braces
DIY braces refer to braces people make at home using YouTube tutorials that guarantee they can straighten their teeth while ignoring the possibility of permanent damage to their mouth. Real braces are provided by orthodontists and follow a personalized treatment plan regardless of their type.
Fake braces are not a way to straighten teeth and could leave you with permanent damage.
Are Mail-Order Aligners Safe?
Mail order-aligners or clear braces are similar to Invisalign, except that visiting a dentist or orthodontist isn’t part of the process. The American Dental Association doesn’t approve mail-order clear aligners, but many dentists recommend using them, especially for minor adjustment issues.
Clear aligners often cost much less than other braces, making them more accessible to get straight teeth.
Here are some of the most frequently asked questions about fake braces.
Can You Make Your Own Braces?
Yes, DIY braces are a thing, cost less than those provided by an orthodontist, and can cause serious damage to your teeth if you decide to wear them.
Is DIY Braces Safe?
No, DIY braces are not safe and can lead to various issues with your teeth, a single tooth, or your gums.
Before bringing anything homemade near the teeth in your mouth, check with an orthodontist.
Is It Illegal To Do Braces At Home?
Homemade braces are not illegal to wear for a party or play. However, selling fake braces to replace treatment by an orthodontist is illegal.
Real braces and orthodontic care can be pricey. Often, the perfect smile is only available after an Invisalign or traditional braces treatment. No matter the cost of orthodontic treatment, however, it is important you never try to make your own working braces to realign your teeth.
Instead, choose a budget-friendly, financed option and ensure your mouth and smile remain happy for years to come. If you want to know more about your options, check out our article on the types of braces available.