Braces are a safe and effective way to align the teeth and fix a bad bite. They can solve problems ranging from simply cosmetic to those which are painful such as pain chewing and even temporomandibular joint dysfunction. But braces are a financial and time investment that many people simply do not have, or cannot afford. That’s why many ‘braces by mail’ services have popped up across the country, promising professional results at a much lower price. Unfortunately, these services could cause more harm than good, with some users reporting painful treatments and teeth that are more crooked and problematic than they were before the treatment began. That, coupled with the fact that you’re essentially on your own during treatment is the perfect storm of things that could go wrong.
But if you thought by mail braces were dangerous, there’s a new trend that’s even worse. It’s called “fashion braces” and it’s done by unlicensed professionals for thousands less than authentic braces. The cost may be better, but fashion braces are a dangerous gamble when it comes to your teeth. That’s because they’re being installed by someone who essentially has no idea what they’re doing. This is dangerous for many reasons, and can even result in worsening tooth alignment or tooth loss!
So, how do you know if your practitioner is illegal or on the up and up? First, you should ask to see their license. If they cannot provide a valid license, or even if they do provide what looks like a license, research them with your local dental board and make sure they are a legitimate practitioner. There should always be red flags, including the price. It is nearly impossible to find braces for $300 to $400 dollars. When you pay for braces, you are not only paying for the braces themselves but for the follow-up care and adjustments, those braces will need for the duration of the treatment.
With fashion braces, there is likely no follow-up care, and without trained professionals monitoring their progress, you could be looking at not just worsening teeth, but tooth damage and tooth loss. In fact, some fashion braces wearers have choked on falling braces in their sleep, and many are now stuck paying for interventions to correct the damage the fashion braces caused.
The important takeaway here is that if something seems too good to be true, it usually is. That includes orthodontics. If you are interested in getting braces for yourself or a family member, speak to Dr. Mingus about your options. He can safely install braces that will get you the results you desire – or refer you to a professional who can.