DIY Braces Kits: Do You Get What You Pay For?

DIY Braces Kits: Do You Get What You Pay For?

How many people wear braces?

According to the American Association of Orthodontics, over 4 million people in the United States currently have braces, and an estimated 75 percent of those are adults, compared to the late 1990s, when most patients undergoing orthodontic treatment were between the ages of eight and 16. Most individuals have some type of dental issue that can be resolved with orthodontic treatment, which is why nearly 80 percent of teenagers are in the care of an orthodontic specialists. From misaligned teeth to crowding and spaces, braces can provide a method of correction to create beautiful smiles.



Why do adults wear braces?

Products like Invisalign that offer an alternative to traditional metal braces are the most likely reason for the increase in the number of adults who are choosing to wear braces. With the increase in the number of clear braces on the market has also come the emergence of DIY at-home kits.

What are DIY braces kits? Are they worth it?

While DIY braces kits are marketed as a more affordable option to those that are fitted by an orthodontist, there are downsides to opting for them over other products like Invisalign. While you may save money up front, DIY braces kits are not as effective as other braces, so you may end up spending more money in the long run to correct problems they do not fix.

Pros and Cons of DIY Braces Kits

While you may save money upfront on DIY braces kits, that’s the only benefit of opting for DIY braces kits. As noted before, however, many people find these kits to be ineffective at treating a variety of orthodontic issues, which leads them to Invisalign and other solutions that could have corrected any problems on the front end.

Unfortunately, there’s no money back guarantee when it comes to DIY braces kits, so even if you have signed up for a payment plan that requires a small down payment and small monthly payments, you’re stuck paying the bills even if your teeth do not respond to treatment. Opt to visit a professional orthodontist instead. He or she can provide digital scans of your teeth before and after Invisalign treatment, so you’ll know beforehand, and before payment, whether or not you’re eligible and whether or not you’ll see results.



1. When it Comes to Braces, Time is on Your Side

Many at-home braces kits tout treatments that provide results in just a few short weeks or months. While there have been cases in which minor gaps and misalignments were corrected in as little as four months, many of these patients may find their teeth do not remain aligned once treatment is over.


Braces rely on time and pressure to slowly move teeth to the intended or ideal position. If your teeth are moved too quickly, there’s a chance they may not remain in place. This is why professional orthodontic treatments typically last 12-24 months with periodic visits to your orthodontist to ensure new trays will continue to align your teeth properly.

2. The Important of Retainers

One of the biggest reasons for the lack of success many people experience with at-home braces kits is the lack of options for retainers or a lack of any retainer. Retainers are an essential part of the orthodontic treatment process that cannot be overlooked if one is hoping for lasting results.


In the same way that your teeth were able to realign with the help of braces, they can realign once you are no longer wearing them. Retainers are used to keep teeth from reverting to their pre-treatment form and to prevent any future misalignments. For most individuals, retainers need only be worn a few nights a week to prevent further movement. Those who never wear a retainer or do not wear their retainer often enough may find their smile changing as a result.

3. DIY Braces Can Cause Infection

Because they are created using sterile materials, Invisalign braces and other medical-grade orthodontic treatments used by orthodontists are safe and effective for orthodontic treatment. DIY braces, on the other hand, are shipped to your home, and there’s no way of knowing where the materials were processed and what they came into contact with during the mailing process.


Gum infections can lead to serious dental problems, including periodontal disease (also known as gum disease), tooth loss, and tooth decay. The symptoms of a gum infection include:

  • Red and swollen gums
  • Bleeding gums
  • Receding gums
  • Sensitive teeth
  • Pain when chewing or swallowing

Gum infections can be life-threatening if left untreated. Infections of the gums can spread to the bloodstream and other parts of the body, which can lead to seizures, strokes, and even death.

4. A Professional Dentist on Standby

Many DIY braces kits tout their on-staff orthodontic specialists as experts who can determine the best treatment plan for you. Be aware that not all “orthodontic specialists” are orthodontists who are trained and certified in a medical setting with a doctorate degree. Unless your orthodontist has attended dental school and is a licensed orthodontist, he or she is not qualified to provide orthodontic treatment.

Working with an orthodontist to create a treatment plan provides the added benefit of having a professional who can answer questions, walk you through the process, and help customize a tailored treatment plan that fits your specific needs. An orthodontists can also diagnose problems or identify solutions before, during, and after the treatment process to ensure your new smile remains beautiful for years to come.


Orthodontists are dentists who are certified to provide treatment options for dental patients. In addition to receiving a doctorate in dentistry, orthodontists must also complete 2-3 of post-graduate training at a university certified by the American Dental Association. While all orthodontists are dentists, not all dentists are orthodontists.

>> READ MORE: Orthodontist Vs. Dentist <<

Orthodontist in Nashville

If you’re ready to learn more about how to create the smile of your dreams, Smith Dental offers a unique solution to orthodontic treatment. In addition to providing dental services for the entire family, we have on-staff orthodontists who can create your personalized treatment plan without the need for a referral to a separate provider or clinic.



If you are interested in receiving dental checkups and cleanings but do not have dental insurance, consider signing up for the Pipeline Club. The Pipeline Club is a membership program that includes:

  • Three cleanings per year
  • Comprehensive exams
  • Full dental x-rays
  • 20 percent discount on dental treatment
  • Free orthodontic or Invisalign consultations
  • Oral cancer screenings



Posted by Rob Smith at 8:28 AM