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The British Orthodontic Society is warning against websites offering DIY orthodontic treatment because of the risk they pose. A statement has been posted on the BOS website – http://www.bos.org.uk/News-and-Events/BOS-Statement-Do-it-yourself-braces – which strongly advises against any treatment which bypasses a consultation with an orthodontist or dentist.

DIY orthodontics involves an assessment for treatment using photographic “selfies” which are uploaded to a website or sent via a mobile phone app. The entire treatment – usually with clear aligners – is carried out remotely.

Richard George, Director of External Relations for BOS, said that the Society is very concerned that people who don’t see a clinician for diagnosis and treatment planning might suffer damage to their teeth. The reasons that DIY treatment poses a risk, he said, are:

The Society is equally concerned, Dr George said, about advice on the internet encouraging young people to carry out DIY orthodontics using elastic bands or dental floss. Such home-made treatments have already been shown to cause damage to teeth.

Another worrying trend, he said, is discount vouchers for orthodontic treatment sold on the internet.   Visitors to the discount site are directed to a clinic which provides “cosmetic” braces at a greatly reduced price. Once again, a specific treatment is being recommended without the patient having had the opportunity to see a clinician and discuss their options.

Richard said: “We urge patients to think twice before deciding to go ahead with any treatment which is carried out remotely, without a consultation, or chosen via the internet. The best starting point for orthodontics should always be to see a clinician who has the appropriate training and experience.”

BOS Logo courtesy of bos.org.uk