Do-it-yourself braces?

A new 'viral' trend has some creating their own braces.

Orthodonists are concerned with the increasing number of teens, even some adults, using household items like rubber bands, aluminum foil, and even paper clips to make homemade braces.

Allison Nash, with the Canadian Orthodontics Association, says "do it yourself braces" are not worth the risk.

"They can cause extensive damage to both the teeth and the soft tissue, they can require extensive restoration and/or dental surgery. We can recognize that it can be tempting because of the possibility of saving money, but the damage that has likely been done and not reversible, sometimes even with professional help is the outcome," she says.

Doctor Ian Smith, from Apple Dental Centre in Kelowna, says practising your own dentisty will lead to future problems..

"If they actually loosen up a tooth to the point where they lose it, then they can be looking at implants or bridge work later on that can become quite expensive. I don't suggest anyone practising their own denistry," he says. 

Smith says household items, like popsicle sticks, can be used to fix problems like cross-bites, but advice on how to do that properly needs to come from a doctor - and not social media.