Good Healthcare Requires Treatment of Your Mind, Body, and Soul

Good Healthcare Requires Treatment of Your Mind, Body, and Soul

Dangerous Teen Dental Trends: Why Your Teen Shouldn't Wear Fake Rubber Band Braces

by Hugh Larson

If your teen wants to straighten his or her teeth with fake braces, take him or her to see a real orthodontist for affordable treatment instead. Fake orthodontic treatment is a dangerous trend in the United States and Asia, but some teens have taken the trend a step further by making fake braces out of regular rubber bands. Rubber band braces are cheaper to buy than the fake braces sold online. Teens who wear rubber band braces may face two serious problems, including mouth infections and permanent damage to the jawbones. Here's what you and your teen need to know about fake braces.

Develop a Dangerous Gum Infection

One of the most dangerous problems associated with wearing fake rubber band braces is gum infection. Unlike traditional orthodontic appliances, rubber band braces aren't sterilized or free of bacteria and other deadly pathogens. These products may come into contact with different pathogens when they travel from the manufacturers' plant to the store, even if they sit inside boxes and containers.

When your teen places the rubber bands on his or her teeth, he or she may forget to clean or wash the products. In addition, your teen's hands could have dangerous organisms on them as well. Germs like staphylococcus could transfer from the hands to the mouth, and eventually to the gums through cuts and abrasions made by the elastic material of rubber bands.

The elastic material used to make rubber bands is strong enough to cut into your teen's gums once he or she places them on his or her teeth. In order to keep the rubber bands in place, your teen might wrap the ends of the bands around his or her teeth. If the material slides upward and lies against the gumline, the pressure from the elastic material can push the gums up and expose the teeth roots.

Cuts and abrasions on the soft gums become perfect doorways for pathogens to travel inside the blood vessels. Once there, the pathogens enter your son or daughter's bloodstream and spread to other areas of the mouth, face and head.

If your son or daughter does develop a gum infection, he or she may have these symptoms:

  • Pus or blood that oozes from cuts and abrasions on the gums
  • Pain in the gums when brushing or flossing
  • Swelling in the gums

The symptoms above are just some of the problems your teen faces. He or she may also damage the joints of the lower jaw.

Damage the Lower Jawbone's Joints

Traditional braces from sites like improve the placement of teeth by moving the jawbones along with them. However, regular rubber bands aren't designed to move both the teeth and jaws at the same time. In fact, the pressure caused by the elastics may actually damage the joints that support the lower jawbone.

The lower jaw's joints are very small. They connect the lower jaw to the bones of the temple with ligaments and muscles. These tissues can overstretch or pull out of place if they face great stress or pressure, especially if the fake braces pull your teen's teeth too far in one direction.

Your teen may experience problems from pulling or overstretching the lower jaw's joints, including:

  • Pain when chewing or biting down on foods with hard texture – this makes the joints work harder to open and close the lower jaw in order to break down the food
  • Excessive warmth in the skin over the joints – this happens when the ligaments and muscles develop inflammation
  • Swelling on both sides of the face – may happen if fluid forms between the joints and the bones connecting them to the temple

If your teen develops any of these symptoms, you should contact your orthodontist immediately for care. Damage in the jaw's joints may lead to temporomandibular joint disorder and tooth loss without the proper care. Teeth that lack the right jaw support can become loose and fall out.

If you have concerns about your teen's decision to use regular rubber bands as braces, consult with your orthodontist for safe and affordable braces. 


About Me

Good Healthcare Requires Treatment of Your Mind, Body, and Soul

I have worked in a supportive role in the medical industry for over 20 years, and I have been amazed at the advances in medicine that have been made. While it is always great to hear about a new medication that helps cure a disease or a new surgical procedure that can help someone live a normal life again after an injury, I have been especially amazed at the research that has shown just how much our physical and mental health are connected. Since I keep on top of all of the amazing medical studies being performed and I know others are too busy to hunt them down themselves, I decided to start a blog to share my favorite health tips for keeping both your mind and body healthy.