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Timothy Johnson | September 2017

We live in a time where we have access to information and everyone is learning … “Do It Yourself” (DIY) techniques. DIY seems best for everything from building a new deck to changing the oil in your car to even creating your own personal care products! It’s certainly practical and, perhaps, even a smart plan if you are a person who is handy. However, DIY is not always a good idea. In fact, in some circumstances, it may be disastrous. 

We do not recommend dental treatments as a DIY strategy. Yes, believe it or not, there is a trend to take dental work into your own hands, literally.  The American Dental Association is even warning people to beware of videos that show you how to straighten your teeth using rubber bands, dental floss or other products. We are concerned and want to let you know the risks of DIY and how in some cases it may result in permanent loss of teeth, gum disease or other health issues. (See the ADA video here)

Yes, everyone wants a beautiful and healthy smile, but DIY is not the way to do it.

Instead, the healthiest and most economical choice for orthodontic treatment is to have a licensed orthodontist provide all treatments. Even though most people think of pre-teens and teens when they think of orthodontics, there are good reasons a child should get an orthodontic check-up much earlier.  The American Association of Orthodontists recommends orthodontic evaluations beginning at age 7.

Orthodontics Treatment Options listed below:

Early Orthodontic Treatment (Ages 7-11):

Early treatment may correct some dental issues such as protruding teeth, harmful oral habits (like thumb sucking) and even improve the way lips meet. Once dental issues are found, they can be treated and they may not face that problem again.

Adolescent Orthodontic Treatment (Ages 11-17):

These are crucial years for dental and orthodontic treatments.  By the age of 12, many times, the permanent teeth have frequently all grown in.  There can be some dental and orthodontic issues at this stage so seeing an orthodontist is highly recommended. There are many different types of malocclusion, such as overbites, under bites, open bites and cross bites. Your orthodontist can find these issues early and begin treating them.  Orthodontic treatments at this stage may include braces, Invisalign and retainers.

Adult Orthodontic Treatment (Ages 18 and up):

Twenty percent of all orthodontic patients are adults. Even if they have had excellent dental treatment as a child, they may still encounter dental issues due to their malocclusion. Common dental problems are poor teeth alignment, cavities, worn tooth enamel, old fillings, exposed tooth root and fractured teeth. Your orthodontist may recommend Invisalign treatments, clear braces or other aesthetic treatments. Additionally, due to teeth grinding or poor bite, patients may need oral surgery to correct these unhealthy conditions.

Family dental care is essential to promote healthy lifestyles. Whether a child or an adult, see your licensed dental care provider for pediatric and adult dental, orthodontic and cosmetic treatments. It’s the smart and healthy decision.

EJL Dental specializes in dental and orthodontic treatments for people of all ages. We also do emergency dental treatment, teeth whitening and family dental care in the Bethesda, Maryland area. Contact us at (301) 881- 6170 or

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