In this age of do-it-yourself everything, orthodontists declare teeth straightening is one task you should leave to the professionals.


While these beautifying projects might be cheap at first, they carry a risk that could ultimately cost thousands of dollars, said Dr. Jeffrey Kwong, an El Dorado Hills orthodontist. If a rubber band slides to the top or bottom of the teeth and wedges into the gum line, retrieving it’s nearly impossible without professional help, Kwong said. If left in the gums, the band can cause an infection or weaken the ligaments around the tooth to the point where it falls out.

“The rubber band will start chewing far at the ligaments and making the tooth become loose,” Kwong said. “We only have so much gum tissue. If the teeth are moved too distant beyond the point of where there are tough tissues, that could be a problem as well.”


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