Recently, the AAO (American Association of Orthodontists) issued a public awareness notice warning people about the dangers of doing their own orthodontics! We in the Orthodontic community were shocked that an individual would attempt such a thing as moving their own teeth at home with a variety of un-supervised and ill-advised techniques. Simply put, this is dangerous! While the general public may be confused about the differences between a general dentist and an orthodontist, when it comes to braces, it should be a no brainer that attempting a medical procedure like moving your own teeth into alignment is a bad idea. Leave that to the professionals!

Here’s a news article on the subject published back in April of 2015

You can view more about the AAO consumer alert here at the American Association of Orthodontists website at

We can’t stress enough the dangers of attempting this kind of procedure on your own, there really is very little to be said on the subject except, DO NOT UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES ATTEMPT TO MOVE YOUR TEETH ON YOUR OWN.

When it comes to braces, what are the differences between an orthodontist and a general dentist?

The general public is confused about the differences. Terms like “ortho-dentist” or “dentist doing braces or orthodontics” can seriously confuse people and obfuscate the fact that orthodontics is a specialty area of dentistry requiring several extra years of training and study.

Did you know, orthodontists on average will spend an additional 2-3 years in orthodontic school after they have completed the same qualifications as a general dentist?

Providing braces is not a part time side business for an orthodontist. It’s our full time specialty. At Walt Orthodontics, we only focus on braces and invisalign and your specific needs on a case-by-case basis. Because we see misaligned teeth day in and day out, we also have a great deal of experience to draw upon helping us provide our patients with solutions in the shortest treatment times possible. Think dealing with an orthodontist is much more expensive then dealing with a general dentist? You’d be surprised then to learn that the fees are truly not that different even though you are getting the benefit of the added expertise and special training.

So in summary, when you consider having your teeth straightened:

1) You should NEVER attempt this alone. You could cause severe damage to your teeth and bite and create many more complications that will ultimately only worsen the problem, and

2) When you understand the difference between a general dentist and working with a specialist like an Orthodontist, the choice is pretty clear.

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