DIY braces are a thing now - and they might actually be legit

Unfortunately it means you don't get a sticker for sitting still in the dentist's chair


Unfortunately it means you don't get a sticker for sitting still in the dentist's chair

The most tempting thing about going on the X Factor is - without any shadow of a doubt - the moment when they ship contestants off to the dentists and give them perfect teeth in a matter of hours. Because, regardless of the humiliation and trauma of singing on a stage in front of Simon Cowell, fixing your teeth as an adult seems to be endlessly difficult. And almost impossibly expensive.

Which is why the arrival of 'DIY braces' could (potentially) be a really big deal.

Yep, instead of going to the dentists to be fitted with invisable aligners, you can sign up online for a DIY braces kit to sent straight to your house - containing everything you need to take a the perfect impression of your (presumably imperfect) teeth. And while it's not suitable for those of us with really overcrowded gnashers, it's being billed as the perfect solution for people who just need a bit of adjustment.

As it stands, the whole thing is a little bit daunting - the kit contains about eight small pots of brown and / or white clay stuff, which you have to smoosh together into balls and bite into (it's a tad more complex than that, but you get the gist), and there are a LOT of instructions to follow. (Plus you really don't want to get it wrong - while DIY braces are about 75% cheaper than going to your local orthodonists, the whole process still weighs in at a wince-inducing £1,199. And, er, your teeth are kind of important.) But once your teeth impressions are complete, then it gets really easy. You just pop your chewed-on clay into a plastic bag - and post it back to YourSmileDirect. Then they make you up some clear braces, and post them back to you - promising to fix any gaps or overcrowding in the space of 16 weeks, and keep the postal service in business at the same time.

Reassuringly, the company uses the same dental facilities to make the braces as your dentist would anyway, and they also promise to stay in touch with you for every step of the process - so even if you don't have anybody feeling up your gums with a pair of rubber gloves, you're not completely alone. But of course, anything DIY does come with more of a risk than getting things done in the dentist's chair, so the British Orthodontic Society has released a statement warning against buying dental treatments, such as braces, over the internet.

'We urge patients to think twice before deciding to go ahead with any treatment which is carried out remotely, without a consultation, or chosen via the internet,' said Richard George, Director of External Relations for BOS. 'The best starting point for orthodontics should always be to see a clinician who has the appropriate training and experience.'

But for those on tight budgets - or rural post codes - and very minor dental probs, this could finally provide a means of getting celeb-appropriate teeth, without driving back and forth to your local tooth fairy every fortnight.

And so, in the spirit of journalism, we took photos of everything inside the kit. (The Pulitzer is ours now, right?)





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