The Internet is a powerful learning tool. In the field of dentistry, videos of treatment procedures inform patients and educate students through a fast and free medium. Jamila Garza has established quite a reputation for herself on YouTube, teaching thousands about orthodontic measures, specifically how to close dental gaps.
Jamila Garza is not a dental practitioner, by the way.
Do-It-Yourself, or DIY, has swept countless industries throughout the previous decade or so. It boasts an inherent appeal for ‘consumer independence’, and whether laymen are delving into DIY for economic or adventurous reasons, the Internet is here to make sure this (homemade) machine all but stops. In the case of Jamila Garza, as well as the multitude of dental DIY YouTubers, using elastic bands to ‘pull’ teeth together is a practical and effective way to save on costly braces — and she wants the rest of the world to know so.
Chances to spur debate abound, no matter the subject, and Jamila’s rubber band braces tutorial are non-exempt from heated Internet conflict. ‘Definitely, guys, this is a great opportunity to close your gap!’ Jamila tells her audience. Anecdotal success stories, anecdotal horror stories and challenges to the validity of said anecdotes ensue.
Homemade braces are causing a stir within the online, gap-toothed community. Viewers who are still on the fence weigh arguments and seek proof from both sides, much like how investors do copious research before even considering a property. After all, braces, be it metal or elastic, are investments that always carry the possibility of backfiring.
Dentists from AuraDentalLondon.co.uk state that while the use of rubber bands as an alternative to braces appears to make basic, mechanical sense, it opens up the risk of permanent tooth loss. This is considering how gap teeth would not necessarily stand flush beside each other once the gap band does its thing. Other aspects to consider include the actual space along the gums, as well as the condition of the teeth themselves and whether they can handle such a shift.
The DIY scene, even for dentistry, is a component of Internet culture even the most dedicated traditionalists cannot disengage. As long as gap bands remain an option for individuals without access to professional orthodontics, people would have to take the risk and hope for the best.