Orthodontists warn teens against DIY braces

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INDIANAPOLIS -- There's a new trend in the do-it-yourself movement.  Do-it-yourself braces.

There are hundreds of videos on YouTube demonstrating how to straighten teeth.

One video has a girl showing viewers how to use an elastic rubber band to close a gap between her teeth.  The video has gotten 400,000 views.

But doctors say the results can be catastrophic.

"Certainly you can move teeth with elastic hairbands, but you have no control over that movement and you can actually damage the teeth, the supporting bone structures underneath, and it can even result in the loss of teeth,” said Dr. Karen Cottingham, an Indianapolis orthodontist.

The American Association of Orthodontists issued an alert last year warning people about misusing elastic bands.

Braces are pricey, but most orthodontists will offer a free consultation to help patients find a treatment that works best for them.

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