Will Braces Damage my Teeth if I Can't See the Orthodontist?

I've had braces on for about 2 years but haven't had them tightened in nearly a year. After 1 yr, I couldn't afford the payments, so I couldn't see the dr. I moved and transferred to a dr who requires $500 before beginning work on me. I can't afford that either right now, so the braces are stuck on. I'm wondering if I'll damage my teeth?

Doctor Answers 3

Braces won't damage your teeth, but neglect can....

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Just to be clear the braces themselves won't damage your teeth.  But plaque collecting around the teeth, especially in spots you can not clean well can lead to decalcification, decay, and gum disease.  If the wires are still in place, teeth may also move adversely.  So I it is very important that you seek an orthodontist to have them removed.   You can always re-start treatment at a later date.  If you are near the doctor who put them on, they should take them off at no charge.

Atlanta Orthodontist

Untended braces could cause more harm than good

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If you cannot proceed forward with treatment due to the cost, I would recommend you get the braces removed ASAP. The original orthodontist who placed your braces cannot refuse to remove them due to a lack of payment of fees.  They can however, refuse to make you retainers if your account is not paid in full.  Another orthodontist (one you did not start with) may not "want" to remove them without a cost due to the work involved and potential liability. I would suggest you contact the original orthodontist and request the braces be removed.  A final option would be to call a dental school and see if they could help.

Todd Barnett, DMD
Akron Orthodontist

Leaving braces on without proper supervision is a bad idea!

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I am sorry to hear of your circumstance that you have not been able to see an orthodontist because of financial reasons.  If you truly don't have some way to financially pay for the service, you should find someone who will remove the braces at a low cost.  The braces themselves do not cause damage to the teeth, but can encourage plaque buildup because of challenges in cleaning teeth with braces.  A bigger problem could be bad tooth movement because of extended unsupervised wire pressures on the teeth.  At least have your teeth checked out ASAP to determine likely problems.

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.