'DIY braces' trend permanently damaging kids' teeth

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Tutorial videos for 'DIY braces' on YouTube are leading some kids and teens to cause permanent damage to their smiles. (KABC)

Tutorial videos for 'DIY braces' on YouTube are leading some kids and teens to cause permanent damage to their smiles.

The videos frequently feature teens instructing others on how to wind rubber bands around their teeth in an effort to straighten them out.

"It's Russian roulette, and you're playing with how you're going to be for the rest of your life," said Dr. Dewayne McCamish, president of the American Association of Orthodontists. Thirteen percent of the association's members report having patients who have tried DIY teeth straightening.

The association has even gone so far as to put out an ad targeted at those who attempt to bind their teeth.

Placing rubber bands on teeth can lead to their absorption into the gums, resulting in the permanent loss of the teeth, according to David Campbell, who tried it himself as a young boy.

Orthodontists say the damage can happen quickly, sometimes in just a few days, and the effects can be irreversible.

ABC News contributed to this report.
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