“A lie can travel halfway around the world while the truth is putting on its shoes.” While myths aren’t necessarily lying, they’re still just as quick to spread around! Myths about braces are pervasive, especially among children. But which myths are just that, and what is the truth behind these myths?
Read on to learn common myths about braces and why you shouldn’t believe everything you hear!
Myth #1: Orthodontics Are About Aesthetics
One of the most common myths about braces is that they’re only used to correct the appearance of your teeth. This couldn’t be more untrue! While one of the popular benefits of orthodontic treatment is a beautiful new smile, it’s not the primary concern of your orthodontist.
Malocclusions of all types can create dental health problems for you. Issues surrounding malocclusions range from uneven tooth wear to speech problems to even issues with the physical development of your jaw! On the surface, it may appear that your treatment is just making your teeth look better – but the reality is that it’s also improving your ability to eat, speak and grow.
Even if you’re older and past the primary development stage, orthodontics is still often more about health than appearance. Adult orthodontics can help reduce problems associated with TMD, speech and your bite.
When your orthodontic treatment is done, you’ll certainly enjoy the aesthetics of flawless smile. But it’s important to remember that you’ll also enjoy the benefits of a healthier mouth and healthier life!
Myth #2: Braces Hurt
One of the most pervasive myths about braces is how painful they are. Some people believe you’ll experience pain for the duration of the treatment, and that adjustments and the first day of braces are unbearable. Fortunately, this isn’t true!
Pain with braces can happen, but it’s not the norm. There are certainly periods of adjustment necessary, and you may have discomfort for the first few days or weeks. But this is mostly about your gums and mouth acclimating to the new appliance – not pain from your teeth being adjusted.
This myth is one of the main reasons that children (and adults) are often hesitant or outright afraid of orthodontic treatment. If you have braces and feel like you’re suffering from pain, all you need to do is contact your orthodontist. They can make adjustments and offer remedies for problems like mouth sores from braces.
Remember: pain with braces isn’t part of the process! This is especially true for Invisalign, which doesn’t use brackets or wires at all. You always have options, and your orthodontist should always be seen as an ally. Whenever in doubt, just schedule an appointment.
Myth #3: Metal Braces Are the Only Option
When most people hear the word “braces” their mind immediately pictures the traditional metal braces that have been used for decades. And they still are used because they’re very effective! Of course, even traditional metal braces have been improvements over the years. They’re more comfortable, easier to adjust and more effective than they’ve ever been.
But more importantly: they’re not the only type of braces you can use! Orthodontists are trained to use a variety of appliances, and we have several types of orthodontic appliances that can be used to treat nearly any orthodontic problem you may have:
Each type of appliance is designed with a unique approach to improving your dental health. Most people recommended for orthodontic treatment will have some or all these options available to them.
Myth #4: Braces Are Only for Kids
It wasn’t unusual to see children at school with braces. But until recently, adult orthodontics weren’t something many people thought about! It is true that orthodontic problems are best treated at a young age, as it improves the natural development of your mouth and jaw throughout life. But that doesn’t mean the problems can’t be solved later in life!
Fortunately, adults who never received treatment when they were younger, or developed new problems in adulthood, are making the positive step towards treatment in greater numbers than ever before. Social stigmas about orthodontics are weakening – as they should be! After all, orthodontics is about improving your health. But advancements in discrete orthodontic appliances like Invisalign have made it even easier for adults to achieve a perfect smile without anxiety.
So, if you’re worried that you’re too old for braces, don’t be! Orthodontic treatment has no age limit. As long as your mouth is healthy enough for treatment to be safe, you can fix orthodontic problems whether you’re 6 or 60!
Myth #5: Orthodontic Treatment Takes Several Years
Many children and adults worry about how long their treatment will take. This is partly due to the myth that all orthodontic treatment requires multiple years to accomplish anything. The truth is that every person is different. The time it takes for their teeth to reach the ideal position can be anywhere from months to years.
The severity of your orthodontic issues and how well you follow your orthodontist’s instructions are the most important factors in determining the length of your treatment. If you see your orthodontist for necessary adjustments, avoid eating foods that could damage your brackets or set back your treatment, it will be over before you know it!
It’s also important to know that the completion of orthodontic treatment isn’t when your braces come off! You’ll most likely need to use a retainer following your treatment to avoid relapse. You don’t want to ruin months or years of progress by letting your teeth revert towards their original malocclusions!
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