Getting braces is a big step in the orthodontic process towards a better smile. As you take this step, you might encounter some myths and misinformation about orthodontic treatment. Don’t worry, Thacker Orthodontics has an office of experts who want to have the correct information and confidence to begin your smile journey on the right foot. Let’s go over ten of the most common myths about braces and clear them up.
Myth #1: Braces are only for kids and teens
When we imagine braces, the image that comes to mind is often a pimply teenager. This is because young people’s teeth are not fully developed, which can make it easier for braces to move their teeth in the right direction. But you’re never too old to improve your smile! Your teeth can be adjusted with braces at any point, but some issues may be easier to treat when you are younger. With metal and clear braces and Invisalign options, orthodontic treatment is possible for everyone of all ages.
Myth #2: Braces are painful
While there may be some initial discomfort when you start treatment, this quickly goes away as your teeth adjust to the metal appliances. There may also be some irritation and soreness during your routine adjustment appointments. Overall though, your braces should not cause any actual lasting pain and the discomfort you may or may not experience does not affect the efficiency of your braces.
Myth #3: Braces have to be on for a long time to work
Adjusting your teeth takes time. This is especially true if you need more in-depth jaw adjustments. Braces make small changes that allow your mouth to adjust and move your teeth, and doing this too fast would be very painful and could cause damage to your jaw and teeth. Most orthodontic patients tend to spend anywhere from twelve to thirty-six months in treatment and adjustments, and it can vary depending on your oral health and your goals. But the benefits of a better smile are always worth the wait!
Myth #4: Braces are only for cosmetics
Braces do straighten your teeth, but there are other more functional benefits to braces too. Imperfect teeth can affect your speech, chewing, digestion, sleep, and even your breathing. Tooth crowding can make it difficult to properly floss and clear plaque and debris. A misaligned bite can lead to poor oral health overall. Luckily for most patients, jaw misalignment or malocclusion can be remedied with braces.
Myth #5: You can’t play sports or instruments
You don’t have to give up doing what you love once you begin treatment. You should always protect your teeth and mouth when playing sports or instruments, especially when you have braces. But you don’t have to give your favorite activities to protect your smile! One way you can protect your teeth while playing sports is to wear a protective mouthguard just to be safe from the impact that could damage your braces. And as for musical instruments, the added devices in your mouth may require a bit of adjustment while playing, but it shouldn’t keep you from enjoying making music.
Myth #6: Metal braces are the only option for straightening your teeth
Not everyone wants to deal with brackets and wires. The past few decades have seen advancements in orthodontic technology that have provided more options for people seeking treatments. While bracket-and-wire braces are the most commonly used option, there is also a clear, ceramic option. At our orthodontic office, we also offer Invisalign to be used in place or in combination with your standard braces treatment plan.
Myth #7: Braces straighten your teeth forever
Your orthodontic work likely won’t end after your treatment does. Once your braces are off, you will move on to the next phase of your orthodontic treatment. Your mouth is vulnerable post-treatment because your teeth attempt to shift back into the place they were before braces. Your jaw needs time to grow and support the adjustments that were made. For this reason, you will need to wear a retainer that keeps pressure on the teeth to keep them from moving. This will be a removable device, but you will need to wear it regularly as instructed to ensure that the adjustments made while wearing braces are not compromised.
Myth #8: Braces will severely limit what you can eat
To get the most effective results from your treatment, it’s good to avoid certain food that may damage your braces, or can make cleaning your braces tricky. Foods that are crunchy like raw apples and carrots, nuts, and popcorn, and sticky foods like candies with caramel and taffy can cause your appliances to break and even cause damage to your teeth, tongue, and gums. But most other foods will not pose a problem with eating or proper oral care.
Myth #9: Constant Wire Changes
Follow-up visits are an important part of the orthodontic process, and our team wants to work with you to help you achieve your goals. Adjustments will be expected and there may be reasons for the wire to be exchanged at certain points in your treatment plan. But they will not be as frequent as you may expect! Most of the visits will consist of our orthodontists making minor adjustments and visually inspecting the movement to be sure you are progressing as you should be.
Myth #10: Braces are the only option for straightening your teeth
Braces are the most widely recognized way to correct your teeth. But it’s not the only option! Advancements in orthodontic technology have created more ways for you to achieve your smile goals. In addition to traditional braces, we also offer clear braces and Invisalign clear aligners to our patients.
Fact beats fiction at Thacker Orthodontics
There’s a lot of misinformation out there, and so you need a team of experts who can provide you with the right information to give you the confidence to move forward. At Thacker Orthodontics, we want your orthodontic treatment to be as smooth, satisfying, and stress-free as possible. If you or someone you love is interested in getting braces, get in touch today to schedule your FREE consultation. Excellent orthodontic care is only a few minutes from your home, work, or school with offices in Hillsboro and Cincinnati. There’s never been a better time!