Your braces are the first step towards a better smile. As you begin this process, you may encounter some myths and misconceptions about orthodontic treatment. Orthodontics Exclusively has a team of experts with the correct information to begin your smile journey on the right foot. Let’s take a look at ten of the most common myths about braces and clear them up.
Myth #1: Braces have to be on for a long time to work
It takes time to adjust to treatment. This is especially true if you need more in-depth jaw adjustments. Braces make small changes that move your teeth, and doing this too fast would be very painful and could lead to oral health problems. Most orthodontic patients spend twelve to thirty-six months in treatment and adjustments, and it can vary depending on your goals and health. Just know that a better smile is always worth the wait!
Myth #2: Braces are only for kids and teens
When we imagine braces, we often imagine a pimply teenager or kid. 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. For this reason, braces do tend to be more common in late childhood or the teenage years. However, 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 patients of all ages!
Myth #3: Braces are painful
There may be some irritation when you start treatment. However, this quickly fades away as your teeth adjust to the new metal appliances. There may be some discomfort and soreness during your routine adjustment appointments. Overall, your braces should not cause any actual lasting pain and the discomfort you may experience does not affect the efficiency of your braces.
Myth #4: Braces are only for cosmetics
There are lots of benefits to braces besides a more aesthetically pleasing smile. 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
It’s important to protect your teeth and mouth when playing sports or instruments, especially when you have braces. However, you don’t have to give up your hobbies during treatment! One way you can protect your teeth while playing sports is to wear a protective mouthguard to stay safe from the impact that could damage your braces. 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 playing music.
Myth #6: Braces straighten your teeth forever
Smile care doesn’t end when your braces come off. Once your braces are removed, you will move on to the next phase of your orthodontic treatment. Your mouth will be in a vulnerable state because your teeth may attempt to shift back into the place they were pre-treatment. 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 #7: Braces will severely limit what you can eat
During your treatment process, it’s wise to avoid certain food that may damage your braces, or can make cleaning your braces tricky. Crunchy foods like raw apples and carrots, nuts, and popcorn, and sticky foods like candies with caramel and taffy can cause your appliances to break. They can even cause damage to your teeth, tongue, and gums. Most other foods will not pose a problem with eating or proper oral care. As long as you mind your appliance, you can still enjoy most of your favorite snacks during treatment!
Myth #8: Braces are the only option for straightening your teeth
Braces are the most widely recognized way to treat your teeth. However, they’re not the only option! Advancements in orthodontic technology have created more ways for you to achieve your smile goals. On top of traditional braces, we offer clear braces and Invisalign clear aligners to our patients. No matter what your goals are or what your lifestyle is like, we’ve got you covered.
Myth #9: Metal braces are the only braces available
Many patients don’t want the complications that come with brackets and wires. The past several years 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 a clear, ceramic alternative. At Orthodontics Exclusively, we offer Invisalign to be used in place or in combination with your standard braces treatment plan.
Myth #10: Constant wire changes
Follow-up visits are an essential part of your orthodontic process, and our team wants to collaborate with you to help you achieve your smile goals. You should expect adjustments and there may be reasons for the wire to be exchanged at certain points. However, they will not be as frequent as you may expect! The visits will typically consist of our orthodontists making minor adjustments and visually inspecting the movement to be sure you are progressing as you should be.
Get the best at Orthodontics Exclusively
Here at Orthodontics Exclusively, we want to be by your side no matter what kind of treatment you’re looking for. Our team is all accomplished orthodontists who are University of Oklahoma faculty in addition to running our practice. They have many years of experience creating beautiful smiles for patients of all ages in Norman, Oklahoma City, and the surrounding areas. Our offices use cutting-edge technology to give you comfortable treatments and exceptional results as quickly as possible. Get in touch with us today to schedule your FREE consultation.