Misinformation about braces and the orthodontic process abounds on the internet, and often this can make people hesitate to undergo treatment, or cause them to relapse after treatment they’ve already had. Here, we’d like to clear up 5 common myths about braces.
1. Braces are simply an aesthetic solution to crooked teeth.
A straight, beautiful smile is certainly a benefit of orthodontic treatment, but orthodontic treatment has many health benefits, too!
Oral hygiene is easier to maintain with straight teeth than with misaligned ones, as there aren't as many crevices that your toothbrush can't reach.
Misaligned teeth can make eating certain types of foods difficult or even painful, and can cause an uneven wear pattern due to uneven grind. Uneven teeth are also more prone to chips and cracks over time.
2. Orthodontics is for kids and teens; I want to straighten my teeth, I’ve missed my chance.
As long as you have strong, healthy teeth, you can benefit from orthodontic treatment! Age is not a barrier.
Regardless of a person's age, the fundamental process that allows teeth to move and change position is the same for everyone. Orthodontic treatment has undergone many advances in recent years and there are now many low-profile, almost invisible braces options available for adults and teens concerned about looking unprofessional or 'too young' because of their braces.
3. Rubber bands aren't that important; I don’t really need to keep them on all the time.
We're not sure why, but this particular myth is very common. But it couldn't be further from the truth! Rubber bands play a very significant role in the orthodontic treatment process.
The rubber bands move your top teeth and your bottom teeth in relation to each other, allowing them to sit comfortably together, improving your bite. You absolutely must wear your elastic bands full time, as prescribed, or else you’re just stalling your progress!
4. My teeth have shifted after treatment. This means my orthodontist didn’t do a good job.
Many people don't realize that once the teeth alignment process is complete, there is a maintenance portion of orthodontic treatment, and that it's a life-long commitment. Throughout the rest of your life, you will have to wear a retainer on a periodic basis.
After your orthodontic treatment is complete, you'll wear your retainer full time for a period of time. Once your orthodontist gives you the go-ahead, you can move to part-time, but you should always wear your retainer, at least periodically.
If you don't keep up with wearing your retainer, your teeth may well shift back out of position over time.