There's lots of misinformation about braces and the orthodontic process out there, much of which can make people hesitate to undergo treatment, or to relapse treatment they’ve already had. Here, we’d like to clear up 5 common myths about braces.
1. People only get braces for aesthetic reasons.
A straight, beautiful smile is of course one of the most significant benefits to getting orthodontic treatment, but orthodontic treatment has many health benefits, too!
For starters, straight teeth are much easier to keep clean and plaque-free than misaligned teeth are, as there aren't as many crevices that your toothbrush can't reach.
Misaligned teeth can make eating certain types of foods difficult or painful, and they can cause an uneven wear pattern because they grind unevenly. Uneven teeth are also more prone to chips and cracks over time.
2. Only kids and teenagers can get orthodontic treatment; I want to straighten my teeth, I’ve missed my chance.
If you have strong, healthy teeth, you can benefit from orthodontic treatment! Age is not a barrier.
The fundamental process that allows teeth to move and change position is the same for everyone, regardless of age. Orthodontic treatment has advanced considerably in recent years and there are now many low-profile, virtually invisible braces options, which means you don’t have to worry about looking unprofessional or 'too young' in your day to day life.
3. Rubber bands are the least important part of my treatment; I don’t really need to keep them on all the time.
For some reason, this particular myth is very common. But it couldn't be further from the truth! Although they’re not made of metal like the rest of your braces, rubber bands play a significant role in the orthodontic treatment process.
The rubber bands move your top teeth and your bottom teeth in relation to each other, so that they sit comfortably together, improving your bite. You must wear your elastic bands full time, as prescribed. Otherwise, you’re just stalling your progress!
4. My teeth have shifted after treatment. This means my orthodontist didn’t do a good job.
Once the alignment process is complete, the maintenance portion of your treatment begins, and this is a life-long commitment. Throughout the rest of your life, you will have to wear a retainer on a periodic basis.
Just after your orthodontic treatment is complete, you'll wear your retainer full 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.