There's all kinds of misinformation about braces and orthodontics online, and it can sometimes make people hesitate to undergo treatment altogether, or to relapse treatment they’ve already had. Here, we’d like to clear up 5 common myths about braces.
1. People get braces for aesthetic reasons only.
Without question, a beautiful, symmetrical smile is an enormous benefit to getting orthodontic treatment. But there are many health benefits to orthodontic treatment too!
Straight teeth are much easier to keep clean than misaligned teeth are, since there aren't as many crevices where food particles and plaque can build up.
Having misaligned teeth can also make eating certain foods more difficult, and they can cause an uneven wear pattern because they grind unevenly.
2. Braces are for kids and teenagers; I want to straighten my teeth, I’ve missed my chance.
Age isn’t a barrier to orthodontic treatment. Anyone with healthy teeth can benefit from orthodontic treatment!
This is because the fundamental process by which teeth move and change position during orthodontic treatment is the same for everyone, regardless of age. And because many modern orthodontic treatment options are low-profile and in some cases, virtually invisible, you don’t have to worry about looking unprofessional or 'too young' in your day to day life during the orthodontic treatment process.
3. Rubber bands are the least important part of my treatment, so I don’t really need to keep them on all the time.
This common myth couldn't be further from the truth. We're not sure why this one is so prevalent, because although they’re not made of metal like many of the other parts of your braces, rubber bands play a highly important role.
The rubber bands move your top teeth and your bottom teeth in relation to each other, so that at the end of treatment they sit comfortably together, improving your bite.
To make sure your treatment proceeds as it should, you must wear your elastic bands full time, as prescribed. Otherwise, you’re just stalling your progress!
4. After treatment, my teeth shifted. This means my orthodontist didn’t do a good job.
Having worn braces in the past doesn’t necessarily mean that you're guaranteed your teeth won’t shift out of position over time.
This is why you have your retainer! Most often, inconsistent retainer wear is the reason that teeth will shift after orthodontic treatment. Just after your orthodontic treatment is complete, you'll start wearing your retainer full time. Once your orthodontist says so, you can move to part-time, but you should always wear your retainer, at least periodically.