Orthodontic Myths Unveiled: Separating Truth from Fiction

Many myths about orthodontics persist to this day. This often happens because people who went to an orthodontist decades ago had an unsuccessful experience and never returned. People don’t realize how much the field of orthodontics has advanced. Here are some of the most common myths about orthodontic treatment and the truth about them.

  1. Braces Are Only for Kids

This is simply not true. While most patients who are treated with braces are between the ages of 10 and 14, older teenagers and adults can also receive this treatment. The reason why kids are the most common patients to receive the treatment is because this age is the best time for it. Their bone structure is still growing and it’s easier to shift the teeth at this age for dramatic results. The bone structure is less pliable in adults, however, their teeth can still be straightened using braces.

2. Braces Are Painful

Braces today are more “low profile” than ever. You will experience some discomfort and pressure for the first few days after they are installed and after every adjustment. It takes a few days to get used to this pressure. Most patients with braces will tell you that it’s not a painful procedure but causes some mild discomfort.

3. Braces Can Pick Up Radio Signals

This is entirely impossible and false. The confusion here stems from a longstanding issue with metal fillings. A metal filling in a tooth could act as a semiconductor that detects a radio signal in an extremely low number of people. Something else in the mouth that was capable of vibrating, such as a loose filling or bridgework, would then act as a speaker. There have been a few cases where this happened, but none involved braces. The two types of oral health treatments were probably confused by someone on the internet, and then the idea grew legs of its own.

4. Braces Will Set Off Metal Detectors

You’ll have no trouble with the TSA at the airport if you have braces because this is false. Braces are made from a different type of metals than the ones that metal detectors at the airport check for. Plus, ceramic braces use almost no metal except the archwire, which is made of aluminum. Your braces will not set off a metal detector.

5. The Work is Done When the Braces Come Off

This is not true. You will have to wear a retainer after the braces come off. This helps to keep your teeth in place. Teeth tend to want to shift back into their original positions once the braces come off, which would ruin all the hard work and time you put into treatment. For a few months, you’ll always have to wear a retainer. After that, your Melbourne orthodontist may recommend only wearing the retainer at night. It’s not unusual for some patients to need to wear a retainer for a decade after the braces come off.

6. Orthodontic Treatments Are Purely Cosmetic

This is another myth. While orthodontic treatment can give you a perfect smile, there are particular health benefits from treatment with braces or other types of appliances. Having straight teeth can correct speech impediments, for example. A severe overbite or underbite can cause various health problems, such as a lack of nutrition because the patient struggles to eat properly. Braces correct a wide range of issues and even prevent future problems. It’s easier to brush and floss a straight set of teeth, thus reducing the risk of tooth decay over time. 

The American Association of Orthodontics also lists myths you might want to explore for more information. If myths about orthodontics have been holding you back from seeking treatment, allow us to debunk them at Reddick Orthodontics! Contact us to schedule an appointment today.