A lifetime of happy smiles starts by knowing what’s fact and what’s fiction when it comes to wearing braces. When new patients come to our office, they often have lots of questions – along with plenty of misconceptions about orthodontics. Read on as we dispel 5 common myths about braces.
Who wouldn’t love a better cosmetic result? While some people will be motivated to get braces for cosmetic reasons, a prettier smile is just one part of the puzzle.
Braces are a great way to keep your teeth healthy and improve your overall dental health. Here are a few reasons why people get braces:
When your bite is in line, it’s easier to clean and maintain your teeth. And when your teeth fit together better, your smile will naturally look better, too.
As long as your teeth are healthy, you can benefit from braces at any age. And you’re never too old to do something that improves your dental health and makes you feel better about yourself.
Plus, if you’ve had cosmetic dental work, orthodontics can help enhance the outcome. For instance, if you had some old crowns on your front teeth and your original teeth were crooked, a short phase of braces now can improve the outcome of the new crowns. This allows your dentist to make new crowns in a better shape and position.
Rubber bands are designed to move your top teeth relative to your bottom teeth. And because they connect between your top and bottom teeth, they’re also designed to be removable so you can eat and drink comfortably.
However, not wearing your rubber bands is like analogy of sitting in a car and wanting to go somewhere. When you were to troubleshoot why your car is not moving, some possible explanations might be, Is the car broken? Is there a flat tire? Are you stuck in traffic?
The real answer? You’re not moving because no one has started the car.
The same is true when it comes to wearing your rubber bands. Your orthodontist is counting on you to start the engine and drive so you can finish your treatment on time. All you have to do to keep the car running is follow the instructions and understand your treatment plan.
Not necessarily. Just because you’ve worn braces doesn’t mean your teeth won’t change position over time. In fact, even if you never have had braces your teeth can change positions over the course of your lifetime.
That’s why wearing your retainer is a lifetime responsibility. Your teeth can change position over the course of your adult life. Once your treatment is completed, you’ll be provided with a retainer that serves as a template for where your teeth should be.
It’s recommended that you use your retainer at least periodically. Much like you’d watch what you eat or exercise, if you like the position of your teeth, you should be willing to put some work into retaining it.
Moving your teeth and getting them into position is only part of the job. Keeping them there for the next 20-30 years is part of your job as an orthodontic patient.
This is a common topic that comes up in discussion with friends. Oftentimes, when someone claims to have had braces for 10 years, but their teeth aren’t fixed, they think it’s their orthodontist’s fault.
However, it may be that they don’t the best way to describe their time in braces.
Let’s say they had a short phase (6 months) of braces at 8 years old, but then the braces were taken off. During the next 3-4 years, more adult teeth came in and so the braces were put back on for around 18 months. So while the entire project took around 10 years to complete, the active orthodontic work actually took around two years.
The next time you hear someone say this, a good follow-up question is: did you wear braces continuously for 10 years, or was your total treatment 10 years?