Ok. So you’ve decided to get braces, but have heard various stories about the good, the bad and the ugly concerning them. Just as with anything else, braces have their own array of myths that many people believe, yet are untrue or only partially true. We’ve decided to set your mind at ease by quenching the untruths of wearing braces. Check out these most common myths that are associated with wearing braces and the opposing real deal.
Braces are just for kids – Not true. Although having braces applied when young is the best time to address dental issues that can be compounded into adulthood, adults can and do get braces to correct a variety of orthodontic problems.
Some people have to wear braces for 10 years – Yes and no. Believe it or not, this is a fairly common myth. However, those who tell such tales are doing so with a warped perspective. Some dental problems require various applications of braces over an extended period of time. This is especially true when the process is started as a child. Teeth and bone growth take place over years so a child may have worn braces for six months to a year when they were young , again for a year to year and a half as a teen and then follow up treatment for awhile as an adult. Wearing times occur in increments in such cases and not in one lump sum of years.
It won’t affect teeth to only wear rubber bands part of the time – Myth. Teeth and jaw abnormalities require constant pressure over an extended period of time to be brought into proper alignment. The rubber bands on braces provide that pressure. If the bands are removed, pressure ceases to be applied and the corrective process is halted. By not wearing bands on braces, you are extending the time required to fix your problem. However, wearing them as instructed will expedite the process, allowing you to remove your braces in the least amount of time.
Teeth will look better as soon as braces are applied – False. Teeth are connected to the jaw bone and therefore require time to straighten out, close gaps, or move into proper alignment. This myth causes many people to become disappointed after only wearing braces a few months without seeing real results. Your orthodontist will tell you the approximate time you will need to wear braces in order to correct your particular problem and it will usually take the full amount of time or even a little longer to reach optimal results.
After braces are removed, teeth will remain straight – Mostly false. Dental issues are corrected by using braces to apply constant pressure to teeth in order to accomplish the desired goal. This pressure causes elastic fibers around the teeth and jaw to compress and stretch. When braces are removed, these fibers can apply opposite pressure that pull or push teeth into their original positions. To remedy this, orthodontists instruct many people to wear retainers after having braces removed which help to “retain” the achieved correct position of teeth.
There are definitely more myths floating around out there concerning wearing braces, but these most common misconceptions are a start to offering solid information to the process.