Yes, October is the season for all things scary. But braces shouldn’t make you feel uneasy. Unfortunately, common rumors about braces can make some patients hesitant to start treatment. “What if they hurt?” “What if I have to get them again in 10 years?” These are just a few of the questions that feed into lots of misinformation about how braces work and the real-world benefits they offer.
Despite what you might have heard, braces are one of the easiest ways to improve your overall oral health and daily confidence.
We’re here to set the record straight. In this post, we’ll bust 6 of the most common myths about braces and help you understand why braces are the most popular orthodontic treatment option for kids and adults!
Myth 1 | Don’t braces hurt?
While some patients can experience tension and mild soreness after braces are applied, they should not be painful. Pain can occasionally be caused by broken brackets, loose wires, or other malfunctions of individual brace components. But these are irregular occurrences, and the day-to-day experience with braces should be virtually pain free. Braces also shouldn’t hurt when they’re applied or removed.
During monthly visits with our team you can bring up any discomfort or soreness you’re feeling. We can easily help you by change tension levels, refilling your wax supply, trimming wires, and finding other ways to remove potential irritations. Or, if you’re like many of our patients, you can simply call us if something goes wrong and stop in for a quick check and adjustment! There’s no reasons to let even minor discomfort go untreated.
If you want to learn more about how some of the potential complications with braces can be easily remedied, check out our recent article The Most Common Complications With Braces, And How We Help.
Myth 2 | Won’t I have to wear them for a long time?
The potential length of treatment can be a concern for some patients. In reality, treatment times vary widely based on a number of factors, including:
- Prior treatments
- The severity of existing conditions
Most patients require less than 24 months of total treatment time. And some of our patients can experience a better smile in only 6 months. According to Healthline, the average treatment time among patients is 16-19 months. Even more good news is that if you choose to receive the proper implements after your treatment, you won’t need braces again! We’ll discuss this more while busting another myth later on.
Myth 3 | My diet has to be very strict during treatment.
There are some foods that you need to avoid during treatment with braces. However, the actual list of “no-go” foods is quite small, and it does not keep you from enjoying staple dishes and desserts in every season. In general, you should stay away from hard, sticky, and sugary foods that are prone to cause cavities. While foods like pretzels and popcorn can damage your braces, other foods simply make oral care a bit of a pain.
If you take good care of your teeth while wearing braces, most foods are still (quite literally) on the table. Avoiding excessive intake of sugary drinks and snacks are a good starting point. There are also unique methods and tools to care for your teeth during treatment, which we describe in detail in our post on 5 Daily Dental Health Habits that Go Beyond Brushing. It’s also important to remember that these simple rules are good for your health all the time, not just during your treatment!
Myth 4 | Won’t I need treatment again later in life?
Once teeth are moved into the right position, don’t they stay there? No, not exactly. Healthy teeth with strong roots will want to move around as you get older. Even though braces can get your teeth into perfect position for a bit, they’ll stray from their ideal location once the braces come off if no preventative methods are used.
However, our team can recommend several follow-up treatment options that will keep your pearly whites in place for a long, long time. One of the distinctive things about our practice is that we have an in-house lab which allows us to offer our patients permanent retainers on the day that their braces come off.
Permanent retainers fix to the back of teeth along the gum line, and they keep teeth from moving back and undoing the hard work accomplished during braces treatment. Most patients experience 20+ years of straighter teeth thanks to permanent retainers.
Myth 5 | If I’m an adult, isn’t it too late to get braces?
Everyone deserves to enjoy the confidence and utility of a great smile. Though many patients do receive treatment as children, more and more adults are also undergoing treatment later in life. Of the 4 million people that receive treatment with braces, over 25% are adults! For those who’ve spent years dealing with speech impediments, crooked teeth, chronically bad breath, and many other oral health issues, the improvements offered by braces are truly life changing.
But you don’t need to take our word for it.
In the video below you’ll hear from one of our patients, Pam McCormick, about her experience with getting braces at the age of 70. Pam shares openly about her positive experience and the remarkable benefits from getting the masterpiece smile she’s always envisioned.
Myth 6 | Aren’t braces just a cosmetic fix?
While a great smile is one of the most significant benefits for many patients, braces are actually the foundation for better oral health. Straight teeth look good, but they are also optimally positioned for better dental health, bite effectiveness, and relief from jaw pain or tension. Our goal is always to create a smile that’s both functional and beautiful. During your initial consultation with us, we’ll work together to develop a treatment plan that’s right-sized and focuses on the right goals.
Want to learn more?
If you’re looking for some more info on what to expect with braces, you can read our full article on The Most Frequently Asked Questions About Braces, Answered. Our team offers a no-pressure consultation where we answer your questions and help you understand the treatment path. Getting started is so easy, and you can even submit your info directly through our website using the SmileSnap app. Prefer in-person service? No problem, our team will schedule your consultation at our Holland or Zeeland location.
Take a first step by hitting the Get Started button on our website.