If you are looking into the prospect of getting braces, it’s normal to be a little apprehensive. You have likely heard the worst possible things about the metal apparatuses of old, and like a game of telephone, the legends grow with each report.
Traditional braces have been around for a long time and are the most recognizable symbol of orthodontics. These orthodontic workhorses have a history of success and are great at correcting many oral issues. Our expert team at Serrano Orthodontics has crafted countless beautiful, lasting smiles, boosting the confidence of kiddos and adults throughout the Valley for nearly 40 years. So, let’s debunk the top ten braces myths and get you on your way to a confident smile!
“Only kids get braces.”
Metal-clad teeth on teens may be what you think of orthodontics, but it’s simply not the case. Orthodontic treatments aren’t just for children and teens. Adults make up about one in every five orthodontic patients. Although some issues may be easier to treat when you are younger, your teeth can be adjusted with braces at any point, depending on healthy gums and jaw bone structure.
Orthodontic treatment is possible and beneficial for all ages with metal and clear braces and Invisalign options. Whether you require a full or limited orthodontic treatment, Dr. Paul Serrano and Dr. Andrew Serrano will ensure you achieve a healthy and beautiful smile, regardless of age.
“I have straight teeth; I don’t need braces.”
Though braces are most commonly used for cosmetic reasons, they do much more work under the surface. Many cosmetic concerns can also be functional and affect your speech, chewing, digestion, sleep, and even your breathing. Although many orthodontic problems are inherited, tooth crowding can make it difficult to properly floss and clear plaque and debris. A misaligned bite can lead to poor oral health. Fortunately for most patients, jaw misalignment or malocclusion can be easily remedied with braces.
“Braces must be so painful!”
While the initial application of your braces may cause some discomfort and tight feelings, this quickly dissipates as your teeth learn to adjust to the metal appliances. There may also be some soreness and irritation during your routine adjustment appointments that you may notice. Overall, your braces should not cause any lasting pain, and the discomfort you may or may not experience does not affect the efficiency of your braces. For relief of initial discomfort, our doctors recommend dissolving one teaspoon of salt in eight ounces of lukewarm water and then swishing and gargling this solution in your mouth for just a couple of minutes before spitting it out.
“Metal braces are the only option.”
Every patient has different needs and smile goals, and there are options and combinations to suit all of them. While bracket-and-wire braces are typically the traditional metal, a clear, ceramic option works just like conventional metal braces. It utilizes a transparent or tooth-colored bracket to make them virtually invisible. At Serrano Orthodontics, we also offer clear Invisalign aligners to be used in place of or in combination with your standard treatment plan.
“Braces have to be on for a long time to work.”
It can take time to adjust your teeth, and if you need more in-depth jaw adjustments, you can expect it to take a little longer. Braces make small changes that allow your mouth to adjust and manipulate, and doing this too quickly would be very painful and could cause damage to your teeth. Most orthodontic patients spend anywhere from 12 to 36 months in treatment and adjustments, which can vary depending on your oral health and goals.
“Once I get my braces off, my teeth will be straight forever!”
Though this would be a nice perk for the braces experience, it is simply a myth. Once you are finished with your braces portion of your orthodontic treatment, your mouth becomes vulnerable as your teeth attempt to shift back into the place they were before the braces.
To allow your jaw time to grow and support your braces’ adjustments, you will need to wear a retainer that keeps pressure on the teeth to keep them from moving. This retainer will be a removable device, but you will need to wear it regularly as instructed by your orthodontist to ensure that the adjustments made while wearing braces are not compromised.
“The wires need constant changes and replacing.”
Adjustments during your regular follow-up visits should be expected, and there may be reasons for the wire to be exchanged at specific points in your treatment plan, but most likely will not be as frequent as you’d expect. Most of the visits will consist of your doctor making minor adjustments and visually inspecting the movement to ensure you are progressing as anticipated.
“I can’t have any of my favorite foods with braces.”
To ensure the best possible outcome from your experience with braces, you should avoid foods that may damage the appliances or that can be difficult to clean around the braces themselves. Crunchy foods like raw apples and carrots, nuts, and popcorn, and sticky foods like candies with caramel and taffy can cause your appliances to break and even cause damage to your teeth, tongue, and gums. However, most other foods will not compromise eating or proper oral care.
“No playing sports or musical instruments with braces.”
You should always protect your teeth and mouth when playing sports or instruments, especially when you have braces. While having traditional braces will not keep you from playing football, it is advised that you wear a protective mouthguard to be safe from the impact that could damage your braces and cause them to cut the insides of your mouth.
And don’t give up brass and woodwind instruments just yet. The potential discomfort and added devices in your mouth may require some adjustment while playing your instrument, but it shouldn’t keep you from enjoying making music. Liberal use of wax and warm salt-water rinses will help your lips and cheeks toughen up (and soothe potential sores) faster than you’d think.
“What about rust, metal detectors, and lightning?”
The possibility of your braces rusting or causing you to be struck by lightning, although a scary thought, is simply unfounded. This treatment uses small amounts of materials like titanium and stainless steel, which are anti-corrosive and not vast enough to act as a lightning rod or set off metal detectors.
Trust the truth at Serrano Orthodontics.
The prospect of braces doesn’t have to be scary; hopefully, we have busted some of these silly myths. Since 1982, people all over the Valley have trusted us to change their lives through orthodontic treatment. Your family will feel right at home with the Serrano Family. Our offices are conveniently positioned in Phoenix and Chandler, so your orthodontic care is close to home, school, or work. We encourage you to reach out for your FREE consultation with our expert team to start your personalized journey to a healthy and happy smile.