You might have heard some of the following about braces:
- Only teenagers get braces.
- Until you have all your adult teeth, you don’t need to see an orthodontist.
- It takes years and years for braces to get results.
- Braces are painful, ugly, and expensive.
- You need a referral to see an orthodontist.
However, none of these are true—at least not with today’s modern orthodontic treatment. Let’s take a closer look at each of these myths and replace them with the facts you should know about braces.
Myth #1: Only teenagers get braces.
Braces benefit patients, young and old. Many people who get braces are indeed teenagers, but adults and younger children do, too.
Many adults have braces. The American Association of Orthodontists (AAO) reports that 1.5 million adults had treatment with an AAO orthodontist in 2014. They are not all clear aligner patients either; many of the adults have complicated cases with their bite that need braces to correct. The Australian Society of Orthodontists (ASO) says practices report that 25 to 30 percent of their patients are over 18, and 62 percent of adults are considering orthodontic treatment
There are also times when braces are needed before a child reaches the teen years. Two-phase orthodontics is an early initial treatment for bite problems that might require more extensive treatment later or that can lead to injury. Braces often fit the bill in these cases.
Myth #2: Until you have all your adult teeth, you don’t need to see an orthodontist.
The AAO recommends that children have their first visit with an orthodontist at age 7, and the ASO recommends children see them between the age of seven to ten years. The purpose of this early appointment is to assess the condition of the child’s bite.
The orthodontist will look for many things. It is an excellent time to gauge whether early intervention is necessary to correct a bite issue that would require surgery later in life after growth ends. Also, the orthodontist can see if he or she should fix spacing issues that might not leave enough space for adult teeth. It is also an excellent time to identify damaging pressure that can lead to teeth coming in the wrong way or affect the shape of the bone in the jaw and maxillary. It will also be a chance to intervene if a child sucks their thumb or has protrusive front teeth that can be knocked out or chipped if not treated early.
Myth #3: It takes years for braces to get results.
While you can’t straighten your teeth overnight, it also doesn’t take wearing braces for years get results in some cases. Braces will move teeth into place under the watchful control of your orthodontist.
How long your braces take depends on what treatment you need. Some cases take as little as 12 months, and others might require up to three years. Some cases take longer than three years. The doctor gives you an estimate at your consultation of how long you can expect to wear your braces, give or take a couple of months.
Myth #4: Braces are painful, ugly, and expensive.
Most people believe this myth about braces. However, Delta Dental says that after an adjustment period, your braces will be comfortable.
We often compare it to new shoes. When they are new, they can cause discomfort. However, after you break the shoes in, they are usually comfortable.
Your braces follow the same pattern. When braces are new or after an adjustment, they can feel a little uncomfortable, but then your teeth move, and everything feels fine.
Today’s braces are not as ugly as they were many decades ago. As Delta Dental points out, some braces become a fashion statement and enhance personal style. Others are invisible to other people, like ceramic braces, which are clear, or lingual braces, which attach to the backside of your teeth.
Orthodontic treatment is more affordable than it used to be. Advances in technology make treatments less expensive than they were in the past. Also, there are many ways to make the cost of your orthodontic treatment manageable, which we will be happy to share with you.
Myth #5: You need a referral to see an orthodontist.
Nope. While your dentist might give you a referral to someone they prefer or know, you can see any orthodontist you want at any time. Just call and make an appointment. Most orthodontic consultations are free and have no obligation (like here at Bloom Orthodontics, in case you were wondering).
To schedule your free consultation today, call Bloom Orthodontics office in Long Beach at 562-421-8883.
Bloom Orthodontics in Long Beach has a long history of improving our patients’ smiles. We provide modern orthodontic treatments delivered with old fashioned excellence in patient experience. Follow us on Facebook and Instagram.
“7 Myths about Orthodontic Treatment.” www.aaoinfo.org. 1 October 2017. Web. 17 July 2019. https://www.aaoinfo.org/blog/7-myths-about-orthodontic-treatment/.
“6 Facts About Two-Phase Orthodontic Treatment Patents Should Know.” 7 March 2019. Web. 17 July 2019. < https://www.aaoinfo.org/blog/6-facts-about-two-phase-treatment/>.
“Braces Myths Debunked.” www.orthodonticsaustralia.org.au. Web. 17 July 2019. https://www.google.com/amp/s/orthodonticsaustralia.org.au/braces-myths-debunked/amp/.
VanStee, Amy. “Quick Facts about Braces: Myths about Braces—Exposed!” www.deltadental.com. Web. 17 July 2019. https://www.deltadental.com/us/en/protect-my-smile/procedure/braces/quick-facts-about-braces.html.