Orthodontic Myths

More and more people wear braces today than ever before. Unfortunately, there are many misconceptions about having braces and some of them may even make you apprehensive about having orthodontic treatment. The American Association of Orthodontists has examined some of the popular myths regarding orthodontic treatment and here are some of them resolved: 

MYTH:  Braces are for kids.

FACT:  One in five orthodontic patients is an adult. 

MYTH:  If there was a giant, overhead magnet, and someone flipped a switch, people wearing braces would fly out of their chairs and stick to the ceiling.

FACT:  Unlikely, as braces are made from non-magnetic materials. 

MYTH: Braces are painful and take two years or more for the desired result.

FACT: After the adjustment period, like breaking in a new pair of shoes, braces are comfortable. Some may be worn for months, not years. 

MYTH: Signals from braces link to the Internet to download songs onto an iPod.

FACT: This is not possible right now. 

MYTH: Braces are ugly, call attention to themselves and would be embarrassing in business settings.

FACT: Today's braces may be nearly invisible, made from clear plastic, or unseen, mounted on the back (lingual) side of the teeth. 

MYTH: If two people with braces kiss, can their braces become locked together?

FACT: With today’s smaller sleeker braces it is extremely difficult – almost impossible – to lock braces while kissing.  Also, braces are not magnetic, which means any “attraction” felt is on the part of the wearers, so pucker up! 

MYTH: Will my braces set off the metal detectors in the airport?

FACT: You are cleared for takeoff – the lightweight materials used in braces will not affect metal detectors. 

MYTH: Can braces rust?

FACT: No. Today’s braces are made of new stronger materials, like titanium alloy, and will not rust. 

MYTH: Will my braces interfere with radio signals or electronic devices?

FACT: No. Radio-loving gadget fanatics can rest easy. 

MYTH: Can I play a musical instrument?

FACT: Yes – that is if you could play a musical instrument before you got braces. 

MYTH: Will braces increase my chance of being struck by lightning?

FACT: No. With or without braces the chances of a lightning strike remain the same which, in the U.S. in any one year, according to nationalgeorgraphic.com, is one in 700,000. 

MYTH: Now that I have braces, can I still play sports?

FACT: Yes, but be sure to wear a mouth guard.  Mouth guards are one of the least expensive pieces of protective equipment available. Not only can mouth guards save teeth, they may also protect against jaw fractures.  Mouth guards are advisable for anyone, whether they wear braces or not. 

MYTH: Will my braces attract unwarranted attention from fish?

FACT: Scuba aficionados take heart:  there is no need to cancel your next dive.  The small brackets used in today’s braces, especially ceramic or tooth-colored brackets, will not attract attention from unsavory fish or sea life. 

MYTH: Once braces are removed, my teeth will remain straight forever, right?

FACT: Wrong. Teeth move throughout one’s lifetime, therefore it is important to hold on to retainers and wear them as prescribed by your orthodontist to maintain a healthy, beautiful smile. 

Source: American Association of Orthodontics at http://www.braces.org


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