Busting the Top 10 Braces Myths

No matter how much you may need them, the prospect of getting braces can trigger anxious thoughts. The time you’ll spend going to the dentist, the foods you won’t be able to eat, not to mention the money it will take – chances are you have heard the worst of the worst when it comes to braces. But are these concerns valid, or just growing legends of the past that are keeping you from your smile goals?

Traditional braces have been around for a long time and are probably the most recognizable symbol of orthodontics. They are great at correcting many oral issues. For Johnson City, TN, Norton, VA, and the surrounding areas, Sturgill Orthodontics has crafted many beautiful, lasting smiles. We boost the confidence of kiddos and adults alike with multiple braces options. 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 out of every five orthodontic patients today. Your teeth can be adjusted with braces at any point, provided you have healthy gums and jaw bone structure. Some issues may be easier to treat when you are younger. 

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 plan, Dr. Sturgill, Dr. Williams, and Dr. Harper will ensure that you achieve a healthy and beautiful smile. 

“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 breathing. Orthodontic problems, like tooth crowding, can make it difficult to properly floss and clear plaque and debris. A misaligned bite can also lead to poor oral health. Fortunately for most patients, jaw misalignment or malocclusion can be easily remedied with braces!

“Braces are painful!”

While initially your braces may cause some discomfort and tight feelings, this quickly dissipates as your teeth learn to adjust. You may also notice some soreness and irritation during your routine adjustment appointments. However, 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. Our doctors recommend dissolving one teaspoon of salt in eight ounces of lukewarm water. After swishing and gargling for a few minutes and then spitting out this solution, you should be able to ease some of the discomforts. 

“Metal braces are the only option.”

Every patient has different needs and smile goals, and there are options and combinations to suit them all. We offer a clear, ceramic bracket that works just like conventional metal braces. It’s durable, transparent, and virtually invisible! Another more discrete option is InBrace lingual braces that are placed on the tongue-side of the teeth so they can’t be seen at all when you smile. And finally, one of the most popular options here at Sturgill Orthodontics is clear aligner treatment with Invisalign, Invisalign for Teens, or 3M Clarity aligners

Busting the Top 10 Braces Myths

“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 be manipulated; doing this too quickly could be very painful. It can also cause damage to your teeth. Most orthodontic patients tend to spend anywhere from 12 to 36 months in treatment and adjustments, and it can vary depending on your oral health and your goals.

“Once I get my braces off, my teeth will be straight forever!”

Though this would be a really nice perk for the experience of braces, it simply is not valid. Once you are finished with the tooth movement portion of your orthodontic treatment and the braces are removed, your teeth will 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 to keep your teeth in their newly aligned position. This retainer will be a removable device, but you must wear it regularly as instructed 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 they likely will not be as frequent as you’d expect. Most of the visits will involve your orthodontist making minor adjustments and visually inspecting the movement to ensure you are progressing as planned. 

“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 brackets, or that can be difficult to clean off and around the braces themselves. Crunchy foods like raw apples, carrots, nuts, and popcorn can cause your appliances to break. While we can replace the brackets, breakage may add time to your treatment. Sticky foods like candies with caramel and taffy can also damage the braces as well as make cleaning difficult. However, most other foods will not compromise eating or proper oral care. And it’s good to remember that this is a quick process.

“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 contact sports like football, it is advised that you wear a protective mouthguard to be safe from the impact that could damage your braces. It could also cause your braces to cut the inside of your mouth. 

And don’t give up those brass and woodwind instruments just yet. The discomfort and added devices in your mouth may require a bit of adjustment while playing, but it shouldn’t keep you from enjoying making music. Sores may develop, but liberal use of wax and warm salt-water rinses will help your lips and cheeks toughen up 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 is a scary thought but simply isn’t founded in facts. 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. 

Busting the Top 10 Braces Myths

Trust the experts at Sturgill Orthodontics.

No one cares as much about you and your children flashing the smile of your dreams as much as we do here at Sturgill Orthodontics! Our team takes pride in doing whatever it takes to achieve the best result while delivering world-class customer service. We encourage you to reach out for your FREE consultation to get started on your personalized journey to a healthy and happy smile!