12 common orthodontic myths

The internet is an amazing resource that can bring tremendous amounts of information to our fingertips in seconds. Unfortunately, this information isn’t always trustworthy. On the news, across social media, and in real life, misinformation often spreads quickly and has staying power. Orthodontia is no exception! We’ve made a list breaking down five common orthodontic myths to help you separate misinformation from facts.

Myth 1. Only children get braces

Children, teenagers, and adults can all benefit from braces! Having braces or aligners earlier in life means having more time to appreciate your smile, but there is no expiration date for improving your oral health. For adults looking to correct their teeth with a discreet look, there are many natural-looking alternatives to traditional braces, including clear ceramic braces and Invisalign® clear aligners.

Myth 2. You need serious orthodontic problems to have braces.

Braces can correct a wide variety of orthodontic issues and may need to be worn for very short or rather long periods. Whether you face orthodontic issues that are small or serious, there’s a treatment for you. Your orthodontist should help you achieve a healthy, beautiful smile, no matter how minor or severe your problem.

Myth 3. Dentists and orthodontists are the same.

You need both dentists and orthodontists to keep your teeth clean and healthy, but they are responsible for different aspects of your dental health. Orthodontists are specialized dentists who undergo an additional two to three years of study to specialize in correcting bite problems and teeth and jaw misalignments.

Myth 4. Metal detectors can be set off by braces.

Don’t worry about trouble with the TSA! Metal detectors at airports and other public spaces look for different kinds of metals than what make up your braces.

Myth 5. When you get braces, you have to give up playing an instrument.

Musicians who play wind instruments rely on their mouths to help them produce quality airflow while they play. Fortunately, orthodontic treatment won’t interfere with your ability to play. You may have to adjust to the new mouth feel after your braces are installed, but you will be ready in no time.

Myth 6. You have to give up your favorite foods with braces.

The list of restricted foods with braces is much smaller than most people think! You should avoid foods that are sticky, hard, or easily caught between teeth, such as corn on the cob, popcorn, or sticky candies. These foods bend wires, break brackets, or lead to cavities if they get stuck in your appliances. Fortunately, for patients who are undergoing clear aligner treatment, there are no food restrictions! Just take out your aligners before eating, then brush and floss before putting them back in.

Myth 7. Orthodontic treatment hurts.

Braces get a bad rap for being painful, but in reality, soreness with braces is temporary and mild (like sore muscles after a good workout!). Your smile may feel most sore when you first switch aligner trays or after installing or adjustments to braces. However, any discomfort quickly goes away. In addition, we also use Damon Braces, a self-ligating technology for increased efficiency and enhanced comfort.

Myth 8. After your braces come off, your work is done.

After finishing braces or Invisalign®, you need to stay on top of your retention plan. If you don’t wear your retainer as instructed, your teeth may relapse into their original positions, undoing all the time, money, and hard work you spent. Wear your retainer to protect the longevity of your smile!

Myth 9. Braces are always obvious and bulky.

While some people enjoy being able to personalize their metal braces with colorful elastics, others may wish for a more discreet look. At Petty & Bielik Orthodontics, we accommodate both types of patients! We are happy to offer clear ceramic braces that resemble natural teeth and Invisalign clear aligners, which are practically invisible. These options allow you to enjoy treatment—without noticeable braces.

Myth 10. Dental health doesn’t affect a person’s overall health.

This one is particularly alarming because it undermines the crucial connection between your oral health and your overall well-being. Your mouth is not isolated from the rest of your body—it’s an integral part of it. Poor dental health has been linked to various systemic conditions, such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and respiratory problems. Neglecting your oral health can lead to gum disease and tooth decay, which may affect your overall health in the long run.

Regular dental checkups are essential to maintaining good oral health. Brushing and flossing daily can help prevent plaque buildup and reduce the risk of gum disease and tooth decay. Additionally, visit your orthodontist for comprehensive evaluations to ensure that your teeth and jaw are in proper alignment and functioning well!

Myth 11. I can fix orthodontic issues at home.

The rise of DIY trends and internet hacks might tempt some individuals to try and fix their orthodontic problems themselves. However, attempting to straighten your teeth or adjust your bite yourself can lead to potentially irreversible damage, tooth loss, and even infections. Orthodontic treatment requires specialized knowledge and skills, so you should never try to address orthodontic issues at home.

Always seek professional care from a qualified orthodontist, such as our team at Petty & Bielik Orthodontics. We will evaluate your unique dental condition, create a personalized treatment plan, and utilize safe and effective methods to achieve the best results for you.

Myth 12. Orthodontic care is purely cosmetic.

While achieving a beautiful smile is one of the outcomes of orthodontic treatment, orthodontics is about more than aesthetics. Correcting misaligned teeth and jaw problems can significantly enhance your oral health, overall well-being, and quality of life. Properly aligned teeth are easier to clean, which reduces the risk of cavities and gum disease. A balanced bite can also help alleviate jaw pain, headaches, and other discomforts.

Recognize that orthodontic treatment is not just about looks—it’s an investment in your long-term health and well-being!

Schedule a free orthodontic consultation in Oak Lawn

Don’t let these common myths keep you from the quality orthodontic care you deserve!

Understanding the truth behind these common myths is essential for making informed decisions about your orthodontic care. Proper dental health is intricately connected to your overall health, and seeking professional orthodontic treatment is vital for achieving a healthy, confident smile.

At Petty & Bielik Orthodontics, you’ll receive information you can trust from certified experts. Book a free consultation today!