If getting braces is in your future, we understand that you may feel a little nervous. You’ve likely heard only the worst possible things about them, and, like a game of telephone, the legends grow with each report. At Moffett & Walley Orthodontics, we want to get some facts straight about the top myths about braces.
#1: “Ouch!” Braces are painful!
While the initial application of your braces may cause discomfort and irritation, this will go away pretty quickly as your teeth adjust to the metal appliances. There may also be some soreness and irritation during your routine adjustment appointments. 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.
#2: Metal braces are the only option
Everyone has different needs and goals for their smiles. Thankfully there are options and combinations to suit them all. While bracket-and-wire braces are still a very common treatment, there is also a clear, ceramic option that blends in with your smile. Here at Moffett & Walley Orthodontics, we also offer Invisalign clear aligners to give you a subtle, removable option to get a straighter smile.
#3: You can’t play certain sports or instruments
You should always protect your teeth and mouth when playing sports or instruments, but it’s critical when you have braces. While traditional braces will not keep you from playing football, you should wear a protective mouthguard to be safe from any impact that could damage your braces and cause cuts on the inside of your mouth. And don’t give up those brass and woodwind instruments, either! It may take a bit of adjustment, but you will still be able to enjoy making music.
#4: 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 isn’t realistic. 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.
#5: Braces are only for kids
Metal-clad teeth on teens may be what you think of with orthodontics, but that’s not the case. More adults than ever are seeking orthodontic treatment throughout Clinton and Madison. Dr. Moffett can adjust your teeth with braces at any age, but some issues may be easier to treat when you are younger. With the options of ceramic braces and clear aligners, orthodontic treatment is possible and beneficial for all ages.
#6: Braces are just for cosmetics
Braces are most commonly used for cosmetic reasons but do much more work under the surface. Many cosmetic concerns are also functional and affect your speech, chewing, digestion, sleep, and breathing. Crowded teeth can be difficult to properly floss and clear plaque and debris, leading to poor oral health. Dr. Moffett can even remedy jaw misalignment with braces.
#7 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, and doing this too quickly would be very painful and could cause damage to your teeth. Most patients at Moffett & Walley Orthodontics tend to spend anywhere from 12 to 24 months in treatment and adjustments, which can vary depending on your oral health and goals.
#8: Constant Wire Changes
Adjustments during your regular follow-up visits with Dr. Moffett should be expected, and there may be reasons for the wire to be exchanged at certain points in your treatment plan, but they 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 be sure you are progressing as you should be.
#9: You are extremely limited in what you can eat 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 from on and around the braces themselves. Foods that are crunchy, like raw apples and carrots, nuts, and popcorn, and foods that are sticky, like candies with caramel and taffy can cause your appliances to break and even cause damage to your teeth, tongue, and gums. Most other foods will not compromise eating or proper oral care. And it’s good to remember that this is a temporary process.
#10: Braces straighten your teeth forever
Though this would be a nice perk for the experience of braces, it simply is not true. 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 treatment. To allow your jaw time to grow and support the adjustments that Dr. Moffett made, you will need to wear a retainer that keeps pressure on the teeth to keep them from moving. This will be a removable device, but you will need to wear it regularly as instructed to ensure that the adjustments made during wearing braces are not compromised.
Trust the experts at Moffet & Walley Orthodontics
The prospect of braces doesn’t have to be scary. We hope that busting some of these myths will encourage you to reach out for your FREE consultation with Dr. Moffett and our expert team. Contact our Clinton or Madison office to get started on your personalized journey to a healthy and happy smile.