5 Myths of Braces, BUSTED!

5 Myths of Braces, BUSTED!

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  • Post last modified:19 January 2022
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Braces are a popular orthodontic treatment designed to straighten or align crooked teeth for cosmetic and dental health purposes.

Children, teenagers and adults are all able to use braces to align their teeth, correct overbites, underbites and crossbites and most importantly improve their confidence in their smile! 

So here are 5 myths about braces that we can confirm are NOT true!

Myth 1: Braces have to cause intense pain in order to work

Most braces are fitted on the outside of the teeth, are tightened every couple of months and are accompanied by elastic bands that are attached to the top and bottom rows of the teeth.

During each appointment, your Orthodontist will adjust the braces, in order to move your teeth to a position closer to the desired outcome.

For 1-2 days after each appointment, you will feel a small amount of discomfort, but braces DO NOT have to cause intense pain in order to work.

Your orthodontist will judge how much adjustment the braces need at each appointment, and will make small adjustments which will gradually bring you to your final, beautiful, outcome. A gorgeous smile!

Myth 2: You’re too old for braces

You are never too old for braces! The recommended age to begin orthodontic treatment such as braces is between the age of 9 and 14, however it is becoming more common for teenagers and adults alike to use braces.

Almost 20% of adults use braces! This is because as you grow, your previously straight teeth may become overcrowded, causing movement, or perhaps you just don’t like your smile.

Some adults choose to get braces as they were not available to them when they were growing up, or because they’ve never found the “right time” to have braces fitted previously. Either way, braces among teenagers and adults have become increasingly commonplace, and should not be something to frown about!

Myth 3: Braces are super noticeable and unglamorous

These days, braces are available in an array of colours, both bright and understated, so they DON’T have to be noticeable.

White and clear choices are available for those who want to go for a subtler look, and bright colours for those who are adventurous and proud of their braces smile.

Celebrities such as Angelina Jolie, Tom Cruise, Emma Watson and even Beyoncé have been known to have braces to correct their alignment and have even been photographed with them!

Young girl smiling with her eyes shut wearing Invisalign

Myth 4: You can’t eat normally with braces

Whoever said you can’t eat normally with braces obviously wasn’t very dedicated to the cause of eating!

Although Orthodontists recommend that that you avoid eating sticky foods such as caramel or gum that could be caught in the braces, braces should not affect your normal diet.

Children, teenagers and adults are all able to use braces to align their teeth, correct overbites, underbites and crossbites and most importantly improve their confidence in their smile! 

Hard foods such as apples and carrots can be consumed by cutting them into smaller pieces, and hard candy (which no Orthodontist will ever recommend) can easily be sucked on.

Braces do not affect what food you can eat, however they do impact the way and the amount of times you chew your food.

To effectively digest our food, we are meant to chew dense foods around 30 times, so braces actually make you more aware of how many times you are chewing before you swallow! Win win!

Myth 5: Braces are the ONLY treatment for realignment

Finally, braces are NOT the only treatment for alignment!

Other options such as Incognito inside braces, and Invisalign® aligners are available, which also work to the effect of correcting alignment issues.

Incognito treatment is essentially braces that are fitted to the inside of the teeth instead of the outside.

These braces are virtually invisible and are 100% customized to the shape of your teeth, based on the alignment that you need!

Invisalign aligners are another Orthodontic treatment that is a substitute for metal braces.

It is essentially the same process as normal braces; however instead of metal, clear hospital grade plastic is molded to fit your teeth and every two weeks is changed in order to make small adjustments to the position of your teeth.

Discreet and comfortable, Invisalign aligners allow you to keep on smiling throughout your treatment!

Teenagers often after more questions about braces than most people. So we’ve assembled the answers to the most frequent braces questions.

1. Braces make it hard or impossible to play a musical instrument?

There may be a little bit of an adjustment experienced and perhaps relearning how to apply yourself to your instrument. Once you have adjusted you can definitely continue to play your instrument. Be patient in the beginning.

2. Will my braces interfere with radio signals?

Braces will not interfere with radio signals. You are safe. These types of metals do not conduct a radio signal so you will not be hearing secret government missions whilst brushing your teeth!

3. Am I still able to play sports while I have braces?

Braces will not stop you playing sports at all. The best solution is to purchase a custom made mouthguard designed to sit perfectly over your braces and teeth and which will protect them whilst you are being active.

4. Do braces set off metal detectors?

The metal that the braces are made from is an alloy and this is not the type of metal that the detectors and security agents are looking for. So you are safe going through metal detectors at the airport.

5. Having braces always hurts.

The process of putting braces on does not hurt. There is an adjustment period after you have the braces put on, during which sometimes causes discomfort. Once you have adjusted to the braces you will hardly know they are there. And sometimes after an adjustment you can feel a little tension which usually dissipates quickly.

6. Can my braces rust?

You would think placing metal on your teeth, the mouth being a watery place, would lead the metal to rust. Metals that are designed to be placed in the body are specially made and do not rust no matter how long you wear it in your mouth.

7. Will wisdom teeth interfere with my braces?

Whilst you are in treatment, you might wonder what happens if your wisdom teeth come through. Or your wisdom teeth might already be coming through now and you are concerned how this will affect your braces. The best thing is to discuss your concerns with your orthodontist. Your orthodontist will tell you if you have enough room or not for the wisdom teeth to come through safely. If not, you may need to have them extracted. An X-ray will reveal how they are formed in your mouth to assess them accurately.

8. Do braces need to feel tight for them to work?

During treatment your braces will feel different. Sometimes they will feel tight and sometimes you will not feel them at all. If you do not feel them it does not mean that they are not working. Your braces are still moving your teeth even when it seems like nothing is happening.

9. The metal in the braces can interfere with electronics.

If metal can show up on a metal detector you would think that braces having that little bit of metal in them would also be able to interfere with electronic devices like TV’s or mobile phones or maybe even computers. You don’t have to worry your braces won’t conduct any signals, it’s not that kind of metal.

10. Braces are only for kids.

Orthodontic treatment can be at any age; in your teens, as a young adult, if you’re a Mum or Dad or even later in life. Generally teens have braces between 12 and 16 years old, however some people did not have the opportunity or the want to have braces at that stage in their life. You can have orthodontic treatment at any stage of your life; it’s never too late or too early. Today it’s a regular occurrence to have braces and people are used to seeing adults and teens with braces.