Have you been considering braces to straighten your smile? If so, you’re not alone! It’s normal to feel a little nervous about what to expect, especially if you’ve heard some of the rumors surrounding the treatment process. We’re here to set the record straight! Like anything new in life, braces require a period of adjustment, but many of the things you may be worried about are unlikely to happen. Let’s take a look at the ten most common myths about braces, why they’re wrong, and what you can expect from your journey with Central Massachusetts Orthodontics!
Braces have to hurt to work
This is one of the biggest concerns new patients in Worcester, Auburn, and Spencer have about the treatment process, and the good news is that it’s completely unfounded. There may be some mild discomfort when you first get your braces put on as your teeth learn to adjust to the appliance, but this is only temporary. You may also experience some slight soreness or irritation following adjustment appointments, but again, this will resolve on its own after a short time. Don’t let this particular myth scare you! Your braces will not cause you any long-term pain or discomfort.
Braces will severely limit what you can eat
Food restrictions are part of having braces, one of the most significant learning curves patients face. You’ll need to avoid anything crunchy or sticky to protect your braces and teeth throughout the treatment process. That includes some raw veggies like apples and carrots, popcorn, and candy with caramel, nuts, or other chewy bits. Just remember, though, that there are still plenty of delicious foods you can enjoy and perhaps, more importantly, this is only temporary! Food restrictions are a mild inconvenience that will be more than worth it once your braces come off and your beautiful new smile is complete.
Braces only work for teens
If the first thing you think of when you hear the term “orthodontics” is a teen in a complete set of metal braces, you’re not alone. This is one stereotype that’s had some serious staying power in pop culture! Because of this, many people are surprised to learn that orthodontic treatment can be beneficial for patients of all ages, including children, teens, and adults. While some issues are easier to treat in younger patients, there is no age limit on achieving a straighter smile, better oral health, and improved self-confidence!
The metal in your braces will set off metal detectors
Patients who travel often mention this issue all the time. Airport security is stressful enough without worrying that your smile will set off all the metal detectors! The good news is the high-quality metals we use to create brackets and wires are made of different materials than a metal detector is looking for. You can rest assured that the next time you’re traveling where metal detectors are present, no one will even notice your braces unless you show them your beautiful smile.
The wires on your braces will require frequent changes
Regular follow-up visits are an essential part of the treatment process. Some patients are concerned that the wire will need to be changed out at every appointment, causing some pain or soreness. While your orthodontist will replace your wires occasionally during treatment, this won’t happen at every visit. Most of these visits will consist of Dr. Giarrusso and Dr. Livanos checking your teeth for movement, making minor adjustments, and ensuring that things are progressing the way they should be.
Braces will inhibit your ability to play specific instruments
If you or your child play instruments that involve your mouth, you might be worried that braces will affect your ability to make beautiful music. Fortunately, this couldn’t be further from the truth! While there may be a small period of adjustment initially, you shouldn’t have to miss out on any practices or performances because you’re an orthodontic patient.
The degree of adjustment required tends to depend on the type of instrument. Generally speaking, brass instruments require more changes since players press their lips directly into the mouthpiece. Woodwind instruments use more indirect contact with the mouthpiece, making them slightly easier to adjust to.
Braces straighten your teeth forever
This one may be more wishful thinking than myth! Braces are an excellent solution for straightening your teeth and correcting your bite, but that won’t last forever like most good things. Our teeth aren’t fond of being moved from their original positions, which is why it takes an enormous amount of pressure from braces or aligners to shift them. That level of support can’t be maintained forever.
Once your braces are gone, we need to give your mouth time to grow the support to keep the teeth in their new places. That means applying more pressure with a customized retainer! The retainer applies much less pressure than your braces did, but without it, your teeth will begin to drift back to their original positions. This can happen faster than you’d think! In the first year post-treatment, your teeth can start shifting in as little as a few days.
In short: regular retainer use makes sure the newly straightened teeth are where they need to be to allow them to heal post-braces fully while also allowing your teeth to settle into those new positions permanently.
Braces will take years to straighten your smile
There’s no “one size fits all” answer for how long treatment will take since it’s different for every patient. Your estimated treatment time will depend on the severity of your case, the improvements desired, how your teeth respond to treatment, and more! The average time in braces tends to be anywhere from 12-36 months, though this may be shorter or longer for you.
Thankfully, braces will often allow you to see some signs of improvement in a relatively short period. Glimpsing even slight modifications in your smile can be exciting and may even give you an extra boost of encouragement as you settle into the process.
Braces are only helpful for straightening teeth
Braces are very good at straightening crooked teeth, but they can also help improve or resolve other oral health issues. Misaligned teeth and jaws can have a knock-on effect and may result in increased difficulty with everyday tasks like eating, speaking, and caring for your teeth. Orthodontic treatment with Central Mass Orthodontics can address and correct many of these issues. In addition to straighter teeth and a more attractive smile, braces also have several lesser-known benefits, including improved chewing, digestion, speech, and oral health.
Braces are the only option for straightening your teeth
Braces are an incredibly effective way to correct and straighten your teeth, but they’re not the only way! In addition to traditional metal braces, Central Mass Orthodontics can offer clear ceramic braces and Invisalign clear aligners to patients of all ages. Each of these options can correct various issues and help you achieve a beautifully aligned smile, but it’s important to remember that what works for one patient may not be a good fit for another. When you schedule your initial consultation with our doctors, they’ll be able to examine your teeth and recommend the option that will work best for your specific needs.
Find your best smile with braces by Central Mass Orthodontics
Choosing braces is a big decision, and we appreciate your trust in our expert team. Our goal is to provide you with personalized treatment, a rewarding orthodontic experience, and exceptional results! Whether you’re contemplating braces or already have an appointment to place them, we’re here for you. Get in touch to schedule a consultation with Dr. Giarrusso and Dr. Livanos or to talk through your concerns with us! Your satisfaction is as important to us as your smile.