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Orthodontic Braces – Top Ten Myths

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Because there is so much information on orthodontic braces on the Internet, patients frequently come into my clinic with a lot of preconceived notions about braces. Nonetheless, what they have heard from friends or read on the internet is not necessarily correct. The following are the top ten misconceptions regarding braces and orthodontics.

  1. My wisdom teeth are causing my teeth to become crooked- You might believe that wisdom teeth cause crowding. There is, however, very little evidence to support the notion that wisdom teeth induce crowding. If this were true, your teeth would never become crowded once your wisdom teeth were removed. People who never grew wisdom teeth or who had their wisdom teeth removed may nonetheless develop crooked teeth over time. Regardless of whether you have wisdom teeth or not, teeth tend to slide forward with time.
  2. Braces must hurt or feel tight in order to work—no pain, no gain, right? No, not exactly. Previously, only rigid wires were accessible. These rigid wires imposed tremendous stresses when attached to the dental braces, causing the patient greater agony and anguish. There is substantially less discomfort related with tooth movement now, thanks to improved technologies and flexible wires. Straight teeth can now be achieved with minimal discomfort. However, there are always those patients who complain about not having any pain because they believe that if they don’t have pain, their teeth won’t move. Remember, “Working does not have to be painful!”
  3. The tighter the better- A common response I hear from patients is, “The tighter the better.” “Doc, tighten it up. I’d like to get my braces off as soon as possible!” Tighter adjustments and greater forces may appear to move your teeth faster. While some force is required to move teeth, using too much force can cause harm to the bone and surrounding tissues. Orthodontics is a delicate force balance. Too much force may cause certain teeth to move incorrectly, lengthening the time you need braces.
  4. Wires must be changed at each visit- Today’s super-elastic wires can be bent into any shape and still spring back into their lovely U-shaped form. If you have crooked teeth, the super-elastic wire can be linked to them and offer a consistent light force to straighten them without the need to change the wire very frequently. With the few wires available in the early days of orthodontics, if a wire was used that put too much pressure on a tooth, the bracket would either pop off the tooth or the wire would become permanently distorted and would not move your teeth at all! That is why, in the past, orthodontic patients were given a variety of wires with increasing stiffness, and these wires were changed more regularly.
  5. Only braces can correct my teeth- This is not always the case. It is now possible to have straight teeth without ever having to wear braces because to advances in technology! The most popular method of straightening teeth without braces is with Invisalign transparent aligners. However, before you get too enthusiastic, keep in mind that Invisalign has restrictions. Invisalign, for example, may not be the best orthodontic choice for correcting specific bite abnormalities or extremely misaligned teeth. The best method to find out if Invisalign can correct your teeth is to book a consultation with an Invisalign orthodontist.
  6. Once I remove my braces, my teeth will be perfectly straight for the rest of my life- Having straight teeth and a good bite is only half the battle. The rest of the battle is keeping your teeth straight after you’ve removed your braces. Elastic fibres attach the teeth to the bone. Some elastic fibres are stretched while others are squeezed as the teeth are pushed into their new straightened positions. Following the removal of your braces, these elastic fibres will tend to push and pull your teeth back into their natural position. That is why, after braces are removed, retainers are essential to maintain your teeth straight.
  7. Any overbite is bad-If I had a dime for every time a new patient complained about having an overbite just to be informed that their overbite is normal, I could probably have bought a car by now. The point is that many patients believe that a moderate overbite is a bad thing, which is incorrect. People with no overbite (their front teeth bite together) really begin to wear down their front teeth over time. As a result, a slight overbite protects the front teeth from wear. Of course, a severe overbite might be problematic, therefore a two to three millimetre overbite is preferable.
  8. The date I am expected to remove my braces is fixed in stone- When patients are told before treatment that they will be in dental braces for a particular number of years, it is very easy for them to fixate on that date. Typically, an orthodontist can assess the normal time frame for completion of treatment based on his or her experience. However, this is dependent on a variety of conditions. Broken braces, not brushing well, not coming in for frequent checkups, and having dense bone are all reasons that would slow down therapy. If you want your braces removed on time, make sure you cooperate by brushing and flossing thoroughly, wearing your elastics, and attending your regular visits.
  9. It is simple to change or transfer orthodontists- Though braces and wires may appear to you to be the same, each orthodontist employs slightly different wires, brackets, and appliances. Sometimes the wires used by one orthodontist might not even fit in the braces used by another orthodontist. Each orthodontist has his or her own approach to treating each case. For example, some orthodontists may prioritise addressing a bite problem over straightening the teeth when developing that beautiful smile, whilst other orthodontists may prioritise straightening the teeth over straightening the teeth. Another tough aspect of transferring orthodontists is figuring out the money, because different clinics organise their payment plans in different ways. If you transfer orthodontists, you will almost certainly end up paying more money than if you had stayed with the same orthodontist.
  10. Headgear is out of date- You may believe that headgear is only shown in old movies. However, headgears are still utilised to cure overbite disorders in many orthodontic offices. Headgears are still used because they work…when they are worn. The good news for you anti-headgear wearers is that many orthodontists now use various methods to address overbites than headgears. Whether you have a large overbite and do not want to wear headgear, speak with your local orthodontist to determine if your overbite can be treated with an appliance other than headgear.

The next revolution in dental care is about to begin. You can take better care of your teeth with our easy-to-use dental resources. From whitening and bonding to crowns and implants, you’ll find a wealth of information at your fingertips and the dentist near me, who cares about your dental and overall health.

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