Orthodontic treatment is a significant commitment, so you’ll want to have all the information before choosing the right option for you. Unfortunately, many commonly held myths regarding orthodontic treatment make it difficult to know what to believe. 

Although these misconceptions might make you feel hesitant about orthodontic treatment, don’t let them hold you back from starting your journey toward a better smile. To help you get closer to the smile of your dreams, we’ll debunk 10 of the most widespread myths and deliver the facts about orthodontic treatment. So keep reading if you’re ready to separate orthodontic fact from fiction.

Check out these 10 common myths about orthodontic treatment and the truth behind them before making any decisions about your oral health.

1. Orthodontics Is Just for Kids

Patients of any age can enjoy the benefits of orthodontic treatment, including a smile that makes them feel confident. While kids commonly receive orthodontic treatment at age 7 to catch any potential issues as early as possible, those solutions can also help adults improve their teeth. In fact, record numbers of adults seek misaligned teeth and jaw treatment, with 27% of all orthodontic patients being adults.

Adult orthodontic treatment can decrease the risk of gum disease and decay by making teeth easier to clean and protecting them from excessive wear or damage. In addition, adults are perfect candidates for less noticeable orthodontic treatment options like clear braces and Invisalign, which allow them to keep their treatment concealed.

2. Orthodontic Treatment Is Expensive

The exact cost of orthodontic treatment depends on which type of braces or other treatment you receive and how complex your realignment case is. But many dental insurances can cover orthodontic treatment. Some offices will also offer free consultations and free in-house financing options.

3. Metal Braces Are My Only Option

In addition to traditional metal braces, there are alternative orthodontic appliances to help straighten teeth. These treatment options can be fixed, clear, or removable. Clear braces and Invisalign are popular choices because they are less noticeable than traditional braces, and patients feel more confident wearing them. During your initial consultation, your orthodontist will advise you which option is the best for your case.

4. I Can’t Eat Any of My Favorite Foods

Not every type of orthodontic treatment requires you to give up certain foods. While those with metal braces should avoid hard, crunchy, sugary, starchy, and chewy foods, those who choose Invisalign won’t have the same restrictions on what they can eat. Because Invisalign aligners are removable, these patients can eat whatever they’d like as long as they take their aligners out before digging in.

5. Braces Are Only for Cosmetic Reasons

Braces are not just for purely aesthetic issues. Although a beautiful smile might be the most apparent benefit of braces, it is simply the outward sign of better oral health overall. By aligning the patient’s teeth and correcting their bite, braces help improve functions like chewing, biting, and speaking. 

Having crooked teeth makes it easier for bacteria and food particles to get stuck between them, leading to tooth decay or even gum disease. Because poor oral health has also been linked to other health conditions like heart disease, orthodontic treatment can set patients up for better health in the long run.

6. My Dentist Can Do Orthodontic Treatment

Orthodontic treatment should only be completed by an orthodontist specializing in preventing and correcting misaligned jaws and teeth. Becoming an orthodontist involves graduating from dental school. Students must then finish two or three years of additional training and clinical experience to become qualified to diagnose and prevent dental issues, including crooked teeth and misaligned jaw structures.

7. Once Your Braces Are Off- You Don’t Need to Do Anything

After your orthodontist removes your braces and reveals your beautiful new smile, you will need to wear a retainer at night to ensure your teeth stay straight. Although your teeth may naturally start to move and become crooked again, wearing a retainer can keep newly straightened teeth in place. Therefore, consistently wearing a retainer is as important as the initial treatment for protecting and maintaining your new smile.

8. Braces Are Uncomfortable

Thanks to today’s modern orthodontic advancements, many treatment options cause minimal discomfort. Whether you choose Invisalign clear plastic aligners or traditional metal braces, you should be able to adapt to the feeling of wearing them quickly.

Nowadays, braces have been developed to apply constant but extremely gentle forces to shift the teeth. Most of the time, the patient doesn’t even notice this light pressure. While experiencing some discomfort when braces are first fitted or adjusted is normal, this discomfort should be minor and last for only a short time after the adjustment. The orthodontist can also provide wax to smooth over the brackets and minimize any irritation.

9. Braces Will Set off Metal Detectors

There’s no need to worry about your braces setting off any alarms when you pass through the metal detectors at airport security or anywhere else. Modern braces are remarkably small and made from incredibly light metals that will not trigger any alarms.

10. Invisalign Is Only for Minor Issues

Invisalign may have started as a treatment for more mild orthodontic issues, such as slight spacing or a bit of crowding. But the treatment has evolved to move teeth more effectively and predictably. Now, patients needing complex tooth movements can choose Invisalign clear plastic aligners instead of braces. As a bonus, Murphy Orthodontics has a scanning machine. The device allows us to avoid taking teeth impressions for Invisalign treatments, making the patient’s process much smoother and more comfortable.