Debunking 10 Myths Surrounding Traditional Braces

Welcome to Acre Wood Dental in Waco, Temple, and Gatesville, Texas, where we proudly offer various solutions to help your smile be the strongest and healthiest, including traditional braces. Despite the advancements in orthodontic technology and the increasing popularity of clear aligners, traditional braces remain a staple of dental correction. However, a variety of myths and misconceptions accompany this trusted method of achieving a straighter smile. To help patients who may feel uneasy due to these common myths, we will deeply dive into the myths about traditional braces and bring the truths to light. 

Myth 1: Braces Are Only Designed for Children

Contrary to the popular belief that braces are best suited for children and adolescents, orthodontic treatment with braces can be as effective, if not more so, in adult patients. The myth persists that only children can benefit from braces because their jaws are still growing, allowing easier tooth repositioning. While early intervention during growth periods can yield excellent results, adults who maintain good oral health and comply with their treatment plan can also improve significantly. 

More adults than ever are turning to braces to straighten their teeth. The increasing demand has prompted innovative design features that cater to the unique needs of adult patients, including more options for discreet treatment. Adults are typically more motivated and disciplined in following their orthodontic plan, often leading to a successful outcome.

Myth 2: Braces Will Leave You with Stained Teeth

There is a belief that after removing your braces, your teeth will have unsightly stains where the brackets once were. This is a myth. Some patients may notice discoloration typically due to inadequate oral hygiene when the braces are in place. Because braces can make brushing and flossing more challenging, patients must be even more diligent in their dental care routines to prevent tooth decay and discoloration. 

Thankfully, modern braces are designed with less surface area and smoother margins, reducing the likelihood of plaque accumulation. Additionally, Dr. J and Dr. Kennedy often recommend more frequent cleanings to mitigate the risk of stains. When patients adhere to a thorough cleaning regimen during treatment, their teeth are as bright and healthy as before.

Myth 3: Braces Will Be Painful Throughout the Entire Treatment

It’s a common misconception that braces are always painful. While it’s true that some discomfort is natural in the beginning stages as your mouth adjusts to the new orthodontic devices, the pain level is generally mild and temporary. After a few days, most patients hardly notice their braces are present. 

Myth 4: Metal Braces Are the Only Option

The myth that metal braces are the only option continues to prevail despite the range of choices available today. While metal braces are still widely used and are often the most cost-effective option, there are more aesthetically pleasing choices, such as ceramic braces, which blend with the natural color of teeth, and lingual braces, which we will mount on the inside of the teeth. The latter two options offer a more discreet approach to teeth straightening, which adult patients particularly value.

Myth 5: Braces Will Make You Speak with a LISP

There’s a widespread belief that braces automatically give you a lisp or affect your speech. In truth, braces should not cause a lisp; however, they may cause an initial adjustment period where you will become accustomed to speaking with the new hardware in your mouth. 

Lisps or changes in speech are more likely to result from swelling of the tongue or other tissues in the mouth due to the new braces. This is only a temporary effect as your mouth adapts to the presence of the braces. Over time, your speech will return to normal, and braces should not negatively impact how you speak.

Myth 6: Braces Are Temporary; They Don’t Offer Long-Term Results

Another dental myth is that the results achieved with braces are temporary. If patients follow Dr. Johnson and Dr. Kennedy’s advice and utilize retainers as prescribed, the results are intended to last a lifetime. Without the regular use of retainers, teeth are likely to slowly return to their original positions, which can negate the years of treatment. Retainers are a crucial part of maintaining the results from braces and are customarily worn for an extended period following the removal of the braces, typically at night. This ensures a lasting and beautiful smile.

Myth 7: Braces Take a Long Time and Are Inconvenient

It is often thought that orthodontic treatment with braces takes an excessively long time to achieve results. While clear aligners like Invisalign may sometimes be faster for milder cases, traditional braces are remarkably efficient and can handle even the most complex orthodontic issues. 

The duration of treatment with braces varies depending on individual cases, but patients will notice visible improvements within a few months. Advances in orthodontic technology, such as self-ligating braces, have also contributed to shorter and more manageable treatment times. The inconvenience of wearing braces pales compared to the long-term benefits of a healthy, properly aligned smile.

Myth 8: You Can’t Play Sports or Instruments with Braces

It’s a common concern that braces may interfere with activities such as playing sports or musical instruments. While it’s vital to protect the mouth—especially during physical activities—braces do not need to inhibit your participation. Athletes can wear mouthguards with braces to protect their orthodontic appliances and teeth. Similarly, musicians may experience an adjustment period with their instruments, but with practice, they can resume playing confidently with braces.

Myth 9: Braces Are Unsanitary and a Health Risk

Some individuals believe that braces are unsanitary and pose a health risk. Braces are not inherently unclean but require a more diligent oral care routine. Food particles can become trapped in the wires and between the brackets, which may lead to cavities or gum disease if not properly cleaned. 

Following Dr. J’s or Dr. Kennedy’s guidance, which likely includes special tools like floss threaders and interproximal brushes, you can maintain good oral hygiene during your orthodontic treatment. Regular dental check-ups ensure your teeth and gums remain healthy while wearing braces.

Myth 10: Braces Cost a Fortune, and Insurance Does Not Cover Them

The cost of braces is a significant concern for many, as there is a misconception that braces are prohibitively expensive and not covered by dental insurance. While the total cost of orthodontic treatment can vary, and insurance coverage varies by plan, many dental insurance policies offer at least partial coverage for braces, particularly for children. This can make braces more affordable than expected. Our outstanding dental team will work with you to fully understand what your insurance will cover and help you determine the best financial plan for you during your consultation. 

Straightening Your Smile With Braces in Waco, TX

The decision to undergo orthodontic treatment is personal, and it’s crucial to have accurate information to guide this choice. A straight, healthy smile enhances your appearance and improves your oral health and self-esteem. If you are looking to straighten your smile, contact our office today. Our extraordinary dental team, Dr. Benjamin Johnson (Dr. J) and Dr. Steve Kennedy, will help you decide if braces suit you! With a consultation at Acre Wood Dental, you can get a personalized treatment plan designed specifically for your needs.

We look forward to helping you on your path to a beautiful, confident smile!

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