In this blog will look at 5 common myths about braces and bust them!
Myth #1 Braces are just for children
It is still commonly thought that braces are only available for or only work for children. It’s easy to see where this myth arises as traditionally, braces were really only available to a small number of patients and it was rare to see adults have brace treatment. Under the NHS brace treatment is available for patients under the age of 18 years old for those who qualify. This doesn’t mean that adults can’t have braces; just that they have to fund the cost of it themselves. You can move the teeth of an 80 year old the same as an 8 year old! The biology is the same, albeit slower in an adults mouth.
So we can bust this myth!
Myth #2 Braces hurt all the time
It’s true to say that moving teeth causes discomfort. When we activate a brace there is pressure in the direction of the movement and this causes INFLAMMATION around the teeth. Lots of things happen in inflammation to bring special cells and chemicals to the site to help with the process of change in the bone around teeth so they can move. Some of these chemicals make the nerves sore around the teeth.
The good news is the inflammation is not there all the time. Braces move teeth as gently as possible and there are long periods where you won’t feel any pain at all. It does take some time to get used to them and when they are first fitted there is a lot of new things to adapt to so it can be a bit of a challenge. Its does get better though and in no time you will be free of the discomfort and enjoy watching your teeth get straighter and straighter!.
Not all braces will cause pain – many of our patients having treatment with Invisalign report that their teeth don’t feel sore at all – just a bit of tightness with each new aligner that goes away within a day or two.
So another myth is busted
Myth #3 Braces stop you playing sports or wind/brass instruments
We have lots of extra school/work activities nowadays and it can be a worry that having braces can impact our hobbies, especially with say a music grade exam looming or a big concert performance. It is to be expected that braces will change things initially but happily most patients get back to normal quickly. It certainly doesn’t prevent you playing the flute or trumpet long term for most.
If you are worried about your performance being negatively affected, you could opt for straightening your teeth with an aligner system such as Invisalign – a removable brace that in the hands of an experienced orthodontist, works just as well as normal braces do. That way you can carry on with your normal life without the brace getting in the way. Invisalign is also great for singers and sporty individuals too! And with more flexibility of appointments and the time between them they suit Mums and Dad’s too!
BUSTED this one!
Myth #4 Braces set off security metal detectors
Patients sometimes ask whether having braces means getting stopped by security at airports and concerts. Most fixed braces will have parts that are made of metal and some patients worry that they will set of the alarms at the airport. Thankfully there is no need to worry as the amount of metal is very small and won’t trigger the security measures – you won’t need a letter from your dentist to take on holiday with you!
Another one BUSTED
Myth #5 Braces break and need emergency appointments all the time
It is possible to go through your whole treatment without breaking your braces! If everything is done correctly the braces will stay in place but patients do need to take care with what food they are eating. Anything too hard or crunchy can break off the squares or pull the wire out at the back. We like to check a brace after fitting and look for potential problems so we can put measures in place to prevent you needing extra appointments – that makes patients and the reception team really happy!
If you’re a busy person and want to reduce the chances of having emergency brace appointments then Invisalign is a great option – very few patients have the need for extra appointments! And even better – if you have to re-arrange an appointment the orthodontist can probably post the next aligners to you so it doesn’t delay your treatment!
So there you go! not everything you hear about having braces is true.