If you’ve never visited an orthodontist before (and even if you have), you might have a few false ideas about what they do and how they do it. We’re going to clear up some of the common misconceptions surrounding braces and orthodontists.
Myth #1: Orthodontists Only Deal with Braces
Fact: While putting on braces is one of the main things that orthodontists do, orthodontists also address misalignments of the teeth and jaws. If you have a bad bite (malocclusion) and your teeth and/or jaw do not line up properly, your orthodontist can help to correct the problem, and the solution may or may not include braces.
Myth #2: Braces will Always Hurt
Fact: New technologies in braces mean that getting braces doesn’t necessarily mean pain. In fact, a lot of people who get braces worry that not feeling pain means the braces aren’t working and that their teeth aren’t getting straight—but that’s not true! In the past, wires were stiffer and exerted more force, which caused sore mouths without working any more quickly to straighten teeth. Your teeth might feel a little sore when you first get braces, but for the most part, you shouldn’t be feeling any major discomfort (if you are, contact your orthodontist immediately!).
Myth #3: Braces are the Only Thing that Straighten Teeth
Fact: While most people think about the iconic metal braces to straighten their teeth, there are actually a variety of cosmetic options available too. Invisible tooth straightening systems such as Invisalign are great for working professionals and adults who don’t want to sport a mouthful of metal. Clear braces are also very popular among teens and adults that don’t want to sport “metal mouth”. If these sound like attractive alternatives, talk to your orthodontist to see if they will work for you.
Myth #4: Once the Braces are Off, My Teeth are Straight Forever!
Fact: Everybody’s teeth move throughout their lives. Whether they had braces or not. The only way to make sure your teeth stay straight is to where your retainers. Sorry, but if you fail to be consistent with after care, you could end up with a crooked smile again as your teeth move back towards their original positions. Once your braces are removed, your orthodontist will create a customized retainer that you will need to wear to convince your teeth to stay in position.
Myth #5: Braces are Too Expensive
Fact: While getting braces does create an expense, the cost of braces now can be far cheaper than working to correct increasingly worse bite problems and other oral problems later. Try to find an orthodontist that offers flexible financing options. Some orthodontists offer payment plans for as low as $99/month with 0% interest. If you can’t find an orthodontist in your area that is willing work with you, there are alternative financing options such as CareCredit, which offer loans for medical and dental purposes. If you are a working professional who has waited until adulthood to get braces and straighten teeth, the cost of braces is well worth the reward of a great smile.