Orthodontic treatments have come a long way over the past few years. Now, we even have customised, almost invisible braces. Yet, there are still common misconceptions about orthodontics – in particular braces. So, to help you sort fact from fiction, we’ve decided to dispel the most common myths about braces and children.
Orthodontics are only for Cosmetic Reasons
While many parents take their children to the orthodontist for the cosmetic reasons behind straighter teeth, the benefits reach far beyond that. Orthodontists have specialist knowledge of bite, teeth, airways and the growth of the face. Orthodontic treatment aims to create a beautiful smile, a good bite and proportionate facial dimensions, all the while ensuring good teeth & jaw health for adulthood.
It’s a Myth That You Can’t Play Instruments!
Is your child worried about not being able to play a wind instrument if they are to get braces? Worry no more! Even with braces, you can still make beautiful music. There might be a slight adjustment period when your little one first gets their braces, but they’ll be able to keep up with practices and performances in no time.
They’re Going to Make Metal Detectors Go Wild
Your child may be worried about setting off alarms every time they walk through metal detectors or airports… It’s time to squash these myths about braces! Modern braces are tiny and made from incredibly light metals that don’t trigger alarms. (They also don’t increase the chances of getting struck by lightning!).
Braces Are Only for Kids
For years we’ve associated metal braces with the teenage years. Yet, orthodontic treatment is available to all ages who want a healthy, straight smile. Now, we even have discreet options like Invisalign and lingual braces that mean no one will even know you’re having treatment.
Braces Must Be Tight and Sore to Work
If you, your child, or your teen is worried about pain and tightness, it’s time to set the record straight with this myth. Gone are the days of braces being uncomfortable and sore. It used to be that stiff metal wires were attached to braces. They’d exert a force that could indeed be painful.
Thanks to modern technology, braces are far more comfortable and the materials a whole lot more flexible, exerting far less force. There are moments when there may be discomfort, after all, the teeth are moving! However, generally there is no pain for the braces to work. Myths about braces and pain are usually disproportionate to the actual level of discomfort.
Braces Straighten Teeth Permanently
Braces are certainly a highly effective way of straightening teeth. However, teeth can move back into their original position if you don’t follow your orthodontist’s recommendation to wear a retainer.
Kids Need All Their Permanent Teeth First
Some of the most comprehensive orthodontic treatments usually start around 11 – 13 years of age. However, the Australian Association of Orthodontists advises that children should visit an orthodontist from around 7 to 10 years of age.
Some children can benefit from early treatment while they still have some baby teeth. Since kids grow so quickly, some treatments can improve jaw relationships, reduce crowding and even minimise the amount of orthodontic treatment they may need down the track.
You’ll Need to Give Up Favourite Foods
It’s a fact that having braces means avoiding some foods. It’s best to stay away from hard, crunchy snacks and sticky candies. But it’s a myth that braces affect your normal diet. You might just need to cut things thinner and take smaller bites.
You’ll Get a Lisp with Braces
Lingual braces are placed behind the teeth, close to the tongue. These braces do take some time to get used to, and they might impact your child’s speech temporarily. But with Invisalign, ceramic braces and traditional metal braces, your speech should not change.
Treatment Takes Forever
This is somewhat of a myth, too. Orthodontic treatment generally takes around 18 months, depending on the orthodontic appliances your child has. However, minor crowding can be straightened in an even shorter amount of time, while more severe issues can take longer.
More Adjustments Mean Faster Treatment
Tighter or more frequent adjustments will not make treatment any quicker. Just because heavier force is applied more frequently doesn’t mean braces will come off any sooner. In fact, if the process is forced, you risk damaging mouth tissue and bones, leading to more problems later in life. When it comes to braces and children, slow and steady wins the race.
Your Child’s Teeth Will Be Straight Forever More
This is another braces myth. Once braces are removed, the teeth naturally move back to their pre-treatment position. Hence the importance of wearing the retainer to achieve long-term results.
There are two types of retainers – fixed and removable. The right treatment for your child will depend on the results achieved with braces and your long-term goals.
You Can’t Have Braces If You Have an Overbite
Myth! The fact is, a light overbite is no problem at all. In fact, you don’t want a perfect bite, where the top and bottom teeth precisely bite together. People with a perfect bite like this wear their teeth down, posing an entirely new set of issues. However, a severe overbite is cause for concern and your child may require treatment.
Braces Only Work If Your Child Has Crooked Teeth
While braces certainly do help correct crooked teeth, they also help with a wide range of other dental health problems. Missing teeth, underbites, overbites and other issues associated with your child’s jaw or teeth can all be necessary reasons for braces.
You Can’t Get Braces Until Your Wisdom Teeth Erupt
Now, this is a widespread braces myth. New research shows that a properly executed orthodontic treatment and customised retainer will not be affected by the eruption of wisdom teeth at all.
Visit the Orthodontist to Bust Any Myths About Braces
Whether your child is 8 or 18, there are braces to suit their orthodontic needs. From traditional metal braces to barely noticeable ceramic or lingual braces. Whether your child has an overbite, crowded teeth or another type of dental problem, braces might help.
If your child is feeling apprehensive about orthodontic treatment, it’s time to bust the myths about braces and shine a positive light on orthodontic care.
Book a consultation at Evolution Orthodontics today to find the right braces treatment for your child.