Wearing braces has become increasingly common in our society, and this is partly due to advancements in orthodontic treatment. There are now more choices than ever when it comes to straightening teeth and fixing jaw problems. Braces are more popular than ever before among both teenagers and young adults. In fact, even older adults are having orthodontic treatment for both smile and dental health reasons. However, although their popularity is on the rise, there are still some common misconceptions and myths about conventional braces.
Myths About Conventional Braces
Most of us have probably heard some gossip or myths at one time or another about conventional braces. While some aspects may be true, most are simply myths and need busting as soon as possible.
Here are some common myths about taking care of braces that can be busted right away:
1. Eating your Favourite Foods is a Problem
Perhaps one of the most pervasive myths about conventional braces is that wearing them will preclude you from eating whatever you want. This might mean no more pizza, no more fast food, and no more juicy steaks!
The real fact is that braces do need come care and maintenance, but wearing them doesn’t mean that you can’t eat your favourite foods all of a sudden. Pizza is just fine, as are burgers and hot dogs. In fact, you can actually eat most foods without a problem as long as you brush at least three times a day just to get rid of any food debris that might get stuck around the wires and brackets.
So, is there anything you can’t eat? Well, it’s not advisable to eat really chewy or sticky lollies. These can definitely get stuck to your braces and might even break the wires on your braces. Do you really want to make an unexpected trip to the orthodontist for them to fixed?
If you’re into eating really chewy or crunchy foods, it might be a good idea to cut them up into smaller pieces first to make it easier. Biting into a full apple, for example, can put some extra pressure on those braces and brackets, so it’s a good idea to err on the side of caution.
2. You Can Never have Sugary Food or Soft Drinks
Now, this is a bit of a funny one because there is some truth to it. Sugary drinks aren’t good for the health anyway, but when wearing braces it’s important not to overindulge in them. The myth is that some people get the idea that it’s never OK to drink soft drinks or eat sugary food when wearing braces and that’s not strictly true.
Soft drinks contain lots of sugar and acid. This combination is terrible for teeth because it can weaken the enamel and cause cavities to form. When wearing braces, it becomes even more of a problem because drinking lots of juices and soft drinks can stain the teeth. When the brackets are eventually removed, you’ll end up with white squares where there is no staining.
So, what’s the real truth here? Ideally, soft drinks and juices should be avoided, but drinking them occasionally is still OK with a few caveats: make sure to brush and clean the teeth and braces thoroughly, and drink through a straw so as to avoid contact with the teeth and the braces.
4. You Can’t Play Sport when Wearing Conventional Braces
This is just not true at all. In fact, many top athletes underwent orthodontic treatment and have worn braces while they are engaging in heavy training and sporting competitions.
The advice is to wear a customy made orthodontic mouthguard when playing sports. This will cushion the braces, the lips, and the teeth from facial impacts and help to protect from injury.
5. If you have Braces you’re More Likely to have Cavities and Tooth Decay
We’re not sure where this myth came from, but it’s definitely not true. The entire goal of wearing braces is not only to move teeth into an optimal position in the mouth, but also to correct jaw alignment problems so as to prevent further health complications.
It might be that some people who say this have had conventional braces and have not been as careful as they need to be when it comes to their dental hygiene and teeth cleaning routine. Wearing braces does mean more regular and thorough brushing, but this can only be a good thing for overall dental health. It just requires some extra diligence and discipline.
6. It’s OK to Not Wear the Bands All the Time
Wearing braces does take some getting used to and adaptation. A big part of this is becoming disciplined about taking care of them. Some people seem to think that taking out the rubber bands for long periods of time is OK.
The fact is that braces only work when there is sufficient ongoing tension and the rubber bands provide a large part of this tension. If you’ve heard that it’s OK to take out the bands for a while each day just to give the teeth a break, this is just another myth. It could even add extra time to the treatment.
7. Once You Have the Braces On You Don’t Need to Go to All of Your Appointments
This is one of the most important myths about conventional braces that needs to be debunked. While some people might like to promote this myth, all it does is increase the chances of problems and delay completing treatment. Having conventional braces installed is really just the beginning of orthodontic treatment and attending all of the follow-up appointments is absolutely necessary.
During these appointments, any of the following can happen:
- Tightening of the braces to ensure that there is sufficient pressure on the teeth to ensure optimal movement,
- Cleaning the teeth and braces
- Checking on the position of the teeth,
- Checking the health of the teeth and the gums.
Use Common Sense and Follow Instructions
Braces have come a long way in recent decades and more people than ever before, from all walks of life, are having orthodontic treatment. There are lots of myths about conventional braces, but if there is any doubt about care and maintenance, the following common sense rules will always apply: clean and brush regularly and thoroughly, and ask any questions during those regular orthodontic appointments.
To discuss your orthodontic treatment, book an appointment at Evolution Orthodontics.