The early days of braces saw many devices that were conspicuous, uncomfortable, and downright unpleasant to wear. Myths from the times of less sophisticated orthodontics have perpetuated and continue to cause anxiety in dental patients who are candidates for braces.
Modern braces have improved upon their predecessors in many ways, and learning the truth behind the most popular myths can help set your mind at ease. This guide will debunk four common myths about braces.
Myth 1: Braces Inevitably Cause Mouth Sores
The idea of having wires and brackets in your mouth all the time sounds painful, but there should be very little pain involved with your braces. While mouth sores can occur when braces rub against soft tissues in your mouth, this should be an infrequent problem. See your dentist if the discomfort becomes an issue so they can adjust your braces if needed.
Myth 2: Braces are Only Effective for Kids and Teens
Because braces are often applied at a young age, there is a misconception that braces only work for young people whose teeth and jaw are still developing. In reality, braces can be used to correct misaligned teeth at any age as long as the permanent teeth have grown in.
Myth 3: Braces Require a Strict Diet
Many patients have concerns about braces, dentures, and orthodontics in general because of potential changes to their diet. It's true that there are some foods that are more challenging to eat with braces, but it's rare for braces wearers to need to abstain from specific foods altogether.
Hard fruits and vegetables are top offenders when it comes to damaging braces, but you probably won't have problems if you cut them up and chew carefully. Use the same strategy for tough meats, and remember to be careful with small, hard foods that could get stuck between your braces and your teeth, such as nuts and seeds.
Myth 4: Braces Always Take Years to Work
Naturally, every dental patient wants their time with braces to be as short as possible. While wearing braces for multiple years is sometimes the right choice for your teeth, this isn't always the case. As long as your dentist sees good results, you may only wear your braces for months rather than years. Adults who receive braces are often more diligent about dental hygiene and following their dentist's instructions than younger patients, which helps to accelerate the process.
It's easy to see why braces are a trusted solution for teeth alignment problems when you separate myth from fact. Talk to your dentist if you have any additional questions or concerns about braces.