Braces myths debunked 

Are braces the only option?  Does having braces mean that I can’t eat my favorite food?  Will my braces set off the airport security alarm?

Lets sort fact from fiction,  the Australian Society of Orthodontists tackles the 10 most common myths.

Myth 1

Braces are only for children

A recent survey revealed that 62% of Australian adults are considering orthodontic treatment.  Some specialist orthodontic practices report an increase of 25-30% of new patients are over 18 years old.

Myth 2

Dentists and orthodontists offer the same services

100% of orthodontists are dentists, but only 3% of dentists are orthodontists.  They share many similarities but work in very different ways.

Dentists cover a broad range of oral health issues whereas orthodontics is a specialised area of dentistry that focuses on issues such as straightening teeth and correcting bite patterns.


Myth 3

You must have a referral to see an orthodontist

Many Australians are referred to an orthodontist by their general dentist but it is not a requirement.  You can book a consultation directly.

Myth 4

Braces set off metal detectors

This is not the case.  The brackets and wires of braces are made from light metals and are very small.  They won’t set off any metal detectors, and no, they don’t increase your likelihood of being struck by lightning!

Myth 5

If you kiss with braces you will get stuck together

Modern braces are made of such fine material that this will not happen, they are also not magnetic

Myth 6

Braces will give me a lisp

Braces on the inside of your teeth (lingual) can take time to get used to and speech may be affected temporarily.  All other orthodontic treatment ie; metal and ceramic braces, and clear aligners won’t affect your speech.

Myth 7

My teeth will stay straight forever after braces

Without correct use of retainers following orthodontic treatment, you newly straightened teeth may begin to move and become crooked again.  Wearing retainers long term is as important as the orthodontic treatment  itself.

Myth 8

Braces are painful

Discomfort is normal after braces are first fitted and after each subsequent adjustment.  Most people find wearing braces if comfortable but annoying.  Braces apply gentle, constant forces on the teeth and most of the time the pressure is not noticeable.

Myth 9

Having braces means I can no longer eat my favorite foods

You can enjoy most of your favorite foods.  It takes a little preparation to ensure that hard, crunch foods can still be eaten.  Chop apples/celery/carrots up into small pieces, cut meat off of the bone, cut crusty bread into small chunks.  Sticky, sweet foods should be avoided or eaten very carefully for special occasions.  Swap soft drink for sparkling water if you still need to have a fizzy drink.

Myth 10

Children shouldn’t see an orthodontist until all of their adult teeth have erupted

Taking your child to see the orthodontist between the ages of 7-10 can give the orthodontist a chance to assess the alignment of your child’s teeth and jaws and allow them to determine if early intervention is necessary.


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