You’re taking the step toward having the smile you’ve always dreamed about and starting orthodontic treatment! You realize you don’t know much about orthodontists or the different types of treatment, so it’s time to gather that information as you move forward.
This article will give you the straight facts about orthodontic treatment. We will debunk some common myths about orthodontics, including braces and the process of straightening teeth, and discuss some other orthodontic treatments, too.
Myth # 1
Orthodontics Are Only For Cosmetic Purposes
It’s true that most patients get braces and other orthodontic treatments so that their smile will look the best it can. However, the benefits prove that that is not the only reason. There are other reasons for orthodontics that go far beyond cosmetics.
When your teeth are in alignment and straight, biting and chewing are improved. Your overall oral health is better, too. This is because gaps and misalignments in your teeth make it easier for plaque to build up around food particles left after brushing. This causes cavities and can quickly lead to periodontal disease if not taken care of. When your teeth are in alignment, it is much easier to ensure that you can thoroughly and properly clean them.
There are also issues caused by misalignment of teeth, under or overbite, and jaw abnormalities, like TMJ disorder. Severe misalignments, called malocclusion, can cause more serious problems with speech and breathing. This can also have an effect on your psychological well-being. Straightened, aligned teeth will help prevent or alleviate these problems and give you better overall health.
Myth # 2
Braces Are Only For Kids
Not true! You are never too old for orthodontic treatment. All ages benefit from prescribed orthodontic treatment. The benefits of orthodontics are useful to anyone and the physiological process is the same no matter the age of the patient. Braces or other orthodontic devices gently move teeth through bone until the desired position is achieved. It is true that treatment may take longer with adults because their bones are fully developed. But that is the only consideration for adults who want to benefit from straighter teeth.
With newer types of orthodontic treatment, there are even more possibilities for adults. In fact, the number of adults in treatment continues to climb. The American Association of Orthodontists (AAO) reported recently that one in three patients is now over the age of 18. And adults are often better candidates for certain treatment options, like clear aligners or lingual braces.
Myth # 3
Orthodontics Is Too Expensive
Don’t let this myth stop you! Like anything else of value for a lifetime, the cost can be mitigated with advanced planning. Check into dental plans that cover all or part of orthodontics and do that early. When you find a plan that you’re satisfied with, sign up and then set up free initial consultations with two or more orthodontists who accept that plan. You can then make the best choice of orthodontist for you and your insurance plan.
Also, most orthodontists offer financing options. You can inquire with the administration staff in each orthodontist office you visit. Or, if you are in a position to pay for treatment upfront, they may offer a self-pay discount.
Take your time researching and making financial arrangements and you may find the cost much more reasonable than you imagined.
Myth # 4
Orthodontic Treatment Takes Years to Complete
There is no specific time frame for everyone’s orthodontic treatment. But, in many cases, treatment plans range from 6 to 12 months, not years. Many patients are most concerned with the way they look during treatment, especially adults with metal braces. Newer technology in orthodontics today offers options that are less noticeable and some can move teeth more quickly.
There are factors that determine how long you may have to go through orthodontic treatment to achieve the results you want. These include:
- Age: It’s true that children see results faster than adults because their bones aren’t fully developed yet.
- Amount of correction needed: The more shifting needed, the longer it may take.
- Type of treatment used: This depends on each person’s budget, comfort, and preferences.
Your orthodontist will work with you to get the best results as quickly as possible.
Myth # 5
Braces Are Painful
It is not true that you will be in pain the entire time that you are in active treatment. You may feel slight discomfort during your first week and then during the rest of the day after an adjustment.
Remember, your teeth and jaw bones are being slowly and gently moved into new positions during your treatment plan. If you do experience any discomfort, it will not last long. Always keep your goal in mind: a beautiful, straight smile is on the way!
But, severe pain isn’t normal. If that happens, contact your orthodontist right away for assistance. Usually, an over-the-counter pain medicine will take care of any discomfort for the day or so after the braces are put on and after they are tightened.
Check out our article on six tips to make your first week in braces easier. There you’ll find simple ways to help make your life easier throughout your braces journey!
Myth # 6
Once the Braces Come Off, You’re Done
This is a myth you would probably like to be true. However, it will take a little work after the braces are removed to keep your teeth in alignment. You don’t want to undo all your hard work–and waste the money it took–to get to this point. Your teeth will want to move back to their original misaligned positions if not maintained by a retainer.
Once the braces come off or you no longer need to wear aligners all day, your orthodontist will have a custom retainer made for you. They’ll instruct you on when your retainer should be worn but you’ll usually start with a little longer period and then work your way down to just at night and then about once a week. Remember, the retainer will keep your teeth where they now belong!
You Can Trust Swiatek Orthodontics to Provide Honest, Professional Treatment
Dr. Swiatek and the rest of our team of professionals here at Swiatek Orthodontics will ensure that you have all the accurate information you need to achieve your orthodontic goals. We are ready to answer all of your questions about myths surrounding orthodontics and assist throughout your treatment plan. We have the skills, experience, and technology to customize your plan to get you the most beautiful smile ever!
Contact us today to schedule your initial consultation. We will be glad to let you know what your treatment will entail and ensure that all myths you may be thinking about have been laid to rest.