If you’ve been considering braces to straighten your smile, you may feel a little nervous about the treatment process. Braces have been around for hundreds of years, but there are still plenty of myths about what they are and how they work. Here at Adult & Pediatric Orthodontics, we’re committed to providing you with accurate information that’s easy to understand! With that in mind, let’s look at some of the most common things people get wrong about braces and what you can expect from your orthodontic journey at our offices in Portland and Windham.
Braces are painful
One of the biggest concerns new patients have about braces is that they will hurt. Fortunately, this is a myth! You may experience mild discomfort when Dr. Yu first applies your braces since it takes time for your teeth to adjust to the appliances, but this won’t last long. You may also experience some slight soreness or irritation following adjustment appointments. This is normal and will resolve on its own quickly. Wearing braces will not cause you any long-term pain or discomfort.
Braces take years to work
Treatment times will vary from case to case. Every smile is unique, and every patient will respond to treatment in their own way. Your estimated treatment time will depend on a few factors, including the severity of your case, the improvements you’re after, and how compliant you are.
Most patients will wear braces for anywhere from 12-36 months. Your time in braces may be longer or shorter, but remember that this part is only temporary! You won’t be in braces forever, and all your hard work will be worth it once you see your beautiful new smile.
Braces are only helpful for straightening teeth
While traditional braces effectively straighten crooked teeth, they’re not limited to that function alone. They can also help improve or resolve other oral health issues! Misaligned teeth and jaws can have multiple symptoms, resulting in increased difficulty with everyday tasks like eating, speaking, and caring for your teeth. Braces can address and correct many of these problems. In addition to straighter teeth and a more attractive smile, braces can improve your speech, oral health, and even your digestion!
Braces are just for teens
Many people tend to associate orthodontics with the image of a teen in a complete set of metal braces, but the truth is, treatment can be beneficial at almost any age. Our practice works with children, teens, and adults. We’ve seen firsthand that there’s no age limit for achieving a healthier smile! While some issues are easier to treat in younger patients, we can move your teeth into more desirable positions at any age, improving your oral health and boosting confidence.
Braces will severely limit what you can eat
Food restrictions are indeed part of having braces. This is often one of the most significant learning curves patients face during treatment. To protect your braces and your teeth, you’ll need to avoid anything crunchy or sticky throughout your orthodontic journey. That includes some raw veggies like apples and carrots, popcorn, and any candy that comes with caramel, nuts, or other chewy bits. While this can be inconvenient, hang in there and remember that there are still plenty of delicious ortho-friendly foods you can enjoy!
Braces will make it harder to play specific instruments
If you or your child play instruments that involve your mouth, you might be worried that braces will affect your ability to keep making music. Fortunately, this isn’t a problem! While there may be a short period of adjustment, in the beginning, you shouldn’t have to miss out on any practices or performances just because you’re wearing braces.
How much you have to adjust will depend on the type of instrument you play. Generally speaking, brass instruments require more changes since players press their lips directly into the mouthpiece. Woodwind instruments use more indirect contact with the mouthpiece, making them slightly easier to adjust to.
Braces will keep your teeth straight forever
This may be more wishful thinking than myth! Braces excel at straightening teeth and correcting bites, but that won’t last forever without a bit of help. Our teeth don’t like moving from their original positions, which is why it takes an enormous amount of pressure from braces or aligners to shift them. Teeth can’t maintain that level of support indefinitely alone.
Once Dr. Yu removes your braces, we need to give your mouth time to grow the support to keep the teeth in their new places. We do this by applying more pressure with a custom-made retainer. Without it, your teeth will naturally begin to drift back to their original position. This can happen faster than you’d think— in the first year post-treatment, your teeth can start shifting in as little as a few days!
Using your retainer as instructed by Dr. Yu will ensure the newly straightened teeth are where they need to be to allow them to heal fully post-braces. It will also allow your teeth to settle into those new positions permanently, giving you long-lasting results you’ll enjoy for years to come.
Braces are the only option for straightening your teeth
Braces are one of our best tools for correcting bad bites, but it’s not the only one we have at Adult & Pediatric Orthodontics. In addition to traditional metal braces, Dr. Yu offers clear braces and Invisalign clear aligners.
Each of these options can correct various issues and help you achieve a beautifully aligned smile. However, it’s important to note that what works for one patient may not be a good fit for another. When you schedule your free consultation with our expert team, Dr. Yu will examine your teeth and recommend the option that will work best for your specific needs.
Find your best smile with braces by Adult & Pediatric Orthodontics
Choosing braces is a big decision, and we appreciate the trust you have in our talented team. Our goal is to provide you with world-class care, a rewarding orthodontic experience, and exceptional results! Whether you’re contemplating braces or already have an appointment to place them, we’re here for you. Get in touch to schedule a FREE consultation with Dr. Yu and determine if orthodontic treatment is right for you!