Orthodontic Braces: Truths and Misconceptions

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Published: 27th June 2012
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We’ve all heard that braces are only for straightening teeth (not true!) and that once they come off, your pearly whites will be permanently straight (also, not true!). There are several misconceptions about braces that exist today. Let’s take a closer look some of them and get things straightened out:

1. Everyone with crooked teeth needs braces
Not necessarily. You may choose to have some form of treatment to help straighten your teeth, but you may not need braces at all. If you have a very minor case of a few crooked or misaligned teeth, a simple retainer may be all that you need. Ultimately, this depends on the severity of your crooked teeth, jaw alignment and other factors such as if you have an overbite or an underbite. Each case is unique to every person and several factors may play a role in deciding whether or not you need braces.
If you have a minor case of misaligned teeth, Invisalign may be a good fit for you to help straighten your smile. Invisalign helps straighten your teeth and is an alternative to traditional metal braces. Invisalign are clear, plastic aligners and are the most popular alternative to braces. However, Invisalign may not be for you. Be sure to check with your orthodontic specialist to find the best option for you based on your condition, your financial investment, and the time and effort you are willing to put into your treatment as well.

2. The date my braces are coming off is set in stone
The average most have their braces on is approximately 1.5 years. However, this depends on many factors causing treatment time to be much less or last much longer. Moreover, treatment time varies depending on what kind of braces you get. If your braces break, or if you switch orthodontic centers or something goes wrong, this will prolong treatment time. On the other hand, here are a few things you can do to ensure proper course of treatment with braces that will also help reduce the length of time you have your braces on:

Floss after every meal
Brush your teeth after each meal
Make sure to keep up with your regular appointments with both your orthodontic specialist and dentist
Avoid certain foods, like very chewy, sugary and hard foods
Wear your elastics as indicated by your orthodontist

3. After the braces come off, my teeth will be straight forever
The first half of the battle is getting the braces on. The next major obstacle that requires the most time and effort is maintaining them and your teeth thoroughly throughout treatment, both at home on your own, and ensuring you make all your scheduled appointments. The rest of the challenge comes after the braces come off--you need to ensure you wear your retainer as directed by your orthodontist since your teeth are still shifting after your braces come off. This happens because braces stretch the elastic fibers (the connective tissue fiber) as your teeth move. As a result, when braces come off and your teeth aren’t under forced pressure from the braces, the elastic fibers need to strengthen which will keep your teeth in place. This is why wearing your retainer is so important and wearing it for the correct amount of hours each day. This takes a lot of discipline, patience and dedication, but is very much worth the wait, in addition to the time and money invested.

Follow these simple instructions and you just might find that treatment time may be significantly shorter, and your teeth will stay straight for a long time to come.

At Baptiste orthodontic center, we pride ourselves in providing our patients with attentive, compassionate and personalized orthodontic in Orlando, Central Florida. We put patients first by focusing on your care and comfort while in braces. We treat you as if you were one of our family members and we want you to think of Baptiste Orthodontics as your orthodontic home.

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