Let’s embrace it: The fact that almost everyone has worn braces or knows someone who has sometimes makes us believe that we know all about these orthodontic devices. Like with many mainstream topics, though, there are many misconceptions about braces.
We explored people’s awareness of popular notions about braces. Look at the results and experts’ opinions to learn more about these and more interesting matters::
- Can clear aligners be an alternative to braces?
- What foods must be avoided when wearing braces?
- Are extractions needed before orthodontic treatment?
#1: Braces are just for kids: MYTH
The days when braces were a no-go for adults are behind us, as pointed by three-fourths of respondents.
Official data confirms this trend. Figures from the British Orthodontic Society (BOC), for example, indicate that some 75% of orthodontists have reported an increase in adult private patients. The number has been growing for the last years and one reason could be the growing popularity of new systems such as clear aligners that can be removed for eating, speaking, or special occasions.
#2: Clear aligners can be an alternative to braces: FACT
Although 15% are still skeptical about the application of clear aligners as an alternative to braces, the majority of survey participants vouch for it.
According to experts, both clear aligners and braces can be used to correct misaligned teeth. There are, however, differences between these two types of orthodontic devices that can help with making a choice.
#3: Every family dentist can straighten your teeth: SO-SO
Respondents seem undecided on whether every family dentist can replace an orthodontics specialist with polar answers having almost the same number of supporters.
Unlike general dentists, specialist dentists spend extra time and effort in gaining additional qualifications in a certain area. In the US e.g., after graduating from dental universities, future orthodontists must spend another 3 years in an orthodontic residency program. If board-certified, they are held to an even higher standard.
So, although theoretically possible, before trusting your general dentist with strengthening your teeth, think about the safer treatment results this additional qualification might ensure. And don’t forget to compare genuine reviews from real patients to help you choose the best specialist.
#4: Braces set off metal detectors at security checkpoints: MYTH
This age-old myth still seems to bother people, as 36% of survey participants think wearing braces could set off metal detectors when passing through security checkpoints.
In fact, modern braces are very delicate in size and made of extremely light metals. They do not trigger any alarms, nor increase the likelihood of being struck by lighting.
#5: You will have to wear a retainer after braces: FACT
The majority of survey respondents (58%) confirm the need of wearing retainers after the end of orthodontic treatment but one-fifth of them are not convinced.
The truth depends on your goal. If you want to keep the results of your orthodontic treatment for life, then retainers are a must. Keep in mind that the period of wearing retainers differs from case to case, so it is not needed to be forever.
#6: Having braces means you cannot eat your favorite foods: SO-SO
One of the popular worries of people before deciding for braces is the possible inability to enjoy their preferred foods, inherent in 30% of DentaVox respondents as well. The largest share of survey participants, though, is not concerned about it.
Properly cleaning your braces is required to enjoy your favorite foods without harming your teeth in the long run. And although there are certain foods it’s highly recommended to avoid while wearing braces, keep in mind that in most cases it is a matter of hygiene and preparation.
#7: Braces are always unattractive: MYTH
Despite the majority being of the opposite opinion, a significant part of people (37%) do believe that braces are always visually unattractive.
In fact, today’s braces are incomparable to the braces of the past. Even traditional metal braces have been through a complete makeover and now have smaller brackets and much thinner wires. Moreover, ceramic braces are even perceived as a nice accessory by some, whereas lingual braces and clear aligners are practically invisible.
#8: Braces treatment has benefits beyond aesthetics: FACT
The benefits of orthodontic treatment extend far beyond achieving the desired looks, according to the mass of survey participants (81%).
Experts confirm, reminding that braces not only straighten teeth but correctly align the bite as well. Both have major implications on our general oral health, self-confidence, and wellbeing. Aligned teeth and correct bite allow for better oral hygiene, fewer dental problems, less wear and tear, improved speech, and eliminated mouth breathing.
#9: Extractions might be needed to straighten your teeth: FACT
The vast majority of respondents (70%) think that extracting teeth might be needed when attempting for the perfect smile. And this is a fact.
However, not every case requires it. Here are some possible prerequisites.
#10: NASA created the wire used in braces: FACT
Curious, huh? Quite naturally, the largest share of survey participants are not sure about the authenticity of this statement.
The metal alloy, known as nickel-titanium, which is used in braces was indeed created by NASA in 1959. Before that, braces were made of gold and thus were significantly more expensive. Originally, the heat-resistant alloy was designed for NASA’s space shuttles but its ability to keep shape after being bent, molded, or attached to teeth allowed for its new application.
Which of those myths and facts were you aware of?
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Stats source: DentaVox, 20 Questions: Braces
Base: 426 respondents (global sample)
Period: 04/06 – 14/07/2020