Are These Four Myths About Braces True?

4 September 2015
 Categories: Dentist, Blog


Braces are an incredibly useful orthodontic tool, but they are plagued by a series of myths that often scare people away from them. The following four myths are some of the most commonly repeated. Read on to find out if there is any truth in them.

Myth: Braces Shorten Teeth Roots

The Truth: The unfortunate truth is that some root shortening is present in every orthodontic patient. These changes are caused by the enzymes generated by orthodontics, as well as the pressure of the braces on the teeth.

However, most root shortening is so minor as to not be considered a problem: according to one estimate, visible root shortening is noticeable in only in about 1-2% of all cases. So this myth isn't exactly "busted," but the severity of it may be exaggerated.

Myth: Only Kids Get Braces

The Truth: Adults with crooked teeth often bemoan the fact that they never got braces as a kid, thinking that it's too late to get straight teeth. This misconception is especially problematic, seeing that nearly three-quarters of all adults have some form of orthodontic problem.

Thankfully, adult braces are becoming more and more common. In fact, studies have even shown that senior citizens with orthodontic problems can still benefit from braces. Also, people who had braces as a kid may still benefit from braces as an adult.

Myth: Braces Must Be Painfully Tightened Regularly

The Truth: This myth is probably caused by people overhearing their friends or family members talk about "tightening" their braces every month or so. While this idea probably sounds extremely painful, it's not quite true. Yes, your braces will be "adjusted" every month or so, but nothing is actually "tightened," as such.

Instead, your orthodontist will remove the rubber bands holding your braces together and the arch wire that supports the structure. Then, he will inspect your teeth and their progress. He'll likely install a new arch wire as well as new rubber bands. And that's it for "tightening" your braces.

There is a small chance for some minor pain during this procedure: it is caused primarily by the pressure of new rubber bands on your teeth. This pain should quickly pass and is easily treatable with over the counter pain medicines.

Myth: Braces are Not Covered for Adults

The Truth: Unfortunately, there is some truth to the reality of this myth: many employer-sponsored dental insurance plans don't cover orthodontic surgery for adults. If you can't find affordable orthodontic insurance, there are other options, such as payment plans that you can set up directly with your orthodontist. Often, these payment plans are offered at a discount price.

For more information, contact Wright Center For Orthodontics or a similar location.