If you’ve been considering braces to straighten your smile, you may feel a little nervous about the treatment process. Even though braces have been around in one form or another for hundreds of years, there are still plenty of myths out there about what they are and how they work. Here at Daniel & Jones Orthodontics, we’re committed to providing all of our patients with trusted 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 with us!
#1 Braces are painful
One of the biggest concerns new patients have about braces is that they will hurt. Fortunately, this is definitely a myth! There may be some mild discomfort when your braces are first put on, as it takes time for your teeth to adjust to the appliance, but this will only be temporary. 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.
#2 Braces will 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 number of factors, including the severity of your case, the improvements desired, how compliant you are, and more!
Most patients at Daniel & Jones Orthodontics will wear braces for anywhere from 12-36 months. Your time in braces may be longer or shorter than this. Either way, remember that this part is only temporary! You won’t be in braces forever, and all your hard work will be worth it once we reveal your beautiful new smile.
#3 Braces are only useful for straightening teeth
While traditional braces are very good at straightening crooked teeth, they’re not limited to that function. They can also help improve or resolve other oral health issues! Misaligned teeth and jaws can have numerous symptoms that may result in increased difficulty with everyday tasks like eating, speaking, and brushing 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!
#4 Braces are for teens
Many people tend to associate orthodontics with the image of a teen in a full set of metal braces, but the truth is, treatment can be beneficial at almost any age. Our offices in Little Rock, Bryant, and Benton work 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 your confidence.
#5 Braces will severely limit what you can eat
Food restrictions are a part of having braces. This is often one of the biggest learning curves our patients face when starting treatment. To protect your braces and your teeth, you’ll need to avoid foods that are 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!
#6 Braces will inhibit your ability to play certain 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 anything you need to worry about! While there may be a small period of adjustment, in the beginning, you shouldn’t have to miss out on any practices or performances just because you’re an orthodontic patient.
The amount of adjustment required will depend on the type of instrument. 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, so they may be slightly easier to adjust to.
#7 Braces will keep your teeth straight forever
This may be more wishful thinking than myth! Braces are great for straightening teeth and correcting bites, but that won’t last forever without a little help. Our teeth don’t like being moved from their original positions, which is why it takes an enormous amount of pressure from braces or aligners to shift them. That level of support can’t be maintained indefinitely, however.
Once your braces are removed, we need to give your mouth time to grow the support that will 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. Daniel or Dr. Jones 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.
#8 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 our disposal! In addition to traditional metal braces, we’re able to offer clear braces and Invisalign clear aligners to our patients in Little Rock, Bryant, and Benton.
Each of these options can correct a variety of 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. Daniel or Dr. Jones will examine your teeth and recommend the option that will work best for your specific needs.
Find your best smile with braces by Daniel & Jones 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 or to talk through your concerns with us!