Starting orthodontic treatment can seem a little daunting. Understanding what is involved in having braces may help ease your mind. The following information will help you separate fact from fiction about what to expect from orthodontic therapy.
Myth: Getting braces will hurt.
Truth: You may experience mild soreness after the orthodontist places your braces, but this should subside after the first few days. Over-the-counter pain relievers can help with any discomfort.
Myth: I can’t play an instrument or participate in sports if I have braces.
Truth: Although you may have to get used to how your flute or clarinet feels with braces, you can continue to play your instrument during orthodontic treatment. The same goes for sports, but you need to speak with your orthodontist about a mouth guard. This soft, plastic device covers teeth and protects against injury.
Myth: After I get my braces off, my teeth will stay straight forever.
Truth: Once you finish with the active treatment phase, you will need to wear a retainer to keep teeth in their new position. Your orthodontist will fit you for the custom appliance and provide instructions for use. Often, patients start out wearing their retainers most of the day, but many move to a night-time schedule over time.
Myth: I’m too old for braces.
Truth: You can enjoy a beautiful, straight smile at any age. In fact, roughly 20 percent of orthodontic patients are 18 years or older. With options such as ceramic brackets, lingual braces, and Invisalign clear aligners, adult patients can preserve their mature images while achieving the sensational smiles they desire.