Many people misunderstand braces. If you’ve never worn them before, it can be easy to believe rumors. But the problem with rumors and myths is that people believe them whether or not they are true. Thankfully, Varallo Orthodontics has offices in Burlington and Arlington to dispel these myths. Here are a handful of braces myths you need to know.
Myth #1: Metal is the only choice for braces.
Nope. Not true. Decades ago, metal braces might have been the only option available to orthodontists. But that’s not the case presently. Orthodontists do still use metal braces (sometimes with colorful bands and wires). And they are much more comfortable and compact than the metal braces of previous generations. Also, patients today have the added luxury of choosing clear ceramic braces. We also offer clear removable aligners.
Myth #2: Wearing braces is incredibly painful.
We understand that getting braces might make someone feel uneasy. It’s new. It’s different and unfamiliar. We get it. Braces have gotten a bad rap. When you first get braces, you may feel some discomfort. After installation, you might experience some residual soreness. But your teeth and gums will acclimate to the placement of the brackets. Moreover, you might sense some additional agitation whenever your wires are changed out for tightness. Rest assured, this is all part of the process of bringing your teeth into alignment.
Myth #3: Metal braces are like lightning rods. They can rust, and set off metal detectors.
Wow. Your braces would have to be magic to do all of that! Most metal braces use only minuscule amounts of stainless steel and titanium. Your braces will not rust because they are anti-corrosive. And, they are not large enough to attract lightning or activate metal detectors.
Myth #4: Out with the sports and down with the music.
When things get rough, it’s important to guard your grill. Dr. Varallo recommends wearing a rubber mouthguard for any sport where physical contact is possible. Baseball, basketball, football, wrestling, soccer, etc. Braces will not prevent you from playing any of these sports. However, not wearing a mouthguard might result in damage to your braces – which could injure the inside of your mouth. As for music – play on. If you play the flute, clarinet, or French horn, keep those tunes coming. Your braces will not impinge your ability to play.
Myth #5: Braces are cosmetic – just to improve your look.
Many options exist for you to customize your braces. Elastic bands and wires come in a variety of different colors as well. This allows the wearer to give their braces some personality. But no, we aren’t interested in fitting patients with braces solely for aesthetic reasons. Braces are intended to solve different misalignments of teeth. On the other hand, they do improve a person’s smile. In that regard, they do improve a person’s appearance.
Myth #6: Only kids can wear them.
Almost anyone can wear braces. While this is true for kids, it isn’t only true for kids. Teens, young adults, and older adults can also wear braces. Many of our clients are adults looking for orthodontic intervention. Perhaps they meant to get braces when they were younger but didn’t (or couldn’t) for whatever reason. Dr. Varallo is able to apply braces to any set of teeth, whether young or old. So don’t let age be the reason you decide against braces.
Myth #7: Wires have to be changed frequently.
Expect for Dr. Varallo to make periodic changes to your wires and brackets. Your wires might need to be tightened or changed to accommodate your evolving smile. At particular intervals during your treatment, our teams in Burlington and Arlington will need to see you for these adjustments. If we don’t do this, your teeth will not adjust to the degree that they should.
Myth #8: You have to keep your braces on for a very long time.
Braces are a process. To produce the results they are supposed to produce, they do have to be worn for specific lengths of time. Dr. Varallo recommends a duration of wearing braces on a case-by-case basis. But in general, most people will wear braces anywhere from 12 to 24 months. Braces are intended to make small changes over an extended period of time. To speed up the process too quickly could cause injury. But you certainly don’t have to wear them forever.
Myth #9: Teeth will stay in their new position.
It would be great if things worked this way. Braces do straighten teeth. But after Dr. Varallo takes your braces off, you’ll start the next part of your orthodontic journey. This will definitely be a retainer. Some are clear and removable, and others are fixed. You can take it out to eat and drink. Braces make your teeth straight. Retainers keep them that way.
Myth #10: Avoid your favorite foods.
Braces work best when they can do their job without interference. Food can cause interference with the progress of your treatment. We suggest that you chew softer foods and eschew goods that could damage your appliances. Keep away from hard and crunchy stuff, like raw apples and carrots, nuts, and popcorn. Also, steer clear of foods that are sticky, like candies with caramel and taffy. These can cause your appliances to break and even cause damage to your teeth, tongue, and gums. Remember: braces are temporary. Soon, you’ll get to expand your diet.
Get Braces at Varallo Orthodontics
Still uncertain if braces are for you? Or, perhaps you’re still stumped about some of the myths. We’re happy to help. Head here to schedule a free consult at either our Arlington or Burlington locations.