Five Myths About Braces

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1. Teeth Need to be Pulled

Modern techniques allow orthodontists the opportunity to make room for crowded teeth in ways that generally don’t require permanent tooth extractions. This understanding has lead to an increase in the number of younger children getting braces. You may have noticed that kids are getting braces at younger ages these days, and you’re right. We sometimes start children in braces at earlier ages because we understand that we have the opportunity to avoid permanent tooth extractions. Permanent tooth extractions in children and adults can sometimes have a negative impact on the profile, so if we can avoid taking out teeth, it’s a good thing.

2. Palatal Expanders are Always Necessary to Widen the Palate

Just as light forces have allowed modern orthodontists to make room for teeth without extractions, they have also given us the opportunity to expand the upper teeth without expanders. Rapid palatal expanders (RPE’s) have a crank and key mechanism whereby a parent will turn a screw in the roof a child’s mouth every day or every other day, forcing the bones in the roof of the mouth apart. Not only is this traumatic for the child (and the parent), it has never been demonstrated to have an advantage over using the light forces that we talked about in myth number one.

3. Braces Will Take at Least Two Years

Advanced orthodontic techniques provide a very different experience than we remember. Faster treatment times are one of the biggest differences you might notice. Many adolescents and adults have the wonderful opportunity to have treatment completed in about a year. Certainly there are situations where treatment time may need to go longer than a year, but ask your orthodontist if there are ways in which treatment might be accelerated. There are devices available to enhance the speed of tooth movement, while decreasing the discomfort at the same time. It’s a great time to have orthodontics!

4. Orthodontic Treatment Costs an Arm and a Leg

Orthodontic treatment is a worthwhile and wonderful investment and fortunately, it is far easier to finance orthodontic treatment today than it’s ever been. Most orthodontic offices provide financing options with little money down and no finance charges. Dental insurance often provides a single, lifetime benefit that may help in the affordability of orthodontic treatment. Flex plans also allow for orthodontic treatment coverage, so being evaluated early (all children by the age of seven) will help in planning Flex benefit coverage.

5. I’m Too Old to Have Orthodontic Treatment

The reality is, nothing could be farther from the truth. The teeth and bone in your mouth is no different now than when you were younger. In fact, modern orthodontic techniques allow adults many treatment options that were not available when they were young. Invisalign is a prime example of modern orthodontic advances. Many adults now have the option of enjoying the benefits of orthodontic treatment without the need for braces. How great is that!