Myth 1: Braces are only for children
FACT: A recent survey* revealed that 62% of Australian adults are considering orthodontic treatment. As a result, orthodontists from all over Australia are increasingly treating more adults. At Mehta Orthodontics, 25-30% of new patients are over 18 years old.
Myth 2: Dentists and orthodontists offer the same services
FACT: 100% of orthodontists are dentists, but only 3% of dentists are orthodontists. Orthodontists and dentists share many similarities, but they actually work in very different ways. Dentists cover a broad range of oral health issues, while orthodontics is a specialisation within dentistry that only focuses on issues such as straightening teeth and correcting improper bite patterns. Specialisation is what sets an orthodontist apart from a general dentist.
Myth 3: You must have a referral to see an orthodontist
FACT: While many Australians are referred to us by their family dentist, a referral is not required to see Dr Mehta for a consultation.
Myth 4: Braces set off metal detectors
FACT: If you’re worried about your braces setting off the alarms as you pass through the metal detectors at airport security, don’t be! Modern braces are very small and are made from extremely light metals that won’t trigger any alarms (or increase the likelihood of being struck by lightning, either!).
Myth 5: If you kiss with braces you’ll get stuck together
FACT: We’ve all heard the horror stories about two people with braces getting stuck together kissing, but rest assured, braces will have no impact on your relationships! It’s virtually impossible to ‘get stuck’ mid-kiss as modern braces are made of such fine material, and they’re certainly not magnetic!
Myth 6: Braces will give me a lisp
FACT: All braces on outside of the teeth (including metal and ceramic braces, as well as clear aligners such as Invisalign) won’t impede your speech. Lingual (inside) braces are located near the tongue, and may temporarily impact on speech.
Myth 7: My teeth will stay straight forever after braces
FACT: Without correct and consistent use of a retainer after orthodontic treatment, your newly straight teeth may start to move and become crooked again. Wearing a retainer long term is equally as important as the orthodontic treatment itself, protecting and maintaining your beautiful new smile forever.
Myth 8: Braces are painful
FACT: Most people find wearing braces completely comfortable, except for a little discomfort when braces are first fitted or when adjusted. Modern braces and orthodontic wires are manufactured using advanced technology and work more efficiently than ever by applying very gentle but constant forces to move the teeth.
Myth 9: Having braces means I can no longer eat my favourite foods
FACT: You can still enjoy most of your favourite foods with braces – all it takes is a little extra care and preparation with foods that are hard or crunchy, such as chopping up apples into smaller pieces and removing meat off the bone before eating. Sticky lollies should be avoided though!
Myth 10: Children shouldn’t see an orthodontist until all of their adult teeth have erupted
FACT: The Australian Society of Orthodontists recommends taking your child to see an orthodontist between the ages of 7-10. This will give an orthodontist the chance to assess the alignment of your child’s teeth and jaws and determine if and when treatment is needed.
* Survey commissioned by the ASO was completed by over 1,000 18-59 year old Australian adults in December 2015
Source: Australian Society of Orthodontists (ASO), which is the peak body for Orthodontists and orthodontic knowledge across Australia.