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Myths About Braces

Updated: Nov 26, 2023

Are braces just for kids? If you have braces do you have to give up the foods you love? And will kissing make your braces stick together? It’s time to debunk the top 16 myths about getting braces.

1. Getting Braces Is Only a Cosmetic Thing

This is probably the biggest misconception about braces, so let’s deal with it first.

Many patients believe that getting braces is all about cosmetics. It’s not. Sure, straighter teeth are more appealing, but braces offer other benefits to your health. Orthodontists and dentists recommend braces mostly to deal with a bite that’s out of alignment.

An abnormal bite can lead to other problems like tooth wear, or make it more difficult to clean your teeth. Plaque build-up can result in decay or gum disease.

While many studies have been done to show the impact straight teeth have on how we’re perceived, proper alignment has dental health benefits as well.

2. You Must Wear Braces for a Long Time

This is just not true. The duration you wear braces for depends on the state of your oral health and teeth alignment. Treatment plans vary according to each patient’s situation, but the general period for treatment is one to three years. Patients almost never have to wear braces for longer than three years.

3. Braces Are Painful All the Time

It’s easy enough to associate pain, orthodontics and dentistry. That’s because most of us go to the dentist when we experience oral pain. But, it’s not the treatment method that’s painful. Rather, it’s the symptoms of the reason we visit the dentist that are causing pain.

As for getting braces, today’s varieties are more comfortable than ever. Rather than thinking that braces are awkward and uncomfortable, you should know that newer materials apply a gentle, constant force to move your teeth. This only requires a few adjustments. Today, some materials are even the same colour as teeth, meaning that the braces are less noticeable.

As a rule, patients only feel major pain if the braces are damaged from eating something you shouldn’t or if the braces are damaged. Don’t let the fear of pain or mild discomfort put you off seeking treatment for a straighter, healthier smile.

4. Braces Only Straighten Teeth

Braces do so much more than just straighten teeth. They also align your bite so that your teeth meet properly, preventing early wear and tear. Braces can also help fix crowding and gaps, which helps gums to function the way they should.

5. Braces Must Be Tight and Painful to Work

You’ve likely heard of “tightening” braces. Here’s the good news – braces don’t actually have to be too tight to move your teeth into alignment.

6. Wires Must Be Changed at Every Appointment

Part of getting braces is regular dental appointments. This enables your dental professional to assess your progress. It’s also a chance to change your treatment if needed. If your teeth haven’t moved as expected, or if you’re almost done with treatment, your orthodontist might leave the wire in for a few weeks. Wires are not necessarily changed at every appointment.

7. You Don’t Have to Wear Rubber Bands

Failing to wear rubber bands will only delay treatment and your Orthodontist will have to extend the amount of time the braces are on.

8. Braces Set Off the Metal Detectors

If you’re really worried about your braces setting off metal detectors when you pass through them, ditch that thought. Today’s braces are small and made of light materials that don’t trigger alarms. You also won’t be struck by lightning!

9. Your Braces Will Stick Together When You Kiss

You’ve probably read a horror story or two about people’s braces sticking together when they kiss. It’s just not true! It is almost impossible to get stuck together when kissing. Braces are made of significantly fine material, and they are not magnetic. Don’t let this myth put you off getting braces.

10. Braces Give You a Lisp

Unless you have inside braces, they should not impact your speech. Sometimes temporary and slight spacing could cause a temporary change in speech, though most people adjust quickly.

11. Your Teeth Will Be Straight Forever After Braces

Without consistent and proper use of a retainer after getting braces removed, newly straightened teeth can move, becoming crooked once more. It’s just as important to wear your retainer long-term to protect and maintain your new, straight smile.

12. Getting Braces Means No More of Your Favourite Foods

Here’s some good news – you can still eat most of your favourite foods, even with braces. It just takes a little extra care and food preparation of foods that are crunchy or hard. For instance, you might need to chop an apple into smaller pieces or remove meat from a bone before you eat it. Don’t even go near sticky lollies, though.

13. Any Dentist Can Put Braces On

A qualified, specialist orthodontist is the most appropriate person to manage braces in kids and adults. Orthodontists have had many years of extra training enabling them to diagnose and treat oral health issues like crowded teeth and misalignment.

14. Veneers Are a Quick Alternative to Getting Braces

Dental veneers are a quick way to achieve a stunning smile, but they achieve it very differently to braces. When fitting veneers, a dentist removes some of the natural tooth. So, veneers work well to disguise mis-coloured and damaged teeth. If your teeth are crooked, getting braces will achieve a straight, natural smile. More information about orthodontics versus veneers can be found here.

15. It’s Hard to Play Instruments & Sports with Braces

When it comes to musical instruments and sports, your orthodontist may be able to arrange a protective mouth guard. It’s important to wear your mouth guard, especially for contact sports such as wrestling and football. If you play a musical instrument, you might need to practice adapting to the braces, but you’ll still be able to play.

16. Braces Will Make Your Teeth Weak

This is not true. The science of orthodontics is based on the tendency of your teeth to shift throughout your life. Braces will help your teeth gently rearrange into a straighter position, enhancing function ability and aesthetics. This, in turn, increases the lifespan and healthiness of your teeth.

Now that we’ve debunked these 16 myths about getting braces, there’s nothing to stop you having a great relationship with your braces.

To learn more in contact Fine Orthodontics for tailored service and personal treatment plans. Or book a free* assessment in one of our Sydney clinics.

*If orthodontic X-rays are required, a fee of $180 applies. See Terms and Conditions. Treatment may not be suitable for you.

These Products are not available for purchase by the general public. They are however available to Fine Orthodontics patients. Always read the label and follow the instructions for use.


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Specialist Orthodontist Input by Dr Martin Fine BDS, MSc, MSc

Dr Martin Fine

Dr Martin Fine

Specialist Orthodontist Dr Martin Fine, BDS, MSc (Orthodontics), is based in Sydney's Eastern Suburbs. With over 30 years' experience in private practice, Dr Fine has expertise working with a wide variety of orthodontic appliances, including braces and Invisalign. He has presented at orthodontic conferences globally, and has taught postgraduate orthodontic students at the University of Sydney. Dr Fine is a member of both the AAO (American Association of Orthodontists) and the ASO (Australian Society of Orthodontists), and is a former president of the Alpha-Omega Dental Society's Sydney Chapter.  In the past, Dr Fine's research has been featured in the Angle Orthodontist journal. Dr Fine is committed to providing outstanding patient care using the latest and most effective techniques. Most recently, Dr Fine has developed and introduced the innovative FineLine clear aligner system, which has been specifically developed to meet the needs of patients at Fine Orthodontics.

Written by Danielle Long, writer

Danielle Long

Danielle Long.png

Danielle Long is a writer at Fine Orthodontics. She holds graduate qualifications in English and Education and is an integral part of the team at Fine Orthodontics. Danielle Long has been assisting in the orthodontic care process at Fine Orthodontics for over fifteen years, working closely with the team to provide exceptional patient support, communication and coordination of treatment plans. As a writer and an orthodontic treatment coordinator, Danielle Long's primary responsibilities include facilitating exceptional patient education and communication, ensuring seamless coordination of treatment plans, and providing support to the clinical orthodontic team at Fine Orthodontics.

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