While braces have been around for decades, myths still abound about these orthodontic appliances that just aren't true. Today, our BC orthodontists list common myths - and truths - about this treatment option.
5 Braces Myths That Aren't True
If you're faced with the prospect of bringing your child to see an orthodontist, or your BC orthodontist has already recommended braces for your kid, you may be wondering how much has changed about braces and orthodontic treatment in general since you were young. You might also be wondering about some of the age-old myths that just aren't true.
It's a fact that orthodontic treatments have advanced considerably over the past few years and braces for children's teeth come with many customizable options. That said, there are still some misconceptions out there about braces. To help you discover the truth and perhaps dispel trepidation, we'll explore some common myths about braces for children today.
1. Braces need to be tight and cause pain to be effective.
One of the first myths we want to dispel about braces is that they'll be tight and cause pain or soreness. But the days of needing to use stiff metal wires attached to braces to exert force on the teeth are gone.
Thanks to the advancement of orthodontic technology in recent years, braces have grown far more comfortable and we now have more flexible materials that exert much less force and pressure on the teeth. While your child may experience moments of discomfort as their teeth shift and the orthodontist adjusts the braces, ongoing pain typically isn't an issue. Myths linking braces to pain are usually disproportionate to the level of discomfort people who wear braces usually face.
2. Kids should have all their permanent teeth before getting braces.
For most kids, the second phase of orthodontic treatment usually begins between the time they reach 11 and 13 years old. That said, the Canadian Association of Orthodontists recommends that every child visit an orthodontist before age 7 to have an initial assessment.
Some children may benefit from early treatment while some of their baby teeth remain. With early intervention, we can guide jaw development and growth, reduce crowding and minimize (and in some cases eliminate) the need for more invasive orthodontic procedures during their teen or adult years.
3. Your kid will have to give up their favourite food.
While having braces does mean that your child will have to pass up some foods (sticky candy, popcorn, crunchy snacks and most chips are out because they tend to get caught in brackets and wires, cause damage and lead to cavities), one common misconception is that braces bar kids from enjoying any fun snacks at all. From bananas and yogurt, smoothies, fruit cups and sloppy joes to pancakes or French toast sticks, your child will still have lots of options to savour.
Keep in mind that you and your child may just need to keep an eye on how things are cut, and cut snacks into pieces if required. Also, remind your child to take smaller bites when necessary.
4. Treatment will take forever.
While time tends to crawl for kids and fly for adults, braces won't be a permanent fixture in your child's mouth. The duration of individual treatment times vary depending on a number of factors including the severity of your child's orthodontic condition and the type of braces your child has, but treatment typically takes about 18 months for most kids. However, if your child is diagnosed with only a minor crowding or other issue, their teeth may be able to be straightened in a shorter amount of time.
5. You'll need to tell your kid to say goodbye to their favourite activities when they get braces.
Many kids play instruments or participate in sports, and you'll both probably be happy to know they can still do so with braces. Whether your child plays the trombone in school band or laces up their soccer shoes every weekend, they may take some time to adjust to their new orthodontic appliances, but they should be able to make beautiful music, keep up with teammates and set their sights high when it comes to taking part in their favourite activities and socializing.
Braces & Orthodontic Treatment at myORTHODONTIST
Braces are a time-tested and reliable orthodontic treatment method that can be used to correct bite problems and other issues such as crowded, misaligned or disproportionate teeth. For children as young as 7, braces may be an option for children who require orthodontic treatment. They are often part of an individualized treatment plan tailored to a child's specific needs.
You and your child may be interested to find that braces have become smaller and more comfortable for growing mouths, thanks to advances in orthodontic technology over the years. they are also more economical and durable than many other treatment options. Plus, the fixed and non-removable nature of braces may put you both at ease, since your child won't need to remember to put them back in after eating or brushing.
If you or your kid are curious about braces and are interested in learning more (and perhaps having your mind put at ease) about treatment times, common myths and misconceptions, whether braces would be the correct orthodontic treatment for your child's orthodontic condition or other topics, please don't hesitate to contact us.