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Braces: we dispel the myths

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Orthodontics has come on leaps and bounds in recent years, with the introduction of customised and virtually invisible braces. But unfortunately common misconceptions still remain (never fear, your braces aren’t magnetic, and no, you’re definitely not too old for treatment!). So to help you sort the dental fact from the dental fiction, we dispel some of the most common myths surrounding braces.

#1 Braces are just for children & teenagers

Train track braces have long been associated with our teenage years, but while NHS orthodontic treatment is only available to under 18s, private orthodontic treatment is available to all ages. We’ve treated patients aged 8 to 80 and the number of adults seeking orthodontic treatment is growing every year. One reason for this is the introduction of discreet ‘invisible’ braces (more about these later on).

#2 Veneers provide a quick alternative to braces

While dental veneers are certainly a speedy way to a beautiful smile, they achieve this in a very different way to braces. To fit veneers your dentist will need to remove some of your natural tooth, so while they can be great for disguising damaged or miscoloured teeth, if your teeth are simply crooked we recommend using braces to achieve a natural smile and long-term results (your veneers will need replacing periodically).

#3 Orthodontic treatment takes years!

Not necessarily. Orthodontic treatment typically takes around 18 months (good things come to those who wait), but minor crowding can usually be straightened out in a much shorter time frame. Invisalign i7 has been designed to treat simple cases within just a few months.

#4 Orthodontists and dentists have undergone the same training

This is one of the most common misconceptions: that orthodontists and dentists have undergone the same training and have the same level of experience. Specialist orthodontists train as dentists and then go on to specialise as orthodontists – which involves a further three years of full-time study. Once qualified orthodontists usually only provide orthodontic treatment, quickly building up a wealth of teeth-straightening experience.

#5 Braces are uncomfortable and unattractive

Braces are constantly improving – with manufacturers working hard to create appliances that are more discreet and more comfortable than ever. Your mouth is a sensitive place, so even the smoothest of brackets will feel slightly strange to begin with, but you’ll quickly adapt. And as for braces being unattractive, we now have a whole host of ‘invisible’ braces to choose from. Choose from clear, removable aligners, lingual braces (which are fitted behind your teeth) and clear or tooth-coloured fixed braces. Just don’t be surprised when no one comments on your amazing new brace!

#6 My teeth will stay straight forever after wearing braces

Unfortunately this is also a myth. Once your braces have been removed your teeth will have a natural tendency to move back to their pre-treatment position. That’s why it’s so important to wear retainers for long-term results. Private orthodontic treatment at Total Orthodontics includes both fixed and removable retainers, as well as two years of supervision and follow-up care. The last thing we want is for all your hard work to be undone!

For more advice that you can rely on, come and see one of our specialist orthodontists for a free no-obligation consultation.

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