The thought of wearing braces can be unnerving. Aside from anticipating the pain and counting the longevity of the whole procedure, which usually takes three years for traditional types, brace wearing, for some people, entails a million questions.
Information about wearing braces can be misleading, further adding to a patient’s anxiety and curiousness. The American Association of Orthodontists has come up with a list of facts that should appease the mind of someone deciding on getting braces, and also set disjointed information correctly.
Below are a few myths on wearing braces that have been debunked by the group, which is composed of professionals and specialists:
On braces rusting. Braces are designed with materials like titanium alloy or stainless steel, which do not rust. Saliva and food particles that come in contact with it won’t react with the braces’ material.
On braces being magnetic or attracting lightning. Titanium alloy is nonmagnetic material, nor is it a heat conductor. Any accidents relating to this can only happen in a cartoon or comic flick.
On braces setting off metal detectors or radio signals. Other people joke about the fact that braces can set off metal detector alarms at the airport. But its properties are so lightweight, thus it will not set off any alarms, nor disrupt radio signals.
On kissing with braces. Other people worry about locking their braces together while kissing. This can only happen for comedic effect in a movie. With today’s brace designs, where brackets are sleeker, this would not be possible.
On playing musical instruments. There should be a period of adjustment with wearing braces, and once you get used to this, you can go back to playing the flute or the saxophone with no problem.
On playing contact sports. Athletes typically need to wear a mouth guard, especially if the game is as aggressive as football or wrestling, since the mouth and the jaw need to be protected. It’s the same for wearing braces. An orthodontist will usually provide you with a mouth guard for it.
On adults wearing braces. While brace wearing is ideally done when a person is younger, those in their 30′s can still wear braces. There’s no grace period to when dental problems, such as crooked teeth, teeth crowding, overbite and underbite or misalignment, have to be corrected.
On pain and appearance. Pain associated with wearing braces is no myth. It is a fact that the process, particularly during the first week, will be painful. Since the gums will be sore after the braces are set, an orthodontist would advise against eating food that is hard, or prescribe you with taking pain medication to help manage the pain. Tightening done every month or so can also cause minor discomfort. But you will not be in pain all the time because your mouth will get used to the braces eventually.
With so many options to the type of braces a patient can wear, it’s not going to affect your appearance at all. In fact, braces are actually considered a fashion statement or status symbol in some circles.