Written by Dr. Sushma Sharma who is a Medical Practitioner and has Masters in Dental surgery (Orthodontics and Dento-facial Orthopedics)
10 Myths About Orthodontic Treatment in Society
1.Orthodontic treatment is for cosmetic reasons only
Gaining a sparkling, beautiful smile may be mere reason for most of the people who care about their appearance. straightening teeth, is not only what we do in orthodontics. What the use, if you have beautiful smile but unhealthy jaws and teeth.
Scope of orthodontics is much wider.The goal of orthodontic treatment is to give a good bite too , your upper and lower teeth should be in harmonious relationship with each other. A good bite is mandatory to have functional efficiency , makes easier for you to bite, chew and speak.
2. Orthodontic treatment is too expensive
Biology is the science of exception. No set rule book exist for everyone, who is willing or need orthodontic treatment. Treatment plan has to be carefully customized according needs and expectations of each patient and fees directly reflect the complexity of each case. A simple case may only take few months to treat, but difficult one may take a couple of years for completion.
3. I want to have braces in upper/ lower jaw, I don’t have the problem in other Arch
Many patients come with the self diagnosed treatment plan for braces on single arch as they are concerned only with the site of anomaly.
But this is not possible sometimes, teeth in the upper and lower jaw needs to be in functional interdigitation and vertical and horizontal overlap (overbite and overjet respectively) to work synergistically along with the jaws and muscles to do function of mastication and speech efficiently.
This is more common in patients with spacing. Single arch treatment in patients with spacing can lead to the incomplete closure of the spaces even after the commencement of the orthodontic treatment. The main reason behind this is Bolton discrepancy, which is the ratio of tooth material of upper and lower teeth. The patient is having spacing in the upper arch and excess of tooth material in the lower arch, after certain point of time the space would not be closing further or if it is closed forcefully, relapse is bound to happen.
While single arch treatment can be effective, however, there are lot of factors(etiology of anomaly, bite, relative tooth size in upper and lower teeth, relationship between the lower and upper teeth, expected stability of result etc.) involved to get into the decision of single arch treatment.
4. I Want to get my treatment done in vacations only!
This is one of the most common question to be asked by parents especially. Treatment with braces is not a matter of few days, it take few years to complete the treatment. An average time period for the orthodontic treatment completion is around 18-24 months and you need to visit your dentist on an average of 21 days every month. Being new initially braces may cause mild discomfort to you, so to get accustomed to braces you can initiate your treatment in vacations to ease initial discomfort and adjustment period with new object in your mouth. But latter on, be regular with follow up visits.
5. Braces have to hurt to work, it is Unbearable
Braces are active foreign object, glued to teeth by your Orthodontist. Braces are the mean through which force is applied to teeth, forcing them back into the position they should have. So, mild discomfort in initial 3-4 days or after every adjustments is quite obvious but shall go in few days. You can take Over the counter analgesics like Paracetamol and ibuprofen. Try to only eat soft foods during the first few days.
6. I have to sacrifice my food habits
Foods that are forbidden to have when you have braces are generally not adviced by a dentist even when you don’t have braces like highly acidic, sticky, sugary food. So, ideally you need not to change much. However, selected diet may not only lessens your discomfort with braces but decreases breakages and the complications post braces. Diet change and a change in how food is eaten are critical in preventing breakage.
7.Braces have to be tight to work
“Tighter the better” is just a myth. A certain amount of force is required to move teeth in ideal position, but too much force can stop the tooth movement all together. Moreover, over the time, as the teeth are pushed into position, the braces lose the required tautness required to efficiently hold back the teeth and they therefore need to be tightened again.
8. Braces wires need constant changing
Very often a Orthodontic patient may go for the second opinion to another Orthodontist presuming that his/ her treatment would linger on due to infrequent changes of wires. But, your Orthodontist is best to judge when to change wires and each Orthodontist would handle orthodontic treatment a little differently.
9. The date for getting my braces removed is guaranteed
There is no hard hit deadline for removal of your braces. Your Orthodontist provides an rough estimated treatment duration only and a number of factors can prolong it. Even after removal of braces you need to wear retainers too to maintain the results attained.
10. Braces are Only for Teens
Gone are the days when braces are meant for aesthetic enhancement treatment for kids. As I mentioned early the goal of Orthodontic treatment is not aesthetic but functional too. Whether you are a teenager, an adult or a senior citizen, orthodontic treatment can work for you. Adults can have complicated cases with already compromised dental health with fillings, missing teeth, misshapen or worn teeth, or other dental disease. Very often adjunctive Orthodontic treatment may be required to facilitate restorative or prosthetic treatment successfully.
Also Read: Treatment with Braces and Care
Whether you’re 16 or 60, it’s the same physiological process that moves teeth through bone. Tooth movement is always quick in a child as compared to an adult, with a bone denser than a kid but age does not keep teeth from moving.
Most of the time elderly people shy away from visual display of the metal braces. So, invisible, ceramic brackets, lingual braces may be an answer to there concerns.
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