As an orthodontist, I’ve heard my fair share of orthodontic questions. Some are logical, some are a bit more creative. Take for instance this gem: If someone invents a giant magnet, will my braces cause me to get stuck to it?
Think you know the answer? If so, why not take a crack at the orthodontic trivia I have compiled below from some of my favorite patient questions.
Let’s get started!
1.) Invisalign makes you lose weight.
Fact and fiction. Invisalign the product does not boost your metabolism or stop your body from absorbing calories, but it may make snacking less convenient, which could lead to a pound lost here or there. Here is what mommy blogger Luxe…with Kids had to say about her Invisalign journey:
I heard about the serendipitous effect of losing a few pounds because it’s more work than it’s worth to take out the trays, then go through the whole hygiene routine. So far? Yep, it’s true. I’m a champion snacker, and I rarely (if ever) pass up sweets, and I have to say, it’s a real eye opener to notice how much I’m NOT eating. I’m not snacking while I cook, and I’m not eating the crust off the boys’ sandwiches or taking a few extra bites of their mac n cheese. I can, of course, but to do so I have to take out my trays, so the mind/mouth connection is much stronger.
2.) Braces will change the shape of your face.
Fact- if necessary. You see, some patients require orthodontic treatment because at the root of their malocclusion is an over- or under-developed jaw. Correcting their bite involves suppressing or encouraging jaw growth or upper palate width using dentofacial orthopedic appliances. Once the jaw’s position is corrected, we then prescribe braces if their teeth require additional straightening.
Restoring balance to the patient’s face provides drastic improvement of their appearance and to the function of their bite. The patient will not only feel more confident when they look in the mirror, but may find they experience less discomfort when speaking and eating, too.
3.) Braces interfere with your lifestyle.
Fiction. No matter if you are an athlete like Dwight Howard, singer like Faith Hill or model like Gisele Bundchen, there is a style of braces that will suit your lifestyle and budget. By the way, Dwight, Faith and Gisele each wore braces during their illustrous careers.
4.) If you were to encounter a giant magnet, your braces would cause you to get stuck to it.
Fiction. For one, braces use non-magnetic metals. Second, your braces might not even be metal if you are an Invisalign patient.
5.) My teeth will stay straight forever after braces.
Fact and fiction: it all depends on your lifetime commitment to wearing your retainer. The medical community now agrees that teeth will continue to shift for the rest of your life unless otherwise restrained. Retainers for life!
6.) Your braces will rust if you wear them too long.
Fiction. Although your mouth would appear to be the perfect environment to induce rusting, your orthodontic appliance will never rust, because it is composed of non-corrosive metals such as stainless steel and titanium. If you are certain your appliance is rusting, book an appointment with a different orthodontist ASAP, because you may have been duped.
7.) Braces are so painful you cannot eat.
Fiction. Although most will experience slight pressure after an appointment for a new set of Invisalign aligners, or to have their braces tightened, pain is quickly becoming an extinct side affect of orthodontic treatment thanks to recent innovations.
The friction of elastic ligatures used to tie arch wires to brackets caused most of the discomfort in the past. The greater the friction, the greater the discomfort. Today, self-ligating braces such as Harmony provide a friction-free solution that not only straightens teeth with less discomfort, but in less time.
8.) Your teeth can be too short for braces.
Fact. Not all styles of braces will be suitable for every patient. Although the brackets we use for lingual braces are 100 percent customized, they are a style that still requires ample tooth surface area to work with. Patients with abnormally short crowns – the part of the tooth that extends beyond the gums- may not be candidates for lingual braces.
9.) Braces will make your lips bigger.
Fiction. Braces will not make your lips bigger, but they may appear bigger while you are wearing braces. The reason for this is that your lips are now lying on top of an appliance, which makes them appear fuller.
10.) Braces are only for improving cosmetic issues.
Fiction. Although braces are often used to improve the appearance of smiles, their abilities go far beyond aesthetics. Braces can improve breathing, jaw pain, speech and even your health by correcting the alignment of jaws and teeth.
11.) Braces can interfere with radio frequencies and improve wireless signals.
Fiction. If this were the case, my patients would never let me remove their braces.
12.) Braces will cause me to be struck by lightning.
Fiction. Your chance of being struck by lightning is one in 700,000, according to this National Geographic article. Fortunately, your chance of being struck by lightning while wearing braces is one in 700,000.
13.) My braces will set off metal detectors.
Fiction. Braces are made of a lightweight material that should not set of detectors. If by some highly unlikely chance they do, it will be relatively easy to identify them as the culprit and clear you for take off. And thank goodness, because with more than 4 million people in the U.S. wearing braces, that would really back up lines at the airport and other high-security areas.
14.) I won’t be able to play sports with braces.
Fiction. Not only can you play sports while wearing braces, you can excel at sports while wearing braces – just ask Dwight Howard, Missy Franklin, Tom Daley and Cristiano Ronaldo. Read more about playing sports with braces in this past blog post.
15.) I won’t be able to play an instrument with braces.
Fiction. Sure you can. Like I said, we have many styles of braces and will work with you to find one that suits your unique lifestyle.
16.) If two people with braces kiss, their braces will get stuck together
Fiction. Although this could potentially happen – it is highly, I mean highly, unlikely, especially given the low profile of the brackets we use in today’s braces and because of systems like Invisalign.
17.) If you are interested in improving your smile with braces or Invisalign in Miami, you’ve got nothing to lose by booking an appointment for an initial consultation.
Fact. Initial consultations are free and allow you to learn more about what options are best for you or your child, and what the approximate treatment cost will be. Call today!