Despite more than 4 million Americans currently undergoing orthodontic treatment, there are still many myths about orthodontics floating around. Let’s look at some of the most common rumors and gain a new perspective on braces.

You’ll Always Be at the Dentist – Newer technology and the advent of computer models to guide orthodontic progress means that depending on the difficulty of your case, you may be able to spread evaluations out as far as 8 to 10 weeks. This doesn’t mean you can miss scheduled appointments and wait until a bracket pops off to been seen. Your doctor has checkups timed with your treatment progress and missing scheduled appointments no matter how close or far apart can be detrimental to your treatment plan.

Braces are expensive – It’s true that orthodontic work isn’t cheap. But you get what you pay for! Dentists undergo years of training and must take yearly continuing education courses to keep their licenses up to date and to make sure they offer their patients the latest techniques and technology available. Some cases are more difficult than others requiring more equipment or expertise. Many orthodontists offer payment plans spread out over the course of treatment and many dental benefits companies now cover orthodontic treatment – even if it covers just a small part of the total cost.

Braces Are Just for Kids – According to recent studies, more than 1.5 million adults are currently undergoing orthodontic treatment. We now know that teeth can be moved at any age and insight into the role that proper bite and aligned occlusion have on the head, neck, and jaw have encouraged many adults to get braces. Clear aligners have also taken away some of the cosmetic stigmas associated with being an adult with braces.

You’ll Have to Wear Braces for YEARS – We all have flashbacks to that one kid who had braces from middle school until high school graduation. While some treatment is very complex and does require a couple years of treatment, modern technology and computers give us the ability to treat simpler cases in as little as a few months.

Orthodontic Treatment is Just Cosmetic – Braces do more than make a pretty smile! While that’s a nice added benefit, more and more people are going through treatment to straighten out uneven bites and reduce the frequency of headaches, migraines, TMJ issues, and other problems that can develop when your teeth don’t come together correctly.

In today’s age of information, it’s hard to believe that the positive impact orthodontic treatment can have is still being overshadowed by these myths. Orthodontic treatment can be much more than just a means to get straight, pretty, front teeth. It can help give people back a life without pain, boost their self-confidence, and help them live a happy, fulfilled life.