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Orthodontist Myth Busters

posted on 8-10-18

Did you know the practice of orthodontics has been around for thousands of years? It’s true! Archaeologists discovered that the ancient Egyptians were using rudimentary metal bands to correct misplaced teeth many, many centuries ago. We’ve come a long way since then, yet there are still numerous misconceptions and myths about orthodontists and what we exactly do. Let’s debunk five of those myths right now – you may be surprised by what you discover.

Myth 1: There’s no difference between a dentist and an orthodontist.

Fact: Both professions provide oral care, but there are significant differences between orthodontists and dentists. Orthodontists focus on the diagnosis, prevention and treatment of dental and facial irregularities. Orthodontists are specialized experts in adjusting teeth and sometimes bone to help patients have a beautiful, healthy smile. Orthodontists receive several years of advanced training after graduating from dental school. Fun fact: All orthodontists are dentists, but only about 6 percent of dentists are also orthodontists. Read more about the differences between an orthodontist and a dentist here.

Myth 2: Orthodontic treatment is purely cosmetic.

Fact: A beautiful smile is a wonderful, external result of orthodontic treatment. However, there are many benefits of orthodontic treatment that are beyond the surface. For example, crowded teeth are more difficult to clean and can result in bone and gum disease. Braces can fix those crowded teeth! Also, adjusting your jaw with orthodontic treatment will help correct speaking difficulties. Finally, braces can adjust your bite and allow you to chew food properly, often curing gastrointestinal problems that result from swallowing large pieces of food when chewing is too difficult. Like beauty, braces are more than skin deep.

Myth 3: I’m too old for orthodontic treatment.

Fact: Whether you’re seven or 70, you can obtain a healthy, beautiful smile. In fact, Harvard Medical School reports that one in five orthodontic patients are adults. There are a wide variety of treatment options for adults. You can always opt for traditional braces. But, if you prefer a more inconspicuous treatment you can try removable, clear aligners or lingual braces, which are applied to the back of your teeth. Adults have more dense bone tissue than children, so treatment may take a little longer.

Myth 4: I can’t eat any hard foods with my braces.

Fact: Think you can’t eat apples, carrots or other delicious, crunchy foods when you have braces? No way. You just need to be creative with your food preparation. You can slice fruits like apples into bite-sized pieces, or blend them into apple sauce. Steam, sauté or bake your carrots and other veggies for an easy-to-eat treat.

Myth 5: Aligners are less effective than braces.

Fact: New orthodontic treatment, like clear aligners, offer the same effective solutions as traditional metal braces, and have many unique perks, including easier brushing and flossing.

Here’s one final fact: Most UAO orthodontists offer a free initial consultation. If you’re ready to take the next step after busting these myths, then make an appointment with your local Utah Association of Orthodontists member for a consultation today.

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