Myths and Misconceptions About Orthodontic Treatment

Orthodontic treatment has come a long way, offering a variety of options to achieve that perfect smile. However, with this progress come various myths and misconceptions. Let’s debunk some of these and provide accurate information to help you make informed decisions about orthodontic treatments.

Myth 1: Orthodontic Treatment is Just for Children

Reality: While it’s common to see children and teenagers with braces, orthodontic treatment is not age-restricted. Adults too can benefit from orthodontic treatments. In fact, there’s a growing trend of adults seeking orthodontic care for a variety of reasons, including aesthetic improvements, correcting bite issues, and overall dental health. Nowadays, discreet orthodontic options are available, such as Invisalign, making orthodontic treatment easier than ever. 

Myth 2: Braces are the Only Option

Reality: Braces have been the traditional method for straightening teeth, but they are not the only option. Clear aligners, like Invisalign, are a popular alternative, offering a less noticeable, more comfortable, and often quicker solution. Additionally, there are various types of braces now, including ceramic braces which are less visible than traditional metal braces. There are also lingual braces, which can be fixed to the back of the teeth and are not immediately visible. 

Myth 3: Orthodontic Treatment is Purely Cosmetic

Reality: While a significant benefit of orthodontic treatment is an improved appearance, it’s not just about cosmetics. Properly aligned teeth contribute to better oral health. Misaligned teeth can lead to difficulties in cleaning, increased risk of tooth decay, gum disease, and can cause stress on the jaw joints.

Myth 4: Treatment Takes Several Years

Reality: The duration of orthodontic treatment varies depending on the individual case. While some complex cases might take longer, many patients see results in as little as 12 to 18 months. Advancements in orthodontic technology have also made treatments more efficient.

Myth 5: Orthodontic Treatment is Painful

Reality: While there can be some discomfort, especially after adjustments, orthodontic treatment should not be painful. Pain is usually mild and temporary, often manageable with over-the-counter pain relief. The discomfort is a sign that the treatment is working, moving your teeth to their new positions.

Myth 6: You Can’t Play Sports or Instruments with Braces

Reality: While adjustments may be needed, wearing braces doesn’t mean you have to give up playing sports or musical instruments. Protective gear like mouthguards for sports and adaptations for wind instruments can be made. Communication with your orthodontist can help in finding suitable solutions.

Myth 7: Results are Permanent Without Follow-up

Reality: Maintaining the results of orthodontic treatment requires a commitment. Retainers are typically necessary after braces or aligners to ensure that teeth stay in their new positions. Failure to wear retainers as advised can result in teeth shifting back to their original positions.


Orthodontic treatment is a significant step towards not only a beautiful smile but also improved dental health. Dispelling these myths is crucial in understanding and making the most out of your orthodontic journey. Always consult with a qualified orthodontist to get personalized advice and treatment options suitable for your specific needs. Remember, it’s never too late to start your journey towards a healthier, more confident smile!

Dr. Snehlata Kulhari

Dr. Snehlata Kulhari completed her Bachelors of Dental Surgery (BDS) at Government Dental College in Punjab, India and her Doctor of Dental Medicine (DMD) degree at the Henry M. Goldman School of Dental Medicine in Boston. She has been practicing dentistry since 2011 and has founded Smile Mantra Family Dentistry to provide dental care and education to the community of Cary, NC. Dr. Kulhari stays up to date on the latest dental research and advancements in order to offer her patients exceptional dental care. 


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