Braces Can Rust and 9 Other Braces Myths Debunked

Myths about braces

Do You Believe These Braces Myths?

Braces have been the most common way to straighten teeth for decades. But despite their popularity, there’s still a lot of strange stories and weird myths that kids hear from friends, parents, or even television shows. Although most of these myths are harmless, it’s important to know the truth behind them, especially if your child is about to get braces.

Test your knowledge and see if you know the true answers to these myths about braces!

1. Braces can rust.

Definitely not! Most braces are made of stainless steel and titanium. Both of these metals can’t rust, which is one reason why they’re perfect for dental work. 

2. Wearing braces really hurts.

Wearing braces isn’t a painful experience, like a toothache. It’s normal for your child to feel some discomfort during the first week as they get used to the pressure on their teeth. Your child might also feel minor discomfort the first day after their braces have been tightened. Aside from these moments of temporary soreness, braces should feel comfortable.

3. Braces set off metal detectors.

Braces might be metal, but they won’t set off metal detectors in airports or other secure areas. People travel all the time with braces and the TSA doesn’t bat an eye.

4. Braces interfere with radio signals.

The urban legend of picking up radio signals with braces is impossible, yet it still manages to make the rounds as a popular myth. The metal braces are made of cannot intercept or otherwise interfere with radio signals.

5. Braces will keep my teeth straight forever.

Nope! Braces move teeth around, but teeth can also begin to shift back to their old position over time. This is why it’s extremely important for your child to wear their retainer as recommended by Dr. Mo, especially right after their braces are removed. Your child might think it’s a bummer to have to wear another oral appliance, but be positive and encourage them to follow through with their care plan. Eventually they’ll be able to just wear their retainer at night.

6. It’s dangerous to get an MRI if you have braces.

Your child can still have MRIs and similar imaging done when they wear braces. The braces don’t pose any sort of danger, and the only possible effect is that the braces may distort the MRI image. In rare cases where your child needs detailed MRIs of their head, their primary care practitioner and dentist may discuss the possibility of temporarily removing the braces to get a clear picture.

7. Braces make you look unattractive.

Many kids worry about the way braces look, especially teens who are very conscious of their physical appearance, but modern braces are far from “ugly.” Today’s braces are less bulky and use smaller brackets as well as thinner wire. It helps to show your child pics of their favorite actors or actresses who have proudly worn metal braces, and remind them that before they know it they’ll be used to seeing their smile with braces.

8. I’m too old for braces to work.

There’s no such thing as being too old for braces. Even if your child is past the age where most of their friends have gotten braces, that doesn’t mean the window of opportunity is gone. If your child missed their recommended 7th birthday orthodontic evaluation, the best thing to do is schedule one now. 

9. You can’t play sports or instruments with braces.

Your child can continue to play sports while wearing braces. The only difference is that wearing a mouthguard will be necessary in any sport where contact might occur. Obvious sports, like football or wrestling, always require mouthguards, but consider giving your child a mouthguard if they wear braces and play soccer or baseball.

As for instruments, your child can still play the flute and similar instruments. They may need to change their technique slightly, but with a little practice they’ll be back to playing just like they were before.

10. Braces take years to straighten teeth.

Modern braces and the techniques dentists use with them mean your child will probably have them off within one to two years. They are very effective and rarely take three years or longer to straighten teeth. Your child’s dentist will be able to give you an accurate estimate of how long treatment will take.

Dr. Mo will fill you in on everything you need to know about braces.

Dr. Mo is a pediatric dentist who provides orthodontic care to children of all ages. She can help  you and your child decide if it’s time to get braces, and explain what the treatment process is like. Most importantly, you and your child will be able to ask questions and learn more facts about braces and kids’ orthodontic care. Must Love Kids Pediatric Dentistry provides amazing pediatric dental care in Vancouver, WA. Book your child’s appointment today by calling our office or requesting a visit online.