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Top 10 Myths About Tooth Straightening Explained

Brace Yourself for the Truth

Tooth straightening (Orthodontics) is often (and we think incorrectly) thought to involve treatment with metal outside fixed appliances (because this technique is often used).

Because of the widespread use of ‘train track’ – ‘brace’ treatment, many misconceptions persist about orthodontics. These misunderstandings can result in unnecessary apprehension among those considering Orthodontics. Below is some general information, trying to bust common myths and shedding light on the truths behind Orthodontics:

1. Braces are Only for Teenagers and Kids

Contrary to popular belief, braces are not exclusive to teenagers. Tooth position can be corrected at any age and many adults opt for Orthodontic treatment to correct misalignments or bite issues. In modern Orthodontics, discreet options such as inside fixed appliances or clear aligners are more inconspicuous solutions. Find out more about our private Orthodontic options for adults.

2. Braces Are Painful

While some discomfort is common during Orthodontics, modern braces are designed to minimise this. Contemporaneous designs of fixed appliances have small attachments (brackets) with smooth surfaces and the forces used to move teeth are designed to be low to minimise discomfort and facilitate tooth movement. Although the days immediately after the initial fitting of an appliance may give rise to some discomfort, this typically fades within a few days as you get accustomed to treatment. The regular reviews for adjustments do not usually cause any issues.

3. Braces Are Extremely Noticeable

Traditional metal (train track) braces are quite obvious, but there are discreet options available. Tooth coloured braces or lingual braces (attached to the inside of teeth) and aligners offer more alternatives for those concerned about appearance during treatment.

4. Braces Are Only For Cosmetic Results:

Braces are not always used to solely improve the appearance of the teeth. Beyond enhancing smiles, braces can promote better oral health. Properly aligned teeth are easier to clean, reducing the risk of gum disease and other dental issues. Orthodontics can correct issues with the function of the teeth, i.e. deep bites (biting into soft tissues, causing trauma), underbites, crossbites, and crowded teeth. Correcting these issues contributes to better oral health and may prevent future dental issues. Orthodontics can also be an adjunct to other dental treatment, i.e. it can be useful in patients with gum disease or in preparation for implants, crowns and bridges. At Devonshire House our team of expert specialist dentists frequently collaborate on patient treatment in order to provide an overall smile outcome in one convenient location.

5. Orthodontic Treatment Takes Years

The duration of treatment varies and is depends on the overall complexity of the treatment.  Treatment times have significantly decreased in recent years, particularly if modern materials and technologies are used. Simple alignment of front teeth might only take a few months.

6. Braces Interfere With Playing Sports or Musical Instruments

Initially, there might be an adjustment period, but braces do not hinder playing sports or musical (wind) instruments. Specially designed Mouthguards can be used for sports to protect the braces and mouth and and at Devonshire House these, can be made specifically to your own requirements by our own dental laboratory without the need to go elsewere. There are a number of good options for wind instrument players, should braces interfere with music practice.

7. Braces Cause Cavities or Gum Disease

All Orthodontic patients at Devonshire House are given the appropriate tools necessary to look after their teeth during their treatment. This is included in the cost. Whilst food may get entangled in fixed appliances, maintaining good oral hygiene significantly reduces the risk of cavities and or gum problems. In addition to using the electric toothbrush we provide, we also recommend use of daily fluoride mouthrinse, which we provided throughout treatment. At Devonshire House, we also work closely with our hygienists to make sure that oral hygiene is of the best standard possible, so no unwanted side effects occur. It is extremely rare for us to see white/brown spots or cavities.  

8. Private Orthodontic Treatment Is Very Expensive

Orthodontics might initially appear to be a significant cost, however, at Devonshire House, our interest-free finance options can help you spread the cost of treatment. Considering the long-term benefits, the investment in braces can outweigh future dental costs.

9. Braces Guarantee Perfect Teeth Forever

While Orthodontics provides a solution for correction of poor bites and misaligned teeth, some maintenance is likely to be beneficial after completion of active treatment. Teeth move throughout life whether Orthodontics has been provided or not. Maintaining oral hygiene and wearing retainers post-treatment are important for supporting the results. Tooth position may shift unless proper aftercare is undertaken.

10. Orthodontics Can Always Achieve Perfect Smiles On Its Own

Tooth shape is very variable and individual to patients, i.e. some patients have small or unusually shaped teeth and Orthodontics on its own may not be able to achieve the result we would like to achieve. Collaboration with a general dentist either at Devonshire House or another dental practice may be beneficial to address those issues.

The key to successful Orthodontic treatment lies in professional guidance, consistent care, and commitment to the process. Do not let misconceptions stop you from seeking the benefits of Orthodontics and the confidence of a beautiful, healthy smile.

Understanding the reality behind these concepts is crucial when considering Orthodontic treatment. Consulting with a Specialist Orthodontist is the best way to address concerns and explore the most suitable treatment option tailored to your specific needs. With advancements in technology and many options available, achieving a straighter, healthier smile has never been more accessible.

Discover Your Orthodontic Treatment Options at Devonshire House

An initial consultation with our Specialist Orthodontist Dirk Bister will enable you to receive a diagnosis and discuss your Orthodontic options without having to commit to treatment.

With nearly 30 years of clinical experience treating Orthodontic patients of all ages, Dirk provides the highest possible standard of Orthodontic treatment tailored to improve the appearance or alignment of teeth and correct problems with the bite of teeth. He is highly renowned in the Orthodontic profession throughout the UK and internationally as a Specialist in his field, Professor, Consultant, and University Examiner.

To book an appointment with our Specialist Orthodontist Dirk Bister, please call our friendly reception team on 01223 245266.

Devonshire House dental practice – the private dental practice you’ve been looking for

As a growing practice Devonshire House in Cambridge welcomes new private patients. Whether you are looking for general dental care or specialist dental treatment, our award-winning practice and expert specialist dentists provide a full range of dental care and treatment for the entire family.

  • Highly experienced Specialist dentists with a vast array of clinical experiences who are renowned leaders in their fields.
  • Full range of specialist treatment with every treatment under one roof so you don’t need to be referred elsewhere.
  • 24 Hour emergency service.
  • Beautiful and comfortable, relaxing surroundings with plenty of parking and great accessibility.
  • Interest free payment options with a dedicated finance team to chat through your requirements.
  • Treatment Co-ordinator to guide you through complex treatment and offer out of surgery support.
  • Full suite of on-site scanning facilities for a quick diagnosis.
  • On-site dental laboratory for emergency repairs.
  • Out of town second practice if you’re looking to avoid the Cambridge traffic.