If your child's teeth are misaligned, he or she may need braces. For people who aren't familiar with how braces work, many myths abound that can leave you feeling uncertain. Understanding the truth behind many of the most common myths about braces will help you decide if this is the right path of treatment for your child. Your understanding may even help you to calm some of your child's fears in the days leading up to the procedure. Here are some of the most common myths that you might hear about braces and the truth behind them.
Braces Have to Hurt for Them to Work
Braces have long had a reputation for being painful all the time. Originally, the wires used in braces were stiffer than what new technology has created. These stiff wires put more pressure on the teeth, causing more discomfort. The wires used in braces now are lighter and more flexible, which allows them to get the job done without the same degree of pressure and pain.
Braces Make Eating Painful
For the first day or two after getting braces, your child might have some discomfort, but the soreness shouldn't be significant. In fact, it shouldn't interfere with him or her eating beyond the recommended soft diet of the first several days. You will probably find that over-the-counter pain relievers are sufficient to ease any pain that your child does feel.
You'll Have to Change the Wires Every Visit
The older style wires used in the past didn't adapt as well to the changes in tooth position, so patients had to have the wires replaced much more frequently than is necessary now. The newer wires are more elastic, allowing them to be adjusted easily without sacrificing the force needed to adjust your teeth. This also reduces the risk of having a wire pop off the bracket, which is another common problem for kids with braces.
The Spaces Between Teeth Will Close Up Right Away
One of the biggest sources of confusion for new brace wearers is the progression of treatment. Many people expect to see a marked difference in the gaps between teeth right away, and they are often troubled when the gaps haven't changed in the first few months of treatment. In fact, in some cases, the gaps may get wider briefly. This is because the orthodontist needs to focus on straightening all of the teeth and aligning them properly before he or she can start closing the gaps between them. You'll see those gaps close up toward the end of the treatment cycle.
As you can see, the myths about orthodontic care can leave many new patients very confused. Knowing these truths can help you set your child's mind at ease and know what to expect of the whole process. Contact a professional, such as one from Boland Orthodontics, for further assistance.