20 Myths About Braces Every Teen Should Know

Myths About Braces

When I first got my braces on, I was afraid that I wasn’t going to be able to fly, believing that my braces would set off the metal detector in the airport and I wouldn’t be allowed on the plane. Even if you think you know a lot about braces, you might still be laboring under one of these twenty myths about braces.

1. Braces will set off the metal detector.

As told to me by a TSA agent, “That’s not the kind of metal we’re looking for.” You can go through any metal detector and it is very unlikely that your braces will set it off.

2. Your braces will rust.

Metal and water means rust, right? Not the kind of metal used to make your braces. Made with titanium alloy, your braces are not going to rust, whether you wear them for six months or three years.

3. Braces interfere with radio signals.

The type of metal used to make your braces might look like what your radio’s antenna is made out of, but your braces are not going to conduct radio signals (though, to be honest, it would be kind of cool if they did).

4. Braces will make it impossible to play my instrument.

Speaking from experience, as someone who played saxophone for two years while wearing braces, it is possible to play your instrument while wearing braces. There will be an adjustment period, but it is perfectly possible.

5. If I kiss someone wearing braces, my braces could get locked with theirs.

This is a common gag on television shows for people wearing braces, but the truth is that this is pretty much impossible. Today’s braces are sleek and smaller. It’s very unlikely they’ll get caught with anyone else’s.

6. I can’t play sports with braces.

Many people believe this myth, but the truth is that as long as you wear a mouth guard, it is perfectly safe to play any sport while wearing braces.

7. Braces permanently straighten my teeth.

Braces are one of the most effective ways to straighten your teeth, but your teeth will start to drift back to the original position if you do not wear your retainer as recommended by your orthodontist.

8. Braces attract the attention of fish.

Some people think that they cannot go scuba diving or swimming in the ocean because their braces will attract the attention of fish that are naturally draw to shiny objects. We don’t know how this rumor got started, but it’s not true.

9. Braces can interfere with electronic devices.

Like radio signals, your braces are not going to conduct any of the signals given off by any of your electronic devices, from MP3 players to televisions to computers. You don’t have to worry!

10. Braces make it more likely you will be struck by lightning.

This is one of those myths about braces that is circulated just to scare people who have braces. It is patently false. You are not more likely to be struck by lightning if you have braces!

11. My braces will always hurt.

This is something that people who have had braces will often tell people who haven’t had braces, but the truth is that your braces should not hurt. They might be a little uncomfortable, but they should not be so uncomfortable that you really notice them.

12. Your braces have to be tight to work.

You might often year an adjustment to your braces called “tightening” your braces. Your braces do not necessarily have to be “tight” in order to actually move your teeth.

13. You will need your wire changed at every appointment.

Your appointments are simply to assess your progress and make any changes to your treatment to help it along. If your teeth have not moved as they were expected to move or if you are nearing the end of your treatment, your orthodontist might decide to leave the wire in for another few weeks.

14. My wisdom teeth will mess up my teeth.

If you’ve had braces or have braces right now, you might be worried about your wisdom teeth coming in. Your orthodontist will tell you whether or not you have room for those extra teeth.

15. There is a date that I will absolutely get my braces off.

Unfortunately, it is impossible to predict exactly when you are going to be able to get your braces off. You can get a general time period, however.

16. Braces are only for kids and teens.

While it’s true that if someone is going to have braces, they usually get them during their teen years, braces are a good option for adults, too.

17. My dentist can give me braces.

Braces should only be gotten from a trained orthodontist. While dentists and orthodontists do some of the same training, orthodontists specialize in treatments like braces and know how to get your teeth as straight as possible.

18. I don’t have to wear my rubber bands.

Many patients will ignore what the orthodontist said to them and determine for themselves how often they have to wear their rubber bands. This will delay your treatment.

19. Braces take a long time.

It’s a common myth that people have to wear braces for a really long time. The average treatment length is only eighteen months!

20. My overbite is really bad.

Most people have an overbite and this isn’t necessarily a bad thing. It can actually prevent your teeth from wearing down as quickly.