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7 Common Misunderstandings About Orthodontics

As the saying goes, hunger breeds discontentment. Food is the first necessity for humans, and teeth are our main tool in consuming food. In fact, orthodontic treatments can improve our oral health, other than making us look more presentable.


1. Adults are not allowed to undergo orthodontic treatments

First of all, there is a golden period for each orthodontic treatment. Usually, individuals are encouraged to undergo treatments between 12 to 18 years old. Orthodontic treatments during this period are beneficial for teeth movements, as well as jaw shaping. So, our main question is: Can we still undergo orthodontic treatments after that golden period?

The answer is, yes!

Based on the scientific point of view, as long as the length of the roots of your teeth are long enough in the alveolar bones, you are definitely fine to undergo the treatments. However, as an individual grows older, the time needed for their teeth to move and get straightened will take longer too. Therefore, in general, it is never too late for anyone to undergo necessary orthodontics, as long as he or she is in periodontal health. 


2. Orthodontic treatments are painful 

Other than that, Invisalign, as known as clear aligner, possesses fewer negative impacts. They are thinner, so they fit around your teeth better. Not to mention that they will not lead to any mouth ulcers too!

The main reason many people resist orthodontic treatments, such as dental braces, is because of their fear toward the physical pain in the process. In fact, they are not as scary as you imagine. 

Extra forces will be exerted each time a patient's dental braces gets adjusted. With that, the patient will experience a degree of soreness and foreign body sensation in mouth for two to three days. Fortunately, these symptoms are normal for orthodontic treatments, and they will disappear soon after a few days.

Besides, due to skills and technologies advancement, most of the treatments now focus on reducing the forces when adjusting braces. Professional dentists and orthodontists will try their best reducing a patient's painfulness during the process. Other than that, Invisalign, as known as clear aligner, possesses fewer negative impacts. They are thinner, so they fit around your teeth better. Not to mention that they will not lead to any mouth ulcers too!


3. Tooth extraction is compulsory for orthodontic treatment

Tooth extraction helps to provide sufficient spaces for teeth movements. It is suitable for oral conditions such as overcrowding, malocclusion, and protruding teeth. 

However, tooth extraction is not compulsory for every patient. There are many factors that should be considered before tooth extraction. A professional check-up is advisable before any orthodontic treatments. Moreover, it will be better if one could refer to different dentists for their advices to avoid unwanted future complications, including second treatment.

Tooth extraction is very common in the field of orthodontics nowadays. Hence, stay calm if you are advised to undergo tooth extraction before any orthodontic treatments!


4. Traditional metal braces are more effective than Invisalign

In fact, there is not much difference between braces and aligner. A patient should choose the most suitable orthodontic treatment based on their personal conditions. 

The biggest benefit for aligner is they look better. Aligner helps you to hide your dental treatment because of the clear aligners' trays. Besides, their minimalistic design is good at preventing diseases such as mouth ulcers. It is also easier for patients to put on or remove them. Finally, it is easier to clean and maintain an Invisalign. 

However, there is one thing we should take into considerations before going for Invisalign. We have to be more disciplined by using Invisalign for at least 22 hours a day. Otherwise, the progress might be affected.


5. Changes in face shape after orthodontic treatments

Muscle atrophy, which is the loss of muscle tissues, is the main reason patients experience changes in face shapes after orthodontic treatments.

When patients are wearing braces, their eating habits will change. As the time taken to chew reduces, their usage of masticatory muscles (muscles involved in chewing) will reduce too. 

However, after the treatments are over, the shapes of their faces will revert again due to changes in their eating habits. Meanwhile, increasing mouth exercise will prevent one from experiencing muscle atrophy.


 6. Orthodontic treatments will lead to the appearance of teeth gaps

Gaps between teeth appear due to inflammation of alveolar bones and gum recession. 

Gum recession is usually unnoticeable for patients who are facing the issue of overcrowding. However, teeth gaps will become more obvious after orthodontic treatments are done. That is why many misunderstand that as an effect of braces.

Not to mention that keeping good oral health is more challenging when orthodontic patients are wearing braces. If they do not put more effort in cleaning their teeth and gums, plaques and tartars will appear after some time. That is another cause for gum recession and the appearance of teeth gaps.

In short, there is no direct relationship between orthodontic treatments and the appearance of teeth gaps. Bear in mind that we should always practice good habits to maintain our oral health. That is, basically, the best way to prevent gaps between our teeth from appearing.


7. The faster the process, the better the effect is

The processes of orthodontic treatments are complicated. The movements of our teeth are limited during the treatments. Commonly, they will move around 1.5mm every month. If they move over a certain distance in a short time, our teeth will become loosen in the process.

Therefore, we should always be aware of the main principles of orthodontics to prevent failures.

Last but not least, all of us have to know that the effects of orthodontic treatments are different for every individual. There are many factors that might affect the process. Hence, we should know our limit well before conducting any related treatments.

Although orthodontic treatments are not that complicated, it is not that easy too. If you decide to go for it, be sure to mentally prepare yourself for a rough process. Be patient and you will see the wonderful effects in the end.



Tay Cheng Ean


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