Orthodontic Myths Debunked

You can easily search the web and find answers about orthodontics, but is all of that information accurate? There are a lot of myths associated with orthodontic treatment; that’s why I wrote this blog to point you in the right direction on what you need to know! 


Myth: You need a referral from the dentist for an orthodontic appointment. 

Reality: You don’t need a referral from anyone to schedule an orthodontic evaluation.

Dentists and orthodontists do not hold the same relationship as a primary physician and a specialist—a referral is not necessary. Dentists often refer patients to my practice, but most of my patients come to me via word of mouth or an internet search. While a dentist might suggest experienced orthodontists to patients, it is ultimately up to the patient to decide where to seek treatment. 


Myth: You don’t need to see your regular dentist while undergoing orthodontic treatment. 

Reality: You definitely need to see your dentist at least every six months. 

It’s my personal and professional opinion that it’s even more important to see your dentist for routine cleanings when you have braces! The hygienist can identify areas you might be missing while brushing and has specialized instruments to remove plaque and tartar. Nothing beats a professional cleaning from your dentist. 


Myth: Braces are painful. 

Reality: Technology has allowed for great strides in the orthodontic field. 

Thirty-plus years ago, getting braces was painful. Today, we painlessly glue brackets to the front of teeth—there may be a mild achiness after an adjustment. When a new wire or aligner is placed, the teeth may be sore for a day or so, but orthodontic treatment is not painful. 


Myth: If my child’s teeth look straight, they don’t need an orthodontic evaluation. 

Reality: Some orthodontic problems aren’t visible to an untrained eye. 

While teeth may look straight and aligned, it is possible the bite is off. The most common is called a “deep bite,” where the top teeth overlap the bottom teeth. This causes one to bite down hard on the bottom teeth, leaving these patients prone to severe wear of their lower incisors. Braces and clear aligners can remedy this. 


Myth: To get the best results, you will need to wear headgear. 

Reality: Not in my office! 

At Moravec Orthodontics, we don’t believe in headgear. With the advanced technology we use in our practice, we can identify any issues through 3D imaging. Through this, we can recommend treatment that will fix the bite and realign the jaw using appliances in the mouth, rather than around the head or neck. 


Myth: Invisalign or clear aligner treatment takes longer than traditional braces. 

Reality: For most patients, this is not true. 

The movement of teeth is a physiological process. Teeth and the surrounding bone don’t know what is moving them. In most cases, treatment time for both braces and clear aligners is very similar. The key exception to this is individuals with deep bites—correction will take longer in aligners. For every patient, we employ the SureSmile system which has significantly reduced the average treatment time for braces and clear aligners. 


Myth: You must have gooey, sticky, and unpleasant impressions taken of your mouth. 

Reality: Luckily, technology has made this a thing of the past. 

Before technology, how else would an orthodontist know the teeth and bite of a patient without taking an impression? Luckily, today we use 3D scanners to take virtual pictures of the mouth. These scans can be manipulated so I can view the teeth and bite from a variety of angles. This allows me to better recommend treatment options and see how the teeth will move into alignment over the course of treatment. 


Myth: Do-It-Yourself programs are just as good (and cheaper) than an orthodontist.

Reality: The quality and results of these treatments speak for themselves. 

These DIY programs require the patient to take goopy impressions of their own mouth. If the patient lives in or around a larger city, these programs have scanning centers that will take a 3D scan of the teeth. The virtual scan or impression is then submitted to a reviewer who decides if the patient is a viable candidate for the treatment. Please note that the health of your jaw, gums, and bite is not examined. These companies solely look for crooked teeth. It’s not to say that these programs will not straighten your teeth—they oftentimes will. But the bite is not corrected leading to less-than-desirable results. It’s also a myth that this treatment is cheaper than visiting a traditional orthodontist. After an evaluation, one might be surprised at the affordability of treatment.  


Now that you know the realities of these common orthodontic myths, take the next step in gaining the smile you have always wanted. Schedule a complimentary consultation at Moravec Orthodontics by giving us a call at 815-436-2959 today!