HealthFact or Fiction: The Weird, and Totally Misunderstood World of Living with...

Fact or Fiction: The Weird, and Totally Misunderstood World of Living with Braces

In a province of tall mountains, tall trees, and tall tales, it can be difficult to discern fact from fiction. Separating myth from reality can be especially difficult when it comes to getting, and wearing, braces which is why we’ve asked an expert. We’ve collected some of the most common, and bizarre myths, and ran them past British Columbia Society of Orthodontist member, Dr. Lucien Bellamy, to either debunk or confirm them.

Myth: If I wear metal braces, I’m more likely to get struck by lightning.
Fact or Fiction: Bizarre fiction

If you know someone with braces, or have ever thought about getting them, you’ve
probably heard that a little extra metal in your mouth makes you a target. The National Weather Service reports that the risk of being struck by lightning in a given year for the average person is 1 in 1,000,000—and that risk isn’t impacted by braces.

Myth: I can see my dentist for my braces.
Fact or Fiction: Common fiction

All orthodontists are dentists, but only 6 percent of dentists are orthodontists. Orthodontics is a specialized branch within dentistry, and orthodontists have attended 2-3 years of additional training beyond dental school to be able to straighten and align your jaw. Only an orthodontist has the training, the experience, and the treatment options to give you your best smile.

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Myth: I will always have something stuck in my teeth if I get braces.
Fact or Fiction: Well, that depends

You know how embarrassing it is to have food stuck between your teeth when you’re smiling at the cute girl/boy across the way, or just talking to someone you know. And when you have extra nooks and crannies in your mouth, there could be an increased risk. But, it doesn’t have to be that way. Practicing good oral and braces hygiene that you learn from your orthodontic specialist will greatly reduce, and possibly even eliminate, your risk of showing off your lunch when you show off your smile.

Myth: If I kiss another person with braces, they’ll get stuck together.
Fact or Fiction: Bizarre, and funny, fiction—at least, today

You may have heard stories of your parents’  braces getting stuck together, and that’s how they fell in love. But braces, and stories, change over time. Today’s braces—and the brackets and wires used to create them—are too small to turn that story into a reality, unless you try really, really hard.

Myth: I’ll be able to tune the radio with my braces.

Fact or Fiction: Bizarre fiction

When it comes to this myth, you can blame it on the movies. Radio waves, TVsignals, and Wi-Fi require antennas to create signals and your braces are not equipped to act as an antenna.

Myth: Braces will make me look dorky and people will make fun of me.
Fact or Fiction: Mostly fiction

While your orthodontic specialist can’t promise people won’t be mean to you—some people are just that way—they can help you make choices about invisible braces, clear braces, and colored braces that will give you your best smile. A great smile helps you feel better and more confident, and it can literally change how people see you—at work and in your personal life.

Myth: I won’t be able to play sports or instruments if I have braces
Fact or Fiction: Common fiction

If you think you can’t play sports or a musical instrument when you have braces, you’ve been reading, or listening, to a lot of fiction. Sports players need to wear a mouth guard during contact sports, and your orthodontic specialist can help you get the right one. And if you could play a musical instrument before you got braces, you’ll still be able to do so once they’re on your teeth. It’ll just take a slight adjustment period.

This was a guest post shared by Dr. Bellamy of Bellamy Orthodontics, member of the British Columbia Society of Orthodontists.

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