Orthodontic Treatment Myths – BUSTED

There is a lot of information floating around about braces and aligners. Some of it is accurate, and some is misleading. Here at Bankhead, our Experts in the Art of Orthodontics want to set the record straight on a few of the most common myths you may encounter.

Myth: The only benefit of orthodontic treatment is to change my appearance.

Truth: While many patients seek orthodontic treatment to straighten their teeth and improve their smiles, orthodontic treatment delivers multiple other benefits, including:

  • Fixing bite problems, which can improve issues with chewing, resolve some speech impairments, improve tooth wear patterns, and can often help relieve TMJ pain.
  • Making it easier to brush and floss teeth, which can reduce cavities and periodontal disease.
  • Reducing the risk of injury from protruding teeth.

So yes, achieving a beautiful smile is great for boosting confidence, but your braces or Invisalign trays can also lead to better oral health and overall well-being!

Myth: Orthodontic treatment is just for kids.

Truth: We can see why this is a misconception since many adolescents wear braces or aligners, but teeth retain their ability to move throughout life, and patients of all ages can benefit from orthodontic treatment. In fact, more than a million Americans over 18 are in orthodontic treatment right now!

Myth: It’s not necessary to see an orthodontist for orthodontic treatment.

Truth: There are some mail-order orthodontic systems on the market that claim to deliver the same quality results you’d get from visiting an orthodontist’s office. But patients should know that when it comes to the health of your gums, teeth, and jaws, it’s very important to see a qualified orthodontist in person for diagnosis and treatment. Remote providers only see your teeth in photos and aren’t able to take X-rays, so they cannot evaluate jaw structure, developing gum disease, or impacted, missing or extra teeth. When you visit our office, we monitor your progress, take new X-rays when necessary, and check for underlying concerns that could harm your oral health or set your orthodontic treatment back. We are always here for you to talk about your goals and concerns. There is a huge value in having the personal attention of an orthodontic specialist to guide you along your orthodontic journey.

Myth: It takes several years for orthodontic treatment to work.

Truth: Because each individual case is different, we can’t put a specific time frame on how long orthodontic treatment takes. The simplest cases may only require moving a few teeth, which may take a few months. More complex cases, especially those with bite problems or impacted teeth, generally take longer. The art of orthodontics involves careful, controlled movements of the teeth to ensure they are moving into proper positions. The best orthodontists will make it a high priority to deliver quality results while still prizing efficiency.

Myth: Anyone who claims they can move my teeth is an orthodontist.

Truth: General dentists are amazing. They need to be fluent in every discipline in dentistry including crowns, fillings, dentures, partials, periodontal disease, pathology, root canals, etc. Orthodontists are specialists. That means that they focus all their professional energies on one thing: quality orthodontic outcomes.

Orthodontists must graduate from dental school and then complete 2-3 additional years of training at an accredited orthodontic residency program.   During that residency they focus solely on topics relevant to orthodontics, such as growth and development, proper tooth position and function, current orthodontic research, and biomechanical techniques of moving teeth. Most importantly, they spend the majority of the time treating all difficulties of orthodontic cases under the guidance of experienced orthodontic faculty who train them to be qualified professionals in tooth movement. Some general dentists may offer braces or aligners, but that does not mean they have received the same kind of training.

If You Have Questions About Orthodontic Treatment, Just Ask!

There is a lot of information out there, and you may be wondering about your own particular situation. Our Experts in the Art of Orthodontics love to explain the facts about orthodontic treatment, so please feel free to reach out any time!


If you or your child needs orthodontic treatment, work with the experts at Bankhead Orthodontic Specialists. Serving the St. Louis, MO, Metro area as well as southeastern Illinois via six convenient locations, these trained specialists offer traditional, lingual and clear braces as well as Invisalign® to provide patients with highly customized solutions. Call (636) 978-8848 today to schedule a consultation, and visit the website for more information.

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