5 myths vs. facts to know before you get braces

People have all kinds of expectations when they’re about to get braces. “They’ll hurt. They look bad. They take forever to work. You can’t eat anything but mashed potatoes.” Many of the expectations with braces are actually myths. 

At Oltjen Orthodontics, we understand how daunting braces can be. But we’re here to assure you by busting some of these myths and showing you that having braces isn’t what you expect, isn’t as bad as you think, and is totally worth it!

“Braces hurt!” 

People assume since braces are constantly moving your teeth, they’re constantly hurting your teeth. That’s not the case, especially nowadays. 

Oltjen Orthodontics offers two types of modern braces, 3M Advanced and 3M Clarity Advanced. Both are better and more comfortable than the traditional metal braces your parents wore. 

Our 3M braces are smaller, more efficient, and use less friction, so there’s less discomfort than traditional braces. You may experience some discomfort the first few days after they’re put on. But this should subside within a day or so of your checkup! They also may feel odd to your inner mouth and tongue. 

After a week or so, your mouth will get used to the feel of your new braces. The rest of the time should be comfortable.

“Braces look like a mouthful of metal!”

You’ve probably seen those old pictures from decades ago of kids with more metal than teeth. It’s a scary sight — and, thankfully, an outdated one. The 3M Advanced and 3M Clarity Advanced braces available at Oltjen Orthodontics are smaller than those old braces. 

The 3M Clarity braces use ceramic brackets that are close to the color of your tooth, making them difficult to see from a distance. 

Trust us; you’re going to look GREAT in our braces!

“You can’t eat any of your favorite foods!”

While it’s true there are a few food restrictions, you’ll be surprised how much you can still eat with braces. You won’t be restricted to mashed potatoes and macaroni and cheese, although soft foods aren’t a bad idea the first week or so. 

There are some foods you want to avoid because they can damage your braces. Here’s a quick list: 

  • Chewy foods — bagels, licorice
  • Crunchy foods — popcorn, tortilla chips, ice
  • Sticky foods — gum, caramel candies, taffy
  • Hard foods — nuts, hard candies, raw veggies such as carrots or broccoli
  • Foods that require biting with front teeth — whole apples, carrots, corn on the cob

That may seem like a lot, but it’s not as bad as you think. You can still eat other favorites, such as soft breads, meat cut into small bites, cheeses, seafood, cooked vegetables, and chocolate! As for the no-no foods, you’ll be back to eating them soon!

“It’s too hard to brush and floss with braces.” 

Brushing and flossing with braces is different than without them. But it’s far easier than you may think. The key to brushing your teeth is to use a soft-bristled brush, which many people use anyway. 

Want to use an electric toothbrush? Go for it! Just make sure you don’t press too hard, and you’re using a soft-bristle head, and you’re good to go!

Flossing is slightly trickier because you have to get around the archwires. The good news is, there are several products out there that make it easier to thread floss around your braces and through your teeth. Water flossers aren’t quite as effective, but they can work, too. 

Bottom line, it’s not that hard to brush and floss with braces. Just make sure you do both regularly. The last thing you want is to have those straight teeth full of cavities by the time your braces come off!

“Braces cost too much.” 

Braces are an important investment in the future of your oral health. Your oral health can affect your overall health. We understand this, which is why Oltjen Orthodontics offers several ways to make braces affordable. 

We start with a low downpayment to get you started. Our down payments can be as low as $75! We also offer low monthly payments, and we even offer payments to extend beyond the time you wear your braces! These options apply to braces and Invisalign®, another option if you decide braces aren’t right for you. Braces are one of the most reliable ways to create the smile of your dreams, and Oltjen Orthodontics can help you achieve that dream. If you’re in Olathe, KS, or Overland Park, KS,  give us a call or book a free consult today. Let us show you how great braces can be! Check out our blog!