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orthodontics

Myths and Facts

MYTH: Orthodontists are appropriate only for the most challenging and complex orthodontic cases.
FACT: Orthodontists have the education, experience and expertise to recognize the difference between a simple case and a complex one. And when a case is challenging, orthodontists know what to do.

MYTH: My family dentist says he can straighten my teeth.
FACT: Orthodontists receive more formal education than dentists to specialize in straightening teeth. Like dentists, orthodontists graduate from dental school. Then, to be an orthodontist, it takes an additional two to three academic years of education in an accredited orthodontic residency program. Orthodontists are dentistry’s specialists in straightening teeth and aligning jaws to create optimal function and form. Orthodontists only practice orthodontics. They treat hundreds of patients a year, drawing on tried-and-true and new orthodontic appliance technologies to get patients to the best results. Orthodontists have knowledge of the full range of orthodontic appliance “tools”—including braces, clear aligners and other orthodontic devices. They know what to use and when because they work with these tools every day. Orthodontists build on their knowledge of orthodontics through on-going continuing education in orthodontic technology and practice.

MYTH: Braces are for kids.
FACT: One in five orthodontic patients is an adult.

MYTH: If there was a giant, overhead magnet and someone flipped a switch, people wearing braces would fly out of their chairs and stick to the ceiling.
FACT: Unlikely, as braces are made from non-magnetic materials.

MYTH: Braces are painful and take two years or more for the desired result.
FACT: After the adjustment period, like breaking in a new pair of shoes, braces are comfortable. Some may be worn for months, not years.

MYTH: Signals from braces link to the Internet to download songs onto an iPod.
FACT: This is not possible right now.

MYTH: Braces are ugly, call attention to themselves and would be embarrassing in business settings.
FACT: Today’s braces may be nearly invisible, made from clear plastic, or unseen, mounted on the back (lingual) side of the teeth.

MYTH: Orthodontists have a low profile
FACT: Orthodontists give back to the community by offering free, discounted, services to patients in need.

MYTH: Any dentist may join the American Association of Orthodontists
FACT: Only orthodontists may become members of the American Association of Orthodontists.

© American Association of Orthodontists and Braces.org, 01/17/2012