health

We debunk the 6 big myths about teeth straightening.

‘Metal mouth’, ‘brace face’, ‘train tracks’… these are just some of the delightful names that come to mind when one contemplates straightening their teeth.

Who doesn’t remember that one kid in class with miniature rubber bands stretched between top and bottom braces as they struggled to eat and spat as they spoke? But once they came off — well, those kids were batting in a totally different ball game.

If you’ve made it to adulthood but maintained that crooked smile, you probably think the idea of straight teeth is a long lost dream. Because let’s face it, most sane adults would baulk at the idea of filling their mouth full of metal, regardless of the reward.

But maybe it’s time to think again, because when it comes to teeth straightening myths abound. We’ve debunked some of the most common ones here, proving things have changed drastically with the advent of The Invisalign System.

And hey, it might just be time to consider straightening things out once and for all.

Myth 1. Braces are the only way.

No doubt, braces are the most famous teeth-straightening option. Described by the Urban Dictionary as “the most horrifying thing to have in your mouth,” braces are no longer the only option when it comes to fixing crooked teeth. Thankfully.

For a similar cost, an Invisalign-trained orthodontist or dentist can use the advanced technology of the Invisalign System to predict the movement of your teeth, so you’ll have an idea of how long your treatment should take and what your teeth are expected to look like at the end of the road – before you even begin.

What’s more, because the treatment plan is virtual, your doctor can show you how your teeth are expected to look at the end of treatment before you even begin. Just remember, the Invisalign System is the tool doctors use to design a suitable treatment plan and each doctor may vary in terms of their recommendations and price. That’s why it’s a good idea to do a little research and find a doctor that best suits your needs.

Myth 2. I’ll look like a tween throughout the process.

Remember when coloured braces came out? You could look really cool by choosing your own coloured braces (watermelon theme, anyone?) instead of opting for the full metal look. But we all know now bringing fashion into braces was a stretch even then.

These days you can opt for virtually invisible aligners, so hardly anyone will even know you’re wearing them.

Made from strong, medical grade thermoplastic materials, Invisalign aligners are custom-made to fit snugly – and discreetly – over your teeth. In fact, some people even refer to them as ‘contact lenses for the teeth’. Win.

"Remember when coloured braces came out?" Image via iStock.
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Myth 3. I’ve missed the boat – I’m too old.

Regardless of the method used, one of the most widespread myths about teeth straightening is that you have to be a child in order to obtain the benefits.

Not so. You can have your teeth straightened at just about any age. Many working adults aren’t interested in wearing obvious straightening devices, which is why Invisalign treatment is an ideal alternative to traditional methods.

Myth 4. Life as I know it will be on hold.

You might want straight teeth, but you’re probably not the least bit interested in constant trips to the orthodontist or dentist, avoiding your favourite food and drink, limiting hygiene practices and developing a brand new lisp. The end just doesn’t justify the means, right?

With Invisalign treatment, however, the aligners are removable — so unlike mixed metal braces, you can eat and drink whatever you like, simply by taking out the trays. You can also continue to brush and floss your teeth as usual by removing the trays. Best of all, that means you can take them out at any time (we’re looking at you, Friday date night).

Although Invisalign treatment typically takes about the same amount of time as braces, you’ll only need to visit your doctor for a check-up roughly every two months to receive the next series of aligners.

You can take them out on a Friday night.

Myth 5. Pain, pain, pain.

Teeth straightening is synonymous with discomfort in most people’s minds. With that in mind, it’s little wonder the very thought strikes fear in the hearts of many.

The majority of discomfort associated with braces is due to the metal, which can irritate teeth and gums, as well as adjustments, which are frequently required. Invisalign treatment doesn’t involve any metal brackets or wires that can cause irritation and less visits to the orthodontist or dentist for adjustments are needed. They are customisable and fit flush against your teeth, straightening your teeth without the discomfort.

Myth 6. You never know when the journey ends.

Remember those kids at school anxiously waiting to find out when their braces would be coming off? It always seemed to be the gift that kept on giving...

Well, Invisalign treatment allows you to map out a timeline from the initial consultation. And yes, while your initial treatment plan may require a few little tweaks, here and there, you can view your virtual results and get an understanding of your treatment plan before it even begins.

So, no surprises, you can count down the days – in private of course – to the moment your teeth finally give you that straight smile you’ve always dreamed of.

Check out these famous smiles...

What was your experience with teeth straightening like?

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