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There are seven common myths about orthodontic treatment, and we think it’s important to know the truth behind these myths. Hearing myths about braces can make you nervous about them, but there is actually nothing to worry about. Learning and getting educated about orthodontic treatment can put your mind at ease. Continue reading to learn about 7 common myths about orthodontic treatment. 

Myth #1. Anyone who provides braces or aligners is an orthodontist.

This is false because only an orthodontist has taken additional years of advanced training at an accredited residency and can call themselves an orthodontic specialist or be a member of the AAO. Some general dentists or online companies offer braces or aligners but that doesn’t mean that they’re an orthodontist. The risk of permanently damaging your face and smile if you allow anyone who isn’t an orthodontist to move your teeth is not worth it. By selecting an AAO orthodontist, you are choosing a specialist who possesses the skills and experience to give you the best smile possible.

Myth #2. Orthodontists are so expensive.

AAO orthodontists are unique healthcare providers who carefully customize their patients’ treatment plans and as a result, their fees directly reflect the complexity of each case. From simple cases that only take months to treat, to very difficult ones that may take a couple of years, the benefits of having an expert provide your orthodontic care will be well worth it in the end. Most AAO orthodontists offer free consultations and flexible payment plans, in addition to being willing to work with patients in order to help them achieve a beautiful smile. Trust your smile to an AAO orthdontic specialist who will safely straighten your teeth and closely monitor your progress to ensure that your bite is the best that it can be.

Myth #3. Office visits are not necessary to get straight teeth.

No Visits = No Monitoring = No Good

The reality is that the health of your gums, teeth, and jaws cannot be monitored during treatment if you are never seen by a qualified orthodontist. Even the most carefully planned treatments need to be closely monitored to ensure that treatment stays on course. These visits must be completed by a trained orthodontist if a problem arises or a mid-course treatment correction is needed. The good news is that today’s technology has allowed patients to extend intervals between appointments to as long as eight to 10 weeks.

Myth #4. Orthodontic treatment takes several years.

Orthodontic treatment requires careful, controlled movements of the teeth to ensure that they are moving into proper positions. From simple cases (which may only take a few months to treat) to the most complex cases (which can take longer), your AAO orthodontist has the training, experience, and skills necessary to deliver an excellent result in the shortest amount of time. It’s not worth the risk to have someone who attempts to do orthodontics as a side business because of the possible irreversible damage that can occur.

Myth #5. Orthodontic treatment is purely cosmetic.

There’s much more to orthodontic treatment than what you think. An improved appearance is the most obvious result but that is not the only positive of getting braces. When teeth and jaws are in alignment, it means function (biting, chewing, speaking) is also improved!

That beautiful smile is the outward sign of good oral health, and it sets the stage for the patient’s overall well-being. Orthodontists play a larger role in healthcare than what is generally realized.

Myth #6. Orthodontists only offer metal braces.

Orthodontists spend years studying and training in how teeth move. It makes them expertly qualified to use all the tools available to provide the best care possible for their patients. That includes metal braces, as well as a full range of other appliances (devices designed to move teeth) that can be fixed or removable, with clear options available. Rather than pressuring a patient into using a particular product or service offered by individual companies, orthodontists are craftsmen with a variety of tools at their fingertips. An AAO orthodontist has the expertise to provide the best appliance (at the right time) to achieve the best result in the most timely manner.

Myth #7. Orthodontic treatment is just for kids.

This is false because patients of all ages, young and old, can benefit from orthodontic treatment. Age is not a concern when it comes to getting a healthy, beautiful smile. In 2014, close to 1.5 million adults were treated by AAO orthodontists! Since adults may have more complicated cases from prior dental work or gum disease, it is imperative that their treatment be provided by an AAO orthodontist who has the training, expertise, and experience to deliver the best results.

The American Association of Orthodontists (AAO) is open exclusively to orthodontists; there are only orthodontists admitted for memberships. The only doctors who can call themselves “orthodontists” are ones who have graduated from dental school and then successfully completed the additional two to three years of education in an accredited orthodontic residency program.

When you choose an AAO orthodontist for orthodontic treatment, you can be assured that you have selected a specialist orthodontist and an expert in orthodontics and dentofacial orthopedics that will help you achieve your best smile.