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Do You Know These Common Braces Myths?

By November 2, 2020June 1st, 2023Uncategorized

When it comes to dental braces, there are myths abound. Some of the common braces myths are rooted in people’s experience with the braces of decades past (today’s braces are a big upgrade and a lot of the challenges no longer exist) and others, well, we’re not exactly sure where they come from. To help dispel any misconceptions, we’re countering some popular braces myths with braces facts!

Myth: Dental braces will set off the metal detector at the airport.

Fact: This is one of the most enduring braces myths around and every so often one of our new Bothell, Monroe, Mill Creek or Everett braces patients will ask, “Will my braces set off the metal detector at the airport?” The answer is, no, it’s not likely. While, yes, metal braces are made of metal, they’re extremely lightweight and it would be virtually impossible for them to set off the metal detector. Airport security is looking for different types of metal and the metal detectors have to reach a certain threshold before they work, otherwise they’d go off all day for little things like zippers on pants. So, if you’re planning a trip, have no fear, you’ll breeze through the metal detector at the airport even with metal braces. 

Myth: If you’re around a huge magnet, you’ll stick to it, braces-first. 

Fact: The materials used to make metal braces aren’t magnetic. Of all of our braces facts, this one is among the easiest to test. Simply try sticking a fridge magnet to your brackets and as you’ll see, it will fall to the ground.

Myth: You can’t get an MRI if you have dental braces.

Fact: Speaking of magnetic fields, another braces myth is that it’s not safe to get an MRI if you have braces on your teeth, but this is not true. We use a strong adhesive to bond your braces to your teeth so they’re not in danger of flying off during the MRI. The only issue is that sometimes the braces, depending on the metal material they’re made from, can distort the image when the scan is of the brain, face or anything above the neck. However, in most cases, different angles or techniques can be used so that the doctor can still get a clear view of the area they need to see.  

Myth: Braces are painful. 

Fact: This is one of those braces myths that likely comes from a long time ago when braces caused more discomfort. Today’s braces have features like shape-memory wires and more streamlined brackets, making for a much more comfortable experience. We can deliver significantly lower levels of force while still shifting the teeth into place, so you won’t feel any real braces pain. The mild sensitivity that occurs when you first get your braces on or after adjustments will go away quickly and you’ll forget you’re even wearing braces. 

girl-with-bracesMyth: Braces are for kids and teenagers. 

Fact: Braces are an excellent treatment option for patients of all ages! In fact, nearly one in four orthodontic patients is an adult with many choosing to straighten their teeth with braces. At Richard Chan Orthodontics, our most popular braces for adults are our clear braces. The ceramic brackets blend in with your smile and they’re much less noticeable than metal braces. However, even metal braces for adults aren’t unheard of, especially considering the modern braces we use are smaller and more attractive than ever before.  In fact, for our patients that want even more bling, we have gold braces for those that want something different than the normal metal or ceramic braces!

Myth: Braces can rust.

Fact: The material used for braces will not rust. Even if you had braces for years, they’d still be rust-free!

Myth: Braces can interfere with radio signals and electronic devices. 

Fact: While we have to say, it would be pretty awesome if you could tune into your favorite radio station or download songs from the Internet with your braces, this is another of our braces myths. Neither metal braces nor clear braces will interfere with signals or devices of any kind.

Myth: I can get braces from a general dentist.

Fact: You should only get braces from a certified specialist in orthodontics. An orthodontist like Dr. Chan is a specialist who completed an additional two to three years of training in an orthodontic residency program after graduating from dental school. It’s during this residency that orthodontists learn the intricacies of correcting dental and facial irregularities with appliances like braces. Since braces treatment can permanently change your facial structure, it’s important to see a specialist who can create your best smile in a way that’s safe and effective. 

Myth: Braces cost a lot of money.

Fact: At Richard Chan Orthodontics, we pride ourselves on making braces affordable for all of our patients. While the braces cost will depend on how complex your case is and how long your treatment lasts, we’ll tell you exactly what the fees will be upfront. We accept most insurance and offer flexible financing options, including in-office, interest-free financing with monthly payments as low as $129 per month for braces. We’re also an orthodontist who accepts Apple Health (Medicaid). When you visit us for a consultation, we’ll work with you to maximize any insurance benefits and find a financing plan that suits your budget. 

Myth: Braces are unattractive and really noticeable.

Fact: As we said several times in our braces facts, braces brackets are a lot smaller than they used to be. The brackets are also paired with thin, lightweight wires, making them a lot more attractive and less noticeable. While metal braces (silver or gold) will look great, you can also opt for clear braces for a really under-the-radar treatment. Or, if you don’t want braces at all, we’re a leading provider of Invisalign® and Invisalign Teen in Bothell, Monroe and Mill Creek, Washington and Juneau, Alaska. 

Myth: Braces take forever to work. 

Fact: While how long braces take to work will depend on what issue we’re correcting, as well as the severity of your case, you won’t be in treatment forever. Most patients wear braces for one to two years. With advances like shape-memory wires and digital treatment planning, we can ensure teeth take a more direct path to their ideal places to help you get an amazing outcome in less time.

Now that you’re an expert on the braces myths and, even more importantly, the braces facts, are you ready to learn more about the options for braces for yourself or your child? Schedule a complimentary in-person or virtual consultation with our Alaska, Bothell, Monroe and Mill Creek orthodontist Dr. Richard Chan today! 


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