Debunking Common Myths About Braces For Adults

When you hear the term orthodontics, what’s the first thing you tend to think of? If you’re anything like most people, you probably conjure up an image of a teenager in braces! While this is a very persistent stereotype, the truth is that orthodontic treatment can benefit patients of all ages—including adults! More adults than ever are exploring orthodontics as a way to straighten their teeth and improve their oral health. In fact, about 1 in every 5 current orthodontic patients is over the age of 18, and that number continues to grow each day. We’re debunking common myths about braces for adults to show you just why that is!

If you’re an adult who has spent years feeling unhappy with the way your teeth look or function, this is the perfect time to take a look at how Shine Orthodontics can help! 

Dr. Rita McGrogan offers a variety of innovative treatment options to correct orthodontic issues from mild to severe, including traditional braces. While today’s braces have come a long way and are more comfortable and efficient than ever, some patients are still on the fence about them. If you find yourself reluctant to consider braces to achieve a healthier smile, it’s probably because of what you think you know about them. 

Keep reading below as we’re debunking common myths about braces for adults and taking a look at why they’re the most popular orthodontic treatment, year after year!

Myth #1: Braces are just for children and teens

While a large number of our patients are kids and teens, you’re never too old to take advantage of the many benefits orthodontic treatment has to offer! We often begin to understand the many ways our oral health is related to our total body health as we get older. This can lead to a desire to take better care of our teeth and gums, which may include seeking dental care or orthodontic treatment. 

Many adults deal with crooked teeth, overbites, underbites, incorrect jaw positioning, or other issues that they’ve waited years to correct. Others are simply looking to improve their smile cosmetically. Whatever your reason for seeking treatment as an adult, braces can give you a straighter, healthier, more confident smile!

Myth #2: Braces will make you stand out 

When you’re already feeling a bit self-conscious about your teeth, the last thing you want is to draw more attention to them! Many people believe this is exactly what will happen if you choose to get braces, but thanks to modern orthodontic technology, there are more subtle treatments available to adult patients! Dr. McGrogan offers the following options for a complete smile makeover:

Traditional metal braces

Metal braces are one of our most popular and efficient treatments. Generally made of high-quality stainless steel, modern metal braces are much more comfortable and lighter than they used to be. They’re also customizable, with a variety of fun colored bands to choose from if you want to show off a little personality with your smile! These braces deliver excellent results and are especially useful in cases that are more severe or complicated.

Clear braces

Also known as ceramic or tooth-colored braces, these function the same way metal braces do. However, clear braces provide patients with the added benefit of semi-translucent or tooth-colored ceramic brackets. Both options blend in well with your natural smile. The brackets are about the same size and shape as metal braces, but much less noticeable. When paired with clear, white, or tooth-colored wires and elastic ties, they are an incredibly subtle way to straighten your smile. This makes them an especially attractive choice for our more image-conscious adult patients. 

Clear aligners

Clear aligner therapy uses a series of removable plastic trays that fit over the teeth to gently move them into the desired positions over time. These customized aligners are replaced with the next in the series every 1-2 weeks to keep up with the movement of your teeth. This system offers patients a bit of freedom and flexibility that isn’t available with fixed braces since the aligners can be removed when eating or drinking. It also makes maintaining an oral hygiene routine much simpler since patients brush and floss as they normally would.  

Myth #3: Braces are painful 

Modern orthodontic treatment moves your teeth far more gently and effectively than it has in the past, and braces, in general, are more comfortable than they’ve ever been. While you may occasionally experience a little discomfort as outlined below, these minor issues are usually easy to take care of with a little patience and know-how!

General mouth irritation

Non-specific irritation in your cheeks, lips, or gums isn’t uncommon over the course of your treatment. Orthodontic wax is an easy way to get some relief! Make sure the bracket or wire is completely dry, then pinch off a small amount of wax and roll it into a ball. Flatten this ball and then gently but firmly place it over the source of irritation.

Protruding wires

Every now and then a wire may come loose and irritate the inside of your mouth. This can be fixed with nothing more than an ordinary pencil by using the eraser end to nudge it back against the teeth until it flattens out. You can also place a piece of orthodontic wax over the wire to reduce irritation and provide extra stability.

Loose bracket

Loose brackets are a problem we should know about as soon as possible. Once you let us know what’s happening, we’ll help you decide what the next step should be. In the meantime, however, try sliding the bracket back along the wire to the center of the tooth. Orthodontic wax placed over the bracket can also add stability. 

Tenderness in your mouth or gums

You may have some slight tenderness immediately after your braces are put on, or following adjustment appointments. A saltwater rinse is an excellent home remedy that can be beneficial for braces patients. To relieve soreness, simply mix one teaspoon of salt in 8 ounces of warm water, then swish it around your mouth for about 30 seconds. 

A warm washcloth or a warm heating pad placed on the outside of your jaw can also offer you some relief. Over-the-counter pain relievers are another useful remedy, just be sure to check in with Dr. McGrogan first! 

Myth #4: Braces are too expensive 

Orthodontic treatment of any kind is certainly an investment of your time and finances. However, the benefits will last a lifetime! There are no hidden costs or unwelcome surprises here at Shine Orthodontics. During your consultation, we’ll go over everything included in your treatment plan. These individualized plans contain everything needed for beautiful, long-lasting results, such as:

  • all appointments, including emergency visits
  • braces or aligners
  • retainers
  • post-treatment follow-up visits
  • and an oral hygiene starter pack, too!

Our treatment fees reflect the skill of our expert team, the quality of the products we use, and the world-class service we provide. Our doctors have many years of experience creating healthy smiles for patients of all ages throughout Holly Springs and the surrounding communities. We appreciate what a big investment treatment is for patients, and our office will work with your budget to help you achieve a confident smile you love! We offer convenient payment plans, and we also accept most major credit cards and insurance plans. We’ll even file your insurance claims for you!


Get a beautiful smile with braces by Shine Orthodontics

Braces can be a wonderful option for straightening your teeth and improving your oral health, whether you’re 14 or 40. Choosing experienced orthodontists like Dr. McGrogan will guarantee you get only the best treatment for your unique smile. Our expert team provides patients with an orthodontic experience that’s rewarding and stress-free from your first appointment to your last!

If you’re ready to take the first step towards the smile you’ve always wanted, get in touch with us today to schedule your FREE consultation.