June 4th, 2010
The American Association of Orthodontists sets the record straight on some of the biggest myths surrounding braces and orthodontic treatment. Currently more than four million children and one million adults in North America wear braces. Below are the answers to some of the most popular-and strange- questions orthodontists across the country have received from their patients recently:
If two people with braces kiss, can their braces become locked together?
With today's smaller, sleeker braces it is extremely difficult, almost impossible, to lock braces while kissing. Also braces are not magnetic, which means any "attraction" felt is on the part of the wearers, so pucker up!
Will my braces set off the metal detectors in the airport?
You are cleared for takeoff -- the lightweight materials used in braces will not affect metal detectors.
Can braces rust?
No. Today's braces are made of new stronger materials, like titanium alloy, and will not rust.
Will my braces interfere with radio signals or electronic devices?
No. Radio-loving gadget fanatics can rest easy.
Can I play a musical instrument?
Yes-- that is if you could play a musical instrument before you got braces.
Will braces increase my chance of being struck by lightning?
No. With or without braces the chances of a lightning strike remain the same which, in the US in any one year, according to National Geographic, is one in 700,000.
Now that I have braces, can I still play sports?
Yes, but be sure to wear a mouth guard. Mouth Guards are one of the least expensive pieces pf protective equipment available. Not only can mouth guards save teeth, they may also protect against jaw fractures. Mouth guards are advisable for anyone, whether they wear braces or not.
Will my braces attract unwarranted attention from fish?
Scuba aficionados take heart: there is no need to cancel your next dive. The small brackets used in today's braces, especially the ceramic or tooth-colored brackets, will not attract attention from unsavory fish or sea life.
Once braces are removed, my teeth will remain straight forever, right?
Wrong. Teeth move throughout one's lifetime, therefore it is important to hold on to retainers as prescribed by your orthodontist to maintain a healthy, beautiful smile.