Although braces can seem like a rite of passage for so many children, the idea of wearing braces for a year or two can be very intimidating for kids.
“It’s the fear of the unknown,” says Dr. G. Michael Kabot, D.D.S., M.S. of Kabot Family Orthodontics, which serves metro Detroit families at offices in Clawson and Farmington.
In order to help kids overcome that initial fear, Dr. Kabot shows them around his office during their first visit.
“I show them someone getting their braces on or getting a retainer,” he says. “It helps take the edge off when kids can see what actually happens.”
Many misconceptions about orthodontic care have caused children to fear getting braces. “I think a lot of the fears stem from braces back in the day,” Dr. Kabot says.
Anyone who has had braces in the past couple decades can attest to the discomfort – but braces have come a long way.
Here, Dr. Kabot clears up five common myths about getting braces.
1. Braces hurt
When today’s parents were young, braces did hurt. The wires were thick, the braces needed to be tightened, and the entire process was unpleasant.
“They were miserable back in the day,” Dr. Kabot says.
But, that’s not the case today. In fact, wires are lighter and braces no longer need to be tightened. In addition, treatments are typically shorter, so today’s kids don’t spend what feels like an eternity with wires on their teeth.
Dr. Kabot has opted for lighter, more functional orthodontic treatment instead of the heavy duty treatments used in previous years.
2. Braces are too expensive
According to the American Dental Association, the average cost of braces for children ranges from $4,685 to $6,500, and the cost for adult braces is $4,800 to $7,135.
As expenses continue to grow for families, it’s not uncommon for moms and dads to worry about the cost of orthodontic care for their children.
But braces are cost-effective, and sometimes even less costly than Invisalign, which are clear aligners that help straighten teeth.
“There are third party plans to help out, like Care Credit,” he says, and many other options as well.
At Kabot Family Orthodontics, patients are not charged interest for their treatments. There are also discounts for families with more than once child in need of orthodontic care.
Treatments are also spread out, which means families won’t get hit with a large bill all at once.
3. You should wait until all your baby teeth fall out
“It’s still a common misconception,” he says. “I hear that frequently.”
However, that’s an outdated school of thought. In fact, the best age to have your child evaluated for orthodontic care is between 7 and 8 years old, while their jaws and teeth are still maturing.
4. You are too old for braces
Age 84. That’s the oldest patient Dr. Kabot has ever put braces on. “She had previously lost teeth in the back, and her front teeth had collapsed into a crazy condition,” he says.
After the woman visited a dental school and was told it would cost tens of thousands of dollars to repair her smile, she visited Dr. Kabot, who put braces on her for about two years.
“Her teeth looked incredible,” he says. “She was so happy.”
At this age, a light wire brace system is used due to gums not being as strong or healthy as those of a younger person.
5. Braces damage teeth
Prior to bonding brackets, a sealant is applied to the tooth surface. This protects the teeth from marks or cavities after braces are removed.
While children are in braces, Dr. Kabot suggests they use a Bluetooth electric toothbrush, which will tell them if they are brushing too hard, missing spots, etc. Parents can also download an app for the toothbrush to keep track of their brushing habits.
For more information, or to schedule an appointment, visit kabodontics.com.