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20 Misconceptions About Teeth Straightening

  Below, we will introduce you to 20 misconceptions about teeth alignment. This will take you approximately two to three minutes to read. Thank you for your attention.

Misconception 1: Can't Correct Teeth Alignment When You're Older

Teeth movement is a natural process of bone remodeling present in all living organisms. Therefore, orthodontic treatment is suitable for people of all ages. However, different individuals have different dental issues, and the timing of starting orthodontic treatment varies as well. From children as young as three or four years old to elderly individuals in their eighties or nineties, anyone can be a potential candidate for orthodontic treatment. To determine if you are a suitable candidate, it is advisable to seek answers from a professional orthodontist.


Misconception 2: Teeth become loose after orthodontic treatment.


Teeth themselves cannot stay in one place forever, but rather exist in a balance between stability and mobility. Orthodontics involves temporarily disrupting this balance through external forces to relocate the teeth. The bone remodeling resulting from orthodontic treatment leads to physiologic tooth movement, and it is normal to experience a certain degree of looseness during this process. Once the teeth have moved to their new positions, they naturally return to a state of equilibrium and regain stability.


Misconception 3: Teeth will fall out when getting older after orthodontic treatment.


Many people believe that losing teeth is a normal physiological process, but in fact, healthy teeth should accompany a person throughout their lifetime. Currently in our country, periodontal disease has become the primary cause of tooth loss in adults. In other words, tooth loss commonly attributed to aging is mainly due to periodontal disease, which causes teeth to become loose and eventually fall out. The key contributing factor to periodontal disease is the oral microbial plaque. The occurrence of periodontal disease is unrelated to whether orthodontic treatment has been undergone.


Misconception 4: Crooked or misaligned teeth can be corrected in just seven days.

The so-called quick cosmetic crowns and orthodontic treatments claim to be emerging dental techniques, but in essence, they involve grinding down teeth and placing porcelain crowns. While aiming for aesthetic improvement, they compromise dental health. To achieve proper alignment of healthy teeth, the correct approach is wearing orthodontic appliances, which typically takes around two years. The physiological movement of teeth is a gradual process, and orthodontic treatment requires a time commitment; there are no shortcuts.
Misconception 5: Orthodontic treatment is only for aesthetics.
Many young people undergo orthodontic treatment to improve the appearance of their teeth and even their facial aesthetics. However, the benefits of orthodontics go beyond aesthetics. The majority of middle-aged and elderly individuals seek orthodontic treatment for health and functional reasons. Straight teeth are easier to clean and promote the health of both teeth and periodontal tissues. Achieving an ideal occlusal relationship through orthodontic treatment can improve chewing function. Perfect orthodontic results encompass harmony and unity in terms of health, function, aesthetics, and long-term stability. 
Misconception 6: Tooth extraction is always necessary for orthodontic treatment.


This is also one of the reasons why many people hesitate to undergo orthodontic treatment. Tooth extraction is a commonly used method to create space, but it is not the only option. Apart from tooth extraction, there are many other methods in clinical practice to address crowded teeth and protrusion, such as expansion of the dental arch in the anterior-posterior or lateral directions, interproximal reduction (moderate tooth reshaping), and more. The most appropriate method depends on individual cases and should be determined through examination by a professional orthodontist.


Misconception 7:  After tooth extraction for orthodontic treatment, there will be gaps left between the teeth.


Orthodontic treatment is like moving teeth from their original positions to new positions, while extraction orthodontics involves creating space by extracting teeth to align the dental arch or retract protruding teeth. Therefore, as long as orthodontic treatment is done according to standard protocols, in most cases, it can ultimately result in tight alignment of teeth and restoration of normal tooth adjacency, without leaving any gaps between teeth.

Misconception 8

Braces cannot be started until all teeth have been replaced.

Not only do patients think this way, but many non-orthodontic dental professionals also hold this belief. Each individual has specific issues, and considering the growth and development of teeth and jawbones, the timing for orthodontic treatment may vary. There are early interventions during the primary and mixed dentition stages, as well as comprehensive treatments after the eruption of permanent teeth and into adulthood. To determine which situation applies to you, it should be assessed by a professional orthodontist.

Misconception 9

Orthodontic treatment must be very painful.


The fear of pain prevents many people from seeking orthodontic treatment, but in reality, orthodontics is not something to be afraid of. Wearing braces for orthodontic treatment is not a curse that tightens around the teeth. The advancement of orthodontic techniques nowadays leans towards gentle force orthodontics, where many techniques offer a safe and comfortable treatment experience, with minimal or no pain at all. Sensations of slight soreness and temporary discomfort while biting during treatment are common and manageable. Occasionally, there may be some pain caused by the development of oral ulcers, but it is generally tolerable.

Misconception 10   
Orthodontic treatment only involves wearing braces, which affects aesthetics.

Orthodontic methods are versatile and diverse. Currently, the mainstream technique is the fixed orthodontic appliance, commonly known as braces, which is bonded to the teeth and cannot be removed by the patient. This includes traditional metal braces and aesthetically pleasing ceramic braces that closely match the tooth color. Additionally, there are lingual braces placed on the inner side of the teeth and clear aligners, such as removable aligners, that have no visible brackets and do not affect aesthetics. Patients can make choices based on their own needs.

Misconception 11 

The greater the orthodontic force, the faster the tooth movement. With lower force, there is less discomfort, and the tooth movement is slower or may not occur.

Tooth movement involves the slow physiological remodeling by osteoblasts and is different from macroscopic mechanical phenomena in the physical world. It is not a case of the greater the force, the faster the speed. In fact, even a small force can initiate tooth movement, while excessive force can cause the movement to stop or lead to various side effects. Going beyond the physiological limits is counterproductive in orthodontics. During the orthodontic treatment, shortening the interval between appointments and increasing the frequency of visits can accelerate progress and thereby reduce the duration of treatment.

Misconception 12  

During the orthodontic treatment, by reducing the interval between follow-up appointments and increasing the frequency of visits, the progress can be accelerated, thereby shortening the duration of the treatment.


Tooth movement is a slow physiological process, with an average maximum movement of 1mm per month. If frequent follow-up appointments are scheduled out of impatience, without allowing sufficient time for teeth and periodontal tissues to stabilize, irreversible adverse consequences may occur. Orthodontic treatment should not be rushed, and it is crucial to respect the physiological principles.

Misconception 13

Severe periodontitis cannot be corrected through orthodontic treatment.

Many orthodontists are intimidated by this. Severe periodontitis often presents with noticeable pathological tooth movement or loosening. However, orthodontic treatment is also a way to address periodontal disease. Applying orthodontic forces within biological limits not only does not worsen periodontal disease, but it can actually improve the condition. Untreated or uncontrolled periodontitis cannot be corrected with orthodontics, but stable periodontitis can be. This requires collaboration among professionals from different disciplines, and it is a test for the healthcare providers.

Misconception 14

  Wearing braces can cause tooth surface erosion.

The orthodontic brackets are bonded to the tooth surface using specialized dental adhesive, which remains fixed on the properly cleaned tooth surface for approximately two years. During the treatment period, the brackets may occasionally debond due to external forces and need to be reattached. However, upon removal after the treatment is completed, it will not have any adverse effects on the tooth surface. This bonding technique has been widely used in dentistry for over forty years and is highly reliable, so there is no need to worry. The so-called "corrosion" is mainly caused by enamel demineralization around the brackets due to poor oral hygiene. Poor oral hygiene is the real culprit, and orthodontic treatment should not be blamed.

Misconception 15 

Orthodontic treatment can only address dental issues.


Orthodontic treatment can alter the position of the teeth, which in turn can affect the relationship between the lips and teeth, leading to changes in the anterior-posterior position of the lips and the appearance of the soft tissues. Additionally, changes in the relationship between the lips and teeth can also bring about aesthetic improvements in one's smile. Therefore, orthodontic treatment not only addresses dental issues but often significantly enhances facial aesthetics, even yielding unexpected results similar to those of cosmetic procedures.

Misconception 16  
Orthodontic treatment can potentially slim the face or alter facial shape. 

 The work of orthodontists involves tooth movement, especially in altering the position of anterior teeth. This process also leads to some degree of remodeling in the surrounding alveolar bone. The anterior-posterior position of the lips and the lip-tooth relationship also undergo changes, resulting in facial appearance alterations below the nose. However, it is important to understand that these changes are related to the area below the nose and not to facial width or other facial features. It is important to recognize the contributions of orthodontists in a realistic and accurate manner.

Misconception 17

Orthodontic treatment does not affect a child's height development.


Some parents worry that orthodontic treatment imposes dietary restrictions that may affect their child's development. However, in reality, orthodontics does not have absolute dietary prohibitions. The key is to pay attention to the methods and approach. Orthodontic treatment involves remodeling the alveolar bone, and the treatment outcome is related to the growth and development of the upper and lower jaws. However, orthodontics itself does not affect a child's overall height growth. Orthodontic treatment often spans a long duration and may coincide with the child's rapid growth phase, which naturally causes concerns for parents.

Misconception 18
Adult orthodontic treatment is prone to relapse.  
Relapse to some extent is common after the completion of orthodontic treatment, and it is not related to the age at which the treatment started. In fact, the influence of growth and development during adolescence on the stability of orthodontic results should not be overlooked. Relapse is inevitable, but in clinical practice, professional orthodontists employ various methods to minimize the extent of relapse.
Misconception 19 
As long as they are oral experts, they can perform orthodontic treatment.
Dentistry is divided into different specialties, and the study of orthodontics can only be pursued at the postgraduate level. It requires systematic learning, standardized professional training, and continuous practical experience. Therefore, specialists in other dental fields are not qualified to perform orthodontic treatments. Orthodontic procedures must be conducted by orthodontic specialists. Many developed countries have implemented a specialist physician system and enacted legislation to protect this specialization. As the saying goes, "Every trade has its master."
Misconception 20

Many patients like to compare with others, whether it's treatment plans, pain sensations, tooth movement speed, duration of treatment, or even costs.

  Every individual is unique, and orthodontic treatment should be personalized based on specific circumstances. Furthermore, the individual variations in treatment response also reflect the practical requirements of the field of dental medicine. Therefore, orthodontic treatment can only be assessed in terms of individual cases, and horizontal comparisons are inappropriate.