Orthodontic expert, Dr. Zieg, sheds light on warped public perception of braces
With more than 30 years’ experience in the orthodontic industry, Dr. Zieg has come
across numerous false impressions surrounding braces. Knowing how lifechanging a
beautiful smile can be, Dr. Zieg has decided to address these misconceptions, clearing
the way to your beautiful smile.
MYTH 1: Braces are for pre-teens and teens only
Nothing can be further from the truth! Teeth can be aligned at any age as long as you
are maintaining the health of your gums. Adults wear braces just as commonly as teens.
Adults who maintain their teeth well by flossing regularly and visiting their dentist for
professional cleaning can easily wear braces to correct abnormalities.
Side note: Concelo, Invisible Braces by Dr. Zieg offers exactly that, ‘invisible braces’.
This is in fact Dr. Zieg’s key specialty. Committing to braces as an adult has never been
an easier choice.
MYTH 2: Adulthood means my teeth will stay as they are because I am fully
Many people believe that once they have reached adulthood, their teeth are ‘set’ and
therefore will not get worse with aging. Again, this is a totally false perception. Teeth
may get progressively worse for many years into adulthood. This can be caused by
abnormal habits like nail biting or an abnormal chewing pattern. Sometimes, rapid
deterioration is noted over a 6-12-month period.
Side note: The sooner you consult with a professional orthodontist to diagnose and
correct the problem, the sooner you will be able to take control of the health and aging
of your teeth.
MYTH 3: It’s better to start children with braces as early as possible
There exists a common misconception that children need to start with braces as young
as 6-8 years of age in order to either simplify or even eliminate later treatment in their
teens. This is not true. Only when excessively protruding teeth are causing social
interaction issues or when the upper teeth are biting on top of, or behind the lower ones,
is early treatment indicated. The ideal time to start with braces is when the upper canine
teeth (the pointy ones next to the four front teeth), start appearing.
Side note: Extensive research has shown that early treatment to widen so called
‘narrow jaws’ has NO long-term benefit to patients and should therefore be seen as
MYTH 4: Braces stain teeth and cause permanent discoloration
Many people believe that once their braces are removed, their teeth will show unsightly
stain marks or discoloration caused by the actual braces. This is not true! The truth is
that in the absence of a good brushing and flossing routine, teeth are exposed to plaque
acids. This can result in swollen gums and unwanted white marks on tooth enamel. With
the maintenance of good oral hygiene and regular cleaning, the enamel surfaces will
remain totally unscathed. Discoloration is easily avoided with a good brushing
technique, a good toothpaste and frequency of brushing. Remember proper oral
hygiene is key. Braces do not discolor teeth.
Side note: Sometimes, pre-existing marks on teeth become more visible when braces
are removed. The reason for this is teeth that might have been overlapping in some
areas before braces, become more visible after braces are removed. This full visibility
exposes a part of the tooth that may not have been easy to brush before due to
misalignment. After braces, teeth will be straighter and aligned which means historical
stains will show more.
MYTH 5: Once braces are removed, teeth remain fixed forever
Unfortunately, this is not true. In most cases teeth will always have the tendency to
return to their original positions as soon as the braces are removed. In any event, minor
tooth movement occurs in every mouth, whether or not there has been prior orthodontic
treatment. Braces provide teeth with a ‘new normal’ for the duration they are worn;
however, when braces are removed, teeth can default back to their original position.
This is why wearing retainers is one of the most important parts of orthodontic
treatment. To prevent relapse and to allow the teeth to adapt to their new positions,
retainers must be worn faithfully.
Side note: We recommend that after braces are removed, retainers be worn every
night for at least one to two years, and then to a lesser degree “forever” while sleeping.
For some this might be three to four times a week and for others it might be once a
week. Regular checkups will keep tooth movement at bay and treated if necessary.
There are so many myths out there that hinder discovery. In the world of teeth, we are
proud to report that with over three decades of experience, Dr. Zieg, not only sets teeth
straight, but he can certainly set a few myths straight too. Visit Concelo and meet a
team of people who dedicate their lives to perfecting smiles, boosting confidence and
building lifelong relationships with clients. Dr Zieg is known for creating beautiful, natural
smiles. In addition to caring for his patients, Dr Zieg is committed to serving his
community and the orthodontic profession.
Contact our expert orthodontic practices today and meet the Concelo team:
Sandton. Call: 011 463 5294
Randburg. Call: 011 886 2430
Stellenbosch. 021 880 1447