The Myths and Facts about Braces, Retainers & Clear Aligners

We don our Mythbusters cap to give you the truth on some common myths about braces.

There are many, MANY myths and old-wives-tales surrounding braces, clear aligners and retainers. Some are plausible, and others are … well … did you really think that if you had braces and kissed someone that also wore braces, that your teeth would get stuck together? We hope not! Jokes aside, we know that some myths may be rattling around your child’s head and causing them to feel uneasy about getting braces. So, we have compiled a list of some of the more common misconceptions about braces, retainers and clear aligners, and in true Mythbusters fashion, we have rated them either ‘busted’, ‘plausible’ or ‘confirmed’.

Myth: Retainers only need to be worn for two years

Status: Busted

Explanation: This is probably the most common myth surrounding braces, and there is absolutely no truth to it. In fact, following treatment with braces, a retainer should be worn for life. The reason has much to do with our next myth.

Myth: Once you reach a certain age, your teeth stop moving

Status: Busted

Explanation: The human body goes through many physiological developments in its lifetime. And, often, these changes can alter the way the body is shaped. The same is true for your jaw, which goes through various stages of shape with each bodily transition (for example, when a baby switches from milk to solids and they no longer need to have a jaw shaped for attaching to a breast). The point is: shifting jaw shapes can cause teeth to move throughout your lifetime.

Myth: One retainer is sufficient for a lifetime

Status: Plausible

Explanation: If a retainer is looked after carefully it MAY aid in the retention of straight teeth for life. But, that is not likely. In fact, teens who have had braces early (before reaching 15 years of age) should, especially, see their orthodontist regularly to ensure the retainer still fits comfortably. As mentioned above, with the shifting shape of the jaw, one retainer may not fit correctly several years after purchase. If so, this retainer could hinder the retention of straight teeth as well as become uncomfortable or even hurt when worn. In such cases, a new retainer would need to be fitted.

Myth: Braces are more than just cosmetic

Status: Confirmed

Explanation: With the advancements in orthodontics, particularly in the last ten years, we now know that braces serve more than just a cosmetic purpose because having straight teeth actually benefits your health. Non-corrected crooked teeth or overbites can lead patients to suffer from temporomandibular jaw disorder which has been known to cause jaw pain, pinched nerves and soreness in the neck and shoulders. Also, straight teeth can improve your biting, chewing, speaking and breathing.

Myth: Treatment with braces takes time (sometimes years)

Status: Confirmed

Explanation: This is more of an observation than a myth, however, it is worth having in the list. The process of fitting and maintaining braces takes time because the repositioning of the teeth needs to be carefully controlled. If the teeth are incorrectly repositioned, it can cause severe damage. And of course, the length of time required for repositioning is dependent on the severity of the case. Also, outside factors may hinder the movement, i.e. broken bands, stubborn teeth etc., which take additional time to correct.

Now for the good news: We at KIDS Mackay understand that you or your child may still be concerned about some of the abovementioned myths, despite our advice regarding them. So, let us tell you that we have a solution which can quell doubts for good. That solution? Myobrace.

The Myobrace system works much the same as braces, with just a few differences. By using a retainer-like device, Myobrace reshapes the hard palate which, over time, will straighten the patient’s teeth. The reshaping of the palate also provides the patient with additional health benefits like improved breathing and chewing. The beauty of Myobrace is that the device doesn’t have to be worn all the time, rather the patient wears it while sleeping every night and for an additional 2 hours every day. By doing this, and a couple of daily exercises to strengthen the jaw muscles and tongue, the patient’s teeth align naturally.

So there you have it, the answers to some of the most common misunderstandings about braces, retainers and clear aligners, and also the device which may squash all these concerns for good. At the very least, we hope that your teen will no longer be worried about catching his or her braces on another set when they go for their first kiss!

For more information about the Myobrace system, braces, retainers or clear aligners, please contact us. Alternatively, complete the form below, and one of our friendly team members will contact you.


American Association of Orthodontists. (2017). 7 Myths about orthodontic treatment. [online]

Miley, J. (2017). Orthodontists say braces should be worn for life to keep teeth straight. Interesting Engineering. [online]

Orthodontics Australia. (2015). Braces myths debunked. [online]

We offer Complimentary Myobrace Consultations. Submit the form below and we will get back to you shortly to arrange your Complimentary Consultation.