Orthodontist Questions Orthodontist

What are the disadvantages of braces?

I am a 23 year old male and I want to get braces. What are the disadvantages of braces?

4 Answers


Braces are a time-honored tradition but they do come with a few disadvantages. First They are always on your teeth and only a dentist is supposed to take them off. This is a disadvantage in a few different ways. The brackets and wires will catch all the food that is ate. This means that special trips to the bathroom to clean the braces after each meal are required (shredded meats are a lot of fun). It is also more likely that food will get missed and will eventually cause a cavity. Flossing is much more difficult. Usually a floss threader is needed to get the floss around the wire to get between the teeth. Since the wires are not easily taken off by the patient if one of the wires pops loose, it usually starts poking the cheek which requires a visit to back to the dentist.
Secondly, the brackets that are put onto the teeth are usually metal and bulky. Lips and cheeks get very irritated from this and eventually some orthodontic wax (can be bought at any pharmacy) is needed.
Lastly, one of the thing most unknown disadvantages is called, "root resorption". This means that the root of any one of the teeth (usually front teeth) being moved can start disappearing from the root tip down to the tooth itself. This is a phenomenon that is not understood completely but it tends to happen more with braces then clear tray aligners. Hope this helps.

My best to you!

William F. Scott IV, DMD
Both fixed braces and clear aligner trays attract a host of bacteria that are bad boys if a patient is careless with oral hygiene. Plaque (a a sticky colony of bugs) will decalcify enamel creating white erosion damage that is unsightly and regretful. Poor dietary habits cause problems with or without braces. Sugar and acidic liquids are gasoline on the fire. Lastly failure to keep scheduled appointments or promptly repair any damage to braces will cause harm. It takes a responsible disciplined person to successfully go through orthodontic treatment without any undesirable side effects. When you play by the rules, you win.
Braces are a great option for aligning malpositioned teeth. However, braces can be a challenge to keep clean and maintain good oral hygiene. In addition, any alignment therapy can create some pressure and mild to moderate tightness to create movement of the teeth.
Braces place your teeth in the proper position. If there are COSMETIC benefits, that is a bonus.