Going Back to School with Braces?
5 “Metal-Mouth” Myths You Can Bust Right Now
It happened – you got stuck with braces. You finally finished the school year, and while you were just trying to relax for the summer and make the latest viral TikTok video, your parents dragged you to the orthodontist, and now you’ve got a mouthful of metal. Worried you’ll be the laughingstock of the grade when you get back to class? Worry not. If any snaggle-toothed kids try to throw these myths your way, here are some cold hard facts to straighten them out (not their teeth though. They’ll need braces for that).
1. Braces are not magnetic.
Nope, not even a little bit. Did your uncle tell you a crazy story about how a kid he knew back when got his braces stuck to a metal mailbox - because magnets? Tell your uncle to save the crazy stories for MTV’s True Life. Back in the day, braces were made of certain metals that were very slightly magnetic, although definitely not enough to get stuck to a mailbox. These days, however, braces are made of a variety of metal alloys (combinations of metals and non-metals), none of which are magnetized in any way. Go ahead, hover near the mailbox, and tell your uncle to come watch: he’ll definitely be disappointed.
2. Your braces can’t be struck by lightning.
Because they aren’t magnetic, they won’t attract anything – not even lightning. If you’ve been paying attention in your science classes (good job!), you’ll know that magnets conduct electricity – so non-magnetic metal alloys like those used in braces won’t do squat. Your braces can’t set off a metal detector, they can’t interfere with a radio…they can’t do much besides realign your bite…and straighten your teeth…and give you a perfect, megawatt smile…yeah, that’s pretty much it.
3. Your braces won’t stain your teeth.
If your excitement about getting your braces off is tainted by fear that your teeth will be forever stained by them, you can brush that concern right off (actually, brush it right off after every meal! Sorry, we couldn’t help ourselves). As long as you’re taking proper care of your orthodontics, you won’t have any problem with stains. Make sure to brush thoroughly after meals and floss every day. Mouthwash is a good bet too. Avoid dark-colored food and drinks like coffee and red wine, and limit your sugar intake, all of which can cause plaque or discoloration. And, of course, go to the orthodontist and the dentist regularly to have your braces and teeth cleaned! Keeping those pearly whites sparkling is easy, with or without braces. Now you have nothing but excitement to look forward to when your braces come off!
4. Braces can’t get stuck together while kissing.
Forget whatever bad eighties rom-coms you’ve seen on TV: the chances of your braces getting stuck to someone else’s are tinier than the basketball shorts guys were wearing in those eighties movies. The brackets and wires used in today’s braces are very small, compact, and efficient; they almost never pop out of place, which means there’s nothing to get snagged on. And since braces have gotten much smaller and more discreet, they won’t get in the way when you lock lips. As for finding someone to kiss – well, we can’t really help you there. But since your brilliant smile is on its way, we know you won’t have any trouble finding that special someone.
5. No one cool ever has to wear braces.
Okay, we’ll be honest – maybe braces aren’t the coolest thing that will ever happen to you (they’re the coolest thing that ever happened to us, but that’s why we’re in this business!). But it’s a total myth that cool people never get braces. In fact, a lot of the coolest people you know had braces – and they all looked a whole lot better afterwards! Everyone from soccer star Cristiano Ronaldo to A-list actress Emma Watson have had braces – and you can find plenty of red-carpet photos of them showing off their smiles both during and after orthodontics. So go ahead, smile wide: a little metal in your mouth now for a lifetime of great teeth is definitely worth it. After all, those great teeth might land you on a red carpet someday – and that would be pretty cool.
If your back-to-school look this year includes a shiny set of braces, don’t sweat it. You’re in good company, you can’t get struck by lightning, and you can still kiss whoever you like. Just remember to avoid Monday mystery meat in the cafeteria – all the braces in the world couldn’t straighten out that situation.