halo effect can create a false impression by associating two entities incorrectly. People think that because one may have an association with another that both do the same thing or have the same effect. Dentists deservedly receive admiration for the critical service that they provide in handling the impact of tooth decay. Regular visits at six-month intervals increase the likelihood of discovering a cavity that only gets worse with time. The dental specialty of orthodontics has no connection to the prevention or correction of tooth decay. However, many people tend to think that teeth straightening can have a preventive or corrective effect on the condition because it relates to dentistry, but the facts prove otherwise.

Preventing Tooth Decay with Traditional Oral Hygiene

Dentistry Today cites a study by two prestigious authorities, the Australian Research Centre for Population Health and the University of Adelaide Dental School, that confirms the existence of a misconception about prevention of tooth decay through orthodontic treatment. The misunderstanding that some people have regards the concept that straightening the teeth with braces can prevent “problems like tooth decay in the future.”

Examining Scientific Studies

Scientific study co-authors Professor David Brennan of the University of Adelaide Dental School and Dr. Esma J. Dogramaci published their findings about the effect of orthodontics on tooth decay prevention in the journal Community Dentistry and Oral Epidemiology. Contrary to popular misconceptions, the facts from the study confirm that orthodontics and tooth decay have no relationship. According to Science Daily, the study followed people from age 13 to 30 and recorded their dental health behaviours that included the “number of decayed, missing or filled teeth.” With a frequency of almost 30 percent, orthodontic treatment occurred in a third of the participants. The study cited the reasons that some patients choose orthodontics, and a frequent response indicated a belief that treatment prevents tooth decay. The scientists confirmed that no relationship exists between decay prevention and teeth straightening with braces.

Understanding Orthodontic Treatment Misconceptions

A belief that orthodontic treatment prevents future decay seems prevalent, but researchers confirm that the misconception has no value. In a long-term study of the dental health of 448 participants from South Australia, the results showed that the ones who had received orthodontic treatment “did not have better dental health later in life.” Orthodontics may serve a valuable purpose by realigning crooked teeth to improve bite and aesthetics. Treatment can generate a significant expense that ranges from AUS $3,000 to $13,000 for “braces worn over a period of years.”

Preventing Tooth Day in Later Life

The standard advice that every patient who visits a dentist learns almost immediately about tooth care remains the same throughout a lifetime. No substitute for brushing exists, and most dentists recommend it twice a day with one occurrence at bedtime. A better practice may set a pattern of brushing after eating anything. Advice from Dr. Dogramaci includes maintaining “good oral hygiene and regular dental checkups” as the best way to “prevent decay later in life.”