Misconceptions about Orthodontics

You can usually tell the difference between a grocery store and a hardware store, making it pretty easy to figure out where to go when you need to make a meal or fix a faucet. Regardless of which task you are taking on, you also expect both stores to have all of the options necessary for your needs. When things like this are so common, it’s a wonder there are still so many misconceptions about orthodontics floating around. 

Orthodontics has come a long way over the years, and our Backus Orthodontics team wants to clarify those misconceptions to ensure all smiles in the Hoover, AL, area are aligned and healthy! Don’t let what you’ve heard keep you from smiling as you should. Let us show you why and how our skilled orthodontic team can help you achieve your best smile.

Dentists and Orthodontists are interchangeable.

While that is the most common misconception about orthodontics, it simply isn’t true that your dentist and your orthodontist are interchangeable. While many dentists may offer orthodontic treatment like braces and aligners, this doesn’t mean they are specially trained in dentofacial movements like an orthodontist. 

Dentistry is a broad medical field that focuses on the health of the teeth, gums, mouth, and jaw. They treat a wide variety of oral health issues and diseases, including cavities, tooth decay, and gum diseases like gingivitis. Your relationship with your dentist is very important. Attending regular dental appointments for cleanings and examinations can help prevent and catch problems before they become harmful or costly. Many dentists will refer you to an orthodontist when your oral health care can benefit from alignment corrections for aesthetic or functional concerns. 

Dr. Jeff Backus is an orthodontist, but he is a dentist first. To practice orthodontics, Dr. Backus spent more than ten years in training- four years of undergraduate school, four years of dental school, and an extra two years of orthodontic residency. During this residency, students like him learn the skills needed to manage tooth movement and guide facial development. If you are looking for foundational oral health maintenance, trust your dentist. But, if you need specialized orthodontic care, you can trust that our doctor is a board-certified orthodontist- which is a distinction held by only a small number of orthodontists.

Misconceptions about OrthodonticsOrthodontic treatment options are limited to just braces.

Limited treatment options are a misconception of times passed and should not be the reason you are avoiding your best smile. Dental technology is always improving, and you’ll always get the most comfortable and effective treatments at Backus Orthodontics. Working with an expert orthodontist, some patients may even benefit from utilizing more than one option to improve their comfort and efficiency. 

Conventional Metal Braces

Metal or traditional braces have been around for many decades and are the original powerhouses of orthodontic treatment. Thanks to technological advancements in orthodontics, today’s metal braces are smaller, lighter, and much more effective at significant adjustment needs than their bulky predecessors. 

Traditional metal braces work by attaching a metal bracket to the front sides of your teeth and securing those brackets together with an archwire. This archwire is held on by elastic ties that come in various colors for ultimate personalization. Every 6-8 weeks, your orthodontist adjusts the archwire to create slight but precise tooth movement for the desired outcome.

Clear Braces

Clear braces are a great more aesthetic option to traditional metal braces. This ingenious option works just like metal braces, except this method swaps the metal brackets for clear or tooth-colored polycrystalline ceramic brackets, making them virtually undetectable. Many teen patients have even found that bright-colored elastic ties can create an almost neon effect that really pops!


Clear aligners like Invisalign have gained popularity in the last decade as technology has made them more inconspicuous, efficient, and budget-friendly. Similar to the post-braces retainer trays they evolved from, Invisalign clear aligners fit comfortably over your teeth and make minor adjustments over time for patients needing simple corrections as well as for patients who have mild to moderate dental problems like misaligned teeth, large overbite, no jaw alignment problems, or those who have gaps in their front teeth- an open bite. With this anonymous treatment option, your smile is the only thing they’ll see. 

Invisalign for Teens

Here at Backus Orthodontics, we also offer Invisalign for Teens. This adolescent aligner option places an inconspicuous dot on the back of the aligners to help keep your teen accountable for their time wearing them. It also provides extra space for molars that have yet to erupt. 

Orthodontic treatment is just for kids.

The belief that creating a stunning smile with orthodontic treatment is just for kids may be the longest-running misconception out there. You’re never too old to benefit from a straight smile and an aligned bite. At Backus Orthodontics, adults make up about one in every five of our patients, and the reasons for choosing treatment vary for each. 


Your self-esteem depends significantly on your teeth and jaws– a crooked smile or misaligned bite can leave you feeling less confident when all eyes are on you. It can cause some people to shy away from personal conversations and give a half-grin for photos instead of letting their true personality shine. Orthodontic treatment is more than just straightening teeth; often, it’s life-changing.


The space between your teeth, the position of your teeth in your gums, the alignment of your top and bottom teeth– these all need to be in an optimal position to ensure you can maintain your oral hygiene without much hassle, chew, and speak uninhibited, and breath properly when you sleep. Letting issues like these persist can lead to many other health concerns, but you don’t have to suffer through them forever. Orthodontics can restore your ability to live as you like, even if you’ve been through treatment in the past. 

Misconceptions about OrthodonticsWhen you have a unique smile, you need a unique team like Backus Orthodontics!

Orthodontic treatment is an important decision, but it doesn’t have to be a confusing one. Backus Orthodontics is your Hoover, AL, location for modern orthodontic treatment for all ages. We are committed to ensuring you have treatment options and understand how they can benefit your life, so there are no obstacles to seeing your best smile shine!

From the moment you contact our office to your final retainer check appointment, our goal at Backus Orthodontics is your satisfaction! We offer the latest technology, including clear braces and Invisalign, so you have a wide range of safe and gentle treatment options and get the custom care you deserve.

Now that we have cleared things up, what are you waiting for? Schedule your FREE consultation with our compassionate team of orthodontic experts today and start your smile journey!