In a release targeted to potential orthodontic patients, the AAO has set the record straight on some of the myths surrounding braces and orthodontic treatment. The following are answers to some of the most popular and strange questions AAO members have received from their patients in the past year.

Q: If two people with braces kiss, can their braces become locked together?
A: With today’s smaller, sleeker braces, it is extremely difficult and almost impossible to lock braces while kissing. Also, braces are not magnetic, which means any "attraction" felt is on the part of the wearers, so pucker up!

Q: Will my braces set off the metal detectors in the airport?
A: You are cleared for takeoff. The lightweight materials used in braces will not affect metal detectors.

Q: Can braces rust?
A: Braces are made of strong materials, like titanium alloy, and will not rust.

Q: Once braces are removed, my teeth will remain straight forever, right?
A: Wrong. Teeth move throughout one’s lifetime; therefore, it is important to hold on to retainers and wear them as prescribed by your orthodontist to maintain a healthy, beautiful smile.

Q: Will my braces interfere with radio signals or electronic devices?
A: No. Radio-loving gadget fanatics can rest easy.

Q: Am I too old for braces?
A: Absolutely not. Healthy teeth can be moved at almost any age. Currently one in five orthodontic patients is an adult. As people live longer and have healthier lives, patients in their 60s, 70s, and 80s are experiencing the benefits of orthodontic treatment.

Q: Can I play a musical instrument?
A: Yes; that is, if you could play a musical instrument before you got braces.

Q: Now that I have braces, can I still play sports?
A: Yes, but be sure to wear a mouthguard. Mouthguards are one of the least expensive pieces of protective equipment available. Not only can mouthguards save teeth, but they may also protect against jaw fractures.

Q: Will braces increase my chance of being struck by lightning?
A: No. With or without braces, the chances of getting struck by lightning is one in 700,000, according to

Q: Will my braces attract unwarranted attention from fish?
A: There is no need to cancel your next dive. The small brackets used in braces—especially ceramic or tooth-colored brackets—will not attract attention from unsavory fish or sea life.