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While there wasn't a singular moment that made her walk into the dentist's office, she recalls going to bars, newly single, and feeling too skittish to talk to anyone.
"If I saw a cute guy at a bar, I was too nervous to talk to him," she tells me.
Your smile and general appearance also improve tremendously after wearing braces, and in today’s society such matters are important. An unsightly smile can derail or have adverse effects on your career and prevent your advancement.
It may even prevent you from getting your dream job.
It’s no longer true that only children should wear braces and that adults are stigmatized when they wear them.
An increasing number of adults in the US have been wearing braces in recent years, and in the UK the British Orthodontic Society (BOS) estimates that about a million adults are wearing braces as well.
In 1989, 25 percent of the people who received orthodontic treatment from AAO members were adults. In other words, the "trend" of adults getting braces might not be anything more than a product of there being more adults out there to get braces.
Despite this, there's certainly the perception of a trend. In 1987, two years before the AAO started keeping statistics on age and gender of patients, the New York Times ran a story under the headline "ORTHODONTICS FOR ADULTS: A HELP AT ANY AGE" which included the assertion that "adults with braces, a rarity 10 years ago, are almost commonplace nowadays." In 2012, 25 years later, the Times ran a story under the headline "Orthodontists Market to Adults Seeking Prettier Smiles" which leaned on the AAO statistics and looked into a rise in advertisements aimed directly at adults.
Stacey is a friend of mine from high school, and for the record, her smile has always been nice.
That's a lot, and at the same time a little misleading, because it doesn't account for the fact that the total number of patients seen by orthodontists also went up, as did the population.
When you compare the percent of adults that have made up the total number of orthodontia patients over the past 25 years, it's relatively stable. And when you compare these numbers to the rise in United States population, the numbers seem to track quite nicely with the rise in the number of people with teeth.
They can also be much more comfortable, in sharp contrast to some traditional braces that required the use of huge metal braces, large steel wires, and strange-looking headgear.
Recent advances in orthodontics have also greatly shortened the treatment period and now fewer visits to the dentist are required.