Can you believe an item that used to inspire shame has now turned into a rite of passage, if not a fashion statement, for tweens and teens in Europe and in the USA? That’s what Financial Times’ journalist Gillian Tett announces in her latest article “Brace yourself“.
Braces used to be something “uncool” and “lame” when we were younger and even in the early 2000s, kids with braces would often be called “metal mouth” or “bracehead”. That’s something we can’t deny. That is why even professional orthodontists like us are surprised at the fact that braces culture has undergone a dramatic change. According to Tett, 80% of American children are under the care of an orthodontist. Some start the treatment as early as 7 (we call this Interceptive Treatment).
Having worked in this industry for decades, we’re aware of this massive cultural shift in orthodontics. An item that used to inspire shame is now perceived as fashionable. For example, years ago, braces often came in a single, bland grey colour. Now, with the demand from young teenagers, our offerings now extend to a wide range of colours with variations and “accessories”. Orthodontists respond to the need for variations and now offer functional braces, fixed braces, removable braces and ceramic braces. We personally love this fantastic effort from brace manufacturers to provide young patients with more choices, boosting their confidence as soon as they start the treatment.
We also agree with Tett that the cost associated with treatment is something that many parents should consider before they make a decision on their children’s braces. We always highlight above all, even though we believe the cultural shift and fashion regarding orthodontic braces is great, it is still a medical treatment. Ultimately, it helps to fix misalignment and prevent oral or dental issues that people might face when getting older, providing more confidence to achieve greater success in their lives. Many patients who finished their treatments have personally thanked Dr Wong at our practice for giving them a brighter smile and allowing them to feel happier every day. So if you are thinking of orthodontics, talk to us and we will make sure we can come up with the best individual treatment plan for you.