How important is your smile? Rochester-based firm Harris Interactive polled 1,000 people ages 18-54 to explore the importance of a good smile in business, relationships, and self-esteem. The results may surprise you:
• 85% think a good smile is important in attracting a new partner
• 75% think it’s important for getting a new job
• 90% were “very likely” to notice a smile in a first meeting
• 71% said a nice smile makes it easier to make friends
• 86% think people with good teeth are more attractive
• 33% said they would not kiss someone with bad teeth
Today, a good smile is easier to come by. For those who need braces, the days of clunky metal brackets, or “train tracks,” may be numbered. Although traditional braces are still commonly used, more people are choosing to have their teeth straightened with innovative new technologies.
One of the newest trends in orthodontics has been the development of invisible braces. There are two main types. One is on the front of the teeth, while the other newer technology utilizes “lingual” behind-the-teeth braces. Lingual braces are extremely popular with teens and adults who want the benefits of orthodontics without anyone knowing they are being treated. They also provide an option for those who wish to have hidden braces for career purposes, such as actors, TV broadcasters, and celebrities. But anyone can benefit, since appearance may be important to success and career development in many fields. This may be why 1 in 5 people wearing braces today are adults!
Cosmetic concerns aren’t the only reason that people need braces. One local orthodontist Dr. Kathryn Rand says she sees many adult and adolescent patients who have a malocclusion, or bad bite. She says teeth that don’t align correctly often wear down quickly, resulting in abnormal tooth surfaces, difficulty chewing, and damage to supporting bone and gum tissue, all of which may result in the need to have teeth crowned in later years. Fortunately, healthy teeth can be moved at any age, so lingual braces can help prevent future expensive dental treatments while still allowing for a normal lifestyle.
In addition to offering traditional treatment options, Dr. Rand is the only orthodontist in the area to offer “Incognito” lingual braces. She also travels frequently, educating other orthodontists in the use of Incognito braces. She states that patients who choose lingual braces benefit from completely customized braces that are unique to their individual situation. Patients report optimal comfort while undergoing treatment and they love having the braces hidden behind their teeth.
If you have concerns about your teeth, talk to your family dentist. Orthodontic treatment is a viable option for almost anyone, young or old, and can fit in with your current lifestyle – you can sing, play a musical instrument, dine out, kiss, and even have your picture taken! And for many patients, braces can be hidden from plain sight by choosing behind-the-teeth braces.
Dr. Kathryn Rand is a professor of orthodontics at UB. She maintains an orthodontic practice, and is the exclusive provider of 3M Incognito Braces in the Buffalo Niagara region. For more information visit www.hiddenbraces.com. To arrange for a free consultation with Dr. Rand call 675-0155.