The path to a straight, white, vibrant smile is often paved with, well, metal and rubber bands. For most of us, the smile of our dreams can only be attained through years of dedicated orthodontic work, but most people think the energy and time is worth the payout. If you or someone you love is about to undergo an orthodontic transformation, read on to learn a few fun facts about braces you may not already know!
1. Around 25% of people who wear braces are adults.
Long gone are the days where orthodontia was simply for school aged children. Over the last decades, the number of adults seeking braces to enhance their smiles has risen significantly. In fact, at any given time 4 million Americans are donning braces and, of those, 1 million are adults!
2. There are more kinds of braces than you probably know of.
In fact, there are more than ten different types of these smile-enhancing contraptions! From traditional metal to the nearly invisible Invisalign, there are a wide range of options for transforming your smile. Your dentist will be able to help you come up with the best treatment options for your situation.
3. All orthodontists are dentists, but not all dentists are orthodontists.
In fact, only about 5% of dentists go on to become orthodontists! This specialization requires an extra two to three years of training after completing dental school, so it’s not for the faint of heart.
4. Retainers are as important as your braces.
Most people think their orthodontic journey ends when the braces come off, however keeping your smile straight and aligned is a lifelong commitment. Continue using your retainer regularly to help keep your teeth in their new positions and to avoid needing additional orthodontic work in the future.
5. Braces are connected to NASA.
The metal alloy used in modern metal braces is called nickel titanium, and it was developed by NASA in 1959! The rocket scientists used it as a heat resistant material to help propel astronauts into space, but orthodontists adopted it thanks to the durability and flexibility of the metal when it is a thin wire.
6. Braces have been around for centuries.
The first recorded instance of a physician using metal and string to straighten teeth was by a French physician in 1728, but Egyptian mummies have been found with bound teeth as well! Since then, technology has advanced tremendously with our modern brackets starting to take shape about a hundred years ago.
Braces are an exciting new phase for anyone’s life and signal a new chapter featuring a straighter, more confident smile! As with any big change however, adjustments to daily routines should be made and it’s important to know how to best care for your teeth in their new condition. Scheduling a check in with your dentist may be the best way to equip yourself for your new oral care regimen!
To schedule your next visit, don’t hesitate to give us a call at Anew Dental & Orthodontics in Plainfield today!