For many years, orthodontists had a battle on their hands to persuade children and teenagers to wear braces, and it was a hard battle even with the parents on their side.
In popular culture, children at school with braces often had a hard time from their peers and so there was often considerable pushback from the kids that needed braces because of this. Partially as a result of this problem, invisible braces were invented.
How things have changed! Today braces have been embraced (pardon the pun) by the younger generation as a cool thing to have. And not only are children and teenagers happy to wear braces, adults are also increasingly undertaking orthodontic treatment to fix their teeth.
A combination of factors have probably contributed to the current acceptance of orthodontic appliances. Firstly, the technology has improved considerably over the past 10-20 years. Not only have traditional braces become more lightweight and discrete, but they have at the same time become more effective, leading to shorter treatment times with less pain and discomfort. And of course there are now a range of less conspicuous methods of straightening teeth. Secondly, a greater awareness of the health importance of having good teeth has made people more open to orthodontic treatment. And thirdly, as more people are opting for orthodontic treatment, the likelihood of being teased in the schoolyard for having braces has decreased.
Many orthodontists, including Shine Orthodontics, now offer a range of different colour options for braces. You can now opt for clear (ceramic) braces, gold braces, or even get braces in the colours of your favourite sports teams – in theory you can get up to 24 different colours if you want.
According to a 2013 report in US magazine Medical Daily, in China teenagers have even started wearing fake braces as a fashion statement. We've yet to see this fashion trend take off in Australia!