Believe it or not, braces have been around since 1669, developed by the first “surgeon dentist,” Pierre Fauchard. While braces are often considered necessities, luxuries, and even status symbols over the next few hundred years, they have not always been “cool.” For many reasons, modern kids assume that braces make you “dorky” or unpopular.
However, the reputation for braces as cool and even fashionable has certainly been on the rise in the past few decades. Revolutions in orthodontics have made them more customizable and stylish than ever before. Some kids are even wearing fake braces as status symbols, part of a new (and dangerous) social media trend.
Despite the dangers, these trends point to real braces finally being seen as not only functional but cool too. Read on to learn about the changing reputation and public image of braces.
Want to find out if you or your child needs braces? Visit Reese Orthodontics in Charleston, SC for leading orthodontic care.
How Braces Can Boost Confidence
It’s pretty easy to guess how braces can lower confidence. They can be uncomfortable, kids can perceive them as nerdy, and most patients don’t want to sit through so many doctor’s appointments. However, braces can become cool by providing benefits in the long term that boost confidence rather than lower it.
Crooked teeth, misaligned teeth, teeth with gaps, a jaw out of alignment, and other oral issues are often perceived as ugly. They can cause long-term health issues, including cavities that need to be filled and potential gum and tooth diseases that need to be treated.
Since all these issues can reduce someone’s confidence and all of them are treated with braces, braces can have a long-term positive impact on how kids feel about their self-image. That in itself makes them pretty cool.
Braces as a Social Trend
That’s the long-term positive impact of receiving proper braces treatment. What about the experience of wearing them in school, at work, at band practice, and all the other places kids have to go? Recent trends show that braces may not be the symbols of nerdiness they once were.
With over 4.5 million Americans wearing braces in the modern-day, almost twice what it was 30 years ago, braces have become a much more common sight. As a result, they’ve become more respected. In addition, the “fake braces” trend that has trickled through social media from less developed countries indicates the increase in popularity braces have experienced over the last few years.
Fake braces are dangerous DIY or off-brand appliances that kids attach to their teeth to appear like they’re wearing braces. The trend began on Twitch, Instagram, and YouTube with kids doing DIY tutorials on how to make “braces” from household objects. It has now spiraled into an industry that sells dangerous, ineffective fake braces to kids, even on normally reputable stores like Amazon.
What this indicates for real braces, however, is the turn towards regarding braces as a symbol of wealth, social status, and popularity. If kids are faking the treatment to look trendy on Twitch, real braces are no longer the jokes they were when their grandparents went to school.
Advances in Orthodontics
This changing reputation is partly due to advances in orthodontics technology that made braces more customizable than ever before. Today, patients have the chance to choose different braces materials – including ceramic, metal, and clear plastic Invisalign appliances – all of which are more flexible, comfortable, and versatile than they used to be. Over the last few years, braces have gotten stronger, more discreet, and more comfortable.
Patients can also choose the color of their braces, which has a huge effect on how cool they are. By choosing from any of dozens of colors, kids can personalize their treatment and feel good about it. They can change it up for special occasions, wearing their team colors to a big game or Christmas colors for the holiday season, or just for fun.
Additionally, braces aren’t all about the kids anymore. Over a million U.S. adults wear braces today. It might have been embarrassing two decades ago to wear braces to a meeting or a customer service position. Now, it’s a sign that your health is a priority and that you have the time and money to take care of it.
Choose Reese Orthodontics
If you are considering braces, you need professional advice on your treatment and payment options. For orthodontic treatments in Charleston, SC, Reese Orthodontics offers the latest technology and treatment plans. Our advanced and comfortable orthodontic treatments can be customized to suit your needs. A consultation with Reese Orthodontics includes scans, a comprehensive exam, and a conversation with the orthodontist to discover which treatment options are right for you.
Schedule an appointment with us today to stay ahead of your oral health and receive the best possible treatment in your area.