Not just for kids! More adults embracing the ‘new normal’ to create their perfect smiles
Traditionally, orthodontic treatments have been considered a measure for children and teens, to support the alignment of teeth and help guide the growth and development of facial bones.
It may come as a surprise to learn that, according to the latest research from Orthodontics Australia, more adults than ever are looking for ways to resolve issues that may have been troubling them for many years, or even their entire lives.
At iSmile Studio we’ve certainly noticed this growing trend. Whether it’s about boosting self-confidence, or part of the preparation for a wedding or milestone birthday, there are several theories that could explain why more adults are embracing orthodontics.
Let’s start from the start. Orthodontics is about identifying, preventing and treating dental or facial irregularities, to enhance aesthetics and function. This has an important impact on our general health and wellbeing. Properly placed teeth not only look great, but also make cleaning easier and reduce the likelihood of gum disease.
Changing the game
When thinking about orthodontic interventions, what immediately comes to mind for many are the conspicuous metal braces we associate with TV shows and movies from the 80s and 90s. The idea of wearing such visually-obvious braces for a long period of time, and the consequent impact on your confidence, is likely to have been off-putting for many adults. Thankfully, metal braces have long been superseded by clear or tooth-coloured ceramic alternatives, and lingual braces fixed to the back surface of the teeth. These are much less noticeable, offering a more appealing proposition.
The real game changer came with the rise in popularity of Invisalign®. A virtually invisible system moves the teeth in tiny increments using hard polymer aligners, created with cutting-edge technologies like scanning and computer imaging. As a result, many adults who would once have rejected the idea of braces finally had an option they could feel comfortable with. And they flocked to it in droves! This high consumer demand facilitated significant investment in research, resulting in rapid advancements in both the technology itself and the quality of the results.
Solving life-long problems
Adults are now using braces to correct tooth alignment issues that stem back to childhood, or that have resulted from tooth loss or gum complications in more recent years. This is a significant shift when you consider a lack of confidence in your smile can profoundly impact your ability to laugh freely, develop relationships, find a partner, and even progress in your career.
Interestingly, while there has always been a certain level of interest in orthodontic treatments amongst adult women, the trend is now seemingly driving an increasing number of men into the orthodontist chair.
Build your perfect smile for beauty and function … and for Instagram!
Because adult facial bones are fully developed, orthodontic work in this category is exclusively focused on tooth alignment, creating a flawless smile, and ensuring a functional mouth. This work is often complemented by additional techniques including whitening for a brighter smile, and bonding to repair any surface damage, boosting aesthetics even further.
We live in a world that relentlessly exposes us to the ideals of what a ‘healthy’ or ‘beautiful’ smile should look like. We are arguably more image-conscious than ever before and, like it or not, a vast number of adults in 2020 are now part of the Insta-generation. Could the pursuit of the perfect selfie (and thus the perfect smile!) be playing a role in driving up the number of adults interested in orthodontics?
A brave new world of technology
Running in parallel with the pressures of creating an Instagram-ready smile, continued advancements in technologies have added a level of certainty to the orthodontic process, which is appealing to adults.
At iSmile Studio, we are early adopters of what’s known as Digital Smile Design (DSD), which uses a combination of cutting-edge scanning, measuring and image capturing technologies to create an exact 3D replication of your mouth and face. We then ‘virtually’ perform orthodontic treatments on this replication, to show you what your smile could look like, and identify the orthodontic steps or ‘roadmap’ required to make it a reality.
In a nutshell, thanks to the wonders of technology, you can see your new smile before you commit! Discover more about DSD by reading our previous blog post.
Using the ‘new normal’ to set up your ‘future normal’
As COVID-19 sees us all work towards a ‘new normal’, most of us have made at least some alterations to the ways we live. Reduced social interaction can lessen concerns about your orthodontic treatment being noticed by others during face-to-face encounters. Even when out and about, more Australians are choosing (or being ordered) to cover their faces with a mask, further helping to keep your treatment incognito.
Additionally, many of us are still enjoying the extra flexibility that comes with working from home. This is likely to be the case for some time, making it easier to factor orthodontic treatments into our busy lives.
Lockdowns and restrictions have acted as a prompter for many to focus on making the self-improvements they’ve been putting off because they ‘haven’t had the time’. Today, there is no such excuse!
Interventions such as Invisalign® are an ideal solution in a socially-distanced world, thanks to the ability for virtual, remote monitoring of progress through specially-designed apps and tele health options.
So, if improving your smile will lead to enhanced confidence and wellbeing, never before has there been such a great time to do something about it.
We’re delighted that such a rapidly increasing number of adults are turning to orthodontics to finally build the smile they have always dreamed of. At iSmile Studio, we take great pride in witnessing the positive impact orthodontic treatments have on our adult patients, not only when it comes to enhancing their physical appearance, but also their self-confidence.
“Our client David is 42 years old. He has been self-conscious about the alignment of his lower teeth since childhood. Having grown up in a generation without access to the more straightforward interventions we enjoy today, and during a time when it was considered less acceptable for a male to worry about his appearance, David had never built up the courage to do something about it … until now!
“Taking advantage of the extra time, flexibility and limited number of face-to-face encounters resulting from his new working-from-home arrangement, David took the plunge and opted for Invisalign®. He is thrilled with the results so far, and told us he already feels an increased sense of confidence when he talks, laughs or smiles. And that, for us, is the best result we could hope for. So now we’re smiling too!”
“Jennifer is a fifty-something iSmile Studio client who has been with us for many years, along with her entire family. While her two grown-up children had braces while at school, she has never prioritised straightening her own teeth. In-between running a household and holding down a career, there never seemed to be enough time.
“But now the kids are starting to lead their own lives, Jennifer has found herself with a few extra hours in the day. She therefore decided, after all these years, to do something good for herself for a change, and recently began her Invisalign® journey. Speaking last week, she shared with us just how excited she is when she considers that never again will she have to worry about the appearance of her teeth. Jennifer wants to build a beautiful smile to be proud of, and who can blame her?”
“Katherine is a twenty-eight-year-old bride-to-be, and after a couple of false starts due to COVID-19, is finally looking forward to marrying Mark, the love of her life, in a beautiful ceremony towards the end of 2021. Of course, what bride (or groom, for that matter?!) would want their wedding photos to be anything other than perfect?
“Having worn braces during her teenage years, but then not being quite as committed to her retainer as she could have been, Katherine has never been completely content with the appearance of her smile … something she knows her wedding day is going to involve a lot of! Using Invisalign®, Katherine is well on the way to enjoying a realigned smile and perfect teeth for her big day, so she can look back at photos and smile, without being distracted by her smile!”
Now’s the time! We’d love to talk you through your options, so why not give one of our friendly team a call today?