Braces, More Popular Than Ever

Some say that braces are a rite of passage for children growing up in the United States. The American Association of Orthodontics estimates that from 1982 to 2008, there was a 99 percent increase in the number of Americans that don braces. Much of the cost of bracing up so many teeth has been paid through family dental insurance, but a significant portion of it has been paid out of pocket. According to the same specialists, around the very same period, the number of adults who were getting braces shot up by 24 percent.

Though in previous generations braces were thought to be a procedure meant for young people, the not-so-young are also going for their goal of a “perfect smile,” no matter at what stage of their grownup life they find themselves in. Really, there is no perfect smile, only those that are healthy and beautiful in their own particular and striking manner. But few would keep quiet on the consequent need for finding the best dental insurance plan.

What’s more, the starting price for getting braces has seen a more-than-noticeable drop thanks to improvements in technology and dentistry knowledge. Betterments in these two arenas have resulted in a braces-experience that is less painful, both in terms of the sensation of wearing the metal gear in one’s mouth, and in terms of peer acceptance of those who sport them. So individual dental PPO or not, orthodontics are a part of life for a good swath of the American populace.

Braces are not as in-your-face like they once were when they began climbing the stairwell of cultural familiarity. When the topic of braces is brought up, even within the context of a conversation about dental indemnity insurance, many also point out our society’s increased concern with physical appearance. Doing all within one’s reach to look as good as possible is, in some circles, interpreted as a signal of moral soundness. But, certainly, the general population of today is also much better educated about the importance of oral health. Putting all the factors above together makes it easy to comprehend the rise of braces in the U.S.

Sam Walters is a writer living in Los Angeles. Her writing appears in print and online.

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