Braces Fit Any Mouth At Any Age
• About 75 percent of today’s teen-agers will be fitted braces, a practice of straightening teeth that dates back to the ancient Egyptians who used wet reeds.
Dr. John H. Trotter, a local orthodontist, has put braces on children as young as six years old and men as old as 89, although a majority of people get braces between the ages of 11 and 13.
Dr. Trotter puts new braces on about 200-250 children a year, which calculates to about 5,700 brackets (a small part glued onto each individual tooth) a year.
With braces, children must take extra good care of their teeth. New technology, which includes electronic toothbrushes, makes it easier for kids to keep their teeth it tip-top shape.
Dr. Trotter says that visual aids and better instructions make it easier for children to maintain healthy teeth, although all orthodontists struggle with helping kids take care of their teeth.
Technology has affected braces in a big way. “Innovations in technology are continuing to have a dramatic affect in helping orthodontists provide better care to their patients,” Dr. Trotter said.
Some of the new technology includes clear aligned therapy, computer aided designs of wires and brackets and 3D imaging of the mouth.
As Dr. Trotter has been doing this for many years, he has seen some crazy things. “I had a patient who lost his retainer in the middle of a roller coaster loop,” Dr. Trotter said. He also had a kid whose braces got stuck on the basketball net when he was dunking the ball.
From wet reeds to the technology of today, it is amazing how braces have changed over the years. We’ll see if in future years nobody gets braces, or everybody gets braces, Or maybe there will be something new. But for now, almost all teens will have braces and will get a brand new smile.