Smaller braces make taunting a thing of the past

June 24, 2011 2:06:16 PM PDT
For many people, braces are a fact of life. Thankfully, now there's less hassle involved in getting that perfect smile.

Fortunately for 12-year-old Camryn Cassidy, being teased about her braces is only done in fun.

"My dad makes fun of me. He calls me metal mouth and brace face," she says.

But the days of real taunting are pretty much behind us. Due to advances in orthodontics, braces are now smaller, more durable, and treatment times are usually shorter.

The braces are machined differently so the amount of brace ? which is glued onto the tooth, is much smaller. New advances in technology in the wires are also used.

Adults now are also embracing the braces. About one in five patients is now an adult.

Though braces are costly, they aren't strictly cosmetic. Well aligned teeth lower the risk of gum disease.

Crooked teeth are harder to keep clean. When they're on a straight row, adults can easily floss and brush them.

According to Orthodontist Mark Johnston, there is both myth and truth to the notion that braces make it hard to keep your teeth clean. Patients just need a little initial instruction and then lots of brushing.

Camryn is looking forward to getting her braces off so she can once again enjoy some of her favorite snacks.

"I'm probably going to go chew some gum."

Followed by a good brushing, of course.