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US orthodontists see increase in adults wanting braces
Updated: 7/14/2008 2:00:14 PM

Dental practitioners in the US are seeing an increase in the number of adults coming to them for braces, it has been reported.

The Northwest Indiana and Illinois Times spoke to orthodontist Dr Brenda Stenftenagel, who said she has patients as young as two and as old as 82 seeking her services.

Nowadays, everyone wants to straight, neat teeth, she noted. "It's very rare that I hear a patient say it's a negative thing [to get braces] … it's such a positive thing in their life."

The newspaper cites figures from the American Association of Orthodontists which show a 37 per cent growth in the number of adults getting such treatment between 1994 and 2004.

With braces staying on for an average of around 24 months, some adults may be concerned about how a mouth full of metal may look to their colleagues or friends. While it is common to see adolescents with braces, it is still more unusual in adults.

However, new technology allows for less intrusive orthodontics that can straighten teeth with the minimum of aesthetic impact.

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