Every year we carry out an audit of all the patients we see here at the practice. You may not be surprised to hear that we have always seen more adult women than men. But last year the number of men coming to the practice for treatment increased so that they represented nearly a third of the patient base.
We shouldn’t be surprised at the increase. It’s much more acceptable now for men to care about their appearance, whether it’s having a sharp haircut, investing in moisturiser for the skin or following the latest fashion trend. With social media being such a huge part of life, men are susceptible to wanting to look good for the next Instagram snap. For young men, in particular, who have grown up with the concept of cosmetic treatments, the thought of having orthodontics must seem quite natural. Nevertheless, it’s not so surprising that where possible, they would prefer to have the nearly invisible lingual braces.
We noticed last year that the hashtag #boyswithbraces was trending on Twitter, largely influenced by a variety of celebrity boy band members spotted out and about with shiny metal braces. Tweets such as #boyswithbraces are cute began to appear. There is even an area of Instagram dedicated to selfies with this hashtag! However, if you look at the blogs and articles written about orthodontic treatment, few are written by men.
Handsome and healthy
There is research to suggest that straighter teeth are healthier teeth. It’s true that if teeth are crooked or overlapping, food is easily trapped and brushing can be more difficult. Straight teeth provide fewer places for food particles to hide. After all, there is nothing less attractive than smelly breath or yellowing teeth!
But braces are also used to improve the position and function of abnormally positioned or crooked teeth as well as correcting problem bites. These all are issues that can affect speech, eating and put a strain on jaw muscles. Making sure that our mouths continue to function is a concern that we all share. Some of our male patients are particularly interested in this aspect, increasingly so since Lembit Opik went public after undergoing orthognathic treatment – jaw surgery – followed by orthodontics.
Here at LLOC we believe that with modern, discreet and invisible techniques such as lingual braces, we will continue to see more and more adults, male and female, who are looking for straighter and better functioning smiles, coming through our doors.
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