NEW JERSEY (WTXF) - Most teens have probably endured more drilling, picking and scraping than they'd like. And most like it even less if they end up in braces, oftentimes adding to the emotional angst of an adolescent.
"They don't want to show the metal," says Dr. Ross Segal, of "Segal and lyer Orthodontics", in Marlton, New Jersey.
He says The cover-up at those forever moments, captured in photos and videos, has sometimes gone farther than a simple closed-mouth smile.
Dr. Segal says for bar mitzvahs, confirmations, we used to have to take braces off for all those events and then put them back on after the event was over. Not so much anymore because more teens are embracing their braces. He says some are proud to show them off.
But for those who still mind the metal, they're taking a very grown up approach. According to Dr. Segal, the number of teenagers seeking the invisible, removable braces started off a small percentage but then they take them out in school, it's become a little bit of a fad. Brendan Davis says he kept his braces under wraps pretty much the whole time, "It was perfect. No one even knew they were there."
Dr. Segal says at first he didn't think it was such a great idea for young people, but that the times, teens, and corrective materials have changed dramatically. And that has convinced more orthodontists to change their minds about using the removable, plastic, nearly invisible braces on temperamental teens - like his own daughter. "She's doing great. My son on the other hand, I wouldn't trust him," he says.
But 11-year-old Maggie Morris, a dancer, convinced her mom that she is disciplined enough to wear these removable aligners in order to correct her smile.
And if she cheats, there are blue markers on the aligners to tell , says Dr. Segal, "If you wear this 22 hours a day the dot will rub off completely by the time you come back. If it's still there, that blue mark, it's telling me that you're not wearing it enough." And that means fixed braces may be in her future. Maggie's mom says she will be reminding her, just in case she forgets.
Dr. Segal shows Maggie a computer rendering of how her teeth will be corrected, before the attachments are glued and fitted. "it's hard for plastic to grip teeth and bring them down so she needs those attachments to bring those teeth down."
In the meantime, Brendan's mom, Lisa, is about as excited as her 13-year-old, "Today's the day," she says, "My husband and I had some doubts that maybe he would lose them or wouldn't wear them like he was supposed to wear them." But her young surfer, baseball player and cross country runner didn't cut any corners. Dr. Segal says Brendan's correction was significant.
Just six months later. "I just did what everybody told me," says Brendan, "I wore them 22 hours a day, only when I was eating did I take them out and luckily, I got 'em off in a third of the time.
"That was definitely quicker than I expected," says Dr Segal. But that's exactly what Maggie is hoping for in her case.
She'll require fewer doctor visits with the Invisalign and she wouldn't have any problem eating or wires poking inside. Dr. Segal says patients still have to wear a retainer because all braces work the same and he says they cost about the same as wire braces. But he says there are some cases that still require the wire to correct. An get this, the doctor says his teen patients are turning out to be much better than the adults.