Races for Braces

By Dr. Robi Ludwig

Call it the “Zoom Effect” more and more middle-aged moms and dads are joining their kids in race to get braces and straighten their teeth. Requests for Invisalign – the clear aligner trays which have all but replaced the old-school “metal-mouth” brace brackets have shot up in astronomic proportions, since the pandemic, reports Dr. Mariya Malin, cosmetic dentist in Wilton, Connecticut. At her Wilton Smiles practice, she’s seeing a jaw-dropping number of adult patients looking to enhance their smiles, after staring at crooked teeth all year long on Zoom calls and more. A November 2020 paper published in the journal of Facial Plastic Surgery & Aesthetic Medine, says “Unlike the still and filtered selfies of social media, Zoom displays an unedited version of oneself in motion, a self-depiction very few people are used to seeing on a daily basis.” And the outcome is a drastic effect on body dissatisfaction and the desire to seek cosmetic help. Forbes Business estimates that cosmetic dentistry, specifically orthodontics, should reach a global value of nearly $10 billion by 2026, because of the surge.

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In addition, there is an estimated 59-percent increase in teeth grinding and clenching, thanks to pandemic stress, with a 53-percent rise in chipped and cracked teeth, says the American Dental Association. That too is creating the surge to straighten the teeth. Which is a good thing, according to Dr. Malin, as if left out of alignment or damaged, a disproportioned smile can lead to even more trouble than mere aesthetic upset. When your teeth are misaligned, it’s not only an eyesore but it can create stress on various areas of the teeth and jaw. Tooth enamel eventually wears away prematurely, and jaw pain and chronic headaches will ensue. Straightening the teeth will fix this.

Another issue caused by crooked teeth is an uptick in cavities. As a straight smile is easier to clean, floss and less likely for food particles to become trapped, the risks of tooth decay and gum disease are lessened. One can chew properly too. Correct chewing is crucial to eating a well-balanced diet which entails all the necessary vitamins and minerals breaking down properly.

Having correct teeth alignment will also reduce the chance of dental injuries. When teeth protrude, especially the front teeth, they’re much more susceptible to injury. And having teeth in their proper form will open the airway and help with sleep apnea, which is sometimes caused when dental alignment causes the airways to become obstructed during sleep.

Lastly, when teeth are crooked, the jawbone is at risk for becoming unhealthy and that could lead to the breakdown of the bones supporting the teeth – eventually leading to tooth loss!

Invisalign is the number one go-to for all those over the age of 18-looking to perfect their smile.


Dr. Malin broke down some of the biggest questions and concerns on the process, cost and more…

What are some of the other most popular trending and cosmetic dental treatments you are doing to-date, post-pandemic and what is “new” or advanced with them?

Comprehensive cases involving Invisalign, laser gum contouring and veneers are the most requested and dominating my practice post-lockdown.

What is the average cost of an Invisalign case?

The cost for Invisalign is $6,000.

What are the most popular teeth whitening treatments you offer, and which patient is best for each?

Zoom! whitening is the easiest and most popular professional teeth whitening. Anyone is a candidate and the straighter the teeth, the better the result!

What’s the difference in result from an over-the-counter teeth whitener vs. the dental office/professional grade?

Over the counter whiteners s are cumbersome to use and usually only whiten the front teeth. In addition, theover-the-counter teeth whiteners require many more treatments as it takes much longer to see an improvement, due to the diluted concentration of the whitening agent.

Dr. Mariya Malin, Wilton Smiles



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