HOUSTON - After years of hiding their smiles, record numbers of adults are now getting orthodontic treatments, more than half of them are women.
A Houston company has patented a breakthrough in braces that experts say will cut the patient wear time in half.
Hailey Wammack, 14, has had crooked teeth for years.
"My teeth they were all cluttered together and so I didn't want them to be like that anymore," she said.
The eighth grade cheerleader and aspiring actress was ready for a smile that would reflect her shining personality, even if that meant braces.
"I didn't want them all through my high school years like my mom did," Hailey said.
"I wore them from eighth grade to my senior year of high school and so if she can have hers off before she goes in high school, that's awesome," Hailey's mother, Jennifer, said.
Created by a Houston company, Acceledent is an FDA approved, specially prescribed, vibrating mouthpiece the patient wears over their braces just 20 minutes a day to speed up results.
"She had the eye tooth buried up in the gum bones, etc. and normally it's well over a year for that to all come down and get in place and here she is," said Dr. Lyles explaining in Hailey's case. " In seven months, it's all in place now."
"When I saw the (before and after) pictures, I was like, 'Those are my teeth?!' It's so crazy to see the difference in what they look like," Hailey said. "The Acceledent device comes in six different sizes and is custom fit to the patient. It's not only faster, but it's gentler. So you don't get the same pain and sensitivity often associated with braces."
Hailey added she usually wears the Acceledent while reading or watching TV or doing homework.
Dr. Lyles said Acceledent helps convince adults who are wary of wearing braces for years.
"Research has shown that nine months is pretty much the line that... adults, especially females, are willing to go and so if we can do it for nine months or less, they'll go for it," he said.
Now, Hailey says she's ready for the spotlight.
"I just feel like when I walk into high school, I'm going to be smiling without braces on," she said.
The Acceledent device can cost anywhere from $750 to $950 or about 15 percent of the total orthodontic treatment fee.
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