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ADULTS WEAR 25 PERCENT OF BRACES

Braces have outgrown their "kid stuff" image. Today, one of four orthodontic patients is an adult, reports the American Association of Orthodontists.

Most commonly, adults are trying to correct protruding front teeth, gaps between teeth, crowded teeth and teeth in abnormal positions. For braced adults, the biggest inconvenience, some dentists say, is giving up certain foods such as chewing gum, caramels and peanut butter.

Before treatment, experts suggest asking: How long will treatment last? What are the costs? Are fees payable monthly after a down payment?

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