Article Summary: People are assessing their smile after the pandemic moved meetings online and forced workers to stare at themselves for hours on end as they chat with colleagues.

Orthodontists and the American Association of Orthodontics say that’s what’s partially behind the 92.5% surge of orthodontics patients. Many are asking for teeth-straightening treatments. They call it the “Zoom Effect.”

Orthodontist John Pham sees the cosmetic appeal of teeth straightening. He thinks it will become as commonplace among the well-heeled, body conscious set as Botox or CoolSculpting treatment. Pham founded InBrace, an Irvine-based orthodontic company that was originally his thesis as an orthodontist at USC. His startup announced Wednesday it raised $102 million in a Series D round.

It’s one of many startups in the surprisingly competitive orthodontics space dominated by clear teeth aligners and lingual braces, which go on the back of teeth but it often costs more than aligners or traditional braces.


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