A trip to the dentist can be a harrowing experience, even for adults. There’s something about the sharp whir of the polisher, the scraping of the scalers, and the mix of spit, blood, and mouthwash at the end of a cleaning session that continues to induce abject terror. Now imagine that you’re a 13-year-old kid going to what you thought was a routine checkup, only to be told that you need to wear braces for the next four years.
This isn’t a made-up scenario – it happened to me. I remember every tooth extraction, every mouth ulcer, and every time a classmate called me Jaws. No, I don’t mean the infamous cinematic shark; I’m referring to the James Bond villain with a deadlier version of this dental adornment from The Spy Who Loved Me.
In an interview with Tech in Asia, Julian Artopé, founder and CEO of cosmetic dentistry startup Zenyum, recalled how his childhood was defined by the braces he wore. That’s partly what fueled his mission to help patients straighten their teeth with clear aligners, but at a much lower cost.
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