The number of children eligible for orthodontic treatment on the NHS is decreasing, thanks to the recent introduction of new rules by the government.
According to Chris Kettler, executive secretary of the British Orthodontic Society (BOS), the government introduced the Index of Orthodontic Treatment Need "as a definer of eligibility for treatment under the National Health Service".
"It means that children whose [dental problems] are not particularly severe will not get treatment on the NHS," he revealed.
"Probably about 25 per cent of children who were getting treatment previously are not any more."
Mr Kettler pointed out that demand for orthodontic treatment
had been "escalating", due in part to the fact that practitioners were seeing an improvement in children's teeth in general and therefore felt they would be more likely to look after their teeth after treatment.
"Also, because of the whole perception of beauty and people caring about their appearance, we're doing orthodontic treatments on things that no-one would have considered getting treatment for ten or 20 years ago," he added.
Dentistry news : 01/06/2007