45% of adults are unhappy with the appearance of their teeth

A study conducted by YouGov’ on behalf of British Orthodontic Society (BOS) was published on Monday (22 march 2010). The research was carried out to mark the launch the first National Orthodontic Week in order to obtain some statistical information about people’s views of the appearance of their teeth. The BOS fields numerous queries about the growth of  orthodontic treatment in adults and with no good statistics available, it commissioned this new research.

The survey canvassed the opinions of 2,050 people split into eight categories according to sex, age, social status, geographical location, working status, marital status and number of children in the household. The findings reveal that:

  • 45% of UK adults are unhappy with the appearance of their teeth.
  • 2O% of UK adults would consider having some form of orthodontic treatment to improve the alignment and appearance of their teeth.
  • Of the adults who felt orthodontic treatment would be of benefit,
  • 56% would contemplate treatment for an improvement in appearance
  • 25% for an improvement in self esteem
  • 18% for an improvement in oral health and function

Commenting on the survey Dr Nigel Harradine, Chairman of the British Orthodontic Society stated, “We already had evidence from several studies which indicates that one third of all children assessed at the age of 12 have a significant need for orthodontic treatment, and now this survey shows that 20% of adults are unhappy with the alignment and appearance of their teeth and would consider having orthodontic treatment. Such findings corroborate anecdotal evidence from orthodontists who are experiencing a significant increase in enquiries from adults who may not have had an opportunity to correct their bite and their smile earlier in life. This reflects both a change in attitude towards orthodontic treatment and recent advances in treatment techniques."

The first National Orthodontic Week (NOW) takes place during the week of 22 - 28 March 2010 and was set up by the British Orthodontic Society (BOS), a charity which promotes the very best in education, research and care for patients. The NOW campaign has been created to focus attention on the ways the look and function of people’s teeth can impact on their lives and can be improved.  It also aims to provide people with clear, trustworthy and impartial information about orthodontic treatment.   

What is orthodontics?

Orthodontics is a dental specialty concerned with the growth of the teeth, jaws and face.  Nearly one million people of all ages started having orthodontic treatment last year in the UK.  Orthodontic treatment is about making the best of your teeth; it's about improving the harmony of your mouth and jaws. Once you can bite together correctly, you can eat more comfortably and care for your teeth and gums more easily. Orthodontics is all about creating a natural, healthy and enduring smile. 

Britain is one of the only countries in the world where orthodontic treatment is available free on the NHS depending on the patients’ age and the severity of their problem.  New technologies have meant that orthodontic treatment can now be discrete and more accessible to a wider range of people, no matter their age.  To find out more NOW visit


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45% of adults are unhappy with the appearance of their teeth