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Friday 28th October 2016

Are braces beneficial?

29th January 2007

10042006_dentist_chair.jpgA new study has suggested that wearing braces in childhood does not improve a person's quality of life as a adult.

Braces used to correct crooked teeth may mean a person is happier with their overall looks but this has no bearing on their mental well-being the study concluded.  The 20-year research project concluded that orthodontic treatment had little positive impact on future psychological health.  The researchers said that although there was a widespread belief in the dental profession that braces improved self-esteem and psychological well-being, evidence to support this claim was lacking.

The study involved 1,000 schoolchildren who were monitored from the early 1980s, when they were 10 or 11 years old, to 2001, when they were in their 30s. The researchers concluded that those who had received orthodontic treatment such as braces had better tooth alignment and were happier with their teeth, but this had not had an impact on their self-esteem or emotional health compared with those who hadn't had any work done.  The team also found that not having orthodontic work done as a child did not have an adverse effect on future dental health.

Professor Bill Shaw, lead researcher on the study said orthodontic treatment should not be an automatic choice for all children as it has been in the past.  Thousands of children have orthodontic work done every year but Professor Shaw said there should be careful discussion about the benefits to a child before going ahead with treatment.  The University of Manchester professor added that more funding was needed for children with severe teeth problems instead of focusing on those with minor irregularities.


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Article Information

Title: Are braces beneficial?
Article Id: 1853
Date Added: 29th Jan 2007


BBC News

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