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Thursday 27th October 2016

Brace yourselves for controversy

28th January 2007

A recent study published in the British Journal of Health Psychology strikes a little too close to home. Apparently, 20 years of research into the psychological impact of having teenage orthodontic treatment has concluded that it has "little positive impact on future psychological health."

I am bemused. Try telling that to my two teenagers who have developed wonky teeth and were just about to embark on a course of treatment to straighten them out. They are desperate to have them made all-American perfect and every night The Simpson's caricature of the English being a nation of tea-drinkers with bad teeth is transmitted across the Atlantic. They've already given up drinking tea - now only the teeth to fix.

So here's the problem I put to both my children. We are not going ahead with getting your teeth fixed because a study has shown that it won't make you any happier. I can still hear their answer: "Well it might not make me any happier, but I'll be a lot more unhappy if I don't get them fixed!"

That's today's teenage logic for you - and faced with this inescapable, unarguable wisdom, the psychologists don't stand a chance. I hope the study didn't cost too much.

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Article Information

Title: Brace yourselves for controversy
Author: Chris May
Article Id: 1846
Date Added: 28th Jan 2007


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