Adult patients flock to orthodontic clinics following success of ‘Ugly Betty’

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The number of adult patients opting to have braces has increased significantly following the success of channel 4’s Ugly Betty, a show which charts the journey of Betty, a young girl who works at a glamorous, cut-throat magazine and wears fixed metal train-track braces.

Previously, braces had been largely associated with teenagers; however, celebrity endorsements have changed people’s opinions in favour of braces and now adult patients are opting for traditional orthodontic treatments, even though there are a variety of more discreet treatments available. Now, there is a huge number of private clinics that cater for the adult market; representatives say that programmes like Ugly Betty and celebrities wearing braces have urged people to sort out orthodontic problems and it is no longer considered ‘uncool’ to have braces.

Dentists are pleased that an increasing number of adults are coming forward for orthodontic treatment; however, it is common knowledge that treatments work more effectively on teenagers because their teeth are still developing. Orthodontic treatment is very effective and it is important because orthodontic problems can have a negative effect on actions such as eating and speaking, as well as contributing to problems with the aesthetics of the smile. The way people look when they smile affects their self-confidence and people that are happy with the way their teeth look are more likely to excel in both their social and professional lives, according to numerous studies.

The private orthodontic market is booming; currently, the vast majority of orthodontic treatments are carried out privately because funding is not widely available on the NHS. Most treatments cost in the region of £3,000 to £6,000 depending on the exact treatment the patient chooses.

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