Braces 'don't help self-esteem'
 

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Braces 'don't help self-esteem'

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Braces 'don't help self-esteem'

 

Braces 'don't help self-esteem'

Orthodontic treatment on children has little positive effect on their future psychological health, according to a 20-year UK study. The study, published in the British Journal of Health Psychology, focused on 1,000 Welsh children, following their progress from 1981, when they were 10 or 11 years old, to 2001, when they were in their 30s. Those who had received orthodontic treatment were happier with their improved tooth alignment but the work had not affected their emotional well-being, while the study also found that children who did not have any work done, despite qualifying for it, did not suffer psychological difficulties in adulthood. The researchers claimed that more funding was needed for children with severe teeth problems, instead of focusing on those with minor irregularities. Professor Bill Shaw, leader of the study and professor of orthodontics at the University of Manchester dental school, said: ‘The findings confirm early work that has influenced British orthodontics in recent years.' He added: ‘Before your child starts treatment there should be a careful discussion about whether there's any benefit. It shouldn't just be an automatic thing.' Professor Shaw also said that more funding was needed in certain areas of the country where children with severe teeth problems did not have access to orthodontists. ‘It's about making sure it's available and done well and not squandering money the NHS doesn't have on treatments that are marginal,' he said. Iain Hathorn, chair of the British Orthodontic Society, said that although the study had contributed to the understanding of how orthodontics affects the well-being of patients, the results must be viewed in context. He said: ‘What must be taken into account, however, is that we live in a very different era; attitudes to beauty have changed and orthodontic techniques and materials have improved; so has patients' willingness to wear retainers to maintain the benefits of treatment. If the survey was under way today, the picture would perhaps be very different. ‘There are patients around the UK clamouring for treatment who would find it very hard to believe that orthodontics did not impart a psychological health gain.'


 Posted on : Mon 29th - Jan - 2007

 

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