A jaw-dropper: Some orthodontists think we use braces too much

The $9.6B is getting a challenge from within.


July 31, 2020

Brace yourself: An industry journal found “an absence of published evidence” that straightening your teeth is healthy.

And a growing number of orthodontists say braces are overused. 

This is about to get metal

People spend $9.6B every year on orthodontics. About half of all kids have let the pros get up in their grills.

But for a profession concerned with uniformity, opinions on the research are misaligned:

The pro-braces crowd says: 

  • One study found crowded teeth were flush with bacteria.
  • Another said people who don’t get orthodontic treatment were more likely to have periodontitis, a serious gum infection.

The brace-haters’ take: 

  • Some of the studies showing that braces help your oral health aren’t fully polished — several aren’t randomized.
  • One paper found that fewer than 5% of people fit the traditional criteria for a perfect bite, questioning the necessity of treatment.

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