BOS raises awareness of dangers of DIY Ortho in The Mail on Sunday

The British Orthodontic Society has been continuing to raise awareness of the potential dangers of DIY Orthodontics to members of the public. An article recently appeared in The Mail on Sunday and also in the MailOnline –

The article was hard hitting and the BOS hope it will educate many more members of the public about the dangers of DIY Orthodontics.

Director of External Relations, Peter McCallum commented, “This has been part of a wider campaign to tackle the growing concern of DIY Orthodontics including:

  • Representation to GDC and CQC
  • The launch of SafeBrace – – a joint initiative with the Oral Health Foundation to offer impartial advice about orthodontic treatment
  • Liaison with all sections of the media to raise awareness

“We are working hard to get across the simple message that anyone considering orthodontics should be seeing an appropriately trained clinician.”

New statistics reveal rise in adults seeking tooth-straightening treatment

As orthodontic practices re-open,  more than three quarters (80%) of orthodontists report an increase in adult patients amid concerns over ‘DIY’ treatment in a new survey released by The British Orthodontic Society (BOS). 

Over half (60%), say this is due to heightened awareness of adult orthodontics, and more than 15% of orthodontists say their adult patients are influenced by celebrities and bloggers. The majority of adult patients (85%) are in the 26-55 age bracket and most likely to be female (80%).

As the demand for adult orthodontics increases, so do the options for patients. The stats also show concern around the dangers of ‘direct to the consumer’ teeth straightening – also known as ‘DIY braces’. Nearly two thirds of orthodontists surveyed (65%), are concerned that more patients will be seeking ‘DIY braces’ both during and after lockdown.

With many practices dealing with a lockdown backlog of patients and members of the public more aware of issues surrounding close contact, there is concern that more people may put themselves in danger with ‘DIY’ options.

Patients are advised in all circumstances to visit a trained clinician ensuring that they have the various options open to them explained, in person, so they can make an informed decision. The Safe Brace Campaign – – is a trusted space where patients can get advice about the safest and most effective way to have orthodontic treatment.

When asked what kind of braces they provide to their patients, orthodontists revealed a cross section of approaches: 

• Over 80% supply fixed braces with clear aesthetic brackets

• Over 30% supply lingual braces (fixed behind the teeth)

• 80% supply clear aligners

The most popular system, provided by more than 97% of orthodontists, is fixed braces on the front of the teeth, often referred to as train tracks. This figure reflects the high number of young people treated as NHS patients for whom fixed braces is the most appropriate option.

Peter McCallum, BOS Director of External Relations, commented: “It is good to see the number of adults interested in orthodontics remains high, we know that treatment can give people the straight and confident smile they have always dreamed about. We want to ensure patients are given the very best advice about orthodontic treatment. Our members, specialists and dentists with a special interest, offer a range of options for adults, enabling them to provide a solution to any kind of orthodontic problem.”

All figures, unless otherwise stated, are from BOS. The survey was carried out online in April 2020.

British Orthodontic Society answers the AGP question

The British Orthodontic Society has  published a document on its website ( that considers what constitutes an Aerosol Generating Procedure (AGP) in clinical practice.

Director of External Relations, Peter McCallum, and Director of Clinical Governance, Joe Noar, have said, “Key to the return to work is confirmation of what constitutes an Aerosol Generating Procedure (AGP). It is clear that AGPs should be avoided wherever possible, however, if it is necessary to carry out a procedure that may create an AGP then the appropriate level of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) must be worn.

“The British Orthodontic Society (BOS) has reviewed the evidence available and produced this guidance and these recommendations. BOS is not a legislative body and does not produce regulations that require to be adhered to. These can only come from the regulatory bodies in England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales. However, BOS does have a duty to inform, educate and protect members of the public, clinicians and staff during the delivery of orthodontic care. This guidance constitutes best practice.”

David Sarver and the art of the possible

David Sarver, an orthodontist from Alabama, and one of the world’s best-known speakers on aesthetic dentistry, is to present new data on the way in which our smile changes over the life span when he takes to the stage at the British Orthodontic Conference in September.

Dr Sarver has led the way in smile design, developing his theories on aesthetic dentistry as early as the 1980s. He developed the Orthotrac software in the 1990s and has lectured and written frequently about the role of the orthodontist in managing the treatment of all aspects of a patient’s facial appearance. He is a fellow in the American Academy of Esthetic Dentistry and was a presenter at its 2017 Quadrennial meeting.

He is an outstanding authority, having written a book as well as co-authoring three with Dr William Proffit, contributed chapters to 20 books, articles for 73 publications (including the BOS Journal of Orthodontics) and delivered 300 presentations around the globe.

His research interests include:

  • Computerisation of treatment planning and prediction-digital algorithmic imaging
  • Orthognathic surgical techniques
  • Three-dimensional facial mapping

A learned speaker he may be, he is never dry. His presentations reflect how science is evolving, his theories illuminated by superb case studies and supported by advice on optimum communication with patients.

At BOC Dr Sarver is participating in an interdisciplinary session, which will be an opportunity to showcase his clinical procedures as well as his working relationship with colleagues. In his view, interdisciplinary goes beyond dentistry, it’s a multi-medical and dental approach incorporating plastic surgery too.

Dr Sarver said: “I will present new, concise data on how the smile changes over the decades and how that data has significant influence over our decision making. The expansion of our knowledge in interdisciplinary treatment opens avenues for enhancement of our orthodontic treatment outcomes. I will present new concepts of smile design that will challenge you to open you mind to fascinating possibilities.”

Simon Littlewood, a BOS member and a Consultant at St Luke’s Hospital, Bradford, heard Dr Sarver speak at the American Association of Orthodontics earlier this year. He commented: “I have always enjoyed David Sarver’s lectures, so whenever I see his name on the programme, I will always make sure I am there to hear it. David presented at the recent AAO in Washington, talking about how he uses new digital technology to help in predicting outcomes and discussing what may be possible with his patients. His lecture provided an inspiring approach to communications with patients, using the evolving technologies that are available to us, and as always he presented in his own inimitable and entertaining style.”

BOS encourages patients to enter Against the Odds award 2018

The British Orthodontic Society’s Against The Odds award showcases the transformative power of braces by identifying the best account of orthodontic treatment told by a patient. Entries are now being encouraged for the deadline of 31 August 2018.

Patients who enter the award should describe in five hundred words their experience of treatment, explaining how the final outcome was achieved “against the odds” and how their specialist supported them through the treatment.

Sponsored by Ormco, the award is open to children and adults and is now in its 12th year. The most recent winner was 17-year-old Lubo Rnic. (

Lubo’s orthodontic treatment was carried out by Bristol-based orthodontist Dr Peter Thomas after speech and language therapist Sarah Barnett suggested that orthodontics could help Lubo.

The first prize is £750 worth of travel vouchers for the patient while the orthodontist is awarded with a trophy. To download the entry form: