BOS survey reveals number of UK adults seeking orthodontic treatment remains high

19 August 2019

New figures released today by the British Orthodontic Society (BOS) reveal that the number of adults seeking orthodontic treatment in the UK remains high.

This survey, conducted in July 2019 among BOS members, was designed to gather new data about orthodontics and patient choices in the UK.

Asked if they were seeing an increase in private adult treatment, 75 per cent said yes. The majority of adult patients (80 per cent) are in the 26 to 55 age bracket. The survey revealed that adult patients are most likely to be female (80 per cent). 

However, the number of men seeking treatment appears to be on the rise. Of the respondents to the survey, 20 per cent estimate that half of their adult patients are male.

The survey has been widely reported, including by the BBC at

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

  • Over 75 per cent supply fixed braces with clear aesthetic brackets
  • Over 30 per cent supply lingual braces (fixed behind the teeth)
  • 70 per cent supply clear aligners


The most popular system, provided by more than 98 per cent 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’s interesting to see the number of adults interested in orthodontic treatment remains high. If you are interested in treatment for yourself, it’s important to seek an opinion from a professional who has the training and skill to diagnose and treat a variety of orthodontic issues. 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. The value of informed choice cannot be over-estimated.”