A third of UK teenagers are embarrassed to smile!


one third smile


A recent survey has revealed that 35% of 12-year olds and 28% of 15-year olds in the UK are embarrassed to smile because of the state of their teeth.

Is this a statistic that we should be worried about?

The confidence of a smile

The way teenagers interact with their peers can influence their later lives. Making friends, starting relationships, applying for jobs… all are made that much easier if you can smile confidently in those first few moments.

It’s not the only thing that matters of course and it can be debated that the desire for the perfect “Hollywood smile” is a cultural import from the USA.

But for some teenagers and young adults, it is a big deal if teeth are very crooked or very prominent. All the photos above are from patients of Cleveland Orthodontics who have written to us to say how their treatment has been life changing for them.

Who really “needs” braces?

For teenagers in the UK, a scale is used to decide which patients really “need” treatment and which probably don’t.

This scale used by a trained specialist orthodontist and includes measurements such as how crooked your teeth are or how far they stick out. This allows us to ensure that free NHS treatment is provided to those young people with the greatest need.

Other factors that an orthodontist would assess include how healthy your mouth is and how motivated your are towards orthodontic treatment.

You can read more about the Index of Orthodontic Treatment Need and how it works.


“More than a third of 12-year-olds embarrassed to smile because of their teeth” : Health & Social Care Information Centre

About Cleveland Orthodontics

Our specialist-led practice has been established since 1996 and provides brace treatment to people of all ages from across the North East, including Middlesbrough, Yarm, Stockton-on-Tees, Billingham and Redcar.

We offer NHS orthodontic treatment for children and a range of modern white and “invisible” braces for adults of all ages such as Invisalign. FREE consultations are available… you can either telephone for an appointment on 01642 243 020 or book through our website.