Americans Do Little Research on Orthodontic Treatment Options Even Though They Rate a "Smile" as the #1 Characteristic of a Positive First Impression and the Key to Success, Health and Happiness

Brea, Calif. (Jan. 23, 2020) — A smile says a thousand words, but a new survey sponsored by Ormco Corporation, Ormco™ Corporation, a global leader of orthodontic products and services, reveals consumers are more confused than ever about the teeth-straightening options available today and whether an orthodontist is even needed to manage the process of attaining a beautiful, healthy smile. The online survey of more than 1,000 adults, commissioned by Propeller Research, found that a "smile" ranked as the #1 physical trait of a first impression; yet, not even half of the adults surveyed (46%) feel confident with their smiles. The survey also uncovered how even though approximately 9 out of 10 parents rank teeth straightening as their highest priority as a financial investment for their children's long-term success, they are not doing the research to make well-informed treatment decisions.

In response to this survey, Ormco has created the website to help educate people that not all treatments, doctors, and even smiles are created equal, and to illuminate and debunk the myths around teeth-straightening treatment options.

"Investing in an orthodontic treatment can be an amazing, life-changing experience," says Lisa Lee Freeman, consumer and shopping expert. "But most people don't spend the time to understand their options so they can choose the best treatment for them. It's an investment designed to last a lifetime, and correcting a smile is not a one-size-fits-all process. Also, new advancements may lead to less painful and clunky treatment and better smiles. Finding the right doctor is key. Smile results vary by doctor and the type of braces or aligners used. Many people don't realize that not all doctors use the same treatments and not everyone is a good candidate for all treatments. An orthodontist has extensive training and experience to help you achieve the best outcome and create a healthy, gorgeous smile."

According to the survey, Americans (adults and parents) believe in the importance of straight teeth and a beautiful smile. However, the majority of respondents (76% of adults and 65% of parents) did fewer than three hours of research when making orthodontic treatment decisions for themselves and their children, and 20% of parents and 37% of adults did less than one hour of research. Adds Lisa Lee Freeman, "People spend more time planning a birthday party or researching hotels for a vacation than they do getting smart about a medical treatmenti they rank as the #1 financial investment in their appearance and their child's long-term happiness."

Key survey findings include:

  • A "smile" ranked as the #1 physical trait of a first impression among adults and parents.iii
  • When asked to prioritize physical issues they would fix if they were an issue for them or their children, both adults and parents ranked straightening teeth as their #1 priority.iv
  • 70% of both parents and adults cited they would consider an aligner sold directly by a manufacturer that did not involve any orthodontist or dentist, thereby removing the doctor from the process of tooth and root movement.
  • 43% of parents seek orthodontic treatment for their children because they believe it will help them be more successful in life, and approximately 38% believe it will help prevent bullying or judgment.
  • Adults rate teeth straightening #1 over some self-improvements, including cosmetic surgery.
  • Adults who seek adult orthodontic treatment cite the top 5 reasons for doing so are to boost confidence (59%), attractiveness (55%), health reasons (45%), reduce judgment from others (24%) and help with career success (20%).

The science of tooth movement and technologies to treat patients have significantly changed since today's adults wore braces. Orthodontics have now moved beyond the days of bulky metal brackets, heavy force on teeth, clunky headgear and painful rubber bands. Treatment today can go beyond just straightening teeth. Besides enhancing one's profile, facial symmetry, jaw line, and cheek structure, orthodontic treatment can help reduce gum disease, improve function with proper jaw alignment to help with jaw pain, chewing, and speaking – all of which contribute to optimum oral health. According to the American Association of Orthodontists, a parent does not need to wait for a referral from a dentist to see an orthodontist, and children should be evaluated by the age of sevenii.

"I was particularly disheartened by the survey results that showed 7 in 10 parents and adults would strongly consider an in-mail consumer aligner treatment that often eliminates in-person visits with the orthodontist," said Dr. Jeff Summers. "Orthodontists have years of specialty training after dental school and a suite of tools to treat a wide range of complex cases. Not all treatment options and results are equal, so my advice is for patients to do their homework and interview several orthodontists."

To test your Healthy Smile IQ, learn about the latest treatment options, and how to find and interview an orthodontist, visit

About Ormco

Ormco, headquartered in Brea, Calif., is a global leader and innovator of orthodontic products and solutions to help enhance the lives of its customers and their patients. For nearly 60 years, Ormco has partnered with the orthodontic community to help create over 20 million smiles in over 130 countries. Distinguished products range from twin brackets (Symetri™ Clear, Titanium Orthos™ and Mini Diamond™) to pioneering self-ligating appliances with the Damon™ System (including Damon™ Q2 and Damon™ Clear2). Ormco's Insignia™ Advanced Smile Design™ provides an all-inclusive customized indirect bonding solution for efficiency through personalization. Spark™ Clear Aligner System is designed to meet the needs of the orthodontist with the TruGEN™ material and 3D Approver software. From personalized service to professional education programs and marketing support, Ormco is committed to helping orthodontists achieve their clinical and practice management objectives. Connect on Facebook at and LinkedIn at

Survey Methodology 
A national, online survey of 1,011 U.S. consumers, targeting adults (18+ years) and parents, was conducted by Propeller Insights between Sept. 15 - 17, 2019. All participants self-identified as having purchased teeth straightening products or services in the past four years or are considering purchasing teeth-straightening products or services in the next two years. Responses have a maximum margin of sampling error of +/- 3 percentage points with a 95 percent level of confidence. 
iStatement attributed to Lisa Lee Freeman, paid spokesperson by Ormco. 
iiStatement made by the American Association of Orthodontists. 
iiiSignificantly higher than eyes, height, weight, hair, skin or body type. 
ivSignificantly above weight, skin, hair, fixing their nose, or swapping contacts for glasses. 
Lisa Lee Freeman is a paid spokesperson for Ormco. The opinions expressed are those of Dr. Jeff Summers and Lisa Lee Freeman. Ormco is a medical device manufacturer and does not dispense medical advice. Clinicians should use their own professional judgment in treating their patients.

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