COMMUNITY Health Councils (CHCs) in Wales are calling for young people to give their views on the waiting time for orthodontic treatment.
Orthodontic treatment is specialist dentistry to straighten crooked teeth or jaws often during childhood and teenage years.
In Wales, under-18s are entitled to free NHS orthodontic treatment but in some areas of the country, there are long waiting times, meaning some young people are waiting years for braces to be fitted after an initial assessment.
To understand the pressure orthodontic treatment can have on young people in Wales, the CHCs are asking for their views on health care and health issues that are affecting them.
A survey on orthodontic treatment has been designed in consultation with young people and is now open for submissions online. The survey will also be circulated via schools, dental surgeries, and orthodontic practices. The results will then be presented in a report to the Welsh Government, raising any concerns and issues that the survey may highlight.
CHCs are an independent watch-dog of NHS services within Wales. They encourage and enable members of the public to be actively involved in decisions affecting the design, development, and delivery of healthcare for their families and local communities.
“Speaking about the need for a survey of young people on the issue of orthodontic treatment in Wales, John Pearce, Chair of the Board of Community Health Councils in Wales, said: “Orthodontics is a typical example of something that mostly affects children. Often, it’s not an issue that adults consider unless they are parents of a pre-teen or teenager.
“What we want is for young people who have experience of orthodontic treatment to fill in our questionnaire. We are aware that in some areas, there are very long waiting times for orthodontic treatment. Sometimes this can mean years of waiting for braces.
“This happens when young people are image-conscious and this can be a frustration for them. We want to be a voice for young people in Wales on this matter.”