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News / July 13, 2009

Dentists slam Ugly Betty for

by Guy Hiscott

Orthodontists have slammed the US TV comedy Ugly Betty for the ‘detrimental’ portrayal of wire braces.

The series follows the exploits of brace-wearing Betty Suarez, battling to make a career in the beauty-obsessed fashion magazine industry.

Now in its third season on Channel 4, Betty, played by America Ferrera, is still wearing heavy ‘train track’ braces.


But according to dentists, train track braces are very seldom prescribed to adults and, even then are not worn for more than two years.


And UK orthodontists say they are worried the programme could discourage young viewers from seeking corrective dental treatment.


A spokesperson for the British Orthodontic Society (BOS), criticised programme bosses for being ‘irresponsible’ in branding braces ugly.


She said: “It is irresponsible of the programme makers to portray Betty as “ugly” because she wears prominent braces.


‘Ugly Betty is in its third year on our TV screens and Betty remains in over-exaggerated, heavy train track braces.


‘This is not a true reflection of orthodontic practice. It is highly unlikely an adult would wear braces beyond two years.


‘Betty’s braces are certainly intended to be seen by viewers as damaging to her appearance.


‘People who wear braces are not ugly. People considering treatment should not be put off by such a stereotype.


‘Many young people and adults see wearing braces as a rite of passage, and enjoy the transformation.’