Orthodontic treatment is a common dental procedure in developed countries. However, the frequency and factors associated with treatment demand are different between countries. The aim of this study was to examine the frequency of orthodontic treatment in German children and adolescents and to analyse the influence of age, gender, and socio-economic status (SES; education and region) on the frequency of treatment. Subjects in a random population sample of 1538 German children and adolescents, aged 11–14 years, were interviewed at home in the autumn of 2008 regarding current orthodontic treatment and associated factors. Approximately one-third (33.5 per cent) of the subjects interviewed were undergoing orthodontic treatment at that time.
In a multivariable logistic regression model, the likelihood of receiving orthodontic treatment was higher for girls [odds ratio (OR) = 1.32, 95 per cent confidence interval (CI): 1.06–1.65], for high school pupils (OR = 1.19, 95 per cent CI: 1.06–1.34), and for children and adolescents living in the western part of Germany (OR = 1.45, 95 per cent CI: 1.00–2.08) and increased with age (OR = 1.13 per year, 95 per cent CI: 1.02–1.25). Subjects undergoing orthodontic treatment more often received prophylactic measures (OR = 2.06, 95 per cent CI: 1.63–2.59) compared with those not currently receiving orthodontic treatment. The frequency of orthodontic treatment in Germany largely depends on gender and SES.