Orthodontics in an online community: A computational analysis of r/Braces subreddit

Published:January 11, 2023DOI:


      • Users voted on the posts related to the “treatment process” category and moved the posts to the list of top posts on the platform.
      • In the “question” thread, 47.79% of the posts asked for advice, 21.11% of them were related to failures and complications, and 11.85% of them were about retention appliances and relapse.
      • Overall, 69% of the replies were categorized as “useful.”



      This study aimed to analyze the semantic network and content analyses of the posts published in a subreddit related to orthodontic treatment on Reddit (Advance Publications, Inc., San Francisco, California).


      The eight threads in the r/Braces subreddit were divided into two categories: 1) “treatment process” (Braces are off!!!, Braces progress, Before and after!, and Day 1!) and 2) “question/problem” (Question, Discussion!, Need advice! and Rant!). For both categories, a semantic network analysis was performed using the Leximancer software (Leximancer Pty Ltd., Brisbane, Australia). In addition, the quality of the posts published in the “question” thread and the usefulness of the replies provided to these questions (useful, misleading, or neutral) were analyzed.


      Seven themes (braces, teeth, months, day, worth, started, and result) that mostly emphasized orthodontic treatment and treatment duration were elicited from the “treatment process” category, and seven themes (teeth, orthodontist, braces, week, bands, brush, and extractions) that mostly emphasized orthodontic treatment, orthodontists, and time were elicited from the “question/problem” category. It was also revealed that users voted on the posts related to the “treatment process” category and moved the posts to the list of top posts on the platform. In the “question” thread, 47.79% of the posts asked for advice and 21.11% of them were related to failures. In addition, 69% of the replies were categorized as “useful.”


      Reddit is a successful data mining platform, and the users provide highly useful replies to the questions posted on Reddit regarding orthodontic treatment.


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