Sir, M. Mew's letter Risking our legitimacy (BDJ 2013; 214: 143) concerning the aetiology of malocclusion gave views also previously expressed by John Mew. Mike challenges the British Orthodontic Society to engage in a debate on this complex issue, suggesting reluctance on our part to do so.


  • In the mid 1990s John Mew was invited to and spoke at a symposium organised by the University of Manchester; his views were listened to and debated

  • He also spoke at a seminar at the University of Manchester and his views were debated further. Shortly after this, Professor Kevin O'Brien made an offer to John Mew to provide research support to evaluate the effectiveness of the treatment that John was promoting. Unfortunately, John did not take up that offer

  • David DiBiase, Consultant Orthodontist, had a debate with him in Sydney, Australia, at the request of the Australian Orthodontic Society in February 1994

  • A further debate took place on 3 November 2005 and was held at Elland Road in Leeds. This debate was entitled 'Traditional orthodontics ruins faces'. The argument was proposed by John Mew and opposed by Simon Littlewood with Professor Bill Shaw as chair. A report of the debate was published in the BDJ in 2006 (BDJ 2006; 201: 243–244)

  • John and Michael Mew presented for a day at the BOS offices for all the UK orthodontic postgraduates in 2007.

We believe that the British Orthodontic Society has engaged fully in debate on the issues raised, contrary to the opinion of Mike Mew.

1. S. Rudge