AIM: To assess the attitudes of Nigerian patients currently undergoing orthodontic treatment towards their appliances.DESIGN: Prospective clinic-based survey.SETTING: Orthodontic patients currently undergoing treatment between January 2004 and June 2005 at two referral centres in Nigeria - the Orthodontic Unit of the University College Hospital (UCH), Ibadan and the Department of Child Dental Health at the Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LUTH), Lagos. SUBJECTS AND METHODS: Sixty-four subjects comprising 40 females (62.5%) and 24 males (37.5%) who accepted to participate in the study were recruited. Each subject had worn an appliance for at least 4 weeks. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: The participants filled in the questionnaire containing questions on ‘orthodontic appliance worry’ and other items in assessing their attitudes to their appliances. The Standard Occupational Classification was used to group the subjects into social levels.RESULTS: Over 69% of the subjects agreed that they were proud to look at themselves in the mirror with their appliances on, 63.1% were glad to let their friends see their appliances while 44.6% were happy when people generally noticed their appliances. Although 81.5% of the sample claimed not being bothered about teasing from people while wearing their appliances, the cumulative orthodontic appliances worry score revealed that 80.3% of the sub-sample with complete responses on worry questions were in the ‘moderate worrier’ group while 17.9% and 1.8% belonged to ‘low worrier’ and ‘high worrier’ groups, respectively.CONCLUSION: Such concerns of the orthodontic patients in this study resulting in the majority of the subjects being in the ‘moderate worrier’ group need to be considered during pre-treatment counseling sessions for more effective orthodontic care.