Bite Back on Bullying – How an Orthodontist Can Help Build Self-Esteem By Drs. Vendittelli & Hendler #backtoschool
There is one “s” word that elicits excitement from almost everyone: summer! Now that summer is coming to a close, it is time for the other “s” word: school. Getting back to school can elicit many different feelings from ourselves and our children. While most of the focus is on the opportunity for learning and reuniting with friends, there is often some trepidation about a possible encounter with a school bully. Bullying awareness and prevention has improved greatly in the last few years, although some reports of bullying are as high as one in three or one in four children.
In a recent study, crooked teeth were one of the leading causes of bullying in school-aged children. We often meet children who are eager to get their braces on and their parents are surprised that the kids are so keen. In talking with the families, it becomes clear that they are feeling self-conscious about their smile. The good news is that studies have shown that children who have their teeth and bite corrected with orthodontic appliances have improved self-esteem and social and emotional wellbeing.
What are the types of things that cause kids to be most self-conscious about their smile? The most common reason is when the top teeth stick out relative to the bottom teeth (an “increased overbite”). Another common reason is spaces between the front teeth. If your child is self-conscious about their smile, it might be time to visit an orthodontist so you can talk about treatment options and how early orthodontic treatment can improve their smile and self-esteem. It is amazing what a few months of braces and some straight teeth can do to a child’s confidence!
The American Association of Orthodontists recommends that children see an orthodontist for their first visit by age seven. The reason for this is so that the orthodontist can assess how their jaws and teeth are growing and ensure that everything is developing normally. If there is a problem with the growth of the jaws or eruption of the teeth (ex. a crossbite or big overbite) the orthodontist may recommend treatment to prevent a larger problem from developing down the road.
There is lots to prepare for back to school. A visit to the orthodontist can be part of the back-to-school checklist to make sure your child is smiling on their first day.
DRS. VENDITTELLI & HENDLER are certified orthodontists practicing at Yonge and St Clair. We treat children and adults and love making people smile! foresthillortho.com