Braces are becoming more popular over recent years with an estimated four million people wearing braces at any given time!
With new technological advancements that make braces more customizable and less noticeable than ever before (like clear ceramic braces), braces don’t hold the stigma they once did. However, children in school can still be critical of peers who have unique qualities – and that can unfortunately include a unique smile.
The facts about braces and bullying
According to a study published in the National Library of Medicine, 66% of adolescents were teased about their physical characteristics; malocclusions (dental misalignments) were found to have a significant correlation to bullying.
Another study revealed that of the children who were bullied for their teeth, 78% reported that they were no longer being bullied once they began orthodontic treatment!
While this is a hopeful statistic, we would like to see that 100% of children are not bullied for their teeth, their braces, or any reason whatsoever.
October is National Bullying Prevention Month, so we’re kicking it off early by spreading awareness! Parents, here are 5 tips to handle childhood bullying.
Tips to handle bullying with your child
Tip #1: Listen to your child.
First things first, hear your child out. Bullying is a serious matter, and it’s important that your child knows he or she has your support through it all. Children shouldn’t have to feel alone as they navigate challenging situations in life!
Listen to your child’s concerns and know when to raise the issue to school administration if necessary.
Tip #2. Model self-love and self-acceptance.
Modeling self-love and confidence for your child goes a long way. Parents’ habits dictate their children’s habits. If you look in the mirror, smile and call yourself beautiful, your child is likely to do the same!
Lead by example and show your child that they have plenty of qualities to love. Self-love is the best defense against bullying.
Compliment your child’s positive attributes and emphasize the ones that lie below the surface. Qualities like kindness, intelligence and creativity should be celebrated above physical appearance.
Tip #3: Show your child that their favorite celebrities had braces too!
Braces are a normal part of growing up and many of our favorite celebrities and influencers had braces too. It may help to show your child pictures of popular stars in orthodontic treatment.
Emma Watson, Gabrielle Union, Gwen Stefani, Justin Bieber, Miley Cyrus, Ariel Winter, Kendall Jenner, Venus and Serena Williams, Niall Horan, Emma Stone, Beyonce and Dwight Howard all went through orthodontic treatment to experience a confident, movie-star smile!
Tip #4: Remind them that wearing braces is something to be proud of.
Your child can be proud of the self-discipline and patience it takes to achieve a healthy and beautiful smile! This is something to be proud of, not made fun of.
In a few months’ time, your child will get to reveal an incredible smile that improves their health and boosts their self-esteem. Let them know that anything they do to improve their life is something to celebrate.
Tip #5: Consider alternate treatment methods if your child is particularly apprehensive.
We understand that braces aren’t for everyone, especially children and teens exploring their own unique styles in life! Braces aren’t your only option. At Wiewiora & Dunn Orthodontics, we offer Invisalign® clear aligners for all ages as an alternative to braces.
A lot of our teen patients choose clear aligners as their preferred treatment method, and we’re more than happy to accommodate. Both types of treatment are just as effective as traditional braces, and they tend to be more convenient for teens’ lifestyles. It’s all up to your preferences!
Still have questions about orthodontic treatment?
We want your child to undergo a successful, life-changing transformation – and we’re here to help you support your child along the way. If you have any questions about orthodontic treatment, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us at our Lake Mary or Longwood orthodontist office.
We’re happy to discuss any of our treatments and technologies with you. We’re proud to support the families in our community!
If you haven’t started treatment yet and you’re ready to get started, request a complimentary consultation with us today. We also offer virtual consultations for your convenience. We’re excited to meet you!