Bullying…A person’s teeth and smile are the first features people notice when you walk into a room. A recent study published in the American Journal of
Orthodontics & Dentofacial Orthopedics showed that having “ugly” teeth plays a huge part in childhood bullying. According to the study, teeth were the number 1 targeted physical feature of bullies, followed by strength and weight.
The correlation between self-esteem and a person’s smile is commonly known among orthodontists, and isn’t just true for children, but can affect people of all ages and status.
Did you know Tom Cruise was a victim of smile bullying? He has had orthodontic treatment twice to fix his teeth. The first time was as a child to straighten his teeth and broaden his smile, and once again as an adult to correct a midline discrepancy.
Bullies can be cruel and it’s common for parents to ask for the help of an orthodontist when they know their child is bullied because of their smile.
Here are some tips for parents to help deal with bullying problems:
- Make sure children understand that not all baby teeth are lost until early teens and their smile will change as they grow.
- The AAO recommends that all children are seen by an orthodontist by age 7 to prevent any early teeth, mouth or jaw problems.
- You can use before and after pictures of orthodontic treatment to show how a beautiful smile is always the end goal of orthodontics.
- If you feel your child’s self-esteem is being greatly affected by teasing or bullying, discuss these concerns with an orthodontist during your first appointment.
Early orthodontic treatment can be very helpful to fix any problems, but know any treatment may have to be repeated after all permanent teeth have grown in.
At Wilke Orthodontics, our goal is to address any personalized needs for children of all ages. Contact our Green Bay, Oconto Falls or Sturgeon Bay office for a complimentary smile evaluation. We want to help you determine how to stop any teasing or bullying caused by orthodontic problems.
Send us a message or call us today!