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Could Orthodontics Help Curb Bullying?

childJOHNS CREEK, GEORGIA– Kids can be cruel sometimes. According to one study published in the December issue of the American Journal of Orthodontics and Dentofacial Orthopedics, 10 and 11-year-old students with misaligned teeth experience the brunt of the cruelty.

Research for the study was conducted among sixth grade students in Ahman, Jordan. After gathering information from 920 students through questionnaires, Jordanian researchers concluded kids with unattractive dentofacial features, namely misaligned teeth, were targeted by bullies the most. The occurrence of bullying did not seem to vary with gender. Weight and strength issues were listed as the second and third most common reasons a child would be teased.

Although the setting of the study was oceans away, the American Association of Orthodontists stated its findings were applicable to American students, and orthodontists with the association reported treating bullied children on a regular basis.

The surveyed students detailed what sort of orthodontic issues were most frequently the subject of taunting. Gaps between teeth, misshapen or discolored teeth, missing teeth and prominent upper anterior teeth (bucked teeth) were mentioned.

“Teeth are among the initial features that strangers notice. They’re tough to hide,” says Roswell orthodontist Dr. Nima Hajibaik. “Fortunately, orthodontics can fix aesthetic issues more comfortably and efficiently than ever before.”

It’s true. At New Park Orthodontics, we offer a variety of treatments that correct malocclusion without the embarrassment of bulky, traditional braces and headgear. Kids receive discreet and advanced treatments perfect for their active lifestyles. Such convenient treatments in Roswell and Johns Creek include Invisalign, ceramic and clear braces and dentofacial orthopedic solutions.

Taking a modern approach to orthodontic treatment with a focus on aesthetics allows kids to achieve a healthy and “normal” appearing smile while gaining tons of self-esteem. Adolescence can be a turbulent time. Investing in orthodontic treatment at a young age can help kids tackle those tough teenage years with confidence and a smile.

“I’m a proponent of advertising how aligned teeth positively affect dental health, but its remarkable effect on self-esteem is equally beneficial,” says Dr. Nima.

No parent can protect their child from all of life’s challenges, but steps can be taken to provide them with a smile that won’t draw unwanted attention. While orthodontic treatment is advantageous at any age, addressing malocclusion early is especially fruitful. The AAO suggests children receive an assessment from an orthodontist by age 7 to spot any developing problems with the jaw bone and bite. Not every child can receive early (phase 1) orthodontic treatment, but those who can enjoy a remarkably efficient treatment experience.

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Dr. Nima Hajibaik
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