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We all know the old saying, "kids can be cruel." It's especially true when it comes to teeth. Crooked or misaligned teeth can be the source of ridicule and embarrassment for sensitive children. Some parents worry that getting braces for their children will only make teasing worse, but wearing orthodontic appliances can actually have an opposite effect.  

In 2006, the Academy of General Dentistry released a statement encouraging parents to have their children screened by orthodontists to help with their self-confidence. 

"Orthodontics can make people feel better about themselves," wrote Dr. James Richeson on behalf of the organization. "Many patients, prior to orthodontics, smile with their mouth closed, because they are self-conscious about their teeth. But after orthodontics, they usually smile naturally, showing off their new look."

Some children may be initially embarrassed by the idea of wearing orthodontic braces, but parents should remind them that the appliances are only temporary, and their new smile will be permanent. It may also be helpful to create a countdown for when the braces will be removed, so that he or she has something to look forward to. In addition, keep your child focused on activities that make him or her happy like music and sports, so that he or she is not dwelling on braces.

Your orthodontist can also play a role by providing suggestions for less-visible orthodontic options like lingual braces or Invisalign

If you or your child are interested in how braces can help to boost self-confidence, don't hesitate to get in contact with a New York City orthodontist who will be happy to answer any questions that you may have, like Dr. Tanya Vaysman. 

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