Crooked teeth may be the cause of bullying, according to a new study published in the American Journal of Orthodontics and Dentofacial Orthopedics. The study, conducted by a group of Jordanian dentists, found that children who are bullied are more often singled out because of their teeth than any other physical feature.
While the research was performed abroad, the experiences of the Jordanian children can be easily translated to their counterparts in the United States. A panel of high-ranking members of the American Association of Orthodontists (AAO) reviewed the study and agreed with its findings. One member of the group, Dr. Michael Wagan, said that he identified with the bullied children.
"I was one of those kids, and was bulled because of my overbite," the Dallas-based orthodontist told the website Orthodontic Products. "I begged to get it fixed. Probably one of the most overlooked areas of research in orthodontics today is trauma and the psychological effects on a child with severe crowding and overbites. I firmly believe that early treatment is one of the most beneficial things for a young kid's self-esteem."
In the same article, Dr. Gayle Glenn, president of the AAO, said it's common to see a child become much happier after their first few months of orthodontic treatment. She did note however, that braces for kids is not always the solution for a dental problem. For some children, the misalignment corrects itself as their bodies grow. The AAO recommends that children have their first visit with an orthodontist no later than age seven to determine if treatment is necessary.
If you are interested in learning how braces may benefit your child, contact an orthodontist in New York today!