It’s no surprise that children can be cruel to one another, especially when it comes to appearance. An off-brand shoe or an oversized pair of glasses can cause an uproar amongst kids when they’re at an age where appearance is everything. Unfortunately, this negativity extends past clothing and accessories — it can be caused by imperfect teeth, too.

A study conducted in Amman, Jordan, looked at schoolchildren between the ages of 11 and 12. The findings certainly will not be easy for parents to hear or comprehend: the observed sixth graders were more likely to fall victim to bullying due to the appearance of their teeth or faces. In fact, a staggering 50 percent of surveyed students referenced teeth as a cause of bullying; there’s no difference in the bullying in terms of gender, either. And, along with imperfect smiles, bullies also targeted these students’ weight and perceived strength, or lack thereof.

Jordanian researchers cited a few motivators for conducting this study. They not only wanted to know how many students experienced bullying in general, but they wanted to investigate the reasons why. From there, they honed in on the effect that facial or dental issues had on the amount of bullying that these sixth graders faced.

Although the study was conducted halfway across the world, a panel of some of the top orthodontists in the United States concurred with the study’s findings, which were subsequently published in the American Journal of Orthodontics and Dentofacial Orthopedics. They actually didn’t seem surprised by its findings, as they know how important teeth are to a person’s self-esteem, no matter his or her age. Teeth at the forefront of one’s communication with others, so it’s no wonder that an imperfect set can create a barrier in social settings.

Along with these doses of reality, the doctors and dentists on the panel also gave those with orthodontic issues plenty of hope. It turns out that, as soon as a patient begins to undergo treatment of his or her imperfect teeth, self-esteem levels instantly begins to rise. This only continues as treatment continues, peaking when braces or any other orthodontic fixture is removed.

That’s why so many orthodontists, including Dr. Derek Sanders, suggest that potential patients first have an orthodontic check-up at the age of seven. Even if treatment is something that will happen down the line, children and their parents can rest easy knowing that there is a way to improve their teeth’s appearance, and that it will happen as soon as possible. At Orthodontics Only, we provide these check-ups and the follow-up procedures required to make everyone feel confident with each smile — no bully will be bringing you down with your new grin. When looking for Miami Invisalign or braces in Dade County contact us today.

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