Braces and clear aligners are becoming more popular over recent years and an estimated nine million people receive orthodontic treatment a year!
With new technological advancements that make orthodontic treatment more customizable and less noticeable than ever before (like SmartClip™ self-ligating braces and Invisalign®), braces don’t hold the stigma they once did. However, children in school can be pretty critical of peers who have unique qualities – and that can unfortunately include a unique smile.
The facts about bullying
According to a study published in the National Library of Medicine, 66% of adolescents were teased about their physical characteristics; malocclusions (dental misalignments) were found to have a significant correlation to bullying.
Another study revealed that of the children who were bullied for their teeth, 78% reported that they were no longer being bullied once they began orthodontic treatment!
While this is a hopeful statistic, we would like to see that 100% of children are not bullied for their teeth, their braces, or any reason whatsoever.
October is National Bullying Prevention Month, and Team Spillers is a proud to be part of the anti-bullying initiative! In fact, you’ll see our team wearing orange on Wednesday, October 19th, 2022 for Unity Day to unite with the American Association of Orthodontists and other orthodontic practices nationwide to stand against bullying. And we’d like to kick this month off early by spreading awareness! Parents, here are 5 tips to handle childhood bullying.
Tips to handle bullying with your child
Tip #1: Listen to your child.
First things first, hear your child out. Bullying is a serious matter, and it’s important that your child knows he or she has your support through it all. Children shouldn’t have to feel alone as they navigate challenging situations in life!
Listen to your child’s concerns and know when to raise the issue to school administration if necessary.
Tip #2. Model self-love and self-acceptance.
Modeling self-love and confidence for your child goes a long way. Parents’ habits dictate their children’s habits. If you look in the mirror, smile and call yourself beautiful, your child is likely to do the same!
Lead by example and show your child that they have plenty of qualities to love. Self-love is the best defense against bullying. When you know you’re beautiful, you know that anyone who says differently is wrong!
Compliment your child’s positive attributes and emphasize the ones that lie below the surface. Qualities like kindness, intelligence and creativity should be celebrated above physical appearance.
Tip #3: Show your child that their favorite celebrities had orthodontic treatment too!
Orthodontic treatment is a normal part of growing up and many of our favorite celebrities and influencers had treatment too. It may help to show your child pictures of popular stars in orthodontic treatment.
Emma Watson, Gabrielle Union, Gwen Stefani, Justin Bieber, Miley Cyrus, Ariel Winter, Kendall Jenner, Venus and Serena Williams, Niall Horan, Emma Stone, Beyonce and Dwight Howard all went through orthodontic treatment to experience a confident, movie-star smile!
Tip #4: Remind them that orthodontic treatment is something to be proud of.
Your child can be proud of the self-discipline and patience it takes to achieve a healthy and beautiful smile! This is something to be proud of, not made fun of.
In a few months’ time, your child will get to reveal an incredible smile that improves their health and boosts their self-esteem. Let them know that anything they do to improve their life is something to celebrate.
Tip #5: Consider alternate treatment methods if your child is particularly fearful.
We understand that traditional braces aren’t for everyone, especially children and teens exploring their own unique styles in life! Braces aren’t your only option. At Spillers Orthodontics, we’re proud to provide clear aligner treatment for all ages and cases.
A lot of our teen patients choose clear aligners as their preferred treatment method, and we’re more than happy to accommodate. Clear aligners are just as effective as braces, and they tend to be more convenient for teens’ lifestyles.
Due to our orthodontists’ level of skill and expertise, we can successfully treat anyone with Invisalign® or our very own brand of SO Clear Aligners. Depending on the severity of your case and the degree of tooth movement needed, your orthodontist may suggest SO Clear Aligners for minimal tooth movement (10 aligners or less) or Invisalign for more extensive tooth movement.
Either way, your teen gets to choose between clear aligners and braces!
Still have questions about orthodontic treatment?
We want your child to undergo a successful, life-changing transformation – and we’re here to help you support your child along the way. If you have any questions about orthodontic treatment, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us in Macon or Warner Robins.
We’re happy to discuss any of our treatments and technologies with you. We support the families in our community!
If you haven’t started treatment yet and you’re ready to get started, request a complimentary consultation with us today.