Most kids aren’t too excited about getting braces. To them, braces means years (which seems like a lifetime if you’re 10) of metal in their mouth, not getting to eat candy, and having to spend extra time brushing their teeth.
But while the braces might not be their favorite experience, the investment will pay incredible dividends throughout the rest of their life. Many studies have shown the benefits that braces can provide to your child as they grow into adults.
In this article, we’ll explore those benefits, especially how braces can actually give your child more confidence later in life.
Why your child might need braces
Braces are a common treatment for a few different oral health issues, including:
Correcting bad bite (or malocclusion)
Bad bite often creates unnecessary pressure on specific teeth, which can lead to chipped or damaged teeth
Bad bite can also cause stress on your chewing muscles, which can lead to TMJ syndrome or headaches
Overcrowded teeth will make cleaning certain areas of your teeth more difficult, which makes tooth decay and destruction more likely
Overcrowded teeth can also lead to gum disease and/or the loss of teeth
Providing braces to correct these conditions at an early age sets your child up for a healthier and happier smile later in life. Having chipped, damaged, or no teeth is never good for your smile or confidence.
You can help prevent this for your child by taking action today. Not only that, you can save your child from some pain later in life from things like tooth decay and TMJ.
Early treatments reduce treatments in later years
For most people, they want braces less and less as they get older. Teens are more self-conscious of the way they look than children, and adults can be even more self-conscious. For instance, most adults don’t want to attend a board meeting with metal in their mouth (fortunately, there are some other options for adults wanting braces).
By reducing the amount of time your child will need orthodontic treatment later in life, you can help provide them with more confidence in the future. Many people are surprised to learn that the American Association of Orthodontics (AAO) recommends a child start visiting the orthodontist at the age of 7.
While treatment isn’t always required at this age, it’s still an ideal time to evaluate a child. This is because bones are still growing and we can determine if any orthodontic treatment is needed now or in the future.
Treating things early, while those bones are still growing, can make treatment later in life as a teen much easier for your child. Things like overcrowding are far easier to correct while your child’s jaw is already growing.
A good smile affects happiness
If you look at pictures on social media, you might find a lot of people who hide their teeth when they smile. This might be because they have crooked, chipped, missing, or discolored teeth. Rather than show those imperfections to the world when they smile, they simply keep their lips sealed.
But if your child covers up their smile, it could actually hold them back. One study by psychologist Paul Ekman, PhD showed that the simple act of smiling actually makes people happier. If your child goes through life hiding their smile, then life will be more challenging for them.
A good smile affects perception
Another study explored how people perceive others with good smiles. They surveyed over 1,000 Americans about images of men and women with both straight and crooked teeth. Respondents were not told about the differences, but were asked to give their honest opinion about them.
Here are a few discoveries made by the study:
29% of respondents said that another person’s teeth is the first characteristic they typically notice on someone’s face.
Respondents believed that those with straight teeth were 45% more likely to get a job than those with crooked teeth (when skill set and experience were the same).
People with straight teeth were seen as 57% more likely to get a date (based on their picture alone).
People with straight teeth were 21% more likely to be seen as happy.
People with straight teeth were 47% more likely to be viewed as healthy.
People with straight teeth were 38% more likely to be perceived as smart.
As you can see, having a good smile will drastically improve the way your child is perceived by others. Whether this is right or wrong, it is the way the world operates.
Giving your child braces at a young age makes it far more likely that they’ll have greater confidence later in life, and it also means other people will notice.
If your child is older than 7 and hasn’t been to the orthodontist, it’s time to schedule an appointment. Remember, starting treatment earlier makes it easier later in life.
If you’re in the North Atlanta area, we recommend you schedule an appointment with us here at Chattahoochee Family Orthodontics. We have three convenient locations in Suwanee, Hamilton Mill, and Cumming, GA.
Our team has extensive experience working with children, teens, and adults who are looking to improve their smile and confidence. We take great pride in the results we’re able to deliver, so contact us today to see how we can help transform your smile.