Taking your kids to the orthodontist may have a positive consequence on their self-worth and confidence. This has been noted in a report that has been published in the latest issue of the British Dental Journal. There is this observation that every one in eight adolescent with prominent or irregularly shaped teeth have experienced bullying which has gone o to negatively affect their self-esteem.
Dr Andrew DiBiase and colleagues at the East Kent Hospitals University NHS Foundation Trust found that children between the ages of 10 and 14 were at an increased risk of being teased or bullied by their peers if they had certain dental features. This did include things like maxillary overcrowding; a cleft lip, with or without a cleft palate; an overjet and a deep overbite.
There seems to be a complex connection between the way one’s teeth look, self worth and the amount of bullying that one is subjected to. There is a growing concern that psychosocial factors are currently not considered in the assessment of a child’s need for orthodontic treatment.
Studies have gone on to show that having well-aligned teeth can influence our ability to make friends and progress in our careers. Children do understand the gist of this and how important teeth aligned in a straight line are in looking good. They know that this makes them look attractive and often times this is perceived as a yardstick by those around them.
Prof. Damien Walmsley, Scientific Adviser of the British Dental Association, noted that prominent or irregular shaped teeth can affect a child’s self-esteem, or make them the subject of teasing or bullying at school and therefore it is important that these factors are taken into consideration.
A healthy self-esteem is said to have a positive influence on many different aspects of life. Studies have shown that individuals with a high self-esteem are more likely to persist at challenging tasks, resist conformity pressure, and are more independent and less sensitive to criticism than those with a low self-esteem which has an overall impact in their lives.