Are Childhood Bad Teeth a Reason for Bullying?

Girl with Crooked TeethThere are a few common tropes in the way media portrays bullying. The bullies are almost always bigger, physically imposing kids with hints of rebellious behaviour in both their fashion taste and choice of language. And the bullied are often portrayed as frail youngsters with a few aesthetic ‘staples’ — the most prominent of which are metal braces.

It’s why Invisalign clear braces, distributed by authorised practices such as MiSmile, are lauded in many product reviews. Gone are the days of the so-called ‘metal mouth’. The orthodontic appliance is clear and more discreet, reducing the likelihood of bullying. Such a situation is also backed by actual research, which focuses on having misaligned teeth in general.

Unsightly Teeth: Trigger for Bullies

A study published in the American Journal of Orthodontics reveals that having unsightly teeth can be enough reason for bullying. The participants include around 920 children aged 11 or 12 who went under observation. Results reveal that children with so-called ‘buck teeth’, teeth gap and overcrowded/missing teeth are likely targets of bullies.

Treatment for Improved Confidence

Another study published in the US National Library of Medicine website further points to the existence of the connection. Children and adolescents with dental aesthetic issues were major targets for bullying, be it in school or even within their own families.

The researchers also note a considerable improvement in these youngsters’ self-esteem, socialisation and academic performance, and most notably, self-confidence after receiving appropriate treatment.

Lastly, a UK-based study published in the Journal of Orthodontics rounds things up. The study’s key findings reveal that around 13 percent of adolescents aged 10 to 14 years old, all of whom were previously examined for orthodontic treatment, reported instances of bullying.

Among the most common reasons for such cases include protruding and overall crooked teeth. The sufferers also report a negative impact on their self-esteem and quality of life.

It’s good that modern orthodontic appliances like Invisalign now exist to offer a way out of such a predicament. Boys and girls everywhere, not just in the media, have an opportunity to improve their teeth, and consequently, their quality of life.

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