From an increasingly younger age, children are impressionable and self-conscious about their appearance. When they’re unhappy with their teeth, they avoid smiling and hide behind their hands or refuse to have their picture taken. Self-esteem and self-confidence impact children’s mental and emotional well-being during the critical early years of development, and these feelings about self shape who someone grows up to be.
Whether anyone likes it or not, appearance – whether he or she likes the way he or she looks – plays a part in how well a child or anyone else fits into society.
Getting braces is about more than just having straight teeth. It’s about promoting feelings of self-worth and boosting confidence, and research backs this up.
The American Journal of Orthodontics and Dentofacial Orthopedics has studied these factors, concluding that not only is it better when corrective action is taken on teeth earlier, but the indications are that as many as one in three children can benefit from orthodontics.
“Orthodontics can make people feel better about themselves,” says James G. Richeson, Jr., DDS, FAGD, AGD spokesperson. “Many patients, prior to orthodontics, smile with their mouth closed, because they are self-conscious about their teeth, but after orthodontics, they usually smile naturally, showing off their new look.”
While you as a parent always see the best in your child, you are entrusted with your child’s health. You can’t “fix” self-esteem, but you can foster it by focusing on your child’s positive qualities. Even though children should have more than good looks to feel good about themselves – by focusing on a special talent, a good sense of humor, or a unique sports ability, looking good is linked to feeling good.
When your child can’t smile confidently – or smiles with a closed mouth – because of embarrassment about some issue with teeth, others sense the discomfort, and that carries over into how others treat your child.
A confident smile paves the way for a positive future and opens up greater opportunities, helping develop effective communication and social development. Secure children are more likely to be assertive, smile at others, and feel confident to pursue their talents.
When teeth are straight and are aligned in their proper positions when braces come off, they reveal a beautiful smile. Being able to smile comfortably and confidently opens up the world to them.
Orthodontics not only improve the health of a person’s teeth, but they can also boost a person’s self-esteem (Academy of General Dentistry).