While it’s never too late to pursue orthodontic treatment and there are many advantages that adults can reap from getting braces, here are some top reasons to not delay your child’s orthodontic care.

Health Benefits

  • Less cavities: Straight teeth are easier to clean by normal means, so a properly aligned tooth structure helps prevent decay and keep the whole mouth healthier for life!
  • Reduced jaw pain: When your child’s teeth don’t align correctly, jaw muscles often try to compensate for the lack of alignment while chewing food and end up developing chronic strain and possibly permanent damage.
  • Less adult tooth loss: Healthy teeth throughout life typically reduces tooth loss during elderly years and decreases the risk of needing to get dentures early.

Physical Development Benefits

  • Easier, less-painful process: While the teeth/jaw can adjust at any age, oral structure is more flexible in minors, which means that the treatment time can often be shorter and less painful than undergoing the process as an adult.
  • Better speech habits: Depending on the severity of the orthodontic need, your child’s speech habits could be affected by improper alignment or jaw structure.

Social and Psychological Benefits

While many people consider orthodontic treatment purely a cosmetic matter, a study completed by the European Orthodontic Society on professional perceptions of the benefits of orthodontic treatment pinpoints several areas of social and psychological development, noting that “well-aligned teeth and a pleasing smile carry positive status at all social levels.”

  • Reduced vulnerability to bullying: Some fascinating studies done on the link between bullying and physical appearance indicate that an attractive smile/facial features often lowers the amount of bullying directed at a child. This sad fact is a reality that many kids live with on a daily basis at school and in other social settings. Getting orthodontic care for your children may lower their risk of being on the receiving end of bullying!
  • Better first impressions: The face is usually the first thing a new acquaintance notices. A great smile improves first impressions and is linked to successful interviews and career advancement.
  • Improved self-worth: many children intuitively connect attractiveness with self-worth or value. Some research reflects that attractiveness often elicits subconscious preferential treatment on the part of teachers and other authority figures, leading less attractive children to feel that they are less valued or unimportant.
  • Higher confidence: Low self-worth can have a devastating impact on your child’s confidence, motivation, and mental/emotional health. Orthodontic care can often be a game-changer when it comes to how your child gets treated by adults as well as how he feels about himself.

Financial Benefits

  • Cheaper now than later: As a general rule, children’s braces cost less than braces for adults. By helping your child get orthodontic care sooner rather than later, you will typically save your child several thousand dollars.

At the end of the day, there are no one-size-fits-all answers, but being informed on the benefits of getting orthodontic care for your children will equip you for conversations with your oral health professionals and guide you in making the right decision for your family! At Crabapple Pediatric Dentistry and Orthodontics, smiles happen to be our specialty. We offer a seamless experience from first cleaning to a straight, healthy smile. For more information or a free orthodontic consultation, call us at 770.664.1999 or request an appointment at the top right on our home page.

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