For a teenager, hearing the dentist mention the word braces probably rings doom in their adolescent minds. Sometimes, the fear of the unknown instils greater dread than is warranted. So the next time you see a teen terrified of a trip to the dentist due to this very matter, explain to them what is written below, and maybe they will be a little less apprehensive.
What are Braces?
Traditionally made of metal, these contraptions are fitted on top of the teeth in order to gradually rectify misalignment. They can be placed on the upper set of teeth, lower set, or both, depending on whether the child has an over-bite, under-bite or both, to be corrected. They usually have to be worn continually for a minimum of a year to have any significant positive impact, and dentists may recommend that some patients wear them for several years if their teeth need heavy-handed adjustments. During the course of the treatment, the great orthodontist will ask the children to visit for routine check-ups during which progress will be gauged and the braces tightened or loosened accordingly.
Nowadays, more inconspicuous forms of braces are being invented, such as the invisalign which have the benefit of being transparent.
Why do They Have Such a Bad Reputation?
They are usually thought of as the stuff of nightmares because of the initial discomfort they cause and how unsightly it seems to be sporting these metal devices in the mouth, especially while at school and at social events. Adolescence is hard enough with the chaotic cocktail of emotions and hormones running askew in the typical teenager, without adding self or peer-imposed humiliation and embarrassment from being seen wearing metal braces.
Why there is no Need to Panic
The fear may be assuaged by pointing out the fact that for many children today, braces are the norm. Compared to the teens of yesteryear whom parents usually only subjected to braces if teeth showed signs of going badly askew, parents today are more likely to get braces for children even if only minor corrections are required. So this leaves fewer peers who will be able to make fun of wearers for being different without throwing stones from the proverbial glass house. Furthermore, since most of the bad reputation stems from wearing the unappealing metal braces, opting for modern designs such as invisalign should take care of the problem.
With a little bit of patience and explanation, you may be able to make this a less traumatic experience for your teens. They may even come around to looking forward to the benefit of earning a perfect, toothy smile to display in future selfies!