Research: Children Coping with Dental Braces

Children’s Struggles and Successes

Research at the Sahlgrenska Academy in Sweden studied children with severe overbite who underwent orthodontic treatment early. While there were contributory success factors, the children and their families went through tough times dealing with teasing and the difficult and painful periods of adjustments.

An overjet is the extent of vertical overlap between the upper central incisors and the lower central incisors. Sometimes, the overlap is so severe that the protruding upper teeth are described as that belonging to rabbits. Children with a severe overjet cannot even cover their teeth with their lips.

The study involved a hundred children, who’ve had orthodontic braces, ages 7 to 14. About 13% of them said they had been teased about their appearance wearing those braces. Some were ashamed and didn’t want to tell anyone. Others displayed their braces in school, like they were trophies. It is very much an individual experience. This is the age range when children are active and lively, and easily run the risk of being injured when the lips cannot function as cushions for the teeth when they should.

During the mixed-dentition stage, when both the primary and some permanent teeth are present in the mouth, orthodontists recommend a removable appliance. However, this makes speech impossible as the appliance fixes the upper and lower jaw to each other, though mostly used at night; or the orthodontist can wait until all permanents come up so a fixed brace can be used to correct the overjet. Meanwhile, the protruding teeth remain unprotected during the waiting period. In the study, six of ten children failed with their treatment for they simply did not use the appliance for the required 10 hours a day.

The researchers noted that the children who had successful treatment were helped by their mothers who nagged their children to stay within treatment, left reminders around the house, among others. The kids also invented ways to measure success, like using their thumb grips feeling the gaps between teeth close from month to month. The research believed that being up and honest with the parents and kids regarding the difficulty of orthodontic treatment, the associated pain and swelling, the duration of therapy, help prepare everyone for the challenges.

Original Article

Team Effort for Treatment Success in Bellevue

To ensure success in orthodontic interventions, the required teamwork from all participants is essential. Patients, their parents and their orthodontist come together in ensuring that roles are fulfilled to attain that straight and functional dentition for life. That is what Bellevue dental braces are for.