By Dr. Saleh Al-Daghreer on Feb 23 2018
When it comes to your family’s health, you’re ready for everything. You’ve done the research, prepared the home, and have phone numbers for the best doctors. When you think about oral health, you’ve also prepared some truly persuasive and powerful rhetoric to convince your teens of the importance of braces should they become necessary.
What you did not prepare for was your teen asking for braces.
Suddenly, all your arguments are thrown out the window, but for good reason. Your teen actually wants braces and is considering the importance of oral health now and into the future. But how did this happen?
When so many simple health tasks are a fight with teenagers, why are more teenagers getting braces?
Straight teeth are a lifelong health concern. It’s very important for young children to keep their smiles straight, as baby teeth create space for adult teeth, which together help shape the way they will talk, eat, and smile. But similar worries don’t disappear for teens.
Crooked teeth will lead to long-lasting health effects well into their adult years. If your teen doesn’t take care of their teeth now, bad medical problems—like headaches, jaw problems, or TMJ—can happen in only a few short years. Teens may be contrary, but they know the trade-off of eighteen months of braces now is better than years of suffering later.
The Ever-Illusive Confidence
If there’s one thing teens are searching for more than acceptance, it’s confidence. Just as acceptance and confidence are linked, though, so are a healthy smile and confidence.
Studies are showing more and more that a person’s smile leads to greater feelings of self-worth and value. It’s easy to see how those turn into confidence. People who are willing and ready to share their smiles are building a direct connection to confidence that will help them succeed later in life.
Your teen wants to be a success, so creating a smile they can be proud of is important. Teenagers getting braces means they are working towards that confidant future.
Their Friends Are Getting Them
Nothing makes it easier to convince a teen to do anything than having their friends do it, too. In the case of braces, though, you can save the “if your friends jumped off a bridge...” argument and stand up and applaud their decision.
When a friend gets braces and starts saying how easy the process is, how little discomfort there is, and your teen can actually see—or in this case, not see—how invisible and non-intrusive some of the options are, the decision to get braces is a whole lot easier.
Health That’s Easy
Teenagers are usually opposed to braces because they think that they’ll be big and obvious and they’ll be made fun of. For some, it might also be a fear of pain and discomfort. Either way, the truth is that orthodontic procedures, especially when you have a great orthodontist, have never been easier. There’s little to no discomfort or pain.
Your teen knows that oral health is important. If the process is easy and the result is confidence, of course he or she will jump all over it! That’s why there are more teenagers getting braces than ever before.
What used to be a huge fight for parents can be avoided by taking advantage of today’s technologies when it comes to orthodontics. Talk to your teen—he or she may already be thinking about braces. Time it right, and you may even come off as a precognitive hero. . . (And if not, at least your teen will have a healthy, confidence-building smile).