Are you wondering why we paired orthodontics and anti-bullying campaigns? The answer may surprise you. Research indicates that poor oral health is the number one cause for bullying among children.
Bullying is a prolific issue across the United States, especially since social media platforms made their way into young hands. The impact of bullying cannot be understated. It affects school attendance and mental health while leaving a lasting mark on the individual.
If there were a way to reduce the amount of ridicule these kids face, wouldn’t it be worthwhile? That’s where orthodontics could play a major role.
Dr. Stephanie Davis, orthodontist at Jefferson Dental & Orthodontics in Richardson, TX, is a staunch advocate for anti-bullying campaigns. In this video, she explains more about this important cause.
It’s completely free to meet with Dr. Davis or one of our other board-certified orthodontists to see how orthodontics can improve your smile.
It’s not so surprising that October is both National Orthodontic Health Month and Bullying Prevention Month. Let’s take a look at both campaigns, how they hope to evoke change, and what you can do to help!
National Orthodontic Health Month
It’s easy to think about orthodontics as merely a tool to make your smile look prettier. But for many kids and adults, straightening their teeth is about more than their appearance. Braces can do a lot for your overall oral health, including:
- Making it easier to clean between your teeth and along your gum line.
- Correcting bite issues that impact your ability to chew and speak properly.
- Aiding your digestive system by making sure your teeth and jaw can efficiently chew food.
- Preventing bone loss due to misaligned teeth.
- Supporting other oral treatments, like people dealing with TMJ (temporomandibular joint) pain.
Orthodontic treatment leads to more than a gorgeous smile, it can revolutionize your oral health and have a positive impact on your overall health. Now is an excellent time to consider embracing braces for a healthier smile for you or your family members. To learn more about how orthodontics can transform your smile, and your life, schedule a free consultation with one of our orthodontists.
Every October, the American Association of Orthodontics (AAO) runs a campaign to educate people on orthodontic treatments and how they can impact your life. It’s a fun way to engage young people and get them excited about having a healthy smile.
Check out the AAO website this month for activity pages and other fun, educational materials to support National Orthodontic Health Month!
Bullying Prevention Month
Bullying can take many forms, but it’s pervasive and continuous for about 20% of American students ages 12 to 18. That means that tens of thousands of kids experience bullying every day.
It happens in the classroom, in the community, and online, making it one of the most challenging issues to address for our youth. Fear of reporting makes things worse and suggests to the bully that their behavior is acceptable. That’s why it’s so important to shine a spotlight on bullying with National Bullying Prevention Month.
Since 2006, several coalitions have joined to boost awareness with various events and activities to raise awareness and educate students, parents, and communities. This year, Bullying Prevention Month will be bigger than ever with new training and campaigns. Check out youth.gov for helpful resources and activities.
Where The Causes Unite
Recognizing the connection between bullying and poor oral health, including crooked teeth and esthetic dental anomalies is a step in the right direction. When adults and medical professionals engage in a cause, it lends much-needed credence and validation.
Since 2019, orthodontists around the world have teamed up with Stand for the Silent to highlight National Bullying Prevention Month. The AAO challenged their members to join the fight against bullying.
What You Can Do to Help
As a parent, you may be wondering how you can help curb an issue that spans generations. There are several steps you can take to educate the children in your life about bullying and oral health.
- Encourage your kids to speak up and report bullying if they see it.
- Explain how teeth change as you lose baby teeth and get adult teeth.
- Show photographs of celebrities and famous people who had less than star-quality smiles before compared to what they look like now. It teaches them that you can improve a smile and things get better.
- If your child has self-esteem issues related to their teeth, consult your dentist about treatment options.
- Support your child if they report being bullied or you suspect they are being teased at school. Engage support from a trusted adult, like a school counselor or doctor to help you and your child resolve the issue.
Remember, it all starts with changing one mind and recruiting one new person to the anti-bullying cause.
If you have concerns about your child being bullied due to their smile, Jefferson Dental & Orthodontics can help. We can help you determine the best course of treatment to improve your child’s smile and boost their confidence. Find the office nearest you, then schedule a free orthodontic consultation.