You know what they say, your smile is your best accessory. It’s true isn’t it? A big bright smile means so many things, but most importantly, it’s an indication of happiness, good health and confidence. And what could be more important to your kid or teen, than self-confidence? But if your kid isn’t flashing that 1000-watt smile due to teeth insecurities, it’s time to fix that because having straight teeth is important for more reasons than looking good. Read on to find out all about teeth straightening for kids!
The Importance of Teeth Straightening for Kids
1. Appearance Affects Self-Confidence
Teeth straightening is usually done for older kids, or teens. Kids at this age, commonly referred to as tweens, are on the cusp of adolescence. It is a time of tremendous change and with everything that’s going on, they are increasingly self-conscious, and insecurities start creeping in. This isn’t something to be blasé about as self-confidence is of great importance to your teens. It has positive effects on their academics, social life, and overall mental well-being.
One major contributing factor to your kids’ or teens’ confidence is their smile. But alas, gone are the childhood days when they were only too glad to flash their dazzling smile at any given opportunity. Did you know that 15% of teens are dissatisfied with their teeth and 35% of them are concerned about the alignment of their teeth1?
2. Better Oral Hygiene
When it comes to teeth straightening, there is more than meets the eye. Teeth straightening for kids is important for health reasons too. Having straight teeth can help your kids maintain better oral hygiene and reduce their long-term risks of dental caries and bad breath. Misaligned teeth are also harder to clean. This allows plaque to build up in areas that trap food residue that in turn causes bacteria to multiply. Plaque deposit can also affect the gums, causing them to become swollen and bleed easily. Over time, this can impact the support of teeth and cause them to loosen prematurely. Properly aligned teeth means gums fit tighter and your kid has better gum health!
35% of teens are concerned
about the alignment of their teeth
3. Straighter Teeth, Better Speech
This might not be the first thing that comes to your mind, but teeth play an important role in allowing your kids to be convincing and effective speakers. Gapped or crooked teeth can affect speech as the formation of sounds and enunciation of words become difficult. It could even lead to a permanent lisp. This can make your kid awfully self-conscious and to shy away from public speaking or even presenting in class. Your child’s oratorical self-confidence is instrumental for communication both now and when job-seeking in the future. Don’t let their teeth get in the way of it.
4. Teeth Misalignment Can Get Painful!
Dental misalignment can also cause more awkward, unbalanced pressure on certain teeth. Consequently, these teeth end up deteriorating prematurely. This may also affect supporting jaw bone thus resulting in facial pain and headaches. In addition, misalignment and protruding teeth make your kids more susceptible to tooth chips, fractures and breakage.
Fortunately, teeth straightening for kids can be done by timely orthodontic intervention!
Dental misalignment can also cause more awkward, unbalanced pressure on certain teeth.
When is the best time?
Of course, parents have many questions when it comes to teeth straightening for kids. The most common question parents ask is when is the right time to look into teeth straightening options for their kids?
Phase 1 of teeth straightening for kids would be the interceptive phase of orthodontic treatment. This is best done between 7 and 10 years old to correct specific dental and facial growth problems to prevent them from snowballing into more complex issues later in your child’s life. The other time (Phase 2) window would be during the growth spurt of 12 to 14 years old or when all of your child’s adult teeth are in2.
This is supported by the American Association of Orthodontists who recommend that children have their facial and dental development assessed by an Orthodontist before the age of 7 years old.
Are X-Rays Necessary and Safe?
Parents generally raise an eyebrow when it comes to getting x-rays for their kids. It’s understandable but there are certain dental conditions, like impacted teeth, missing or extra teeth, decay, disease and pathology, which will be detected using digital dental X-rays. Digital dental x-rays are low in radiation exposure3 and will be necessary to understand the dental conditions more accurately.
Teeth Straightening for Kids – Braces and Invisalign Clear Aligners
There are many types of teeth straightening for kids. Metal braces include brackets affixed to your kids’ teeth, with wires threaded through the slots in the brackets, connected by rubber bands. These may get uncomfortable and cause ulcers, especially when playing high-impact sports. As such, oral hygiene gets even more challenging. Not to mention how self-conscious it makes your kids feel, given that it is clearly visible. In fact, in studies conducted among teens, braces were viewed as painful4 and restrictive.
Source Credit: Invisalign Singapore
Invisalign treatment involves doctor’s prescribed clear aligners that are almost invisible! Apart from this key benefit, Invisalign treatment is a more comfortable alternative to teeth straightening for kids and teens. Here’s why:
Dr. Poon shares that teens who are on Invisalign treatment do not have to feel as self-conscious during their teeth-straightening journey, so they can focus on doing the things they love such as playing sports, or eating what they desire, with the option of removing their Invisalign clear aligners when necessary.
Mums and Dads, the smiles of over 11 million people5 who have been treated with Invisalign clear aligners globally is testament to the fact that it is a preferred choice of teeth straightening for adults and kids. With advanced technology, your Invisalign doctor can map out your child’s new smile using 3D images captured by the iTero Element scanner. From there, your child will receive a customised treatment plan for no two smiles are the same!
They(Children) can focus on doing the things they love such as playing sports, or eating what they desire, with the option of removing their Invisalign clear aligners when necessary.
Dr. Poon explains that Invisalign treatment allows parents to visualise and understand the treatment process and end-result with the 3D Invisalign ClinCheck software. Patients and parents are always excited to see their teeth transform and this keeps them motivated. As Invisalign clear aligners use SmartTrack material that is customised and trimmed to the gum line for a more comfortable fit, you can be rest assured that the journey to a desired smile will be a pleasant one.
If you are keen on teeth straightening for your kids, you can request for an appointment with the Invisalign Smile Concierge or ask your Invisalign doctor about the suitability and treatment process. To get started, you can fill up the FREE Smile Assessment form to get in touch with a Smile Concierge who will be able to arrange an appointment with your preferred Invisalign doctor.
Take the step now to transform your kid’s smile comfortably.
This article is in collaboration with Invisalign Singapore.
1. Kavand G, et al. Comparison of dental esthetic perceptions of young adolescents and their parents. J Public Health Dent 2012;72(2):164–71
4. In a pain score of 1-9, 1 being extremely painful and 9 not at all painful, Invisalign U.S. teenager patients (Qty:73) rated pain score of 6.1 vs U.S. traditional metal braces teenager patients (Qty: 76) rated pain score of 5.1.
5. *Data on file at Align Technology, as of September 30, 2021