The truth about braces from a kid’s perspective
It’s not unusual for parents to worry about receiving the news that their kid needs to wear braces. While they might be concerned about the cost of braces, usually at the top of a parent’s list of worries is how their child will take the news.
As a parent, it’s understandable that this might be your response. Many of us grew up in a time when braces were less common and a lot more obvious than they are today!
However, our research suggests that kids overwhelmingly view having braces as a positive thing. In fact, 70% of kids react with happiness or excitement at the news they’ll need to wear braces, and 9 in every 10 orthodontists have witnessed a child become visibly upset when told they don’t need braces.
Given how much attitudes towards braces have changed over the years, we’ve decided to get some first-hand insights into how kids really feel about getting the popular orthodontic treatment.
Meet Shelley! She’s 11 years old and has been wearing braces for 5 months.
How did you feel when you were told you’d need to wear braces?
I was really excited! My cousin had them, so I was really hoping I’d get to wear them too.
How did it feel to have the braces put on?
It’s a bit uncomfortable but it didn’t hurt. My friends told me loads of horror stories before I went to the appointment, but it was fine. My best friend got braces just after I did and she was really nervous, but when I told her she could eat two minute noodles for a whole week after she got excited about it too!
How did everyone react when you first came into school with braces?
I told my friends before my appointment that I was going to get braces, so they knew. But no one really reacted – lots of people in my year at school have them so it was really normal. Most people just wanted to know what colours I was going to choose!
Have you noticed any changes yet?
I’ve only been wearing braces for a few months, but I’ve noticed how my teeth have started to shift already. When I first had them put on I had a massive overbite and was really self-conscious, so I like seeing how my mouth is changing. Sometimes when I look in the mirror I try and picture what I’ll look like when they take my braces off!
What do you like best about wearing braces?
The colours! Whenever anyone has an appointment with the orthodontist, everyone’s always asking what colours you’re going to get. I had purple on to start with as it’s my favourite colour, but I’ve tried black ones and I think I’ll stick with them because it goes with most things I wear.
What advice would you give to someone who’s worried about getting braces?
I’d say to keep thinking about the reason you’re getting them – and that they’ll give you straight teeth and a nice smile. I actually feel lucky to have had braces!
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