How To Bring up the Idea of Orthodontics With Your Teenager


Many individuals are flocking to their dentists and orthodontists to pursue a beautifully aligned smile, despite the long, costly, and occasionally uncomfortable teeth-straightening process. This trend is especially prevalent among teenagers. In North America alone, approximately 4 million individuals under 18 wear braces, with four out of five orthodontic patients falling within the minor age group. Typically, orthodontics treatment begins between the ages of 11 and 14. While many children readily accept the recommendation for braces, some may resist the idea.

Is your teen pushing back on orthodontics?

Regarding orthodontic treatment, it’s not uncommon for teenagers to push back and express reluctance. Understanding their perspective can help you address their concerns effectively.

Here are a few reasons why kids might resist the idea of braces:

Aesthetic Concerns

Teenagers are often highly conscious of their appearance, and the thought of metal braces can be off-putting. They may worry about the impact on their self-image, especially during social events like school dances or team photos. Concerns about feeling self-conscious or being teased by peers can make them apprehensive about orthodontic treatment.

Perceived Discomfort

The discomfort associated with braces can be a significant deterrent for some teenagers. Stories they’ve heard from others or misconceptions about the treatment process may contribute to their fear of experiencing pain or discomfort throughout the journey.

Length of Treatment

Orthodontic treatment typically requires a significant time commitment, often lasting several months to a few years. For teenagers who prefer instant results or have a busy schedule with other commitments, the idea of wearing braces for an extended period might be daunting.

Lifestyle Limitations

Certain activities, such as playing musical instruments, contact sports, or participating in theater productions, may be perceived as challenging while wearing braces. The fear of compromising their hobbies or extracurricular pursuits can make teenagers hesitant about starting orthodontic treatment.

Resistance to Change

Some teens may simply resist the idea of change or feel uncomfortable with having their teeth altered. They might desire to maintain their current appearance or fear orthodontics disrupting their routine and lifestyle.

Helping Your Teen Overcome Their Objections to Braces

If your teenager hasn’t expressed any objections to orthodontic treatment, start by assuming the best. However, if your teen is hesitant about braces, here are some strategies to help address their concerns:

Early Evaluation

Take your child for their first orthodontic evaluation around the age of seven. When orthodontic treatment is discussed early on as a routine part of dental care, it can feel less uncomfortable for your teenager. It also provides an opportunity to identify potential orthodontic issues and discuss the importance of future treatment.

Addressing the Fear of Being Different

If your teen is afraid of standing out or feeling different with braces, provide them with reassurance by discussing the prevalence of orthodontic treatment. Share the statistics from earlier in our article about the number of young people who wear braces, emphasizing that it is a common and widely accepted practice.

Consider Invisalign

If your teenager is concerned about the appearance of metal wires, consult with your dentist at Tomasik Family Dental to see if they are a candidate for Invisalign. Invisalign offers a more discreet alternative to traditional braces, as the clear aligners are virtually invisible. This can help your teen feel more confident during orthodontic treatment while achieving the desired results.

Addressing Concerns About Discomfort

While braces can cause discomfort, especially after adjustments, Invisalign tends to be more comfortable for many patients. The absence of wires and brackets eliminates the potential for wires poking or metal rubbing against the inside of the mouth. Highlight this advantage of Invisalign when discussing treatment options with your teen.

Empathetic Listening and Validation

Listen empathetically to your teen and validate their concerns. Understand that their apprehension may be rooted in genuine worries. By actively listening and acknowledging their feelings, you can work together to develop a plan that addresses their concerns and supports their comfort.

Opening the door to orthodontics treatment in Bee Cave, TX

While some teenagers may push back on orthodontic treatment, understanding their concerns and engaging in open communication can help alleviate their hesitations. You can guide your teen toward a more positive outlook on braces by addressing aesthetic concerns, exploring alternative options like Invisalign, and ensuring their comfort throughout the process.

Remember, every teenager is different, and what works for one may not work for another. Tailor your approach to your teen’s individual needs and preferences, and involve them in the decision-making process as much as possible. Together, you can navigate their objections and develop a plan that ensures their oral health and a confident smile.

Dr. Tomasik has experience with teen orthodontics.

Dr. Tomasik has extensive experience working with teenagers who require orthodontic treatment. His expertise and understanding of teens’ unique concerns and needs can reassure you and your teenager.

The journey to a confident and radiant smile is a team effort. With the support of an orthodontics dentist in Bee Cave, such as Dr. Tomasik, your teenager can embrace the transformative benefits of orthodontic treatment. Together, you can pave the way for a lifetime of oral health and a beautiful smile to be proud of. Request an appointment for your teeth at Tomasik Family Dental today.