Bullying occurs when a person inflicts deliberate harm on another person and it can be verbal, physical and even direct – through rumours and exclusion from a group. The scenes you see on television and in movies are real, such as a child eating alone in the bathroom or the cafeteria and other children mocking them for looking different and speaking differently than others. However, this aggressive behaviour is not limited to children. Adults can also be harsh with their perception of another person’s appearance, even going to the lengths of posting it on social media sites, which is extremely distasteful. A common feature that attracts teasing are the teeth. For crooked, misaligned teeth that prompt bullying, orthodontic appliances, such as Invisalign, are available in Derby. Here are a few things you must know about how teeth can trigger bullying in children.
The Link between Malocclusions and Bullying
Researchers at East Kent Hospital’s University NHS Foundation Trust found evidence that linked bullying to the presence of malocclusions. They collected evidence from 336 participants aged 10 to 14 years old and all of them were referred for orthodontic assessment at three hospitals in the UK. They also discovered that the bullied adolescents showed lower levels of social and athletic competence, as well as general self-esteem.
‘Bugs Bunny’ No More
In November, news about a teenager who had ‘Bugs Bunny’ teeth broke out. Other children bullied Katharine Highfield, 15, for having gapped, buck teeth and talked about her behind her back. Since then, she had received orthodontic treatment and this helped her regain her confidence. After her treatment, she was able to audition for a school play. According to her, ‘Before I had braces I didn’t have the confidence to smile or even really be seen in front of people I didn’t know at school’. Malocclusions are common and these are caused by either genetic factors or habits, such as thumb-sucking. Since malocclusions become more prominent as people age, it would be better if they seek orthodontic treatment while they are still young.