According to a new study, kids being bullied are likely to have sticking-out teeth. The study was conducted by a group of hospital-based clinicians who treat kids with misaligned teeth and malocclusion.
Over 300 adolescents aged 10 to 14 took part in this experiment to establish what the researchers believed is a relationship between malocclusion and its effects on an individual’s likelihood to be the subject of bullying. Results show that almost 13 percent of these kids who were examined for orthodontic treatment were bullied.
Dr. Andrew DiBiase was one of the consultants who worked on this research. He commented that it is their duty, as healthcare professionals, to raise awareness about bullying and what it can do to the victims. We feel that any bullying for whatever reason is unacceptable and should not be tolerated, he added.
For the first time, the researchers attempted to correlate bullying with having crooked or misaligned teeth. In this case, malocclusion treatment generally involves orthodontic braces, among many other treatments. With proper orthodontic treatment, the researchers hoped to reduce the likelihood of bullying among children with sticking-out teeth. What they were concerned about was not only limited to having misaligned teeth but also on the psychological effects of bullying.
It has previously been shown that children with sticking-out teeth’ and crooked teeth’ are subjected to teasing related to the position and appearance of their teeth, Dr. DiBiase said. Commonly, braces are prescribed in these situations to help improve the alignment of the teeth. However, until this research was carried out, the scientific evidence for this was weak and more importantly, the psychological effects of this teasing and bullying related to the dental appearance has been unknown.