Braces for Kids are not What They Used to Be

Years ago, New York kids who had braces walked around with large, steel, or metallic protrusions sticking out of their mouths, freshly acquired from an orthodontist in The Bronx, which did not blend well if they happened to wear thick plastic black eyeglasses, as well. Some kids would adjust fine to wearing braces, but for others, life became a little more treacherous. They were self-conscious, uncomfortable, often teased (or, what we might think of as “bullied” today) and seen as being more geeky than they might have really been.

Parents, of course, often dismiss such worries, knowing from experience that what others think of you in high school really is not important. It’s not important when you are an adult, certainly, and you no longer have to content daily with complex strata of social pressures at a time when you are trying to fit in. But for kids then and now, socialization in high school and what others think of them is important, and should be acknowledged as such.

One of the ways that the local orthodontist in The Bronx has changed over the last few decades is that he or she will likely recommend braces at a much younger age than in the past. Younger children are less likely to stereotype each other to the same degree as high school students, and when a child has braces at age seven or eight, it won’t matter when she has even, white teeth at age 16.

The American Association of Orthodontics (AAO) recommends that children have their first orthodontic screening at a very young age. They recommend age seven as the best age to see an orthodontist. Bronx dental facilities often provide not only screenings, but braces for children who are just beginning elementary school. The reason isn’t because of the social ramifications, but because bones are still growing more rapidly at this age and changes can be made earlier to stave off significant problems later. The social aspect could be an added advantage, however.

The elastics used in braces for children are far cooler than the old metallic style back in the day. Nowadays, an orthodontist in The Bronx may offer a child beginning first or second grade elastics of varying colors or designs, including variations on a theme (e.g., orange and black colors for Halloween, or red and green for Christmas.) Choosing their own colors also helps children to feel more involved in the treatment, and that makes the process more engaging.

Bronx Community Dental Care provides high quality dentistry to the whole family in a reassuring environment and state-of-the-art facility. We are dedicated to ensuring that our patients have excellent dental health and a beautiful smile to go with it. To schedule an appointment with an orthodontist in our Bronx clinic, call 718.294.1040. Bronx Community Dental Care is located at 471 E. Tremont Avenue, Bronx, NY. Visit us online at

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