Is Your Child’s Smile a Cause for Bullying?

Bullying and Teeth in School children: Here is what you need to know to stop it NOW

Going to school is meant to be a fun and an exciting experience for children, but sometimes it can also be stressful and unpleasant if your child is a target for bullies at school. What to do if your child is being bullied?

What would increase the chance of your child becoming a target for bullies? I’m sure these are some of the questions going through your mind right now. If yes, read along to know more…

What is Bullying?

Bullying is when one or more students repeatedly pick on one schoolmate and harm them with their words or actions. Unfortunately bullying is quite common and most parents don’t have enough knowledge about it before it happens to their lovely child. Bullying can be in different forms, it can be physical (Pushing, punching or hitting), verbal (Name calling or threats), or psychological (spreading rumours, gossiping, or excluding someone from a conversation. A bully will look for any flow in a classmate to pick on his/her being their height, their accent or even how their teeth look like.

According to a recent study conducted by the American Journal of Orthodontics and Dentofacial Orthopaedics where they asked 620 (11 to 12 year olds) students they found that 47% reported bullying. Interestingly, dental problems have been reported the number one feature targeted for bullying.

Bullying can start at a very early age of 2 which means it can even happen at kindergarten or preschool. This back to school season is a great time to be reminded of school bullying and to know, how you can reduce the chances of bullying with keeping your child’s teeth healthy.

Teeth are important and so are teeth problems.

Here are 6 main teeth conditions that could lead to bullying.

  1. Bad breath, can be caused due to cavities or sever tooth decay
  2. Bad teeth- poorly or oddly shaped teeth
  3. Discoloured or yellow teeth
  4. Sticking out teeth or protruded jaws
  5. Braces can be at times one of the main bully starters and causes of name calling
  6. Silver crowns!

If your child has one or more of these visible teeth conditions, chances are that he is going to be picked on at school and become a target for bullies. Being bullied at school could make your child feel inferior, left out and eventually make them become quieter and less sociable at school and with their friends. Our advice is to have regular check-ups with your paediatric dentist to prevent or fix any dental problem your lovely child might have before it is spotted by their fellow schoolmates.

Dental recommendations

  1. Don’t skip your routine visit to the dentist as it can save ur child from being billed. Every 6 months you have to see your best paediatric dentist in Dubai so she assures you that everything is going ok. This decreases chances for bad breath and consequently bullying!
  2. Go see an orthodontist or a brace specialist when your child is between the ages of 7 to 8 especially if you see your child’s teeth is sticking out. Its best to start the treatment at an early age.
  3. Teach your child to brush two times a day to avoid tooth decay (Read More)
  4. Ask for white zirconia crowns for children’s teeth if the silver crowns are not up to your liking.

How to know if your child is being bullied?

When a child is being bullied at school, they usually don’t mention it to their parents and it takes a long time for parents to come to know. Sometimes the bullying becomes so serious that school principals will come to know and inform the parents. It doesn’t have to be like this though.

There are signs that as parents you can look for in order to find out if your child is having trouble at school or is being bullied.

  1. Your child is reluctant to wake up in the morning to go to school
  2. The child’s grades are suddenly dropping
  3. Your child loses his interest in school fun and sport activities
  4. Eating habits of your child has changed and he/she is not eating well
  5. You might find bruises or cuts on your child’s body that are unexplained
  6. Your child is having trouble sleeping or is having nightmares

If you notice one or more of these changes in your child’s behaviour, you should be alert and have a chat with your little one to find out what is going on. As children are usually scared of the bullies, they might hold on to their secret and come up with false stories to convince you. Allowing the child, a safe space to express themselves and to share what has happened, allows the child to tell you the story. My best recommendations with dealing with a bully situation is to remain calm and contained in front of your child- as any emotion from you may be interpreted by the child that they did something wrong. This is the last feeling we want to convey to your little child. If you find out that the bully is somehow related to their dental health, my suggestion is to consult with your paediatric dentist to come to the rescue.

Three questions to ask!

Even if you are not sure that your child is being bullied, here are 3 questions to help you protect your child and find out the truth:

  • “How are things going at school?” 
  • “What do you think of the other kids in your class?” 
  • “Does anyone get picked on or bullied?” 

We all know that there are multiple reasons for bullying and we know very well, that as parents you want to make sure that your child’s school experience is a pleasant as possible.

Sometimes kids are picked on for no apparent reason, and there isn’t much that parents can do to prevent it. But when it comes to dental reasons, the solution is easy and quite accessible. With regular visits to a good paediatric dentist you can have routine check-ups for your kids to make sure that they don’t take their dental problems back to school

For more about the topic please watch this video, leave your comments or questions down below.

Do get in touch with your questions and share with us your experience.

To a lifetime of healthy happy smiles!”

So don’t delay your child his first Pediatric dentist visit, at our pediatric dentistry clinic in Dubai health care city you can schedule an appointment, we will be happy to give you your child the best dental care.

“To a lifetime of healthy happy smiles!”

Dr. Yasmin kottit - د.ياسمين قطيط

If your kids are scared from the dentist, bring them to see me 🙂
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