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Q&A: Braces

Q: "My 10-year-old daughter has teeth that stick out, but isn't keen on wearing a brace. Are they likely to grow straight as she gets older, or do I need to convince her that a brace is best?"

A: Dr Nigel Harradine, chairman of the British Orthodontic Society, says: "Very few people are lucky enough to naturally grow out of their protruding teeth, so the sticking-out is likely to be there all your daughter's life, unless she wears braces.

"People with protruding upper teeth are much more prone to damaging these teeth if they're knocked in a fall or other accident. This damage happens to about half of all people with sticking-out teeth and can mean complicated dental treatment to repair the damage, or the need to remove the tooth and have a false tooth to replace it.

"Sticking-out teeth can make eating some foods and snacks more awkward, and although she may not readily report this, she's much more likely to be teased or bullied by other children. As a teenager, she's likely to feel shy and embarrassed by the appearance of her teeth, and good research has shown she's less likely to be confident and happy.

"The best time to have braces to correct this bite is usually between 10 and 13 years of age, so she'll soon be at the age when many of her friends will also be wearing braces. Almost everyone who has braces gets on well with them, and is glad for the rest of their life that they did."

PA Media