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The impact of braces on those with tics & Tourettes

The Impact of Braces on Tourette's

How many of you have had braces or have a child who have / had braces whilst living with tics?

Now there are pros and cons for being a brace wearer but of course this differs person to person.

Did you know braces are not just about straightening teeth; they can also have a significant positive impact on the lives of people with Tourette's.

Here's how, firstly for many individuals with Tourette's, braces can help improve their self-esteem and confidence. By enhancing their smile, braces can help reduce self-consciousness and allow them to feel more comfortable in social situations.

secondly, people with Tourette's may experience oral health challenges due to involuntary movements or tics. Braces can help correct misalignment, overcrowding, or bite issues, making it easier to maintain good oral hygiene and prevent dental problems.

Now, some individuals with Tourette's may have speech difficulties, such as lisps or difficulty pronouncing certain sounds. Braces can help align the teeth and jaw, improving speech clarity and articulation. This can have a positive impact on communication and overall confidence.

Braces can also provide physical support for individuals with Tourette's who may have jaw or facial muscle tics. The added stability can help reduce discomfort and make daily activities, such as eating and speaking, more manageable.

Unfortunately, there are challenges that braces may pose for individuals with Tourette's syndrome too.

People with Tourette's may have heightened sensory sensitivity, and the presence of braces in the mouth can exacerbate this. The metal brackets, wires, and pressure from braces may cause discomfort or sensory overload for some individuals.

Tourette's syndrome is characterised by involuntary movements or tics. For some individuals, the presence of braces can potentially trigger or worsen these tics. The added sensation and pressure in the mouth may lead to an increase in tic frequency or intensity.

Maintaining good oral hygiene is essential, but it can be challenging for individuals with Tourette's who have motor tics affecting their fine motor skills. Brushing and flossing around braces may require additional effort and coordination, which can be difficult for some individuals.

While braces can improve speech clarity for some individuals with Tourette's, they may also temporarily affect speech production during the adjustment period. Adjusting to the presence of braces and the changes in the mouth may require some time and practice.

The adjustment process to having braces can be emotionally challenging for anyone, including individuals with Tourette's. They may experience frustration, anxiety, or self-consciousness due to the changes in their appearance or the discomfort associated with braces.

Harrison (16) recently became a brace wearer, and he is 100% feeling confident and excited by this (he’s seen how powerful braces can be with his sister’s experience) he can not wait to straight teeth like she now has.

Unfortunately though, He is also experiencing some of the negatives too. Not only have his facial and mouth tics increased (his tics have been pretty much nonexistent for 18m) but he has also started getting new tics which he hasn’t experienced before. Furthermore, due to his tic expressions he is knocking the brackets off in less that 24 hours every time they fix them. Honestly, I feel like moving into the orthodontist at this rate, but all the while he is ok, he is positive, and pushing through, I will too.

It's important to note that not everyone with Tourette's will experience these challenges, and the impact can vary from person to person.

Remember, the decision to get braces should be made in collaboration with the individual, their family, and the healthcare team. Open communication and ongoing monitoring of the individual's comfort and well-being are essential throughout the orthodontic treatment process.

Let's continue to raise awareness and promote understanding of the potential challenges individuals with Tourette's may face when considering braces. Together, we can ensure that everyone receives the support and care they need.

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