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*Dr Jeeves. 

WITH a return to school in sight, parents are being urged to have their children ‘braced’ for their new school year by booking an appointment with their orthodontist.

When it comes to children, specialists recommend a first visit from the age of 10 onwards. A summertime appointment not only gives them the leeway to adjust to their new braces as the specialist orthodontist works on their growing smile, it also eases their social transition into secondary school.

Dr Jeeves of Ennis Orthodontic Practice tells The Clare Echo, “The one thing we do is encourage that the kids have braces walking into first year because you’re moving into a new school, making a new set of friends, so to walk in with that makes it a non-event. Having braces put on during the school year, it becomes something their peers notice.

“Getting a brace put on in the summer allows them to become accustomed to it, it also means we can see them prior to going back to school which allows them to focus on their schoolwork and extracurricular activities at the beginning of the year, so it works for that reason”.

Dr Jeeves adds that patients with braces tend to have increased self-esteem. “A straight set of teeth can be a benefit in terms of aesthetics. There is also an attached improvement in dental health. It makes sense that if teeth are straight they are easier to keep clean. More importantly, it has a huge psychological benefit.

“I don’t think any child that walks out of here with straight teeth regrets doing them and invariably they are two inches taller psychologically; that’s what parents tell me.”

Does Your Child’s Growing Smile Require Orthodontics?

A specialist orthodontist can assess your child’s growth pattern to see if early treatment is recommended. A first appointment should be made any time after your child turns 10 to survey the dentitian (condition of the teeth), and to check the teeth are coming through in the correct position. For parents unsure of whether they need to visit the orthodontist, the continued presence of baby teeth is a sign that an appointment is required.

Dr Jeeves explains that any social anxiety associated with braces has now dissipated, with many children now seeing it as a rite of passage. “Anywhere from age 10-12 is the ideal age to start wearing braces,” he says, explaining that treatment time is 16 months on average, depending on the difficulty of the case. “We continue to see the patient every six weeks and after we finish the treatment, we fit the patient with a retainer and monitor them for an additional 18 months”.

Where should I book my appointment

Those in need of orthodontic treatment are advised to visit a specialist in the field. Work carried out by non-specialist dentists can potentially lead to the need for reparation works, while numerous dental and orthodontic organisations warn the public of the dangers of undertaking “direct to consumer” mail order braces.

Dr Jeeves, based in Westgate Business Park on the Kilrush Road, Ennis, has been serving the people of Clare since 2004. After qualifying as a dentist, Jeeves spent nine years specialising to become an orthodontist. “Other practitioners who aren’t specialists don’t have the benefit of that time and experience together with over 20 years working as a specialist,” he adds.

Patients can claim medical expenses on their orthodontic treatment of up to 20 per cent rebate and Ennis Orthodontic Practice are happy to assist with the required forms.

To make an appointment, call 065 6860001 or email

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