Orthodontists nationwide take a stand against bullying this October for National Bullying Prevention Month

ST. LOUIS, Oct. 1, 2019 – The American Association of Orthodontists (AAO) is teaming up with Stand for the Silent to shed light on National Bullying Prevention Month this October.

Over the years, teeth have often been reported as a main feature targeted by bullies, such as in this study that appeared in American Journal of Orthodontics and Dentofacial Orthopedics. Additionally, a OnePoll survey found seven in 10 Americans admit to feeling self-conscious about their teeth and revealed that 57% of Americans cover their mouths when they laugh due to insecurity over their teeth.

AAO challenged its 19,000 member orthodontists to come together in the fight against bullying. Orthodontists worldwide are pledging to stand for the silent and encouraging their patients to do the same.

Pledgees commit, “From this day forward, I promise to respect those around me as well as respect myself. I am somebody, and I can make a difference. I can make another feel loved. I can be the helping hands that leads another back to the path of hope and aspiration. I will not stand silent as others try to spread hatred through my community. Instead, I pledge to lift up those victims and show them that their life matters. I will be the change, because I am somebody!”

AAO members will also participate in Unity Day on Wednesday, Oct. 23, by wearing orange and posting a picture of their orthodontic team on social media. Unity Day represents a united front in kindness, acceptance and inclusion.

“Uniting to spread the word about such an important cause is something we’re proud to do,” said Dr. Gary O. Inman, AAO president. “The AAO has members all over the country, Canada and abroad, who work with children every single day. This is a powerful way to make a difference in patients’ lives.”

The AAO and Stand for the Silent partnership falls during National Orthodontic Health Month.

“Shifting October’s focus from National Orthodontic Health Month to National Bullying Prevention Month allows both causes to broaden their reach, and, in turn, make a larger impact,” he said.

Founded in 2010, Stand for the Silent is a nonprofit that has fast become one of the leading and most effective anti-bullying organizations. They have reached more than 1,505,000 kids in nearly 1,500 schools. The mission is simple – bring awareness to bullying and the real devastation it causes.

Stand for the Silent runs solely off donations from those who support its mission. Help them reach 100,000 more kids by making a donation at gofundme.com/help-sfts-reach-100000-more-kids. Interested in sponsoring a Stand for the Silent presentation at a school near you? Learn more at standforthesilent.org/schools/host-a-presentation.

The American Association of Orthodontists represents 19,000 orthodontist members throughout the United States, Canada and abroad. Founded in 1900, AAO is the world’s oldest and largest dental specialty organization. AAO is dedicated to, among other goals: (a) ethically advancing the art and science of orthodontics and dentofacial orthopedics worldwide; (b) improving the health of the public by promoting quality orthodontic care, the importance of overall oral healthcare, and advocating for the public interest; and (c) educating the public about the benefits of orthodontic treatment and the educational qualifications of orthodontic specialists. For more information, visit aaoinfo.org.

Media Contact

Katie Maassen, AAO Director of Marketing & Communications, kmaassen@aaortho.org