Percentage Of Children That Get Braces Vs Mental Health Treatment

March 14, 2024 | Children’s brain and mental matters for the development on their future.

Author: Meg Thompson, Certified Brain Health Coach and Owner/Partner at Brain Train Centers Woodstock, GA, Marietta, GA, and St. Augustine Beach, FL

Up to 70% of kids today get braces, but 60% of kids don’t get mental health treatment that need it…

The percentage of children who receive braces versus mental health treatment can vary significantly depending on various factors such as cultural norms, access to healthcare, socioeconomic status, and individual needs.

In many developed countries, orthodontic treatment with braces is relatively common, with estimates ranging from 50% to 70% of children receiving some form of orthodontic treatment during their adolescence.

On the other hand, the percentage of children receiving mental health treatment varies widely and can be influenced by factors such as stigma, access to mental healthcare services, and awareness of mental health issues. According to the CDC, about 20% of children in the United States experience a mental health disorder each year, but the percentage receiving treatment may be lower due to various barriers.

It’s important to note that comparing these percentages directly may not be straightforward due to the complex nature of mental health treatment and the wide range of conditions it encompasses. 

On average, dental insurance plans may cover between 25% to 50% of the cost of braces, yet families tend to budget nearly $10k per child for braces and orthodontist work during childhood.

Research suggests that a significant portion of children with mental health issues do not receive the necessary treatment.

According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), about 50% to 60% of children and adolescents with mental health disorders do not receive treatment. This treatment gap can be attributed to various reasons, including:

1. Stigma: Mental health stigma can discourage individuals and families from seeking help or disclosing their struggles, leading to underreporting and underutilization of mental health services.

2. Lack of Access: Limited access to mental healthcare services, including shortages of mental health professionals, long wait times for appointments, and financial barriers, can prevent children from receiving timely and appropriate treatment.

3. Fear of Medications: Historically, symptom relief has socially and clinically been the main modality; however, the fear of medications often scare families away from seaking any mental or brain health or wellness services.

4. Cultural and Linguistic Barriers: Cultural beliefs, language barriers, and disparities in healthcare access and utilization can impact the likelihood of children receiving mental or brain health, particularly among minority and underserved populations.

Efforts to increase awareness, reduce stigma, improve access to mental healthcare services, and enhance early identification and intervention can help address the brain and mental treatment gap and ensure that more children receive the support they need for their mental health challenges.

It’s essential for individuals or parents considering neurofeedback to understand that budgeting for their child’s future should be a priority. With discounted brain training plans, Advance Care Card, usage of flexible spending accounts (FSAs) or health savings accounts (HSAs), families are able to prioritize their children’s mental and brain health.

To learn about how to get you or a loved one started on your neurofeedback journey, contact one of over 20 office locations nationwide at Brain Train Centers – the fastest growing neurofeedback company in the world.