How to wear braces with confidence

How to wear your braces with confidence 

Traditionally braces were synonymous with clunky, uncomfortable metal contraptions that shone like beacons to high school bullies and earned the wearer the coveted title of “brace face”!

Today, however, braces no longer come with that social stigma and in fact are so common we don’t even notice people wearing them. Technology has come a long way since the days of metal train tracks. Modern braces are less irritating, less obvious and sometimes – with new options available – they may even be "invisible".

If you are feeling a little shy or self conscious, here’s a few things to keep in mind...

Self esteem

You might not feel like you want to smile at first, and that’s okay. Once your braces come off and you’ve gained the benefits of having a beautiful smile, you won’t want to stop flashing those chompers.

In the meantime, remember many of your friends are going to go through the same thing and have anxieties about their appearance.

All teenagers suffer from a lack of self confidence at some point. The hot footballer that has his choice of girls could well be obsessing over his hairline and freaking out about going bald by the time he’s 20!

Physical appearance has a lot to do with how good you feel about yourself but self esteem is the product of a lot of factors, not always just looks. Try these tips to build your confidence:

  • Build on your talents

Master a musical instrument, a language, sport or another skill that interests you – even gaming. What we like makes up part of who we are and everyone brings something unique to a conversation.

  • Dismiss negative thoughts

Think about the good stuff, rather than wallowing in the bad. Learn to become self aware of negative thoughts and, once you recognise them, make an effort to shut them down.

  • Use positive words

Eliminate phrases such as ‘I hate’, ‘I can’t’ and ‘I’ll try’ from your vocabulary. Replace them with statements that set you up for success such as ‘I love’, ‘I can’ and ‘I will’. People are attracted to those with a positive attitude.

Spend your time with people who make you feel good, make you laugh and smile, inspire you and support you.

  • Be realistic

When you set yourself up for goals, don’t expect to reach them all the time. It is normal to make mistakes, just work out what went wrong and use that info to help you do better next time.

  • Regulate your sleep

It’s a scientific fact teens need more sleep and if you're feeling a bit down the urge to stay in bed all day can be tempting. Sleep-ins can really throw your sleep patterns out of whack though, making it difficult to sleep at night, exhausted during the day, or overly emotional. Having a regular sleep pattern is important to maintain stability, concentration and focus.

  • Exercise regularly

Exercise strengthens your mind, releases endorphins AND makes your body look great! Have you ever met an exercise addict that wasn’t super chipper?

Remember that awesome people are not defined by something as minor as a bit of hardware in their mouths. You’re friends and family are more interested in your new smile (and getting you to use it) than the hardware it took to achieve it!

This Australian Society of Orthodontists' blog post was based on content supplied by Inner West Orthodontics.