Whether you’re in your teens or well into adulthood, getting braces can shake your confidence. There’s no doubt about it, people are going to notice you have them.
Unfortunately, most people don’t feel that way. They can’t help but feel embarrassed or self-conscious about having braces. Aside from middle school-level bullying, however, there’s no reason you should feel ashamed about having braces at any age.
Don’t let braces keep you from being yourself or remembering how to smile!
Keep reading to learn how to smile with braces and keep your confidence levels up.
How to Smile With Braces: Things to Consider
In reality, most people will notice and look negatively at crooked teeth and poor oral health and hygiene long before they’d scoff at someone for wearing braces.
While it’s completely unfounded, there’s a negative stigma directed at people who have less-than-perfect teeth.
Therefore, even though it has no effect on your value as a human being, taking steps to improve your teeth should make you feel more confident, not more self-conscious. You should learn how to smile with braces proudly.
1. Remember, It’s Only Temporary
While braces may be uncomfortable, inconvenient, or even painful at times, they’re not permanent. It’s common to experience soreness or tenderness in your mouth for the first week or two. Additionally, your tongue, cheeks, and lips may get irritated with the extra hardware.
Remember, these negative side effects are temporary and will subside as your mouth gets accustomed to having braces.
We recommend swishing a warm saltwater solution (one tablespoon of salt in a glass of water) around in your mouth to help ease some of the discomforts. You can also use over-the-counter pain relievers.
You may also be worried about the effect braces have on your appearance. While this will be an adjustment at first, you and the people you interact with will quickly get used to seeing the braces. Think of it like getting a new haircut – the change is almost overwhelming at first, but after a short time, no one notices.
2. Don’t Hide Your Smile
Your smile says a lot about who you are, what you’re feeling, and sometimes, what you’re hiding. Additionally, studies show that the more we smile, the happier we become.
While we’re not suggesting going around the office faking a big smile at anyone who looks your way, you should think twice about hiding it. Learning how to smile with braces organically is important. Hindering your natural emotional responses (like smiling and laughing) can start to affect your mood, personality, and more.
Furthermore, people will notice you hiding your smile and holding back. This will draw more attention to your braces (and insecurities) than acting normally would.
3. Focus on the End Results
Focusing on the end results and the overall importance of your oral health can help you learn how to smile with braces. Remember why you’re getting braces and how much brighter and prettier your smile will be. But that’s not all braces can do for you.
Obviously, braces are primarily used for straightening your teeth over time. Aesthetically, this a big deal for most people. After the braces come off and you’re left with straighter teeth, you’ll feel more attractive and more confident.
Food is a big part of our lives. We celebrate holidays and accomplishments with lavish meals and travel to other countries to try cultural delicacies. With misaligned teeth, eating certain foods can be awkward, uncomfortable, or even painful.
Did you know that using braces will ultimately make chewing easier? Getting your teeth straightened may open up a whole new world of foods for you.
Less Risk of Tooth Injury
When your teeth don’t align properly, there’s a greater risk of tooth injuries such as chipped, cracked, or broken teeth. Playing sports, tripping, or getting in an accident could result in severe tooth trauma.
One reason you should learn how to smile with braces is that they’ll ultimately make your breath fresher. Crooked and misaligned teeth make oral hygiene much more difficult. With straighter teeth, you’ll be able to clean your mouth more effectively, removing bacteria and food particles that often lead to bad breath.
Improved Oral Health
Wearing braces to align your teeth can also improve your long term oral health. Trapped bacteria and food particles can eventually lead to tooth decay, cavities, and gum disease. Because teeth cleaning is easier and more efficient with straighter teeth, expect to have fewer oral health problems.
4. Remember, You’re Not Alone
The old adage that misery loves company may sound bleak, but it’s quite enlightening about the human psyche. We don’t like feeling isolated or different from those around us.
Studies have shown that suicide rates can be higher in happier environments. That’s because people who are sad or depressed but surrounded by happiness have a harder time coping. They feel more alone.
Fortunately, as a braces wearer, you’re far from alone. Roughly four million people in America wear braces, and a quarter of them are adults.
5. Embrace the Braces
Finally, remember that our perception shapes our reality. When we focus on the things we perceive to be negative about ourselves, we tend to believe everyone else does too. In fact, we are our own worst critics – most people don’t think half as many negative thoughts about you as you do.
Learning how to smile with braces means embracing them. Think about them as unique accessories. Choose colors that express your individuality, support your favorite team, or bring out the color of your eyes.
Finally, remember that you have a myriad of options when it comes to choosing what type of braces to use. Ask your dentist about what they offer and what will be best for your teeth.
Looking for a Credible Orthodontist?
If you think braces are the right call for your oral health and/or the quality of your smile, we can help. Schedule a free consultation today and find out about your options.
We can help answer questions, address concerns, or teach you how to smile with braces and stay confident.