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How to be more confident (while you're wearing braces)

By Anthony August 29, 2015

Decades ago, braces were synonymous with clunky, uncomfortable metal contraptions that shone like beacons to high school bullies. But fast-forward to 2015, and braces no longer come with that social stigma. In fact, nowadays everyone from movie stars to pop icons know the benefits of smiling and wearing braces. Braces are so common now we don’t even notice people wearing them!

That's because technology has come a long way since the days of metal mouth traps. Modern braces are less irritating, less obvious and sometimes — with new options like Invisalign ® available — they're even invisible. That said, we know that having braces can be tough, and you might feel a little shy or self conscious. So here’s a few things to keep in mind to help you through the journey...


How to be more confident with braces

You might not feel like you want to smile at first, and that's okay — because once your braces come off and you’ve gained the benefits of having a beautiful smile - you won’t want to stop flashing your teeth. But in the meantime, rest assured that many of your friends and peers are going to go through the same thing, and feel exactly the same anxieties about their appearance.

Your teenage years can be pretty rough at the best of times, so adding braces to the equation might not sound ideal. Every teenager suffers from a lack of self confidence at some point. Remember that you're not alone; your mate at the party last Saturday? He spent most of the night worrying that his ears stick out too much and that everybody was staring at him. The guy on your footy team that all the girls flock to? Right now he’s obsessing over his hairline and freaking out about going bald by the time he's 20.

 So physical appearance has a lot to do with how good you feel about yourself. But you know what? Self esteem is the product of a lot of other factors, and they're not always about looks. Here's a few examples of how to build more confidence:


Build on your talents

Master a musical instrument, a language, sport or another specialty skill that interests you (yes, gaming counts too). The things we like make up part of who we are and how we each bring something unique to the conversation.


Dismiss negative thoughts

Wouldn’t you rather think about good stuff, as opposed to getting lost in the dark depths of worry? Learn to become self aware of negative thought patterns — 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, like ‘I love’, ‘I can’ and ‘I will’. People are attracted to those with a positive attitude (that’s what makes happy individuals so popular).

Surround yourself with great people. Spend your time with people who make you feel good, make you laugh and smile, inspire you, and support you. Don’t settle for anything less.


Be realistic

When you set yourself up for goals, don’t expect to reach them 100% of the time. That’s not normal. What is normal is to make mistakes, work out what went wrong and use that info to help you do better next time. Don’t ever beat yourself up about it — just learn and move on.


Regulate your sleep

Teens need more sleep — it’s a scientific fact. Sometimes when you’re feeling a bit blue, the urge to stay in bed all day can be tempting. But sleep ins can really throw your sleep patterns out of whack; making it difficult to sleep at night, exhausted during the day, or scattered and overly emotional simply because you’re tired. Having a regular sleep pattern is important to maintaining stability, concentration and focus in your mind and body.


Exercise regularly

Sure, you might not like it, but it’s going to strengthen your mind, release endorphins AND make your body look great - what a confidence booster! Have you ever met an exercise addict that wasn’t super chipper? Exactly. Exercise doesn’t have to be boring either; check out our blog post on exercise tips for teens to find out how you can actually make it fun.


If you’re feeling anxious about your appearance after getting braces, bear in mind that awesome people are not defined by something as minor as a bit of hardware in their mouths. You’re friends, colleagues and family are all more interested in your new smile (and getting you to use it) than the hardware it took to achieve it. Plus, if you decide to get a new ‘invisible’ treatment like Invisalign, it’s likely that your very own friends won’t even notice you’re wearing braces at all.

Don’t forget once those braces come off you’ll look more spectacular than ever before, so that short term frustration will be well worth it in the long run. Book in for a consultation with Dr Anthony Pistolese at Inner West Orthodontics today to fast-track your way to the confidence of having a winning smile!

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