THE BLOG

Adult Braces Indicate High Self Esteem

28/05/2015 12:40 BST | Updated 27/05/2016 10:59 BST

Flashback to your teenage years and braces on your teeth conjure up a perfect target for bullies. "Train track" "Goofy" "Angry Beaver" were some of the nasty remarks aimed at me when I had braces for the first time at the age of 15. I had overcrowding and an overbite. I had four teeth taken out and wore train track style braces for two years. I was bullied specifically about my teeth for a long time. So when the time come for my braces to be removed, I was glad to see the back of them.

My orthodontist told me to wear my retainer everyday for six months and only take it out to eat. I got in my Moms car and put it in the glove box... Never to be seen or worn again. I was sick of the painful things. Maybe now people would leave me alone, now that my teeth looked a bit more normal.

Fast forward into my adult years and I noticed my teeth had moved. Gradual changes over the years resulted in my front teeth protruding forward past the others and my over jet was back! Nobody told me that a retainer sets your teeth. Not wearing your retainer after years of braces is like breaking a bone and not wearing a cast, they just wont set in the correct place.

By this time, the bullies were long gone and I was a very confident, charismatic young woman. I often placed myself as centre of attention by dancing on nightclub podiums, overdressing all the time wearing dresses and heels as much as possible and was known as the mental one at work for always wearing crazy costumes. (I was a bar maid.)

I was promoted to supervisor and then to assistant manager and then at the young age of 23... General Manager. Finally got my own place which meant... More money! I decided to invest in myself and get a brace. I spent £2000 and wore white brackets and silver wires for 4 years.

When I first got my braces for the second time. I thought it was due to insecurity. It was actually the opposite. I was very secure! I had a good job, my own little flat,my own car, went on a lot of holidays. I liked myself and my life.

By getting a brace I was putting myself in control of something I didn't like about myself instead of complaining.

The type of person that gets a brace in their adult years is a person that has high self esteem. It sounds contradictory. You're getting a brace because you hate your teeth but you have high self esteem?

It goes deeper than that...

Getting a brace means you want to better yourself, you are not the type of person that just accepts this is it. If you can do better, you will.

It also means you don't care what people think of you. On the surface, a brace means you want people to like your teeth, if you were that driven by the opinions of strangers you wouldn't get a brace because their opinion might be, "You look weird" or "you look like a teenager". You are driven by what you think of you and don't care if somebody insults your brace.

They're expensive! You can't get cosmetic braces on the NHS so anyone that has paid for a brace, you can safely assume they have a good enough job to pay and therefore they are the type of person that is motivated to do well and succeed in life.

You have to be confident. Wearing a brace by choice, means that you have to avoid certain food or carry an interdental brush and mirror at all times! Most adult brace wearers will eat green food but know that you will get chunks of food stuck and either have to pick it out or accept that people will point it out. If you have low self esteem both options will cause embarrassment. If you like yourself, you won't mind getting a mirror out to check for stray food!

So braces can actually enhance your career but not because you have straight teeth. It is because the type of person that will get braces as an adult, values themselves and will push themselves to be the best they can be.

P.S. I still wear a retainer at night!