Nowadays, braces are so common that most people hardly notice them. However, some people with braces may still feel self-conscious about their appearance, especially if they have just been applied. Here are a few things you can do so your braces aren’t as obvious.
#1 Shift the Focus to Other Features
You can make other features stand out and grab attention so it takes away from your mouth. Getting your hair cut or styled regularly can keep the focus and talking point on your new hair.
If you wear make-up, play up your eyes and wear a nude or light coloured lipstick so your eyes are what people notice first, rather than drawing attention to your mouth.
Style a piece of eye-catching jewellery or a bright outfit and people will be busy admiring your look so they’re less likely to notice your braces.
#2 Keep Your Teeth Clean
Keeping your teeth clean between meals is important for anyone who has braces. Food can easily be trapped around the brackets and wires after eating so it’s good practice to rinse thoroughly with water after eating.
Rinsing will dislodge most food caught between the teeth and braces so you can be confident that your teeth are clean. Brushing and flossing is even better than rinsing after each meal. This will guarantee that food particles and bacteria are removed and you’re reducing the risk of red inflamed gums, decay and stained teeth.
If you can’t brush and floss after all meals, don’t forget to use a soft toothbrush and brush morning and night. If you’re ever unsure of the correct technique for brushing or flossing your teeth with braces, ask your orthodontist for a demonstration. It takes time to get used to brushing with braces, so please ask if you’re ever unsure.
Remember to make an appointment to see your dentist every six months for a professional clean.
#3 Try Not to Be Self-Conscious
Often teenagers with braces worry about their appearance. After a little while, the majority of your friends and family won’t even notice your braces. You probably notice braces on other people because you have braces in common, but their friends and family probably don’t.
Just remember, you will only wear braces for a tiny portion of your lifetime. Once you have finished treatment, you’ll enjoy an amazing smile that will last the remainder of your life.
Let your personality shine through and don’t worry about what your teeth look like now, it’s what the finished product looks like that matters most.
#4 Bands on the Brackets
Sometimes it’s not just the metal braces that stand out but also the tiny elastics around the brackets that help hold in the wires. By choosing a neutral colour, the bands (and braces) won’t stand out as much.
But if you want to have some fun with your braces, don’t be afraid to choose a bright colour for the elastics.
#5 Practise Smiling Without Teeth
If you’re most worried about your braces appearing in photos, it’s possible to smile without showing your teeth. It takes some practise to master how to ‘smile with your eyes’. Stand in front of the mirror or take some selfies to find the look you like the most, which you can then replicate in every photo.
#6 Inconspicuous Braces
If you don’t already have braces, you can choose a treatment method that doesn’t involve metal braces. Not everyone is a candidate but Invisalign is an almost invisible option. The clear aligners fit over your teeth and can only be seen by someone standing close to you.
If you need or prefer braces, there are less obvious options than the standard metal variety. Ceramic brackets are tooth coloured and blend into the teeth so they don’t stand out as much.
Lingual (inside) braces are attached to the back of the teeth so you can talk and smile without the braces being seen by others. Lingual braces are most common amongst adults who are self-conscious of how they will look with traditional braces. While lingual braces are virtually undetectable, some people need to wear elastic bands which are visible. Lingual braces can also affect some people’s speech and take longer to get used to.
There are still a few downsides to consider. Removable Invisalign should only be considered by people who will be diligent about putting their aligners back in as soon as they have finished eating or brushing their teeth. Invisalign must be worn for a minimum of 22 hours per day to be effective.
Both ceramic and lingual braces are more expensive than metal braces. Lingual braces can take a little longer to move teeth into place.
Try to remember, you’re probably more conscious of your braces than anyone around you. People are far more likely to notice other aspects of your appearance, your actions and your personality before they notice your braces!