Tough Stuff

How one GL girl embraced her braces

I love my smile, but getting to a point where I can say that hasn't been easy.

When I had my braces put on at 13, I was told I would have them for three years. At 18 years old, though, I was still rocking a metallic smile. Everyone seemed to think that because I had had braces for so long, that they didn't bother me anymore. The truth: the longer I had braces, the more self-conscious I felt about them and the more anxiety they caused me. Luckily, throughout my “braceface” journey, I learned a few tips on how to get through those tough years. 

Remember that you're not the only one

It took me a while to realize that I wasn't the only one in this situation. Over 70 percent of teens have braces at some point in their life, so there is no need to stress about people judging you. Odds are, the person you're chatting with whose glancing at your smile was in your shoes once. I didn't always feel this way though: During one particular check up in the winter months, my orthodontist told me that I would have my braces on for six more months. I immediately thought, “Oh my gosh, I am going to have braces at prom.” But after this worry hit me, I realized that so many other girls also had braces and I really wouldn't stand out as much as I thought I would. As concerned as I was, when I look back on the photos from my prom night, I loved the way I looked and I had a great night. You can hardly even notice my braces.  

Draw the attention away from your smile

If having braces for five years taught me one thing, it’s that there are many ways to draw attention away from your them and direct it toward your favorite features. Personally, I've always loved my eyes. So when I rocked braces, I would wear a little extra mascara. Instead of people looking at my wacky smile, I would receive compliments on my eyes. Whether it is your great personality, impeccable sense of style or your pretty blue eyes, show off the best parts of *you.* You're sure to wow everyone.

Remind yourself of the benefits 

The easiest way to come to terms with your teeth sitch is to remember that even though having them can be physically and emotionally painful at times, it is all worth it in the end. The day I got my braces off was one of the most exciting days ever. It took a long time but my teeth look flawless and I couldn’t be happier with my smile. It wasn’t until after I got my braces off that I realized how silly I had been. All of this fear and embarrassment caused by my braces was really unnecessary—and most of the time the only person noticing my braces was me. 

It is important to embrace your braces and not let them get to you. Learn to love every part of yourself, even (and especially) the parts of you that you're not incredibly fond of.

Have you ever had braces? Share your story in the comments below.  


by Emily Mullin | 3/3/2019