Helping Young Adults Through Braces & Orthodontic Treatment
As adults, most of us know that if we want to fix up our less than perfect smile, we’ll have to temporarily deal with some of the not-so-convenient aesthetic aspects of orthodontic treatment such as braces. As adults, we also know how to cope with these matters, and typically have confidence levels that allow us to continue thriving in our social and professional circles, even throughout orthodontic treatment.
Not to assume that treatment is a piece of cake for adults, but teenagers tend to have more trouble maintaining confidence and thriving in social circles, due to the transitional phase of their age group, and many emotional, physical and psychological changes that their bodies endure.
Many adolescents and young adults have to wear braces in order to improve their teeth. It is most common to see braces among high school and college students.
Some people might feel discomfort, that braces make them ugly, so it may affect their self-esteem. Teenagers especially might feel that braces are the most noticeable thing about them. If the environment is not favorable, others might tease them about the braces. This occurs more often in high school settings, while college students may feel embarrassed over their braces or feel that these affect their appearance.
This leads to the question: how do we help young adults cope and deal with the psychological and emotional effects of braces?
First of all, braces have a purpose!
- Braces are meant to improve appearance as well as dental health.
- Not all braces are ugly! Today’s technology has made braces thinner, lighter, less painful and more aesthetically pleasing. In some cases, bracket braces might not be needed, and treatment can be accomplished with simpler devices, for instance, invisible braces such as Invisalign.
- Focus on the future! Understand the benefits that the braces will offer and why they need to be worn. Even though it may feel like a lifetime in college or high school years, the likelihood is, they will be worn for just a fraction of a life span, but will help provide a lifetime of a beautiful and healthy smile. As we wrote in One Essential Ingredient for a Successful Career, Love, and Social Life — a smile is a crucial ingredient for a successful future.
- Reinforce self-esteem. It’s important to focus on self value and that it doesn’t depend on appearance. Additionally, given that appearance is of the essence for many young adults, note that by using braces to align the smile and teeth, appearance is given high priority, and will only improve with time.
In the case that you’re not absolutely confident about your smile and are looking for inspiration, check out some of our before and after photos. Today’s dental technology has allowed us to generate incredible results and achieve beautiful smiles for our patients.