Adults - how do you cope?

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Adults - how do you cope?

#1 Post by NervousNewbie »

I have a consultation set for September 8, and the consult was originally to see if I was eligible for lingual braces. I have recently found out that my dental plan does NOT cover ANY adult orthodontia, but they do offer a small discount for doctors who are "preferred dental providers". Well I thought I could make do, but turns out they do not offer the PDP discount for "cosmetic" issues, i.e. lingual braces. So if they will offer the discount for ceramic braces then that is the route I will go! I am an adult who works in a professional setting and I'm quite nervous about the reactions of others. I don't have any friends to confide in who will understand and I know I will be going it all alone. I know I shouldn't be so vain and worried about what other people think but it really is driving me insane. If I can't do the ceramics then I don't think I will be able to do it at all, honestly... I'm just not quite that brave.

How do adults do it???

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#2 Post by Justiz »

I can understand your dilemma about the issue. I too was nervous about getting braces due to working in a professional environment. At the time I was also enrolled in an Executive MBA program and was worried that I would not be taken seriously due to the orthodontics.

I ended up getting ceramics on top and metal on bottom and so far I have not had any issues. In fact, after I got them a few of my classmates even let me know they too had adult braces and at work as well.

I definitely do recommend in a professional setting to avoid the all metal just because it can be overwhelming for someone looking at it in a meeting or seminar. The ceramic on top also gives a chance for pictures to still look nice and still provide a clean look if speaking in front of groups etc. I honestly think the outcome is worth the process!


De-Brace Day: May 31, 2011 :) WOO HOO!!!
Essix retainer; Bonded Retainer on 2 Front Teeth
Braces- upper- October 1, 2009; lower- December 1, 2009
18 months to the day!

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#3 Post by fluffybottom »

Honestly, probably the only person who is going to care about your braces is you. We become so fixated on our teeth that we kind of subconsciously assume the everyone around us scrutinizes our smiles as much as we do. But they don't! They really don't. In the beginning, they might as questions about it but pretty soon, it just doesn't even register on their radar.

I had my braces (metal ones) for a little over two years and I worked in a professional setting that entire time. For the first year of treatment, I was missing my upper left canine (the baby tooth was pulled and the impacted adult canine was eventually brought down). So not only did I have braces, I was missing a tooth! Did it impact my job or how people interacted with me? Not at all. Not a single bit.

What is it that you are afraid of specifically? If you encountered someone with braces, how would you treat and think of them?
I had my braces on for 2 years, 1 month, 2 weeks and 2 days.


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#4 Post by NervousNewbie »

fluffybottom wrote:What is it that you are afraid of specifically? If you encountered someone with braces, how would you treat and think of them?
I wouldn't treat them any differently... though I might feel a little more bonded to them seeing as we both have dental issues and maybe they would understand. :)

I guess specifically I'm worried about people staring. Every time I try to have a conversation with someone, I maintain eye contact, but they don't. They stare straight at my mouth and watch my teeth when I talk. I know this isn't in my head because I'm staring at their eyes the entire time.

I am not worried about them saying anything, because I'd rather know what they're thinking than have them just stare at me. I don't work in an intimate office setting where everyone knows everyone... there are about 700 people at my company so almost everyone is a stranger to me, but I do see the same 50-60 people pretty frequently, and though we're not friends, there is a lot of interaction involved between us.

I've been reading a lot of threads on this forum in an attempt to gain confidence in case I am forced in to the all metals. I will also have my baby canine pulled and so I will have a huge gap too! I already have gaps between all of my teeth though... none of the ones on the top touch at all. They're very tiny and spaced far apart, and then on top of that I'll have a hole when my baby canine is removed. :roll:

Anyhow, thanks for the replies... it is very helpful to know there are others out there who deal with this in adulthood.

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#5 Post by sammywantstraightteeth »

I often watch people's mouths when they are talking directly to me, and I'm not even noticing their teeth at all when I'm doing it. I think for me it helps me hear and understand what they say more easily. I know I should make eye contact but I guess I'm a little shy hehe.

When I first got braces myself I suddenly started noticing problems with other people's teeth that I never even noticed before. Like Lewis Hamilton (british F1 driver) - he's got a big gap in between his two front teeth. I've seen him in countless interviews before then and I never saw it!

They will notice your braces at first, and they may ask you about them. But mostly I think you will find people are curious rather than mean about it, and after a while you'll be desperate to talk about them still but no one will be interested. That's why I come here, none of my colleagues ever ask about my teeth any more and I'm only 6 weeks into treatment.

Treatment started: 13th July 2010.
Expected finish: 14th June 2011.
Upper Trays: 21
Lower Trays: 24

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#6 Post by fluffybottom »

How people treat your braces is largely dependent on how you treat them. If you are confident and act like it is no big deal, people will take their cues from that. If you act ashamed and are constantly trying to hide them, it will make people notice them more. The entire time I had my braces, only one person reacted negatively and it was a minor reaction. I was out to dinner with my boyfriend and his former boss and the former boss was like 'God, braces! Why the hell are you doing that NOW?!'

I just smiled, shrugged and said 'Because I was sick of how my teeth looked and wanted to smile more.'

And then the topic was over.
I had my braces on for 2 years, 1 month, 2 weeks and 2 days.


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#7 Post by abaglady »

Hi NervousNewbie,

I completely understand your anxiety, and I think most adults considering orthodontics have the same concerns. I am a marketing manager and my work often involves going out to meet partner organisations and building relationships on behalf of the firm I work for. I must confess, I do feel quite self-conscious about my braces, even though they are ceramics, but nobody has ever asked about them or stared when I've been in meetings - honestly what has been said here is right - you will always be more conscious of your braces than anyone else is (most people are too busy obsessing about things they are self-conscious about themselves!)

Has to be your decision, obviously, but most people on this forum seem to spend only a couple of years in braces. That's not so long really, and the results can be life-changing and permanent so long as you look after your smile! That's what tipped me into doing it, in spite of my worries.

Good luck with your decision...

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#8 Post by NervousNewbie »

I want to thank each and everyone one of you for your thoughtful replies! It really helps to know that other people honestly do understand my concerns. I feel like I don't have anyone to talk to in person who does, so it is so comforting to com here.

I suffer from severe anxiety so I think that might also be part of my struggle. I do think that I can try to be confident and act like they're not a big deal, so then maybe as was mentioned others won't make a big deal out of it. I do know a *couple* of, how shall I say... "obnoxious" people at work who will make a major deal out of it and probably tell everyone they know, but if people will eventually know anyhow, then oh well.

I tend to lose confidence when I feel like I'm alone in this but then I come here and read the replies and my confidence boosts again. I truly do have sincere gratitude for each person who replied. :)

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#9 Post by blackapple »

Well I was concerned too. Especially the first day when I got them put on. I didn't tell anyone at work I was getting braces. Just said I am in coming in early and leaving early because I have a dentist appointment. I came back the next day with my braces on and oddly enough noone even noticed. I had to point them out to people because my speech was a bit off. One of my coworkers thought I had started to wear a retainer. I have only had them on a week today and to be honest I really don't care what others think of them. It just matters what I think :) and how I feel. It was either live with the misalignment of my bite and deal with the tmj or start to correct things with getting the braces put on. I choose to try to fix the situation as well as improve some aesthetics. For that reason alone it doesn't matter what others think. Never would have thought I would be be 34 and wearing braces. It is what is. Be proud you have the means to make a nice improvement with yourself and improve your overall oral health and hygiene.

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Re: Adults - how do you cope?

#10 Post by hazel »

I've had my lower teeth braced 12 days ago. I had been thinking about it for ten long years as I was always concerned about how I'd look and what people would say. My husband would also tease me that soon I'd be needing false teeth...well everyone discouraged me! I didn't quite feel comfortable with the first orthodontist I consulted as he too seemed to think that at 38 I'm too old for braces. I felt much more comfortable with the second orthodontist I consulted.
I have metal braces and a missing incisor tooth........with a small grey pipe in the wire over the missing tooth space (which is small). Can't say it looks good and I do my best to cover my braced teeth with my lower lip.........however I feel great and relieved that finally I did it. My only regret is that It took me so long to decide.....I'm so excited about my lower brace that I would also like to brace my upper teeth too even though they never were an issue for me!

So good luck and just go ahead with it.....I'm sure you'd feel GREAT afterwards!!!

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#11 Post by wilson123 »

Someone on here once posted a quote that changed my whole outlook on having braces: 'would you rather someone sees you and thinks - oh he has braces or would you rather someone sees you and thinks - oh he needs braces'. For me, it is exactly how I feel. If anything I am now the one who scrutinises everyone else's teeth now that mine are straight and have a perfect bite arch :)

I too was nervous and apprehensive about having braces. I even almost bailed before they were fitted however I went through with it and I am almost done (2 weeks to go!!)

The movement is so radical and the transformation you see - you can't put a price on!

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#12 Post by hanzie »

im 30 years old and work in a professional environment.. (suit and tie) and no one has so much as mentioned it even sense i got them, i have ceramic tops and metal bottoms.. either they haven't noticed or they did but dont really care

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#13 Post by farmboy »

I didn't tell my coworkers when I got my braces. I just came back to work on Monday morning and acted like nothing had happened.

Nobody noticed my new metal until more than a week later, during an after-work social gathering. I got a few polite questions, but the subject passed as quickly as it came.

My job requires a lot of face-to-face work with other people. I sometimes notice them looking at my mouth when we're speaking. It doesn't bother me, and it's never even come up in conversation.

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#14 Post by MES1279 »

hanzie wrote:im 30 years old and work in a professional environment.. (suit and tie) and no one has so much as mentioned it even sense i got them, i have ceramic tops and metal bottoms.. either they haven't noticed or they did but dont really care
This is me too (except we're business casual), but we deal with the general public a great deal and I have a very visible role. I have Damon braces- clear on top and metal on bottom.

Today was my first full day all wired up and my coworkers - who knew I was getting braces - did not notice until I smiled, full mouth open smile. They only noticed that I was talking weird, which I have heard, will get better in a few days.

Good luck with your decision!

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#15 Post by Alleria »

I had ceramics on top and metal bottoms, I too am in a professional environment in an IT role - no one really commented on it at all unless I brought it up. I did get a few compliments for being brave to get braces.

I did worry quite a bit when I first got them, but no one said anything. You'd be surprised at how little it'll affect you.

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