The following is an excerpt from the site formerly known as M’s MouthWear Forum, Sun, Aug 2, 1998. It may be a bit old, but the advice still holds up for today!
Headgear in Public
For the record, I am a 31-year-old male, and I wear a high-pull style headgear.After much initial hesitation and fear, I finally took the plunge… I have begun wearing my headgear in public!
In a matter of only a few days, I have gone from fearing wearing my headgear in public to ENJOYING it! I hope my story encourages others to overcome any fear they may have of wearing their headgear in public.
A few days ago I went camping at a state park. I brought along my headgear to wear in the evening (in private), as I usually do. When early evening came along, I decided to go for a bicycle ride. I began thinking about wearing my headgear while riding my bicycle. I got out my headgear, but I just didn’t have the courage to wear it while riding my bicycle.
Rather than put my headgear back into its case, I hooked the facebow onto the head strap, then wore the head strap around my neck. (Head strap and facebow now hidden from view under my shirt). I then began my bike ride.
After about 10 minutes of riding, the facebow came loose from the strap, so I had to stop and secure it. Nobody else was nearby, so all of a sudden, I decided to plug the facebow into my mouth, secure the head strap, and continue my bike ride.
I now felt enormous anxiety, my heart began pounding. I thought: “Soon, some people will see me wearing my headgear!” YIKES! Sure enough, a few minutes later some other bicyclists approached. As they neared, they looked at me. I looked back at them, smiled (headgear fully showing), and waved. They smiled and waved back. Hmmm, that wasn’t so bad.
I then passed some more bicyclists. Same thing. No problem. As I pulled back into the campground, I slowed down to about 5 MPH. I was now passing many people who could see me wearing my headgear. A lady and her kid suddenly appeared in the middle of the road, so I had to come to a dead stop. The lady looked up at me, smiled, and said “sorry.” I smiled back (headgear fully showing) and said “that’s okay.” Once again, what was there to fear?
When I got back to the campsite, I had to refill the water jugs. So I walked over to the water fountain while wearing my headgear. Several people saw me. A few people did a double take, but so what? What was there to fear? NOTHING!
On the way home, I walked into a few gas stations wearing my headgear. I walked up to the clerk, said “hi”, paid for the gas, and left. Again, a few people stared at me for a moment, but it wasn’t like they were gawking, or pointing, or talking behind my back.
Since I returned from my camping trip a few days ago, I have worn my headgear while driving my car, while riding my bicycle, while walking in the park, and while shopping in the mall.
Tonight, I am going to a movie theater while wearing my headgear. I look forward to it!
In only a few days, the anxiety and fear I felt about wearing my headgear in public has turned into an ADRENALINE RUSH!! I now get satisfaction knowing that I can do what few others would dare do. I also look at this ‘Fear of Headgear’ logically. Below I analyze why this ‘Fear of Headgear’ exists, and how to conquer it.
The Fear of Headgear: Analyzed and Conquered
The ‘Fear of Headgear’ comes from the fear of looking different than everybody else. The fear of wearing headgear in public today is no different from the fear most braces wearers experienced in the 1940s. In the 1940s, very few people wore braces. If you wore braces in the 1940s, you had a physical feature that stood out from most everybody else. People who needed to wear braces in the 1940s feared showing their braces in public just as much as most people today fear wearing headgear in public.
Due to the overwhelming popularity of braces, the fear and anxiety suffered by braces wearers has virtually disappeared. In fact, it now extremely common for many people to request braces.
As more people wear braces, fewer people fear wearing braces. The same holds true for headgear. If more people begin wearing headgear in public, there will be fewer people who fear wearing headgear in public.
Think about it for a moment. You know that you will suffer no negative consequences by wearing your headgear in public…
- Should any friends see you wearing your headgear, you will NOT lose any friends.
- Nobody will harm or humiliate you when you wear your headgear in public.
- When people see you wearing your headgear, they will NOT think: “That guy/gal is weird.” or “That guy/gal is a pervert.” or “That guy/gal is a bad person.” When people see you wearing your headgear, they will NOT think the bad thoughts you fear!!!
- ]When people see you wearing your headgear, they think exactly what you think when you see someone wearing headgear. They’ll think: “What’s that?” or “I’ve never seen anything like that before.” or “Wow! Headgear in public! How cool! How brave!”
- The strongest feelings anyone will have when they see you wearing headgear will be feelings of RESPECT and ADMIRATION!
- The ‘worst’ thing that will happen to you when wearing your headgear in public is a few long stares, a few double takes. How can that harm you? It cannot! Every time you go out in public–whether or not you’re wearing headgear–people will look at you. It doesn’t bother you if people stare at your hat, your hairstyle, your clothes, or your jewelry. So why would it bother you if someone stares for a moment at your headgear? What you fear is NOT the stare. What you fear is what people might think. But as I have just explained, what people really think is NOT what you fear they think.
REALITY shows that there is no negative consequence to wearing your headgear in public. In fact, REALITY shows that there are several BENEFITS to wearing your headgear in public…
- The more you wear your headgear, the better your treatment will go. Your teeth, your appearance, and your health will all benefit.
- Despite what you fear, most people will RESPECT and ADMIRE you for wearing your headgear in public. People respect and admire courage. People respect and admire those who go the extra mile, and do what is best. People do NOT respect and admire cowards. People do NOT respect and admire those who take the path of least resistance.
- By conquering the ‘Fear of Headgear’, you will have gained self confidence and self respect.
If this advice has helped convince you to wear your headgear in public, please let everyone know by posting your story on the discussion group.
This could begin a trend. If enough people begin wearing their headgear in public, this fear–like the fear of wearing braces in the 1940s–could also become history.
The ‘Fear of Headgear’ is a paper tiger. There is NOTHING TO FEAR by wearing your headgear in public. There is MUCH TO GAIN by wearing your headgear in public.
Be brave. Be strong. Be courageous. Be on the cutting edge. JUST DO IT! You’ll be glad you did.
photo courtesy of Great Lakes Dental Technologies