Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Brace Yourself: Making Your Metal Mouth Look Good

You've picked out a killer outfit. You've got the perfect hair, the perfect makeup, and the perfect jewelry. Every part of you is ready to dazzle, and then you open your mouth...to reveal a shiny, silver grill. Are your braces getting you down? Don't let that metal mouth mar your self esteem! The trick with braces is the same for any potential fashion faux pas -- if you own it with confidence, you're more likely to pull it off. Here is some advice for making your braces work in your favor, whether you're a pre-teen or an adult. (And trust me -- coming from someone who didn't wear her retainer and had to experience Round 2 of braces at age 24, I know what I'm talking about.)

If you're a pre-teen or teenager...
The beauty of not being an adult is that you can embrace odd fashion trends without having a boss stop you with an office dress code. Neon colors are in right now -- so live it up with your braces! If you want a more neutral color that will match your entire wardrobe of colored skinny jeans, then black or gray are both good choices. There is one option that many orthodontists offer that adults have a harder time pulling off than youthful braces wearers: glitter. If you're young enough to not pay your own bills and never have to dress in business casual, then you're young enough to pull this off. Glitter bands around your brackets will make your mouth a fashion accessory of its own, regardless of the rest of your outfit. But as a word of caution to any younglings out there: don't attempt to bedazzle your braces on your own. Save those stick-on rhinestones for the back of your cell phone.

If you're an adult...
First of all, take a good look in the mirror and remind yourself that, regardless of whether or not you look 14 years old, you still deserve to be treated like an adult. If you can feel confident with your braces on, other people will treat you with more respect. With that said, if you want to keep it professional with your metal mouth, unfortunately, your options are a bit more limited than your teenage counterparts. The important thing here is to take your lifestyle and career field into account. Do you work in a law firm? Skip the bright colors. Do you teach preschool? Do whatever you want -- it'll look great with your macaroni necklace. For an adult, neutrals are generally the safest bet. Your other option is to get white or clear braces, which are less noticeable than the traditional silver wiring. Invisalign is also an option to consider.
For any age...
Whether your'e 13 or 35, some rules apply across the board. For one, avoid white or yellow bands -- both colors can make your teeth appear yellow. While we're on the topic of discolored teeth, the best thing you can do to look good with braces is to take your dental hygiene seriously. Practice daily, thorough habits and visit the dentist office for regular cleanings. And, as mentioned before, the key to pulling off a metal mouth with style is to wear them with confidence! If it helps, keep your eye on the light at the end of the tunnel -- a mouth full of straight teeth! It will all be worth it in the end, so why not smile about it in the meantime? Chin up! And as a final word of caution: even if you don't like the way they look, wear the rubber bands the way you're supposed to. I'm not sure if colorful or glitter rubberbands are available, but it's definitely something to look into.