I recently found out that I need to wear braces for five months. Not the subtle Invisalign braces (I’ve already had those), but the full blown “railroad tracks” complete with rubber bands in the front. The brochures in my orthodontist’s office are written for kids and teenagers so that their budding egos aren’t bruised. But what about my ego?
As a woman in marketing and public relations, I’m a bit freaked out by this turn of events. I spend a lot of time in front of people making presentations while trying to look knowledgeable and professional. Just thinking about it makes me extremely self-conscious. How will I look? How will potential clients react to my 12-year old smile? Should I bring it up in conversation, or just ignore the fact that I have a mouth full of metal?
According to the American Association of Orthodontists, more than a million adults in North America have braces today. Many famous individuals have worn braces as adults. Gwen Stefani, Diana Ross, Tom Cruise, Cameron Diaz and Whoopi Goldberg all sported a metal smile during adulthood, often while they were working on films and other projects. Whoopi Goldberg even dated her orthodontist!
As for my business meetings… I hope I manage to keep my head up, walk confidently into the meeting room, and flash everybody a big smile. After all, adults that opt for braces are making the effort to improve both our health and appearance, and that is something we should not be ashamed of under any circumstances.