Becoming Less Socially Awkward
We all feel socially awkward from time to time. We have all waved back at someone who was actually waving at the person behind us. Or started to introduce someone but can’t remember their name. Or maybe you’ve given an hour-long presentation, only to discover after it’s over that you had a huge chunk of food stuck between your teeth.
Social awkwardness is simply a part of being human. So while we can’t dodge it completely, we can tap into our sense of self-confidence to navigate and overcome those cringe-worthy social moments. After all, self-confidence is simply the ability to trust yourself, even when things get uncomfortable or challenging. It’s the dynamic quality that helps you smile through the awkward moments, stumble with grace, and keep the negative things in life in perspective.
A Straighter, More Brilliant Smile
Having a beautiful smile will give your self-confidence a quiet boost. Smiling communicates without words, makes first impressions, triggers happiness, and keeps you calm during stressful situations (like realizing your shirt is inside-out during a job interview).
Given the impact smiling has on our social skills and interpersonal relationships, it’s not surprising that, for most Americans, having great oral health and an attractive smile top the list of what boosts their self-confidence each and every day. But for those who know straighter teeth would boost their oral health and sense of self-confidence, something notoriously awkward stands in the way—traditional metal braces.
Traditional Metal Braces
Though traditional metal braces will deliver straighter teeth, the obvious mouthful of hardware, and the 18 to 36 months it takes to get there, can create unwelcome social and functional side effects. The Invisalign system gives you the option to discreetly and conveniently straighten your teeth without interrupting social interactions and daily activities. And though Invisalign won’t erase life’s inevitable awkward moments, here’s how Invisalign allows adults and teens to take take the awkward out of orthodontics and move through treatment with greater confidence.
1. Bypass social stigmas.
As our collective cultural storytellers, the media creates and perpetuates our individual and collective perspectives through the stories we watch, read, and hear, which can influence our viewpoints long after trends have changed. From The Brady Bunch to Never Been Kissed to Ugly Betty, we have seen braces portrayed as a symbol for social anxiety, exclusion, and awkwardness over and over again.
Though braces are now being represented in a kinder light than the “metal mouths” and “tin grins” of the past several decades, the imprint of what braces socially symbolize (unattractiveness, awkward adolescence, and a social downgrade) has yet to be fully erased.
While social norms change slowly, Invisalign allows your orthodontic treatment to move quickly and discreetly. With clear aligners and no metal in sight, you can straighten your teeth without worrying about the social impact that traditional braces can create.
2. Eat normally.
Have you ever noticed that you eat differently when you’re with a group of colleagues than when you’re alone? In addition to providing us with nourishment, eating is a social ritual that we share with our friends, family, colleagues, and community. Perhaps without even realizing it, we pick up on social cues in order to adapt to eating norms and connect with the dynamics of a given group.
Wearing traditional braces requires a modified diet to prevent issues with the hardware of braces and our teeth. Traditional orthodontic appliances consist of multiple components that are intricately connected to create the tension needed to reposition teeth. Chewy, crunchy, sticky, hard, or sugary foods can easily dislodge an orthodontic appliance, compromising tension and requiring an urgent trip to the orthodontist.
As Invisalign aligners are completely removable, you don’t have to start cutting your food into tiny pieces, say goodbye to the foods you love, or stop going with the flow of the group dynamic. Steak dinner with a client? No problem. Pizza night with your girlfriends? You’ve got it. Corn on the cob at your company barbecue? Grab the butter!
3. Pucker up.
Whether you’re dating or just starting a new relationship, there’s a pivotal moment that’s often filled with nervousness and excitement: the first kiss. For most couples, the first kiss can mark the status of a relationship, reveal compatibility, and set the course for what happens next.
Whether you’re entering a new relationship or enjoying a long-term partnership, kissing creates connections, bolsters your physical and emotional health, and lifts your self-esteem. Traditional metal braces can make you feel less confident and more awkward about kissing—and for a reason. In addition to causing uncomfortable bumps and snags on the delicate tissues of your and your partner’s lips and tongue, metal braces can easily catch food debris and leave your breath less than fresh and appealing if you aren’t diligent about constantly keeping your braces clean.
With no pokey metal pieces or extra places for food to hide, Invisalign can help you avoid additional first-kiss awkwardness and navigate your romantic relationships with a greater sense of ease and self-confidence. As you can either remove them or leave them securely in place, Invisalign aligners give you the power to choose what makes you feel comfortable and confident before you lean in and go for it!
Self-Confidence with a Smile
Self-confidence comes from the inside-out and the outside-in. Choosing to enhance your self-confidence with a more aligned smile is a good choice. And it can be a choice that doesn’t create the potential for more awkward moments in your daily life.
Over 6 million people, including more than 1.4 million teenagers, have used Invisalign to transform their smiles, improve their oral health and function, and boost their self-confidence. To learn more about how Invisalign clear aligners can transform your smile, contact our office today to schedule your smile assessment.