Embracing Confidence

Recently, I was working with the team at Cleveland Orthodontics.  Going to the surgery, seeing the before and after photos and testimonials of people happy with their treatment, and talking to the staff about the number of adults who are being seen, demonstrates how important our teeth are to making us feel comfortable about looking in the mirror or smiling in public or in photos.

When I was a teenager, I managed to avoid having braces put on my teeth; my teeth weren’t completely straight, but they were OK by British standards at that time.  The only person that I knew who had fixed braces was the brother of my best friend – everybody else who had braces had removable braces and lisped their way through 3rd and 4th year.  However, as I went into my twenties, my wisdom teeth started to show signs of growing up at a strange angle and my front teeth started to wander about a bit as they were pushed forward.  An initial step of removing a perfectly healthy (unfilled!) tooth out didn’t work and eventually I had all 4 wisdom teeth removed under general anaesthetic.  I rocked the hamster look for a couple of weeks till all the swelling subsided!

It was too little, too late; the damage had been done, and the two teeth which had been most affected by the movement of my wisdom teeth didn’t magically spring back into position when they were removed.  More overt measures were required and I decided to investigate having a brace fitted.  Thankfully, it was possible to have a brace fitted on the NHS as an adult at that point; I was accepted as a suitable patient and the treatment commenced.

After my mouth had got used to the brace, it was easy to forget it was there, and I didn’t seem to lisp as much as my friends had when I was younger.  I was amazed at the speed with which my teeth started moving when I had the wires tightened.  I was never tempted to stray into creating patterns with the coloured elastic bands that held the wires in place as the teenagers who were also being treated did – I just stuck with plain old grey (because they didn’t get stained in the same way as white did after I ate curry).

I did become fixated on brushing, flossing and rinsing with mouthwash every time I ate though as I was terrified of the potential of any acid from food causing decay around the brace fixings.  I could always be found in the office bathroom at lunchtime performing this intimate ritual, unabashed.  Some things are just far more important than other people’s sensibilities and I had a goal of a perfect smile.

Gillian Lewis: Spectrum - the perfect smile gives you confidence

Happy to smile for the camera!

Then the day came when my braces were removed.  I was so happy!  I couldn’t stop smiling to show off my pearly whites and I realised just how much knowing that I had a couple of wonky teeth had been affecting my confidence about how I felt about smiling before the brace was in place.  I know people said to me that I was mad to go through all of that as an adult “when your teeth are OK” – but I knew how I felt about seeing misaligned teeth in the mirror and I was pleased that I’d made the effort and sacrifice.

Comparing notes with a couple of friends after they had completed treatment as adults showed the same thing, and they too were pleased with their decision to go ahead with treatment.

All of this ties in with my Confidence Cycle model that the way we feel about what we see in the mirror can affect the way we interact with others.  When you are out of your comfort zone and worried about your appearance, it can be interpreted in the wrong way by others.  If you’re not prepared to smile because you’re unhappy with your teeth, will the person you’re meeting actually know that – or will they think you’re grumpy and sour faced?  If you’re meeting with somebody who could be important to your future: a new boss, client or potential partner, you only have so long to make an impression.  You want to make sure it’s the right impression!

Reflecting on the process, once I’d made the decision to start with my braces, they were in place.  It wasn’t possible for me to avoid getting to my goal of a perfect smile because I was accountable to my Orthodontist and I wasn’t in a position to remove my braces myself.  Other goals that we have in life are often more difficult to achieve because we start with good intentions but don’t have the commitment or motivation to make them happen.  Having a Coach in your life gives you some accountability and support to make your goals happen.  Often we are our own worst critics, unable to acknowledge the progress that we’ve made and focussing on what we think we could have done better.  A Coach will help you to recognise what you have achieved and keep you on track.

If there’s a goal in your life that you want to make happen, get in touch or I offer a limited number of FREE 30-minute Confidence Discovery Session every month. Apply for one now using the button below:

 

 

 

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Gillian Lewis
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Gillian Lewis

Self Image Coach at Gillian Lewis: Spectrum Coaching and Consultancy based in Darlington, County Durham, UK
What on earth is a Self-Image Coach I hear you ask – it’s cross between a Confidence Coach and Image Consultant.

I help clients become happier and more confident by giving them a Makeover from the Inside Out to change their internal and external view of themselves.

I'm not really interested in fashion, just what clothes can do for your self-image - that's where the Forget Fashion blog title originated, so I won't be doing much commentary on the latest catwalk styles.Instead, I write about things I come across in life that make me reflect.Sometimes it's serious.Sometimes it's just fun.Hopefully you'll like my writing style, find what I write about interesting and enjoy the experience.If you do, share the love using the boxes below - thank you 😀
Gillian Lewis
FOLLOW ME
About Gillian Lewis

What on earth is a Self-Image Coach I hear you ask – it’s cross between a Confidence Coach and Image Consultant.

I help clients become happier and more confident by giving them a Makeover from the Inside Out to change their internal and external view of themselves.

I'm not really interested in fashion, just what clothes can do for your self-image - that's where the Forget Fashion blog title originated, so I won't be doing much commentary on the latest catwalk styles. Instead, I write about things I come across in life that make me reflect. Sometimes it's serious. Sometimes it's just fun. Hopefully you'll like my writing style, find what I write about interesting and enjoy the experience. If you do, share the love using the boxes below - thank you :-D

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