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I had braces as a young teen but I bent my retainers when we went on vacation one year. I had the old fashioned retainers that were pink and plastic with a metal bar connected to it.

I am now 25, and I would like to get some of these 'invisible' plastic (see-through) braces to fix my crooked bottom teeth. Is this a good idea for the workplace?

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    What problems do you expect exactly from wearing braces to work? Do you expect people to mock you for that, or to realize you have crooked teeth? – Dmitry Grigoryev Nov 18 '16 at 12:18
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    Let's be clear, if a manager took issue with you as a worker strictly because you are wearing braces, then that would certainly be considered discriminatory. An odd case of it but discriminatory nonetheless. The only potential case that an employer might have against such an individual would be if the responsibilities of the job required that your mouth not have such hardware in it. Such a job probably doesn't exist. Well... maybe a food taste tester but that's about it. – RLH Nov 18 '16 at 13:46
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    The fact that you feel the need to ask this question leads me to believe that the people you are working with are immature enough to cause you to be worried about something which is inconsequential to your job function. I've worked with multiple people that had full metal braces as adults and never batted an eye. – MonkeyZeus Nov 18 '16 at 13:52
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    Does your job involve biting, or are you some sort of dentist's model or Luis Suarez? If none of these I'd say you're OK... – colmde Nov 21 '16 at 14:22
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    @RLH - there are such jobs but they are only legal in portions of Nevada in USA :) – user13655 Nov 21 '16 at 14:47
215

There is nothing wrong with wearing braces or anything else of that kind. It's something you need to use to fix a problem. Just as there is nothing wrong with wearing a cast if you have a broken leg.

Lots of people wear eyeglasses, hearing aids etc. Best not to wear psychedelic pink and green ones, so just use common sense.

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    As someone who wears glasses, I agree with everything here. Specially the "use common sense" bit. – Ismael Miguel Nov 18 '16 at 12:31
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    To me it shows that you are being a responsible adult by trying to take care of health problem. Now, if you had a florescent green or hello kitty retainer and run around showing it off, that might be a different unprofessional story. – PhasedOut Nov 18 '16 at 14:34
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    I wore clear aligners to work in my late 30s. A few less mature co-workers made comments about me brushing my teeth in the bathroom. Nothing to worry about, of course. – user29416 Nov 18 '16 at 17:39
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    @PhasedOut - assuming you work in an industry where florescent green or hello kitty are frowned upon. Not all of us do. Many people in my office have things that fall into those categories and nobody thinks anything of it. – user1118321 Nov 20 '16 at 6:31
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    psychedelic pink - new color name, should become part of HTML / CSS standard :) – Mars Robertson Nov 21 '16 at 11:41
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Wearing something for health related purposes is perfectly normal and, as @Kilisi already said, people do it all the time.

You should only be concerned if you are in a position that involves speaking as a key point.

If you are, for example, an important businessman or an air control tower operator, I'd first check if the kind of braces you want to wear don't modify how you speak, and that you're still able to be understood clearly by everyone.

Also, some jobs are less forgiving than others. In the case of a very prestigious position, even a small imperfection on how you look might be important.

In the end, it all boils down on what your job is, but for the great majority of cases there shouldn't be any problem at all.

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    @WGroleau Even less prestigious positions could have problems with it. If the OP's job is playing a character that is not supposed to have braces then there could be problems. The "invisible" braces were specifically mentioned, and while I'm not entirely familiar with just how "invisible" they are, it should alleviate the issues. – David Starkey Nov 18 '16 at 15:27
  • Acting and spying are the only two jobs where appearance should matter. But in the real world, people DO judge and if illegal, the smart ones will figure out how to get away with it. Try claiming sex discrimination when Hooters doesn't offer you a waiting job and you and they both know the hair on your chest had something to do with it. – WGroleau Nov 18 '16 at 16:18
  • I've noticed someone at work got Invisalign braces and at first she lisped, but over time she has adjusted to them and you can't tell she has them anymore (and yes, she does still have them). – Arluin Nov 21 '16 at 17:40
31

Short answer : Don't sweat it.

I've worn braces (not the transparent ones, the metallic ones) on both upper and lower teeth from 11 to 15 (in school) and then again from 21 to 24 (at work), during which time I had to undergo serious jawbone surgery which kept me away from work for a month.

I've been teased a lot by classmates when I was young (you know how cruel kids can be), even bullied sometimes, but the second time around, my coworkers were more than understanding and sympathetic. As people get older, they understand you don't wear braces to make yourself interesting or just for the sake of it, but that you have a genuine teeth issue. You might be seen as "the dude with braces" for a few weeks, especially if you're new at this job, but that will fade away pretty quickly.

The only thing you're gonna have to worry about is how braces may affect you physically. It's a long and painful road of teeth-hurting, inner-lip-scratching and gum-bleeding, and it will without doubt leave you with a severe hatred for dentists. But in the end, when you finally take them off, my God, what a relief it is ! And I've never been happier now that my crooked teeth are fixed, I learned to smile and if I had to do it all over again, I would.

7

I am 46 and I wear braces to work. No one seems to care. I tried retainer couple of years ago, but I didn't wore it enough during the day to make a difference.

6

First of all, it is absolutely fine to wear braces to work. You might want to get a set that aren't overtly garish, but that's more a matter of personal fashion and should not have any impact on your work experience.

Now, that being said, there is a possibility that people might tease or mock you for your braces anyway - while they shouldn't be doing this in a professional environment, there is still the possibility you'll be working with someone less than professional.

How you go about handling this is similar to any type of harassment you might receive at the workplace for unfair treatment - ask them to stop first, and if they still persist, take it up with your supervisor. If your supervisor won't act upon it, take it up with your HR department.

Hopefully this won't happen, and I don't anticipate it happening because most people in a workforce have some sense of decorum. But if it does, you have an avenue for dealing with it in a reasonable manner.

3

I am now 25, and I would like to get some of these 'invisible' plastic (see-through) braces to fix my crooked bottom teeth. Is this a good idea for the workplace?

If you need 'em, wear 'em - that's my philosophy.

Seriously, if you want to straighten your teeth, these sorts of plastic braces are a terrific way for adults to do so.

They take a bit of getting used to, and you may sound a bit funny when you first start talking with them. That improves over time.

But I seriously doubt that they would be problematic at work. And if after trying you decide that they are, you can easily avoid wearing them during work (at the expense of a significantly longer period of time to correct your bite).

My wife is a Dental Professional. She sees adults who wear these appliances all the time. She tells me that her patients are pretty much unanimous in liking them.

2

Got a coworker with in her 50's using braces. There's no literal age to take care of yourself. Workwise, it won't make a single difference.

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    In the Czech Republic (10M people) a polititian (age 40) got elected prime minister while wearing braces. – Pavel Nov 21 '16 at 7:49
1

I would like to get some of these 'invisible' plastic (see-through) braces

I suppose you mean "Invisalign" or similar. My wife has been wearing those for the last 3 years -- and she's 40. So yes, also at 25 it's definitely acceptable.

Besides, I agree with Kilisi.

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    This isn't really answer, more of an anecdote. It should probably be a comment. – user30031 Nov 18 '16 at 15:44

protected by Jane S Nov 20 '16 at 2:45

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