Nathan - Square Smiles

PATIENT STORY Nathan's Transformation

Nathan is a handsome, super-smart, and talented teenager who was bullied about his teeth during grade school and middle school. He took it in stride and jabbed back, but he was never able to completely shake it. He would go home and reflect, eventually coming to feel self-conscious about smiling.

Nathan did gain a confident smile, partly with the help of Dr. Joffre and his team at Square Smiles, but ironically, this was after had managed to let go of a lot of the self-consciousness on his own. How did he do that? Nathan had decided this was his smile, this was what he looked like, and he wasn’t going to let anyone make him feel bad about it.

In adolescence, the journey towards independence can often involve dealing with insecurities. When those insecurities relate to physical appearance, like in the case of an imperfect smile, they can lead to self-consciousness and even bullying. And we as parents may feel at a loss about how to help our kids navigate it. Here are a few tips for parents and caregivers to help those kiddos feel confident about their smile and everything beyond.

  • Listen and get curious: When our children are feeling self-conscious about something and we push back by disagreeing, that can be more damaging than acknowledging their feelings and getting curious (e.g., “What makes you feel that Josie and Alice don’t like you?” or, “Where does that idea come from?”) Gently explore it with them.
  • Positive affirmations: Fostering positive self-talk in your child is crucial in building self-esteem. After exploring their insecurity, nurture their thoughts towards a more encouraging narrative (e.g., “You are worthy just as you are,” or, “Your smile is part of your charm, and it connects you to others.”)
  • Body language and posture: Teach your child about the importance of body language. Show them how standing tall, making eye contact, and using a confident smile (even if they have to fake it for a while) can project confidence and positivity to others. 
  • Understand the role of orthodontics: Just as in Nathan’s case, your child’s acceptance of their smile doesn’t exclude the potential benefit of orthodontic treatment. This can be an empowering choice for those significantly affected by their teeth’s appearance. This decision does not replace self-acceptance but builds upon it.
  • Positive support network: The company your child keeps can greatly affect their self-esteem. Encourage them to surround themselves with friends who offer positive reinforcement. Apart from their circle of friends, a supportive team like the staff at Square Smiles can significantly increase a teen’s confidence, just like they did for Nathan.

Nurturing a confident smile in your child is a journey that involves self-acceptance, positive habits, and when necessary, professional care. When they are ready for orthodontic treatment, Square Smiles is here to support you in this journey. Feel free to contact us and let us be part of your teen’s path to confident smiles.

“I see my smile change drastically. Like I look at myself in the mirror, I’m like, wow, that’s my smile. I’m not embarrassed to smile anymore.”


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