From shy to strong

op1A teenage boy who was bullied and called ‘Goofy’ at school has won an award for the story of the orthodontic treatment which helped him grow to be confident and strong young man

Joel Glanvill, 14, entered the Against the Odds competition to celebrate his orthodontist, Joe Dwyer of Sunlight Orthodontics in The Wirral. Joel’s prize from the British Orthodontic Society for his winning entry is £750 worth of travel vouchers.

When Joel started his treatment, aged 12, his mother was worried about him: Jane Glanvill said: ‘He was insecure and his confidence was at a low ebb. Although he played football and had friends, he very rarely smiled and special occasions like birthdays or school photographs all carried the same horror for Joel.’

She described how when he was asked to smile he would force his lips over his teeth so he could mask them.  But as the treatment progressed, first with removable appliances to correct the jaw, followed by fixed braces, he gradually changed. Friends, relatives and teachers all commented on how his demeanour had improved.  He enjoyed going for his appointments and chose red elastics so he could show off his support for Liverpool every time he smiled.

op3 op2The day the braces came off was a day that Joel and his mother won’t forget. ‘His brace was removed and the boy looking back at Joel in the mirror was unrecognisable.’ He asked his mother what the lines were around his eyes and when she said they were smile lines, he replied: ‘That’s probably why I’ve not noticed them before – because I never used to smile.’ His mother added: ‘His jawline had changed, the teeth had been straightened and mentally he had never been stronger. Name-calling has ceased and eye contact in conversation is always maintained.’

Holly Jones, one of the judges of the award, commented: ‘What struck me the most with Joel’s entry was how life changing the treatment had been for him. From being bullied at school, to the complete change in his confidence. The results were fantastic and I was really moved when his Mum said he saw smile lines for the first time. It’s great to see that with the support of his orthodontist, Joel has not only overcome his fear of dentistry, but has learnt how to smile again.’

Orthodontist Joe Dwyer said: ‘Orthodontics is not just about straightening teeth, it’s about making people feel better about themselves. Better than seeing the smile improve is seeing the way people change inside, and Joel was a great example. He was embarrassed by his teeth when he started treatment. He told us there was op4one Christmas when he didn’t want his photograph taken. As the treatment progressed he really came out of his shell. We are all delighted he has won the award.’

The two runners up were Emily Reilly from South Harting in Surrey who said of her orthodontist, Konstantinos Spathoulas, that he was a great listener and ‘his passion for wanting to do the very best job he could for me was clear’ and Ellie Marlow from Croydon who said of her orthodontist, Georgina Cartwright, that she was ‘patient, friendly and kind.’

Guy Deeming, Chairman of the Orthodontic Specialists Group of the BOS, which created the award, said: ‘This award is about celebrating the amazing treatment which takes place in orthodontic practices. Every year we get such different stories. It’s very gratifying and we are looking forward to more entries in 2016.’

For 2016 entry details: www.bos.org.uk/ATO
To download the application form: www.bos.org.uk/Portals/0/Public/docs/Awards%20and%20Prizes/againsttheoddsapplicationform.pdf

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