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Advice for Adults With Braces

Adult with Braces
Enduring a year or two with braces is hard enough as a teen. When you're an adult with a professional job and a busy schedule, wearing braces presents a whole new set of challenges. However, for many adults, braces are the best option for attaining the straight, perfect smile you desire. And if you follow the advice below, the process should be tolerable. 

Keep Pain Relievers Handy

As the braces cause your teeth to shift, you may experience some aching in your jaw. This aching tends to be most prominent in the days following an adjustment. If you don't want the discomfort to get in the way of your work or other obligations, get into the habit of carrying an over-the-counter pain reliever with you at all times.

Acetaminophen is a great choice. Ibuprofen and naproxen also work well, but some studies have suggested they may slow the movement of teeth in response to the braces. If you don't want to take an oral pain reliever, you can also apply numbing gels to your gums for a few hours of relief.

Carry a Mirror

Being seen with food caught in your braces can be embarrassing as an adult. Carry a small mirror with you, and use it to check your teeth for food particles after each meal. You can also use the reverse camera on your smartphone if you don't have a mirror handy.

Be Confident

For some adults with braces, the biggest struggle is feelings of anxiety and self-consciousness related to others seeing their braces. You may have experiences where people make uncomfortable or unwelcome comments about your braces, but what is important is that you don't let those experiences get to you.

Remember that wearing braces is something you are doing for your own good. Focus on how great you'll look when the braces come off, and let that focus fuel your confidence. Don't be afraid to smile, and if anyone comments on your braces, just shrug it off.

Use a Peroxide Rinse

You may feel self-conscious about the bad breath that can creep up when you're not able to clean your teeth and gums as well due to the braces.

A good way to combat this problem - while also helping to prevent tooth decay and gum disease - is to use a hydrogen peroxide-based mouthwash after you brush. The peroxide will not only kill smelly bacteria but will also help heal the scrapes the braces may leave on your cheeks.

Avoid Rescheduling Appointments

Life is busy, and an emergency may come up that requires you to reschedule your adjustment appointment. However, you should avoid rescheduling appointments for any reason that is not an emergency.

Having your braces adjusted on schedule will help ensure you're able to get them off on time. If you're always pushing your adjustment appointments out a week or two, you'll have to keep the braces on for longer. 

Pack Braces-Friendly Snacks

You'll need to avoid overly crunchy foods like corn chips, popcorn, nuts, and pretzels while wearing braces. Raw veggies and fruits like carrots and apples can be tough to eat too.

You may find yourself frustrated if you show up to a work conference or another event and are not able to eat the snacks provided. Purchase some braces-friendly snacks like soft granola bars, oranges, bananas, light crackers, and string cheese, and bring them with you so you're not left without food while everyone else snacks. 

Having braces as an adult is certainly not fun, but it does not have to be torture either. Stay focused on the beautiful results you'll soon have, and keep the advice above in mind. If you're thinking of getting braces as an adult but have not yet taken the leap, contact Dr. M. Dawn Harvey, DMD, PC. We will take the time to understand your needs and recommend a tooth-straightening option that fits your lifestyle.