Adult Orthodontics: 8 Tips for Surviving Braces as a Grown-Up

June 13, 2018
Carly A. Moran, DDS, MS

From the eating restrictions to the cosmetic appearance, getting braces as an adult can be a difficult decision to make. However, we strive to make adult orthodontics as simple as possible for all our grown-up patients, and promise the resulting healthy and glowing smile will be worth it in the end.

Here are eight tips for surviving adult orthodontics:

What Foods Should You Avoid Eating With Braces?

1. You will most likely feel some discomfort during the first week of having braces. To find relief, use a heating pad or warm washcloth to ease the soreness in your jaw. We will also provide you with wax to put on your metal braces to lessen the discomfort on your cheeks.

2. Eat soft foods the first few days with your new braces — think scrambled eggs, oatmeal, pasta, smoothies, and soups. Pro Tip: Cut your food into small pieces to avoid discomfort or food getting stuck in your braces.

3. Avoid certain foods. Stay away from sticky and chewy foods all together, as they can easily get stuck in your braces. Hard foods such as candies and apples often loosen the brackets and break wires. Foods that are high in starch and sugar can cause plaque build-up around your brackets, which leads to cavities, gum disease and stained teeth.

Adult Orthodontics: 8 Tips for Surviving Braces as a Grown-Up

4. Create a cleaning kit to always have with you. Include a toothbrush, toothpaste, floss, mouthwash, wax and lip balm in your kit. Whenever you have an important meeting, a special date night or happy hour with friends, you’ll be prepared to clean your teeth and braces anywhere you go.

5. Try to avoid coffee and other dark-colored drinks, especially if you have ceramic brackets or Invisalign, as they could stain your braces and teeth.

6. Clean your teeth frequently and thoroughly. We strongly recommend brushing your teeth after every meal (that’s where the cleaning kit comes in handy). When food particles get stuck in your braces, this increases the chance for cavities. Additionally, it’s more important than ever before to floss at least once a day in between your braces and under the wires.

7. Wear a mouthguard if you play intramural sports, or participate in group fitness classes, in order to protect your teeth and braces. We will happily provide one that will comfortably fit over your brackets and wires. Just ask!

8. Know when to call your orthodontist. If you start feeling severe pain, a broken wire or a loose band, call your orthodontist and schedule an emergency appointment. If we can’t get you in right away, you can use a pair of fingernail clippers (that have been washed and sterilized) to remove the pointy part of the wire. Then cover it with wax until you’re able to schedule an appointment.

Ultimately, it’s important to go to your follow-up appointments, in order to adjust your braces regularly and stay on schedule. Remember, you aren’t going to have braces for the rest of your life! If you’re like most of our adult patients, you’ll like be in braces for 12-24 months. Trust us, your new smile will be worth every moment.

If you’re interested in learning more about the process of getting adult orthodontics, don’t hesitate to reach out or schedule a complimentary initial consultation. We look forward to meeting you!


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