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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  • Amazing experience all around. The staff is super friendly and Dr. Carly always makes my daughter feel comfortable with the work being done. We are thrilled with the progress we are seeing, and the customer service is always top notch.

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    Ryder man 645 Lozier

    Heather and Dr Carly were awesome! Friendly, informative, and professional. Office was very inviting. We had a great appointment and look forward to the next couple of years of working with them.

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    Andy Tebbe

    I just started my first week with the Invisalign. The staff has been extremely friendly and helpful through every step.

    Dr Carly’s initial evaluation of my case was extremely thorough and the options were explained in detail to help make an informed decision.

    They’ve certainly exceeded my expectation and from the looks of it, they do a great job with their younger patients as well!

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    Patrick May

    Love this office! Helpful, professional, and knowledgeable doctor and staff. Haven’t had 1 issue with them. They’ve got their routine down pat.

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    Courtney Amos
  • Amazing experience all around. The staff is super friendly and Dr. Carly always makes my daughter feel comfortable with the work being done. We are thrilled with the progress we are seeing, and the customer service is always top notch.

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    Alyssa Lozier

    Cannot say enough good things about this practice! I've been to Westfield and Carmel locations, both are beautiful with helpful and friendly staff. Dr Bunch is experienced, knowledgeable, and truly cares about his patients and strives to get the best results possible for each one!

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    Karen Caudle

    Excellent every time we’ve brought our kids. Thorough evaluations, knowledgeable doctors/staff, great with kids, and great results

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    Fantastic staff who put the person (and their teeth!) at the center of the experience. Child-friendly waiting areas. I've had nothing but good experiences over my nearly 10 years with Gorman and Bunch. Cannot recommend highly enough!

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    Pete Freeman
  • Amazing office! My daughter was home from college and had an orthodontic emergency. She was not a previous patient. Dr Moran was kind enough to see her. The entire staff was amazing. I would never go anywhere else!

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    Sharon Hoover

    Personal and professional, everyone always takes great care of my sensitive mouth teen!

    This is our first experience with needing orthodontia, when it’s time for my youngest to get braces, we’ll choose this place again in a heartbeat.

    From the team up front to the team in the back, everyone is so nice and yet so efficiently on task, it is quite impressive.

    They have reasonable pricing and are willing to help with a payment plan.

    Keep up the great work!!

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    Robert Cassidy

    I received Invisalign treatment and had a lot going on. As a mom of two children ,under two years old, it’s tough making doctor appointments but let me tell you they make it work! I was with Dr. Carly at the Westfield office and she always encouraged my little sons to come during my appointments. This made things so much easier for me. The staff at Gorman and Bunch were always welcoming and inviting. They would remember you and are honestly genuine people. Let me tell you it is hard finding good medical practices these days but these people are the best. I forever will recommend Gorman and Bunch to young kiddos and adults.

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    Casey Hood

    Very great place! Went there for my first time today and i felt so comfortable and they are helping me fix my mouth!! Love love love!

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    Haley Elston
  • I love this office. The staff and Dr. Carly are great. I’m having amazing results with my program! I highly suggest it to any and everyone!

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    Mark Roberts

    We were very pleased with the staff and services at Gorman & Bunch. From the beginning, they were very friendly and made us feel comfortable with our first ortho visit. Dr. Carly was very nice and attentive. We ended up with braces for my son on the first visit and they were quick and thorough and made our experience very positive. Definitely would recommend them! They are awesome!

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    Donia Shackelford

    Amazing experience they all made my daughter and I feel very comfortable, all the ladies were extremely nice. Very well informed. Wouldn't go anywhere else!

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    Erica Wood

    I can’t say enough great things about this office. I am legal guardian of my sister and she is going through Invisalign with them… She’s almost done and I am amazed by the results.
    I also go there for continued orthodontic care because orthodontic retention is for life! So glad I have such great people to care for our teeth!!!

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    Veronica Boyle
  • This is the best place to go! Dr. Carly and her staff have made my daughter's smile beautiful.

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    Ruth Perkins

    This 64 year old had teeth that had begun to overlap in my adult years, which was attributed to having 4 good teeth removed as a child for "Crowded teeth". I waited to fund Invisalign until incurring no penalty for taking IRA funds, other than taxes. I was fortunate to be referred to Dr. Jason Bunch by my dentist, Dr. Jack Nicewander. Dr. Bunch and his Carmel, IN office staff see numerous children and young adults, but welcome the young at heart as well. I trust them and find them accommodating, efficient, professional and compassionate.

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