A Grown-Up’s Survival Guide For Braces

1) Don’t Obsess

Your braces are a short-term inconvenience that really doesn’t have much of an impact on the way you live your life. Smile like you normally would and resist the temptation to obsessively analyze your wires in the mirror. Dwelling on your braces will only tempt you into a downward spiral of self-pity.

2) Don’t Broach The Subject

It’s inevitable: Once you get your braces, you’re going to notice people looking at your mouth more often. Ignore this attention. It’s no longer rare for adults to have braces, and you’re under no obligation to explain your orthodontia for others. Very few people will actually bring your braces up in conversation, and those that do will be polite about it. You can steer the conversation on to other topics rapidly enough – especially if you use the cost of your braces to segue into a general griping session about health care.

3) Make Your Toothbrush An Essential

As long as you’re wearing braces, your toothbrush becomes one of your must-have items every time you leave home. Tuck it into your mental checklist of essentials right between your keys and your phone. The odds are super high that you’re going to get a little food trapped in your braces whenever you eat; you need to have the proper tools handy for dealing with this. You can go a step further and make a habit of giving your teeth a quick brush after any food or drink. Even if you can’t see any food particles, there are still likely some lurking in the less-visible parts of your mouth.

4) Don’t Shy Away From Meeting People

Striking up a conversation – perhaps even one with romantic prospects – is always a challenge, and when you add in the handicap of braces it can seem like an insurmountable one. Don’t condemn yourself to months of being a wallflower just because you’re getting your teeth fixed! Make an effort and make some new friends.

5) People Worth Dating Won’t Care About Braces

To follow up the last point a little, don’t take it too hard if a would-be romantic partner turns you down because of your braces. Somebody who would turn you away for such shallow reasons would doubtless bring a whole other host of problems into any relationship.

6) Eat Carefully

It takes a little extra time, but it’s always a good idea to break up hand-held foods into little pieces using silverware. If you don’t, you run the risk of getting a huge mess in your wires or even breaking your braces. (Pizza is a prime culprit here!)

7) Feel Good About Yourself

Braces are actually a great reason to get confident. You’re taking action to improve your dental health and your appearance; be proud of that! When you let that self-confidence shine through, you’re going to look better than ever – even before your braces come off.

8) Do Your Aftercare Right

Wearing braces is, let’s face it, a huge hassle. Get the most out of it by being diligent about the aftercare your orthodontist recommends (e.g. wearing your retainer) so that your teeth keep looking great for many years to come.

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