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Are You Thinking About Getting Adult Braces?

02/01/2016 10:06 pm ET | Updated Feb 01, 2016
  • Remie Lund Freelance writer and lifestyle blogger

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The idea of getting braces as an adult may well fill you with horror. For me it brings back images of thick silver train tracks, not to mention cruel jibes from classmates, but times have changed and thanks to the latest technology, braces aren't the emotionally scarring things they used to be. In fact, today's adult braces often go unnoticed by others allowing you get perfectly straight teeth without being self-conscious.

When I was younger, my teeth were severely overcrowded and as a result, my two front teeth turned inwards. After having four teeth taken out, I was fitted with large metal braces and spent the next two years being self conscious about my smile. The good news is that getting braces as an adult is a lot easier than my tortuous teenage experience.

The amount of adults who want to invest in their oral health is on the rise and according to this article by Carefree Dental adults now make up over 50 percent of orthodontic patients. There are many reasons for this, but one of the main ones is the advancement in the design of braces that make them less noticeable. I have often considered getting another brace as my bottom teeth have shifted as a result of not wearing my retainer when I was younger and it seems that I am not alone it this.

Today more and more adults are getting braces and while the principles of getting a brace are still the same, the experience second time around will be nothing like the one you had as a teen. While having braces as an adult isn't embarrassing (there will be no pointing in the playground), there are a few factors to consider whether you want to space out crowded teeth or close a gap in your smile. Here are a few facts that you will be familiar with if you have adult braces yourself.

Oral Hygiene Is Time Consuming

Taking care of your teeth with braces on isn't rocket science, but you will have to up your game when it comes to oral hygiene. As an adult with braces you will need to be prepared to spend more time in the bathroom as cleaning your teeth becomes a little more difficult when they have brackets on them. Not only will you need to brush twice a day as usual but you will also have to clean your teeth between meals.

Your Dentist Is Your New Best Friend

If you are thinking about adult braces, be prepared to spend more time with your dentist that with your closest friends. There is more than one path to a straight smile and your dentist can help you decide on the best course of treatment for you. The possibilities range from regular braces to ceramic braces and clear aligners. Whatever type of brace you choose you will have to put aside plenty of time in your diary for checkups as it takes longer for adults than children to achieve a straight smile.

Bread Is Not Your Friend

When you first get braces put on, you will no longer be able to eat food with the wild abandon that you once did. Common sense will ensure you steer clear of sticky foods such as toffee, chewing gum and sweets but some of the foods that are off limits may surprise you. It will become very apparent which foods are a no go and unfortunately this will include bread.

You Will Lose Weight

There are plenty of sacrifices you have to make when you commit to having a brace and gooey high-calorie foods are just one of them. The silver lining to this is that you can't help but lose a few pounds in the process. Eating better is just one byproduct of getting adult braces and losing weight is a bonus.

Your Toothbrush Is a Handbag Essential

Avoiding those naughty foods that can damage your brace is one thing but you have to eat something and the chances are it will get stuck in your brace. Having a toothbrush close to hand will ensure you can clean your teeth after meals therefore reducing the amount of times you will return to the office without your lunch being trapped in the brackets.

Excellent Aftercare Is Paramount

After you have your braces taken off and you are left with a beautiful smile, it is easy to get lazy with your aftercare routine. The truth is looking after your teeth once the braces are removed is just as important as when you had them on and it is crucial that you follow the instructions your dentist gives you. Failing to wear your retainer every night can lead to the teeth moving and once again becoming crooked and all of your hard work will be undone. Failing to wear a retainer is one of the main reasons that adults need braces when they are older so be prepared to follow your dentist's aftercare advice perfectly.

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