Braces are often associated with adolescence, but more and more adults are opting for orthodontic treatment to achieve a straighter smile. While getting braces as an adult may come with its own set of challenges, it's never too late to improve your oral health and enhance your self-confidence. Whether you're considering braces or already have them, navigating the experience as an adult requires some special considerations, so here are a few valuable tips to help you deal with braces effectively and make your orthodontic journey a smooth and successful one.
Choose the right orthodontist
Finding the right orthodontist is crucial when undergoing adult orthodontic treatment. Look for an experienced professional who specializes in adult cases and has a track record of successful outcomes. Schedule consultations with multiple orthodontists to discuss your treatment goals, evaluate their expertise, and ensure they provide the support and guidance you need throughout the process. Keep in mind that this entire process takes a lot of time and patience - as well as quite a lot of money- but the best thing about dealing with braces as an adult is being more patient and understanding than you used to be as an adolescent, which is why you shouldn’t have a problem with these issues.
Understand the treatment plan
Before getting braces, take the time to thoroughly understand your treatment plan. Discuss the duration of the treatment, the types of braces available, and the expected outcomes with your orthodontist. This understanding will help you set realistic expectations and make informed decisions about your orthodontic journey.
Practice excellent oral hygiene
Maintaining proper oral hygiene is crucial when wearing braces, regardless of your age. Follow a thorough oral care routine, including brushing your teeth after every meal, flossing daily, and using mouthwash. Pay extra attention to cleaning around the brackets and wires to prevent plaque buildup, which can lead to tooth decay and gum disease.
Be mindful of food choices
Certain foods can be challenging to eat with braces, so it's important to be mindful of your food choices. Avoid sticky and hard foods that can damage the braces or get stuck in them. Opt for softer options like mashed potatoes, yogurt, and soups. Cut fruits and vegetables into smaller, bite-sized pieces to make them easier to consume.
Consider aesthetically pleasing options
As an adult, you may have concerns about the appearance of traditional metal braces. Thankfully, there are several aesthetically pleasing alternatives available today. Clear aligners, such as Invisalign, are virtually invisible and offer a discreet way to straighten your teeth. However, it’s crucial to find an expert who’s going to handle your aligners professionally, and if you live in Australia, for instance, you might explore ideas for invisalign in Sydney and be sure that you’ve made the right decision. Ceramic braces, which blend with the natural color of your teeth, are another option worth considering. Discuss these alternatives with your orthodontist to find the best solution that suits your needs.
Carry orthodontic essentials
Being prepared is key to dealing with braces as an adult. Keep orthodontic essentials, such as a toothbrush, toothpaste, floss, and orthodontic wax, with you at all times. This way, you can maintain your oral hygiene and handle any unexpected discomfort or irritation that may arise.
It's common to experience some discomfort or soreness when first getting braces or after adjustments. Over-the-counter pain relievers can help alleviate the pain. Additionally, rinsing your mouth with a saltwater solution or using orthodontic wax to cover any irritating wires or brackets can provide temporary relief.
Stay positive and patient
Orthodontic treatment is a journey that requires patience and dedication. Embrace the process, stay positive, and remember the long-term benefits that braces will bring. Surround yourself with a supportive network of family and friends who will encourage you along the way, even after you’re done wearing braces. These people will keep you motivated and strong, and that’s precisely what you need during this process.
While getting braces as an adult may present unique challenges, following these tips will help you navigate the experience with confidence and achieve the smile you desire. This journey might take a while, but it’s all going to be worth it in the end and you’ll realize that you’ve made the right choice with braces!