Adult Braces - What You Need to Know
Being an adult when you get your braces is just as painful if not more than getting them when you're a kid. Your teeth are more rigid as an adult and they don't move as easily, BUT It is extremely rewarding to see how straight your teeth are at the end of the long journey. These are just a couple of things that you can expect from the adult braces experience.
1. Spacers. Spacers are the bands they put between your molars to make room for your braces in the very beginning. These are extremely irritating and painful. They cause soreness in all of your teeth because they all begin to push together in an attempt to make space for the bands. Forget about your favorite crunchy snacks - spacers are murder! You'll barely be able to eat at all. Luckily you only need them for about a week.
2. Food gets stuck in your braces. It is annoying and it can be embarrassing. A simple rinse with water after every meal should eliminate that problem though. Is it weird to date? Probably. Weirder to kiss? Yes. Does it matter that much? Definitely not. Nothing to fear.
3. Pain. Spacers are the worst, but it still hurts when they tighten your braces or make you wear rubber bands. The braces will probably poke your mouth and tongue or scratch up the insides of your mouth completely whenever you try to talk. That's why they give you wax, which is gross but effective if you use a lot. At least you're old enough to take aspirin.
4. You still get to choose your colors. Like when you were a kid, you still get to decide if you want grape purple or fiery orange. It's the only fun part of having braces. You can make your teeth look really white by choosing red or a darker color.
5. Watch out for coffee stains. It can be harder to brush around the braces, so you have to be extremely thorough when you're brushing your teeth. Even then, it's much easier to get coffee stains with braces than without. If you're a coffee or tea drinker, try drinking through a straw to bypass your front teeth.
6. It's expensive. When you're a kid you never really think about the cost of anything, but as an adult dental expenses can freak you out. Make sure you set up a good payment plan if you're on a budget and don't be afraid to speak with your orthodontist about reasonable arrangements. Chances are, they will work with you.
7. People will think you're a teenager. If you're younger than 40 and you have braces, people will probably start asking you which high school you are going to, if you have finished your homework, and they will spend over 30 seconds staring at your ID (then back at you, then back at your ID, then back at you, then they'll give you a suspicious eye...)
It's Worth It
Your teeth will look amazing at the end of it all. You can always get professional whitening treatments or you can do your own teeth whitening treatments at home once they come off to take care of any coffee or tea stains. You will have aspirin and other painkillers to help you along the way for the really trying moments. And about that crunchy snack, aren't we all trying to diet anyway?
Braces really are not so bad and they are worth the cost, both in pain and money. It's really only a year or two out of your life (you'd be surprised at how fast adult teeth can move) and you get used to it in no time!
If you have been considering it, it's worth a try