BRO’s Lifestyle Guide to Adult Braces

When you think “braces,” do you automatically picture a thirteen-year-old in his or her awkward phase?

If you do, then it might be time to refresh that word-association, because more adults are getting braces than ever before! In fact, the American Association of Orthodontics reports that about one in five orthodontic patients is an adult.

While it’s never too late to attain the smile of your dreams, you may have some reservations about wearing braces as an adult. If that’s the case, then this comprehensive guide to living with braces is a must-read!

Keep the Goal in Mind

Every part of your daily life has a reason behind it, even tasks you don’t necessarily enjoy. You’ll pull through a bad day at the office, because it still produces a paycheck. Even a gym trip you dreaded making (but made anyway!) helps keep you fit and healthy. Loading the dishwasher may not be the time of your life, but you probably don’t consider it too big of an intrusion, either.

Braces are the same, in that they’re also a means to an end. In fact, they’re a means to multiple ends, including:

  • A correct occlusion (or bite)
  • Improved speech and chewing
  • Healthier teeth
  • Lessened risk of future cavities
  • A straight, beautiful smile
  • Bonus results like increased confidence!

Speaking of bonus results, one woman who got braces at age 49 even reported “less pronounced nose-to-mouth lines.” Braces didn’t make her look like a teen, but they DID make her look younger!

Em-Brace Your New Look!

Of course, wearing braces begrudgingly and counting down the days until they’re off is arguably not the optimal way of doing things.

In the same way that you can genuinely love your job or hitting the gym, you can rock your braces with confidence!

First of all, a ton of people might not even notice the little bit of tin in your grin. Most people tend to think about their own bodies, faces, outfits, etc., far more than other people’s. If you feel like everyone is staring at your braces, this is likely inaccurate. The psychological phenomenon of “spotlight effect” is simply coming into play, which means it feels like people are observing you far more closely than they actually are.

Furthermore, more people than you realize can probably relate to having braces. Some may have had the experience when they were younger, but they have still been in your shoes. Others may have had adult braces too. Perhaps the forty-year-old ahead of you in line at the grocery store got his braces off last year!

Still others might be considering getting braces themselves. They’ll likely feel inspired and encouraged by seeing yours. Even people who have never had braces and don’t plan on getting them will probably see your decision as confident and proactive – and they’re right!

When you have braces as an adult, it’s best to live every day as if you already have the Julia Roberts smile you’re working for. Remember, you’re in control of setting the mood surrounding your braces. When you love your smile, everyone else will follow suit.

Care for Your Braces

When it comes to caring for your teeth while wearing braces, there are pros and cons to having braces as adult – but more of the former than the latter.

Some potential pros include:

  • You’re older and more responsible.
  • Braces are your choice rather than your parents’ choice.
  • You have a better understanding of cause and effect.
  • You want to maximize your financial investment.

One con to look out for is:

  • Since you’re older, your non-braces brushing habits have been ingrained for more years. Unlike a tween or teen who is undergoing constant changes, you might need to be more intentional when adjusting to your new routine.

We don’t want to scare you off, but braces do require some extra work. Flossing takes longer, you have to brush more precisely, and you have to be careful when eating certain foods.

If you’re considering getting braces as an adult here in Asheville, NC, Dr. Roberts and our amazing team will give you the scoop on your new dental care routine. Some great tips include:

  • Keep a spare toothbrush in your purse, car, or office desk.
  • Avoid biting into food or tearing with your teeth.
    • Hard foods like apples and carrots should be cut up.
    • Food usually eaten with the hands (like pizza) may now require a knife and fork.
  • Take the extra time your braces require.
    • Don’t substitute thoroughness for harsh brushing, as this is bad for your gums.
    • Floss every day, even though it takes some time.

For all the reasons we named in the “pros” list, we know you’ll do great! And, of course, we’re always here to give you added tips or answer any questions.

Know Your Options

We hope that you’re feeling a lot better about living with braces as an adult!

But if the idea of traditional metal braces still seems unpleasant, know that you have options. Blue Ridge Orthodontics in Asheville happens to be recognized as among the top 1% of Invisalign providers in North America for the second consecutive year.

If you’ve been told in the past that you aren’t a viable candidate for Invisalign, don’t hesitate to check with us. Because of our extensive experience, it’s possible you’re a candidate for Invisalign at BRO even if other orthodontic practices have told you they can’t do it. Our expertise makes all the difference! The only way to know for sure is to schedule a free consultation.

Conclusion

Living with braces as an adult may be intimidating to some, but that’s okay! Any physical change, even if it’s temporary, can be foreign or downright scary. But when you keep your reasons in mind, rock your smile with confidence, care for your braces, and consider all your options, the experience will be so easy you probably won’t even remember why you were worried.

If you’re thinking of joining the 1.5 million adult orthodontics patients in the U.S. and Canada, it might just be one of the best decisions of your life!