Will braces affect my lifestyle?

Braces can transform your appearance and boost your self-confidence. These appliances have come a long way over the years, and today, adults are increasingly turning to orthodontic treatment to achieve a straight and healthy smile. If you’re considering braces as an adult, you may have concerns about how they will affect your daily life.

Rest assured; the benefits far outweigh any temporary adjustments you may need to make. Adult braces should be viewed as a long-term investment in your oral health and overall happiness with the benefits of straight healthy teeth extending far beyond the duration of treatment.

In this comprehensive guide, we will address common concerns and provide you with all the information you need to make an informed decision about adult braces.

A Brief Adjustment Period

When you first get your braces, it’s normal to experience a brief adjustment period. The ligaments around your teeth will take some time to get used to the newly installed hardware and things may feel a bit tender for a day or two. For most people, this is able to be managed with over-the-counter medication such as paracetamol and subsides within 48 hours.

This discomfort is temporary and can be easily managed with over-the-counter pain relief.

It’s important to note that the level of discomfort varies from person to person. Some patients go straight back to work without any complaints at all, others need several days to adjust to the new norm!

Eating with Adult Braces

One of the main concerns people have about braces is how they will affect their diet. While there are some limitations, it’s important to remember that these restrictions are temporary and necessary to ensure the success of your treatment. You’ll want to avoid sticky or chewy foods like toffee, hard bread, popcorn, and uncut apples. A pattern of broken braces leads to more appointments, which in turn slows your journey towards a new smile!

Adult with braces eating an apple

However, you can still enjoy apple slices and a variety of other foods that are braces-friendly. It’s all about making small modifications and finding alternative options that are gentle on your braces. Most specialist orthodontic practices will provide you with a list of foods to avoid during treatment when the braces go on to help you stay out of trouble.

Speech and Singing with Adult Braces

Another common concern is whether braces will affect your speech or singing. The good news is that braces are generally attached to the outside of the teeth do not have a significant impact on your ability to produce sounds. While it may take a few days to adjust to the feeling of braces in your mouth, your speech will return to normal as your mouth adapts. A good idea is reading a few chapters of a book aloud the night the braces are placed to speed up this adaptation period.

If you play a musical instrument, you may need a short adjustment period to accommodate your braces, but with practice, you’ll be able to play just as well as before. Certainly do not book getting braces on the day before an important concert if you play the flute!

Oral Hygiene and Adult Braces

Maintaining good oral hygiene is crucial during orthodontic treatment, as braces create additional spaces for food particles and plaque to accumulate.

It’s important to establish a thorough oral care routine to keep your teeth and gums healthy.

Brushing twice a day with a soft-bristled toothbrush and fluoride toothpaste is essential.

Be sure to pay extra attention to cleaning around the brackets and wires, angling your brush toward the gum line to remove any trapped debris. Flossing should also be a regular part of your oral hygiene routine. Using floss threaders or interdental brushes can help you clean between the wires and around the brackets effectively. If you are still struggling with plaque and tartar build up, don’t be afraid to book an appointment with a dental hygienist to get things back on track.

The Aesthetic Benefits of Adult Braces

Beyond the functional benefits, adult braces offer a significant aesthetic transformation. Straightening your teeth can greatly improve your overall appearance and boost your self-confidence.

Studies have shown that individuals with straight teeth are often perceived as more attractive, confident, and successful.

The Professional Benefits of Adult Braces

Your smile plays a crucial role in making a positive first impression in professional settings. Research has shown that people with attractive smiles tend to be placed in higher positions at work and perform at higher levels.

A confident smile can convey traits such as competence, friendliness, and professionalism, qualities which are highly valued in the workplace. By investing in adult braces, you are investing in your professional success and potentially opening doors to new opportunities.

Adult with ceramic braces
Adult with ceramic braces

Overcoming the Regret of Missed Opportunities

More and more adults are seeking treatment later in life. Often it is because orthodontic treatment was not an option as a teenager. Rest assured, it’s never too late to improve your smile. Don’t let regrets hold you back from pursuing the smile you’ve always wanted. With technical advancements in orthodontics, adult braces are more comfortable, discreet, and effective than ever before.

It’s never too late to start your smile journey!

Improved Dental Health

Straightening your teeth with adult braces not only enhances the appearance of your smile but also improves your dental health. Misaligned teeth can create oral hygiene challenges, as they can be difficult to clean properly. This can lead to an increased risk of tooth decay, gum disease, and other oral health issues.

By aligning your teeth with braces, you can effectively address these challenges and improve your overall oral health. This is important as research shows that there is a direct correlation between oral health and overall general health.

Regular Orthodontic Appointments

Throughout your braces treatment, you will have regular appointments with your orthodontist to monitor your progress and make any necessary adjustments. These ongoing appointments are every 4-6 weeks and are short (10-15 minutes). This means that busy adults don’t need to spend unnecessary time away from work and other commitments.

At these visits, the orthodontist will change the wires, replace elastics, and make any necessary modifications to keep your treatment on track. It’s important to attend these appointments as scheduled to ensure a swift journey to the finish line.

The Role of Orthodontic Specialists

When considering adult braces, it is essential to seek the expertise of an orthodontic specialist.

Orthodontists are highly trained specialist dentists who are the experts in the alignment of teeth and jaws.

They have the knowledge and experience to create personalized treatment plans that address your specific needs and goals. By consulting with an orthodontist, you can rest assured that you are receiving the highest level of care and achieving optimal results.

Finding the Right Orthodontic Provider

When seeking adult braces, finding the right orthodontic provider is crucial. Look for a reputable practice with a team of experienced and compassionate professionals. Take the time to research their credentials, read patient reviews, and schedule consultations to discuss your treatment options.

A skilled orthodontist will guide you through the process, address your concerns, and create a customized treatment plan tailored to your unique needs.

Exploring Treatment Options

Adult braces come in various forms, and the right treatment option for you will depend on your specific needs and preferences. Traditional metal braces are highly effective and suitable for most cases. Ceramic braces offer a more discreet option, as the brackets are made to blend in with the natural colour of your teeth.

invisalign braces in case

Clear aligners is a popular treatment alternative to traditional braces. Invisalign is the most marketed brand of clear aligners, but they all move the teeth with a series of clear thin mouthguards to gradually shift the teeth into place. Your orthodontist will assess your situation and recommend the best treatment option for you.

Financial Considerations

The cost of adult braces varies depending on the complexity of the case and the chosen treatment option. It’s important to discuss the financial aspect with your orthodontist during the consultation phase.

Many orthodontic practices offer flexible interest free payment plans to make treatment more affordable. Additionally, some dental insurance plans may provide coverage for orthodontic treatment. Be sure to check with your insurance provider to understand your coverage and any potential limitations.

Embracing the Journey

Embarking on the journey of adult braces is an exciting and transformative experience. While there may be temporary lifestyle adjustments and challenges along the way, the end result is worth it. Embrace the process, trust a specialist orthodontist, and focus on the positive changes that will come with your new smile.

For more information, read: Getting Started: A Guide for Adults