adult caring for braces

When you think about someone with braces, you may automatically picture a child or teenager. However, you are never too old to improve your teeth and more adults are getting braces every year. Here are some helpful tips on living with braces as an adult.

Be Aware of What You Eat

When wearing braces, you have to be cautious when eating certain foods and there are some foods you should avoid altogether. Sticky and chewy foods can become stuck to your braces and can be hard to remove. Also, hard foods can loosen the brackets and break the wires of your braces. If you eat hard foods, such as raw apples, be sure to cut them into small pieces to keep them from damaging your braces.

If you eat many starchy or sugary foods while wearing braces, plaque can build up around the brackets. This plaque build up can cause cavities, lead to gum disease, and also stain your teeth. Try to avoid eating foods high in sugar and starch and if you do eat them, make sure to thoroughly clean your teeth immediately after.

Clean Your Teeth Frequently

By now we’ve all had it drilled into our heads to floss and brush our teeth twice a day. However, you should brush your teeth after every meal when you wear braces. The brackets and wires of your braces make it easy for food particles to stay trapped after eating. The longer the particles stay trapped, the greater the risk for cavities and stained teeth. It is a good idea to keep a toothbrush at your office, or in your car, so that you can always brush after eating.

You should rinse your mouth well with water to loosen up any food particles stuck in your braces and then brush your teeth with a regular or electric toothbrush. Make sure to floss at least once a day in between the braces and under the wires. You can get floss threaders from your local drug store to help you slide the floss in under the wires. Waxed floss is recommended when you have braces because it glides easier and is not likely to snag.

What to Do When You’re on the Go

If you find yourself at a business lunch, at the office, or running errands without a toothbrush, there is no need to panic. Make sure to rinse your mouth with water, or mouthwash if you have some handy, and remember to brush your teeth as soon as you can.

Braces can cause discomfort, especially after you first have them put on and then for the first few days after they are adjusted each visit. Carry pain relievers with you to ease any pain. Also, there is wax made for braces that you can place on the wires and brackets to keep them from rubbing the inside of your cheeks and lips. Your orthodontist will be able to give you this wax and you can also purchase some at your local drug store.