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No matter what your age, getting braces for the first time can shake your confidence. It’s very common when having something new fitted into your mouth that is visible to others, to feel self-conscious.

For teens and adolescents, there is the benefit of going through braces treatment as a majority, but when it comes to going through it as an adult, it is more likely to be a lone experience, which can be a daunting prospect. However, our team here at your expert orthodontist in Darwen can assure you that adult braces are more common than you think. Here’s how you can ensure you survive your first week in adult braces and that your confidence stays intact.


Why Adults May Need to Have Braces?

There are countless reasons you may decide or need to get braces as an adult, aside from aesthetics, there are several other benefits including if you were unable to get braces when you were younger and being able to correct prolonged issues. Being unhappy with the results of previous treatments and wanting to improve your oral health by addressing bite problems and misaligned teeth.

  •     Aesthetic Improvement – improving your smile can do wonders for your confidence by correcting misaligned teeth, correcting bite function, and even correcting speech issues.
  •     Health Benefits – the straighter your teeth, the easier they are to keep clean, meaning the less chance of cavities and gum disease. Adult braces can also prevent excessive gum wear, gum surgery and root canals. Your digestion can also be improved by improving the bite and chewing function of the teeth and jaws, enabling you to break your food down into smaller pieces and aiding the digestion process.
  •     Jaw Pain – an unstable bite from misaligned teeth can result in jaw pain and discomfort including sensitivity, chronic headaches, TMD (Temporomandibular joint disorder), and arthritis.
  •     Tooth Damage – an unstable bite can also result in tooth damage since misaligned teeth are susceptible to wear and tear, potentially leading to dental emergencies.



4 Tips for Handling your First Week in Braces as an Adult.

  1.       Adapting to your New Cleaning Routine.

Adapting your brushing routine is possibly the most important part of having braces, ensuring you brush your teeth twice a day and after meals and snacks. When we consume food, it’s easy for particles to get stuck between the wires and brackets and if plaque is left to build up it can lead to further complications such as tooth decay and gum disease.

Top Tips for Brushing.

  •     Ensure you use a soft, orthodontic head toothbrush with fluoride toothpaste, making gentle, circular motions whilst brushing at different angles and covering all surfaces like the gumline, behind the teeth, as well top, middle, and bottom edges of your brackets. You will need to replace your toothbrush more frequently due to the brackets and wires.
  •     Use superfloss to enable you to get underneath the wires and between your teeth. Superfloss has a stiffened end which allows you to do this, using a water or air flosser is also another good idea if getting floss between your brackets is too difficult.
  •     Interdental or proxy brushes for brushing in and around your brackets. These brushes have small triangular heads, and their bristles are specially designed to reach difficult places.


  1.       Making Changes to your Diet.

It is highly advisable to eat soft foods for the first few days while your teeth adjust like soft-boiled pasta, bread, soft-boiled vegetables, soup, and yoghurt making the adjustment period for your mouth smoother.

After a couple of days, the discomfort will start to fade, and you can gradually start eating more solid foods. Foods like potatoes, cheese, sandwiches, ice cream and jelly, however hard sticky sweets like toffee, nuts, popcorn, chewing gum, pizza crusts and chewy sweets should be avoided as they can either break your brackets or wires or get stuck in and around them. 

Limiting your intake of sugary and fizzy drinks is also advised as these can contain high quantities of acids. The sugar and acids can stick to the edge of your braces and cause discolouration once removed. If you do find yourself indulging, ensure you brush your teeth as soon as you can afterwards.


  1.       Stocking up on Pain and Irritation Relief.

Having braces does not hurt but it does take some getting used to so it can cause some irritation and discomfort. Ensuring you have painkillers on hand on the day of the fitting is helpful and when you go to have any adjustments made.

It is also possible to become irritated by the braces rubbing against your lips or cheeks, something which also fades over time, but if this is particularly bad after fitting, then you can rub a little orthodontic wax onto the inflicting bracket to relieve pain, also gurgling on warm salt water for 30 seconds a couple of times a day can relieve pain and help sores to heal faster.


  1.       Understanding When Something is Wrong.

Braces are worn for a good length of time and things may break from time to time so understanding what to do if something goes wrong is important:

  •     Bracket becomes loose – it is possible when eating hard, sticky, or chewy foods that the bracket attached to the front of your tooth by a composite resin can become loose or break. If this happens, contact your orthodontist as soon as possible to get it fixed back onto your tooth and reduce the risk of further damage to other brackets.
  •     Protruding wire – this is a very common problem with metal braces. Sometimes the wire that runs through the brackets can stick out at the end if not trimmed to the right length and this causes irritation to your cheek. Rubbing some of the orthodontic wax mentioned earlier can help as well as contacting your orthodontist to see when they can sort out the problem for you.


How to Keep your Confidence as an Adult with Braces.

It is completely normal to feel self-conscious about having just had braces fitted but one of the most important messages we tell our clients when they leave the chair if they feel this way is that they are only temporary and they are there to serve a purpose. Keep this purpose in mind when you feel self-conscious. It is also important not to hide your smile. Studies have shown that the more we smile the happier we become and wanting to hide your smile due to how others may react to your braces can have a negative impact on your mood and personality.


Looking for a Reliable Orthodontist in Darwen?

At your expert orthodontist in Darwen, we pride ourselves on providing quality, private orthodontic care to patients in Darwen and surrounding areas. We recognise that every patient has different needs, whether you’re an adult, adolescent, or child, we are committed to helping you achieve the healthy smile you deserve.

If you are looking for an orthodontist in Darwen to begin your journey to a beautiful smile, then get in touch today to discuss how we can help you.

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