By Ericka Rodgers

In our social media era, most of us want to have the best smile possible, leading to a trend in the rise of adult braces. Many of us have accepted the smile that we were given, but then, there are the others, like me, who refuse to leave this magnificent world with a smile that they had no say in.

Making The Decision

Have you ever had that one crooked tooth, a gap, or some spaces that just don’t allow your smile to be great? Are you trying to decide if you want braces but are maybe a little reluctant to get them? 

I agree with the dollar shave club when they say that wearing braces as an adult sucks! 

I made the plunge but found that annoying piece of wire that the orthodontist assistant never seems to properly trim scrapes the inside of my cheeks and makes me want to give up on the entire plan of having the perfect smile.

I will admit that making the decision to get braces as an adult was not easy. First off, it is expensive. It does not matter if you choose the more basic braces or Invisalign. They are all expensive, so be sure that this is an investment that you can afford. 

Secondly, getting braces as a grown-up will not give your teeth the quick fix that you daydream about. If you want a perfect smile that will not take 24 months to get, you may want to get dentures instead! 

Perfect Versus Imperfect

I smiled a lot more with my imperfect teeth than I do now with my braces. This mouth appliance of mine does bring a certain insecurity with it, and sometimes it just feels weird to smile with all the wires attached to your teeth. 

Maybe if I had gotten them when I was a teenager or pre-teen, I would not have paid as much attention to them.  I would have been too preoccupied with things that teens are interested in, and as most of my peers would also have mouth wear, I might have been less self-conscious.  However, that is not the case, and I want a different smile.

Although I have been told that there was nothing wrong with my smile before I got braces, my decision was to fix my smile. What is your decision? Are you ready or not? It’s okay if you are not quite there yet. Take your time!

Expectations And Reality

Once you decide to get braces and find an orthodontist that fits your budget, you are on your way to that perfect smile. At this point, it’s a good idea to discuss your expectations of your future smile with them. 

Examine your current smile and jot down how you would like the braces to enhance it. 

Although we hope for the perfect end result, there are other things that you should expect along the journey and know about while wearing your braces.

Damon Orthodontics website lists a few things to bear in mind:

  • It is best to eat soft foods such as soup, yoghurt, applesauce, scrambled eggs, mac and cheese, mashed potatoes, etc.
  • You can use over-the-counter pain relievers like acetaminophen or ibuprofen if necessary. (Sometimes necessary after a wire-tightening dental visit!)
  • Avoid sucking on or touching your mouth (and any sores that appear) or teeth with your tongue or fingers. The more you touch them, the more they’ll hurt.
  • Avoid acidic drinks and foods (such as citrus juices or tomato sauce), which will irritate your mouth sores.

There may be a few sacrifices along the way, but the end result is worth it.

If Adult Braces Are Not An Option

Maybe your parents could not afford braces for you as a child, and now, as an adult, you choose not to get them for whatever reason. That is okay. You just need to know that there are options if ever you decide to take that leap.

Colgate understands this and reminds us that no one is perfect and that there are other ways to enhance your smile other than getting braces. Some of their top tips on how to boost your confidence if you have imperfect teeth are:

  1. You have to accept that nobody (including you!) is perfect. We must learn how to focus on our positive attributes. Teeth are not our only beauty marks.
  1. Take great care of your teeth. Just because we do not consider our teeth to be perfect does not mean we should not brush and floss. Make sure to keep regular dental appointments and take care of them as best you can.

If you decide to get braces, I hope your teeth turn out as perfect as you wish them to be, and you show off your beautiful smile for the whole world to see! Good luck!