What can you do if you're born with bad dental genes? Thanks, Mom and Dad.
From overbites to too-small mouths to buck teeth, there are plenty of dental issues that could force you indignantly into the orthodontist's office for your braces.
Braces are a teenage thing for most folks, but for some of us, they come later in life after we're well into adulthood.
The proposition of wearing braces as an adult can be terrifying. You might worry about how to take care of them. They can make you feel self-conscious and unattractive - but only if you let them. Here are a few tips for dealing with life as an adult with braces. Following these pointers will make daily life easier and might make you think that maybe, just maybe, it's not so bad after all.
1. What Braces?
Aside from proper care and maintenance, those braces aren't there — they just don't exist. What braces? Where?
Channel your "Fairest of Them All" bad self, and strut your stuff like you've got the most dazzling smile ever. It is shiny, anyhow. Whatever you do, don't spend your day frowning about all the wires, screws, gears and mechanical thing-a-ma-bobs hardwired in there, or you'll go mad. Alternatively, use your imagination and become a Transformer.
2. Don’t Say IT First
You don't have to bring it up just to break the ice, even if you feel like everyone is staring right at the mechanical miracle that are your adult braces. Yes, you can still talk. Yes, you just got them. No, they can't touch the metal.
You are under no obligation to answer any questions or even talk about your adult braces. If you're feeling mischievous, you could come up with ridiculous explanations — like how you got kidnapped by aliens. Totally happened.
3. Remember to Brush
Yeah, yeah, yeah, you're probably thinking. Keep your toothbrush at hand to scrub-a-dub-dub around the wires, because food will get stuck. It's inevitable.
Address the issue, so people can be more focused on the dress you're wearing than the food stuck in your teeth. Why, yes, you did wear blue rubber bands today to match your dress, and they bring out your eyes. How kind!
Remember to brush, because the better care you take of your mechanical mouth now, the less gear you've got to carry around in there later.
4. Make the First Move
No matter how ridiculous you think you look or how you feel, it is always nerve-wracking to go up to your crush or a potential client for the first time. Make the first move to relieve the pressure.
Don’t let your braces become a wall between you and everyone else. You may not be a social butterfly, but networking and socializing is still part of life. Get out there!
5. Recognize Those Who Really Care
If anyone regularly makes fun of your adult braces or puts you down for them or anything else — lose them ASAP because they're not worth your time.
They shouldn't push their insecurities on you or try to humiliate you to feel bigger. That goes for friends, romantic interests and anyone else. You can't ditch family but you can put up boundaries or limit your time around them.
Those who really care will stick with you and not put you down. Lose the shallow people.
6. Chew Mindfully
Remember how your parents, the ones with the horrible dental genes, told you to always chew your food 32 times? Now, that piece of advice is more important than ever.
Chew your food mindfully because certain foods eaten quickly may damage your braces. Avoid or be careful with chewy foods (bagels), crunchy foods (popcorn), sticky foods (chewing gum) and hard, bite-worthy foods (apples or nuts). Foods that are easier on your braces include lunch meats, poultry, seafood, grains, bread, dairy, vegetables and certain fruits, such as bananas.
Chewing mindfully will also make your more conscious of what you are eating and how it makes you feel. You'll feel fuller faster and notice how foods affect your energy levels.
You're a superstar! Your braces are shiny just like you are, and it's about dang time you flaunted your fabulousness. Walk that walk, and talk that talk. Smile. Laugh. Share your talents.
Wear your best looks with your coolest accessories. Your adult braces are a temporary accessory to your smile, and the end result is going to be amazing. So, play with your other accessories. Wear that amazing statement necklace, scarf or fedora.
9. Be Real
Be yourself, and express your emotions. If you're hurt or angry about what someone has said, or if you're feeling insecure, share that with loved ones. They'll cheer you up, and you'll have gotten it all out. Then, go on being your amazing self.
10. Wear Your Retainer, Silly
Don't forget to wear your retainer, because your teeth can and will move back into awkward places like tectonic plates. Stop the continental drift of your mouth with your retainer. Braces are expensive, and soon you'll bear restriction-free pearly whites.
Wearing braces in adulthood can be more awkward than in teen years, because more stigma comes with "Why, now?" Well, because the time is now. That's why!
It's okay to feel out of place, but remember this is temporary and you're still YOU! You still have the incredible looks and personality that everyone loves. Braces don't change you, but they may reveal who around you is real and who isn't.
So, shine bright, be real and accessorize your glorious personality and style. Chew mindfully. Oh, and don't forget to brush regularly and wear your retainer, silly! This, too, shall pass, but for right now, keep doing you!
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