Wearing braces as an adult was not something I’d ever considered. I had them as a kid for 3-plus years, and the memories are not fond. But hell, every other kid lucky enough to have parents who were willing to shell out a few thousand dollars was wearing them too. Considering people ages 12-15 are already dealing with changing bodies, acne, and hormonal surges they have no idea how to handle, what’s a little mouth metal added to the equation?
- They are expensive. You knew that, right? You’re looking at $5-6K in fact. You can now get clear brackets, which are considerably less noticeable, but also more expensive. It’s an investment in a beautiful and healthy set of fangs, and once you’ve completed your tenure, you’ll be elated with the results. I’ve talked to six women who recently had their braces removed, and each one said she was happy to have done it and thrilled with the outcome.
- Eating requires major strategy. Yeah, big ole sandwiches will no longer be yours to enjoy. Spinach is out unless you use a blender. Soup and cold-pressed juice will be your sustenance for the first week. Eating in public has a whole new dimension. But remember, it’s short-term. And it offers the opportunity for more mindfulness and gratitude for all the times you took a huge bite out of a juicy apple. You’ll be able to enjoy that again post-braces, so don’t fret about it too much. But be prepared. If you can’t bear to change your diet, consider Invisalign. You can take them out while you eat.
- You will not feel cute. And this is a giant reason most people don’t consider wearing adult braces. But you can decide to own it. Yes, Invisalign is an option. But my orthodontist, Dr. Cheryl Golden, successfully talked me out of it. They don’t correct as well, and you have to wear them longer. Plus lisping is a given. If you talk for a living like I do, or even talk a lot, they’re not the best option. Do your research. For most people, brackets are going to be the smartest choice. Suck it up, get the clear brackets if you can afford it, and remember your mantra, “This is temporary, and I can deal.”
- Yeah, they hurt! But just breathe through it. Remember there’s a huge payoff waiting on the other side. You’ll get used to them. I didn’t believe it either, but they’re really not so bad.
- Talking is a bit more difficult. I talk fast. That’s not really an option when you’re maneuvering your lips, tongue, and teeth around braces. But that’s the thing with choosing adult braces. You take a more mature approach and look for the gifts everywhere. If you don’t want to stutter, you’ll have to slow your roll. You will get used to it. Some orthodontists will actually place the braces on the inside of your teeth so no one can see them. That may sound very appealing, but be extremely certain you can handle that level of discomfort. Regina Jacinto, an RN living in Columbus, Ohio did, and says if she had to do it again, she’d definitely get them on the front teeth. Not only is talking extremely difficult, but your tongue will get shredded.
By Lara Falberg
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