For those considering orthodontic treatment, one of the aspects of treatment they have the most questions about is how it will impact their daily lives.
Your braces will definitely have an impact on your daily life. However, you most likely won't find that you have to make as many changes as you expect, and once you're used to your braces, you'll really spend only a small fraction of your time thinking about them.
Here are some areas are in which you can expect some changes to occur during your braces treatment:
Your Oral Hygiene Routine
Wearing braces (or Invisalign, for that matter) is inevitably going to make your oral hygiene routine more time consuming.
If you wear braces, you’ll have to spend extra time brushing and flossing your teeth, to make sure you thoroughly clean out all the little crevices in your braces where food particles and plaque can collect.
If you have Invisalign aligners, you’ll need to take additional time to brush and floss your teeth and clean your aligners after each meal and snack, so that your teeth and aligners are clean before you put them back in.
Your Social Life
Social activities like talking, laughing, eating and kissing will be a learning curve with braces. At first, it's all going to be a bit awkward and uncomfortable, but don't worry: you WILL get used to it, and fairly quickly, too. Things will be back to normal in no time!
Kids, teens and adults alike may occasionally encounter immature people who tease them about their braces. While this is obviously silly and unkind, it may be hard not to let it bother you. While it's normal to feel a little down when you're teased, just remember that you’re undergoing a medical treatment, and that's no cause for embarrassment. And in the end, your oral health and your smile will be greatly improved!
You may also notice that it takes you a while to get used to how different your smile looks with braces. To get used to it faster, practice smiling in front of the mirror, or even take some selfies from different angles, to get used to your new look.
Eating & Drinking
Eating and drinking habits will also need to change somewhat when you’re undergoing orthodontic treatment.
As outlined above, you’ll have to take extra care of your oral health routine, and include a teeth cleaning session after each meal. Food debris gets stuck in braces quite easily, and if you're not vigilant about oral hygiene, you may wind up going through your day with a bit of spinach dangling from your braces. It’s not a good look! So brush and floss often, and keep a small pocket mirror handy.
Finally, you’ll also need to make some dietary changes, since certain foods can damage braces. Hard and crunchy foods, foods that you have to bite into, or sticky and gooey foods are all off limits!
This will all take some getting used to, but once you do, you won’t spend much time at all thinking about your orthodontic treatment throughout the day.