It is becoming more and more common for adults to choose to get braces. According to the American Association of Orthodontists, the number of adults that went to see an orthodontist in the US and Canada in 2012 increased 40% since 1989. Adult orthodontic patients looking to get braces aren’t just in their 20s and 30s, either. It is increasingly common for people in the 40s, 50s, or older to decide it’s time to create the smile they’ve always wanted. If you’re considering getting adult braces, you might be wondering how to care for them so your treatment can occur as efficiently as possible while maintaining excellent oral health.

Let’s take a look at what you need to know.

How to Brush With Braces

When you have adult braces, it’s very important to create and maintain an oral hygiene routine. You’ll want to brush your teeth after every time you eat rather than only reserving brushing for twice a day. You will want to make sure you brush each tooth below the brackets and at the gum line to help minimize plaque buildup.

Food tends to accumulate in the area between your braces and your gums. For this reason, you should give extra attention to these areas.

If you find yourself without a toothbrush after you’ve eaten, the next best choice is to rinse your mouth out with water.

As soon as your toothbrush looks worn out, replace your old toothbrush. Otherwise, your cleaning won’t be as effective.

How to Eat With Braces

Unfortunately, you simply can’t eat just anything you want when you have braces. Learning to eat with braces can feel strange at first but you get used to it relatively quickly.

You need to work extra hard to protect your teeth from decay, gum disease, and staining when you wear braces.

There are a lot of foods that you can eat when you first get braces. These include:

  • Grains
  • Yogurt
  • Mashed potatoes
  • Scrambled eggs
  • Seafood
  • Soups
  • Soft cheese
  • Soft fruits
  • Moist desserts
  • Soft or cooked vegetables
  • Pasta

After a few days or a week, your sensitivity will start to go down. This means that you can start adding in additional foods to your diet.

When you first get your braces on, you’ll want to avoid foods like ice cream, spicy foods, citrus foods, thick rolls, or thicker cuts of meat. However, once your teeth have adjusted to having braces you can start eating these foods again.

Some foods you will have to avoid the entire time you have braces. This is because some foods can damage your braces or cause a bracket to become separated from a tooth. These foods include:

  • Chewing gum
  • Ice
  • Popcorn
  • Hard candy
  • Nuts
  • Pizza Crust
  • Chewy Candy
  • Crunchy fruits and vegetables
  • Bagels and other hard rolls
  • Chips
  • Pretzels
  • Hard crackers

You will also want to limit your intake of sugary drinks and foods while you are wearing braces. This is because consuming sugar leads to plaque production.

What to Do If Bands or Wires Become Lose on Your Braces

You will periodically have appointments with your orthodontist to adjust your braces. In between regular adjustments, though, other issues can crop up such as a broken or loose wire or band. This can occur if you have an injury in your mouth, pick at your braces, or eat crunchy or sticky foods.

It is not a good idea to ignore damage to your braces, as it can lead to a longer treatment time. Instead, you should make an orthodontist appointment right away. Until you are able to meet with them, place a piece of orthodontic wax or wet cotton over the sharp edge that has broken off.

Different Types of Braces For Adults

If you’ve been researching Birmingham orthodontics offices looking into your adult braces options, there’s a good chance you’ve been wondering what types of braces are available for adults.

Conventional Braces

Conventional braces is often the method that offers the shortest treatment time. However, they are also the most visibly noticeable option. Some people opt for a longer treatment option simply so they don’t have to deal with wearing conventional braces for a period of time.


These are clear trays that you wear for between 20 and 22 hours a day. To accommodate the movement of teeth, they are switched out every two weeks. These braces are much less noticeable than metal braces, however, they are not completely invisible.

A benefit of this style is that you can take them out to brush and floss your teeth. They do require the discipline to stay on schedule with switching trays and wearing them as much as possible.

Lingual Braces

These are similar to convention braces except that they are nearly invisible. This is because the brackets are actually cemented to the back of the teeth rather than the front. They are known to work as quickly as conventional braces, however, they typically come at a higher cost due to being custom made.

Is It Time For You to Get Adult Braces?

More than one million adults in the U.S. and Canada wear braces, with the number of people over the age of 18 working to straighten their teeth growing 14% between 2010 and 2012. Braces can both help your oral health and boost your confidence. No matter how old you are, it’s really never too late to get the smile you’ve always wanted.

If you are looking for an excellent orthodontist in metro Detroit, you’ve come to the right place. To make an appointment to learn more about adult braces or for any other purpose, contact us today!