Braces aren’t just for kids anymore! Many adults who did not have the opportunity to receive orthodontic work in their youth are taking the opportunity to correct their smiles later in life. Adult orthodontic treatment has grown increasingly popular in the last few years, especially now that there are more discreet options.
One concern that many of our adult patients have is how their braces may affect their professional lives. For some jobs, first impressions and appearances are extremely important. Some patients think that braces will affect how their coworkers, supervisors, and clients view them, but this is hardly the case.
If you’re getting orthodontic work done as an adult, you most likely won’t have to deal with anyone judging you for it. Most adults are mature and they are unlikely to make a fuss if you decide to get braces at your age. If anything, they will be supportive about it!
With that being said, there are still many subtle orthodontic options for adults as we mentioned earlier, like clear aligners, ceramic braces, and lingual braces. To learn more about how orthodontic appliances of any kind may affect your work life, continue reading below!
Will orthodontic treatment give me a lisp?
Quite the opposite! Braces are known to fix lisps by closing gaps and correcting overlapping teeth. Traditional braces and self-ligating braces are very unlikely to cause any difficulties with speech.
Invisalign, on the other hand, can sometimes make speaking a little harder, but most patients get used to the feeling of the aligners in their mouths. Since Invisalign aligners are custom made to fit your teeth, however, they usually won’t cause any problems. We understand how important communication is at work. Giving presentations and going to interviews require the ability to articulate yourself eloquently. Talk to your orthodontist if your Invisalign is bothering you to see if they can adjust it!
Will orthodontic treatment affect my professional life?
Braces and Invisalign are unlikely to affect your professional life. They can inspire confidence after the process when you’re left with a stunning smile though!
Throughout the orthodontic process, you may have to make a few minor changes to your daily routine. Braces and Invisalign need to be properly cared for in order to work effectively. After meals, it’s highly recommended for orthodontics patients to brush their teeth. This prevents food from getting stuck in the appliances and causing cavities.
Adults with Invisalign will need to wear their aligners for at least 20-22 hours a day. For most people, that is plenty of time to eat, brush, and socialize without the aligners in. If you plan on attending a long business lunch or networking event that involves eating and drinking, plan your day accordingly so that you can still wear your aligners on for the recommended time.
If you have a labor intensive or athletic profession, you will want to be extra careful at work. Getting into an accident can seriously damage braces and cause them to scar the inside of your mouth. Talk to your dentist or orthodontist about precautions you can take to avoid these situations.
What can I eat with braces?
Since Invisalign users can take their aligners off for meals, they don’t have to worry about changing their diets too much. There are lots of tooth-friendly foods that are great for people with or without braces, so it definitely wouldn’t hurt Invisalign patients to consume cheese, leafy greens, and whole grains.
Braces are a different story. After you get your braces, the orthodontist will give you a list of foods that you should avoid and a list of foods you can eat instead. Generally, items that are crunchy, chewy, or sticky should be cut from your diet as they can get stuck in your braces or worse, damage them. Examples of these foods include:
- Beef jerky
- Corn on the cob
If you love to snack on these items at work, try to replace them with more braces-friendly options. Stock your snack drawer with foods like mint strips, dried apples, and soft cookies.
Adults with braces should also be wary of their coffee and alcohol consumption. These drinks can stain the teeth where the braces don’t cover, leaving strange, discolored splotches after the braces are removed. Often, coffee and alcohol are also mixed with sugary additives, which can cause cavities and tooth decay. For more information on this subject, check out our article about adult beverages and braces.
We know how hard it can be to try to start your morning without a cup of coffee. To keep coffee from staining your teeth, you can opt for an iced coffee and drink it with a straw. Same goes for alcoholic beverages after work!
Do braces hurt?
Patients of all ages ask this question. Adults, especially, are concerned whether braces will hurt or keep them from their responsibilities.
Braces may make your teeth and gums feel sore at first because they are shifting the structure of your teeth and mouth. However, this minor pain will go away quickly as you get used to the feeling. Sometimes, braces can also scratch or poke into the soft tissue of your mouth. To remedy this, you can place wax on any sharp edges to keep them from irritating you. The orthodontist can also adjust the braces to reduce discomfort. You can also get over-the-counter medication to alleviate the pain if your orthodontist and doctor approve of doing so.
If you feel excruciating pain, contact your orthodontist immediately. Braces definitely shouldn’t hurt so much that you are unable to focus on work!
We completely understand the questions and concerns our patients have about the effects of adult orthodontics on your career. Most patients who undergo orthodontic treatment are completely satisfied with their results and have few, if any, issues at work. In fact, they come out of the process with more confidence and less stress at work!
At Newpark Orthodontics in Alpharetta, we will provide you with all the information and orthodontic options available, so you can make the best decisions for your health and lifestyle. To book a consultation, give us a call at 678-389-9400 or contact an office near you here. We’re happy to help!