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Perhaps you were a latchkey kid or maybe you didn’t want to be picked on at school. Whatever the reason, you put the kibosh on your parents’ suggestion to get braces. Despite their importance to help straighten out your teeth, you fought tooth and nail to avoid these steel traps. After some maturity, you have finally decided to get braces, but there are things you must know.

Here are 7 tips for adults who have braces:

1. A Little Extra Brushing Never Hurt

A part of orthodontics is taking great care of your teeth and braces. One way to do this is to brush. It is true that you brush now – once in the morning or once in the evening (we hope) – but you may need to do a little bit more, such as brushing a little longer, going in the back of your mouth thoroughly and perhaps brushing after eating something sweet (see below).

2. Yes, You Must Floss (No Excuses)

Few of us floss, but we should start doing so. Flossing is crucial because it gets to the nooks and cranny of your mouth. Simply put: flossing removes leftover food in between your teeth. You may be irked that your dentist keeps recommending it, but you should heed his advice.

3. Be Careful of What You Eat

When you sport braces, you need to be careful of what you eat. This means that you must refrain from consuming nuts, candies, ice cream, sticky and chewy foods and hard goods.

4. Rinse Your Mouth with Water

After your morning breakfast, lunchtime snack or evening dinner, it would be a prudent idea to rinse your mouth with water. This helps get rid of all of the junk that stayed behind in your mouth. A simple rinse will suffice until it’s time to brush.

5. Wax Will Stop Hurting Your Inside Lip

A few days after installing the braces, you may have noticed that the wires are hurting the inside of your lips. You can prevent this from happening by placing a special wax on the braces. You can buy this wax at your local drug store or you can request some from your dentist.

6. Get Used to the Discomfort at First

There is one thing that everyone who has a pair of braces will grieve about: the initial discomfort. Whether you’re a child or a grownup, it can be rather uncomfortable to have a stack of wires in your mouth after years of not having anything covering your teeth. Fortunately, you’ll get used to it.

7. Visit Your Dentist Regularly

If your dentist says that you must see him or her in three months then you must keep that appointments. When you have braces, it’s crucial to meet your dentist to make sure everything is going well.

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