Adult Braces

This isn’t my first rodeo. It’s the third. The most common question I get asked is “why did you get braces, your teeth were already so straight!”

You’re right. They were. But my bite was so off!

I started to wonder if that was what was causing my migraines. Clenching my teeth all night and wake up sore, plus my front teeth hit and my back ones didn’t so I’ve got a cracked front tooth and a chipped front tooth…I was a mess!

So, while my teeth may have looked straight, they just didn’t feel straight inside of my mouth.

(these are obviously fake…it’s obvious, right? HAHA)

Choosing The Right Orthodontist

I feel pretty lucky with the ortho we chose. I checked out a few different orthodontists around my area and settled on Michael Richards. He has two offices around the valley so he serves a big area! They’ve got chocolate chip cookies cooking all day long so my kids count down the days until ortho visits!

Oh, and they’ve got lots of Nintendos too, which Dash and Jett love.

But most importantly, choose someone who gets where you’re coming from and listens to your concerns. I wasn’t a newbie so I knew what I didn’t want. And thanks to Dr. Richards, I was able to get fitted with braces and brackets that work for me!

I never thought I would be going to the ortho at the same time with my daughters…

Real life here, I’m lucky enough to match the tweens in my house! Anisten is in expanders and Emery and I have full sets of braces on us! I know how much confidence can be built with a beautiful smile, so this was always our plan for the kids!


• • •

Lots Of Options

There are a lot of options for you when you are considering getting adult braces. These aren’t the 80’s and 90’s braces you’re used to!

They have silver, rose gold (thank you Millenials) and clear bracket options! Plus all different sizes of brackets too!

I have heard of ortho’s putting them on the BACKS of teeth which sounds so dang uncomfortable but hey, I am just telling you your options. Plus, if traditional braces aren’t your thing, you can always go the Invisalign route (if you’re a candidate, check with your ortho!).

I went with the clear “Damon” style braces. The brackets are much smaller and, until you are in power chains (you’ll love these…), you really don’t have to wear those little colored elastics that go over them that always stain.

The Rumors…

…Contrary to popular belief, clear braces DON’T stain. The brackets themselves will not get stained, but the teeny little elastics (they’re called ligatures!) that hold the wire onto the bracket definitely stain.

That’s what’s so great about Damon brackets! You don’t have to have the ligatures until you have to wear power chains! Anyway, they all eventually get dingy looking after about 2 weeks (even with being careful!).

I have had good luck with super light blues (those actually even make your teeth look whiter!) and periwinkle. Here is a picture of the is what I ask for every time I go in!

The More You Know

If you are planning on getting braces, have braces, or your kids do and you’d like to be able to be more in the know, here are my tips for keeping them clean and stain-free (mostly):

1. Brush your teeth after every meal.

For real. This is the most important tip. If you’re brushing your teeth after every meal you’re brushing away any food left in your mouth that could cause stains or get stuck and grow bacteria and cause cavities! (braces are gross)

2. Buy a Waterpik 

You can’t rely on just brushing. You have hard-to-reach places and you need the things that are gonna get that hard-to-reach stuff. A Waterpik comes in handy and will get all of the nasties out from behind brackets and trapped in your wire. I also love these mini dental brushes that fit in and around the brackets as well as these ortho-flossers that are made to floss your teeth with braces on!

3. Avoid food and drinks that will stain – duh

Avoid the crap that leaves a stain. If it would stain your favorite rug or shirt, it’s going to stain your braces and ligatures.

4. Visit your orthodontist regularly for ligature changes

To prevent the ligatures from staining they have to be changed often. Visit your orthodontist regularly to have them replaced so you can always be fresh-to-death! (I go every 2 weeks!!)

Know Before You Go

Most importantly, go to someone that you really trust! Make sure you guys have the same vision for your smile. Go to someone that you feel comfortable telling when you think one of your teeth is in a funky position or your smile isn’t as wide as you want it to be.

Now that I am down to the fine-tuning of my braces, every appointment I can say “pull this tooth down a little bit more.. push this one out a bit… etc”. Feeling comfortable with your ortho is SO important.

My Bag of Tricks

With it being my third time in these things, I would say I have learned a thing or two and there are definitely some must-have items that I don’t leave my house without. I’ve always got a stash of braces-survival-items in my bag with me:

Braces Survival Kit
Portable Waterproof Waterpik
Leave it in the shower and it's great to travel with! Or stick it in your purse and slip to the bathroom at the restaurant after your meal - believe me, your teeth, braces, and people who talk to you after a meal will thank you!
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Stationary WaterPik
This is the exact one I have and I love how sleek it is! Plus, if I have to move something back and forth between my purse, luggage, my bathroom...I'm going to leave it somewhere. It's better if I have one for my bathroom and one for on-the-go! If you like white, it is a little less expensive and has over 13,000 almost 5-star reviews.
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Colgate Wisp Max
I keep these in my purse and car whether I have braces or not. My kids always need them, I swear! Plus, they're a great brushing refresher and leave your mouth minty!
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Travel Toothbrush
Great to have these on hand and on the go!
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Travel Toothpaste
You definitely need this bad boy to fight bacteria and plaque that sits in and around your brackets!
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Dental Soft Tree Picks
These things are like spoolies for your teeth! They get in the hard to reach places and get things unstuck!
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This is a must-have to protect your cheeks and lips from your brackets!
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Ortho Dots
We also love these! They stick better and stay on longer. Plus you can’t tell you’re wearing wax when you put them over a bracket.
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Short of clawing all of your new braces out of your mouth, a little Ibuprofen goes a LOOOOOOOOOONG way.
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Ortho Flossers
Like regular flossers, but for braces! You'll need these - trust me!
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Clear Zipper Pouch
It wouldn't be me if I didn't at least link one cute zipper pouch that serves a super functional need! Keep all your braces survival stuff in one place and easy to grab on the go!
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Lip Balm
Your lips will thank you! It's SUPER hydrating. Put it on nightly. Braces make your lips so chapped! (Over 1000 4.5 star reviews!)
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Laneige Lip Mask
Another favorite lipgloss. It says sleeping mask but I wear it all day!
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Braces Bumper
Will one of you buy these and send me a video?!? I can’t believe these are a thing but right now when the inside of my mouth is completely torn up, I feel like I NEED THEM.
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  1. You’ve inspired me to get braces, I have an appointment on the 26th to see what my options are! I had heard the Damon braces are less visible but was super worried about the staining. I don’t know if every two weeks will be feasible for me to go in and have my ligatures replaced if and when I need them. Thank you so much for this post! Pinning it for later!

    1. I’m excited for you! I think there is so much to be gained by having a beautiful, straight smile and bite. The Damons are definitely the way to go – just get in when you can and don’t stress the rest. Get the survival kit and you’ll be good to go!

  2. I was wondering where that cute yellow T-shirt is from that you’re wearing in the second picture with your two girls?! I love that is has a higher neckline and longer short sleeves! Thanks!!

  3. Just got braces on Tuesday at 37 years old. OH WOW am I in pain lol!!! I sure hope this doesn’t last too long. I can’t eat anything! Heading out to get all the items in your survival kit asap!!!!


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