When thinking about getting braces for your teen, you will want to ensure them that there are ways to prevent awkward orthodontic moments. Here is everything that you should know about braces and first dates-

We can’t help you with the small talk or deciding what to wear. However, we can help you avoid some orthodontic faux pas.

What to Bring

Before we get started, you will always want to have an orthodontic kit on your person. If you find yourself in one of these awkward situations, then having the right tools to deal with it can save you from something embarrassing happening. This is what you should have in your kit:

  • Travel sized toothbrush
  • Dental floss
  • Travel sized mouth rinse
  • Replacement rubber bands
  • Small mirror

If you are only planning on being out for a few hours, you do not need to bring a lot. But, make sure you keep on hand what you might need- we definitely recommend taking dental floss and wax, however. Floss is a great tool for avoiding many awkward braces-related moments.

Now, these are some situations you might find yourself in and what you should do. Let’s get started!

Awkward Orthodontic Moment #1: Something Stuck In Braces

How do you know if something is stuck in your braces? You can quickly check your smile in a small mirror. But, if you do not have one on you, the back of a spoon or your cell phone camera make good emergency mirrors.

Plan A: Swish some water around in your mouth. This can dislodge the food from your braces.

Plan B: If it is really stuck, you may want to excuse yourself to go to the restroom. Floss works best, or an interproximal brush. But if you do not have special tools with you, use your fingers. You can also try folding up a paper towel and using the corner.

DON’T EVER use potentially dangerous tools in your mouth like pens, tweezers, keys, etc. that can damage teeth and gums, or braces. You do not want to cause harm to your orthodontic treatment, as that might mean you need to set up another appointment.

But what if someone else has something in their teeth? Here is what you can do- it will help them feel better.

Here’s a tip:

Always politely point out if someone you are dining with has something stuck in their teeth. No one feels good when they get back home and realize that they had visible food in their mouth all day. It makes them wonder why no one bothered to say anything.

This situation can happen to anyone, not just those with adolescent braces. Remember to be kind when letting someone know they have food in their teeth!

Awkward Orthodontic Moment #2: Bad Breath

If you realize you have bad breath on a date, you are probably going to want to take care of it right away. There are a few ways to stop this awkward moment before it becomes a huge problem, however, brushing your teeth before the date is a great preventive measure.

Plan A: Drink some water, as a dry mouth can cause bad breath. Drink slowly and give it a few seconds to help rehydrate your mouth and tongue. It is also helpful if you can keep sugarless breath mints in your pocket or purse.

Plan B: Most bad-breath causing bacteria hang out on your tongue. In a pinch, you can use a spoon as a tongue-scraper. (Discreetly, of course.)

Plan C: If you are at a restaurant, you may be able to chew on your garnish (like parsley). Other good foods are celery, apples, or yogurt. (You’ll want to cut the apples up small for your braces, of course.) Any fruit or vegetable that holds a lot of water can rehydrate your mouth to help with bad breath.

Awkward Orthodontic Moment #3: Malfunctioning Wire Or Bracket

If your wire is moving around or you feel something stabbing your mouth, then you will want to take care of it right away. The longer you let it go, the more pain you will receive- which gets distracting.

Plan A: ALWAYS have orthodontic wax handy just in case your braces irritate your mouth. Apply wax as much as needed. If you realize you forgot to bring wax with you, there are a few other materials you can use until you make it back home:

  • Sugar free chewing gum (never use gum with sugar!)
  • A cut piece of silicon
  • Other types of wax you warmed in your hand (cheese wax is a good kind to use)

Be sure to properly clean your teeth and replace your emergency wax with the correct type of orthodontic wax as soon as you can. These materials are only meant to be used for a short period, plus, they will not stay in place very long.

Plan B: If a wire or bracket is actually out of place, call us right away to set up an appointment. Not only is it uncomfortable, but it can set back your treatment time. You can use wax to hold your braces in place, but use this as a temporary fix.

Awkward Orthodontic Moment #4: Braces Causing Pain

Sometimes, your braces might cause you pain. This usually happens after getting them tightened, but it might last a few days and be distracting while on your date. What can you do when that happens?

Plan A: Use an oral anesthetic on the sensitive areas around your teeth. This should help you manage the pain, so you can focus on what is going on. You can easily apply it with either a cotton swab or your fingers.

Plan B: Take an over the counter medicine with you. When you experience pain, you can quickly take medicine to relieve pain. Always follow the instructions on the bottle for dosages! Also, if you know you are going to be hurting at the dinner, you can always take the medicine before you leave the house.

Plan C: Drink ice water. Cold temperatures help reduce inflammation and will numb your gums. That way, you do not feel pain. (Remember, chewing ice is bad for your teeth and braces. Simply drinking the ice water will be enough to help you feel better.)

Plan D: Hard foods might cause you some pain when you have braces, so during your important dinner, you are going to want to eat soft foods only. That way, you can avoid accidentally causing yourself pain.

Plan E: As a last resort, you can excuse yourself to the bathroom and gargle warm salt water. It sounds weird, but warm salt water soothes the sores that you can get on the inside of your mouth from wearing braces.

Awkward Orthodontic Moment #5: Not Feeling Confident

Some people feel a lack of confidence when wearing braces or are worried about what the people around them are thinking. Not feeling confident in yourself can affect your date, so here are a few things you can do.

Plan A: Remember, braces are temporary, but the smile you get from wearing them is forever! Keeping this in mind can help you feel more sure of yourself.

Plan B: Treat your braces as an accessory. When you think of them as jewelry, it makes wearing them more fun for you. You can try out brightly colored elastics or lipsticks that attract attention to them. You will feel more confident highlighting your braces than you will trying to hide them.

Plan C: Consider making the switch to Invisalign. They are clear aligners that adjust your teeth the same way braces do, but they are a lot harder for other people to notice.

Those were 5 ways to stop any awkward orthodontics moments. However, you can avoid most of the worst awkward moments with these two tips:

1: Keep an orthodontic kit handy at all times (complete with a brush, orthodontic wax, and floss). Having these little tools on hand is great for solving many problems such as stuck food, uncomfortable braces, or bad breath.

2: Follow our guidelines when it comes to food. Be sure to eat only soft food and avoid hard, crunchy food. Eating what we recommend can help save you a lot of time and keeps your braces from becoming dislodged or damaged.

Thank you for your trust in our practice! We understand that orthodontics treatment can cause some awkward problems and want to help you- you should always feel comfortable in your smile! Contact us today if you are having problems with your treatment.