If you've been dealing with misaligned or wonky teeth throughout your upbringing, you may be well-accustomed to the self-esteem issues that having imperfect teeth can cause. Having braces as an adult can exacerbate these feelings, leaving some adults feeling immature or at worst unattractive. Let's look at some top tips to help you cope with having braces as an adult.

Know that you're doing something positive

To begin with, you should take confidence and pride in the fact that you are working to improve the health and quality of your teeth. Getting braces as an adult is a brave decision, and you have earned the right to feel positive about it. The braces will be off before you know it, and the time spent dealing with a little discomfort will have taught you to be proud of your decisions and who you are. You're unlikely to have braces on your teeth for too long, so it is a temporary fixture with a permanent result well worth the efforts and financial outlay.

Don't feel alone

While you might feel like you're the only adult to have ever worn braces, it is much more common than you think. As braces can be a significant financial burden for parents, many teenagers go without necessary braces. Similarly, children who have not been exposed to adequate dental care will not have had their need for braces acknowledged by a dental professional. As such, many people do not get their teeth sufficiently assessed for braces until they are members of the workforce.

Be prepared to answer questions

Your close friends and family members will be supportive of your decision to correct your teeth with braces, and it is unlikely that they will hound you with series of questions as they will appreciate the sensitivity and personal nature of the process.

Acquaintances and work colleagues, even strangers, are less likely to be so tactful, so expect to be asked questions regarding your braces. Don't be shy or resistant to inquiries — just answer honestly and openly — and the conversation will quickly move on to new topics. You may even find people are sympathetic, and they will recount a story of a friend, family member or even their own experience with braces.

Maintain good oral hygiene

It is vital to keep good oral care practices with braces, as it is easier for food and bacteria to get trapped, causing plaque build-up and decay. Discuss your dental hygiene plan with your dentist — ask about the recommended frequency of brushing and for advice on how to floss your teeth effectively. The use of an antiseptic mouthwash is highly recommended to reduce the likelihood of gingivitis and plaque build-up.

For more advice and information on cosmetic dentistry procedures, contact a dentist with a clinic like Smile Central.