Brace Yourself: Dating Tips When You Have Adult Braces


Brace Yourself: Dating Tips When You Have Adult Braces

When you’re a teen with a mouth full of metal, it makes the prospect of dating as awkward as that dream where you show up to class naked. Being an adult with braces can make dating feel impossible.

In fact, you might not even want to open your mouth to say hello to anyone at all, much less than ask your crush out for coffee. Just because you have adult braces doesn’t mean you have to be single forever or take a vow of celibacy though. You just come with equipped with a little extra style — you’re steampunk! Here’s how to get back in the game without feeling like you’re being punked.

  1. Update Those Dating Profile Pics

No one likes surprises when they arrive for their first date. You show up, and BobbyG23 is more like KennyG63. Showing a little metal isn’t going to be the worst thing on the internet.

So, let your smile sparkle and update your dating profile, even if that pic is second to last in the gallery. Encourage friends to capture natural, candid photos of you as a group and alone. Let yourself smile naturally. One way to do this is to practice smiling with your eyes until they narrow a little at the corners.

Creeps on dating profiles are still going to be creeps. That’s what they do. You will find someone that swipes right and appreciates you for being real.

  1. TheMetal up” Attitude

Metal up and be proud of your mouth. Don that leather jacket over a sleek blouse or dress shirt with a tie. Paint those lips ruby red. Do your version of Fullmetal Alchemist.

Your date won’t go anywhere when you spend the whole time trying to cover your mouth and keep it shut. What’s the point if you don’t try?

While you’re in the bathroom checking your braces for stuck food, you don’t want your date to be furiously scrolling your profile looking for the part where you can’t speak.

  1. Use What You’re Confident About

The extra step beyond “metaling up” on the outside is using what you’re confident about on the inside to distract your mind from the metal in your mouth. Dress up in your favorite clothes and pep yourself up with all the things you’re proud of in your life.

You’re an incredible artist who has a love for painting nature even if a good chunk of your income is pet portraits. Everyone loves animals. That’s your in. So, what are you talented at or what makes you feel confident about yourself? What makes you uniquely you?

  1. Own Feeling Like a Teen Again

While you can’t run away from adulting, feeling like a teen again isn’t the worst thing in the world. It’s not the thought of reliving bullying or being denied seeing awesome movies because of your age. It’s letting yourself feel more adventurous about what life has to offer because the whole world is in front of you.

When the braces come off, there will be a physical transformation. You’re doing something to improve your health and how you see yourself. That’s positive. Why not let it positively affect your perspective on life, too?

  1. Avoiding Salad Mouth on a Date

There’s “Salad Fingers,” the creepy cartoon, and then there’s “Salad Mouth,” which your date will name you if they do animation for a living. Not the kind of famous you were going for, huh?

The first few months of having adult braces will leave you wistfully daydreaming about the foods you can’t have, like popcorn, potato chips, chewy foods, sticky foods, hard foods or basically any food that requires you to bite. Here’s how to not starve and avoid salad mouth by choosing these incredibly delicious foods:

  • Dairy: milk-based drinks, pudding and soft cheese.
  • Treats: Ice cream (no nuts), Jell-O, soft cakes and
  • Bread: Muffins (no nuts), soft tortillas and pancakes
  • Grains: Soft-cooked rice or pasta.
  • Seafood: Crab cakes, salmon and
  • Meat and poultry: Lunch meats, meatballs and soft cooked chicken.
  • Vegetables: Steamed spinach, beans and mashed potatoes. Watch the garlic levels.
  • Fruit: Fruit juice, bananas and
  1. It’s a Year and a Half

18 months feels like an 18-year sentence when it comes to enduring adult braces. If you do good time, will you get out earlier?

No, but you will be happier for it. A year and a half is also a good run for a relationship. If they wait for the big reveal because they’re into you, you know the relationship has a good shot at lasting longer.

If anyone else bails, they didn’t deserve you. That’s the truth, plain and simple.

  1. Look Hard at What You Really Want

Put your life down on paper. Make a list of the qualities you’re looking for in a partner and what hasn’t worked out in the past and why.

Are these qualities realistic? That doesn’t mean settling for something less because someone “accepts” you for wearing braces yet is a jerk though.

Also, make a list of what you want out of life. Have you checked off any items from your bucket list? It’s about time you did! Set career goals for yourself. Make travel plans. Look hard at what you really want in life and go for it.

Dating with adult braces is intimidating, more so than if you’d had them as a teen, but it’s not the end of the world. It’s the start of a new world as you open yourself up to dating possibilities and to what life has to offer. Yes, you may get hurt on the way, but that only reveals who and what you don’t need in your life.

When the braces come off, you’ll be in a happier world and living a life you love, likely with someone that you love.

Jennifer Landis
Jennifer Landis is a wife, mom, writer, and healthy living blogger. She enjoys longs walks around the block with her toddler, prefers tea over coffee, and eats way too much peanut butter. You can find more from Jennifer on her blog, or follow her on Twitter @JenniferELandis
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