Let’s face it. Having braces is a bitch. Whether you have had them for 6 months or 6 years it seems like forever till they come off.

I got my brace-face in 2014 and now am “finally” reaching the point where my dentist claims (God, how dentists lie), they can come off.

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So here is some good, bad and ugly that I accumulated over my time for someone who has braces or is getting them.

We all know how many times a day we eat and we know that food is most definitely going to get stuck somewhere between those molars and those wires. Sounds disgusting right? Well not for a brace-face cause that is literally what we do all day. The struggle is real and we fight for oral hygiene.

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Let’s get fancy.

Tip#1 Keep a small plastic box/case in which to keep your elastics. You do not want them getting lost in your food. You can find this box from your dentist or any drug store that sells ortho wax. I use my ortho wax box to safe keep my elastics when I eat a meal.

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Tip#2 People will tell you not get fooled into buying an orthodontic brush and an inter-dental brush and that all this mumbo jumbo is the talk of pharmacies trying to make money, but, they help. Food gets into all kinds of tricky places and you’ll need that stick thin brush to reach the tricky areas.

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Tip#3 Keep a toothbrush in your bag. Now, this may sound crazy but you will thank me later. You are not always going to consume food when you are home. But you are always going to get that one morsel of food stuck in the most inconvenient of places. After you’ve filled that belly use the restroom to brush those pearly whites. You will happy moan.

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Tip#4 Ansaid is the most beautiful thing on Earth when you come back from an appointment and you feel like someone punched your jaw with a hammer fist. It’s a strong painkiller and almost always works. Make sure you eat it on a full stomach. We don’t want you to die before you get to see your beautiful smile.

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Tip#5 You will not want to smile in pictures at all. Learn how to. You’ll find an angle sembling a poker face hiding that hideous metal and extra points for coolness. Try to work on a different smile. The mirror is your magic gene. Discover angles. Think fierce.

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Tip#6 Wear your elastics at all times. My procedure would have been delayed by months had I not been diligent in putting those nasty little things in my mouth. They restructure your upper and lower jaw. Do not ignore folk

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Tip#7 Now dentists scare you with a lot of “don’t eat that” “definitely don’t eat that” talk but I gotta tell you in my years I have had the toughest of nuts and fruit and the hardest of chocolate bars and thankfully my brackets lived through it all. Just make sure you take small bites. Do not live in fear and do not deprive yourself of life’s pleasures.

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Tip#8 Do not and I repeat do not try to manipulate your tongue into ridding yourself of food stuck in those pearly whites. You don’t want a piece of your tongue getting stuck in a bracket wire. It calls for a mini-heart attack.

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Tip#9 Never keep your elastics on the sides of your plate when you have food. Take a tissue and wrap them up in it if you cannot find your box. Take it from someone who consumed theirs more than once.

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Tip#10 Buy lots of orthodontic wax from your local drugstore. It is your best friend when those wires give you hell.

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P.SL Dentist’s always know if you’ve been naughty or nice. Try to save yourself the drama. Brush every day.

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Happy brace-facing and don’t forget to smile.