First Dates and Braces: What to Know
Going on that first date can be nerve-racking. Picking out the right outfit. Choosing the restaurant. What to talk about. The butterflies in your stomach. Could this person be “the one”? If these unknowns weren’t enough, you have one other issue to contend with: your braces.
What’s the best approach for a successful first date when you have braces? Read on. We’ll give you the best tips to make that first date successful.
What to Wear with Braces
No, we’re not talking about the right outfight or the right shoes. We’re talking about your smile. It’s the most important accessory you’ll ever put on. In fact, a research study conducted by the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry found that nearly half (48%) of adults believe that a smile is the most memorable thing about a person after a single meeting.
It’s tempting to cover up your smile, especially if your braces are new. But here’s the good news: nobody will know you are anxious about your braces unless you give it away with your body language and interactions. If you embrace your braces as a part of your style and unique personality, and if you act with confidence on that first date, you’ll impress the person all the more. Go ahead and smile and laugh like you normally would. You can’t hide your braces, and you’ll have more fun if you just relax and let the real you shine through.
If you want to walk on the wild side, try colored braces. You can choose the color that suits your skin tone, eye color, or even the outfit you plan to wear. And if lipstick is your thing, you can choose a bold color that will frame your face well and show off your braces.
What to Eat with Braces on a First Date
Nothing puts a damper on your first date like having spinach stuck between your teeth. With a little planning ahead of time, though, you can enjoy a meal without wearing it on your braces.
First, choose the restaurant beforehand if possible. That way, you can go online and read the menu. Look for brace-friendly options. Pasta (or other soft food) is a good option; salad, not so much. Soup is also a good choice. Second, avoid foods with lots of herbs (like garlic bread) or minced onion. The small pieces can get lodged in your brackets. Third, stick to smaller bites and chew on the side of your mouth. Lastly, drink lots of water. This will help dislodge any particles stuck in the nooks and crannies of your braces.
What to Bring on a Date If You Have Braces
When you get braces, you’ll want to put together a cleaning kit to take with you when you go out, especially when you go to a restaurant. Include a toothbrush, toothpaste, floss, mouthwash, brace wax, a hand-held mirror, sugar-free gum, and lip balm.
After dinner, excuse yourself to the restroom. Take the kit with you and brush your teeth and swig some mouthwash. Check the mirror for any leftover debris. If brushing isn’t possible, use your hand-held mirror to look for particles in your teeth. Pop in some gum for fresh breath.
How to Kiss with Braces
Let’s clear up one big myth: if two people with braces kiss, the chances of the braces locking are one in a million. This misconception began in the early days of braces when the hardware was much, much larger and bulkier, which made locking more possible (although still unlikely).
However, kissing with braces is different than kissing without them. You will learn the skill in time, but here are a few pointers to make the adjustment easier.
- Start with your mouth closed. This will allow you to get used to the feel of the braces in your mouth (or theirs).
- Be gentle. Braces can cause injury to soft tissue, like your lips or the inside of your mouth. That soft tissue can also get caught in the brackets, which will definitely ruin the moment.
- Try dental wax. This can make kissing more comfortable. Your partner might not even notice the braces if you use the wax correctly.
- Ease off the lip pressure. Landing a hard, passionate kiss may lead to a painful end if your lips (or theirs) get pressed too strongly against your braces. Easy does it.
On a first date while wearing braces, don’t stress out. Remember, the other person is just as nervous as you are. And we bet your date won’t even notice your braces—they’re too preoccupied by what you might think about them! Remember, confidence is always attractive, whether or not you have braces.