Here's a rather cloistered topic that many adults think about but rarely bring into the open: how does having braces affect your sex life? This topic recently arose in the Metal Mouth Forum and received a large number of responses -- so after much debating, I decided to create a web page devoted to this delicate topic. After all, we are adults!
There's no easy answer to this question, because it depends on the individual or the parties involved. Aside from your partner having a braces fetish, it really depends on each person's tastes and prejudices -- not to mention, the type of braces you have (regular or lingual) -- and any appliances you may wear (Nance device, bite plate, palate expander, headgear, tongue thrust spikes, etc). I suppose the rule of thumb is: if it's sharp, then Houston, there may be a problem.
Season three of the HBO series Sex and the City ended with Miranda getting metal braces (to fix her TMJ headaches). She found dating disastrous with braces, and her date made an off-hand joke about oral sex being "out of the question." Humiliated, Miranda had her braces removed (I suppose her TMJ headaches just cured themselves). Well, that may work in TV Land, but in real life, it just isn't an option. This page exists to tell the Mirandas of the world (and their dates or significant others) that yes, there is sex after braces. So have no fear, fix your teeth, and continue to enjoy yourself in the bedroom.
Your Kiss is On My List...
After an initial adjustment period of, say, a month or two, you will probably be able to kiss normally with braces on your teeth. Braces don't have much of an affect on your pucker power unless you have other hardware in your mouth, such as an expander or such.
Regular 'ol kissing is usually fine -- the real challenge may lie in what happens when you open your mouth. Some people don't want to feel brackets on their partner's teeth, or may be afraid that their tongue will get cut or stuck. Depending on your hardware, this is a possibility. Ifyour tongue gets cut up from your brackets, chances are your partner's will, too.
Run your tongue over your brackets and use copious amounts of dental wax or dental silicone on the rough spots. (If that doesn't work, perhaps your orthodontist can smooth the rough spots with a special tool). Be careful kissing areas with short body hairs. Take it slowly, and soon you'll be smooching away to your heart's content.
One female ArchWired reader wrote, "my husband is afraid for me to go down on him with these braces on my teeth." Indeed, it's probably not for everyone. Some couples just put a moratorium on this activity until the braces are off. If both parties agree, then of course there's nothing wrong with abstaining from oral sex for a year or two. Men are quite serious about their "members" and the thought of "Mr. Johnson" getting poked by a wire or a bracket...well let's just say...ouch!
Again, dental wax may help alleviate his fears, along with good and caring technique (being sure to cover all the brackets with your lips). One ArchWired reader wrote that "lots of lubrication (lube, water, etc.) is essential". However, if you have lingual (behind-the-teeth) brackets, appliances with rough posts/hooks, tongue-thrust spikes, or a palate expander, there may not be much you can safely do. Unless your partner is into kinky risk, and unless you are extremely careful, it might not have the best....outcome.
You must be careful not only for him, but for yourself -- so you don't knock anything loose or hurt your gums or the inside of your mouth with all the friction. Here's a great suggestion from another reader: "If you're at all worried, try your technique on a hot dog or popsicle... if anything is cut/torn/chipped/broken then I would say it is definitely a no no."
Another suggestion would be to wear a silicone or plastic guard that covers your brackets, such as the Morgan Bumper. One reader, however, didn't think it would stay securely in place, so as they say here in cyberspace, your mileage may vary.
Also, if he is wearing a condom, be sure your brackets haven't made microscopic tears in it. It might be good practice to use a new one for intercourse to ensure protection from pregnancy or STDs.
If this is something that your partner wants you to do, and you are apprehensive, just take it slowly. Remember that good technique includes not only your mouth, but your tongue and also your hands. Creativity -- not to mention a sense of humor -- can make up for lack of classic technique. Who knows, you might discover a new pleasure that will carry over when the braces are removed.
Down In the Valley...
The challenge for braced males (or females with female partners) is probably not quite as risky, but, as one male ArchWired reader wrote, "I'm afraid to get her hair caught in my brackets." Ouch again!
The obvious solution here would be for the female (receiving) partner to take a trip to South America. Go "Brazilian" and have a close shave or wax in your nether regions. If there isn't any (or much) hair -- or if the hair is trimmed really short, the chances of a hair getting caught will be greatly reduced.
If your significant female other is a bush supporter (sorry, couldn't resist the political pun there), then you obviously must be more careful. It's doubtful that you'd get anything more than a hair caught in a bracket. But if you tend to have a more aggressive technique, just remember to be careful -- not only down in the valley, but up in the hills and dales, too.
In conclusion, having braces doesn't have to mean the end of certain sexual pleasures. It might mean tweaking your technique...or just plain being more careful. In the words of one enlightened ArchWired reader, "practice makes perfect." And if you decide to abstain...well, as they say, absence...or maybe in this case abstinence...will make it all the fonder until the braces are off.
If you have any constructive suggestions or comments you'd like added to this page, please email me using the link below. I apologize if this topic offends anyone; it is meant to be informative. No flames or lewd comments, please.