I’ve just got my braces removed (as an adult), and I have to say my experience wasn’t even half as bad as people made it out to be. I think because I was paying for them myself I was a bit more conscientious and, as a result, my braces were removed four months early. Pop a few Advil before your tightening and no problem. I ate whatever I wanted, including popcorn. Although, I did have to cut up anything that required biting like sandwiches or corn-on-th-cob. It sucked having to brush after evey meal, but you should do that anyway. And I mastered the closed mouth smile. Poking wires were the only thing that was really awful.