Just Can’t Embrace the Braces

I come home from school. The phone rings. My mom informs me that I have to go to the orthodontist. The only sound that manages to escape from my mouth is a long, heavy sigh.  It’s the same stuff, different day, the life of a brace face.

Scrumptious corn on the cob, an apple a day keeping the doctors away, those sour gummy worms that everyone craves at some point in time, none of it is near as enjoyable with train tracks across your teeth, unless you want leftovers from dinner stuck in your mouth for the next two days. Anyone who has or had braces feels my pain.

For six months or seven years, braces are a drag. Not only must you brush your teeth after almost every meal if you want to look presentable, but every four to six weeks when you return to your orthodontists office they get tightened, so every time you’re battling against more pain all depending on your situation. Junior Hal Tafe concurs with these never ending complaints, “Braces suck because they are ugly, they hurt, and cut up the inside of my mouth” Tafe said.

When you have braces, it’s just not socially acceptable to go to subway with some friends and bite into a tasty spicy Italian sandwich because who knows what you’ll look like when you smile. Eating with braces takes self consciousness to a whole new level. Although most people who are juniors in high school have their braces off already, I got the short end of the stick in that situation. From eighth grade to eleventh grade, I have endured braces.

To add the cherry on top, everyone enjoys a bowl of cereal for breakfast. Try eating a bowl of cereal the morning after getting braces; you don’t know pain until this point. You can’t actually tell how sore your teeth are until you try to bite down on something crunchy, like Captain Crunch cereal.

Most orthodontists try to make the experience as smooth and stress free as possible by letting the patient choose what color braces they want and usually don’t perform anything too drastic in one appointment.

On the upside, one can certainly argue that braces are well worth all of the pain, tears, and time. It all depends on your situation before getting the braces put on. Who wouldn’t want to improve their smile and their self image after all?

For many people, braces are a fact of life. For others, they are used as a tool to make microscopic enhancements. Either way, any orthodontist can tell you that they have nothing but good intentions for their patients. Regardless of those good intentions, braces have created a rough patch in my life. No, they don’t stop me from having fun, but they might occasionally stop me from wanting to smile in some pictures. Having not gotten the braces off yet, I can still say that my before and after braces picture will be quite profound.  I am certain that eating corn on the cob for the first time without braces will be a monumental moment that I won’t forget.


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