Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Writing Wednesday: 10 lies they tell you when you get braces

Source (and an interesting article about Asian teens who are obsessed with braces)

I know that this post is not typical for Writing Wednesdays, since I generally share some grammar or writing tips. However, my new boss is encouraging us to write more lists because they a) catch people's attention and b) are easy and fun to read. And since braces are top of mind for me right now since my orthodontist tightened my bottom teeth wires and gave me elastics to wear night and day (and I'm currently nursing a MAJOR headache), I thought I'd share the 10 lies they tell you when you get braces. Think of it as a tutorial in writing short, snappy lists -- or just a snarky commentary on the horror of orthodontia.

The 10 lies they tell you when you get braces

10. No one will even notice your braces. Yeah, right. You can make them blend in from far away if you have white or clear elastics (which I always do), but you're out of luck when someone comes within 10 feet. And they will.

9. Colored elastics make braces more fun. This may be true when you're 12 and think it's cool to decorate your mouth for the holidays. But even then, the fun fades when you can't bite into apples or bagels and spend a half hour picking caramel out of your teeth after a Halloween party.

8. Your teeth will only hurt for a day or two when they tighten the braces. Actually, they will usually hurt for several days -- and sometimes a week. They'll also hurt occasionally throughout the month and will be sure to start hurting when you bite into your favorite food just to spite you.

7. Tylenol or ibuprofen will take care of any tooth pain. All lies. You'll probably want to invest in something stronger -- like Lortab. And make sure you have a heat pack handy, too.

6. It's really easy to put the wire back in when it pops out. It's so simple that you have to have your husband pull out fish hook removers (because tweezers are too slippery and flimsy) and wrench it back into place. All while wearing a hiking head lamp and perching precariously over you as you try to lie perfectly still on the bed without laughing. No special equipment required.

5. Flossing is a piece of cake. Sure it is. All you have to do is get the floss through the eye of a needle (which is hard enough with thread), push it up under the wire, slide it between two teeth without crying out in pain and repeat 31 times. What could be easier?

4. Braces are affordable, no matter what your budget is. Of course! Every family can afford to shell out at least three grand for wires, brackets and elastics. And, even better, most insurance companies will pay only $1,000 -- and only before your child turns 18. Let's face it: It totally sucks to get AND pay for braces as an adult, too.

3. It's easy to put elastics on your brackets when they break. It took me two days to figure out how to put my elastics on. TWO DAYS. And when they snap off and you almost swallow them because they're the same color and texture as the pasta you're eating, you have to start all over again.

2. After a while, you'll forget you even have braces. Wrong again. When you feel cabbage from your delicious fish taco working its way between your wires or know you have parsley in your teeth at a team lunch and can't run out of the room to quickly pick it out with your toothbrush, you're once again reminded that you have braces. And that you're an adult and it's no longer a cool adolescent rite of passage.

1. You'll have those braces off before you know it. Tell that to the girl who's secretly hoped every month when she goes in for a checkup that that month will be THE month. The time when the metal comes off and she doesn't feel like a 12-year-old when she smiles. The time when she can finally bite into a juicy Gala without wincing. The time when she feels confident in meetings again.

Don't worry -- my orthodontist tells me the end is in sight. If i can just hold out for a few more weeks, I'll have the dazzling smile of my dreams. Any orthodontia lies I missed? Horrible braces stories to comfort me in my time of need? :)


  1. I'm still traumatized from my braces back in high school (I had a YEAR where the dentist kept telling me that I'd get them off next visit. . . ).

  2. Keep at it.. I had braces from age 25-28 after a lifetime of crooked teeth. I made them take them off right before I had my second child, earlier than they wanted to, and even though I wear my retainer 24/7 (ugh!) my teeth STILL shifted and a have a little gap, and two years later, my teeth hurt if I leave my retainer out for more than 15 minutes!

    I also missed work a few times because the brackets on my canines were so sharp it cut my lips and I couldn't talk!

    :) Be brave. I'm still soooo happy I had them. I'm a more secure and confident person. Keep em on as long as possible!

  3. i never had braces but pretended i had them as a kid. you're almost to the finish line!


Thanks for sharing your beautiful thoughts! I love reading them.