Ugly Betty and her braces. Ugly? I think not! Braces are the latest in fashion statements.
I keep meaning to write a long article for skepchick, but I can’t. I really need to study for my geology midterm tomorrow, but I can’t focus very well. I’m hungry, but I can’t eat anything that’s not mushy.
Why not? I was recently tortured at the dentist for three hours, and I now have braces. A couple of years ago, my dentist suggested I get braces. Basically, when I was eighteen I had four badly-impacted wisdom teeth. They pushed my teeth around so that my jaw only closes properly on one side– on the other side, my teeth grind into each other. I put off braces for a few years, but I finally went ahead and got them. Why? This is the last year I’m on daddy’s dental insurance, and I’m sure not paying for orthodonic treatment on my graduate student salary.
The drawbacks of my braces?
1. I look several years younger and am carded more frequently at bars.
2. My teeth hurt like hell.
3. I can’t eat properly. I’m hungry, and I’m almost out of soup.
4. I can’t talk properly. I have a weird lisp.
5. There are sores developing on my inner lip, despite large quantities of wax and cold sore treatment.
6. I can’t concentrate on my work and am procrastinating greatly.
7. Kissing/making out is more difficult.
The benefits of my braces?
1. I am carded more frequently at bars. The other night, the bartender felt guilty for carding me because I had braces and gave me a free drink.
2. My fellow MIT students sympathize with me. Many of them went though terrible braces experiences as kids or teenagers. Many of them still have braces (err… excuse me, “grills” according to Weird Al).
3. My teeth hurt like hell. This means I’m allowed to whine / be grumpy / demand ice cream.
4. Braces are actually a new kind of fashion statement, such as in Singapore.
5. I can’t talk properly. No presentations for me this week!
6. I can’t eat properly. I’m forced to eat eggs and soup, primarily. I think I’ve already lost a pound!
7. In a year to two years, my mouth will close properly, and my beautiful smile will return.
8. I can’t think of a positive spin for the mouth sores. They’re awful, all around.
9. I can’t concentrate on work. Really. I don’t think I’ll be able to work much this weekend, either. Especially if there are any good concerts in town.
10. To quote a good friend, “wearing braces is as much about building character as it is about straightening your teeth.”
11. Kissing/making out is more difficult. Braces force some creativity that otherwise wouldn’t be necessary.
To return to the concept of braces being a fashion statement, I think that’s true to a certain extent. More and more kids (and adults) have braces these days, so I think that society is starting to accept them more. Kids may not enjoy their braces these days, but at least they can have fun picking bold colors for their braces and not be teased as much as kids used to be before everyone started getting braces. Also, in a way braces are a sign of wealth. In some poor countries, they’re becoming status symbols. Rightfully so. Even though I’m having my treatment done at a discount by a student at Harvard Dental School, my braces are still costing close to three thousand dollars.
And as one teenager said in the Singapore article, “some of my friends even like girls with braces.” That’s right. Some guys are still desperate enough to date me, even with my braces. I’m still hot… by MIT standards at least.