Do You Know the Real Costs of Braces?

Braces are painfulWhich would you rather pay for: a Ferrari, a lock of Justin Bieber’s hair, a toilet made of pure gold, or some metal wires in your mouth?

If you are a weirdo who chose the hair, please go find a mirror and take a good, long look at yourself.  Look deeply inside your eyes, soul-searching-ly deep, and ask yourself: do I have brown hair? Can I make a million dollars on Ebay?

But the real reason I brought this question to your attention is because it proves our parents are certifiably ‘un-cool.’  Who would choose buying your kid braces over a toilet made of pure gold?! (Yes, the cost is about equal if the toilet is toddler-sized).

However, since so many people make that choice, chances are, you, someone you know, a friend of a friend, or your dad’s sister’s great-cousin’s fiancé’s daughter has/had braces.

So, then, the question becomes: is your dad’s sister’s great-cousin going to invite you to the wedding? Will there be CAKE?

Anyways, braces are a huge drain of money, but you aren’t the one paying (your parents are).  The real costs become apparent as you begin your new life with foreign metal objects in your mouth.

The Fact is: They’re Metal

Braces are not made of plastic (if they were you’d have to worry about lead paint from China), drywall (again, I worry about that stuff coming from China), or baby formula (um, worry time); braces are made of metal.

As you’ve learned in science class, metal has a number of properties.  I don’t remember any of them, because I tuned out once I realized that Mr. Anderson wasn’t going to blow anything up.

When you combine the fact that braces are metal with a number of current social and political trends, you have a recipe for disaster.

Metal Bracelet Causing ProblemsBracelets

For instance, a new fad seems to be that teens, mostly athletic boys, are wearing bracelets that are supposed to improve athletic performance.  These bracelets have magnets in them.  I don’t know about you, but for me it is really hard to “athletically perform” with your wrist stuck to your molars.

 Metal Detectors

Metal detectors also create problems (no, they don’t usually register braces, but roll with me here).  Every time you want to visit a federal building, you end up with a dental exam given by some security officer.  This means you get reminded to brush after meals more than those twice-yearly visits to the dentist.

 Rust

If you are one of those teens who have adopted the secondary facial expression of “neck forward, eyes closes, chin jutting out, mouth half-open,” you need to worry about rust and tetanus.  All of a sudden, accidentally chomping your lip becomes a medical emergency.  And if somebody tells you to “bite your tongue,” that’s pretty much a death threat, so let the police know.

Braces are Visible in Your Mouth

-Unlike glasses (unless you chew on your glasses).  Braces can be seen every time you open your mouth, and if you have headgear, every time you remove that paper bag from atop your head (which is included complimentarily with your headgear owner’s manual).Paper bag, a bank, and braces headgear.  What could go wrong?

When you smile for a picture, depending on the resolution of the camera, it can appear that you have disgusting dental hygiene, or that you have a small gray dead rodent in your mouth.

I could go on and on about all of the things braces could look like (a rare but deadly disease, metal teeth, exposed electrical wires, an accident involving a stapler, etc.) but the truth of the matter is that braces are not considered high fashion, nor middle fashion, nor low fashion.

Thus, you will spend the next one and a half to seven years of your life with a number of beloved nicknames such as, “Metal Mouth,” “Brace Face,” “Wire Chewer,” “Orthodontist’s Pet,” and, depending on how un-creative your peers are, “Braces Loser.”  Personally, I prefer “Os metallum” (metal mouth in Latin).

You Can’t Eat

 Now, you should still be able to drink, so you won’t starve to death, but it is difficult for you to chew anything harder than one of those Styrofoam peanuts that dissolve in water (believe me, you’ll be so desperate that you willingly eat that stuff).

A vat of food and a drowned personEvery few months you’ll get your braces adjusted, which is basically where the orthodontist puts stronger and stronger pieces of wire into your mouth until one of your teeth snaps out.  Then the orthodontist will glue it back into place so it aligns with the other teeth (this is the basic principle behind braces).

For at least 24 hours after these adjustments, you won’t be able to open your mouth due to pain and constant blackouts.  No worries, though, because I hear they are working on a method of straw feeding that involves your ear, and, honestly, most people won’t starve to death in 24 hours.

It Never Ends

Once you’ve gotten braces, your teeth will never again be free.  Sure, you’ll get your braces off, but then comes the retainer.  You’ll have that, as I was told by my orthodontist, “for the rest of [your] life, until the sun explodes, or until Shrek 43 comes out, whichever comes last.”

The retainer will allow you to ditch all those lovely nicknames and the part about having metal in your mouth, but new sets of problems arise.

First of all, the plastic, see-through retainers will give you a lisp until you re-learn to talk. “Look, guythh! I finally got my braceth off! Altho, did you know Thally thells theathells by the thea thore?” (One side affect is the urge to tell tongue twisters that make you look stupid).

bacteria on retainersSecondly, when you are allowed to switch to only wearing the retainers at night (after “half of your lifespan, until the sun doubles in size, or until Shrek 21.5 comes out, whichever comes last”) they will become unbearably gross.  During the daytime, out of your mouth, a layer of bacteria will conquer your retainers to the point where, if you look closely for a long time, your retainers appear to breathe and move slowly across the counter.

There is no real way to get this bacteria coat off, aside from maybe pesticide.  But don’t try that at home.

So, in conclusion, it is apparent that braces will ruin the rest of your life.  Most people feel it is worth it, because, on the outside, your teeth will be straighter.

However, it is what’s inside that counts, so just remember, inside your mouth will be, over the course of braces, metal, your magnetic bracelet, rust, the hands of the security guard, springs, rubber bands, Styrofoam peanuts, and Schwarzenegger-size bacterium.

Readers: First, I’d like to thank whoever first shared my “How to Get to the Airport on Time” post on Facebook, and the three  people who have since shared it. I really appreciate it when readers share my content.  

Second, I figure now would be a good time to up the “hype,” and mention that I am working on releasing my first e-book.  I don’t want to tell you too much, but I will tell you it is currently over 5,000 words (about seven times as long as my average post) and will be illustrated.  Although the subject deals with teens (of course), I think everyone will find it funny (except maybe Thomas Jefferson, because he’s dead).

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Comments

  1. Phil,

    Nice one…my fav are “sister’s great cousin part”, nick names, straw feeding, re-learning to talk…

    bala…

  2. hahaha, having wrists stuck to molars & Scwarzenegger sized bacterium – that’s hilarious. You’re right, metal braces are just downright annoying and the real cost is not just the actual money you spend on the things. Invisalign is a much better option – you won’t get the Scwarzeneggers because you can take the aligners out and clean them thoroughly, you can actually eat and crunch into an apple and your wrist can be used for athletic purposes! Nice post, very entertaining.

    • Thanks “Cost of Braces” (if that is your real name :) ). I didn’t use invisalign, so I wouldn’t know, but I have heard good things about that option instead. Thanks for taking the time to comment; I’m glad you liked this post.
      – Phil

  3. Colewhatmyfriendscallme says:

    This is so funny i have to get braces and a friend of mine already has them i use to call her brace face all the time i wonder did that offend her lol i will apolgise later

    • Ha. It might have offended her slightly, but I wouldn’t worry about it. I’m sure the level she was offended was not as great as the level of amusement you got.
      Thanks for taking the time to leave a comment.
      Phil

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