Did You Ever Wear Braces?

Published in: Just For Fun

When you’re smiling, the whole world smiles with you

I sure did, and I rocked my metal smile for eight — EIGHT! — years. Needless to say, if nature had been allowed to take its course without metallic intervention, my teeth wouldn’t look the same today (the phrase “jacked up” comes to mind).


Er, yes… those are mine

You wanna know something funny? I used to think headgear was cool. Mind you I didn’t have to wear it, but Jeff did. He was this really cute boy in my fourth grade class, and when he walked through those cafeteria doors with that huge strap hugging the back of his head — instant puppy love!

Man, I’m a weirdo…

Did you ever (or do you currently) wear braces?

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Your friendly neighborhood beauty addict,



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So far, 113 people have commented on this article. How cool is that?

  1. Hi Karen, no, my dad couldn’t afford ’em I’m afraid. But now I’m going through the whole thing with my 13 year old son, who’s been a real trooper I have to say. But I hear what you’re saying about the headgear, it just seemed to me that all the cutest kids in school wore braces! @eclombardo
    Elaine Lombardo recently posted … front page

  2. paige says:

    no, but i wanted them so badly because everyone else had them. i know, it was silly.

  3. Neela says:

    Never had them, but always wanted them in school. My friends always had them.. and go to leave school for appointments and stuff! All my appointments were always after school (gee, thanks mom). But I got warm whirlpools to soak my feet in and lots of tape/pads!

  4. Kelly says:

    Oh yes, I had ’em for five years and had neckgear, lol! Then retainers for a few years after that. The neckgear sucked, I wore it at night and it was SO hard to sleep with that thing in. Headgear is way cooler πŸ™‚

  5. Celine says:

    Oh I had braces, and then some! I had a neck gear, everyone teased me for it! Then I got these things in my mouth that would squeak when I talked. Then finally I got a retainer, and it caused me to speak funny. Awkward kid much? Yup.

  6. Brody says:

    Oh did I have braces. 4 times before I finally got jaw surgery! I still had the last set my freshman year of college!

    • jen. says:

      Oh man! I feel your pain. I had them three times and then jaw surgery. I got my last set on my freshman year of college and got them off sometime my junior year. I just barely finished all my crowns and jaw surgery and everything right before I graduated. I can’t IMAGINE agreeing to a fourth round. You are a brave soul. πŸ™‚

    • Karen says:

      Holy wow! Your teeth better be straight, lady!

  7. Debbie says:

    My parents didn’t get me braces, even though I badly needed them. I’m trying to save up to get Invisalign, but it’s probably going to be awhile before I can get em!

  8. Vonnie says:

    Oh man….those 3 years of braces…..and crazy surgery…..and weird appliances…lordy!!! lol, flashbacks. I was cute with mine though, really cute. With or without braces I’ve always had a big white smile, so people still complimented me on my smile. But I’m certainly glad to have had them and to now be done with them (took them out like 5 years ago)

    ps. lol, LOVE your throwback pics! that hair = awesomely cute
    Vonnie recently posted … Brown Girls- Bright Hues

  9. Amber says:

    I had them for two years. Recently my (super-perfectionist) dentist suggested that I see an orthodontist about correcting a small misalignment in my bite. Noooooo!

    I’ll probably make the appointment, but I really don’t think I’m going to do anything. I thought I would consider Invisalign, but I’ve been sleeping with bleaching trays for the last couple weeks and they are ANNOYING. I just cannot subject myself to braces again.
    Amber recently posted … Graffiti safari

  10. shilpa says:

    hey karen…
    i never wore braces..but i m an orthodontist…………..i put braces on kids crooked teeth………..

  11. Rachael says:

    I had mine for 5 years. I was lucky enough to not be forced to wear headgear during that time, I was unlucky cause I found out I have a metal allergy. I was allergic to my braces, and my orthodontist figured it out when some of my gum line permanently receded.
    Rachael recently posted … Time for Cuteness

  12. SarahFW says:

    I had them for 2 and a half years. I also kept mine in the little brown envelope, but let me ask you…..did yours smell really bad when they came off? Mine smelled ungodly, which was strange to me since I spent a lot of time cleaning them with that little brush. I became petrified that my mouth had been smelling like that the whole time!

  13. Mita says:

    Yes, I have braces now, though I’m already 22 :))) got them about 1,5 year ago. My teeth really needed braces but I refused to wear them when I was at school. I have always been absolutely OK with them and soon will show off a Hollywood smile :))

  14. Tiffany H says:

    I had them for 2 years. Never any headgear though. I never brushed my teeth so much in my life during those 2 years.
    Tiffany H recently posted … Manicure Mondays-Essie Sexy Divide

  15. Stef says:

    8 years?! Wow. I thought my 5 were bad (and they told me it was going to be 2!) The braces weren’t even the worse part. My head gear, rather than going around the back of the head like everyone’s seemed to, went ON TOP OF MY HEAD! So every freakin’ morning I woke up with strap marks on my hair. Even worse, my after gear was MEDIEVAL! I had TWO retainers, one for top and one for bottom. Forget even trying to talk with out a lisp or spitting on someone! I was doomed, I tell ya…

    Oh man, I just a flashback of the pain of having them tightened!

  16. Michelle says:

    I had my braces for about 2 years. I didn’t wear my retainer for long enough — and my teeth aren’t as straight as they could be. But I’m not about to go through that again!!

    • Karen says:

      I was paranoid about my teeth going rogue after I got my braces off so I was pretty good about wearing a retainer afterwards… I think my teeth have moved in the last 10 or so years, though. But yeah, I’m with you. I’m not going to go through that again!

  17. Nina says:

    rocked braces twice. yep yep twice.

    first from highschool till college. Then again in my early 20s. my bite isnt all that aligned yet. i mean — who’s to say if i wont do a third round? πŸ˜€

  18. Liz! says:

    I totally rocked braces in 4th grade. Fortunately my teeth weren’t too craycray, I didn’t have to have them very long. But then I had a retainer for a loooooooooong time, and I hated the thing. But, now my teeth look nice! Woo! I’ve never had the pleasure of seeing anyone wear full-out head gear, I think if I did I would surely be excited and befriend them asap πŸ˜€

  19. Shelby says:

    Could’n afford them in my youth, but now I have them at 26…eeeekkk! and to top it off, I go with coloured bands all the time….I gotta make it fun somehow :).

  20. Eleonora says:

    Yes, I did.
    And I agree, we wouldn’t have a bright, beautiful smile if we didn’t wear braces but..there’s always a but.
    Basically every single molar of the four wearing the rings that I had in my mouth ended up with with cavities.
    Obviously when you have braces on you can’t wash your teeth completely and perfectly as you’d do without.
    Truth be told I also have very delicate teeth so maybe it’s just my bad luck.

  21. Agnes says:

    yuppp. definately went through my phase of wearing braces! and i distinctively remember dreading those visits to get the wire tightened because after that, i wouldnt be able to eat anything for the next couple days! >< oh it was a painful 2 years…
    Agnes recently posted … BzzAgent – Burts Bees Anti-Blemish Solutions!

    • Karen says:

      Wanna know something messed up? I swear to gawd every single time I got mine tightened my parents would always cook something that was impossible to chew, like steak!

  22. grrracielou says:

    I’m stiiiiiiiiiiill wearing braces (thank God for “clear” brackets!!) I had the metal for a while but in the work setting i’m in now.. metal was a no go…so off with those and in with the”clear”
    I get them off in 2 weeks! Can I get a woot woot?! πŸ˜‰

  23. Emma says:

    Poor you, Karen! I thought my 3 years were bad but 8 is horrendous. Did you get told to wear your retainer until you were in your 30’s? My dentist told me that I should (but I didn’t). Mine made it to 25 so that’s close enough.

  24. Sally says:

    I had headgear for about a year, but I only had to wear it at night…I kept it a secret from all of my best friends and everyone not in my immediate family…one time, however, my best friend found them in my room! I was horrified! I had braces for about two years, but before that I had an expander and retainer. I actually lost my retainer screaming on the Batman ride at Astroworld in seventh grade! Ha ha. Good times. I am just glad I got them out before highschool, and now that I am in college, they are but a distant memory.

  25. So, I never had braces but could have used them to close that gap I still sport πŸ™‚

    Funny thing is I got my daughter braces at age 13. She only had them for about 18mos and now has the most beautiful, straight teeth. OK that’s not the funny part.

    Funny part is her orthodontist suggested I get braces to close my gap! After 41 years? I don’t think so. It’s become a part of me!

    Michelle @ Fresh Radiant Skin recently posted … 9 Ways To Use Witch Hazel for Skin Care

  26. Kim says:

    You bet! For about 2.5 years. I had this really sweet metal spring in the front too because I was congenitally missing a tooth next to my front teeth. They needed to move the I-tooth over to make room for a bridge. Also had a major overbite so I needed another ridiculous contraption that made me look like I was chewing skoal. Nice, huh?

    PS Love the bangs in your photo. Brings me back. πŸ™‚

    PPS Youngsters today have it made with the upgrades in orthodontics. How old and crotchety does that sound? πŸ™‚

    • Karen says:

      I can still do my bangs that way! Must be all that muscle memory (or all the hairspray I accidentally inhaled).

      BTW, I find myself saying old and crotchety stuff more and more these days, LOL!

      • Kim says:

        I hear you! I accidentally went a bit overboard on the bangs a couple of years ago and my friends called me “Lion King” all day. πŸ™‚

  27. Y. says:

    Me too Karen!!
    I also had braces for EIGHT SOLID YEARS!!
    and I’m greatful that I did in the end…

    and to shatter the commom myth – I think that braces on guys CAN be cute;)

  28. lo says:

    yup… they straightened my teeth, but my bite is still wildly jacked up haha. i’d love to get invisalign or something eventually to just reign everything in!

  29. McN says:

    I remember I cried when my dentist told me I had to wait another year to get braces. I was about 10 years old then and someone in my class had told me I looked like Bugs Bunny and it totally broke my heart. I had braces on for about 2 years and I had retainers after that. It was totally worth the pain!

  30. Eileen says:

    yup! i just got mine removed- July 27, 2010. Had ’em on for 5 years

    I couldn’t WAIT! I’m 22 years old and it is TOUGH being an adult with braces. everyone used to talk down to me.

  31. saku says:

    Yes and I hated it, lol. There wasn’t anything huge wrong with my teeth. I just had a tiny gap in the front, and still wonder why my parents wasted money. I had issues with my jaw they said, but I had the metal ones with the rubber bands. I think the braces made it worse now that I look back.
    I remember getting these big round metal bands place around the back and push down into my gums.:( I may later get the clear ones and dental surgery when I save up.

  32. Trisha says:

    Oh my gosh. 8 years? That’s terrible, Karen!

    And yes, I totally had braces. The orthodontist thought it would probably take 2 years, but it was actually a little less than that.
    Trisha recently posted … Halloween Nail Polish- Wet N Wild Wild Shine in Eggplant Frost

  33. Vesna says:

    Eight years?! Omg! I never wore anything like that, thank God I have really beautiful teeth, but my brother didn’t have such luck. He wore them for few years, my boyfriend too.
    But I’ve never seen anything like headgear. I don’t think anyone in Croatia is wearing that O_o
    Vesna recently posted … Budget Friendly Smokey Eyes Look!

  34. sure did, I had them for 6 years. The only reason I had them for so long was because I didn’t care what the Doctor said. Nothing was stopping me from chewing gum and eating candy. Finally the Doctor told my mom that if I kept chewing gum and candy, he would have to charge double the amount of the braces. After mommy gave me one of her deadly looks, I knew i better stop.

  35. Marina says:

    No, because i’m not American ergo not obsessed with teeth πŸ˜›

  36. Kacey says:

    Ah, the days of braces. I had them for three years – and headgear for one of those! Only wore it at nights, though. To this day (over five years later) I still wear my retainer nightly, lest my toothy bliss unravel and all that time and money go to waste! πŸ˜›

  37. Daya says:

    Yes, I wore braces from 8th to 10th grade. I didn’t have headgear but I did have the rubber bands in my mouth! It was so hard not to eat a Snickers πŸ™‚

    • Karen says:

      I had to wear those rubber bands too!

      Ya know what I missed eating? Crunchy stuff — carrots, apples, you name it. If it had crunch, I wanted to eat it.

  38. Jennifer says:

    I had braces for about 3 years from the age of 11. After that I thought I was all through with them until my twenties. At 22, everything moved out of position again so back the train tracks came and still weaaring them now, at 25. Not fun at all. As everyone else being seen at my orthodonist is about 12, it makes me feel so old when I go there!
    Jennifer recently posted … Monday Manicure – Chanel Steel from the Soho Collection

    • Karen says:

      I worry sometimes about my teeth moving! They’re been pretty still for the last 20 years or so (yikes), but ya never know…

      Will you be done with your orthodontia soon?

  39. Jeni says:

    Those are some heavy duty braces!!! I can’t believe you liked headgear. haha. I only knew one person that had it, and I felt so bad for her. I had braces twice! I had them when I was 11, and then I had them again as an adult. If I had known my teeth would have shifted so much the first time, I would have waited and not done them the first time around. I also had tons of cavities after having them the first time:(
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  40. Danielle F. says:

    Very fortunately I never had to wear braces, though my sister wore them for three years and hated it!

  41. MAUI says:

    OMG! yes…. i wore ceramic ones and then invisaligns for retainers. I wore them for about 2 years and a week before senior prom, my braces were taken out πŸ˜‰ it was so weird after they took it out, lol. did u feel the same? Also, my orthodontists had a heavy hand so both my left and right “fangs” have this chip on them that’s not attractive ;//

    • Karen says:

      I hope you showed off your new smile in your senior prom pics!

      What I remember most is how weird it was to run my tongue over my front teeth and not feel the metal!

      • MAUI says:

        yup! my classmates were more excited about me not having braces than my prom dress, hahahha!
        i felt the same with the NOT feeling my braces but it was just amazing that i don’t have to deal with them anymore.

  42. Jen says:

    Eight years?! Oh my goodness!

    I actually just got my braces off, in August. My dentist kept telling me I needed to get them in high school, but I never did because playing flute was my entire life, and I couldn’t mess up my embouchure. Finally got them when I was 22. I was supposed to have them on for 18-24 months, but my teeth moved quickly and I got them off after 13 months. Wheee! The experience was torture, but I’m glad for it now.

  43. Wendy says:

    Dear Lord 8 years! I had them for 9 months and at the time my cousin was pregnant and when her baby was born I told her : Well you got a baby and I got a better smile but youre baby poops, jajaja.

    But I remember that the hardest thing for me was that my favorite snack is tortilla chips and homemade salsa and I had to pour and I mean pour lemon juice and salsa on them 10 minutes before I wanted to eat them because I would just get really impatient especially if Gosssip Girl or Law and Order was on.

    I hear youre pain girl especially because I still wear my retainer.
    Like I tell my dentist braces are the new silicone breast implants- show them off dang it!!! They cost almost the same ;-).

    • Karen says:

      You’re so funny! I can totally see myself doing something similar with the chips and salsa and getting really cranky about it not being ready in time for my show!

  44. Emily says:

    I wore fixed braces for about four or five years, then a removable set for a couple more after that. Seven years of the bloody things!

    And the worst part was the head gear which I had to sleep in and made me cry because I was (a) humiliated by having to wear the torture device (b) unable to sleep because I couldn’t get comfortable and (c) left me in pain because the stupid dentist cut the wires too long and it stuck into the back of my gum.

    Half wish I’d kept it now!

    The braces I actually didn’t mind. I always enjoyed picking the brightest pink and blue bands and having them on alternate teeth and I now have straight teeth and no gaps and I actually smile with my mouth open! I never ever did that before! And I can’t believe it’s been 9 years since I had braces! It still feels like yesterday!
    Emily recently posted … Peacock Charm

  45. Sharon says:

    I was probably the only kid I knew who *wanted* braces, but my parents (father, really) didn’t think it was important; he was in the military and for a while in my teens orthodontics would have been covered by his dental plan. My parents did take me to the dentist, who recommended a couple of teeth be pulled, which was done — but then my parents didn’t carry on with the treatment plan. I got a quote a couple of years ago for braces/implants and it was $10,000. My teeth are healthy, just very crooked, and some did not grow in where they should have (impacted). I’ve not used an open-mouth smile since I was a child, and it’s one of my dreams to be able to smile without worrying about being judged.

    My father died in January of ’09 and I’m strongly considering using some of my inheritance (when the estate is finally settled) to get my teeth fixed.

  46. Salvinia says:

    I’ve never had them or needed them. I’ve also never had any cavities, and I’m 29!

    Honestly, I think a bit of crookedness can be really attractive, and I wish everyone wasn’t in such a mad rush to get perfectly straight teeth (unless, of course, there’s a medical reason or they’re super self-conscious about them).

  47. Amber says:

    Man I thought my five years of braces was bad–I cannot imagine eight!

  48. HanaBerlin says:

    My teeth were never that bad, but i needed to get a few spaces pulled together. I had Invisalign for 8 1/2 months.

    • Karen says:

      Hi Hana,

      Those are the clear braces you can take out, right? A friend of mine had ’em. She’d pop hers out before eating…

      • HanaBerlin says:

        Yeah, they were clear so no one could tell that you had them in! You had to pop them out when you ate and brushed your teeth. BUT you had to pop them in as soon as you were done, cuz if you didn’t GIRL your head would be hurting bad! You change them every two weeks so they do not take as long as braces to fix your grill.

        • Karen says:

          If I ever had to wear those I’d probably lose ’em… unfortunately I have the penchant for putting stuff down and forgetting where I left it! I could easily see myself taking mine out and leaving them on a table, yikes!

  49. Tina says:

    Hi! LOVE your blog…your an inspiration:). I never wore braces, but i’m a dental hygienist and I’ve had to CLEAN peoples teeth with braces…hate it!!! I feel SO bad for kids with braces, its hard enough to get a kid to brush, and then you go and put wire mesh all over their teeth! lol….thanks for the article about the cream eye shadows, definitely will try.

    What do you think about mineral makeup?
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  50. Indah says:

    Oh yeah! I am currently using them, I’ve had them on for about a month and 2 weeks now. It’s an ‘in’ thing now, everyone is wearing them right now, even people who don’t need too :s But im one of those who need it.

  51. Debby says:

    I wanted braces when I was in elementary school because all my friends had them, but my crossbite didn’t show up until I got some more molars. I learned to be careful what I wished for, because I got my braces when I was 16 – so not as cool as I thought it would be. I had a palatal expander (aka dental torture device) as well, which gave me a serious gap (according to Tyra, seriously high fashion). Luckily, I only needed the braces for about 2 years, and the gap was fixed.
    Debby recently posted … Nestle KitKat Framboise

  52. Eight years??? My goodness that is a long time! LOL I wore them in 4th-6th grade. I also had a headgear that I was supposed to wear a night, but rarely did. I use to love changing up my rubber band colors to coincide with holiday. Nerdy. lol
    Γ’Λœβ€ Lola AÒℒ Γ’Λœβ€¦ recently posted … LolaAM- @Candee702 are you wearing VV again today

  53. Megan says:

    Wow! 8 years? …and I had them for a year and a half ! When I was 9 years old, my two front teeth splayed out at an angle on either side, no joke, like in a cartoon, right? But I sure am glad that was fixed, even though braces weren’t the most enjoyable! πŸ™‚

  54. mary says:

    I got that lovely full metal smile of the early seventies two months before the end of Jr. High and was told to wear my headgear all the time. Until high school when I had to wear it every night and ALL weekend for two years. And then every night until it all came off weeks before I left for college. Happy does not begin to explain the day they came off. Did not have one unbraced day in high school. Granted I had a screwy smile to start and a lovely one to this day, But, when a sophomore girl overhears a boy she likes say “her braces stick out further than her tits” and “who wants to date someone who wears a chastity belt on her face”. Lets just say dates were tough to come by.

    College was so much more fun.

  55. Dayna says:

    I’m 22 and I am getting my braces on this coming Monday! I’m so excited as it is something I have needed to do since I was about 12 or 13 but my family couldn’t afford it, so now that I’m an adult and can pay for it, I am both excited and very proud of myself for doing this. I am small in general so my mouth is crowded so 4 teeth out and braces on, but when my orthodontist told me that it should be mostly corrected in a few months and then its just training the teeth to stay in their new positions I was very excited. And after all of this and the braces come off, teeth whitening to add to the new look πŸ˜‰

  56. Jacqui says:

    Yeah I have braces now. Got them on a few weeks ago and they were painful for the first few weeks. The dark, smokey eye look doesn’t look very good on me and I find bright eye shadows make me look like a clown. Bright lips look great though (if you don’t get anything on your teeth and braces). I have to have mine of for 18months and I’ll have jaw surgery about a year into having them. I also had my wisdom teeth taken out for I had my braces on to make more space.

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