I wonder why novels geared at teenagers don't mention braces more often, the ones I read as a teenager barely mentioned braces at all, and never said anything about how horrible it actually is to have them.
I can't imagine what it must be like to have them as a teenager when you are already feeling bad enough about yourself.
I just went to the orthodontist yesterday and got a pair of braces for myself. I am 34. I don't feel bad about myself, I don't care what others think (much), and I can probably handle discomfort and even pain better than I could then. But these things are really a pain in the derrière... They scrape the inside of your mouth raw, especially when you are eating, because the inside of your lips rubs right up against them while you are chewing. Food not only gets caught in them, half your food stays caught underneath your upper and lower lips just behind the braces, and you can't get it out. If you run your tongue over them, to get out the food, it hurts your tongue and the food is really hard to get out. Not only that, but your gums ache because the teeth are moving, it hurts to clamp down, so biting and chewing make your gums hurt even more.
And I only have them for a year. Marc had them for two years, and Dominic and Jean-Alexandre will have to have them for two years too. Goodness!
They have these new clear hard plastic thing-ys that you just slip over the teeth and it works the same way, except that they have nothing poking out to rub your mouth raw, and you take them off to eat, then brush your teeth and you slip them back on. Which makes oral hygiene so much easier. I didn't even mention oral hygiene. They only cost almost $1000.00 more though... But I think one could mix the two...
Oral hygiene is a pain. Brush above, overtop and below the braces, then, with a special brush which resembles a miniature version of a brush for washing baby bottles, you brush in between the braces, rinsing between brushing each bracket. This is really necessary, because otherwise the food gets caught in there and stays.
I foresee a year of drinking smoothies for breakfast and having puree/soup/liquids/yogourt for the rest of the meals, because the only thing it doesn't hurt to eat is stuff you don't have to chew. I tried eating solids with these things on and it is just too painful. Once you're done your meal and done brushing, you don't eat again until you have too. So no snacking either.
Hey, maybe the advantage to this painful regime is that I will lose some weight!!