What do Emma Watson, Tom Cruise, Angelina Jolie, Dakota Fanning and even Prince Harry have in common?
Believe it or not, they all had braces at the height of their younger (and not so juvenile) years – flashing cameras and all.
People like them are proof that not even celebrities can escape the wrath of the metal brackets. But they have proven that braces are worth enduring the pain for. Sort of.
Not all of us are lucky to be born with a perfect set of pearly whites. Those who were, though, are fortunate enough to have skipped this grueling era of one’s adolescent years. Consider yourself blessed if you never had to experience the struggle of avoiding your favorite chewy food, getting gum stuck in your braces, not being able to eat a corn-on-the-cob clean or had a liquid-food-only diet for days on end.
According to the American Association of Orthodontists, patients aged 12 to 17 years represent more than half of the over two million orthodontic case starts in the U.S. each year. They also shared that archaeologists discovered Greek and Etruscan dental appliances that prove humans started practicing orthodontics as early as 1000 B.C. See? Even cavemen were concerned about their choppers.
Beauty knows no bounds. Furthermore, it plays a significantly huge role in teenage angst. Once a child has reached his or her teenage years, they start to feel a heightened awareness of their physical appearance and reputation among friends and peers. Looks become everything. Teeth raise face value. Looking good starts to come at a high price.
Chances are, a portion of brace-wearers now are also the kids who cried at the mention of the word “dentist” when they were little, or were the ones who had no intention of giving their teeth up willingly to the tooth fairy in exchange for money, hence the lack of dental maintenance throughout the years. Fret not, there is still time to get rid of those gaps, overbites and underbites, crooked, or protruding teeth.
But are they really necessary? Or can your child get by without it?
As parents, you want your child to fit in and feel good about themselves, so you don’t even think twice about burning that hole in your wallet. It takes roughly $5,000 to get that million-dollar smile. Whether or not it’s covered by your insurance, you take that trip to the dentist, anyway. Despite the costly investment, it is reassuring to know that their smiles will be even brighter when their no longer “tin grin” is finally revealed.
Although some still choose to get braces for the sake of aesthetics, we cannot deny that it has developed into some type of status symbol. It gives off an “I wear braces because I can afford them,” impression. Braces become more of a want than a need for some. Whoever said wanting a nicer smile was a crime? As quote by famous author Dr. Seuss, “Teeth are always in style!”
Those who will not dare, and cannot bear, to smile with silver bars barricading their teeth, now have the option of wearing braces that don’t even appear to be there at all. It is possible to straighten your teeth without the world knowing it anymore.
Biting the Bullet
Nowadays, there is no longer any shame in being the brace-faced fella. The days of taunting and singling out of brace-wearing kids are dwindling. Having braces no longer categorizes you as a nerd, geek or a loser. In fact, it has become such a mainstream movement that the misconception of braces being “ugly” is slowly dissolving.
Life is too short to not have nice teeth. So don’t wait around for your teeth to start falling off one by one, forcing you to get dentures or implants. Smile while you still can, and have some left, before it’s too late (because tooth fairies don’t cater to adults).
You can finally start strutting along your school halls with confidence. Betty isn’t that “Fea” anymore. The Prince of England goes around flashing his royal smile now. And if Hermione Granger survived this not-so-magical segment of her life, so could you.
Ayah Danica V. Granada is Currently a content writer and editor for Scoopfed. Formerly a student journalist. Full time writer, part time bibliophile and TV series hoarder-slash-enthusiast.