Braces are often worth the hassle, but let’s be real: nothing says “awkward phase” quite like a mouthful of metal. The thought of them being removed is enough to get anyone hyped af, but it’s not all sunshine and roses: there are some weird things that happen when your braces come off. Just like when you first get braces and have to adjust to all of the little things – like getting food stuck in your teeth or dealing with rubber bands – you have to learn how to adjust to not having them too.
If you’ve never had braces, good for you! For the rest of us, this formal, borderline ceremonial removal of braces marks the end of awkward and the start of looking grown and sexy. In theory. Braces made no promises and why should they? They’re so hot and cold about being awesome and then sucking and even in their absence, their presence is still felt and they’re there to make this transition one of the more awkward times in your life. Here are 20 weird things that happen when your braces come off we can all relate to.
1) This is literally the only time you’ve been excited to go to the orthodontist.
You’re going to look so hot! It’s like that part in the movie where the nerd girl takes off her glasses and she’s been surprise hot af this whole time. That could be you! Because that’s how it works, right?
2) When they’re prying them off your teeth, it feels like the ortho is snapping your teeth off.
If I live to never hear that crunch sound inside my mouth again, I’ll be a happy girl.
3) When they finally come off, you can’t stop running your tongue across your teeth.
It’s like someone drove a Zamboni across your mouth. It’s so slippy.
4) Then you keep smacking your mouth together because you can’t figure out why your mouth tastes different.
Hint: It’s because you’re not tasting metal anymore.
5) You keep moving your lips and cheeks around your teeth, too.
No more fear of cutting yourself on stray wires!
6) Which means all the anxiety you’ve felt about cutting up someone else’s mouth with your mouth is all gone.
Make out with everyone!
7) And you also feel low key relieved about not cutting someone during oral.
It’s a real problem.
8) Then, you immediately panic about maybe having white spots.
They’re from having white teeth before braces, doing an awful job brushing when you have braces, leaving your de-metaled mouth with little white squares smack in the middle of them. Rough.
9) When you look in the mirror, you find out you have a whole new face.
“I look so weird. Has this been my face the whole time?”
10) You get real serious about promising to wear your retainer and take good care of it.
“I will definitely, for sure, wear this retainer to not mess up the brilliant work we did together. Go team!”
11) You wear your retainer for a day, then lisp so hard you’re embarrassed.
You do it in the middle of Th’ocial Ths’tudies, too.
12) Your friends get grossed out when you take out your retainer at lunch.
Shout out to the trail of saliva slime that follows the retainer out of your mouth and strings across to your sexy plastic case you’re now shackled to.
13) You realize you just lied to your orthodontist about wearing your retainer.
It’s a lifelong lie, welcome to it.
14) The first bite of food is a whole new adventure.
Mind = blown.
15) Then all hell breaks loose and you’re like, “Chew all of the gum! Eat all the caramel! Corn on the cob for life!”
16) Your teeth are super sensitive and it’s freaking your out.
It’s super shocking when you drink something that isn’t room temperature. Things that are purposefully hot or cold give you the cringe-shakes.
17) Brushing your teeth is a weird experience, too.
Bye, weird Christmas tree-shaped brush that you had to poke around your brackets with. See you never!
18) You passive aggressively smile at everyone to see if they notice.
Spoilers: everyone’s going to think you did something to your hair. Why? No one knows.
19) You obsessively check mirrors to see if they’ve shifted back to being crooked.
Oh hell no!
20) Maybe consider wearing your retainer again after all?
You have a check-up appointment back at the orthodontist again and you don’t want him/her to know you’re a liar. And you’re definitely going to want to have braces again.
What happened to you when your braces came off? What did we forget to include? Let us know in the comments.
You can follow the author, Aliee Chan, on Twitter.