January 13, 2019 I HAVE TO GET BRACES!!! Dear Brandon, HELP!!! My parents say I have to get braces and I’m SO UPSET!!! I hate how they look and kids will make fun of me and they stay on FOREVER and food will get stuck in them and they’re going to hurt and UGH!!! I DON’T CARE IF MY TEETH ARE STRAIGHT!!!! How do I convince my parents I don’t need braces?!?!? Brace Face Hey Brace Face, Okay, so I’ve never had braces. But I called Chloe and got some input on the stuff you’re worried about. Because here’s the most important thing: I don’t think you CAN convince your parents you don’t need braces. I mean…sure, you don’t care if your teeth are straight. But your parents probably think you’ll care when you’re older. Or the dentist/orthodontist has told them you’ll have problems later when your wisdom teeth come in. Or whatever other reason—it doesn’t really matter. This seems like the kind of thing that almost all parents would be totally inflexible about. So, if you HAVE to get braces, you’re not alone. Around 4.5 million Americans get braces every year and 80% of them are kids. I totally get being self-conscious, but you won’t be the only kid in your school or group of friends with braces. Before you worry about how they’ll look, find out your options. Some people get metal braces. But some get clear or ceramic ones you can barely see. And if you DO get metal braces, you can still choose fun colors for the bands that go around each brace. They’ll probably be on your teeth for 1 – 2 years. That sounds like a long time, right? But it’s not forever. So while you have them, follow all the instructions so they can come off as soon as possible. Do braces feel awesome? Not according to Chloe. The way they work is by applying steady pressure to the teeth to literally move them into a new position. So…especially right after they get tightened, you’re going to be a bit sore. But the soreness goes away and Chloe says pain medicine like Aleve or Ibuprofen helps. Ice packs and soft foods also help. (Excellent excuse for lots of ice cream and popsicles! 🙂 ) And if you have an irritation inside your mouth where the brace touches your gums, your orthodontist will give you special wax that you can put on the braces to smooth them out. Braces are not fun, but depending on the teeth you’re born with, they might be inevitable. So try to keep positive, remember you’re not alone, and enjoy all the chilly desserts! Do you have braces? Do you have any tips to share in the comments?