Brace Face

Tidbit Tuesday – Edited Version

Even though I feel like the days are speeding by, I guess I was trying to make it go faster by posting this Tidbit Tuesday post today. Go figure…

Last night I pulled out some old photos of me and scanned them into my computer this morning to add to this post (that I thought was still scheduled to publish tomorrow). So when I saw that I was a little late, I decided to do this edited version and republish it now. Sorry for the confusion, but here we go!


I was fairly awkward as I was growing up. Some of that is still with me today. But when you are a teen, everything seems to conspire against you. Even things that are “for your own good” often feel anything but that!


Include me in the ranks of having to wear braces when I was young. Not once, but twice! I don’t have any photos available that show me with braces on, but then I rarely smiled big with a mouthful of metal and here are some photos to prove it.

As you can see, I absolutely did not like to smile with a mouth full of metal. But when I forgot that the camera was there and did smile, here’s what I looked like:


Actually, someone must have said something that made me laugh big and then caught me just in time with the camera. I can’t recall the details, but there you have it!

“Brace face” was only one of the names I was called. How about “tin grin” or “metal mouth”? Even one of my high school teachers teased me about it!

These days braces are very common so they’re not a big deal. You can even have “invisible” braces these days that do a great job. But I had an intense love/hate affair with my braces. I had terribly crooked teeth, especially my upper ones. My eye teeth were so crowded out of alignment with the rest that they looked kind of like fangs—I kid you not. So I was thankful that my teeth would look much better and prettier after the braces, but I hated everything else about it: all the the visits to the orthodontist, the ELASTICS that kept popping off and shooting across the room, the pieces of food that would get gunked up in all that metalness.

When I finally got them off, I was so relieved and happy… until a year later when they had to go back on. Apparently my stubborn eye teeth did not like their new home and tried to migrate north again. And this second wearing of braces really caused some angst. Here I was a “cool” 19-year old working as a receptionist for an orthodontist at the time (my own orthodontist referred me to him). Whenever a teenager came in for a consult with his parents and seemed less than delighted at the thought of all that metal in their mouth, my orthodontist boss would point to me and say, “See? You’re never too old for braces!”

Oh. Joy. Let’s just draw even more attention to my brace face, shall we?


And here I am about a year after my braces were removed the second time. I was more than willing to smile for the camera then!

I hope you enjoyed this little journey through my brace face years. I am so thankful for my Mom and Dad who worked very hard to pay for those braces. Unlike today, it was a huge deal back then to have braces and compared to the typical income back then, they were very expensive. I don’t ever take my straight teeth for granted!