At 24 years old, I went to the orthodontist for a consultation on what it would take to fix my “twisted grill,” in the words of rapper J. Cole, or rather my overbite crowded bottom teeth and raised canine tooth. The orthodontist told me that braces would give me that A+ smile I was looking for, while Invisalign would get me in the B+ ballpark.

Well, I wanted the A+ so I took the L that is adult braces, and it hasn’t been that bad. In fact, if I had to do it over, I would wait until I was an adult to get them. Here’s why.


1. Life moves faster when you’re older.

Of course, this isn’t the actual case, but it sure feels like it! Adulting is hard. We have lot of things to do like working, grocery shopping, complaining about how tired we are and, of course, finding time to squeeze in a Netflix binge and a workout here and there. You think about the braces a little less.


2. Everyone you know has either had braces or wants them.

You are either the source of someone’s sympathy or envy. Chances are those around you either remember the pain that is getting your braces tightened or they inquire about them as thoughts of “So and so got braces… I could get them, too,” float around their head.


3. You’ll notice that you’re not alone.

Ever heard of Blue Car Syndrome? When you see, hear, or purchase something and suddenly you see that something everywhere. I’m extra peppy whenever I see a fellow human with braces and when I see an adult with them? I’m near ecstatic, flashing my blingy smile so they can see that I, too, am part of their club.


4. You’ll take better care of them.

Something about spending upwards of $3,500 yourself–instead of having your parents pay for them when you’re a teenager–makes you appreciate your braces more. You’ll also be more conscious of your oral hygiene.


5. You’re less-restricted of what you can and can’t eat.

If you are mindful when you are enjoying forbidden things such as nuts, chips and gum, and don’t make it a habit, you can get away with a treat here and there whilst feeling like a badass.


6. You can choose your options.

Paying for your own braces means you can pick the option that is best for you and your budget. You can opt for clear or off-white ceramic braces, which are a little pricier, for your top and/or bottom teeth. Depending on your needs, you may be able to do half the time in metal braces and half in Invisalign. But, I’m okay with spending less and choose pink rubber bands every time!


7. Better Scheduling.

Since you’re in charge of your own appointments, you can pencil them in without having to miss class, work or any other activities you may have. Unless you want to use it as an excuse, that is. Wink, wink.


8. You’re accomplishing a goal.

If you’re like me, you may have felt self-conscious about your smile. While I didn’t leap at the idea of having a sentence of 20-22 months with these braces, I did feel satisfied that I was finally getting them. And, the sooner they’re on, the sooner they’re off!


9. You’ll probably get carded more often.

Let’s smile–braces and all–at the fact that we are still at the age where being told we look young can make us feel anything but happy. Ah, youth.


10. They’re a confidence booster.

I’ll go out on that limb and say it. When I first got my braces, I was insecure. I felt uncomfortable or less than when I would go out initially, but I got over it. I started to feel more comfortable with my braces and actually showed them off rather than creepily trying to constantly wrap my lips around them like I was hiding something.


11. Your teeth will stay straight.

After spending the hard-earned money and doing the time, you won’t skimp out on wearing your retainer at night as teenagers often do.


While having braces isn’t always easy, it’s not the cramped hallway, cool-kids-in-the quad, everyone-is-looking-at-me world that is high school. And I can certainly appreciate that.


 

Ashley Ruiz
Author Details
They say one way to find your calling is to reflect on what you loved as a child and to do that. Following suit, Ashley Ruiz published her first book, “The Itchy Itchy Chicken Pox” when she was five years old and has since been published in Locale Magazine, LA Travel Magazine and Latina Magazine telling hers and others’ stories. She has a bachelor’s degree in communications with an emphasis in journalism and a minor in radio-TV-film.

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