The Girl With The Golden Smile

Last night I had a few of my friends over for an evening we started calling Girls Night---and then immediately stopped calling Girls Night, because of the twee images it conjured of women sitting around in their pajamas, braiding each other's hair while half-watching Bridget Jones and talking about how to find a man. Our Girls Night featured none of those things, thank god, but it did feature gossip and bourbon. As such, I started referring to it in my head as A Special Ladies Evening For Ladies, and when my sister Susie tried to IM me in the middle of it, I said "I can't chat, I'm with my ladies! We're having a Special Ladies Evening For Ladies!" And she said "Oh! A Special Ladies Evening For Ladies! Well, then you'd better go! Have fun with your ladies!"

(Is the word "ladies" funny to anyone else? I think perhaps not. But then again, it's all in how you say it. Have you ever seen Little Britain? If you haven't, I really think you need to watch this clip. Go on, it's only eight seconds, I'll wait.)

Although you might like this one as well. Especially when I tell you that my mother and I often re-enact the "you first, no you first" bit when we're dining at restaurants together. Yes, in public. Word for word.

Anyway, what I was trying to say before I got sidetracked by ladies---"Will you be having cake?" "Only if they have a ladies' cake, but only if!"---was that one of the topics of conversation that came up during the Special Ladies Evening For Ladies last night was teeth. Specifically, braces. And more specifically, headgear.

Now, I never had headgear when I was younger, and thank the gods for that, because I was homely enough with my enormous large round glasses and my Kevin Federline dress sense. What I did have, however, was a chain.

Oh yes, you read that right: I had a chain in my mouth. And not just any chain: A GOLD CHAIN, a dingly-dangly gold chain, connecting one of my teeth that was really high up to the piece of gum below it---presumably in the hopes that the chain would pull the tooth down. Every few months, I had to go back to the dentist so he could tighten that gold chain, winching the errant tooth just a little bit further into the space it was supposed to occupy. Did I mention that I was thirteen or fourteen---I can't remember which, I honestly think I've blocked it out---and just starting to struggle with the ugly duckling feels of adolescence? Oh yes, the timing was perfect on that one. Acne? Check. Unattractive spectacles? Check. Crippling self-doubt? Check. Gold chain in the mouth? Check, check, and check again. Trust me, I was irresistible.

(Hmm, are you imagining this correctly? I wish I had a picture to show you, or even that I could draw you a diagram. Just imagine the sort of chain those floppy-haired skater boys used to wear in the 90s to connect their wallets to their trouser pockets. Then shrink that, make it gold, and replace the wallet with my tooth and the trouser pocket with my gum socket. Ooh, gross, I'm sorry for saying the word "socket.")

Now I'm not sure what sort of crazy new-fangled dentistry my dentist was practicing, because in the six months I had that chain in my mouth, I never once saw another person with a similar contraption. I've never seen one since. And actually, come to think of it, I've never even heard of another person having this particular form of oral torture inflicted upon them, which kind of makes me feel like perhaps I was being punked. By my dentist. In the early 90s in suburban England. I mean, sure, maybe he was bored.

However, if there's one thing the Internet is good for, it's rounding up a host of other people with peculiar peccadilloes, and so I'm hoping that by posting this, I might find another person who suffered the indignity of the mouth-chain in their youth. Anyone? Anyone? We could form a gang, a chain gang, if you will. (Thank you, I'll be here all night.)

Of course, regardless of your gender, it would have to be a LADIES chain gang, don't you think? We could call it the Special Ladies Chain Gang For Ladies.

1
Ursula
Dec 12, 2007

I'm sorry that I'm first with a non-chain story, but I had to contribute. In 4th grade, I had a patch over my eye. Like, an actual pirate patch (in black or white; you know, for summer or winter I suppose). Or, I could wear a large circular band-aid that slowly ripped my eyebrow out, like a daily, incremental wax. On one eyebrow.

And, no, I wasn't wearing it because eye muscle was lazy; I was wearing it because my doctor thought my actual vision was lazy. Yep, he thought I could improve the vision in the eye that was technically legally blind by making it do the work for two eyes at once.

I wore that bugger for 7 months. At 9 years old, I never thought to ask if it worked.

2
Sandra D
Dec 12, 2007

I didn't have any gold chains, but I did have silver bands around the lower canine and an upper molar on each side, connected by rubber bands which were VERY VISIBLE every time I opened my mouth.

I never noticed anyone else with my particular contraption either.

3
Ann
Dec 12, 2007

I'm generally a lurker but I was compelled to comment on this - I, too, had the gold chain. It was there for at least 6 months (maybe more?) and I had to go to my orthodontist every couple of months to have it tightened. It was awful!

Plus, I had frizzy hair, purple glasses, and about 3-4 years of a really awkward stage. I'm grateful that there is someone else out there who can relate!

4
Superfantastic
Dec 12, 2007

I did not have the chain, but I did, in eighth grade, have braces only on my front two teeth. Two little braces. They were waiting for some other tooth to come in farther or something before they put the rest of my braces on (and left all of those braces on for three years!) So I had the two braces, the enormous glasses, and a really horrible perm. I can't imagine why no one asked me to the spring dance.

5
Jaime
Dec 12, 2007

I love that show! Love it love it love it. So much that instead of just saying 'No' when the conversation calls for it, I say "Computer says 'No.'" Of course, then I have to explain what I mean. I think people laugh out of pity. Oh, and I didn't have a chain, but I had rubber bands. And my sister had something called a bionator. It was giant and green and was supposed to be used for overbites.

6
zan
Dec 12, 2007

The same year I started to hairspray my bangs into awful shapes, my orthodontist added a "palette-splitter" to the mix. This particular torture device was meant to drop the roof of my mouth and widen my teeth to make room for them all. It sat like a platform in the roof of my mouth and had to be turned each night with a little metal key. It was impossible to eat spaghetti for fear of choking, and I woke up on picture day with a half-inch gap between my two front teeth.

"Ladies Palette Splitter Gang" doesn't have the same ring to it, though it sounds tough as nails.

(I still have a metal wire running along the back of my bottom front teeth - a constant reminder of the joys of American orthodonture. And I'm sure this is way more than you ever wanted to hear about teeth...)

7
melanie.in.kentucky
Dec 12, 2007

Oh my god, I had the palette-splitter too. That thing was evil! It was GLUED to my top teeth and stayed there for at least 6 months...one night, as I was turning it with the little key to make it expand another 1/18ths of an inch, I heard this "CRACK!" (yes, that's exactly what it sounded like, quotation marks and all) but it didn't really hurt, so I didn't think much of it. A few months later when they pried it out of my mouth, a molar came with it (a baby tooth, so no worries.) But still, it was rather disconcerting to watch them remove the palette-splitter with my tooth attached. Have I grossed you out now? Sorry :P It's early, and my sense of what's right and wrong to share with the internet hasn't woken up yet.

8
jive turkey
Dec 12, 2007

I've never heard of the chain, actually. I'm surprised I didn't have one, but I suppose God thought I had enough going on - what with the acne, huge glasses, unfortunate perm, and minuscule bosom. Matters weren't helped by the funky-fresh fashion of the early 90s, either. Gah.

9
Stephanie
Dec 12, 2007

I never had the chain either, but I had braces connected by criss-crossing rubber bands. The weird thing about me having braces is that my teeth were not actually crooked or wrong in any particular way. My charlatan of a dentist noticed that there wasn't any room for my wisdom teeth to come in and, instead of waiting and taking them out eventually, he pulled out four of my front-ish teeth and attached the braces to move all of the rest of my teeth forward. I've never met anyone else who had *that* happen, believe me.

It may have been for the best though, because I was in a pretty bad car accident when I was a sophomore in high school and, according to the ER guys, would have lost all of my front teeth if my braces hadn't been holding them fast. *That* would have sucked.

And I love A Special Ladies Evening for Ladies. I may have to start a New York chapter.

10
gina in sc
Dec 12, 2007

we should form a group
Ladies who went on to be beautiful successful women despite their ugly adolescense ladies....

i had headgear , rubber bands and horrible glasses, you know the kind? that had a dip in the arms to be extra trendy in 1980. lol

gah. i think i turned out okay.

11
Lacey
Dec 12, 2007

I had the palette-splitter, but mine was removable so I never wore it. I had big round glasses with VERY thick lens,the salesmen at Lens Crafters actually laughed when he saw my prescription. I also tried to have a perm but it only took to about half my hair. AND my mom dressed me in clothes from Sams (www.samsclub.com) that were 3 sizes to big. Of course times were tight so I can't really blame her for that, but they were awful clothes.

12
chirky
Dec 12, 2007

I never had a chain. Though I did find a mock-up mouth with a chain for you.

I also never had rubberbands. Or headgear. I did have braces, though. And a spacer in the roof of my mouth - the kind that my mom turned with a key every night. I always thought that was fairly common.

But a gold chain? THAT I have never heard of.

13
Someone Being Me
Dec 12, 2007

I had braces complete with rubber bands but no mouth chain. I also had glasses so I feel a little of your pain. I think the chain might have pushed me over the edge. Your story did make me laugh harder than I have in weeks. I'm sorry to get pleasure out of someone else's misery but it is funny when you tell it. Besides you are beautiful now so no need to worry about those old ugly duckling days.

14
Bird of Paradise
Dec 12, 2007

Chirky, that picture is disgusting! I hope Holly's wasn't as gross as that.

15
missbeegail
Dec 12, 2007

This is not my story, but I am fairly sure my friend would give me permission to share it. When we were about 14 or 15 her orthodontist decided that she pressed her tongue up against her front teeth too forcefully and it was going to damage her teeth (or something, I honestly don't remember the official reason). His solution?

He glued little spikes to the back of her teeth that would stab her tongue if it got too close to the front teeth!

Within hours my poor friend's tongue was a bloody, mangled mess. Her mother took her for a second opinion and the new ortho was so horrified and fascinated that he wanted to take a picture for his records.

16
Jenn
Dec 12, 2007

Oh, how I love to discuss orthodontia! Like Zan, I still have that little wire glued to the back of my lower teeth and have a sneaking suspicion it will be there for the rest of my life. My mom is a dental assistant, which meant that I had to suffer through every new dental technology available. Guess who was one of the first people to get her teeth bleached? Why yes, that is a small bleach burn on my lower lip---how astute! See also: piles of mouth molds, x-rays, cutting edge procedures (in HS, my mom insisted on a surgery wherein the dentist cut off some skin from the roof of my mouth and sewed it on to my lower gums), etc.

Holly, I never had a chain, but like a lot of people here, I totally feel your pain.

17
Mandee
Dec 12, 2007

Me! Me! Me! I'm a member of the chain gang. I had a tooth growing horizontally in the roof of my mouth. They did surgery to to insert one end of the chain onto the tooth and the other end attached to my braces. I had to go every 3 weeks to have the stupid thing tightened. Yes, it was as painful as it sounds.

My other orthodontic torture device was called jasper jaws (I think). I have a deep bite, so my top and bottom jaws were attached with rods on either side of my mouth in an effort to pull the bottom jaw forward. I could hardly open my mouth wide enough to eat a sandwich. Fun times.

18
Kristin
Dec 12, 2007

I am sadly not a member of the Chain Gang (though I would love to be, no doubt). I just had the normal braces like any teen, and twice at that. But is it weird to anyone else that I still have that permanent, lower retainer on my bottom teeth, the one they put in immediately after you get your braces out and say you'll be wearing until you're 18 or 19, which at the time seems like ages? Well, I'm 25 now and got my braces off more than a decade ago and still have that retainer. Perhaps I should look into getting it removed?

19
Mrs. Who
Dec 12, 2007

No chain for me, but I always, always wanted braces when I was younger because I had such crooked teeth. I finally got them as an adult and had beautiful, straight teeth when they were taken off - at age 50!! It was pretty amusing for my students though, to see an adult with a mouth full of braces and rubber bands. I also narrated a lot of online stories and movies I created for my students at that time and, when I listen to them now, I crack up at the obvious lisp I had.

20
Nothing But Bonfires
Dec 12, 2007

Oh, these stories are hilarious! Two tiny little braces! Spikes on the back of the teeth! A device that had to be turned with a key! BY YOUR MOM! I don’t think I’ve laughed so hard before 8am in my life.

And I’m thrilled that we now seem to have a three-person strong Ladies Chain Gang For Ladies. I suppose it proves my dentist WASN’T just making it up as he went along.

21
Big Mama
Dec 12, 2007

While I did not have the fancy gold chain, I did just survive two harrowing years of adult orthodontia.

There is nothing more humbling than having a Special Ladies Evening for Ladies that requires you to take the rubberbands out of your mouth. Rubberbands that are, in fact, completely hinging your jaw shut.

22
geeky
Dec 12, 2007

I'm not a member of the chain gang either, but reading this makes me oh so glad I'm stubborn to a fault. I had a tooth coming in at an angle in the roof of my mouth. My doctor suggested surgery to get the tooth to wear it should be (perhaps he had a chain in mind?), but I refused. Luckily, I let it go long enough that the tooth came in and moved almost all the way over by itself. It's still not exactly where it should be, but better than surgery!

23
elise
Dec 12, 2007

No chain, but I did have a headgear. And an Amy Grant t-shirt I wore all the time.

Sigh.

24
Jess
Dec 12, 2007

Ohmigod!! I've never even heard of a chain and that picture that Chirky linked to, freaks me out! I did have the expander in the roof of my mouth. I still have a dent from where the key went. I also had braces in high school but fortunately, there are no horror stories there. Man, some of these stories people are telling are insane. Can you imagine spikes on your teeth? Yikes!!

25
Bokker
Dec 12, 2007

Warning! Warning! Those who have the litte wire stuck to the back of your teeth: get that sucker checked over. Mine went wonky and pushed my teeth awry, and I now find myself with full train tracks again, aged 27. The orthodonstist's receptionist exclaimed to me the other day "Oh my God, your first appointment here was in 1989!".

26
kate
Dec 12, 2007

I generally only lurk, but this brought so many memories flooding back to me that I had to comment. I had the chain, pallate splitter, and braces for two years that required the rubber bands. I also had to get the skin removed between my two front teeth because when they tried to close the gap between them it squeezed so hard it felt like it would explode. There is a name for it that has -ectomy in it. I couldn't make this stuff up if I tried. Did I also mention that I had a bad perm and the 80's "upside down" glasses? 7th and 8th grade were nightmares for me.

27
Shawnte
Dec 12, 2007

I don't think you understand that here in Los Angeles, there are a lot of kids who would just die to have a gold mouth chain.

28
Kathryn
Dec 12, 2007

I too had the beautiful gold chain to pull down a tooth that was in my pallet. The tooth was so far up that the surgery to put the chain in place left me with a black eye. My mom used to joke that we didn't have much money, but we had my expensive mouth with the gold chain. Good times, good times. PS--I also had pink plastic glasses and headgear.

29
Lori MacBlogger
Dec 12, 2007

No, I've never had a chain in my mouth, but I definitely had headgear, and, at 31, I still wear a retainer!

30
Marisa
Dec 12, 2007

Oh, I had the chain alright. I had a baby tooth that never came out, and so had a set of braces for two and a half years, just to keep my teeth in place as the chain slowly pulled my missing permanent tooth into position. Not so much fun, that one.

31
Nothing But Bonfires
Dec 12, 2007

Kathryn, I had a black eye too! Actually, TWO black eyes. And my jaw was all bruised and yellow for at least a week. I remember going to my brother and sister's 4th or 5th birthday party and scaring all the parents. They probably thought I was Luke and Susie's Dangerous Thug Sister.

32
Andi
Dec 12, 2007

My brother had a chain. His was silver though... It looked painful!

33
Sheila
Dec 12, 2007

I just snorted. But like a lady.

Oh, and I too, had braces, and would have KILLED for a normal-type retainer at the end of it all. What I got instead was a huge rubbery kind of mouthpiece with impressions of my upper and lower teeth in it. I was required to "wear" this for four hours a day and all night, and looked much like Mike Tyson when it was in. There was ALWAYS a string of drool attached to it upon removal from my mouth, and the distinct feeling of choking when lying down with it in.

It lasted about three weeks, and then I "accidentally" threw it away with my lunch garbage. My parents were angry, but some of my dignity was saved.

34
Renee in GA
Dec 12, 2007

Oh, you guys. I mean, Special Ladies. I had never heard of the chain, could not even envision the chain (thanks for the link Chriky). You have my deepest sympathies.

But lest you think I got off scot free, with no braces, retainer, chains, or other unfortunate orthodontia, I did have an eyepatch and the biggest, thickest, pink plastic eyeglasses that ever were. Any now, courtesy of stress + teethgrinding, I sleep with a mouthgard every night. My teeth have become vampiric sharpened spikes that I must replace one at a time with highly painful and expensive crowns.

35
jules
Dec 12, 2007

Ah yes-the chain. Add me to the group! Amazing that it even worked really-but it did . . . .

36
jill
Dec 12, 2007

oh god, eighth grade. full braces (the metal bands that wrapped around each tooth), ginormously thick glasses, no chest whatsoever, and a wardrobe from jcpenney. i wanna go back and hug that girl and tell her it gets so much better.

and little britain is f*cking brilliant. (i make use of the asterisk because i am a lady.)

37
slynnro
Dec 12, 2007

No chain here (that thing freaks me out!), but I had headgear, braces, and rubber bands. And the bottom retainer- I had mine in until I was 21, which was about 9 years after I got my braces off!

Anyway, all this is reminding me of how exciting it was to pick out the color of the bands on your braces and to have the funky colored glittery upper teeth retainers. Looking back, it seems so ridiculously stupid to have cared about that. But I was always so thrilled to pick that crap out at every visit.

38
Jemma
Dec 12, 2007

I did not have a chain. Picture this though. You know the mouth peices boxers and Ultimate Fighters wear? My dentist had a product that looked just like those and reccomended it to me. He called them "Chew Toys". I was probably 12 or 13. I also suffered from acne, ugly hair and wore knock-off Marithe and Francois Girbaud T-shirts from Tiajuana, Mexico. HOT. I was a total dog, Chew Toy and all.

39
lindsayc
Dec 12, 2007

o god - I had the following between the ages of 11 and 15:
braces, elastics, headgear, a huge appliance that looked like a clear hockey puck that I had to wear during the day, because I wore the headgear at night. And the stylin' huge coke bottle glasses. O and I too was patched like a pirate for a lazy eye but that was around the age of nine. The day I got my first set of contact lenses was the best day of my life at that point. I too had the experimental teeth whitening that resulted in a lip burn at age 16.

My mother just wanted to make sure that no one wanted to date me before the age of 17, and ooo boy did that work!

40
Megan C
Dec 12, 2007

I have never commented here before, but I too had a chain at 14. Done by an American-born and -trained orthodontist, here in Washington state. I had it for exactly the same purpose, though mine was not gold. I think it was silver. Ah well. "Winching" could not be a more appropriate description, and the thought of that hole in my mouth with the chain...just horrifying. It was an integral part of my sophisticated fourteen-year-old "look", similar in scope to your own.

41
Katie
Dec 12, 2007

I never had a chain, but I had a coil. Yes, a spring-loaded-type, honest-to-God coil between one of my front teeth and my first molar, because my canine tooth refused to come in. After my orthodontist stretched that space out, I had to have oral surgery to expose my canine and had a bracket put on it so it could be s-l-o-w-l-y pulled down to match my other teeth.

Middle school was wretched.

42
Allie
Dec 12, 2007

Red AND purple glasses - check.

Braces - check. (No chain, but rubber bands galore. In neon colors, no less!)

Bad perm - check.

Oh, and freckles. Not the cute little freckles that so many girls have, but good old Irish freckles covering half my body and all of my face.

Add pale white skin and very dark hair ("Gorilla Arms" was one memorable nickname) plus being shorter than everyone in school, and you have one hell of a junior high experience. I looked forward to contact lenses, the end of braces and college like some people wait for their sweet sixteen/first car/insert heart's desire here.

43
Hashak
Dec 12, 2007

I too had a palette-splitter, but we called it an expander. It made a 1/4" gap between my front teeth (I know this because my dad actually measured it with a ruler). At the time I was starting a new school, and got the unfortunate nickname of "Grand Canyon." Then when I was finally getting my braces off, I still had a tiny gap between my two front teeth, so the orthodontist took some pliers and literally cranked it closed right there on the spot. Hurt like a mother-effer.

There's a comedian, Demetri Martin who does a whole bit on how if you add the word "ladies" to the end of any sentence it will automatically make you sound creepy. You should look for it on YouTube.

44
Operation Pink Herring
Dec 12, 2007

When my brother was little, he had seriously messed up teeth. His mouth was too small for his adult teeth to grow into, and on top of that there was a tooth growing right out of the middle of the roof of his mouth. To fix this, an orthodontist installed a palate expander in his mouth, which was kind of like a vice, but worked in reverse, getting larger and larger as you twisted the key attached to it. For over a year, my brother had this apparatus in his mouth, and at set intervals my mother would have to hold him down and turn the key, until, little by little, his mouth was forced into the correct shape.

I think he would have far preferred a gold chain!

45
Nothing But Bonfires
Dec 12, 2007

Wow. There are orthodontic nightmares out there I couldn't even have DREAMED about. I sort of think we chain gang members got off easily.

46
Operation Pink Herring
Dec 12, 2007

Next time I will read all the previous comments first, to save myself from boring everyone with yet ANOTHER explanation of what a palate expander/splitter is. Who knew?

47
ellbee
Dec 12, 2007

Two observations:

Firstly...was I the only be-braced child to desperately long for the rubber bands? Oh how I wanted to be able to shoot them out of my mouth like the "cool" kids did. (Wow. I was even a nerd among the brace-wearing population.) My orthodontist went so far one visit as to set a bag of neon (neon!) rubber bands in front of me, only to decide to wait one more month and I never saw them again.

Secondly...I forget. Oh well.

48
thomtiger
Dec 12, 2007

Cringe - Orthodontia Edition = Proud Sarah Brown!

49
DM
Dec 12, 2007

No chain, no braces (which honestly I should have had), stupid plastic impression of my teeth that I was supposed to wear at night because I ground my teeth, glasses that were shaped like stop signs. I was very uncool.

I have TMJ and my regular dentist wanted to break my jaw when I turned 18 and wire said jaw shut. When I was 18, we made the appointment, dentist was on vacation. Replacement dentist said, and I quote, "I don't see a problem." He proceeded to go ahead with the flouride treatment (this was back in the day where they put the flouride in these rubbery cup things and put it over your teeth and you had to sit there for hours (okay, maybe 15 minutes)). The hygenist came back, tried to remove the flouride thingys and my jaw had locked. In place. As it routinely did. And I almost choked to death on flouride trying to get my jaw to relax enough to open. But no, he didn't see a problem with it. Jerk.

50
Sarah
Dec 12, 2007

I'm officially starting the "Ladies Who Wore Purple Glasses Club for Ladies." Because I just read ALL those comments and I noticed that like 5 other people said they did. And so did I. And I thought I was the only one. And I was like the only kid in my whole elementary school who wore glasses. Aside from the one horribly nerdy kid that NO ONE talked to.

I was supposed to have two baby teeth pulled, and two chains, one on each side, attached to pull down the adult teeth, but THANK GOD my parents couldn't afford it. Though now I do wish I had just gotten it done. Cuz now my teeth are a little wonky. But still... the chains would have been two teeth over from the middle- totally visible. Ugh.

51
Cathy
Dec 12, 2007

I too had braces. And rubber bands. And headgear. Thank god I only had to wear the headgear at night. My parents' friends often came over in the evenings and gradually the headgear acquired the nickname of 'The Harbour Bridge'. They always had a little snicker when I emerged from my bedroom with what looked like a coathanger wrapped around my face. If the adults couldn’t help but laugh, imagine if I had been ordered to wear that thing to school!

I also had 4 teeth extracted before the whole torturous process began. And a braces-related abscess a couple of years afterwards. My early teenage years are a general haze of tooth-related pain and misery.

52
Serena
Dec 13, 2007

A chain? REALLY?? Well then...

I never had a chain on my braces. BUT I did have a spring. I had one tooth grow in right behind another on my bottom row of teeth, and they decided to attatch a spring to it to sorta pull it into the lineup.

And did I mention I had braces my JUNIOR year of high school?

Hmmm...no? Must be repressing a few choice memories.

53
Erica
Dec 13, 2007

Listen Ladies - I had headgear and a bionator, plus the brackets for my headgear stayed on til I was in grad school and a dentist asked me if I would like them removed - no braces though, until next week. I am now 31 and about to get braces for the first time. I am crazy but I will darned well have the braces that my 6th grade self so desperately wanted! I am paying an extra $400 to get the "clear" ones though because I am a Lady (and a vain one at that). Perhaps I shall start the "Ladies who are only just now getting braces in their 30's club for Ladies." ( I love LB - Dust. Low fat or high fat? Anyone? Dust.)

54
Caroline
Dec 13, 2007

I had a spring too! Two actually. The two teeth on either side of my big front teeth were crooked and pushed back. So the springs went it and widened and then they pulled in the teeth in the back and attached them with the rest of the teeth.
I would say it was all worth it, because i did have very straight beautiful teeth afterwards. But the thing is my wisdom teeth came in a couple years after i got them off and my orthodontist told me not to get them removed because it was a myth that wisdom teeth are the cause of shifting teeth.
Well, i hope all of your orthodontists never went to the same school he went to, because they most certainly do. He probably wanted more money out of me for new braces later in life.
My teeth are now almost back to the same way they were before the braces.
Word to the wise, don't listen to your orthodontist ALL the time.

55
Moose in the Kitchen
Dec 13, 2007

Whenever I hear the word "ladies" I think of the Sir Mix-a-Lot song. You know the one. Baby Got Back - the only one he ever did (one assumes). Wherein he sings, "Hey, ladies?"

"Yeah?" [the ladies reply]

"Ladies?"

"Yeah?" [they reply again, because apparently he didn't hear them the first time]

"Want a ride in my Mercedes?"

"Yeah!" [they reply again, cleverly. All apparently forgiven because Sir Mix-a-lot has a fancy car. That conveniently rhymes with "ladies".]

One of us needs a Mercedes.

56
Amanda
Dec 13, 2007

Hi Hi. I'm that girl Missbeegail was describing. I had a "tongue thrust" (yes, i know that sounds like some sort of dirty dance) and apparently needed to have spikes permanently glued to my front bottom teeth. Yes, bloody hamburger tongue mess. It was torture. Also, I got a second opinion that said I definitely did not have a tongue thrust.

But I too had a chain dangling from my gum. My tooth had lodged itself in the roof of my mouth and by god my orthodontist was going to get that little bugger down. Chains, braces, HEAD GEAR, the works.

Luckily all I have now in the dental department are two large metal screws drilled into my lower jaw bone. I love teeth stories, I always win. :-)

Can I be in your chain gang? I also would like a medal or award for living through the hell of adolescence with the most terrifying appliances in my mouth.

57
Nothing But Bonfires
Dec 13, 2007

Amanda, I think you should be the damn president of the chain gang.

58
Mary Dawn
Dec 13, 2007

i never had braces, but i had glasses with the arm dip with my initials on one lense in tiny gold lettering AND an eyepatch--plus chin pimples, a bad perm and leg warmers

59
Twice Five Miles
Dec 13, 2007

I had pink glasses! Baby pink! Plus braces, the most frizzy hair you've ever seen, and veerrrry questionable fashion sense. Can I be in one of the gangs too?

60
Carrie
Dec 13, 2007

So. . .hypothetically. . .let’s say I’m an American who had to hold in potentially embarrassing laughter when watching (for the first time) the Little Britain clips. Then, I perhaps went straight to netflix to catch up on my British humor/humour. . .where should I start? Series 1? 2? 3? Abroad? Live? I’ll appreciate any advice. And, to earn everyone’s trust, I, too, had braces, glasses and strange strange strange choice in clothes. Oh, and a grandmother who scrapbooked so those moments can't be forgotten.

61
Jenny
Dec 13, 2007

I had to comment! I had the rubberbands, the pallet expander, and the tongue spurs (that is what we called them- the pointy things on the back of your teeth that pooked your tongue). I had the hideous huge pink glasses, the crappy perm, and for some odd reason wore my pants pulled up way too high. Very akward stage that was. Thanks for all the memores, both good and bad- and a good laugh for the day!

62
Ari
Dec 13, 2007

I had to delurk for this. I had the expander. I had the rubber bands. I had the eye patch. I also had a collection of glasses, in various shades of lady colours, that were the size of my head. To add to the indignity, the glasses were bifocals. Yes. All through elementary school I wore bifocals.

My only consolations was that I was a lady. It could have been worse. I could have been the only gay in the village.

63
Simon
Dec 13, 2007

Often, when I find myself staring at Leah's boobs (which is frequently), I say "Bitty." And she says, "No, you just had bitty." And I say, "BITTY." And she usually says, "Well, all right."

Ah, good times.

-Simon

64
Nothing But Bonfires
Dec 13, 2007

Oh Simon, I am choking with laughter. On my pasta. (Not on bitty).

65
Kelly
Dec 13, 2007

Alright, I'm 31 and I have braces and damnyouall I LOVE my braces. They hurt..and I just had them tightened for the first time ever, but I think braces are 'teh bomb'. Mine have red and green rubber bands on them - because it is totally Christmas after all.

I LOVE braces stories though! Man, I thought my teeth were bad, but these appliances you guys have talked about are just frightening! Apparently, in 6 months time I'll have connecting rubber bands too. I had to have two teeth pulled out, I have to wear them for 2 years and then get that little metal thing at the bottom. Ohh and, the new retainers they use here? Mouth guards too, they're like clear plastic moulds of your teeth which make your teeth look false, but I even look forward to that I have to say. I can't even begin to tell you how much I've wanted braces. I'm so yay about them!

I'm also very yay about Little Britain. So good.

66
Dani
Dec 13, 2007

I wanted braces so bad as a jr. high kid. I thought the girls looked so cool (I know, right?) It wasn't enough that I wore glasses and had huge frizzy hair, I apparently wanted braces.

And I got them.

On my BACK. Oh yeah - scoliosis brace. What's hotter than that? Try going to the Jr. High dance with your entire torso wrapped in 1 inch thick plastic.

67
kim
Dec 13, 2007

Delurking after reading your entry with mouth agape. Count me in the Ladies Chain Gang. Mine was silver and it was "winched" on a regular basis to pull down an errant tooth stuck in the roof of my mouth. Add in coke bottle glasses and acne...good times at the tender age of 13! But damn, my teeth look great at 34. Thanks for letting me commiserate.

68
m
Dec 14, 2007

Mandee, I also had 'jasper jaws'! Although I never heard them called that.. my family just called them 'the hydraulics' - I remember when they would come apart and I had to open my mouth reallllllly wide to try to stick them back in, then after a few months i could do it easily with my tongue. gross. i remember the first night though, i was in so so much pain.

I read through all the comments hoping to find someone else who had hydraulics, but I guess we were the lucky two.

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amanda
Dec 14, 2007

i did not have a metal chain but did have the band chain across all teeth. i also wore headgear.

but only when i got home from school. i had fangs yo.

70
meredyth
Dec 14, 2007

Haha I love that show. God it's good.
I feel the same way about "ladies". I once had an ex-boyfriend who told his parents, with all sincerity, he was going to spend some time with his lady. I snorted with laughter because it sounded so corny and leering and now I wonder why we didn't last...

71
Anna
Dec 15, 2007

Just like Leah and Simon - one of my husband's favourite things is to turn to me at awkward moments - such as the checkout at the supermarket and ask 'Bitty?'. Little Britain is classic comedy... Whenever I am lost for a smart comeback I just reply "whatever Prime Minsiter!"

72
Jemima
Dec 15, 2007

Whenever I hear "Ladies' Night," I think of this

Jon Lovits singing Ladies Night. Mmmm....hot.

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Meggan
Dec 16, 2007

I had a friend in high school who had the chain! You are not alone. Though, he was a guy, and I have never heard of anyone else having the chain until now.

74
Tiffany
Dec 16, 2007

As you seem to enjoy the word ladies as much as I do, I suggest you watch 30Ropck. Tiny Fey says it all the time, in really wonderful ways.

75
metalia
Dec 17, 2007

While I did not have a gold chain, I did have what looked like a metal knight's helmet-looking contraption in my mouth at the age of 10 to make me stop sucking my thumb. Hmmm...you know what? I'd blocked that out until now, and I think I was happier for it. *weeps*

76
Lian
Dec 17, 2007

hello Holly !
I would just like to invite you to my performing arts group's show, which will be coming to San Francisco 1/23-1/26 :)
www.bestchineseshows.com
It's a really great show; and it would be amazing if you could come :D

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ida
Dec 17, 2007

Holly:

Pete told me that he had that wire on the back of his bottom teeth—the one you get after your braces are removed— for 20 years! Feel free to tease him mercilessly.

Happy holidays!
Ida

78
Elizabeth
Dec 19, 2007

I'm also with Carrie (as in, Carrie | December 13th, 2007 at 11:49 am): Any suggestions, Holly or anyone else, for where to start with the Little Britain watching?

79
Liesl
Dec 19, 2007

I had the chain!! And braces, and headgear for a while. I even wore the headgear to school one day, just to cement my position as the dorkiest kid in school...although it wasn't hard, being short, skinny and smart.

I refused to wear my glasses, though. They were huge pinkish plastic frames that were the cheapest ones in the store, and I still hate my mom for not letting me get nicer ones.