Mushy, Mushy

Braces

Mushy, Mushy

It seems to me that Americans are obsessed with braces.

There is, of course, nothing wrong with correcting teeth so crooked that they won’t fit in their own mouth, won’t descend (or ascend) into the spot they belong, or grow in another direction than vertical.

However, I’ve seen teens, preteens, and even kids with perfectly fine teeth (in my untrained and unprofessional view) all of a sudden show up with braces. Yes, I truly believe that some parents either exaggerate the “strait teeth” idea, or let themselves being influenced by some greedy orthodontist.

For example, who, in his right mind, and after as little as ten minutes of internet research, would want to have braces put on kids as young as eight years old, knowing very well that they have to re-do the whole procedure once the last of the second set of teeth has come in?

I’m not even talking here of the cost, which is astronomical (I’m not qualified to call it exorbitant, … or not) but of the suffering and the food.

Indeed, all these kids with braces suffer!
They suffer great pain the first week of braces.
They suffer terribly again each time the braces are tightened.
They cannot stop the suffering by ripping the device out of their mouth.
Instead, they are condemned
to endure the “straight teeth” ideal of their parents,
Sometimes for no reason at all.
Poor kids!

The procedures last about two years. During this time, a number of favorite foods are de facto crossed off the list (popcorn, gummy bears, gummy anything, hard bread, hard anything, etc.). Thus, our children eat mushy things.

Mushy and soft.
Forget biting into an apple or into a bread crust,
as any young person should be able to do.
No, mushy is the rule.

Millions of young people spend at least two years of their lives suffering and eating like a baby, and that’s to the tune of thousands of dollars a pop.

As I said: for some kids, braces are justified and the only help to get the teeth into a place where they are actually useful for eating, but too many children have to eat like babies for years only because of their parents’ idea of beauty.
A sociologist could probably write a dissertation about this.

What a strange society.

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