There comes a day in the life of nearly every adolescent when they are faced with the dreaded words: “You need braces.”

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Before you get them, you think they’re neat and that you’re going to look cool.

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But you were young and naive and had no idea what was truly in store for you.

Having to control your gag reflex when they’re making the mold of your teeth.

Having to control your gag reflex when they're making the mold of your teeth.

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Breath, BREATHE. Inhale, exhale, inhale, exhale…

That awful pain that invades your entire cranium after your monthly adjustment, making you want to curl up in a ball and cry.

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Your ears buzz, your vision goes blurry, and you even start believing in God just so you can pray for an end to this torture.

The plus side? You get to choose the colors of your bands, combining them and maybe even making fun designs with them.

The plus side? You get to choose the colors of your bands, combining them and maybe even making fun designs with them.

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And if they glow in the dark, you automatically win the braces game.

If you have to have braces, might as well do it in style.

Getting clear braces may have sounded like a great idea at the time.

Getting clear braces may have sounded like a great idea at the time.

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But then they become small, unrecognizable yellow tablets and you never want to show your teeth again.

Food gets stuck in your braces. All. The. Time.

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No matter what you do, there will always be just a bit of leftovers stuck in there just waiting to embarrass you at a time in your life when you already feel awkward enough.

You can forget about caramel candies and gum for the next few months.

You can forget about caramel candies and gum for the next few months.

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And apples, carrots, corn on the cob, popcorn…

And any little cut or gash in your mouth becomes a near fatal wound thanks to those little metal suckers.

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The sores! The horrible, painful sores!

Kissing someone without braces is difficult. Kissing someone WITH braces is impossible.

Kissing someone without braces is difficult. Kissing someone WITH braces is impossible.

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You may find it painful to smile.

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But what’s even more painful is smiling for photos because you know that your metallic grin will be forever immortalized in family albums, capable of being resurrected at any point to embarrass you in front of boyfriends, friends, neighbors, anyone…

While some don their braces proudly…

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…you’ve spent your dentist visits hoping and praying that today might be the day they tell you, “You only have two weeks left, a month at most.”

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Even though you know there’s not a chance of that happening and that it will be months before your teeth will once again be free.

Wax will become your new best friend.

Wax will become your new best friend.

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If only Costco sold this stuff in bulk.

Once your teeth are finally braces-free, it’s time for the retainer.

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That odd contraption which makes you speak strangely and drool excessively.

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And you must use it EVERY NIGHT UNTIL YOU DIE OR THE WORLD ENDS. Whichever happens first.

And you try your hardest to remember to wear your retainer because the fear of having to get braces again outweighs any minor discomfort or social embarrassment caused by the retainer.

And you try your hardest to remember to wear your retainer because the fear of having to get braces again outweighs any minor discomfort or social embarrassment caused by the retainer.

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No way are you going all medieval again.

But of course, nothing, NOTHING beats the sensation of running your tongue over your smooth, straight, movie star teeth for the first time.

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This post was translated from Spanish.

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