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14 Things People that Wore Braces Will Understand

14 Things People that Wore Braces Will Understand

Did you have braces? From never-ending pain to horrible tasting molds, having braces can be a pretty tough experience. The lucky people who have never had braces will never understand the difficulty we went through, but it was all worth it in the end for perfect, shiny teeth. Check out 14 things anyone who has worn braces will totally be able to relate to.

1. The Never-Ending Pain

The pain of wearing braces is unlike any other. From being jabbed in the cheek with stray wires to feeling the brackets rubbing against your tongue, you are a seasoned expert in the area of mouth pain.

2. The ‘Funny’ Jokes

Brace face? Metal mouth? Ugly Betty? We’ve heard all of the ‘funny’ nicknames a hundred times over – and they weren’t even original to start off with.

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3. Having To Be Careful with What You Eat

Eating anything much harder than a biscuit could damage the wires, so you mainly ate wet, mushy food. Uncut apples were a total no-go, and you regularly fantasied about enjoying a gobstopper or even a carrot. Occasionally you would crack and eat something hard – then you would fear the telling off you would get next time you visited the orthodontist.

4. Never Chewing Gum

Chewing gum and braces don’t mix. Or rather, they do, and your brace brackets are filled with long strings of chewing gum that take hours to individually pull out. It looks like your mouth is filled with both braces and silly string – not a good look.

5. Never Eating Spinach

If you had braces, you will remember avoiding spinach for years of your life. The pesky stuff always got tangled up in your braces, where it would stay for a good few hours before you looked in a mirror and realized it was there. Sigh. In a stage that already felt awkward, green stuff in your teeth just piled on the embarrassment.

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6. A Pocket Mirror Or Reflective Surface Is Essential

Due to the sheer amount of food that could become entangled in your braces, you always carried a pocket mirror or reflective surface around with you. You have literally spent hours of your life looking at your teeth, making sure they were food free.

7. Smiling In Photographs Is A No

Every time a photograph opportunity appeared, you had an internal debate about if you should smile with your mouth open or not. In fact, you normally spent so long thinking about it that the picture was taken without you even realizing.

8. Fearing Kissing Someone

You heard all of the urban legends when you first got braces, like story about a couple with braces who got stuck together for years after they tried to kiss. You feared kissing someone and ending up locked together for all eternity – then you finally plucked up the courage to kiss someone and nothing bad happened at all. Thanks, guys.

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9. The Endless Orthodontist Visits

One trip to put them on and one trip to take them off? Pfft, you wish. It felt like you were at the dentist’s every few weeks for new, innovative forms of mouth torture.

10. Nearly Drowning In Your Own Spit

There was a suction pipe for all of your spit while the dentist checked out your teeth, but either it wasn’t strong enough or you had a super-wet mouth. Either way you always ended up dribbling all over yourself.

11. Cleaning Your Retainer

On top of the never-ending pain and orthodontist appointments, you also had to clean your retainer every day. It was mildly gross even after just a day of wearing the thing.

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12. The Stress Of Getting Them Tightened

Getting your braces tightened was a real pain in the mouth. For the first few days afterwards, the pain was unbearable and you basically couldn’t eat anything. Sticking to liquids made you feel sorry for yourself all too often.

13. Getting Your Braces Taken Off And Being Shocked At The Size Of Your Teeth

It was so weird seeing your teeth for the first time in months, even years; where they always this big? And shiny? And slimy?

14. Loving Your New, Straight Teeth

In the end, all of the pain was worth it for your perfect new smile. Now you smile broadly in any pictures that get taken – but if you see someone with braces on, you feel a moment of silent solidarity.

More by this author

Amy Johnson

Amy is a writer who blogs about relationships and lifestyle advice.

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Last Updated on September 16, 2019

How to Stop Procrastinating: 11 Practical Ways for Procrastinators

How to Stop Procrastinating: 11 Practical Ways for Procrastinators

You have a deadline looming. However, instead of doing your work, you are fiddling with miscellaneous things like checking email, social media, watching videos, surfing blogs and forums. You know you should be working, but you just don’t feel like doing anything.

We are all familiar with the procrastination phenomenon. When we procrastinate, we squander away our free time and put off important tasks we should be doing them till it’s too late. And when it is indeed too late, we panic and wish we got started earlier.

The chronic procrastinators I know have spent years of their life looped in this cycle. Delaying, putting off things, slacking, hiding from work, facing work only when it’s unavoidable, then repeating this loop all over again. It’s a bad habit that eats us away and prevents us from achieving greater results in life.

Don’t let procrastination take over your life. Here, I will share my personal steps on how to stop procrastinating. These 11 steps will definitely apply to you too:

1. Break Your Work into Little Steps

Part of the reason why we procrastinate is because subconsciously, we find the work too overwhelming for us. Break it down into little parts, then focus on one part at the time. If you still procrastinate on the task after breaking it down, then break it down even further. Soon, your task will be so simple that you will be thinking “gee, this is so simple that I might as well just do it now!”.

For example, I’m currently writing a new book (on How to achieve anything in life). Book writing at its full scale is an enormous project and can be overwhelming. However, when I break it down into phases such as –

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  • (1) Research
  • (2) Deciding the topic
  • (3) Creating the outline
  • (4) Drafting the content
  • (5) Writing Chapters #1 to #10,
  • (6) Revision
  • (7) etc.

Suddenly it seems very manageable. What I do then is to focus on the immediate phase and get it done to my best ability, without thinking about the other phases. When it’s done, I move on to the next.

2. Change Your Environment

Different environments have different impact on our productivity. Look at your work desk and your room. Do they make you want to work or do they make you want to snuggle and sleep? If it’s the latter, you should look into changing your workspace.

One thing to note is that an environment that makes us feel inspired before may lose its effect after a period of time. If that’s the case, then it’s time to change things around. Refer to Steps #2 and #3 of 13 Strategies To Jumpstart Your Productivity, which talks about revamping your environment and workspace.

3. Create a Detailed Timeline with Specific Deadlines

Having just 1 deadline for your work is like an invitation to procrastinate. That’s because we get the impression that we have time and keep pushing everything back, until it’s too late.

Break down your project (see tip #1), then create an overall timeline with specific deadlines for each small task. This way, you know you have to finish each task by a certain date. Your timelines must be robust, too – i.e. if you don’t finish this by today, it’s going to jeopardize everything else you have planned after that. This way it creates the urgency to act.

My goals are broken down into monthly, weekly, right down to the daily task lists, and the list is a call to action that I must accomplish this by the specified date, else my goals will be put off.

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Here’re more tips on setting deadlines: 22 Tips for Effective Deadlines

4. Eliminate Your Procrastination Pit-Stops

If you are procrastinating a little too much, maybe that’s because you make it easy to procrastinate.

Identify your browser bookmarks that take up a lot of your time and shift them into a separate folder that is less accessible. Disable the automatic notification option in your email client. Get rid of the distractions around you.

I know some people will out of the way and delete or deactivate their facebook accounts. I think it’s a little drastic and extreme as addressing procrastination is more about being conscious of our actions than counteracting via self-binding methods, but if you feel that’s what’s needed, go for it.

5. Hang out with People Who Inspire You to Take Action

I’m pretty sure if you spend just 10 minutes talking to Steve Jobs or Bill Gates, you’ll be more inspired to act than if you spent the 10 minutes doing nothing. The people we are with influence our behaviors. Of course spending time with Steve Jobs or Bill Gates every day is probably not a feasible method, but the principle applies — The Hidden Power of Every Single Person Around You

Identify the people, friends or colleagues who trigger you – most likely the go-getters and hard workers – and hang out with them more often. Soon you will inculcate their drive and spirit too.

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As a personal development blogger, I “hang out” with inspiring personal development experts by reading their blogs and corresponding with them regularly via email and social media. It’s communication via new media and it works all the same.

6. Get a Buddy

Having a companion makes the whole process much more fun. Ideally, your buddy should be someone who has his/her own set of goals. Both of you will hold each other accountable to your goals and plans. While it’s not necessary for both of you to have the same goals, it’ll be even better if that’s the case, so you can learn from each other.

I have a good friend whom I talk to regularly, and we always ask each other about our goals and progress in achieving those goals. Needless to say, it spurs us to keep taking action.

7. Tell Others About Your Goals

This serves the same function as #6, on a larger scale. Tell all your friends, colleagues, acquaintances and family about your projects. Now whenever you see them, they are bound to ask you about your status on those projects.

For example, sometimes I announce my projects on The Personal Excellence Blog, Twitter and Facebook, and my readers will ask me about them on an ongoing basis. It’s a great way to keep myself accountable to my plans.

8. Seek out Someone Who Has Already Achieved the Outcome

What is it you want to accomplish here, and who are the people who have accomplished this already? Go seek them out and connect with them. Seeing living proof that your goals are very well achievable if you take action is one of the best triggers for action.

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9. Re-Clarify Your Goals

If you have been procrastinating for an extended period of time, it might reflect a misalignment between what you want and what you are currently doing. Often times, we outgrow our goals as we discover more about ourselves, but we don’t change our goals to reflect that.

Get away from your work (a short vacation will be good, else just a weekend break or staycation will do too) and take some time to regroup yourself. What exactly do you want to achieve? What should you do to get there? What are the steps to take? Does your current work align with that? If not, what can you do about it?

10. Stop Over-Complicating Things

Are you waiting for a perfect time to do this? That maybe now is not the best time because of X, Y, Z reasons? Ditch that thought because there’s never a perfect time. If you keep waiting for one, you are never going to accomplish anything.

Perfectionism is one of the biggest reasons for procrastination. Read more about why perfectionist tendencies can be a bane than a boon: Why Being A Perfectionist May Not Be So Perfect.

11. Get a Grip and Just Do It

At the end, it boils down to taking action. You can do all the strategizing, planning and hypothesizing, but if you don’t take action, nothing’s going to happen. Occasionally, I get readers and clients who keep complaining about their situations but they still refuse to take action at the end of the day.

Reality check:

I have never heard anyone procrastinate their way to success before and I doubt it’s going to change in the near future.  Whatever it is you are procrastinating on, if you want to get it done, you need to get a grip on yourself and do it.

More About Procrastination

Featured photo credit: Malvestida Magazine via unsplash.com

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