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If You Have Braces, You’ll Understand These 7 Things

If You Have Braces, You’ll Understand These 7 Things

Do you wear braces? Whether its being scared of eating spinach or the never-ending dentist appointments, having braces can be a tough time. The people who were lucky enough to not need braces will never know about the daily suffering – but you do. Don’t worry about it, though; it is all worth it in the end when you have shiny, perfect teeth.

Check out 7 things anyone who has ever had braces will be able to understand.

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1. You hate the never-ending orthodontist trips

Before you had braces you assumed you would go to the orthodontist twice; once to put the braces on and once to take them off. Ah, how naïve you were. Sadly, now you know the truth; you’re at the dentist every couple of weeks to experience the hell that is having your braces tightened. Afterwards, your whole mouth hurts – teeth, tongue, gums, and even somehow the roof of your mouth. How is that even possible?

2. You steer clear of certain foods

If you love eating mushy, wet food, then braces are a great idea for you. Anything hard can damage the wires, so anything like apples, carrots, and biscuits are off the table – literally.

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You eventually adjusted to eating food that resembles baby food, but even then there are still other foods you avoid, such as spinach. It gets easily tangled in your braces and often stays there for hours until you finally check out your teeth in a mirror. Sigh.

3. You always carry a pocket mirror with you

Most people classify their essentials as a phone and house keys, but you had a third – a small, reflective surface. Your braces made your mouth a magnet for stray food, so you always carried a pocket mirror around with you. Every day you would check your teeth multiple times for signs of food stuck in your teeth. You can only imagine how many hours you spent sneakily looking at your teeth in your mirror.

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4. You’re sick of the mouth pain

You thought getting braces meant your teeth would hurt occasionally – how wrong you were. You experience teeth pain, gum pain, and tongue pain on a monthly basis due to the wires and brackets rubbing against your mouth. On the plus side, your mouth is now a hardened battle warrior.

5. You were scared of kissing someone

When you first got braces, you laughed at the urban legends you heard about a couple with braces kissing each other and becoming entwined forever. However, after a few months with braces the thought of being stuck to another person for eternity felt like a haunting possibility. Then you finally kissed someone… and it was totally fine. No problems whatsoever.

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6. You don’t like smiling in pictures

To smile with your teeth on show or not? This question surfaces in your mind every time someone got out their camera. You didn’t want to look serious and sulky, but a part of you wanted to save your big grin for when your teeth were finally perfect.

7. You can’t wait to get your braces taken off and love your new teeth

After months (and for some unlucky souls, years) the moment finally arrived – time to get your braces off. You count down the days like a child excited for Christmas, imagining yourself smiling with pride at every occasion.

When your braces came off, your first thought was: Weird. It was so strange seeing your full teeth after so long – were they always this big? And white? And shiny!?

However, it only took you a few minutes to realize the pain was all worth it – now you have a big smile in every picture, and you love your teeth.

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Amy Johnson

Freelance writer, editor and social media manager.

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Last Updated on October 23, 2018

Science Says Knitting Makes Humans Warmer And Happier, Mentally

Science Says Knitting Makes Humans Warmer And Happier, Mentally

My mother was a great knitter and produced some wonderful garments such as Aran sweaters which were extremely fashionable when I was young. She also knitted while my father drove, which caused great amusement. I often wondered why she did that but I think I know the answer now.

Knitting is good for your mental health, according to some research studies. The Washington Post mentions a 2013 survey of about 3,500 knitters who were asked how they felt after a knitting session. Over 80% of them said they definitely felt happier. It is not a totally female occupation as more and more men take it up to get the same benefits. Harry Styles (One Direction) enjoys knitting. So does Russell Crowe although he does it to help him with anger management!

The Neural Knitwork Project

In Australia, Neural Knitworks was started to encourage people to knit and also become aware of neuroscience and mental health issues. Knit-ins were organized but garments were not the only things created. The knitters produced handmade neurons (1,665 of them!) to make a giant brain. The 2015 project will make more neural knitted networks (neural knitworks) and they will be visible online. You can see some more examples of woolly neurons on the Neural Knitworks Facebook page.

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While people knitted, crocheted and crafted yarn, they listened to experts talking about mental health issues such as addiction, dementia, depression, and how neurons work.

The knitting and neural connection

The human brain has about 80 billion neurons. Learning new skills, social interaction, and physical activity all help to forge neural connections which keep the brain healthy and active. They are creating networks to control movement and make memories. The knitters learn that as they create the woollen neurons, their own neurons are forming new pathways in their brains. Their creations are mimicking the processes in their brains to a certain extent. At the same time, their brains are registering new and interesting information as they learn interesting facts about the brain and how it works. I love the knitworks and networks pun. What a brilliant idea!

More mental health benefits from knitting

Betsan Corkhill is a physiotherapist and has published some results of completed studies on her website, appropriately named Stitchlinks. She conducted some experiments herself and found that knitting was really helpful in reducing panic and anxiety attacks.

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“You are using up an awful lot of brain capacity to perform a coordinated series of movements. The more capacity you take up by being involved in a complex task, the less capacity you have for bad thoughts.”- Betsan Corkhill

Knitters feel happier and in a better mood

Ann Futterman-Collier, Well Being Lab at Northern Arizona University, is very interested in how textile therapy (sewing, knitting, weaving and lace-making) can play an important role in mood repair and in lifting depressive states.

She researched 60 women and divided them into three different groups to do some writing, meditating and work with textiles. She monitored their heartbeat, blood pressure and saliva production. The women in the textiles group had the best results when their mood was assessed afterwards. They were in a better mood and had managed to reduce their negative thoughts better than those in the writing and meditation groups.

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“People who were given the task to make something actually had less of an inflammatory response in the face of a ‘stressor’.” – Dr. Futterman Collier

The dopamine effect on our happiness

Our brains produce a chemical called dopamine. This helps us to feel happy, more motivated, and assists also with focus and concentration. We get a boost of dopamine after sex, food, exercise, sleep, and creative activities.

There are medications to increase dopamine but there are lots of ways we can do it naturally. Textile therapy and crafting are the easiest and cheapest. We can create something and then admire it. In addition, this allows for a little bit of praise and congratulations. Although this is likely not your goal, all these can boost our dopamine and we just feel happier and more fulfilled. These are essential in facing new challenges and coping with disappointment in life.

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“Sometimes, people come up to me when I am knitting and they say things like, “Oh, I wish I could knit, but I’m just not the kind of person who can sit and waste time like that.” How can knitting be wasting time? First, I never just knit; I knit and think, knit and listen, knit and watch. Second, you aren’t wasting time if you get a useful or beautiful object at the end of it.” – Stephanie Pearl-McPhee, At Knit’s End: Meditations for Women Who Knit Too Much.

If you thought knitting and textiles were for old ladies, think again!

Featured photo credit: DSC_0012/Mary-Frances Main via flickr.com

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