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Before coming to Latinitas  today I had an orthadontist apointment, and while the doctor was probing his fingers inside my mouth I couldn't help but think that I've actually had my braces for about two years now. I remember when I first got them I had a horrible lisp, slurring my "S"s and "R"s and I hated having to get used to learning how to eat differently.

Of course, with time you get used to your braces and so does everyone else around you. When I first got them, I couldn't imagine a world without chewing gum. My friends and I would always buy different kinds of gum packets and when ever we got tired of our flavors we'd always switch packets with each other, so I ignored my doctor's orders and would continue to chew gum with my friends. After getting chewed out by my orthadontist about my chewing habits, I've stopped chewing gum all together and so have my friends! Occasionally from time to time they'll have a piece but, it's funny, we've all sort of converted to mints now.

I also remember when I found out all the different colors that braces could be and,  if you wanted to, you could make your own patterns! Many holiday's were celebrated on my teeth that year. From a red and green Christmas to a black and orange Holloween to a red, white, and blue Fourth of July!

Ahhh and the wonderful relationship that has grown between my orthadontist and his helpers! Not many people will ever have the privelage of sticking thier hands in my mouth, so I guess you'd have to say we know each other on a different level than others would. I can't help but notice that it can get kind of awkward when they're working on your mouth; you just don't know where to look! You don't want to be starring in your doctor's eyes the whole time and freak him out and you don't want to try to be looking at his hands cause then you'd have to move your head a certain way to try and look inside your mouth... and well that's not very comfortable, so I usually look awkwardly all around the cieling and to the sides..

Oh and lets not forget all the emberrassing moments than have occured because of my braces! Like most nerds, I tend to be a bit dorky and clumsy and adding a whole mouth full of metal and rubberbands just adds to the whole "nerd" deal! Unfortunatly there have been many times where, even though I constantly check, I have a piece of lettuce or somthing sticking out on the side. But I have to say that my most embarrassing moment with these babies was a lot worse than food caught in them! It was my sophomore year and I was still getting used to my braces and one of my guy friends came up to me with his friend (the friend that I had such a big crush on for the longest time!) and they both greeted me with a nice hello and hug but somehow the metal on my braces got caught on "hottie mchottie's" sweater! Ugh! As he tried to pull away from our hug I had to pull him in tighter to try and figure out how to set myself free! I could feel the awkwardness he felt as I kept trying to pull his sweater off. Luckily my other guy friend helped me loose but not until after he anounced to the world: "Oh look! Vanessa got caught in hottie's sweater!"

I guess you could say that even though braces can be a real pain, they've kind of always highlighted my personality during my high school years. And now that my senior year is coming up, my braces are going to come off soon! I'm excited but at the same time I'll miss them. I'll miss the fact that they've actually kept me healthier for cutting back on gum, caramel candy, and any other hard sugar-y stuff, I'll miss being able to decorate my mouth for speciall events, I'll miss those wonderful awkward moments that I've had with my doctors and, I guess, I'll miss the embarrassing  moments (cause NOW they can bring up a good laugh). . . but as I sit here with my reciently tightened sore metal mouth thinking about my chicken noodle soup,  as opposed to a yummy chicken sandwhich, for my lunch, I still can't wait to take them off!

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