As a kid, I thought getting braces was the coolest thing. My adult ass still dreams of getting them, but just like dreadlocks, there are a few things that get lost in translation when it comes to braces. 

So in the spirit of follow who no road, I asked people with braces to give us the tea on everything they didn’t anticipate. Here are 12 things that got all of them ranting. You’re welcome in advance.

1. It’s expensive AF

In the beginning, braces seem like a fair bargain to end your era of scattered teeth, but in hindsight, who straight teeth help in this economy? If you’re thinking of getting braces, also think about your bank account. 

Those two metal strips can cost ₦600k to ₦1.5 million for installation and the first few follow up consultations. But then again, they’re worth it because who doesn’t want the perfect dentition? 

2. The wires are uncomfortable as hell

The hell part is no joke, especially when your braces are new. To be fair, it depends on how much pain you can take, but the point is the first few nights of having metal wires up against your gums and teeth are uncomfortable. 

Also, the wires get changed from time to time. That’s when your gums start to get swollen or sore. Beauty requires some pain.

3. Braces take a while to fix 

You’ll think it’s a quick process, but getting braces takes one to two hours for the first time. You won’t feel any pain in the moment, but there’s a funny glue they put in your mouth. That’s what holds the bracket where the wires are inserted, and it tastes nasty.

4. It’ll look like you wasted money

You’ll think nothing is happening to your teeth for the first six months. In fact, after paying close to a million naira, you’ll be ready to throw hands in the dentist’s office. Relax. The wires and elastic bands are switched out for tighter sets that bring your teeth closer together if there are gaps. 

5. Your dentist becomes your bestie

Nobody talks about the monthly routine checks and cleanups for braces that cost more money. Pray you get a single hottie as a dentist because you’ll be spending a lot of time in their office. 

RELATED: 7 Scary Ways Nigerians Brush Their Teeth

6. Intimacy will suck

Your mouth is already sore, so kissing is the last thing on your mind. With everything going on in your mouth, you’ll wonder if your partner feels weird when you kiss. The tricky part is when your partner goes down on you, and you need to return the favour. Just be careful, so no one loses their genitals in the process.

7. You’ll talk funny for a bit

Depending on the procedure you get, you’ll sound animated for about two weeks. Nobody tells you how bad it is until you send a voice note and mistakenly hear yourself speak and realise you sound like a rabbit. Console yourself with the fact that rabbits are cute, though. 

The worst part is when you have extra things in your mouth, like palatal expanders, to widen your jaw. Your tongue is constricted, so it’ll take like four weeks to sound like a human again. 

8. Chewing is hard

Everyone thinks they’re prepared for this, but they’re really not. The first time you get braces, your teeth are extremely sensitive. Anything hard is difficult to bite into. So for the first week, you’ll be eating soft foods like you’re an elderly person. No more cracking chicken bones like a thief because your teeth will fight you the following day. 

RELATED: All the Wahala That Comes With Having Sensitive Teeth

9. You’re on an involuntary diet

People will see you looking fit and wonder what’s happening. No, dear, it’s the braces. Sorry if you’re a sweet tooth because there’s no room for gooey chocolates and sweets, or nuts and popcorn. One wrong move, and there’s something stuck somewhere in your mouth you can’t reach. Even eating meat is stressful because you don’t want to get tiny pieces stuck in the wires.

10. The endless brushing and flossing

Having braces is like having a dog because you’ll spend all day taking care of it. You’ll worry about food getting stuck and decaying away whenever you eat. So you’re brushing as frequently as possible to avoid extra stress like cavities. 

11. Braces are ugly

For something so expensive, braces are ugly. It takes a minute to get used to your smile in pictures because of how weird it looks. The only cute part is getting to choose the colour of braces you want, but it’s still an ugly piece of metal. There’s also a part of you that’ll grow to love it. It’ll be in your mouth for a year or even longer, so why not?

12. People think you’re rich

When people see braces, they think you should be on the guestlist for Temi Otedola and Mr Eazi’s wedding. No dear, the braces and I are broke and managing ourselves in Bubu’s economy. 

ALSO READ: Interview With Toothbrush: “Please Let Me Rest”


Zikoko amplifies African youth culture by curating and creating smart and joyful content for young Africans and the world.