In junior high I, like a large number of American adolescents, was introduced to braces. I was actually excited. As an only child I was interested in anything to get attention. In preparation I’d undo and curve a metal paperclip and place it over my teeth.
At the time there were really no options on braces; if you had them, they were on the facial (front) side of the teeth and silver metal. Also, the elastics that held the wire into the brackets came in only one color - dark grey. Ick.
And yowzah! Sometimes they were moderately painful from “tightening” and the pointy end of the wire poking the back of my cheek. I hated using the wax on the end of the wire, because I was afraid it’d come off and I’d accidentally swallow it! So I had a lot of scratches in my cheeks back then - definitely not something you want while eating salty foods. Ouch!
Playing clarinet wasn’t very comfortable either! (Although I felt worse for the brass players whose mouthpieces pressed right on top of their braces.) Soon the novelty wore off. I realized I was smiling much less both from the appearance and additional effort to move my lips off the brackets.
As the treatment progressed, I was again excited to get “bands” that would connect from my upper canines to the lower canines. Again, back then there were no choices; bands came in only one color - cream. Eugh.
My braces and I existed together for approximately 2.5 years. I still remember the feeling of having the brackets removed; my teeth were so smooth they felt like one giant continuous tooth (or what I imagined dentures to be).