Essay by BritnyJunior High, 9th grade September 2005

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The toothpaste, tasting minty fresh, felt good against slippery teeth, finally free from braces. Now instead of feeling rough, jagged, metal boxes bounded across my teeth, I feel my retainer; a petite, removable, wire that fits practically flawlessly. Food no longer gets trapped in the tiny crevices in between each tooth and worrying about the foods I eat or whether they would break a wire isn't a problem anymore. Flawed, frayed, and rigid toothbrushes no longer exist and floss can glide almost effortlessly. When I have a conversation, attention isn't focused on shiny, silver brackets, but instead on nicely, straightened teeth. There are no more sore gums, or pounding headaches as a result of new adjustments by the orthodontist. My sleep pattern is no longer disturbed from the restless nights of tossing and turning because of the tight, itchy headgear strapped to the back of my neck.

Now that my braces are gone, I can show a smile that is bright, proud and almost white with more self-confidence then ever before.