Local restaurants, who doesn’t love them? They are pretty universal for all. Usually you find a table and sit down when you first walk through the door. Then you order from the menu, get your food and then finally eat. That is not the process that people with braces go through. We sit down, yeah sure. Then we go through the intense struggle of situating ourselves so that people don’t have to see the horrid manner at which trying to eat any type of food other than soup is. The local restaurants around Erie such as Tandoori Hut and Jimmy John’s have become some of my favorite eating establishments around Gannon, but braces prohibit me from feeling 100% comfortable dining. Having to worry that food is stuck in my braces while I chat next to the person beside me is always a horrible experience. Especially if you eat bread, which in my opinion is the only food group that matters. Before braces I could eat bread stick after bread stick and not have a problem. Now I must constantly be self-conscience of if a piece of bread is stuck between my wires while I talk between each bite of food.

Another major constraint I have while eating is if I decide to go with clear bands on my brackets. Which for those of you who don’t know are the clear rubber bands they put around the brackets of your braces to hold the wire that pulls your teeth together. If I decide I want my braces to seem more discreet I should be cautious of eating marinara sauce or anything that is of distinct color because it could stain my bands. Having discolored bands defeats the purpose of trying to be discreet about having metal bars surrounding your teeth while positing your teeth in a manner at which satisfies your orthodontist. Don’t get me wrong braces will pay off in the long run and I am so grateful for having them. And in the grand scheme of things, two years is minuscule compared to the rest of my life, but they are still a nuisance. Having braces in High school is hard, being an adult in college while having braces is a new level of difficulty. Trying to adapt and become comfortable talking in class or even in a work environment proves difficult. Having to relearn how to pronounce words and to talk slower so you don’t slur words together is an experience that I never had to go through until now. Before braces I had a clear crisp voice that easily carried, now I feel as though my day is solely spent trying to convince people that I do not talk like the teacher from the Peanuts. Over all the whole experience is something that will be unforgettable.