Thursday, May 17, 2012
I understand the temptation, but I'm in horror at the idea of people actually trying this
When I was 14, I got braces. Back then, they seemed to come with the territory- you went to High School, you got your driver's permit, and you spent an afternoon in the chair of an overpaid sadist who took his sweet time attaching pieces of barbed wire to your teeth. Barbed wire which broke into razor-sharp shards on occasion. Shards which would hook on to your tongue and the side of your mouth. Usually on Friday afternoons, so you'd have to wait more than two days to go in for what was euphemistically called an "adjustment."
When the braces worked "well," you just had the constant pain and the hassle of rubber bands which took forever to get on, but seemed to break within moments after being set in place. You learned how to smile so the railroad tracks running across your teeth didn't show (not that you smiled very often, anyway.) And you dreamed of the day when the damned things, which surely were popularized during the Spanish Inquisition, would finally be removed from your teeth. For me, that day was almost four years after they were put on, and about a year before I left for college. I can still remember rubbing my tongue along my teeth, and what a simple pleasure that was.
I hated having braces (I've never met anyone who enjoyed the experience, and I'm sure I don't want to.) But even when I was a kid, I understood that they were a necessary evil for me, and that Good Things come to those who wait. Which is what really creeps me out about this commercial. Braces have been part of the popular culture for quite some time; there's nothing mysterious about them or what they do. So why would ANYONE believe that gaps between teeth is something that can be "fixed" with the application of a few tight rubber bands?
Is it the "well, it makes sense so it must be true" theory? I mean, I get the concept- your teeth are too far apart. So just apply a small band between two teeth, and over time the gap will be closed as the teeth are inexorably drawn together. So simple, so easy to understand.
Except-- please. Your teeth are resting on gums which are not made out of spongy pudding. I know that pressure applied over YEARS will draw teeth together, because I lived it. Two weeks? Jeesh, why not claim it only takes two hours, so the image of blood flying from crushed gums as the teeth are forced together can be included in the cool graphics?
And I love the "OraBands come in two sizes" line- wow, two sizes, they MUST work. Because teeth and gums and mouths only come in two sizes, right?
It's one thing to get conned into believing that you can save money growing your own bananas or fixing your own flat tires- is anyone really going to risk their health and their looks because they think that thousands of dollars in oral surgery can be replaced by two $20 rubber bands? I mean, they don't even come with Miracle Sunglasses or that stuff that removes the gunk from your headlights.