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.


  1. The scary part is that I can think of people I know who would probably buy this damned thing.

  2. To whom it may concern:

    Actually, ORA-BANDs really work. There are customer reviews on YouTube that show people using ORA-BANDs. One young man even put the camera in his mouth and gave updates every few days to show it working.

    Every once in a while someone who had braces years ago posts an uninformed opinion like this to the ORA-BAND YouTube video.

    We have real customer video reviews on our website and we are constantly in contact with customers on our Facebook account. These customers are REAL. Additionally, they are REALLY satisfied with the results.

    The belief that a minor tooth movement like closing a gap between someone's teeth must require THOUSANDS of dollars is cemented in people's minds. From the outset we have encouraged customers to share the process on video to dissuade that misguided belief.

    We also have a 30 day money back guarantee to back up our promotion.

    A company can not collect credit/debit card payments if they are constantly refunding money to customers because their product does not work as advertised. That company would lose the privilege of collecting payments online. There are many rules associated with collecting credit/debit payments. These rules are applied with particular tenacity to relatively new companies (we have been in operation since April, 2011).

    We could not stay in business if the product did not work as advertised.

    We are in business because the product WORKS.

    Believe it or not, there are plenty of companies left in the world that operate with integrity.

    Be well,


    1. I'll tell you what, though, ORA-BAND. I have a few gaps between my teeth. Send me a free set of these things and I'll try them for myself. If they work, I'll give you some good press right here on my blog.

      If you agree, just send me an email and write back with an address telling you where to send the bands. Here's a chance for you to put your money where your mouth is, no pun intended.

  3. "One young man even put the camera in his mouth and gave updates every few days to show it working. "

    I saw a waterskiing squirrel on YouTube once. That was cool, too.

    "We also have a 30 day money back guarantee to back up our promotion."

    And we all know that only 100% legit companies would make such an offer.

    "A company can not collect credit/debit card payments if they are constantly refunding money to customers because their product does not work as advertised."

    Which is why companies usually find ways to avoid refunding money. What's your point?

    "We could not stay in business if the product did not work as advertised."

    Almost too funny for words. You guys are a riot. If this claim were true, that would mean the following products, still offered for sale, work as advertised: Eagle Eye "4D" Sunglasses, Sham Wows, Instant Gardens, TaxMasters Credit Counseling, Tronix Country, etc. etc. etc. Please.

    "We are in business because the product WORKS."

    If you say so. I'll believe it when it drives oral surgeons out of business.

    "Believe it or not, there are plenty of companies left in the world that operate with integrity."

    Stop trying to change the subject. I thought we were talking about ORA-BAND, LLC.

    Anyway, all I did was mock your stupid commercial. If your product DOES work, more power to you- though I wonder why you'd sell it at such a rock-bottom price, using late-night tv commercials on channels nobody watches, instead of, oh, I don't know, medical supply stores. I guess you have your reasons.

    Thanks for your input, though. Much appreciated. May you grow and prosper on someone else's money.

  4. We are helping our customers close the gaps between their teeth in a cost effective way.

    You have already made up your mind about something that you have no experience using.

    It is unfortunate that this is causing you such distress.

    We will not resort to exchanging in condescending diatribes with you.

    Take care of yourself,


  5. So this is a shakedown?

    You want a free sample of our product in exchange for an end to this unprovoked tirade against us?


  6. Your company should fire whoever is sending these posts. He or she is giving ORA-BAND a really bad name!

    Hey, ORA-BAND- if you want to be taken seriously, don't hire a high school dropout with temper issues to answer criticism of your product.

    Tirade? Really? Watch it, your defensiveness is showing. And it's really unbecoming.

    1. Also, how do they get from "I think your product will do serious damage that will cause thousands to correct" to "Gimme, gimme, gimme"?

    2. Dreaded- I thought that line was classic. Considering that I've mocked Audi and Lexus repeatedly at this site, it just makes perfect sense that the business I'd ultimately try to "shake down" would be the one that peddles $20 rubber bands for your teeth, doesn't it?

  7. I would love to see the teeth OralBan has screwed up. How do they prevent the teeth from folding together?

  8. It's not hard to find negative reviews, just do a quick Google search. Most common complaints: gaps filled by these bands return if you don't keep using them, new gaps are created as old ones are filled (this just seems logical to me,) and long-term problems may develop from regular usage. NOT a substitute for professional care, clearly.

  9. Hi, i note that this is quite old now, but just wanted to say they really do work. They do open new gaps, but you just add more bands in a different place, the same as the dentist does when they tighten etc. I was very disbelieving, but ive been using them for 6 days now and im already seeing them move. Some of us do not have the money to spend on braces, for me i was told it was going to be between £2,500 and £3,000, the bands cost £15.