Sunday, October 25, 2009

Brace yourself

My kid had to use those tiny rubber bands on her braces that help adjust the teeth. Sometimes she had to use strong rubber bands, sometimes weak. But dig this: the rubber bands weren't delineated by a number or color system. They were named after countries.

There was New Zealand and Switzerland and Italy, which is the weakest rubber band. The strongest rubber band my kid had to use was Japan, which was pretty strong, but not as strong as Korea. Korea is the strongest rubber band available (one of the orthodontist's assistants told me that).

Even though the rubber band portion of the Braces Trauma was over weeks ago, I'm still finding tons of itty bitty Italys and Japans all over the house, as if the kid was shooting them out like it was some sort of trick orthodontic slingshot. They're squished in the corners of the bathroom vanity drawers, they come out in the laundry, and they still pepper every carpeted surface of the house. They're like needles from a Christmas tree; I'll still be finding them in six months.

Other people swallow the Italy and Japan orthodontic rubberband thing whole and move on. Not me.

I wonder who came up with the countries-for-orthodontic-rubber-band name system. I cannot find the brand on the internet. Perhaps it was a disgruntled Korean man or woman, or someone who does not like Italy.

Note: As I took today's photo, my daughter asked me if the rubber band was just there or if I planted it for the photo. I told her it was just there (truth). Then she said, "That's a Japan. Italys were really wimpy and if that had been an Italy it totally would have been broken."

27 comments:

Entrepreneur Chick said...

I thought this was going to be a post about your (cool) toe ring. lol

Rubber bands named after countries-as Media would say, "I have been edumacated!"

Sean Craven said...

's funny. I never connected to the trauma of this until my grandaughter (Okay, step-grandaughter, but still) had to deal with braces. She's a beautiful kid, and while I knew that her teeth would make a difference in how she was regarded by the world, I still felt bad abut her physical suffering. And I know it was worth it. But braces ain't easy. They just ain't.

MeanDonnaJean said...

Well whaddaya know....ya learn somethin' new every day! I never heard of such a thing but then again, I never hadda deal with braces either, so no wonder.

Shaina said...

i had to use those...i actually kinda liked them. they were fun to play with with my tongue in class. i dont remember how mine were classified...color or number i'm sure. countries is weirdddd.
good luck finding them all...i remember my cousin came to visit once when he had them on and we were finding them weeks later after he'd left. lol.

Sausage Fingers said...

Wow, a small world it is, I had a conversation with my 11 year old about leaving those bloody bands all over the house. My next move was to embed one in his breakfast. Cheers.

film izle said...

nice post. i liked the pictures

Brndoutw8ress said...

As a teenager I too wore braces and had those tiny gumbands as well, but I don't recall them being named after countries. They had different colors but I always chose the grey so that they didn't stick out so much! I never understood having those pink or green bands wrapped around my already ugly mouth. Braces suck while you're wearing them and they hurt terribly, I suffered many a migraine because of them, but it was well worth it; my teeth are beautiful.

Maggie said...

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Leslie said...

OK, so my teeth are still sore from flossing earlier this evening (it's been a while) but I can still feel the pain of the tightening of my braces as a kid. What I recall of the rubber bands was how they would sometimes fly out of my mouth at random times. Good grief! This was back in the early 70's, so maybe they've figured out a way to get around that.

Thanks for the trip down memory lane.

Widge said...

Haha!! I'm so impressed there was a New Zealand rubber band :) (my country) we always get reaallllly excited when our country is named on a movie or something. Love your writing style

Bas~Melech said...

In my days they were named after animals. The rhinos were the killers, iirc.

Gillian said...

Do they make Korea Condom too?

Courtney Paige said...

Wow! I'm surprised I've never heard about this. Almost all of my friends had braces at some point or another.

james2285 said...

cleaning out my truck this past weekend and what did i find a japan band in a cup holder 6 months after my son has his braces off. Yes you will find them for a while.
j

Erin O'Brien said...

James, thank god. I was beginning to think I was in a bad episode of "The Twilight Zone," but apparently we are not alone with our international rubber bands.

Amy L. Hanna said...

Nothing like having NATO orally pulling at you in all directions ... LOL.

Seriously though, your daughter has my empathy as I too endured (apolitical) rubber bands as part of my teen orthodontia.

jogonocelular.net said...

Do they make Korea Condom too?

Pamela Waterman said...

How funny and true!! All three of our teens had braces over the past decade, and we had the United Nations of elastics too. I remember (unintentionally) shooting them across the dining-room table at my sister when I had teen braces. I even went back for adult braces last year at age 53 (for a little tweaking) and had my own stash of countries. Last weekend my husband, while tinkering with an engineering project, asked if there were still any of those tiny elastics around. I said I think we've thrown them all out, but lo and behold - I found one in the back of the drawer in the bathroom! It was perfect for his task. Then wouldn't you know,this weekend I was digging in a bag of random items in my office and what did I find but a bag of Brazils. I think I'll keep it as a souvenir.

jford said...

You mean they still use rubber bands on braces?

aka Smile said...

That's hilarious. I'm a Korean-American, but I love Italy =)

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chrisdegraw said...

I had to use those when I had braces, but they were named after African wildlife. There was a zebra, a gazelle, and antelope. Not being able to distinguish which animal was "stronger" made identifying these bands a lot harder than if I had a mental rank of who's the strongest country. At least that's entertaining, and moderately offensive. Fortunately, though, it was not up to me. I got my pouch for that 3 to 5 week period and tossed 'em when I went back for the giraffe series.

Personally, I think they should rank them by the amount of Advils you'll need to get through the day.

thenerdqueen said...

My old orthodontist switched halfway through my 5 year braces plan (yeah, my teeth were that bad) from nondescript numbered rubber bands to animals. Countries were never part of the equation.

henry said...

it's because japanese people have very crooked or buck teeth and the ortodontist needed very strong rubber bands to correct them. italians have pretty straight teeth so not much tension needed. You're welcome

bruises. said...

mine had animals! but i never wore them. oops. even if you move to a different country, you will continue to find the little bands among your things.

dizzle said...

I just got Japan rubber bands today and your blog came up when I was searching for something about them online! I thought Switzerland was the strongest?