We love this ode to braces that involves repurposing, recycling, and good old holiday crafting
Dental work for teenagers is a nightmare for everyone. The kids have a painful mouth full of metal, you’re spending more money than a Kardashian, and the constant drives to appointments feels worse than that time you signed your kid up for a traveling sports league.
But while most people want to forget the collective trauma of orthodontia, one mom leaned in. She stopped the dentist from carting away her son’s braces at his last appointment and brought them home to craft with.
Her son has gone viral on TikTok retelling the tale.
“So, I had braces when I was a kid, and after four and a half years, I finally went to have them taken off,” he starts. “And the dentist popped them all off and then put the braces on the tray. When we were done, she picks up the tray and starts to walk away. My mom stops her, and she goes, Uh, no.”
We’d like to pause right now and interject: she’s a hero.
“I’m like Mom, what are you doing? And she goes, Austin, we paid $6,000 for these braces. I’m not letting her throw them away.”
The we finally get to see what happened to the braces.
It’s an extremely expensive and slightly gross ornament in the shape of a cut-out tree, complete with a star on top, mini candy canes, and sequins glued on to look like mini ornaments. The braces are strung across the branches like beads or lights. It is truly a sight to behold.
“So, yeah, now I have this Christmas ornament. Are you kidding?”
The back reads:”Austin’s Braces Removed 12/16/2014.”
The comments ranged from awe to disgust to empathy.
Some people loved the whole thing, from the nostalgia to the mom’s crafting prowess.
Others could just identify with what happened. In completely horrifying ways that we love.
And one dental professional wanted to the world to know that what happened to Austin was mostly normal, sort of: “Oh my that’s so cute! I work for an orthodontist and lots of parents want to keep the braces.”
More than one parent said that they would NEVER think of such a thing — but now they were fully into the idea. One woman was even at the orthodontist as she typed: “Literally doing this right now. My daughter is in the chair at the orthodontist right now and dying of humiliation as I put her braces in my purse.”
But there’s one thing we know for sure: never, ever underestimate a parent’s ability to salvage something and reuse it — especially if that thing cost thousands of freaking dollars. And never, ever underestimate our ability to turn that thing into a Christmas ornament. We will find a way.
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