Son's teeth are braces-free, hurrah! How to celebrate/cheer him up?
January 17, 2017 9:14 AM   Subscribe

My 15-year-old son is getting his braces off. This means he can again indulge in some of his favourite snacks, especially popcorn and chewing gum. I want to celebrate and also cheer him up (he's been a bit glum lately)--already thinking of taking him to the cinema *just* for a big bag of MOVIE THEATRE popcorn, and putting together a care package of various brands of gum for his school locker, but other than that, I got nothing. Any ideas, mefites, for braces-themed jokes or treats, etc., that I can surprise him with for, say, a week? Even mild pranks might work (the equivalent of putting googly eyes on stuff, but braces/teeth themed)? He has a silly sense of humour. Thanks :)
posted by methroach to Grab Bag (17 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
12 pack of chatter teeth, wind them up, hide them places. If you put something a bit weighted over them, they'll stay wound and un-chattered until the thing is removed, making them perfect for things like "mom where's my hoodie?" "IT'S FOLDED NEATLY ON THAT CHAIR OVER THERE MINDING ITS OWN BUSINESS, WHY DON'T YOU GO PICK IT UP, HEH HEH HEH."
posted by phunniemee at 9:20 AM on January 17, 2017 [8 favorites]

Also I bet he's got a great smile. Maybe try to take a really nice few photos for posterity (take him to the mall or wherever kids get those done these days) when he's grinning his widest.
posted by jessamyn at 9:26 AM on January 17, 2017 [1 favorite]

Yes, on the pictures!! I purposely delayed changing my address on my driver's license, getting my passport, and changing my work ID until mine came off so I could have great pictures. I'm sure your son would appreciate having some.

I'd also suggest maybe gifting him with a teeth whitening session or buying a box of the Crest strips. My teeth were a little dingy afterward, and I felt even more awesome about having them off after a round of the Crest strips.(The store brand-Target- worked just fine for me.)
posted by BlueBear at 9:39 AM on January 17, 2017

Popcorn and gum are great ideas. Does he have another favorite snack he's been unable to eat? When I got my braces off I immediately went and bought a king-size Baby Ruth, which has peanuts and caramel and had been off-limits for 3 years. Best one I ever tasted!
posted by jhope71 at 9:39 AM on January 17, 2017 [3 favorites]

There are a lot of braces-themed items to purchase - cups, pens, t-shirts, magnets, etc. Google for "smiley braces" in google shopping. But after I looked at them, I was thinking that if I just got my braces off I wouldn't want any of this stuff.

Maybe look around for big teethy smiles of things. Here's some "smiley teeth shirts".
posted by CathyG at 9:44 AM on January 17, 2017

A bit out of season, but I remember being excited to eat caramel apples again.
posted by LKWorking at 9:45 AM on January 17, 2017

Or what if you showed up with braces on your teeth? Or everyone in the family?
posted by CathyG at 9:46 AM on January 17, 2017

Now and Laters were the preferred candy of orthodontics-removal back in my onion-belt days.
posted by Cookiebastard at 9:59 AM on January 17, 2017 [3 favorites]

Get him a Rainbow Loom to go with all the leftover rubber bands?
posted by Mchelly at 10:04 AM on January 17, 2017

Corn on the cob for dinner. I missed corn on the cob so much when I had my braces.
posted by current resident at 10:16 AM on January 17, 2017 [3 favorites]

Congratulations to your son on getting his braces off!

Just an FYI - when a person finally gets their braces off, their teeth feel kind of weird for about a week or so. I remember when I got mine off, I felt as if my teeth weren't anchored into my jaw -- they felt like they were loose...floating in my mouth. A person with braces for any length of time is used to having constant tension on their teeth from the wires being held into the brackets. When the braces come off, no more tension = loose teeth feeling.

Your son's teeth might be a little sensitive for a time, so he may want to take it easy at first. One thing I wish someone would have told me is that I needed to wear my retainers for the rest of my life (or get a permanent retainer). I stopped after a few years and my teeth shifted.
posted by ATX Peanut at 10:41 AM on January 17, 2017 [8 favorites]

When I was 13 I snapped the wire on my metal braces by chewing a contraband Starburst. So that might make a nice treat.
posted by HotToddy at 11:38 AM on January 17, 2017

I like this! I will mention though that getting my braces off was a little surreal after having had them on for so long (okay, not that long but it felt like a REALLY long time). I remember thinking that my teeth looked weird - not that they did but it was just so weird looking in the mirror and seeing teeth and not teeth with braces that it didn't look right to me. So the idea of doing pictures sounds nice but maybe give him a few weeks to get used to his new look.

Also, I broke my braces once eating chicken wings. And I remember not being able to eat apples while I had braces.
posted by kat518 at 11:43 AM on January 17, 2017

Corn on the cob. Roasted or boiled just right (look for the recipe from "The Best Recipe" cookbook). Fresh. Sweet. With a ton of organic, fresh, cultured butter. Maybe with those little cob holder pins. Maybe with the special corn-on-the-cob serving dishes.

Also, apples. He can take the first bite, then look at the bitten skin to observe the straight bite line.

Also, donating to some kind of dental outreach non-profit.

Also, let him go through the best floss-oriented web site I've ever seen and order whatever kind(s) of floss interest him.
posted by amtho at 11:57 AM on January 17, 2017 [1 favorite]

When I got my braces off, the thing I enjoyed most was getting professional photos taken with my new, straight teeth. I got to feel all fancy and adult, which was the coolest. (I, however, was a teenage girl in the middle of puberty, so this cheered me right up in the middle of an "ugly duckling" phase.)

Alternatively, I've always been partial to saltwater taffy, and my grandfather got a big bag of it, just for me, to celebrate. He was thoughtful enough to get all my favorite flavors, too (none of this cherry nonsense). That's probably my second-best memory of the experience.
posted by PearlRose at 1:59 PM on January 17, 2017

Thanks for ALL of these great ideas! I'm going to get to work on them.

PS I forgot that he loved Starburst too, and corn on the cob.
posted by methroach at 5:52 AM on January 18, 2017

Oh, also. Be prepared for the small but real possibility that he'll be upset, and try to take that in stride considering all the planning you're putting into this (happy!) occasion.

I distinctly remember a girl I went to school with being so excited to get her braces off, then the next day being utterly devastated because she thought that without the metal in her mouth to distract people, everyone could see how chubby her cheeks were. She hid her face for at least a week.

Teenagers are weird. Don't be too upset if your kid isn't as jazzed at first as he expects to be.
posted by phunniemee at 6:12 AM on January 18, 2017

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