When I got braces they were becoming slightly more acceptable. I remember quite a few kids at school who had one, including several people who got them whilst in sixth form which is quite late in the world of dentistry considering the idea age to start treatment is age 12 to 13, like me.
Yet recently teeth have become big business. Whether it's whitening, straightening, veneering or implants, it's all about the smile.
I predominately remember one celebrity which publicised braces and that was Gwen Stefani.
Gwen was 30 when she got braces in 1999. 1999 was the year I started secondary school, and like many other young people, I was a massive No Doubt fan and Gwen helped with making braces more acceptable. With pink hair no one would dare to call her uncool!
Another celebrity who had braces is Tom Cruise. He got his braces when he was 39.
I remember this really clearly as there was a big media scrum about this story. I believe Tom did his bit for the boys because after all who would say Tom Cruise is a geek?!?
And so I come to arguably the most well known brace wearer, Ugly Betty!
Ugly Betty personifies everything I thought of brace wearers when I was 11 years of age. If anything I believe this programme perhaps brought back some of the preconceptions of wearing braces, with a title like 'Ugly Betty' it doesn't give out a good image does it?
But in 2009, 10 years on from Gwen Stefani and her braces, over a million people began orthodontic treatment and braces were in high demand! Nowadays some orthodontic treatment is classed as cosmetic surgery so on the NHS only children are offered the treatment free of charge. Despite this there is also an increase in adults wanting treatment even though, on average, it costs between £2,000 to £6,000 to be treated. Starting treatment can be because you want a straighter smile or for more serious medical reasons such as sleep apnea where you actually stop breathing in your sleep.
The most recent celebrity to undergo orthodontic treatment is TV presenter Holly Willoughby. The 30 year old posted a photo of herself on her Twitter page with her new braces with the caption: "Brace yourself, I've got braces...eek! X"
(Image borrowed from Holly's Twitter)
Holly's teeth look pretty perfect to me and as she tweeted saying she would only have to wear hers for a couple of months it's probably just to adjust a minor problem but even though I just wish when I was at school there was someone like her who all us brace wearers could have looked to for support. I'm sure that the way she came out openly and honestly to say that she has got them will give many people confidence in wearing theirs or to begin much needed treatment.
But moving away from braces and onto general teeth. When The Only Way is Essex was on our screens a few months ago I remember an episode where Maria Fowler told the rest of the gang that big teeth were in and that everyone was after the 'race horse' look.
Personally I'm not going to follow the 'race horse' teeth trend but it is true that big teeth aren't the focus of mockery anymore.
I also just remembered another trend which I believe originated from Madonna and her infamous gap.
People were that obsessed with Madonna's gap in her front teeth they actually wanted to create one in their own teeth! I'm not entirely sure if this can be done but surely Madonna has done a lot for people who do have a gap which they dislike by not getting her's 'fixed'.
So to coin a few phrases whether you can 'eat an apple through a tennis racket' (have big teeth), 'can slot a pound coin through you teeth' (have a gap) or are a 'metal mouth' (have braces), embrace (no pun intended there) your teeth and for goodness sake look after them! After all you only get one set and no one likes this look:
(All images borrowed from Google Images, unless stated)