1. You're off to the dentist for a check up. This is nothing to be scared of. You've been a thousand times before.
2. Oh, wait. This time's different. You've just been told you need braces.
3. "My teeth are fine," you insist. "Their imperfections are important. They're what make me me."
4. But your dentist isn't convinced. "Just think of Cheryl Cole," he says. "Besides, braces are free on the NHS."
5. Of course, you'll have to get some baby teeth pulled out first.
Which apparently involves actual injections IN YOUR GUMS AND CHEEKS.
6. And before you can see the orthodontist, you spend an hour in a waiting room containing the world's worst game and a pile of Hello! magazines circa. 1995.
7. But it's fine. You're fine. Everything's fine. Just concentrate on how great you're going to look afterwards.
8. And ignore everything you read on the Internet.
9. First things first: the orthodontist needs a plaster cast of your teeth.
10. And then it's show time.
This involves putting metal rings around your back teeth, spreading glue that smells like rotten eggs around your mouth and sticking down brackets that make everything taste like metal.
11. You've got some pretty big decisions to make.
Would you like:
a). Clear braces, that will stain as soon as you drink orange juice?
b). Metal braces that will make you look like a robot?
c) Coloured braces that will make you look 9-years-old?
IT'S A TOUGHIE.
12. When you get back to school, you'll obviously be asked to read aloud in English.
13. Which simply isn't a possibility because you can't talk or eat or basically do anything.
14. And as soon as you get used to a life without chewing gum, or toffee or popcorn...
15. A life which requires you to change your rubber bands after every single meal...
16. And clean your teeth three times a day with one of these...
17. And remember never to show your teeth when you smile...
18. Or kiss anyone ever...
19. You have to go back to the orthodontist to get your wires tightened.
20. Your orthodontist will inevitably leave a cheeky bit of wire sticking out so you bleed from inside the cheek.
FYI, orthodontists, that wax DOESN'T HELP.