From the endless ‘Metal Mickey’ jibes to the amount of food that would collect between the ‘spokes’ every day, wearing braces would have left these individuals filled with horror.
But as this online gallery of images from around the world reveals, those who were once left self-conscious by the shape of their teeth, now all have smiles to be proud of.
Inspirational examples include a girl suffering canine protrusion and a man whose face is a picture of inter-dental tension.
These before and after pictures show the joyful outcomes that a brace can evoke.
Mind the gap? This woman did and happily bridged the confidence barrier to a beautiful smile
Before braces worked their magic, this man was a high risk under biter
A brace helped this woman to blossom into a beauty
A happy smile radiates confidence to the eyes – once her smile barely made it to her mouth
Once this man’s teeth jealously jostled for position – now they are all stars in perfect alignment
This mouthful of ‘train tracks’ is nowhere near as beautiful as her new radiance
Before, misaligned teeth caused jaw muscle tension – after, the relief shows in this youth’s face
This woman’s smile was a study in reticence (left) but those self doubt symptoms are banished
Before her teeth were like a constellation but now her stars are in a harmonious alignment
The morale bosting transformation of a brace has a multiplier effect as this boy’s style makeover shows
If the smile is a window on the soul, this woman’s smile is now as pretty as she is