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Kids in Headgear

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There was a time when headgear was cutting edge technology in the orthodontics world. There also was a time when computers weighed 30-tons, as big as two semis and filled with enough vacuum tubes (19,000), switches (6,000), and blinking lights to require an army of attendants. The field of orthodontics has come a long way over the years, just as the computer has. Wearing reverse pull headgear was not necessary for all kids with braces, but for the unlucky thousands that had to, they know just how unpleasant it really was. Great nicknames like “metal mouth” and “railroad track face,” were thrown out on the playground. Whether they liked it or not, kids had to wear headgear in order to continue the tooth-straightening process while they slept. It's embarrassing to wear a big, foolish-looking wire contraption on your face, but remember you weren't alone, and here are a few pictures to prove it.

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The rise of androgyny in popular culture took shape in the 70s with David Bowie and his Ziggy Stardust persona. It continued into the 90s when Leonardo DiCaprio sported the "skinny" look, which was another divergence from traditional masculinity. Here, we have an example of what an original fan club member of "Leo Mania" looks like.

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In the story the Ugly Duckling the mother duck exclaimed, "I can't understand how this ugly duckling can be one of mine!" Contrary to Mother Duck's remarks, this girl is the reason you shouldn’t be ashamed of wearing headgear.

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The '80s called and they want their shirt back. They were quite adamant about you keeping the headgear though. Sorry.

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This looks like one of the first young boys in his class to actually get excited about headgear. He figured that if his mother made him wear his dorkiest shirt, at least he could use the headgear to divert attention from it.

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Waking up in a massive puddle of drool isn’t the best habit to acquire at this stage in life. We suggest you invest in an ergonomic pillow designed specifically to support your head and neck. Making some simple changes to your sleeping environment will curb your drooling in no time.

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We have a nagging feeling that the girl with the headgear may just be "borrowing" that prom court sash. We're not saying that she won't ever make it onto the prom court; just give her a year or two.

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Having trouble trying to figure out what to get your severely nearsighted niece for Christmas? Well, for the girl who loves Star Trek and Geo-caching, why don't you try a different approach this year; a pair of skinny jeans, a Rolling Stones t-shirt, and a pair of Converse sneakers sounds like a good start.

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The addition of colored rubber bands became popular in the mid-90s. Each holiday saw mouths filled with colored bands that matched the appropriate holiday. St. Patty’s Day took it the hardest when Invisalign was created.

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As if wearing the under-bite corrector wasn't enough, girls on the playground started call him "cute", because the metal wires made it look like he had whiskers. The only thing worse than wearing headgear, is being called cute by a bunch of 10 year old girls with cooties.

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This under-bite corrector is the popular American version. Notice how the little whiskers have been removed, and the color has been changed to match skin tone better. Americans just aren’t as flashy with their under-bite headgear.

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It's hip to be square. There are quite a few hipsters these days that have taken to wearing dorky glasses with clear lenses. You can trump them all and pull out this photo, circa 1976. You've just earned instant hipster cred.

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This guy has been all smiles ever since he got the headgear on. We think it has something to do with the fact that he just watched James Bond in Moonraker, and came up with new ways to terrorize his younger brother.

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Polly wants a cracker. Squawk!. Polly wants a cracker. Squawk!

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Seventh grade wasn't as terrible as you remembered it, was it? Well, at least you had that Mickey Mouse sweatshirt going for you.

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This young boy always found it peculiar when his parents insisted he play on the roof when company came over. It was only years later when he saw this picture, that he finally understood why his parents did what they did.

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We sat and did what this girl’s shirt told us to do; we stared and waited for something to happen. Finally she put on that hideous hat and headgear. You have to give it to her, she pulled off quite a trick. We’ve never been able to look at girls with curly hair the same again.

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Even the Coppertone girls grew up wearing headgears. See, no one is safe from headgear's evil clutches.

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Having headgear in grade school did not mean you were exempt from attacks by the neighborhood bully. In reality, it's the complete opposite. Where do you think he got that black eye from?

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Mastering a song increases a child’s self-esteem, just like winning an important sports game. Just not when you're rocking an accordion and headgear. For years after this photo was taken, little Charlie was still the last player picked during playground sports games.

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For months, you spend every weekend thrift store shopping, coming up empty handed. After a while it really begins to bum you out. But then your best girlfriend travels back in time to 1983 and steals her dad's reading glasses, and suddenly, everything's right in the world.

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