No one grows up hoping they’ll have to have braces – or hoping they’ll have to pay for braces for their kid(s). That said, even though some people have to wear them for years and endure a non-insignificant amount of pain, I don’t know of anyone who wishes they didn’t have straight, gorgeous teeth.

Smiles say a lot about a person, and especially during the teen years, confidence is key.

I can say for sure that these 10 people would agree, and that they’re out there smiling it up, feeling better than ever.

10. I wonder how long she had them on?

She looks like she feels like herself!

At age 23 my braces are finally off and I couldn’t be happier!! Here’s a before&after.
byu/tasteofred inpics

9. Being able to smile without thinking about it is something so many take for granted.

It should be a thing everyone can do.

I got braces on when I was in 5th grade because of how messed up my teeth were, and for the next 9 years I was always embarrassed to smile. Now here I am in my second year of college, able to smile without worrying about what others think of my teeth – it’s an amazing feeling!
byu/GracelessSquid inhappy

8. Braces should get more credit for changing people’s lives.

A miracle for self confidence.

Tjought I’d share the fact that I got my braces off today, after a year and two months. Here’s a before and after picture
byu/FadingEmpyrean inpics

7. I can only imagine how much more confident she must feel.

A pretty girl either way, but still.

Image Credit: Reddit

6. This is so much to endure.

She definitely looks happy with the results though – as she should!

[deleted by user]
by inhappy

5. Two important rites of passage.

You can see her confidence shining through.

14 to 20 (now)! Got my braces off and stopped trying to do my own eyebrows.
byu/queenwavvvy inuglyduckling

4. Was it the braces that made the difference?

I guess we’ll never know, but I guess it was part of it!

My puberty: went from a hipster with braces to having an actual personality, straight teeth, clear skin and cheeckbones!
by inuglyduckling

3. She had her teeth lengthened, too.

Isn’t modern science a miracle?

Finally got my braces off! 17 month journey. Love my new smile!!!
byu/lilacberry inbraces

2. She looks happy in both pictures.

That makes me happy.

Found the goldmine of embarrassing preteen pics at my mom’s house. 11 on the left, 31 on the right. Thank the lord for braces and puberty.
by inuglyduckling

1. This kid’s smile just makes me happy.

It’s infectious!

Before and after braces. 4 years is a long time…
byu/LastNameRusk inPastAndPresentPics

Braces are funny, right? They hurt, they’re ugly, but everyone realizes they do more good than harm in the long run – what a rarity?

Did you have braces? Was your transformation huge? Tell us about your experience in the comments!