If there’s one thing about our appearances that can really give – or strip – a person’s confidence, it’s their teeth. We have to open our mouths every day to smile, to eat, to speak, and if you’re uncomfortable with how your teeth look it can really negatively impact the rest of your life.

These 22 people decided it was time to take matters into their own hands – or at least to put matters into the hands of a capable dentist – and the transformations are truly breathtaking.

22. What’s cute at 12 seems not so much later.

I’m sure her mom really tried, though.

12 vs 22. My teeth aren’t perfect yet (wish I’d worn my retainer!) but still thank you for braces and haircuts that are not by my mum!
byu/SevereTechnology inuglyduckling

21. This is a RADICAL transformation.

I can’t imagine needing surgeries on my face.

November 2010 vs March 2020 – 4 years of braces, double jaw surgery and a whole lot of smiles later!
byu/TheVanilla_Bean inbraces

20. Love her smile in both pictures, though.

I think most people feel like braces are worth the pain.

Image Credit: Reddit

19. Braces don’t get enough credit.

They’re kind of a miracle.

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by inpics

18. When you feel like a totally new person!

That is the best feeling, isn’t it?

Image Credit: Reddit

17. Before, during, and after…

She was always pretty but what a difference!

Definitely worth it✌🏼
by inbraces

16. Some doctors are so good at their jobs.

This is a killer team!

This is what over 2 years of braces, wisdom teeth removal and 2 jaw correction surgeries looks like. (Me, 2017-2019)
byu/cupcakezz inPastAndPresentPics

15. Happier and more confident is the goal.

This is the best possible outcome for sure.

It’s the two year anniversary of when I got my braces on. Two weeks ago I got debraced. I am so much happier and confident with my new smile ❤️
byu/qu33ngloom inbraces

14. I’m sure this wasn’t without pain.

Her smile says she’s glad she did it!

13 months and a lot of powerchains later.
byu/gimliwimli inbraces

13. Her teeth are gorgeous.

A++ work, orthodontist.

It was worth it
by inbraces

12. Five years might seem like a long time…

But it’s a blink of an eye in the grand scheme of things.

About age 9 to age 21, I guess those 5 years of braces paid off
byu/katlime0 inuglyduckling

11. Rocking the new haircut, too.

His smile is the best.

M/20/5’9’’ [137 lbs] 15 months. Left to right: Start Date: November 12th 2018. Finish date: February 27th 2020! Just wanted to say thank you from the bottom of heart for my orthodontist in helping me give something to truly smile about – a handsome, warm smile. 🥳🦷😊 #bracesoff.
byu/impaleafandlikepasta inprogresspics

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!

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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

Wow, I honestly didn’t think these would shock and awe me as much as they did.

Which of these really dropped your jaw? Tell us in the comments!