Braces are an awkward rite of passage in many adolescents lives. Most people tend to get them around middle school, right at the same time that everyone else has suddenly shot up three feet and hair has begun to appear in strange and unexpected places. Braces only add to this embarrassment, and teenagers who wear them often try to hide their existence by keeping their mouths shut as much as possible and refusing to answer questions in class. When people ask them if something is wrong, they respond with an uncomfortable, “Mrmm Hmrmm Mrmr?”
It is thus somewhat ironic that grills are viewed as a legitimate fashion accessory. Outkast, Ludacris, Lil John, and other famous hip hop artists have intentionally purchased these faux braces on the assumption that they are a symbol of financial success. What they really represent is conspicuous consumption and bad judgment on the part of the purchaser. They serve no purpose other than to get bits of food stuck into them, and consistent use may result in gum disease or bone loss. A small price to pay, it would seem, to look like the skinny kid you used to make fun of back in gym class.