Pictured: All of our former teenage bracefaces.
Meet Molly Moore and her six-month-old golden retriever, Wesley.
Molly lives in Spring Lake, Michigan, where she works at the veterinary clinic owned by her dad, Jim Moore.
Wesley is a happy puppy, but he’s had some teething problems.
“Once his adult teeth started coming out, we noticed they were coming in wrong and he was unable to close his mouth fully,” Molly told BuzzFeed News.
“He wasn’t playing with his toys and he was losing weight,” she said. “It was very worrying for me, and we needed to do something for him to be pain free and live a happy puppy life.”
Luckily, Molly’s father happens to be a specialist in veterinary dentistry and had the perfect solution: dog braces.
Jim Moore acknowledged that dog braces are an “unusual technique,” but said they can really help animals with dental problems.
“We don’t place braces or any oral appliances in the mouth for aesthetics,” he said. “We do this for pain or function.”
“A lot of people don’t understand,” Molly added. “They think we did this so he won’t get picked on in the playground, but there’s a serious medical reason.”
According to the American Veterinary Dental College, the condition is known as malocclusion, and occurs where teeth are not able to fit comfortably when the mouth is closed.
Jim Moore said he performs the braces technique rarely — perhaps four times a year. But he said the braces will help Wesley have a healthier smile.
Wesley was placed under anesthetic while the wire and braces were affixed to his teeth.
(If you’ve ever had braces, this pic will look mighty familiar).
Here’s the final result with Wesley showing off his adorably cute and awkward braceface.
The vet clinic uploaded these pics to Facebook and they’ve since gone insanely viral, being shared more than 270,000 times.
“He’s just so cute with them on,” Molly said. “I feel like that’s what I looked like when I got braces at 12.”
The good news is that Wesley doesn’t have to hide away from the other dogs for long. He needs to wear his braces for only a few weeks.
You’ll be back to your old self in no time, Wesley. And soon you’ll get to experience the weird slimy feeling of your tongue on your teeth when your braces come off.