neat and wear braces [teeth]

< Previous | Next >

KYC

Senior Member
Mandarin
Hi there
I heared the converstaion about the teeth in my mother tongue.I try to transalte it in English
Here is my try:
The little boy's teeth are not neat , so the dentist suggested he should wear braces.
I wonder if my try and usage of terms are correct and idiomatic.
Could you verify it for me?
Thanks a lot!
 
  • Riverby

    Senior Member
    NZ English
    Your syntax is correct and the sentence is easy to understand. However, I think you might be more likely to hear this:
    The little boy's teeth are crooked, so the dentist suggested he should wear braces.​
     

    Thomas Tompion

    Senior Member
    English - England
    Just a tiny point. I think a brace is appropriate to one row of teeth, so braces would mean that the child had both the upper and lower jaws braced. If only one jaw is braced, then I think we say the child has a brace.

    Crooked is fine; uneven would work too, I think.
     

    zemirah

    Member
    English, Australia
    Or; the little boy's teeth are not straight, so he dentist suggested he should wear braces.

    Also, Thomas Tompion is probably right in theory, but I have never heard braces (for teeth) being referred to in the singular.
     

    zemirah

    Member
    English, Australia
    Perhaps it's an Australian thing then, but lots of my friends in high school had braces, and would never have said they were getting a brace on.. I would associate the word brace with a back brace/leg brace etc, but never for teeth.
     

    ewie

    Senior Member
    English English
    Like TT, I would expect a brace to be on just one set of teeth, braces on both.

    (In AE I believe these things are called retainers.)

    ~ewie, Not A Dentist
     

    zemirah

    Member
    English, Australia
    OK, now we're getting technical, and rather off the original question, but I thought a retainer was a sort of plate used after the braces come off, often just at night, to keep the teeth in their new positions.
     

    ewie

    Senior Member
    English English
    Oops ~ as I said, Zem, I'm not a dentist ... I'm also not an American;) Perhaps I should keep my big fat gob shut:D
     

    Starfrown

    Senior Member
    English - US
    A retainer is indeed a little piece placed in the top or bottom of the mouth that retains the position of the teeth after braces have been removed.

    If I hear "brace" in the singular, I think of something that perhaps a maxillo-facial surgeon would put in one's mouth after jaw surgery.

    In America, the metal pieces glued to the teeth and the bar running across them are referred to as "braces," whether they are only on one row or both. These perform most of the repositioning.
     
    < Previous | Next >
    Top