Shifting teeth and a generation of body modification.
I guess I didn't expect my dentist to be so exuberantly confident that back in the 1980s they knew that the kids they were orthodontizing would need to wear retainers for the rest of their lives so their teeth wouldn't shift back to pre-orthodontia. I suggested that I had been deceived, and my parents as well, and we both had no idea that at 30+ years of age I would still need to wear plastic in my mouth many nights to save their investment. And an investment it was, indeed. I remember the long rides to Marshfield, or hour rides to Medford, WI, to see Dr. Something, with the great gray beard that suggested that he could do no maxilliofacial wrong. I distinctly remember the torture of the pallet plate. And getting sick on the ride home after its installation, with vomit stuck up behind it. Even without vomit, it felt like it took up half of my mouth. And there was the cream of broccoli soup incident. Again, same message.
We shouldn't be quick to judge other cultures and their body modification efforts. We do some of the strangest stuff around. I knew that each click of the pallet plate was slowly splitting my jaw apart to make room for whatever creative work the orthodontist had in mind. Is that entirely sane, definitely not. Am I glad my teeth are somewhat aligned, yes.