Goodbye Braces – Underbite problem solved!

I AM UGLY BETTY, NO MORE!!! HOORAY!!!

Most people I know commented on how much they miss their braces once they are removed but not me! I will NEVER EVER miss it, not even a single bit and today, may I present you my ‘new’ set of teeth!

Apart from realigning my teeth, setting it straight and helping me to overcome my underbite problems, I have never liked them. I mean come on, who does right?

Pain from tightening, ulcers, cuts, food getting stuck in between teeth, annoying elastic bands..you name it, I have it. I guess that’s pretty common for most wearers but what about this?

grey Updates on My Braces Journey for my Underbite

Of course, this picture doesn’t exactly paint the full picture of what happened and it only captures the aftermath.

What really happened : the frenulum of my tongue got caught on one of the hooks of the braces at the back of my mouth.

grey Updates on My Braces Journey for my Underbite

So obviously I couldn’t be expected to be snapping away of what exactly happened at the time of incident right? I was wailing in pain and panicking like mad, and was extremely in fear as I was alone during that time.

After the physical pain was relieved a little (as the frenulum continued to hurt the days after), I had to be financially ‘exploited’ by the private hospital I went to remove the frenulum off the hook which costs me $200+! And well, the whole procedure didn’t even take more than 5mins! WTF seriously.

Now, that’s something I bet you have not come across. Even my dentist hasn’t and perhaps I may be the one and only in this world who experienced this unlucky encounter.

So these are the last pictures you will ever see me with braces on :

(Pardon for the unsightly pictures with food stuck in between my teeth)

photo 3 (39)

photo 1 (47)

photo 2 (48)

I went from this :

BRACES

To this :

photo 3 (40)

My retainers which cost me $300! I was advised to wear them for 4 months 24/7 (full time) then only am I allowed to wear them only during sleep.

Photo 23-4-14 2 15 20 am

Photo 23-4-14 2 15 56 am

I AM SO FREAKING HAPPY THAT THE BRACES ARE OFF!!! I AM NOW A CLASS I INSTEAD OF A CLASS III (UNDERBITE) MALOCCLUSION!!!Β 

But for now, after not smiling with my teeth for 26 years, I will have to practise more now with the mirror…..

In any case you guys are interested, I did my braces with Dr Timothy Lim from Q&M Dental Clinic. I usually patronise the Bedok branch but I know he runs around other branches too like Centrepoint, Bugis, Bukit Batok…

Don’t be mistaken, this is neither a paid advertorial or sponsorship, and I don’t gain anything from this. Just that I realised that there are actually many people out there facing the same underbite problem as I did too, so hopefully this would be of help to you guys.

I did not get my jaw corrected too to overcome this underbite problem and as I have mentioned previously, I am just PLAIN LUCKY.

Please seek professional help to have your condition assessed as different individuals have different set of problems, and for some unfortunately, having only braces may not solve your underbite problem.

Total charges :

Braces – $4200 excluding GST

Retainers – $300 excluding GST

Misc – $10 per visit forΒ sterilisation and disposable charges

X-ray – I cannot remember how much but you will have to get this done before putting on braces

Fillings – I was charged $70/tooth – but I guess it varies

For cleaning/polishing/whitening/other services, please inquire with them.

SAY CHEESE!!!

photo 1 (48)

 

I have been receiving queries as to the address of the dental clinic where I had my braces done by Dr Lim which I have also included in my previous blog posts. Nevertheless, for the benefit of the doubt, here is the address.

Please note that Dr Lim drops by different Q&M branches on different days so it’s best you check with them directly. From what I know, he’s stationed at Bedok on Wednesdays, Centrepoint branch on Thursdays and Bugis branch on Saturdays. He goes to Bukit Batok as well but it’s best you check directly with the receptionist.

Q&M Dental Clinic (Bedok)

Blk 214 BedokNorth Street 1

#01-173

Singapore 460214

Tel: 6876 0533 | Fax: 6876 0082

Braces journey for underbite (ending soon)

Yes, the title says it all!

Visited the dentist yesterday for my monthly tightening of my braces and I must be pleased to announce that Dr Lim informed me that I will be able to remove my braces soon!!!

I have been pestering him about this each time I visit him…HAHA!

Because the main problem of my underbite has been solved and my teeth are generally straightened now, I don’t see anymore progress/changes/reasons for the braces, but the recent months had Dr Lim trying to adjust/rotate some 1 or 2 teeth as they are not perfectly aligned and equal with the rest.

photo 1 (44)

Currently, I am rotating 1 of my 2 front teeth as it has been pushed too far out (afraid I’m gonna have buck teeth soon…!) and so we are trying to adjust it back to where it should be.

After this is done, hopefully successful, Dr Lim mentioned that I can set up my retainers which require the machine for the teeth mould…and which Q&M Bedok Branch does not have. So Imma have to head down to most probably the Orchard branch.

I asked Dr Lim if my underbite would recur once I am off my braces and do I have to rely on the retainers perpetually?

I have heard news of how my friend’s underbite recurred after he took off his braces and highlighted this to Dr Lim. He mentioned that it shouldn’t be the case unless the patient was still at the growing stage, which I thought this may most probably be the reason why as my friend did it presumably quite young (since he told me last year when he was 20?).

It is a little contradicting because I was told that wearing braces should be during when one is still young so the teeth and bone structure will be easier to shift. That was also the reason why I was skeptical in the first time as I only started wearing braces and attempting to correct my underbite a year ago, at the age of 25.

But I am very thankful for being so lucky!

I managed to solve my underbite problem at such later age and WITHOUT having to undergo any jaw surgery. I have heard how painful and expensive it is for that surgery. And and and, I was quoted 2 years by Dr Lim when we first started out but because everything seems to go so smoothly…I’ll be able to remove my braces waaaaay before that!

So anyway, I started out with my teeth looking like this :

jan braces

My top teeth were crooked and I had an underbite.

My current teeth looks like this :

braces march 2014

 

photo 4 (36)

So much improvements within 1 year and 2 months right? πŸ˜€

So so so happy!!

Dr Lim used an additional wire to tighten my upper row hence no pinky rubberbands…

This is how my teeth adjustments have progressed over the months (sorry for the lack of pictures in Jan and Feb)

I’ll be returning for my review again in 3 weeks’ time so please pray hard for me that my tooth would be obedient and then I’ll be ready to be metal-teeth NO MORE! πŸ˜€

braces jan 13 to mar 14

 

Click on the picture for a larger image πŸ™‚

I have been receiving a handful of queries regarding my braces and underbite (didn’t know there were so many people in Sg facing the same problem too). Thank you so much for reading and accompanying me through my journey! πŸ™‚

I hope I can be of help to everyone alright! πŸ™‚

Happy 1st Anniversary Braces!

Yesterday marked the 1st Anniversary I have with my braces. I must say that this is one of those relationships which I cannot wait to breakaway from my life. Such a love-hate relationship is often tiring.

Love it because it has indeed helped me to solve my underbite problem and align my teeth straight.

Hate it because it has caused me not only financial pain but physically as well.

If you would recall, I had my fendulum on the underside of my tongue stuck onto the metal bracket of the braces at the back tooth. Can you imagine with pain and I couldn’t even close my mouth or speak properly! Not knowing what to do and I was panicking in tears, I had to rush down to the nearest hospital and FML, this stupid incident costs me a whooping $200+!!!

This is how my latest set of teeth look. Pretty much more or less the same.

The main problem (underbite) has already been solved and now, the dentist is just trying to adjust some stubborn teeth that are slightly misaligned.

photo 2 (11)

And the mandatory comparison for the one year thus far :

braces jan to dec

Click for larger image.

You can see the gaps have been slowly closing after I have ‘jump’ the bite from July onwards. Documenting the braces journey not only helps my keen readers (esp those with underbite problems) but it also helps me to monitor the progress of the shifting and movements of my teeth. Most importantly, it sorta serves as a security that my money is actually well-spent la. HAHAHA.

Although I’ve pretty more or less beautified my teeth, somehow what bothers is that I still cannot smile properly with my teeth shown. As you can tell from the pictures above, I’ve always had the mindset that I have a set of crooked jaw. Either that, I have a crooked mouth. So whenever I try to pose for the camera secretly trying to smile with my teeth shown, I end up with a crooked smile and mouth. πŸ˜₯

I’ve also tried googling for pictures of people wearing braces on but able to still smile showing their teeth but somehow, I just can’t.

But it may also be because having an extra ‘thing’ around your teeth makes it difficult to smile properly and perfectly even though your teeth are straight. But then again, there are so many others who smile confidently and don’t look awkward like I do πŸ˜₯

I have a long wide jaw which I guess explains why all my wisdom teeth could grow up properly without being embedded, which hence allowed me to extract them out without surgery. But then because it was not a surgery, just normal extraction, I could not claim under my Medisave. :$500+ fly away! πŸ˜₯

Either that, I’m not used to looking at pics of myself with my teeth shown while smiling. All my 25 (coming 26 *GASPS*!) years of my life, there will never be a picture that shows me smiling with my teeth shown, UNLESS IT WAS A CANDID SHOT. And many at times, that did happened and it was so FML-moment because I really loathe the way I look.

It’s kinda frustrating whenever I’d try to get my dentist to advise how long more am I required to wear them and he refuses to commit.

I mean the remaining $$$ is not a problem, which I think I’ve left about another $600-700+ if I recalled correctly? But I just want to get it over and done with already! 😦

Other than the braces, the dentist would access the teeth and gums overall and I have had several fillings done due to decays. =x

And it costs $70 per tooth!

FML, documenting this actually reminded me how much $$$ I’ve invested for my teeth.

SO IT BETTER BE WORTH IT.

Updates on Braces for Underbite

Visited my orthodontist, Dr Lim yesterday and did some fillings. I still have some more cavities to mend but I guess that would be done during my next visit.

By the way, fillings aren’t cheap. I mentioned this earlier but for the benefit of those who have not read my previous post, it costs about $70 per tooth and there is a range of price for fillings. Not sure how they determine it but I have always been charged $70 per tooth. I filled 2 teeth yesterday and that’s already a whooping $140 which I’ve to pay on top of my monthly instalment for my braces, all these exclusive of GST. The total amount came up to $321. So yes, it’s kinda pricey if I were have to pay this amount every month or either that pay about $170 incld GST for my monthly instalment for my braces only when I don’t engage in other services such as teeth polishing, fillings etc. Oh yes, there is also now some sterilisation charge of about $10+.

Sigh, everything also wanna charge yeah. πŸ˜₯

Here’s the current image and profile of my teeth :

20130912-100033 AM.jpg

Initially, I chose transparent rubber brackets but I was told that these transparent ones would stain easily, especially if one consumes tea/coffee regularly.

I am a coffee addict so I’d decided not to take the chance to embarrass myself with stained brackets and opted for silver instead. I think it’s quite cool because it blends with the metal brackets themselves, don’t you think so? πŸ˜‰

It’s so super metallish-metal teeth! :p

Here’s the usual monthly comparison of my teeth thus far :

braces jan to sept

*I know it’s a little small, just click on it for a bigger image!

Honestly, there doesn’t seem much or any difference comparing Aug’s and the current position till date but I guess the bite is much better now as mentioned by Dr Lim. I think that’s quite true too because the number of times of me biting myself on my mouth and cheeks has also lessened, thank god!

Dr Lim has been trying to adjust 1 of my tooth’s direction and to get it face more outwards since my last visit in Aug but seems like there isn’t any much improvement 😦

Hence, he inserted an extra spiral wire on top of another one, onto the metal wire, hoping to get it turn outwards.

braces sept2

On top of that, I haven’t been wearing my elastic bands often because firstly, they causes much discomfort. The freedom of my mouth movements is so restricted. You are also supposed to remove them when eating and brushing teeth, which I don’t bother to initially. Also, I can’t speak and articulate my words properly when I talk as well.

But Dr Lim said that it’s still too early to forgo the elastic bands and advised me to just wear them at night instead of 24/7 now. I guess that would be preferred as well. So Imma just gonna wear them at night now….that is if I remember to…heh.

I also asked Dr Lim to provide an estimation of how long I would still require braces but he couldn’t and didn’t want to provide me with false hopes, hence didn’t really commit a definite period. However, he did mention that most people wear for about 1.5 years and he also did mention that my progress is very promising πŸ™‚ I do agree as well because I’ve never expected for a 100% success of jumping the bite – correcting my underbite to a normal bite within such a short period. I was prepared to have my braces on for about 2 years or even more when Dr Lim advised that duration initially when I just started putting them on. But seems like luck’s on my side and my progress has been awesome and fast πŸ™‚

Apart from having straighter teeth, I am also set to possess a great smile. Of course, a killer smile wouldn’t be that achievable but somehow, I’m still very particular on how I look smiling with teeth shown and how my jaw seems to be crooked, long or still protruding (didn’t undergo chin augmentation). I still feel that I can’t smile properly, what more perfectly. To me, it’s still an awkward sight, although one of my friend recently thought I look okay.

I don’t know, maybe it’s just me? 😦

Nevertheless, looking forward to a healthier and straighter set of teeth and aiming to perfect it! πŸ™‚

Updates on My Braces Journey for my Underbite

Hello!

I’ve been receiving quite a handful on queries regarding my braces for underbite cases and hope that by documenting my experience down, would be of some help to you!

But nevertheless, feel free to ask me anything more via this link at ask.fm! πŸ™‚ Will try my best to help πŸ˜€

So anyway, I went back this August for my monthly dental visit.

I went a week earlier on an emergency basis because SOMETHING MASSIVE DESTRUCTIVE HAPPENED.

Okay, it wasn’t destructive per se, but I was pretty sure it was damn near a LIFE-THREATENING SITUATION.

Guess what happened?!?!

My tongue, and to be precise, the frenulum of my tongue got caught onto the metal bracket/hook at the end of my braces!!!

Frenulum of the tongue :

I couldn’t remove it on my own and I was home alone. It was bleeding but not massively but still!!!

The whole time, my tongue was crooked and I couldn’t speak properly. It kinda reminds me of patients who suffer from stroke or paralysis! I was freaking scared!!! I was afraid that if I were to use strength and force to pull it out, I would bleed buckets, like how I cried buckets.

IT WAS FREAKING PAINFUL AND SCARY!!!

Why and how did it get caught there, if you may ask.

It happened when I was having my dinner and as usual, food, especially meat, got stuck onto the braces… For all braces-wearers, you should agree with me on this. It’s uncomfortable and awkward when food gets stuck onto your braces, right??

Anyways, so clever me usually use my LONG tongue to push out the food bits that get stuck onto the braces. That also explains some of the cuts which in turn result to ulcers as well.

And then TADAH! IT GOT CAUGHT ONTO THE BRACES.

I didn’t snap any pictures of course, I was panicking, crying, freaking out, home alone with my doggy (who sensed something amiss and barked non-stop at me and trying to climb up to my dressing table to see what’s wrong) and trying to remove the frenulum of the tongue… and practically just feeling lost and scared.

Not knowing what to do, I called my bf first who then contacted my parents and they rushed me to the nearest hospital to get the tongue’s frenulum removed and unhooked.

And this was what happened aftermath :

Photo 07-08-2013 02 39 47 PM

Photo 07-08-2013 04 48 05 PM

Photo 07-08-2013 04 48 22 PM

It wasn’t really painful, at least not as much as it being caught, but it does get uncomfortable, especially when swallowing as days passed.

I was so afraid that the docs would snip it off or something, but all the doc did was to use a small forceps and ‘open’ the metal bracket and the frenulum of the tongue unhooked itself. This was based on what my bf told me because I couldn’t see what’s going on in my tongue and he was there to witnessed everything.

He was also there to hold my hands tight during the whole process and who also cancelled his appt with his friend and rushed down for my from work.

I am extremely grateful, just hope you know that if you are reading this :’) ❀

So yes, moral of the story is DON’T USE YOUR FREAKING TONGUE TO PUSH OUT FOOD BITS ANYMORE.

At least that’s a painful lesson for me to learn and remember. Now, I’d try to limit my tongue movements where possible.

I know how troublesome it is to floss every now and then after meals, and honestly, I haven’t been flossing for the past what, 8 months? Ever since I had braces on… ahem.

After this stupid mistake, I try to be more hardworking and so, I bought a packet of these tiny brushes from my dental clinic. I think it’s so much better than flossing. You have better control and grip in cleansing your teeth.

Photo 12-08-2013 10 50 38 AM

You can see that the brush made of small bristles is bendable because it’s made of a small thin wire, which gives you easy access in between your teeth and flexibility!

You can go in between your teeth like this :

Photo 12-08-2013 10 51 11 AM

And under the braces’ wire!

Photo 12-08-2013 10 51 20 AM

(Sorry for the unglam-ness and poor reso of the pics)

So it’s extremely useful and as compared to toothpicks, it’s much softer.

I think I’ve weak gums so whenever I try to clean, as gently as possible, my gums still bleed easily. My dentist keeps nagging that I’ve to prevent food from getting stuck in between my teeth so that I will not have anymore cavities.

I had some on my wisdom teeth, of which I’ve removed ALL FOUR AT ONE GO (pls don’t do this)Β and some on my remaining molars which I had fillings to cover them. Fillings aren’t cheap too, it costs me approx 70$ per tooth! 😦

Here’s how my teeth look currently :

Photo 12-08-2013 10 24 36 AM

Please note that I am supposed to still have my elastic bands on but it’s just that it’s really very annoying so I’d removed it most of the time. Pls don’t do this either. I try to put it back whenever I remember, like when I go to sleep, thinking that it would actually help shift and align my teeth better overnight. LOL, but please do have it on always, except when eating and maybe when brushing. I’m so lazy that I brush with them on as well, but pls pls pls don’t follow my footsteps. I am a super bad example because I realised I can’t brush my teeth properly with the elastic bands on…

And because one of my tooth is not facing outwards properly, my dentist inserted a little spiral wire onto the braces’ wire :

Photo 12-08-2013 10 29 44 AM

Also, he placed a small extra wire onto one of my front tooth, which is quite tiny and I can’t snap a clear picture of it. He mentioned that because it’s growing inwards so had to fix that small wire there.

So anyway, yes. Here comes the most exciting part of documenting my braces journey – comparison to see how braces have helped me thus far.

A comparison from Jan to Aug 2013 :

braces jan to aug

You can see that from July to August, apart from already jumping the bite, my teeth are shifting and aligning themselves better, which is evident in the small gaps between the two sets of teeth when bite down together.

A comparison between my 2 side profiles – before and after braces (current profile) :

side profile-horz

Okay now, this is quite depressing. I don’t seem to see any difference with regards to my lower jaw. The only difference I’ve seen is that my jaw line is more defined now and I don’t really want that. But then again, it may be because the ‘before’ picture doesn’t do much justice and isn’t exactly accurate in illustrating my jaw line. So sorry for the poor photography skills.

I tried searching for more pictures on my side profile prior to wearing braces but couldn’t find them, which shows how much I’d loathed my side profile.

Till now, despite having to already ‘jump’ the bite and I no long have under bite, my side profile remains more or less the same I think.

HOWEVER, I did have friends who told me that my profile and jaw did change and it’s not as protruding anymore.

I’ve marked out areas which seem to have obvious difference.

  • The distance between my chin and the tip of my nose if further now than before which means that my jaw is pushed backwards. And this is true because when I try to position my teeth to the old position (prior to braces), I could see those gaps where they were once filled :

underbite

I can no longer position my teeth at an underbite position anymore WHICH IS A GOOD THING! πŸ˜€

  • The distance between my lower lip and chin is also wider which also means that my jaw is pushed back now.

If you notice, I still have that annoying crescent shape because :

  1. I have a very slim face (close to skinny but I refuse to use that word because it’s ugly) and I have sunken cheeks – this may most probably be the reason why my profile is more of less the same. I hate this crescent shape side profile. It’s really unflattering. I lost loads of cheek fats ever since I lost weight during puberty and for me, when I gain weight, it doesn’t reflect much on my cheeks. Don’t be envious BECAUSE MY ARMS AND THIGHS GET THEM FIRST. FLABS OF FATS!!!
  2. I took a gamble by using only braces to correct my underbite problem. As mentioned earlier in my first post on this braces journey, the ONLY 100% solution to correct an underbite problem COMPLETELY and correcting the jaw structure is to undergo a chin/jaw augmentation/correction. That means SURGERY. I didn’t choose that option, but still got my underbite corrected anyway (THANK GOD BECAUSE I THOUGHT MY OLD BONES WOULDN’T COOPERATE SINCE IT’S A SKELETAL PROBLEM). HOWEVER, my jaw is still the same, still as wide and long(?). That’s also another reason why my profile didn’t change drastically despite having my underbite corrected. And I guess, this is also the reason why I still find it awkward/ugly to smile with teeth shown. 😦

So yes, I thought I’d better disclaim first to prevent misunderstandings later on. If you have an underbite problem, a 100% correct would be chin augmentation + braces.

But I’m happy to have much straighter teeth right now! πŸ™‚

 

Braces Journey for a Class III Underbite Malocclusion

Finally, I am now a complete braces wearer, after about 5-6 months.

Erected them on my lower set of teeth (which are already straight originally) and hooked 2 elastic bands on the side to control and correct the jaw movements.

The bands are quite difficult to wear and I am so afraid of them snapping on my fingers, face and inside my mouth. My friends have warned me that they might snap when you yawn or open your mouth too wide for whatever reason.

My orthodontist is trying very hard to convince me that jumping the bite (i.e. correcting an underbite) can be done with just braces, not needing any surgery.

He has shown me some pictures of other patients who managed to jump the bite and they seem really good. One thing I was more concerned is the age of the patient. As underbite involves skeletal structure of the jaw, the older you are might prove difficulty or at least takes a longer process for the shifting to occur.

But I am quite satisfied because after putting on the braces on the bottom row, I quite strained my upper teeth a little forward to overlap a teeny bit of the lower teeth.

Photo 14-06-2013 04 47 20 PM

Not sure if you are able to see it though. Cant strain too much because it hurts as the bottom teeth is still trying to adapt to the braces.

The overall picture and comparison thus far :

Photo 14-06-2013 04 17 44 PM

Photo 14-06-2013 04 52 31 PM

 

I think these 2 pictures above is clearer in showing the front teeth overlapping the bottom 2.

Photo 14-06-2013 04 17 54 PM

Sorry that I cannot open my mouth too big due to the elastic bands at the side.

BRACES JAN TO JUNE

By comparing the results monthly, you can see that my upper row has straightened out and the gaps are slowly closing up. On top of that, you can also see that I am slowly approaching to jumping the bite as well by looking at the 2 front teeth.

I am thus one step closer to achieving that perfect smile! πŸ˜€

If interested, myΒ orthodontist is Dr Lim from Bedok Q&M Dental. He runs around to other clinics too such as Bugis, Orchard and Bukit Batok. His schedule is quite packed though. I find him still acceptable and friendly, although careless at times, but hey everyone makes mistakes right! πŸ˜‰

*Pls note that this is not a paid advert or sponsorship. Undertook this on my own and is paid for by myself.

 

 

Braces Updates

It’s currently my 5th month into having braces on and frankly speaking, my patience is thinning. Other than being able to bite down edge to edge and have my upper row of teeth straightened, I don’t see any changes anymore. Due to other commitments, I had to cancel my dental appt twice.

That was when I told the dentist that I don’t think I can jump the bite or am seeing any improvements.

Hence, he informed me that I will be putting on braces on my lower row of teeth, together with elastic bands. I have heard from experienced friends telling me that those elastic bands would SNAP inside of your mouth if your mouth is opened too big and while you are chewing.

I am totally dreading this but I suppose that would be a very painful wake-up call if it ever snaps while I’m yawning. HAHA.

Apologies on the lack of updates for the month of April on my braces. Here are the pictures and comparison.

April 2013 :

Photo 28-03-2013 02 50 33 PM

Photo 21-05-2013 05 02 49 PM

 

braces apr n may

 

Okay la, it did improved a little. The gaps are narrower already, but my main concern and hope is for me to jump the damn bite!

My braces journey so far :

braces jan to may

Hopefully with the lower set of braces and elastic bands would help improve the situation. Dentist mentioned that putting on braces help to expand your jaw, thus the reason in putting the upper row first. As I have an underbite, my lower jaw is wider than the upper jaw and hence, protruding out. Putting on the upper row would help expand my upper jaw first. Putting the lower row is inevitable which would expand my lower jaw further which we do not want but will be curbed and controlled by the elastic bands.

Just thought I’d explain the rationale here. Β πŸ™‚

Wish me luck!

Would wanna be a pretty bride in time to come! πŸ˜›