Braces Updates!

Visited the dentist a week ago for my monthly follow-up.

Here are some of the updates in pictures.

I decided to do an early comparison before the ‘1 mth’ period is up, so it was merely 2 weeks after my 2nd follow-up in Feb as depicted in the last picture.

As you can see, my front tooth shifted and straightened out merely after 2 weeks. Am super duper happy with it! 🙂

And this is the latest comparison of all 3 months.

Yes, I first had pink, followed by red and choose dark blue coloured brackets this month!

Not much difference from the above picture because my front tooth already straightened out.

A comparison between 14 Feb and 5 Mar :

Other than that, the dentist increased the size of the wire for every follow-up.

Not much difference between these 2 weeks but am remaining hopeful.

The only thing that keeps me in faith is that my front tooth actually straightened out within a mere 1.5 months! 😀

But if you’d read my previous posts on my braces journey, you would have known that I am categorised as a class III malocclusion and have an underbite.

So the ultimate goal is not only to straighten the teeth but to align them normally, with the top row overlapping the bottom row a little.

As of now, I still can’t smile properly with my teeth shown. I just look weird. Like as if I have a crooked mouth or jaw. Plus, my face shape is quite sharp, so I look damn awkward.

I did fillings for 4 teeth last month and did another 3 this month. Was charged 70$ per tooth and am quite broke now. That’s on top of the monthly instalment I’ve to pay up for the braces too.

Can’t blame anyone but myself for not taking care of my teeth and not visiting the dentist for almost a decade now… Shucks I know I’m disgusting like that.

I just hope I’ll have that beautiful perfect smile that would kill… No, I’m kidding.

Just pray that I can smile normal with straight looking teeth during my photoshoots for my wedding 🙂

Nobody wants to be an ugly bride, isn’t it? 😀

Braces!!!

Yes, I’ve finally put my foot down on this. I’ve been wanting to get my braces done like eons ago and at last, I’m one step closer to achieving my goal – a million dollar smile. Or at least, a decent smile which I can proudly show my teeth.

In my previous post, I’ve talked about how I have a class III jaw type and based on my research, most class III jaws require jaw surgery, which I know would guarantee a 100% success rate in order to push back my lower jaw and bring my upper jaw forward.

A little brief info :

Occlusion refers to the alignment of teeth and the way that the upper and lower teeth fit together (i.e. your ‘bite’).Malocclusion means the teeth are not aligned properly.

Ideally, all upper teeth would fit slightly over the lower teeth. The points on the surface of the molars would fit the grooves of the opposite molar.

There are three different categories of malocclusion:

  • Class 1 malocclusion, which is the most common, occurs when the bite is normal, but the upper teeth slightly overlap the lower teeth.
  • Class 2 malocclusion, known as an overbite, occurs when the upper jaw and teeth severely overlap the bottom jaw and teeth.
  • Class 3 malocclusion, known as an underbite, occurs when the lower jaw protrudes or juts forward, causing the lower jaw and teeth to overlap the upper jaw and teeth.

And because my teeth looks like this :

Which I consider to be quite a severe underbite (class III) since my bottom teeth is covering about half of my top teeth, my orthodontist had to place the braces in such a way that it wouldn’t disturb my natural normal bite.

My orthodontist is so far still acceptable in terms of his professionalism from the point of view of a customer/patient. However, I wasted 18$ cabbing down from work in order to rush to the dental clinic Q&M Dental Clinic at Bedok all for nothing! He was 1h30m LATE and I was really furious because I lacked sleep the night before and was starving. Thank goodness the nurse/receptionist advised me to have my dinner first since he’s late. My appt was scheduled at 6.30pm, I reached at about 6.40pm and at 7pm, he called to inform the receptionist that he’s gonna be late. So being a hungry ghost I was, I gobbled down a lonely dinner on my own at a coffeeshop nearby and walked a little around the interchange before heading back to the clinic again. I went back at 7.30pm since the receptionist told me that he would require another 20-30mins when it was at 7pm, but hell no… HE WAS STILL LATE!!! And there were other patients waiting too.

Nevertheless, he arrived in drenched uniform because it was raining damn heavily and he was thus caught in the traffic.

Okay, rants aside.

I’ve done up my top row of teeth with braces and now it looks like this :

The orthodontist mentioned that the current position of the braces is not the most ideal one but because I’ve overcrowding on the top set as well as a slight one on my bottom set (he didn’t mention this during the consultation previously and only informed me last night, which caught me by surprise because I’d always thought my bottom set was straight and looking good, which at least consoled me a little), and hence, he had to position them that way.

I didn’t extract any tooth for the braces to be done though.

The plan goes like this, to put up the braces for the top set to expand the upper jaw first, elastic bands to be placed at the sides of the mouth and then proceed to my bottom set for braces. But the 2nd and 3rd stage could be reversed depending on the progress. Will have to go back for a re-visitation 4 weeks from now at the end of the month.

I did make an informed decision since it’s gonna be a 2-year commitment and I do know that it’s not gonna guarantee a 100% success rate for my teeth to jump the bite. So I’m actually taking a gamble here.

But as mentioned in my previous post, the orthodontist did mention that I may stand a good chance in jumping the bite. Once that is achieved, it will perpetually remain that way since my top set would prevent my bottom set from overlapping it again. It’s somewhat ‘locked’ then.

I paid the deposit and will have to pay the installments as the months go by, without any interest charged. This is a brilliant policy since most people esp working adults, would be footing the bills themselves, sad people like me. 😦

So ask me if it’s painful?

I would only say that putting them on isn’t painful and on that day itself, it won’t hurt. Come the next morning which my orthodontist revealed, it would and it’s true. I’m feeling as if I’ve perpetual teeth ache and note the plurality won’t you?

Biting and chewing is thus difficult.

It’s not exactly a nightmarish pain but it does cause discomfort.

So I guess I’ll have to stuff myself with mashed potatoes or soft food again, which I’d struggled during the period I had all 4 of my wisdom teeth extracted at one go, which you can read in this previous post of mine.

Payment-wise, I was charged $4.2k  which includes the regular visits and the braces, and I was advised to purchase a special tooth brush made for braces wearers, which costs $5. I was also told that come the day when my braces get removed, I would have to put on the retainers to keep them aligned and in ‘shape’ and this would cost $300 for both top and bottom set. So all in all, it costs about $4.5k excluding GST charges (which is not cheap either).

Oh and in case if you guys are wondering, due to my class III malocclusion, I’m not suitable to wear invisalign, which is usually for class I minor cases.

Well, although I guess it can go both way – good and bad.

Good – Save lots of $$$. I was quoted 7k for invisalign. Need not remove and put it back each time I have my meals.

Bad – Stuck with ugly looking metal braces for 2 years. I didn’t choose ceramics as well cause I’d thought it just makes no difference and you pay the extra $$ unnecessarily anyway.

Whatever the case is, now that I feel the pain, both physically and financially, it must mean that it’s all gonna be worth it right? 😉

Oh, and after putting the braces, my mouth and teeth naturally fixes itself edge to edge whenever I close my mouth. I guess it’s because of the foreign objects on my top teeth that my brain sends an auto signal to avoid touching and grinding it. And it’s also because I can position my teeth edge to edge that gave the doctor higher confidence to inform me of my possible high chances of jumping the bite, since there is space to adjust the jaw structure accordingly.

Food-wise, I was told to avoid sugary, fizzy drinks… to have my food cut into smaller pieces especially for hard food. To avoid sweets and gummy bears. Have no idea why the orthodontist specifically told me ‘gummy bears’. I think I’ve a ‘gummy bear eater’ face that’s why? Told bf about it and he laughed, lol. ;p But yes, I really love gummy bears! Or anything gummy like Haribo sweets too! 😀 Plus, it comes in super handy whenever I’m angry! I can just chew and bite and tear it in my mouth like nobody’s biz and vent all my anger, frustration and sadness all at once! Yes, I’m full of angst.

And having braces on just makes me feel like not eating (YAY CAN LOSE WEIGHT?!), not smiling and not talking at all.

So yes, I’m gonna be a skinny unfriendly quiet girl soon.

But anyways, ome 2 years down the road, I would be all prepared for my wedding shoots! Haha! Wishful thinking on my part :p

*praying hard* 🙂

 

Metal Teeth!

Finally…!!!

I have put my foot down on this.

My ugly looking teeth and jaw problems have been bothering almost all my life and I have decided to get them solved by wearing braces.

A month ago, I had all 4 of my wisdom teeth extracted out at one go. Yes, I know I’m brave and all, but after this experience, my advice is not to be so silly like me and extract all 4 at one go. Now I finally understand why most people extract 1 side at a time. Simple, reason being is so that you can chew your food on one side at least!

Molars are those that help chew your food while canines are those that help tear your food, especially meat apart. It’s very difficult and troublesome to place your food at the front teeth and chew using them, simply because they are not made to do that. Furthermore, you must take extra pre-caution when chewing with your front teeth for the fear of biting your own tongue in the process. Sounds silly, I know, but it’s all true.

So, as mentioned previously, I suffer from a underbite. Okay, not really a suffering, but it’s used more dramatically and more impactful, no?

My side profile is really like this when I close my mouth and have my teeth bit down together.

Side profile with my underbite. I know it’s damn ugly! 😦
And how I loathe my flat button nose! 😦

I have a Class III jaw malocclusion. which in my opinion, is the most serious out of the 3 classes. Mine being the 3rd class, which must mean it’s the most severe right?

I must say that my decision to put on braces is somewhat flimsy because only a jaw surgery also known as orthognathic surgery/treatment will provide a 100% success rate in solving my jaw structural problems, but with braces, it may or may not, depending on my luck.

As shown above, beside having a Class III jaw malocclusion and an underbite, my top set of teeth faces overcrowding problems. My canines are very distinct. So hopefully with braces on, would help me straighten them out.

But to solve the problem of underbite, I would need to jump the bite so that the top set would be covering over the bottom row as with any other normal looking set of teeth.

I have been very very very bothered by my jaw problems and crooked teeth and very ashamed to smile or laugh with teeth shown. That is also the reason why I usually don’t smile often and in almost all my pictures, you would see I will be smiling with my lips tightly sealed together. Unless you caught me on candid laughing away (which I would kill you if I’d ever find out!), 99.9999% of my pictures will only capture my weak smile.

My visit to the dentist at Q&M Dental Surgery (Bedok Central), yes the one where I extracted my wisdom teeth, assisted in my decision in getting my braces done.

Side profile when my teeth are placed edge to edge. It’s so much better than the one with underbite and hopefully when I’ve managed to jump the bite, my side profile would be much better!

As you can see, my bottom row is quite straight…
And sorry if my pictures scare the hell outta you, but that’s precisely why I’ve decided to fix these ugly teeth right? LOL

I was told that because I could position my teeth edge to edge, which is the maximum my jaw could go, I stand a high chance jumping the bite without undergoing any surgical treatments. I was and still very adamant in NOT seeking surgical treatments for firstly, it costs a WHOOPING 5 DIGIT sum. I was quoted 30k for that previously by another orthodontist. Do note that dentists/orthodontists do not perform the surgery but only qualified surgeons from hospital do so.

A jaw surgery is just like any other surgery, having to lie on the operating theatre and to face aftermath risks.

Secondly, you will have to be hospitalised for about 5 days.

Thirdly, the recovery time take approx 3 months or more. There would be obvious swelling on the whole face. This would also mean to cause much inconvenience to my personal life and work life.

Just take a look at these pictures.

Not sure about you, but by just looking at these pictures already gives me the creeps and I am sub-consciously feeling nauseous. 😦

So yep, no jaw surgery for me.

Though I am a little skeptical that the ‘high chances’ cajoled by the dentist seems more like a sales gimmick and hard selling, I am still getting my hopes up. My cynicism was further aggravated when I told the dentist that I had to consider first before committing, which his face and attitude had a sudden change. I know I was going to do the braces but I wanted to inform my parents and bf first and to schedule a more appropriate timing to wear them. Bf advised to get them done after Christmas in Jan 2013 so that I could enjoy good food with him. Aww, sweet thing you ❤ :’)

Initially, I wanted to get them done asap and almost scheduled for tomorrow’s appointment. Knowing myself best, my past experiences with my impulsiveness didn’t get me very far and often, I regret doing things due to my impulsiveness. Most people who knows me will know that I am quite a kan chiong spider.

By the way, the dentist told me that I need not get any extractions done prior to the braces treatment although my top set of teeth faces overcrowding problems. That’s because he mentioned that my canines are situated at the right places and positions. Not too sure about that.

The only thing I dread is not so much of the pain, but the adjustment in my diet I have to make which reminds me of the nightmares I had after I had my wisdom teeth extracted. Although not a foodie, I now understand the pain one has to go through when you can’t eat normally, don’t even mention about yummy good food! 😦 Eating was a chore and will be again after I put on the braces.

The dentist briefed that he would be putting on the braces for the top set first to expand the upper jaw and followed by the lower set. I would also need to tie on elastic bands at the sides so as to modify my jaw structure in hoping to push back my lower jaw and bring my upper jaw forward.

For those who wonder why isn’t invisalign in my wishlist was because I was told that I cannot wear them due to my underbite. Not sure how true is that but since metal braces is so much cheaper and I’m footing the bill myself, I should be happy right?  I was quoted 7k as the starting price for invisalign.

I doubt I will be getting the ceramic ones since it would cost 1k more. Metal braces for my case starts at 4.2k, which is not inclusive of the $300 retainers which you would have to wear for the rest of your life ($150 each for top and bottom row of teeth) as well as excluding GST charges.

Of course, prior to getting your braces done, you will be required to undergo some X-rays. Initially I’d thought that I could skip this step since I had mine done prior to my wisdom teeth extractions, but I was told that they required other profiles and views of my teeth as well as jaw structure. Ugh.

Also, you will be required to make up a clay model of your teeth to see the positions of your teeth before braces treatment.

I paid $400+ for 2 X-rays, cleaning of teeth, teeth moulds, consultation.. as far as I could remember. Previously spent $500+ on my wisdom teeth extractions and now another $400 less in my bank account. Don’t even mention about the braces $$$. ARGH.

The good thing is Q&M allows instalments to be paid. A deposit of a lump sum, which the dentist insisted that 1/2 of $4.2k is advised but the nurse mentioned that any amount $1-2k is possible. Thereafter, a $150 instalment per month is to be paid. I think they are rather flexible about this so you can make adjustments according to your own financial status. There are other dental clinics which offer such services as well and one of them is iDental.

So come 2nd Jan onwards, I will be having metal teeth! I do hope that it’s not too late…

I’m hoping to achieve that million dollar smile… I’m not as lucky as those who still shine like a star despite having an underbite!

KEIRA KNIGHTLEY

Kristen Stewart

Emma Watson

Life is soooo unfair right? 😥

***

Anyway, met up with my bestie yesterday for dinner and we had Charly T’s at I12 Katong, but the food sucked and cashier service was rather slow. Didn’t enjoy the food there and being a glutton, I had mac fries thereafter! 😀

Verdict : NOT WORTH IT. 😦

Veg was ok, a little bland. Mac & Cheese wasn’t nice. Butter rice was still ok but overall, I liked the chicken best. Oh yes, iced lemon tea sucked too 😦

One of my secondary sch classmates and we remain good friends till now! She’s one of those who ain’t fake and who hasn’t change a single bit! Can’t say the same for the rest though 😦

By the way, it’s TGIFFFFF today!!!

Hope you guys enjoy yourselves this weekend!

More updates coming up and thanks for reading! 🙂 ❤

Love,

Jean