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™‚