The Journey to that Perfect Smile! Part 2

Disclaimer: This is a continuation from one of my previous post (:

Continuing from my post earlier, if anyone ever wondered, this is how my bottom row of teeth looks like!


I apologize for that epic expression of mine (lol). But anyways, most people wouldn’t really notice that it’s so messy given that my top row of teeth is straight D:

Fifth Visit: Cleaning my teeth & putting on the separators

Cleaning my teeth was awesome since I wasn’t a regular customer at the dentist :p I guess I wasn’t too surprised to hear from the hygienist regarding the state of my teeth too. 2 decays and 3 at risk -_- Seems like regularly brushing your teeth isn’t enough to prevent all these evil plaque. Plus, I haven’t been brushing it the right way as pointed out by her. She mentioned that the part where it connects to my gums weren’t clean enough which means when I brush, I did not clean the area near the gums enough. I never noticed that before D: Have to change the way I brush my teeth now ><

Another reason for this unhealthy predicament of my teeth which was guessed correctly by the hygienist was that I must be someone who love sweets D: BINGO. Sigh. Who can resist the temptation when a chocolate bar or ben & jerry ice cream is right in front of you? 😡 After hearing all these bad news from her, I decided to not get lazy with my future dental regime. The verdict was that I have to get these cavities filled up and to have those at risk protected.

Next was separators!

To confess, I have no idea what the orthodontist meant when he said the next visit would be placing separators so I did a little search online. Separators or some people use the term, spacers, refer to rubber bands that are placed between your molar teeth so as to create a small gap. This gap is to ensure space for the tooth brace when actual braces are fitted in.

For those who still do not understand, just watch the following video and you’ll know what I mean!

I had five separators. It was a horrible experience. The process of putting them in wasn’t bad at all, just a little discomfort like a piece of meat stuck between your teeth. However, when you try to eat, it really hurts badly. I couldn’t eat at all. Had to go back to liquid diet once again ): When I researched online, some people didn’t find it painful and some did, like me. I think it is because of the original space which already existed before you put these things in. My molar teeth are very close to each other and it is hard to even floss it normally which I guess was why it is so painful for my case.

But not much to worry because after around 3 to 4 days, it didn’t hurt anymore. I guess my teeth decided that they are not that meant for each other anymore (okay, not funny) so they moved apart. And I think they found out too much faults about the opposite party and one of the spacer fell off which was really troublesome for me because I had to go back and have another one placed. Not that it hurt or anything but the clinic isn’t really near my house =/

Sixth visit: Putting on the top braces

After exactly one week, I’m back again. Ready to have my spacers removed and for the real thing. I had to open my mouth for what felt like half an hour. The procedure went like this:

  • Removing the spacers
  • Cleaning the surface of the tooth in preparation for the brackets
  • Putting on what the orthodontist said “conditioners” for each teeth
  • Inserting metal bands (mine was 38mm, think I have huge teeth)
  • Cement for every single tooth so as to place the brackets
  • Placing of brackets
  • Wire
  • Rubber band

I got to choose which colour I wanted and thinking that having braces was enough uncomfortable, I decided to choose a colour which I liked, HOT PINK! The nurse which was helping Dr Vaz was like oh okay. Having such a response from her, I guess few people choose that colour? Oh well, who cares ~

The entire process was a little uncomfortable since I had to open my mouth really wide for a while. They used some equipment to make sure you do not close your mouth and I hated it. When it was all over, it felt really weird because I can no longer feel my top row of teeth. It is not covered by metal brackets which doesn’t really taste nor feel great. It’s a little sharp which makes me put those dental wax on every single bracket dutifully in order to prevent any cuts leading to ulcers. That would definitely be a pain.

Even though everyone said that it’ll be really painful, it actually feels fine to me. I wonder if it’s because my top row doesn’t have much of a problem so not much tightening is needed.

Hot pink braces! :D
Hot pink braces! 😀

Eating wise seems fine.Not much difference just that I can’t really “feel” the food anymore. Think I’ll need to get used to this. Another issue is that the food keeps getting stuck in the metal bands. There’s really no way to remove them except for gargling. Never ever use your tongue to try and dislodge it because the edges are really sharp.

I have one month to get used to this and then spend another month to get used to the lower row of teeth when I’m back there again.

Sixth visit: Filling my cavities

I hate filling them =/ When I was in primary school, the dentist apparently knows me really well since I’m there frequently >< This sweet tooth of mine existed ever since I was young so I had a lot of tooth decay problems D: I can still remember those drilling sessions (Oh my) and the stickers the dentist gave me after the sessions so as to make me feel better. I really detest the drilling sound and of course, the pain that came along. I think it’s much worse that tooth extractions since there’ll be anesthesia applied.

And this time I have two evil cavities to fill in. So I’m back to Dr Tang at Bishan and as usual, he’s professional. He started chatting with me again not sure if its because he noticed that I’m really nervous this time round. I found out from him that in the past, Dr Vaz did not appoint any hygienist so everyone’s teeth would “go through” him first which includes all the extraction, cleaning and filling. After that we’ll be packaged “swee swee” (quoting from him. It means pretty in Hokkien) to Dr Vaz.

Actually, the entire process didn’t take more than 10 minutes and it wasn’t as painful as I expected. Probably because the level of tolerance I have for pain increased since I was young or I just had a traumatic experience when I was young. He gave me a choice of either the silver colour fillings, amalgam or the tooth coloured one, dental composites. He advised accordingly with the silver one as cheaper and lasts longer and the latter as more expensive and lasts for a shorter period of time. I guess the only advantage for the other one was that it looked nicer.

Me being realistic as usual chose the silver one. I don’t really fancy going to the dentists often to get them “re-filled” so forget it. Plus most of my other molar tooth are also filled with amalgam so it doesn’t really make a difference. Hence, I’m now all done and prepared for the next visit with Dr Vaz for placing braces for my bottom row of teeth! 😀

To end off, here’s a picture of me with braces! (hot pink ones, yay).

Hot pink braces ~
Hot pink braces ~


  1. elle
    May 23, 2013

    may i ask, how much did your braces cost? was it a package? paid installment?
    i’m contemplating on going the same dentist as you!! hope you can help me out. (:
    thank you!!

    1. hwee
      June 25, 2013

      Hi. I apologize for the late reply. Was overseas for a long period of time. It was a package. I believe I paid $4800 for it. They have different packages for different kinds of braces. Mine is the most basic which is metal braces. There are other choices like ceramic, self-ligating and invisalign. You’ll have to pay half of it at the first appointment then the rest is spread out as installments across your future visits. Mine is around $100++ every appointment after paying $2000++ the first time. Hope I’ve helped (:


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