The Journey to that Perfect Smile! Part 3

Seventh Visit: Placing the lower braces

It has been a month and now I’m back to place the braces for the bottom row of my teeth. I have been living well with those metal wires in my mouth. Getting used to it. The only nuisance is that after a night of sleep when I wake up, my inner lips stick on to those metal brackets which is kind of disturbing. I’ll have to puff my cheeks with air to get them OFF each other. Not sure if there’s anyone facing the same situation as me Frown

But otherwise, it’s fine. Not as bad as the others have described. So I’m quite looking forward for them to place the bottom row of braces so that it can start WORKING and make them all straight since the major problem lie with the bottom row.

The procedure was almost the same as the top except there was no arch wire attached from my pre-molars to molars. I am not sure why. Probably Dr Vaz feel that he should let those front teeth straighten themselves out before closing the gap between the pre-molar and molars. However, before I could feel relieved, he placed something which acts similarly to bite turbos on my top molars so that when I close my mouth, my upper teeth would not come in contact totally with my lower set of teeth hence preventing it from breaking my braces.

This really annoys me because I’m unable to chew food properly hence having to revert to soft foods again (Really depressing). For those who have no idea what is bite turbos, check out the video below!

For Dr Vaz’s clinic, I’m not sure what’s the official term for the appliance they use but its a blue elastic mould attached on the molars. For illustration, this is how it kind of looks like.

Elastic Mould
Illustration of how it looks like

I started to Google about how to go about having solid food again because I detest being on liquid food. Most people say that it’ll probably take months for me to get used to these. However, there’s a good news. Because ITS NOT TRUE as long as you have the determination. It took me probably … a day? It was actually quite easy to figure out how to chew using these elastic moulds and my bottom teeth. It just takes a little practice in finding the perfect placement of both rows of teeth in order to exert the largest chewing power. I was able to chew Mac’s nuggets the next day! (Accomplishment. Applause!!)

How it looks like
How it now looks like

As you can see from above, my bottom teeth looks like it needs a lot of managing. Probably take a significant amount of time to get it fixed Frown

Eight Visit: Tightening of braces

I went back to tighten my braces today afternoon. What I mean by “tightening” is actually removing the arch wire from my braces and replacing them with shorter ones. From what I figured, Dr Vaz placed shorter wires on the brackets and then twist it so there’s a new tension acting on the teeth. While working on my teeth, he knocked on one of my tooth with the dental instrument and mentioned that it needs more work. At that point of time, I was quite confused on what he meant because from what I remember, there’s a lot of teeth that need more work in my bottom row of teeth (LOL).

But anyways, I was able to choose a colour again and this time I chose white. Definitely a bad choice unless your teeth is whiter than the brackets. Well, mine wasn’t so in the end it made my teeth look yellowish and dirty! Lesson learnt. Another month till I can change to another colour! The entire process took only around.. 15 minutes? It was quite fast.

After that, I could feel a slight ache in my lower jaw because this time he attached my molars with the pre-molars with an arch wire so I guess he felt that it’s time to fix the gaps already. After reaching home, the ache started to worsen. I could no longer eat foods like bread which require me to exert force on my front teeth. But it really isn’t that bad since the problem can be easily solved just by cutting the bread into smaller pieces Cool

At night while I was doing my usual cleaning routine of my teeth, I realised something really fascinating. I totally didn’t notice at all.

Top: a month ago
Compare and contrast!

If you look carefully, you’ll realise that my bottom row of teeth have already shifted! What’s even more amazing is that it has only been a month. I guess being 22 doesn’t make it longer for my teeth to move. So it started to dawn on me from what Dr Vaz said during the appointment about a tooth needing more work. It was because the other teeth have already straightened themselves.

Now I’m starting to believe his estimation of only needing a year and a half for my entire teeth to align themselves properly before I can take it off because the usual period is 2 years or more. So fascinated and of course, glad that my age isn’t an obstacle to this braces treatment. Can’t wait for next month to come. I have a feeling I’ll be seeing a perfect straight bottom row of teeth!

Till then! Laughing

Ps. I realised I did not explain the cleaning process of my teeth after installing braces. The orthodontist provided me with a Colgate toothbrush that is specifically for braces, a small toothbrush that is used to clean in between the brackets and also dental wax which isn’t really needed (till now).

After using them for a month or so, the small toothbrush had to be replaced and I didn’t really want to get from the clinic because I assume that it would be expensive. My mum managed to help me find stock at the pharmacy at a hospital. They have refills too referring to the brush part of the tooth brush.

the different brushes

And so, the cleaning process of my teeth would be to first use the orthodontist toothbrush. After that, I’ll use the inter-dental brushes from Oral-B to brush between my brackets and lastly, floss my teeth. (Tip: PLEASE DO FLOSS BETWEEN YOUR MOLARS because I realised most food particles get stuck at this area due to the molar bands!) The entire process takes around 15 minutes after a while. At first, it takes around half an hour. Patience, patience and patience! It’s worth it because there’s no point getting straight but unhealthy teeth!

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