Thursday, July 24, 2014


So ive recently took out my braces and I just thought I'd share my experience and just what I thought about the whole thing in general, so here we go!

People often asked me why I started wearing my braces so late instead of during my teens, and it wasnt beacuse I was afraid of the pain but more so because my sister had such a hard time with braces, my parents didnt want to put me through it. Over the years I countlessly pointed out that I was in fact not afraid of such said pain but since I had no income, the decision still lied within their hands.
Come 2012 after maybe five to six years, when I was 21, I gathered some funds and lots of resolution and finally took things into my own hands.

I didnt have any medical issues when it came to me wearing braces, meaning to say I did not have an irregular bite that was detrimental to my gums/teeth/health. Obviously if I had those issues, I would have long been wearing braces. Mine was basically to straighten my teeth & to bring my teeth and lips into proper alignment. In other words, it was for appearances and vanity - lets be honest; who am i kidding right.

So here are some photos pre-braces:

So my central incisor (front tooth) is protruding out from my alignment as you can probably see above so, I have trouble closing my mouth. In a state of relaxation, I wouldn't be able to keep my jaw closed but would rather have to consciously do so. In fact, I have to use my lower lip to envelope my protruding tooth.
Hence why you often see me smiling with all my teeth in pictures rather than a closed mouth grin because I simply, cannot close my mouth. I would end up smiling like picture #1 above. 
Evidently, I have developed years of practice; mastering the right angle (literally just one angle) to mask my protruding tooth in pictures so it wasn't noticeably apparent.

I honestly believe my protruding tooth wouldnt have been an issue if I could properly close my mouth. That would have been a different story because then, I probably would not have considered wearing braces, since like I said, it wasnt always apparent in pictures anyways.
Also because by the time I wore my braces it was three times more expensive than when my sister had her's done pfft!

I also had a slight gummy smile aka excessive gingival display, seen in picture #4 and #5. So if i smiled too wide or laughed to hard it almost looks like my jaw was about to drop out of my mouth. In other words, my mouth was too small for my teeth. 
My lower set of teeth were also crowding in all directions and i unfortunately never got a picture of it for documentation.

So before I had my braces mounted, I had to go for an X-Ray to check if my wisdom tooth would be of a problem later on - pushing my newly aligned set of teeth etc. Unfortunately or maybe fortunately, one of my four wisdom tooth had to be extracted for me to proceed because it was an impacted wisdom tooth. I say fortunately because I would never ever want to go through that procedure again. One wisdom tooth removal was better than four.

Side note: usually if people had to remove all four wisdom tooth they would be put to sleep with a general anesthesia. In my case, one wisdom tooth removal would only require the local anesthesia which numbs you but you are fully awake.

Bottom impacted wisdom tooth

Ive consulted many peers who went through the similar removal process but we all have our own different stories and experiences. Some said that the anesthetic injection to their gums and tongue was hella pain but their tooth removal was peanuts and quick. 

Mine however was the complete opposite. The injection to my gums was a completely bearable pain, almost peanuts to me ( I didnt get the tongue injection) but the removal process itself literally had me sobbing. I didnt feel any pain when the surgeon had to cut my gums open. Rather, during the removal, it felt like I was in a dark room waiting for someone to jump out and scare me. The kind of pain that you keep anticipating till it got so uncomfortable. I think I suffered more discomfort rather than pain, but that discomfort alone was horrifying. In descriptive terms, I was conscious and aware, and could feel the surgeon  cutting my gums, cutting my wisdom tooth, and yanking it out but just not the actual pain.

My wisdom tooth was also a little tricky because since it was an impacted wisdom tooth, it was hiding beneath my gums; hence, why I had to have my gums cut in the first place. The surgeon also had to saw the tooth in half in order to remove it because there wasn't an angle for him to yank it out with his tool because it was lying down. 

The whole procedure had quite a shock to my nervous system that I ended up swelling for weeks.

Three pictures above are the progression of my wisdom tooth removal healing process. The healing process was alright although I had trouble putting a spoon in my mouth for the first few days. One side of my face just felt like it was numb.

That one side of my face swelled soooo badly that I had trouble speaking properly. I did however find how I looked very amusing. I would wake up everyday and be amused by how much that side of my face grew.

So after a month from my wisdom tooth removal, I also had to have four teeth extracted since there was crowding and there had to be space. These four extraction were completely peanuts to me that I would rate the pain equivalent to getting an injection.

Overall, in general, I would say that the whole braces experience for me was very bearable, a very different experience compared to my sister and a many others. If any pain it would be on the scale of six out of ten. But then again, Ive been told I have a rather high tolerance for pain (?). The only time I have had a nightmare was having the orthodontic spacers (sample image below)  a week before the braces could be mounted.

This was to push the teeth apart so there would be space for the braces to be established. That one week was completely horrendous (an eight out of ten) and I would say it was the most pain and frustration I experienced in my whole experience of wearing braces.

Again, this is subject to individuals, because I have had friends who have had no pain during this process that they could barely recall it happening.

So this is me right before I was about to leave to the dentist's.

During the first few days I had my braces in, I had to learn how to speak again.
According to friends my pronunciation was noticeably different, especially when dealing with my Fs and Ss.

Eating was also another thing I had to get used to since food got stuck everywhere, but honestly, all these was easily adaptable. I eventually felt so comfortable with it I sometimes forgot I had braces on, though my pronunciation was never the same haha.

Also this varies by individuals and orthodontics, but I actually enjoyed picking the colours of my braces' rubber bands each month. I realize some orthos dont provide this option but mine did and it was a love-hate situation because though I enjoyed the different colours, I had to live with the consequences for a month when I chose a very unappealing colour. The lighter colours often get stained as you eat and turn colours (Example: Blue turns green after consuming curry). 

Apparently my less than two-years experience was a rather speedy one. My teeth moved really quickly to close the gap left from my four tooth extractions. It wasn't entirely a good thing because I found out that it would mean that my gums/teeth, in lament terms, are not strong, for my teeth to move so quickly. 
This kind of freaks me out because my family has a really bad history of weak gums. I dont want to end up with falling teeth in the future! After this whole experience, Ive honestly taken a much more greater concern for my dental hygiene.

These were taken about a year plus later and you can see how much my jaw has moved in comparison to picture #4 and #5.

Three months before my braces removal

So in total I have had my braces on for approximately one year and eight months.
I am currently subject to wear my retainers (picture below) daily for the next few months except when I eat to allow my gums to get used the post-braces pressure of my moving teeth and preventing it from moving back to its original form.

It is definitely very tedious because I have to remember to keep a container with me at all times and I have to quickly disappear into the loo before I can eat, but other than that all is good. :)

Hope this was helpful or informative!


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