My Braces Review – Part 4 – Putting on Braces
Post Extractions Review
I went back to The Oral Maxillofacial Practice for a review on my recovery from extraction of six teeth – two wisdom teeth and four pre-molars. Dr. Wee commented that I was doing well and removed the stitches at the bottom right wisdom tooth area. Actually, I think he just cut the stitches apart. Guess the stitches are dissolvable?
Dr. Wee also handed me this syringe and boy, does it looks so intimidating. He must have had many people freak out before, as the first thing he said was, “Don’t be afraid…” The metal part at the front is not a needle, so you can poke poke your hand and it wouldn’t pierce your skin. As there is still an empty hole at the bottom wisdom tooth area, this syringe is used to flush out any food particles which can get stuck in the hole. Normal rinsing and gargling of mouth may not be enough to clear everything, so you’ll need this syringe. As the hole is still in the process of healing, it’s important to keep it clean and free from food particles as it can cause infections and impede the healing process. So don’t be lazy and use the syringe once every night for about two weeks until the hole is healed!
Getting Braces On!
This is what I’ve been waiting for… getting my braces on! The following day after I removed my stitches, I headed down to Alfred Cheng Orthodontic Clinic to have my braces put on. The whole process was very fast and in a flurry, with many hands here and there over my face to pass Dr. Cheng the instruments. I didn’t really know what was going on, but basically the process is as follows:
- Brackets are glued onto the teeth and blue UV light is used to set the glue. The glue tastes sour, so it’s best to keep your tongue to yourself.
- The archwire is threaded through the brackets and extra portions will be snipped off. Before you leave, move your mouth around to check that the ends of the wires are not poking you in any way. They can be quite sharp!
- Colourful rubber bands (modules) are added to hold the wire in place.
- Molar buildups are added to the two rearmost molars on the top row of teeth to prevent accidental biting of the brackets. This is what I hate most about the entire braces as they disallow my two rows of teeth from meeting each other at the front and hence, I can’t bite! The molar buildups also make it very difficult for me to chew at the back so I really need to get used to eating with this.
TIP: It will be very, very helpful to smack on a thick layer of lip balm before you enter the room as they will put a plastic retractor in your mouth to keep it open, and it really stretches your lips. Having some lip balm on will definitely help to ease the stretch and prevent cracked lips.
And here’s the final product:
I paid $1,070 (inclusive of GST) for this second visit. From next visit onwards, it will be $107 per visit.
I was given dental wax to reduce abrasion from the braces. Just peel off a tiny bit and paste it onto the parts where there are abrasion and it will help to ease the ulcers and sores.
Besides the dental wax, I was also given the mould of my teeth!
You can see the evil protruding tooth on the top right and overcrowding on the bottom row. What a huge mess…
Surviving with Braces
Smart alec me went to order char kway teow for my very first meal after having braces on. To my ultimate dismay, I couldn’t bite when I eagerly popped the piping hot and fragrant char kway teow into my mouth!!! The disappointment sank in me, and I tried to deal with the harsh reality for a bit. I was so hungry can! I couldn’t bite with my front teeth as they can’t even meet each other. I tried biting with my rear teeth but the molar buildups just made it impossible. I’m still not used to them yet. In the end, I had to handover my beloved char kway teow to Marcus and bought a bowl of porridge instead. Sigh…
The soreness also started to come in and it’s worst on the second day. Unfortunately, I’ve also been experiencing throbbing headaches but I just bear with it as I don’t want to rely too much on medicine.
It’s been a week since I had my braces on and the soreness has receded. Besides porridge, I can also handle fish ball noodles, fried carrot cake and french fries now. I guess it will get better!
And this is how I look with braces…
Was playing around with filters in my iPhone’s camera apps. I don’t think I look nice with braces so I’ve not been actively taking photos. Will be wearing these metal pieces for at least a year and I’m hoping the year passes by fast! I’m already missing my apples and sugar peanuts and burgers. Will update again when I go for my first tightening session!