My Braces Review – Part 7 – One Year On Braces & Useful Tips
One Year On Braces
Time flies, and I’m on braces for a year now! Over the past months, my braces has been mainly about closing gaps. I’ve put together a pictorial summary of my progress over the past eight months (since my last update). There’s only minor differences since my teeth is already more or less straight, just left with gaps to close.
October 2013 – 6 Months on Braces
There’s major gaps in my upper row and the teeth in my bottow row were also slanted. You can tell from the brackets which were not evenly spaced out. I chose dark blue rubber bands and it turned out that the colour of the individual rubber bands (bottom row) differ from the power chain (upper row).
November 2013 – 7 Months on Braces
The metal wire for my bottom row was changed to a thicker, rectangular one. Dr. Cheng also made these weird angular shapes for my top row’s wire. I guess they have got to do with the closing of gaps? This stage was ugly for me as the gaps were really huge, and the angular shaped wire only made them more prominent. -_-“
December 2013 – 8 Months on Braces
Tried mint rubber bands for the first time! Not bad eh? I’m usually not a fan of green, but mint turned out nice. Had power chain on my bottom row and clear rubber bands attached from the buccal tubes on my top first molars to the canines. This helped to pull the canines back. The faster they move, the faster I can close the unsightly gaps!
January 2014 – 9 Months on Braces
Chose orange rubber bands and it was a major mistake! The colour made my teeth look so yellow, eww! Can you imagine I wore this awful shade for Chinese New Year?! Stay away from orange. Don’t say I didn’t warn you. 😉
February 2014 – 10 Months on Braces
Back to dark blue. Choose this colour if you’re attending interviews or other important functions. It’s the safest colour and withstands stains.
Gosh, those huge gaps were really a sore to the eyes! The gap on my left side was wide enough to let a car drive through! I really dislike the gaps, but it’s part of the braces journey I’ll have to undergo.
March 2014 – 11 Months on Braces
Tried turquoise and it’s good too! I now have power chains on both my top and bottom rows. I take it as a sign that I’m in the final stage already! The gaps are now reduced and I feel much more confident!
April 2014 – 1 Year on Braces
Woohoo! This month marks my one year on braces. I’m back to lilac, which is my favourite colour but does not withstand stains well. I had Pepper Lunch curry beef rice and it stained my rubber bands. The gaps are also closing in and my teeth looks pretty straight.
Ta-dah! Here’s what braces did to me. You know, I used to think my teeth wasn’t that bad. But now when I look at the before and after, my teeth was really horrible! It looks sooo much better now, despite it not being the “final product” yet. I can’t wait!
Tips For Braces
After wearing it for a year, I think I’m “experienced” enough to share some tips with you? Here are five pointers which I hope would be helpful to you!
1. Keep your braces clean
I can’t stress this enough! Even if you’re not wearing braces, you should be brushing your teeth at least twice a day. You should also floss regularly to remove plague in areas where the toothbrush can’t reach. Don’t be lazy! I know there are times when you lay in bed watching TV and it’s just too comfy to get up. I’m always stuck in bed watching Running Man. But hey, it’s all about self discipline! Be diligent about your oral hygiene. Your effort will go a long way. Remember, you only have that one set of adult teeth!
2. Watch what you eat
Avoid hard and sticky food that will mangle with your braces. This means you should be staying away from caramel, popcorn, hard nougat bars, and chewing gum. Chewing gum is banned in Singapore so it’s not a problem for me, but this may be relevant for some of you out there! Likewise, try not to bite off an apple but cut it into bite size pieces instead. The same goes for corn on the cob. I’m sure you wouldn’t want your brackets falling off!
3. Minimise the discomfort
After each tightening session, it’s inevitable that your teeth will feel sore for a day or two. That is perfectly normal. In contrast, there some other discomforts which you CAN avoid. For example, you can use dental wax on areas which are causing friction and sores. You can get them from your orthodontist. And in case you’re wondering, you won’t die if you accidentally swallow some wax!
In addition, check that the wires are not poking your cheeks each time before you leave the clinic. If they are, ask your orthodontist to trim it. Wires that are too long gets really annoying!
4. Stick to your dental appointments
Again, this boils down to self discipline. Go visit your orthodontist regularly as scheduled. Don’t be lazy, and oversleeping is an excuse NOT acceptable! Keep to your treatment plan, and the orthodontist will be able to monitor your progress more closely. Your orthodontist may also be able to point out warning signs (such as cavities) early, as these warning signs are often difficult for you to detect.
5. Feel comfortable in your braces
I personally find it important that you feel comfortable in your braces. Treat it like a part of you. Accept it, and learn to be at ease with it. Like what I have experienced, there are months where you’ll have hideous gaps and it eats into your self confidence. However, always keep your end goal in mind – the straight pearlies that you will have! I always tell myself that the people around me will understand that those huge gaps I had are part and parcel of my progress towards a perfect set of teeth. Continue smiling, and time will pass by faster than you realise! 😀
Feel free to drop me any questions you have in mind! I’ll be more than happy to help. 🙂