My Braces Review – Part 7 – One Year On Braces & Useful Tips

You can read the other parts of my Braces Review here: Part 1Part 2Part 3Part 4Part 5Part 6 & Part 8

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

Blue Braces

Dark Blue Braces

Navy Blue Braces

Blue Ligatures

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

Purple Braces

Purple Ligatures

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

Light Green Braces

Mint Braces

Light Green Ligatures

Mint Ligatures

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

Orange Braces

Orange Ligatures

Orange Braces Gap

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

Blue Braces Chain

Blue Braces Gap

Dark Blue Braces Chain

Blue Braces Power Chain

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

Green Braces

Green Braces Gap

Green Braces Chain

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

Light Purple Braces

Light Purple Ligatures

Light Purple Braces Chain

Light Purple Braces Gap

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.

Let’s Compare

Braces One Year Comparison

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!

Keep Your Braces Clean


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!

What What You Eat Braces


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!

Minimise Braces Discomfort


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!

Keep To Braces Appointments


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.

Tom Cruise Braces

Look! Even Tom Cruise had braces!

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. 🙂

Carin Poo

Hello! I grew up reading blogs, and now, blogging lets me share the love around. I offer a glimpse into my simple life, and maybe you can find a different perspective of the things I enjoy. My cat says Hi! :)

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  • anon

    I have been keeping updated with your progress for a while. Glad to see an update! Looking at how your gaps have started to close are making me really excited to have mine closed as well. I am only 2 months into my braces so it’ll take a while. the gaps looks awful right now but your post is an encouragement that it will all be worth it! do keep updating yeah. looking forward to it.

    • Hi there! Wow, I’m really happy to know that my updates do help to encourage fellow brace wearers! It will be an exciting start for you as the beginning part is where you’ll see the greatest changes in your teeth within the shortest time. Yes, I will continue updating on my progress, so do check back! 🙂

  • sarah

    Your blog is really informative and encouraging. I went to Dr Cheng as well and just put on my braces today!! So exciting about it now. I didn’t ask much questions as you already answer most my questions here 😀 Thanks a lot and wish you all the best for the last few months of braces.

    • Hi Sarah, thank you so much for your encouragement! Really glad that my posts have helped you in some way. I hope you’ll have a smooth journey with your braces as well. Looking forward to our straight pearlies! 🙂

  • Kyupi

    Hi, how does your retainer looks like? The clear kinds?

  • Serene

    hi, may I ask if it’s compulsory to do surgery for extractions ? It looks painful…

    • Hi Serene, surgery is only needed if your teeth is impacted. Normal teeth that has grown out can be plucked out without undergoing surgery (cutting up the gums). There’s always anaesthesia, so don’t worry about the pain! 🙂

  • Cheryl

    HI carin, i knw Dr Alfred Cheng clinic does not do scaling and polishing right? i am now on braces for abt 7days. how often do u go for scaling and polishing when on braces?

    • Hi Cheryl, I didn’t go for scaling nor polishing while on braces, but I did put in extra effort to floss and brush my teeth clean. I went for scaling and polishing right after my braces were removed. Hope this helps! 🙂

      • cheryl

        Thanks. At 13 days on braces, i grinded my molar buildup when i was sleeping. A part of it chipped. I was worried. U asked dr on ur 1st adjustment appointment?

        • Hi Cheryl, not too sure what your question is about? But if you are referring to your chipped molar buildup, yes you can ask your orthodontist on the next visit. It shouldn’t be an issue though, as it’s meant to eventually be grinded away from friction anyway. So not to worry!

  • jasmine chan

    Hi Carin, i hav decided to put on braces,any idea how much is the Ceramic Braces cost at Dr Alfred Cheng Clinic?

    • Hi Jasmine, it was $3,800 excluding 7% GST when I did mine 2 years ago. 🙂

  • Penny

    Hello! Thanks for the informative blog. I’m about to start on my braces next week with Dr cheng too! Can i ask if you got alot of ulcers along the way? Cus that’s the part i’m most worried abt!

    • Hi Penny, I had only a couple, and used dental wax to avoid abrasion which could then lead to an ulcer. It also depends on your teeth condition. If there’s teeth that protrude significantly, there would be greater chance of developing ulcer from abrasion. Hope you’re coping well! 🙂

  • Hi Angie, the pain is really manageable for me. In fact, there wasn’t much pain except for occasional abrasions and ache from tightening of braces. I felt comfortable in my braces pretty soon. Don’t view it negatively – braces isn’t a bad thing! 🙂

    • Angie

      thanks carin 🙂 ya, i keep telling myself to just bear with it, it’s all worth it 😉

  • Coleen Winton

    Great post. Thanks for sharing this to us. #howtocloseteethgap