Saturday, February 3, 2018

Braces Q&A: Cost of braces, Extractions, Pain, Changes to Your Face Shape etc. (BRACES UPDATE: Closing Gaps Stage)

First post of February. Here goes a braces post for you all today.

BRACES UPDATE: I've had my braces on 2 years 2 months so far and had 4 teeth extracted. I'm now in the process of closing up the gaps in my teeth. Right now, my ortho is moving my 2 canines back so that my 4 front teeth can move back. My left canine is a little bit more stubborn though.
So in today's post, I'll be answering some common questions on braces:

1. Why did I get braces?

My problem before I got braces was I had a case of bimaxillary protrusion, and I always wanted to get it fixed but then I didn’t want my parents to pay for my braces so now that I’m working and earning my own money, I decided to take the plunge to get braces on my own. And bimaxillary protrusion is where my upper teeth and lower teeth flare out, much like a horse. Some people call it bugs bunny teeth or rabbit teeth. I don’t really have big two front teeth but my upper teeth flared out making my whole mouth protrude out. crooked lower teeth row and Class II overbite as ideally, the upper teeth should sit half way through the lower row of teeth. Also, my bottom row teeth were crooked.

2. What type of braces do I wear?

I wear damon braces. There are a few types of braces out there. As far as I know, there are the traditional metal braces, damon braces and invisalign. I got damon braces which supposedly works faster and are less painful than traditional braces. Damon braces are basically self-ligating braces meaning with damon braces, you don’t actually get those colorful rubberbands around each bracket because they clip together themselves. They are also a little bit smaller than traditional braces which is also a big pro aesthetically as well.

3. Cost

I live in Malaysia and my damon braces cost me RM6,500 inclusive of X-rays and retainers (extractions separate at RM60 per tooth - in a different clinic). Traditional braces are slightly cheaper, maybe around RM1000 cheaper.

3. Did I get any tooth extractions?

Yes, I did. I extracted a total of 4 teeth. Yes that is a lot, and that is why I took so long to decide to extract my teeth. After getting my braces on, I literally took 1 year to decide to extract my teeth. I wanted to see how far my teeth would go in and whether my protrusion would be solved without extractions. But for cases with protrusion, it is likely that you may have to get extractions because you need the extra space to move in the teeth. Before getting my extractions, I actually went to get a second opinion, before finally deciding to take the plunge to extract my teeth. And I have never felt happier because now, I can really see the progress and the changes to my teeth that I want.

4. Does your jaw/face changes after wearing braces?

The answer is yes. I have found that since wearing braces, my face has changed shape and even more so after I got my extractions. I have a much sharper jaw line now and a less protruding profile. But because I am still in the middle of my treatment, I can't exactly tell you for sure how the final outcome will be. Let me show you how I looked before braces.

This was how I looked before braces. As you can see, I had a much more plumper face back then and I don't know, whether it's because I am older now than I am back then and I lost my baby fat. But it's just been 2 years, so I don't think that getting older in the span of 2 years could have made such a big difference to my face shape. Some of it definitely had to do with me wearing braces and getting extractions. I am actually very happy with how my face has changed with braces so far.

This is my profile now still with braces.

6. What are elastics for?

If you can see, which you can, I have these little hooks on my braces. Im having elastics now to improve my bite. I will make a separate video on elastics because I have a lot of tips and hacks that I would like to share with you on elastics.

7. Does it hurt to have braces on?

The short answer is yes. I wouldn't say excruciating pain but you will definitely feel quite a bit discomfort and soreness at first like your teeth become really sensitive and fragile and sometimes it feels like its about to drop off. The process of putting on your braces is fairly painless. But it's after you get your braces on, that's when the pain starts. It's just because there's suddenly this foreign object in your mouth that's putting constant pressure on your teeth that makes your teeth and mouth really sore. And I remember when I first got my braces on, the pain lasted for approximately 2 weeks. And I was like "what did I get myself into?". But after that period is over, your teeth gets used to it and there's literally no more pain. And then there's the pain after each tightening session. . The pain after each tightening session is not as bad as when you first get your braces on. And it usually last for only a couple of days.

8. What do I hate about braces?

The fact that I am wearing braces and I am a brace face in my adult years. Another thing that I hate about having braces is during the time I'm eating. Getting food stuck in your braces and having to use your tongue to get the food out is really a pain in the a$$. I cannot stand it. It just gets really inconvenient a lot of the times. Also, I can't eat certain foods, especially hard foods such as apples and biscuits because it just gets everywhere and it's just a mess. So yeah, eating is definitely a hassle.

As I am mostly closing my gaps at this stage, there's really nothing much to report back as every session is just seeing how much the gaps have closed. I'll update on my braces again once all the gaps have closed up and we'll see the next course of action. After all the gaps close up, my ortho will be re-aligning my teeth roots. I'm going to my ortho once every 2 weeks now. Fingers crossed, I'll have all my gaps closed in the next 2-3 visits.

By the way, if you're the "video" type of person, I've done a few braces series videos on my YouTube channel. So do check it out if you want to know more about braces.

YouTube Channel Name: Missy Miyen


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