Wednesday, 22 January 2014

Things You Need to Know Before Getting Braces

"Beauty is painful."

That's what they all say. And achieving a beautiful smile with a perfect row of sparkly white teeth is no exception to this. This is due to the fact that not all of us were born with perfect teeth, thus corrections using braces or constant trips to the dentist would need to be done.

I know that majority of teenagers these days are already wearing braces, and most of them probably didn't know what they were getting into - until they've done it.

So this article I compiled is for those who are planning to get braces, but are not quite sure of what to prepare for.

There are a few types of braces which you can choose from, but I will only introduce three widely available ones in Malaysia:

Metal braces
This is the most common one where any dentist can provide this system of braces. Brackets (the metal-looking pieces) are glued to each individual tooth. It also requires tooth extraction. Personally, I find this method as the 'fun' one, as you get to opt for colours on your braces!

Damon braces
As far as I know, not all dental clinics provide this system. Damon braces do not require rubber bands, so it is more comfortable than traditional braces. Due to that, you can't choose to have colours on your teeth (as the colours are from elastic bands). However, the brackets allow the wire to slide which gives the patient more freedom of movement and eliminates the need of tightening the braces every month, which according to my sister, is horrible. Also, it usually does not require tooth removal. And this is mine!

Invisalign braces
These braces are virtually invisible. They are clear moulds acting as aligners, which can be removed for brushing your teeth. Down side of this is that it is super expensive and takes two weeks for the aligners to be made after the dentist records the state of your teeth. Plus, it is available in Malaysia but pretty rare.

After determining what type of braces you want, you have to also know about the 'emotional preparations' needed.

1. Braces HURT.
This is probably what everyone should know. Before the entire process of placing the braces on, you'll feel giddy with excitement on what the future holds for you. And images like this will be plastered in your mind:

Thinking that you'll look like this after everything.

However, reality only hits you the moment you lay on that dentist chair, when he takes out all his scary looking tools.
Just kidding.

Most people would opt for the method where teeth has to be pulled out to make space for the rest, and tooth extraction hurts when the Anesthetic wears out.

After a week or so, it's then time for the real thing- putting on the braces in your mouth.
That is when you notice for the first time how 2 hours is actually a really long time. Basically, the process takes around that much time, but for me my dentist took an extra half an hour more. Then he will tell you to relax and starts pulling at your mouth, trying to look at the state of every single one of your teeth.

The dentist will tug and tug at both corners of your mouth to the point you feel your lips getting sore and dry.
And you would taste alot of rubber inside your mouth because of the gloves the dentist uses.

After you finally have your braces on, the dentist would give you a dental kit where everything you need would be inside. At this moment, your lips will be trying to get used to the metal pieces (called brackets) inside your mouth. And most of the time, the friction of the metal rubbing against your lips will cause ulcers to break out on your lips, which would add to the discomfort.

Getting used to them is probably what alot of people struggle to do. The first time, after you had your braces, biting into food is probably the most horrible experience.

Your teeth feels like its too weak to chew anything at all. One of my friend described it as 'You feel like all your teeth are just gonna drop inside your food'. That was indeed rather true. Some of my friends took a month just to get used to eating, and had to eat porridge for the entire 30 days.

I had mine on two days after Christmas and boy, that really was an extra push for me to get used to eating with it. I had chicken, beef and lamb laid out right in front of my eyes at a party the veery next day. I couldn't resist it. So I helped myself. I cut everything into really tiny pieces and chewed slowly on the side which hurt less.

The pain will eventually subside after a week, at least.

2. You can't eat everything.
This is likely going to be the hardest for people who are food lovers, like me, to accept.
You'll get used to eating with braces after a while, however there are foods which you would need to avoid:

  • Chewy foods: bagels, licorice
  • Crunchy foods: popcorn, ice, chips
  • Sticky foods: dodol, caramels, gum, taffy
  • Hard foods: nuts, candy, raw carrots
  • Foods you have to bite into: corn on the cob, apples, guava, chocolate bars straight from the fridge
  • Chewing on hard things (for example, pens, pencils or fingernails) can damage the braces.

This is to also avoid people from breaking their brackets/damaging their braces, which would delay the entire treatment process. 
Eg. Ah Meng is supposed to wear braces for a year and a half, but because he breaks his bracket almost every month, he needs to wear it for more than 2 years.

Then again, it's not the end of the world because there are many soft foods that people with braces are still able to eat.
Not to mention, delicious soft food.

3. Braces require dedication
You need to brush your teeth after every meal or snack. This is so you can protect your teeth from plaque attacking it. When I say brush, I really mean brushing your teeth until it is clean. You will need to be extremely thorough when it comes to cleaning, since the brackets and wires of your braces tend to hold and accumulate food particles, even when you don't feel it. Thus, a travelling toothbrush might be necessary.

For me, I was advised to brush my teeth 4-5 times a day. And brushing was a slight problem for me because I do not like pain in my mouth, well so does everyone else. You have to brush at all angles, even at the top and bottom of your gum, which might cause it to bleed abit occasionally. 

Besides that, it is also important to plan your meals and snack times. You can't afford to be eating at all times whenever and wherever you are. The reason being you'll have more than 4-5 meal/snack times a day and would require you to end up brushing your teeth more than 7 times a day, which will make your gums sore and again, add to all the pain happening in your mouth.

As time elapse, most people would stop brushing regularly and return to their old habit of brushing only twice a day - when you wake up and when you go to bed. Some people are lucky and their teeth do not attract plaque easily, but the rest whose teeth attract plaque easily, would end up with teeth discolouration.

And teeth discolouration ain't pretty.
White spots would appear which is actually a permanent damage to the teeth.

Bear with me, this picture is disgusting but it's for the purpose of understanding your teeth better.
This is how plaque accumulates in your teeth. 
You might not see it, because it starts accumulating at the back of teeth first where people normally pay the least attention to, in terms of brushing.

I mean you don't want to end up like this right.

And that's it!
I hope all these information here helped in some ways to those who are still in that phase of deciding on braces or not :)
If you know someone who is having a hard time deciding, feel free to share this :)


PS I did the Damon method, where I didn't need to pluck out any teeth.
Till the next post :D


  1. this post gave me a heartattack x.x

    1. Your blog is great, After consider this blog which is great ideas to know more that brings the cute smile as braces. It's really nice braces for adults. I would like to thank you for the efforts you have made in sharing this. Keep sharing.

  2. Which clinic u went ? And how much the price?

  3. Is it advisable to put braces and where is the cheapest place in kl to do so

  4. Hi. May I know which clinic you went to?

  5. in the same mental state whether to fix braces or not n the keep worrying of the pain n discomfort might caused by it. Ur post really eased me. Btw, may i know whr u get ur braces done n how much was d cost.

  6. How much you did it and where you did it?

  7. every one does not have the need to get teeth removed for metal braces - i had to have 4 removed , but my cousin had to have none remove . i go tomorrow morning to get my braces put on and i am nothing but excited !!

  8. Hi can i know how much does it cost? And where do you get braces on?

    1. Well you go to an orthodontist and 2,000-5000 $

    2. Well you go to an orthodontist and 2,000-5000 $

  9. Thanks for sharing the great blog, really it provide the very useful information for us!! Metal braces

  10. It's really nice post. I would like to thank you for the efforts you have made in sharing this. Keep sharing. Braces on teeth

  11. Does it hurt while getting your braces on your teeth?

  12. Thank you for giving us a walkthrough on what to expect on getting braces, Ivena! Indeed, beauty requires some sacrifices. Anyways, your pearly whites are looking good, and I’m sure it’ll be perfect once your braces is out. Cheers!

    Danyell Aleman @ Woolwich Dental Group

  13. Hi, May I know the clicnic and price pls? Thanks~

  14. Braces have pretty much lost the negative association that used to go with them, because there are many different types in many different styles with different teeth straightening speeds on the market today.Dental Implants are the best way to replace a missing tooth. Everyone deserves a bright smile with no missing teeth Pembroke Pines Orthodontist

  15. Saying that braces hurt is a massive understatement. Couple that with the myriad of goodies you can't eat, and it may seem bleak. Not really, I'd say, since the end result will always be worth the sacrifice. :)

    Christy Hodges @ Smile Designers

  16. Which clinic u went ? And how much the price?


  17. Nice post, I appreciate you and your post is very informative for me. I would like to read your next post. Thanks for creating this great post. Metal braces

  18. I feel comfortable with these invisible braces. It's perfect for me.
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  19. Excellent Blog! Thanks for giving the useful information about Orthodontist

  20. Thanks for all the valuable info you provided about braces, options and cleaning techniques. I'm getting my top braces next week and then the bottom ones in two weeks. I didn't know how much time and care went into having braces, but at least I can prepare for it. Luckily, I don't eat a lot of junk food!

    Milton Wilson @ A+ Family Dentistry

  21. This comment has been removed by the author.

  22. As a fellow senior nomad who also works in medicine I must say I'm quite impressed. What are your recommendations for travel resources for folks like us? I am fairly mobile, but I am starting to slow down a bit due to hassles. Do you plan your own trips or do you use an agency? Looking forward to new posts.

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  23. Great tips in this article so I felt you might want to have some tips from someone who has been through it. Stick to what the Orthodontist tells you about the foods you can and can't eat. Wearing braces is hard enough, but breaking a bracket or wire that cuts into you, and you can't get in over the weekend hurts more.

    Bennie Chandler @ Pine Creek Dental

  24. I really like your blog it excellent. this blog is very helpful and informativeWhat are invisible braces

  25. If there is anything I learned from this video, it is the fact that metal braces require tooth extraction. I noticed that you did not mention which teeth need to be extracted, so I am going to assume it is the wisdom teeth. Aside from my first set of teeth, I have not lost any teeth, Even my wisdom teeth are still there. They are very tightly packed which is advantages in terms of utilizing space for all the teeth but a pain to clean since food gets stuck between them quite often.

  26. How often do u visit the dentist,during wearing the braces?

    Tq 4 the in4

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  28. Hey, I too had my braces treatment done recently for my frontal tooth from a Pembroke Pines Orthodontist. Since I didn't wanted to put the typical metal ones they gave me the option of invisible braces which i really loved it.

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  30. I've needed braces for a while, so it helps to know what to expect when wearing them. I liked that you posted pictures of how to brush teeth with braces. I've been confused about how that's supposed to work, so I'll use these pictures as an example of how I should clean my teeth every day until I can get them off.

  31. Thank you for giving us a walk through on what to expect on getting braces.It's Really nice Blog .
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  34. Great share..
    My daughter opted for invisalign braces and they really helped in straightening out crooked teeth ..

  35. Talk to your orthodontist about proper care of your braces. You'll need to brush regularly and use a Waterpik to flush out the food particles that can get caught between braces and teeth; you should also avoid sticky foods. With proper care and by seeing your orthodontist regularly for checkups, you can keep your teeth healthy while your braces are in place.

    Getting braces can be a little nerve-wracking, but the fear of the unknown is usually the worst part. So consult a professional orthodontist.

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