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Brace(s) yourself.

So now that Sharleez is finally on braces, all the what ifs and fears are gone.

In fact, I was actually worried for her when she first put on the braces. I thought she would not be able to tolerate the pain or discomfort.

But hey, she is really doing super great so far!

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WAIT A SECOND.

SHARLEEZ IS ON BRACES?

But, she is only 9 years old!

Shouldn’t she wait till all the baby teeth fall out?

Shouldn’t she wait for all of the adult teeth to come in?

Shouldn’t she wait till she is at least 12?

Ah okay. If you are asking me the above questions, that means you have missed the first blog post about this. How about you click HERE HERE HERE \to read that blog post? But do not forget to come back for this post once you are done, okay? 😀

Many children and parents delay the process of straightening their teeth due to fear.

What are the different kinds of fear that may arise?

FEAR #1: Fear of pain.

The most common concern that children have when starting to put on braces is that it will be extremely painful. As a parent, you may also share the same fear as your child since obviously, no parent would want to see their child in pain.

In reality, orthodontic treatment does not involve the use of twisting or wrenching their teeth into position.

Newer Orthodontic appliances use gentle, consistent pressure to realign the teeth gradually. Now, this pressure can cause the gums to become tender and ache a little at the start or after each adjustment. However, this discomfort is really temporary and minor.

In most cases, this discomfort can be solved through over the counter medications.

But if you ask me, Sharleez does not even require medications so far because the treatment is bearable.

Want to know why?

Sharleez is using the self-ligating Damon Braces to allow minimal a very gentle force to be applied on the tooth to reduce and discomfort.

But I did my part too and prepared her mentally.

Days Weeks before, she kept asking me, “Mummy, will it be painful? How tight?”

Since I am currently wearing the Invisalign aligners, which is an almost invisible alternative to braces, I told her what it feels like to have aligners on. I also told her how important it is to have an exceptionally good dental hygiene when she is wearing braces.

Sharleez: “Did you cry Mummy when you have the aligners on?”

Me: “Have you ever seen me cry when I put on the aligners? In fact, I am laughing even more than ever!”  

Sharleez: “Okay, I can do this! I want a straight teeth!” 

FEAR #2: Fear of the Unknown

Most people are afraid of situations where they do not have control or understand what is happening.

A dental clinic can be a very intimidating place for a young child.

Just imagine this.

Your kid is laid out horizontally on a chair with bright lights shining in their face. The doctor then proceeds to use a collection of unfamiliar instruments in their mouth.

SCARY RIGHT?

Well, it can even be an intimidating place for adults! I remember fearing my every visit to the dentist when I was still in primary school. I remember still fearing my visit to the dentist even after I reached adulthood.

But here’s the thing – my kids look forward to their every visit to De Pacific Dental despite them always being very selective of the people they choose to warm up to! They really adore their dentist Dr Ooi Jing Liang because he always takes the effort to create conversations and joke with them. So really, it is not like a visit to the dentist!

At De Pacific Dental, they understand the parents and child’s concerns, hence they take the time to find out the fears that the kids may have.

On the day when Sharleez was supposed to put on her braces, she was very nervous, as expected.

Dr Ooi already anticipated that Sharleez would be pretty nervous on the day of her braces procedure. The moment he saw Sharleez, he first started by asking her about her day and how she was feeling. He did not mention anything about the braces at all initially. Once Sharleez was less tensed, Dr Ooi went on to explain to her what he was going to do and what she should expect to feel.

He then asked her whether she liked Finding Nemo and who her favourite character in the show is.

Right before he started to put the braces on for Sharleez, he played Finding Nemo for Sharleez to watch. It was definitely a good form of distraction as Sharleez was more engrossed with the movie than the procedure that she was undergoing at that time.

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In fact, even her little supporters (especially Shan!) were so engrossed with the movie and they totally forgot to cheer her on! Nice. HAHA.

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The procedure was pretty painless, with a little bit of discomfort experienced by Sharleez. Dr Ooi was thoughtful enough to keep checking on Sharleez throughout.

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FEAR #3: Fear of Embarrassment

Kids and teens often feel especially fearful that they will “look funny” or get made fun of while they are wearing their braces. These types of fears tend to get worse around special occasions such as birthday parties or other gatherings.

Sharleez had the same fear too before she had her braces on. She was like, “Mummy, I don’t want to open my mouth when have my braces on. Later my classmates will notice and make fun of me!”

To that I asked her, “But you look at all those people with bright coloured bands and brackets on their braces. I think they are cool. Don’t you think so too?”

She replied, “Ya actually they are kind of cool. I have seen some really pretty girls with braces.”

WE ARE SETTLED THEN.

Dr Ooi then showed Sharleez the various colours of band that she could choose for her braces. Sharleez looked so excited and was pretty confused as to the colour of the band that she should choose.

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She chose baby blue, as expected. Sharleez’s favourite colour is blue, you see?

The braces were fitted to two of Sharleez’ upper front teeth and two of her bottom front teeth.

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WHY NOT FIT THE BRACES TO ALL OF HER TEETH?

This is because Sharleez still has some baby teeth left, somewhere at the back. So while waiting for them to drop off and for the adult teeth to fully grow, Dr Ooi will straighten her front teeth first. So the treatment that she is undergoing is called interceptive orthodontics. To recall what I blogged in the earlier post, intervention may begin as early as age 6 or 7. At this age, teeth are still developing. Early intervention takes advantage of the fact that a child’s jaw is still growing. That means certain conditions, such as crowding, may be easier to address.

Types of teeth and bite conditions that may be cause for early interceptive treatment include:

  • Open bites
  • Deep bites
  • Cross bites
  • Overjets
  • Crowding (Sharleez’s case)
  • Spacing
  • Teeth not emerging in the right sequence
  • Missing teeth
  • Congenitally missing teeth
  • Ankylosed teeth: a condition where the tooth stops erupting and stays in the same place, causing the permanent tooth to be displaced upon emergence

Children who receive interceptive orthodontics generally still need braces or other orthodontic appliances later. However, this early treatment may shorten and simplify future treatment in selected cases. This is commonly known as two-phase treatment.

The moment the braces were placed, Dr Ooi gave Sharleez a mirror and asked her to smile showing her teeth.

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I don’t know about you, but I think that anyone with braces is really cute! 

  1. Fear of Food Getting Caught in the Teeth

Another common fear regarding orthodontic treatment is that large amounts of unsightly food will get caught in the wires and brackets, leading to embarrassment, bad breath, and even tooth decay. In reality, a person with braces is not more likely to get food stuck in their teeth than someone without them. Misaligned teeth also cause a much greater risk of gum disease.

For a start, drinking plenty of water can help wash away any stray bits of food.

At De Pacific Dental, they also make it a point to educate and teach the children on proper brushing and care of their braces. And Dr Ooi did just that after the braces were fitted!

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It’s inevitable that Sharleez will still get some food particles stuck in her braces after every meal.

Hence, the three steps approach for her and anyone with braces to follow:

  1. Make it a habit to head to the bathroom after every meal to clean the teeth. First, start by swishing water vigorously around your mouth then spitting it out. Repeat the process several times.
  2. Next, use a small dental pick or tooth pick to remove small particles that are stuck between the wires and teeth or trapped by a bracket.
  3. Finally, carry a small travel toothbrush to brush after every meal.

And that was it! Sharleez now has braces on and she could not have looked more cuter!

This was her smile and teeth after the first time she had the braces fitted.

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This was Sharleez 8 weeks later.

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And this is Sharleez now!

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 So confident already with the different poses! 

YAY!!!!!!

We are slowly getting there! Actually, the progress is surprisingly fast.

Every 8 weeks, we will have to make a date with Dr Ooi to make adjustments to her braces by way of wire-changers, adding springs, elastics or other accessories.

If you’re curious whether your child needs early orthodontic treatment like Sharleez, do not hesitate to call up De Pacific Balestier to find out more!

And oh, if you want to know more about Invisalign, you can find out from them toooooo!

What is Invisalign?

  • Invisalign aligners are nearly invisible so it’s difficult for others to notice
  • Invisalign aligners are removable. You can remove them before eating/drinking and easily brush and floss to maintain good oral hygiene.eatment

I am wearing Invisalign too in almost all of my photos, can you tell?

Trust me, the people at De Pacific Balestier are a bunch of awesomely nice people! Your kid will enjoy his visits to the dentist once he meets Dr Ooi!

And only for my first 20 readers,

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Let Dr Ooi advise you FOR FREE (with no obligations) on what needs to be done for your teeth before you consider or even decide!

Contact details:

Tel: (65) 6684 4862

Address: 20 Ah Hood Road, #01-25, Zhongshan Mall,
Singapore 329984

Email: enquirybal@depacific.com

Opening Hours:
 Mondays to Fridays: 10am to 10pm

Saturdays to Sundays: 10am to 6pm

Public Holidays: Closed

 

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