# Etrangle.net

Live Well. Laugh Often. Love Much.

# Archive for the 'Dental Care' Category

## Tooth Fairy, where are you?

Just the other day, I bumped into a family friend and the first thing she said when she saw Sharleez with braces on was, “Why so early wear braces? You should wait for all her adult teeth to come in before you put on braces!”

Little did she (and I) know that Sharleez should have done her intervention braces wayyyyyyyyy earlier, in fact. As it is, the latest CT Scan X-Ray shows that we might have started a little too late for a simple early treatment. She might possibly require a minor surgery later on to correct the permanent canine and get it into the correct position.

In case you didn’t know, Sharleez started wearing braces when she was only 9.

Sharleez has been on the braces for about half a year, and we have noted the following changes:

1. Looks
2. Alignment of teeth
3, Wider smile
4. Confidence

Look at her now! Awwwwww.

Oh yes, my girl now feels weird if she doesn’t show her teeth when smiling. Just about a year ago, she felt weird when she smiled showing her teeth.

## Enough of Sharleez for now. I am going to leave her alone for a while since we are all very happy with the progress of her teeth this far.

Let’s move on to her twin sisters, Mysha and Myreen.

Just like Sharleez, my twins also have crowded teeth issues. As a result, my twins are still very conscious about their smile and showing their teeth.

Whenever I take a picture of them nowadays, it will only be Sharleez showing her teeth.

No way will I let that happen and affect my twins’ confidence! When the confidence is not there, it will restrict them from moving forward and explore their many talents in life, I feel. I actually spent my childhood being so conscious about my smile and only decided to do something about it when I was in my thirties! Using Invisalign aligners now and never felt better!

I learnt a lesson when Dr Ooi from DePacific Dental Balestier told me that I had sent Sharleez a bit too late for her dental treatment. Hence, I made the decision to send Mysha and Myreen in for evaluation and to get their crowded teeth issues fixed!

## I want my twins to have that perfect smile too!

Being a parent is all about practising partiality, you know? 🙂

So they did their X-Ray and CT Scan, for a start.

Mysha and Myreen, both have a constricted upper and lower arch resulting in crowded teeth and also cross bites, which could possibly cause early wear of their permanent teeth.

# GASPS!

Based on the X-rays that were taken, both Mysha and Myreen had their permanent canines growing in a non ideal position. That said, early treatment would have been beneficial in hopefully allowing their permanent teeth to erupt nicely.

## So what’s next?

Dr Ooi explained that early treatment for Mysha and Myreen will involve removing the baby teeth to allow the permanent canine to erupt in a nice position.



Mysha already had her upper two baby canines extracted first the other time. Now, this girl of mine is a scaredy cat. She was so nervous prior to the extraction and hesitated going for the extraction! Sharleez was assuring her all the way that she would not feel any pain at all!

“If mine was painful, why didn’t I cry when the dentist extracted my teeth?”

But she was not convinced entirely, I could tell. She was exceptionally quiet throughout our drive to the dentist.

Dr Ooi (being the expert that he already is), sensed that Mysha was scared.
The first thing he asked was, “Who is your favourite singer? I can play the songs for you via Spotify!”

## Of course Mysha chose Charlie Puth! HAHA.

With Charlie Puth singing in the background, Dr Ooi kept talking to Mysha throughout the procedure to make it seem like she was not going through a procedure even!

“If you feel any pain, just lift up your hand and I will stop right away,” he assured her.

And to make things even sweeter, Myreen was holding Mysha’s hand throughout and she kept whispering to Mysha “It’s okay, Mysha.”

Twins and the wonders they do to each other.

As usual, Dr Ooi really took his time to make sure that his patient was comfortable and at ease. I like how he always does not rush just to get things done fast. When kids are involved, extra attention needs to be given to them – and that’s what Dr Ooi is good at!

So he numbed Mysha by firstly using a numbing gel to numb the tissues that the local anaesthesia would be placed.

Once Mysha could not feel anything at all, Dr Ooi proceeded with the extractions.

Within minutes, both baby canines were extracted!



Mysha was so relieved and proud that she requested to bring home her extracted baby canines.

She placed the extracted teeth under the pillow and demanded that the Tooth Fairy come to give her $2. The Tooth Fairy has yet to do so till today. Oops! Sorry Mysha, Tooth Fairy has been too busy of late. I will remind her again. Right after we left the clinic, Mysha exclaimed proudly “It was not painful even. Myreen, don’t worry. It won’t be painful for you also.” Wah! Someone is a pro already! Mysha was instructed to not eat anything for about two hours or so. And once the numbness went away, I thought she would need some painkillers to help her cope with the pain. But she told me that she did not require any. # BRAVO MYSHA! Weeks later, Mysha had the bottom two baby canines extracted next! Since she already knew what to expect, she was more composed this time round. Extraction process took even faster this time, and she was done before I could even take a proper video of it! HAHA. Once again, well done Mysha! And that reminds me – 4 teeth extracted but the Tooth Fairy is still missing in action. She owes Mysha$4! LOL. 

And thank you Dr Ooi for always NOT making their trips to the dentist so dreadful!

Just look at what Sharleez had to say about Dr Ooi. So sweeettt!



Meanwhile, if you are intending to sign up your child for an early intervention treatment with De Pacific Dental, you may call them directly or schedule an appointment today!

Do not forget to mention MYSHA or ETRANGLE because a pleasant surprise awaits you! Can’t say it here. Call them and you will know!

# Do give DePacific Dental a call now to find out more about the surprise that awaits you!

You should also follow Dr Ooi in Facebook and IG! I simply love all his dental related posts!

And of course, do follow De Pacific Dental Group in FB & IG for updates on dental health issues and upcoming events which you can attend in future!

## Tel: (65) 6684 4862

### Address: 20 Ah Hood Road, #01-25, Zhongshan Mall, Singapore 329984 Email: enquirybal@depacific.com IG: @DePacificDentalGroup Opening Hours:  Mondays to Fridays: 10am to 10pm Saturdays to Sundays: 10am to 6pm Public Holidays: Closed

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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!

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.

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

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.

## 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.

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.

# 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.

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!

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.

This was Sharleez 8 weeks later.

And this is Sharleez now!

# 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 ESPECIALLY FOR MY BLOG READERS ONLY…

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

Contact details:

Tel: (65) 6684 4862

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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## A Reason to Smile.

### Every kid deserves a pretty smile, with AND without teeth showing.

So when Sharleez’s baby teeth started to fall out one by one and her permanent teeth first poked through, she started to be really conscious about her smile and her set of big new teeth. There was once she looked at the mirror and casually said,

“Mummy, I think I look like a beaver with these funny looking teeth!”

### NAWWWW MY POOR GIRL. CANNOT BE THAT BAD.

It is not about her being self-conscious at such a young age. It is about how it can result in a low self-esteem in the long run. Some may even experience social anxiety as they also avoid conversations; especially with people they do not know. Children especially will be affected as they sometimes feel embarrassed at how their teeth may look to their friends. The possibility of being teased at school will cause shyness, isolation or reluctance to participate in school activities.

## I DO NOT WANT THAT TO HAPPEN TO MY GIRL!

So I decided to find out more about Orthodontics, especially after I noticed that some of my friends’ kids are already wearing braces despite being about the same age as Sharleez.

I was like,

“How come they can start wearing braces so early?”

After much research, I made an appointment with Dr Ooi Jing Liang from DePacific Dental (Balestier) because he is one of the few dentists here who does early orthodontic treatment for kids. Not that many dentists offer the said service, if you must know.

# (But I used to think like you too.)

There is usually no fixed rule as to when we should start braces. However the American Association of Orthodontists recommends children from age 7 to be seen for an assessment of their facial and dental growth patterns.

## In other words, Sharleez should have seen Dr Ooi Jing Liang earlier! She is 9 now!

### (AND I THOUGHT WE WERE EARLY!)

BUT LIKE THEY SAY, BETTER LATE THAN NEVER.

In general most children start wearing braces when their last permanent teeth drops out, which usually occurs from 11-14. However in certain cases, it is of great importance to intervene earlier to prevent the problems from getting worse which would then lead to more uncomfortable and longer treatment for the child in future.

Some examples where early treatment is required are:

1) Impacted teeth (When adult teeth are blocked and do not have sufficient space to erupt due to crowding)

2) Crossbite (when the upper and lower teeth do not meet in the correct way)

3) Jaw discrepancy (upper or lower jaw being too forward relative to each other)

There are times also when early intervention is not recommended and we would advise the child to wait till all his/her permanent teeth are out. As every child is different, it would is strongly recommended to see the dentist early so that the dentist can give you all the options available for your child.

Sharleez had her X-Ray done and Dr Ooi Jing Liang discovered that her adult teeth did not have sufficient space in her mouth to erupt and this is causing the crowding of teeth. Crowding of teeth means that she needed to extract some in order for the rest of her permanent teeth to have more space to grow in place.

So Dr Ooi arranged to have Sharleez’s baby canines extracted. Two top, and two bottom.

The anxious me wanted Sharleez to have all four baby canines to be extracted at the same time. LOL.

But Dr Ooi suggested to have two extracted first so that Sharleez would not be too overwhelmed with the whole process.

When Sharleez first heard that she needed to extract four teeth, she panicked and started asking so many questions like,

“Will it hurt, Mummy?”

“Mummy, what if I cannot take the pain?”

“Must I really extract my teeth?”

Dr Ooi however assured Sharleez that there would be minimal discomfort. He even told Sharleez that he would not carry on with the procedure if Sharleez experienced pain and wanted him to stop.

That made her at ease, somehow. So we fixed a date for the first extraction to be done!

EXTRACTION DAY:

That’s my girl! Showing the peace sign because everything would be alright.

Many patients fear going to a dentist because of pain. This is even more so for a child.

At DePacific Dental (Balestier), the extraction of teeth are done with as little discomfort as possible.

It is really true! I witnessed everything myself, and I was there with Sharleez throughout.

Sharleez was surprisingly calm and composed that day.

### Dr Ooi made it a point to give the local anaesthetic to Sharleez slowly to minimize any discomfort.

He would stop every now and then to check on her and whether she was doing alright. Even his assistant Linda, was really comforting and helpful too in ensuring that Sharleez did not feel so tensed.

### I like how Dr Ooi does not rush through every procedure but instead takes his time each time. That alone is enough to gain the trust from Sharleez.

Sharleez was also able to watch the TV during the whole procedure. Dr Ooi actually played Kung Fu Panda for her while her teeth were being extracted.

In fact, he did not get straight to the extraction business as soon as Kung Fu Panda was played. He chit-chatted with Sharleez about Kung Fu Panda and asked who her favorite character is in the story.

Distraction is indeed a powerful tool in allaying one’s fears, isn’t it?

At DePacific Dental (Balestier), the dentists are trained to give a painless injection by firstly using a numbing gel to numb the tissues that the local anaesthesia would be placed. The dental assistant will then place a massager around the cheeks to further distract the patient and the dentist will give the injection slowly and steadily to minimise any discomfort to the patient.

### Dr Ooi explained to me,

“It is very important to go slow and steady. The  moment she starts to feel any pain and discomfort, that’s when she will not want to continue with the rest of the procedure. In fact, I would not want to continue with the procedure either.”

But once the numbing process was done and it was time for extraction, everything was done within less than 2 minutes!

Yes, within 2 minutes, two of Sharleez’s baby canines were extracted!

SO FAST? I DID NOT EVEN HAVE TIME TO TAKE SOME PICS OF THE EXTRACTION PROCESS!

Dr Ooi then mentioned that Sharleez was not to eat anything for a few hours. And should she experience pain or discomfort once the numbness was gone, then she should take some painkillers.

But Sharleez did not even experience any sort of pain once the numbness was gone. She immediately asked for food. And there I was, well prepared with a bottle of paracetamol for her.

Things were back to normalcy within 3-4 hours, and she ate like a glutton the moment the numbness went away.

So what’s next after extraction?

# PUTTING ON THE BRACES!

But that will be for my next post.

Sorry to make you wait!

MUAHAHAHAHA.

Sharleez looks really cute with braces, by the way. 😀

### WANT TO SEE? NEXT POST LAH!

Meanwhile, you can actually find out more about early orthodontic treatment for your kid or even orthodontic treatment for yourself by making an appointment with the super friendly, fun, bubbly, and energetic Dr Ooi Jing Liang from

# I REALLY LIKE DR OOI!

## THAT MADE ME AND SHARLEEZ FEEL EVEN BETTER!

### So so glad and relieved that I found the perfect dentist for my girl’s orthodontics braces!

Details:

Tel: (65) 6684 4862

Email: enquirybal@depacific.com

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

Saturdays to Sundays: 10am to 6pm

Public Holidays: Closed

## GO AHEAD AND GIVE THEM A CALL! THEY ARE REALLY SO FRIENDLY AND HELPFUL!

### LIKE IT A LOT.

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