Thursday, August 24, 2006

Braces - a masochistic self experiment

Before I post about my misadventures in the East, I should go about teling my story chronologically. Even before I set foot on the aeroplane, the Saturday before (12th August) in a foolish attempt to eat less in Singapore, I decided to have braces put on just before I left.

This wasn't exactly a spur of the moment thing. I have always felt self concious about my smile due to a few spaces (the dental term is diastemas) somewhere near the front, as well as a slightly rotated front tooth. As a result I have always smiled with my lips closed. An ex- called it a mona lisa smile... I have yet to find out what that was supposed to mean.

Front view- red spot is a chili flake, not gingivitis!!

Anyway, now that I have started working one day a week at an orthodontist's, braces is much the culture there and being the tooth perverts we all are, he had already checked my pearly whites out (as of course I had sussed his). He generously offered a consultation and once he had a look, he also very very generously offered free treatment. At the moment it is worth about $5,700 for standard treatment (not including cases that require surgery etc.) so I didn't think much of it and jumped at the opportunity. Hehe he also mentioned that he wanted his lower jaw crowding (a very common problem) corrected and said we could treat each other, him of course being a guinea pig for my unexpert hands at wiring and bracketing.

We also decided to try out a revamped old method of quick bonding (called indirect bonding). I won't go into details here but it was something he wanted to try out as it could save time and also mean that I better understand how treatment was applied. Hence we were the first two in his clinic to try out this new method which wasn't too bad. It replaced the traditional method of glueing them on one bracket at a time which can be very slow and you need to have lots of moisture control.

This is my right side profile. As you can see, I do have about a 2 mm gap between my lateral incisor and my canine tooth on the top jaw and about a 1.2 mm gap same place on the bottom jaw.

Similar story on the left side but with 1 mm gaps each. I didn't have the fancy camera or special mirrors to take photographs to show you the back teeth, however, my top permolars are also quite rotated, one almost turned 90 degrees.

Ok so whats the lowdown? It did hurt. The first 3 days, it felt like my mouth was incredibly scratchy. The teeth did not hurt if you were doing nothing but once you start chewing something, it feels like it is under immense pressure, like someone is jamming something in between all the time. And the food just gets caught everywhere. Quite a few of the teens don't seem to mind this! However, personally I dislike the fact that certain foods get caught between the wires and there is no decent way of getting them out except with a toothbrush.

By the end of my time away, it had improved to a point that I could chew again. Although I feel it isn't as efficent as before, at least I can chew. It is hard to bite things off though eg. bread roll, celery stick, spring roll. Everything has to be pinched off or cut up and chewed on the back teeth. I really don't know how teens manage it! They seem to eat as per normal. Maybe its because my bones are getting older. Or it might get better after a few more weeks...

We didn't have time to completely place the rings around my back teeth before I had to go, hence I still have another appointment to go before I officially start treatment on the top and bottom teeth. I think I might put in a 6 weekly report on how its going. It will be an interesting experiment to see how things change over time. Thankfully I like soup, oat and rice porrige. As for the orthodontist, he chickened out of full banding top and bottom and only decided to have the bottom jaw done so hes only half as uncomfortable as I am!

Note: The top rubber ring colour was meant to be white but somehow picked up tea etc. stains along the way and went yellow! I have since changed the colours to the same as the bottom ones ... bright pink and blue.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Hero Quiz

Ok, a real post is coming up shortly but while catching up on blogs that I have missed while I was away, I came across this on Milgwimper's blog and I thought it was so cool that I decided to do the quiz and here are my results.

You scored as Batman, the Dark Knight. As the Dark Knight of Gotham, Batman is a vigilante who deals out his own brand of justice to the criminals and corrupt of the city. He follows his own code and is often misunderstood. He has few friends or allies, but finds comfort in his cause.

Batman, the Dark Knight


Indiana Jones


Lara Croft


James Bond, Agent 007


Neo, the "One"




El Zorro


The Terminator


The Amazing Spider-Man


Captain Jack Sparrow


William Wallace


Which Action Hero Would You Be? v. 2.0
created with

hehe I thought they should have put in some X-Men characters!! but oh well, the dark knight has always been my hero and I used to collect his comics in my teens. I think the best Batman was played by Val kilmer .... or was that just because I was biased from Top Gun?? or The Saint ?? hmmm.......

Saturday, August 05, 2006

Quick note

Just to say that we were invited out late for dinner tonight at a workmates house so no time for a real post as tomorrow after work, we are leaving for Sydney to watch Hugh Jackman in The boy From OZ!!! I am pretty excited. I wanted to watch it when they announced he was doing it in NEw York but of course by the time we got there last year, it wasn't on anymore. Then, they announced he was doing a few shows in Australia ! So of course we went and got tickets as early as possible (sometime in Feb) And before we know it, the date is tomorrow or rather in about 18 hours yaay! I am sure it will be a real cracker. Hope to be able to take photos although my camera is crappy and our seats aren't the best. Oh well ... will post about it anyways !

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

True gross dental story!!!

A patient came in yesterday, the reason being that she chipped her tooth. She brought the piece in wrapped in some cellophane wrap. I can never get over why so many people do that! Its not as if we can do anything to it or with it. It fell off for a reason!! Unless its a crown or made of gold or porcelain, the general public are far better off just throwing it away.

Well, I had the initial examination and did not find any of her teeth to be missing a piece. She carefully unwrapped the piece and showed it to me saying, "I bought a cake from (insert grocery store name here), It had almonds in it and I thought it was an almond but I had a look at it and it was a piece of tooth! So I relaly need to get it fixed as it is quite large. I carefully examined the facing (also known as veneers) whicha ppeared to be made out of composite (white filling material) It was quite large and possibly coming from one of the central incisor teeth. I turned it around and it had traces of brown decay on the uneven side which joins the tooth. This was probably the reason why it fell off in the first place.

I had a second long look at her before slowly telling her, " I don't quite know how to say this but ... this is a lost piece of filling ... but it is definitely not from one of _your_ teeth." She looked up in a silent scream before choking out, " And I used my toothbrush to scrub it and everything!!!!"

Ick this is definitely one of the yukkiest cases I have seen. Perhaps the lady was better off not bringing the piece in? Ignorance is bliss sometimes. Not sure if that grocery company will do anything for her if she chooses to bring it up.

Anyway here is a picture of Magic with his bandana just to detract from the yukky story.