If there is one highly requested video/blog post from most of you, it would have to be my journey with braces. I get to sit down tonight and give you all the details about my case, how long it lasted, and basically everything about my experience with braces.
Circa 2008-2009. This was the oldest photo I could find showing my teeth pre-braces stage. My bottom teeth have always been straight from the beginning, but my left and right canine (Filipino term: sungki) were very prominent and caused my other teeth to move/overlap. Using the photo below as reference, it came to a point when my right canine kept pushing my lateral incisor inward. I found it so unattractive that I knew I had to get it done.
Also considering my online job, which is making videos through Youtube and meeting a lot of people through events and such, I just KNEW this was the best investment I could ever make for my career.
Thanks to my YouTube job, I was able to pay for my own braces back in SEPTEMBER 2012. It was actually an impulse move on my part. I only visited the dentist to get an opinion and an estimate on the cost of the braces, but I ended up going home with metals in my mouth!
My first photo with my braces on!
Here’s something fun to read:
September 26, 2012 (Day 1: Installation)
First dental appointment. New dentist. (Dra. Rue & Lassyl Galao – 1462 G. Tuazon Street, Sampaloc Manila)
I went to get a dental check-up at around 2:30PM. I had plans with my friend April that night and I thought, “Oh, this wouldn’t take long, it’s only a check-up.” I got my teeth structure (or whatever it is called) molded.
Dra. Lassyl examined everything and told me my case isn’t that bad. I didn’t need any extraction as I have spaces at the back of my upper teeth (she had a dental term for that but obviously, my brain wasn’t able to remember it all) We talked about the terms of payments and the date I wanted to get my braces installed. I initially said “next week”. I chose conventional braces for PHP25,000 (up & down).
Dra. Rue (Dra. Lassy’s mom arrived) and took a look at my case, as well. She asked me if I wanted to get the braces installed that day. I was like, really??? Right now? WITHOUT EVEN THINKING ABOUT THE CONSEQUENCES, I IMPULSIVELY SAID YES.
Oh man, I didn’t know what I was in for.
All I could remember was seeing myself with a perfect set of aligned teeth. (I don’t really have any problems with my lower set, I have overcrowding teeth on my upper set, though).
We first took photos for the “before” shots. I still don’t have them, but I’ll totally add them in here when I get them next week.
After the photo-taking, Dra. Lassyl did some tooth filling first. And then came the installment of my braces.
“BRACES”—sounds mighty evil, doesn’t it? You’ll know why if you keep on reading…
First thought upon finishing with the installment? “HOLYYYYYYY CRAP. MY MOUTH IS HUGE.”
I felt like the little girl from FINDING NEMO. I looked like a dork, and I COULDN’T SPEAK PROPERLY.
NO PAIN AT ALL. (LET’S GIVE EMPHASIS TO THIS.) I was overjoyed. Damn, I don’t feel pain baby!
Dra. Rue gave me wax (apparently for the braces—I didn’t think I would need them coz I didn’t feel pain at all.) I got a new orthodontic brush (a toothbrush for people with braces), my molder “BEFORE” set of teeth, and a prescription! Dra. Rue told me I would feel pain the next afternoon. I was quite skeptical.
I bid them goodbye and went out to meet April. I was still able to eat a bit properly that night, albeit feeling a little “BRACED”. No PAIN, STILL. After dinner, we went out partying. I felt NO PAIN AT ALL.
I was still able to smile like this:
Level of pain: 0 out of 5
SEPTEMBER 27, 2012 (DAY 2)
GOOD MORNING, BRACED LINDSAY!
Woke up slightly feeling weirdness (in my mouth) Slight pain, yes. I noticed how my braces SCRAPED THE INNER PARTS OF MY MOUTH. No pus, no sores, just straight up SCRAPED SURFACES.
I did not mind. I told myself, this would go away. I had COFFEE for breakfast. And I made soup, too! That was all I could eat. Biting was difficult already. I felt a little scared.
AFTERNOON CAME & MY MOUTH JUST SUDDENLY DECIDED TO SHUT DOWN. I WAS IN PAIN. It felt like ALL MY TEETH WERE GONNA FALL OFF. I drank my pain-killer. The ones that Dra. Rue prescribed.
I DIDN’T TALK THE WHOLE DAY. MY MOUTH WAS JUST SHUT.
Level of pain: 2 out of 5
SEPTEMBER 28, 2012 (Day 3)
I learned how to use my dental wax. I STUFFED MY MOUTH WITH THEM. They prevented the devil braces from scraping the inner parts of my mouth even more.
Slight discomfort felt, but the wax kept me sane.
I had soup soup soup.
I was able to edit videos and blog a few posts.
Level of pain: 2 out of 5
SEPTEMBER 29, 2012 (Day 4)
2 hours of sleep because I had a lot to do today (yes, today is the 29th) I attended a ribbon cutting ceremony in Bulacan in the morning. My mouth felt SO FREAKIN’ BIG. I had a difficult time pronouncing words and even talking to people. Damn, I was like, what the heck is happening to my mouth…
After the ribbon cutting I went straight to the UAAP game for the shooting of the Silverworks Courtside Charmer. I kept re-applying my lip balm because my lips felt SO DRY and CRACKY.
Filming with Silverworks was el horible. 10 seconds of FAKE ASS SMILING BECAUSE MY BRACES WERE IN THE WAY. I haven’t seen the replay yet, it’s gonna air tomorrow night 7PM Balls Channel, contrary to what I announced which is today at 8PM—scratch that, watch tomorrow at 7PM. First quarter of the ADMU-DLSU game. You will SEE how awkward my smile was. My sister’s boyfriend said I was like smirking. -_-
I didn’t have any lunch. I couldn’t eat anything. I just drank Gatorade and milktea to somehow fill my tummy with SOMETHING because I honestly felt like fainting. I MISS FOOD WTF.
MY MOUTH BLEW UP BY 2PM. MY MOUTH SWELLED. I DID NOT TALK THAT MUCH TODAY. I JUST KNEW MY MOUTH WAS BECOMING MORE AND MORE AND MORE PAINFUL.
I SKIPPED 2 OF MY LAST CLASSES TODAY BECAUSE I COULDN’T TAKE THE PAIN. I just HAD TO GO HOME.
My mom made me soup and sausages (the soft kind) I ate and drank water. OH MAN. I AM STILL IN PAIN.
I just got out of the bathroom CRYING MY EYES OUT OKAY? ANG SAKIT. THIS IS TOO MUCH PAIN.
I now have 4 HUGE MOUTH SORES. By HUGE I mean HUGE. Remember the scrapes I told you during day 2??? THOSE SCRAPES DEVELOPED INTO SORES. (sores=singaw in Filipino)
Okay, so I took my makeup off and I teared up. It was PAINFUL TO EVEN TOUCH THE AREA AROUND MY MOUTH WITH A MAKEUP WIPE!
Then I went in the bathroom to gargle. Oh man. I cried like a baby. THE PAIN WAS OUT OF THIS WORLD. I TELL YOU. I felt so weak because of the pain. I FELT SO WEAK.
I CRIED CRIED CRIED. Gargled with BETADINE Mouthwash (great for mouth sores)
Then I realized every time I fill my mouth full of water, I don’t feel the pain. SO HERE I AM WITH A MOUTHFUL OF WATER. I WISH I CAN SLEEP LIKE THIS.
I WANT THESE BRACES OFF MY TEETH. I DON’T WANNA GO THROUGH MONTHS (AND GOD FORBID, YEARS!!!!!!!) OF THIS TORTURE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I am damn serious. I WANT THESE OFF ASAP.
I NEED A MOUTH PIECE OR SOMETHING. Just PLEASE prevent these evil metals from cutting my mouth inside…………….
I NEED A HIGHER DOSAGE OF PAIN KILLER. I CANNOT STAND THIS PAIN. I DON’T WANT TO SUFFER ANYMORE.
Nothing can comfort me. No words can comfort me. I can’t believe I’m paying PHP25,000 TO MAKE MYSELF SUFFER LIKE THIS.
Imagine me SWEARING non-stop right now. THAT IS HOW PAINFUL THIS IS. I AM NOT KIDDING YOU.
“You should’ve gotten Invisalign!”—OH BELIEVE ME I WOULD’VE, but keep in mind that I am spending my OWN money now. 25,000 is already a huge. What more a hundred grand?
I WANNA WAKE UP WITH MY ORIGINAL IMPERFECT TEETH. THIS PAIN IS JUST TOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO MUCH.
More updates in the next days.
Level of pain: 5 over 5
HAHAHAHA! I am literally laughing right now as I finished reading that! You now have an idea about my experience during the first stages of having braces. And believe me, it gets better. I was just too caught up with my emotions when I wrote that entry. I was writing from the heart.
Here’s the last update I did (I wasn’t consistent)…
September 30, 2012
I woke up feeling much better! The only thing that hurt today are my mouth sores (singaw) My mom bought me Dolfenal (Mefenamic Acid) and Daktarin (oral gel) to alleviate the pain of my mouth sores. I had soup for my first meal, and bought mashed potato from Kenny Rogers for dinner. I also had milk tea without the pearls! Everything is A-OK. Well, except that my mouth still looks sore. I was able to stock up on ortho wax!!! I found a nearby dental station at our local mall! I got 2 sets of ortho wax for 85.00 each :) Oh yeah, I tried eating pizza but my tummy ached because I kept swallowing without chewing. HAHAHA. No bueno. No solid food till further notice.
Brushing still hurts because of my mouth sores. Ortho wax is my savior. PLUS, my ORABRUSH & TONGUE FOAM!!! Gets rid of all the ickiness in my mouth! Fresh fresh fresh. :) See? These sponsored things come in handy! No kidding!
October 1, 2012
A NEW DAY! I woke up feeling okay! :) Had soup for super late brunch. I still have my mouth sores. When I don’t speak for a long time and then move my mouth, they HURT SO BAAAAD. I’ve been drinking less water that I usually do, so I think I gotta work on that. Went to the salon with April today, and my sponsor ordered pizza for us!!! So there I was, swallowing without chewing again!!!!! No tummy ache, though. :) When I got home I had some soup again + sausages (the super soft kind) I get hungry so easily.
MAJOR CHANGE NOTICED: MY LEFT sungki (canine) teeth MOVED!!! OMGGG it MOVED!!! It’s starting to align itself! BUT my right sungki teeth seems to have moved back even more.
I spend over 30 minutes with my oral hygiene. It’s such a chore. I brushed my teeth, scraped my sores on my super rough braces (I felt like crying when that happened over and over while I was brushing) used my ORABRUSH and TONGUE FOAM to clean my tongue, gargled Betadine mouthwash (for my mouth sores), applied ortho wax, and treated the sores using the Daktarin oral gel.
Now it’s 4:52AM and I’m hungrrrry.
October 2, 2012
My braces feel a WHOLE LOT BETTER! My sores are almost gone, Daktarin is a great help! I’ve been drinking a lot of water today. I had banana smoothie when I woke up, mashed potato and crème brulee for my super late brunch, and I was able to eat siopao!!!! Without chewing! LOL I just swallowed small pieces of it. I had tea today. Brushing my teeth FELT BETTER! Brushing would hurt too much before [because of the teeth AND the sores] that I cry while doing it. But now I can do it without pain! My Orabrush + tongue foam is amazing as always.
Well, I guess what they told me in the beginning is true… IT GETS BETTER!!!!
My teeth are MOVING!!!!!!! I SWEAR I CAN FEEL IT. And I can see a lot of difference!!! Especially my left teeth (sungki) It is moving its ass to the line. I love it.
October 3, 2012
MY BRACES FEEL SOOOOO MUCH BETTER NOW! No more sores!! I was able to eat PHO GA! (Chicken noodle soup) :) My mouth is not longer swollen, I can speak properly and…that’s it!!
I am so happy! My teeth are aligning day after day.
I’ve read comments on my Youtube from people who also got braces the same time I did, I’m blogging my progress to make them feel like we’re IN THIS TOGETHER!!! It TOTALLY gets better, babies. They [people who told me it will get better] weren’t lying! HANG IN THERE!
Cheers to a perfect set of pearly whites! :)
I told you it gets better! As the months passed, my teeth aligned themselves accordingly; and contrary to my expectation that they’d straighten up in one go, THEY DID NOT. They evolved into different shades of ugly.
FEBRUARY 2013 (5 MONTHS) Braces looking good! No excessive protruding. My mouth didn’t look big at all! But see what happens next…
MAY 2013 (8 MONTHS) Do you see how BIG my teeth got?! And also, how yellow! This was also the stage wherein I got teased looking like a horse/Vice Ganda.
There were times when I couldn’t smile without showing my teeth because my braces protruded and definitely looked unappealing. (see: left photo above) That was when I started learning how to smile with teeth showing.
Yup, here’s the original Lindsay smile without the teeth!
Problems I encountered and how I dealt with each:
- Canker sores (singaw) – This has always been a problem for me pre/during/and post brace stages. I believe I lack in a certain kind of vitamin and/or I always accidentally bite my tongue/cheeks/etc. My best solution to this? And by BEST, I mean THE BEST: BETADINE MOUTHWASH. Hands down, my all time favorite oral rinse/disinfectant. I hate Bactidol and all the other mouthwashes because they actually irritate my sores even more! They just freshen breath and NOT treat the sores. Betadine Mouthwash treats sores like they would wounds. I gargle with this once to twice a day and after 2 days, my canker sore would be GONE. (largest size is at P300.00+, found at SM Supermarket) Literally nothing works as best as this one (for me).
- Rough/cutting edges/getting poked from brackets/wires of braces – this one is such a headache and usually happens every adjustment session. If I leave them be, I eventually develop canker sores! So I make sure I reach for ORTHO WAX! It’s wax that you cover your brackets with to prevent the rough/cutting edges from scraping the insides of your mouth. The only downside is eating with these wax balls on your teeth! You swallow them. And you get bad breath because of them. So make sure you give attention to your oral hygiene! My mom knows a place somewhere in Quiapo where you can buy wax for only P40.00. You can also get it FREE from your dentist.
Those were the (2) major problems I encountered with my braces.
Other than that, make sure you don’t bite into hard stuff because it may cause your braces to pop out of the brackets.
During one of my visits with Dra. Lassyl and Dra. Rue Galao. Dra. Rue is the mother of Dra. Lassyl. And Ate Lassyl’s sister, May, is one of my good friends from high school.
I also underwent a minor cosmetic procedure of (I forgot the term) but basically, my dentist scraped off excess gums from my L & R canine to make them look better. Nothing complicated :) Betadine Mouthwash helped heal the wound overnight! It was bloody, but with anesthesia and all, you’ll get by!
Fast forward to APRIL 22, 2014 (1 YEAR, 7 MONTHS) I had my braces taken out! I was ecstatic!!!
The removal of my braces was just in time for the launching of my own lash curler last April 2014! I love the final look of my straight teeth!
Now I have Invisalign-like retainers which I have to wear every night for the next 1.5 years to prevent my former teeth structure from coming back.
1 year and 7 months was all worth it.
Did I miss some points? Comment below and I’d be happy to answer.
Price of my braces: P25,000.00 conventional type; may differ with other cases
Contact #: 4049724/09178979360
Address: 1462 G. Tuazon Street, Sampaloc Manila
Look for: Dra. Rue & Lassyl Galao