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Malaysian Share: 8 Things to Consider Before Getting Braces

Since my high school days, I’ve always been envious of my friends when they smiled with their teeth because I couldn’t due to the insecurities of my ‘vampire teeth’.

Unfortunately, my dad said getting braces done is unnecessary as it’s for beauty reasons. He refused to let me do it so I had to wait till I’m older and pay for my own 🙃

If you’ve ever wondered 🤔 what options you have to straighten your teeth, look no further. In this article, I will gladly share with you the types of braces (and aligners) that you can get depending on your budget, location and other factors.

1. Type of Braces

If you’re opting for braces, there are a few types for you to pick from; metal, ceramic, and lingual.

Each type has their pros and cons which we will further explore below.

Source: Wikimedia

Metal

This is the one that comes to mind whenever someone says “braces”. They straighten your teeth through the use of metal wires that are strung through metal brackets.

The pro is you get to choose what colour bands you want. They are quite visible, and the brackets and rubber bands can be seen from a distance so that is obviously a disadvantage.

Ceramic

Similar to metal braces, the only difference is instead of colourful rubber bands, the brackets are made of ceramic. The colour of the ceramic is like the colour of your teeth, making your braces much less visible. The only disadvantage will be the price because they’re more expensive.

Lingual

Just like metal braces, but instead of wearing them in front of your teeth, lingual braces are placed in the back of your teeth, making them invisible. But be prepared to suffer from tongue ulcer and major discomfort on the first few days of wearing them.

This is because your tongue touches the braces, and they’re not used to the foreign object yet, therefore making you uncomfortable.

Fun Fact:
Lingual braces are so rare that even Singaporean-born Malaysia-based artist Aliff Aziz had a hard time searching for a clinic that offers lingual braces treatment until he had to ask his followers through a now-deleted tweet.

Source: Wikimedia

Clear Aligners

The most expensive type of way to fix your crooked teeth. They’re not called braces because they’re different.

You can take them out to eat, drink and brush your teeth, making it a much healthier option because you can still enjoy hard food unlike braces. Also, by removing them to brush your teeth, you’ll be able to thoroughly clean your mouth and don’t have to worry about any food stuck to your braces or spend time getting them out.

FYI: You need to wear them for 22 hours a day or more so that they’ll work effectively.

If you choose to wear aligners, you’ll need to discipline yourself because since its not stuck to your teeth, you’ll need to constantly remind yourself to take them out before eating and put them back in after brushing your teeth. Not wearing them for at least 22 hours a day will affect your treatment process and you’ll have to wear them longer than intended.

2. Budget

Based on my research, the cheapest braces you can get in Malaysia in 2021 is conventional (aka metal) braces for RM4k.

Bear in mind this is the average. If you can find a cheaper one, good for you and do share with us 😀

Ceramic braces will cost slightly higher than metal. I’m not so sure about lingual braces because they’re quite rare and most dental clinics don’t offer them. But I heard that the price can be more expensive than ceramic.

If you prefer to go for clear aligners, the starting price for it is 5.7k+. But if you went for the most popular brand which is Invisalign, the price can go up to RM22k 🤯💸 That was the price I was quoted with. I said goodbye to Invisalign faster than you can say Mississippi.

3. Location

When thinking about getting your braces done, one thing to keep in mind is the location. Because braces are quite the long time commitment and you’ll have to keep going to your dental clinic for check-ups.

With that in mind, look for one that is near your house or work location. And if you don’t have your own transport or someone who can take you to and fro, find a clinic that is easily accessible with public transport.

4. Know Your Reason(s)

Before going for braces, you might want to know what is your reason for getting one.

For example, crooked teeth (most common), jut out teeth, buck teeth, crowded teeth and many others. But braces are not just for aesthetic purposes, it may even help to fix your lisp. (But as you’re wearing them your lisp might get worse 🙃 before they get better).

It is important to know your reason(s) because your orthodontist will ask you during your appointment. But it is okay if you don’t have a proper answer. Just saying “I want straight teeth” will suffice.

Your orthodontist can help you check and identify if you have more problems and if they’re able to help you with it with the braces of your choice.

5. Prepare to Lose 1 or More Teeth

This is the hardest part. I recall saying goodbye to 4 of my perfectly good teeth.

When my orthodontist was extracting my first tooth 🦷, I teared up not because it was painful, but because I felt sad I had to lose a good tooth. I even mentally say goodbye to it with tears rolling down my face as it was being ‘yeeted’ out 😿

Contrary to popular belief, extracting a tooth is not painful at all. I know now because I have experienced it. Depending on how many teeth you need to extract, your orthodontist will apply numbing cream on your gum before injecting anaesthesia on it so you won’t feel pain when the extraction is going on.

6. Compare, Compare, Compare

I can’t stress this enough. Always go for a second opinion and remember to compare prices while you’re at it.

My first visit to a specialist (who shall not be named), she told me I had to extract not one, not two but EIGHT good teeth because according to her my jaw is too small and I have a lot of teeth.  

Besides that, the expertise of your orthodontist, the location, the atmosphere of the clinic all plays an important role while selecting a dental to do your braces.

Other than that, ask what their payment methods are. Do they accept installments? Insurance? Are they partnered with any banks that you can collect points from? Things like that.

7. Prepare Yourself Mentally and Physically

Getting braces done is quite a journey or even a life event I would say. I’m currently wearing my aligners while typing this. My orthodontist didn’t inform me specifically how long it will take for me to get my teeth straight but I’m hoping it’d be less than 3 years 🤞

Prepare yourself mentally because your life is about to change. Woah such drastic words there but trust me, you’ll know what I mean when you’re wearing one. Your life won’t be the same for a while. 

Prepare yourself physically because you might not get to eat your favourite food for awhile (if you’re wearing braces). So if you want to lose weight, wearing braces is the perfect time to do so.

8. Take a Before and After Picture

This is not a must but most people do it anyway. Getting to see how well your teeth have progressed gives you the kind of satisfaction like no other.

If your friends are also on their braces journey you can even compare them and discuss whose teeth are faster in their race to become straight.

Recap on The Things to Consider Before Getting Braces in Malaysia:

  1. Type of Braces
  2. Budget
  3. Location
  4. Know Your Reason(s)
  5. Prepare to Lose 1 or More Teeth
  6. Compare, Compare, Compare
  7. Prepare Yourself Mentally and Physically
  8. Take a Before and After Picture

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