Tuesday, 29 July 2008

The Braces...Are Off! Finally...



Checklist to do before going to Canada:

22) Get braces off!!!


DONE...

Finally!



I got my braces removed yesterday, after wearing it for 23 months...Finally...=)

I was fretting about the whole post-brace thing because all four of the cap-thingy that holds the braces down (the one on the molars) had dug deeeeep into my gums. I was anticipating quite a bloody mouth, and very sore gums (that is one of my enemies), when they yank it off.


One thing which I was looking forward to, post-braces, was to get a good teeth-cleaning. I hated the way the metal and wires dug into my gums, making them blotchy, swollen and red.

Half of the mouth felt like it could not be brushed properly, and God knows I tried. I had 5 different brushes (one in handbag), two different types of toothpaste, alot of floss everywhere, a mirror wherever I went, and enough salt to last a lifetime!

So yes, I was looking forward to getting into the dentist's chair to get them off!



The sweet dentist who removed my braces was a darling. She chatted away during the procedure. I knew she was a funny one when I sat down and asked her the one question I was wondering about: How do you remove the caps?




Dr Wong Lirn Jiing replied: "Well, we use a hammer, chisel and we just knock, knock and hope it comes off. Or we can use a screwdriver. Which one you prefer?"

Me: "You not scared I get heart attack ah?"

Dr Wong: "Nope. So which you want?"



As she moved her equipment around my mouth, she chattered away, dropping comments like "If the tooth comes out too, I don't know ar", or "It's (cap) out, it's out!...Oh no, it isn't..."





From left: Dr Khor Swee Ting (dentist), Dr Arjunan (Orthodontist who took over from Dr Lee), Dr Wong Lirn Jiing (dentist, training for orthodontics, I think), and Me...




And when she asked about my career choice (see previous post), I could only manage feeble 'Nah uh's'...

One more senior dentist remarked: "She can't reply lar"...

...to which Dr Wong quipped: "That's the best part! I can say what I want"...



I finally gave up and put my hands up asking her to stop with the mouth-work, because I desperately needed to laugh and could not do that with her hands in my mouth. So I had a nice laugh, and the senior dentist (sorry lar, I didn't get her name) said: "See you made her laugh"...

Yeah, she did...She was darn nice...



And I bet none of you will believe the braces all came off completely pain-free (despite Dr Wong teasing me how horribly painful it was), and completely blood-free!




Anyway, I wanted to record my heartfelt thanks to the orthodontic-dentistry team at the Klinik Pergigian Ipoh. They were very efficient, dedicated and professional.



I want to especially make mention of Dr Lee Siew Khuen, the orthodontist who fixed my braces, and who retired sometime early this year. Stepping into Dr Lee's clinic was like walking into a tomb...seriously...

It was dead quiet, and you could hear a pin drop. But she worked very quickly, and she showed her care in her own way, like remembering where you study, trying to fit you in where you missed classes the least, and making witty one-liners (or one-worders)...


"Naughty girl you. Break my braces ha! What you ate? Stones?" *Yeah, I broke them, but then again, after over a year*




She had a darn cold stare (I lose to her man, and I have a very cold stare. I kid you not...), and was very no-nonsense, but I adored her actually...Goes to show appearances can be fooling...



My brother, who is also wearing braces, came home after initially wearing it worried that his teeth had loosen from the gums. He felt they were moving...

We finally took him back to the clinic asking if Dr Lee could have a look, eventhough he didn't have an appointment, and she agreed to have a look, then quipped: "They're moving boy, because I made them move". I think she must have been rolling her eyes!


*Dr Arjunan did a good job too, explaining the post-braces treatment and care. I only saw him twice.*


The nurses also deserve mention. Despite the heavy work schedule, they were always cheerful and very friendly. And they were very nice becuase they always tried to push both my brother and me in for appointments on the same day, one after another, to save us another trip. And they remember us by name...






From left: Me, Nurse Hanita, and Nurse Norhazrin...



So, you see people, not every government department is bad (although got bad ones also lar). We have good apples too, and I wanted to share that. Because these people deserve mention, and our thanks. You know when a government officer does something for you that they do it because they are professional and want to give their best, because hey, we don't pay them a cent.



I've had friends complain about the orthodontic treatment given in private clinics (no particular reference to any clinic out there) where they hold on to their patients and treat for long periods of time, recommend braces even when not needed, and don't do a good job cleaning the cement holding the brackets to the teeth after removal. (Of course not all private clinics are like that lar)


I'm happy to say no such thing happened here in the government clinic. In fact, my neighbour-dentist was very impressed when he saw the good job Dr Wong had done removing the cement off my teeth.

So next time, give the government clinics a try!




PS: Am now stuck (literally) with a retainer for the next year (Note to self: "Repeat mantra: No pain, no gain"), which the clinic made and had fitted for me in less-than-24-hours. Talk about efficient. Now I sound like Daffy Duck, sans spitting...So much for being called Daphne, and dreaming of being metal-free...



27 comments:

Anonymous said...

Daphne! CLOSE UP OF THAT NICE SMILE OF YOURS! I WANT TO SEE YOUR TEETH WITHOUT BRACES!

Alexis-Marie said...

Going to wear those metal things too..
Is it true you can't sing ?? :(

Faridah Khan said...

Hi Daphne girl, great post about the governement side. I was quite bias agaisnt them so thank you for showing the other side. You see a story in everytrhing don't you? I want to see that smile too like anon. ;-) Come on and show us!

Ydiana said...

Hi Daph

Congratulations for taking it off. I've heard of people going to the government dentists for braces, but weren't there a long queque for appointments?

Hey, I just discovered from Sis Dalilah's blog that you are a writer, too. Wow...nice...

Dalam Dakapan Ibu said...

Daphne!
Close-up please... I want to see the beauty of those teeth...

My 10yo daughter has already asking for the braces. I told her - waitla till you're 15 or so.

So, what's next on your list?

the Razzler said...

Dear Daphne..

Who wouldn't wanna be nice to a sweet girl like you!! :) :)

Yeah!.. a close-up of your sweet smile would be nice!!

Sheyna said...

Hmmm... I wonder, do you beep when you go through a metal detector with braces/a retainer? Hee hee... just wondering! Sx

Kerp (Ph.D) said...

yea, my first reaction was, gotta see the new smile on your face!

Daphne Ling said...

Hi Anon 21:52,

Thanks for coming by...

Aiyo, what lar you? See lar the 'trouble' you started...;)

Wait, you will see it...when you see it lar, k? Soon...

Daphne Ling said...

Hey Alexis-Marie,

You too, huh?

Haha! Can sing lar...Unless you couldn't sing before the braces also lar...;)

You can do pretty much everything with braces. Whistle (same above rule applies), sing, bite!

You just cannot eat hard-hard stuff. Like chocolate straight from the fridge (so you eat gooey chocolate, which is yummy), really hard nuts (think big, hard, whole almonds), or bite off an apple...

But you can always cut them up small (apples, jambu etc), or break them up (nuts).

You also shouldn't eat sticky stuff, like chewing gum, the jelly in Blackforrest-Chocolate etc, but I ate them pretty much throughout lar...

Just don't chew so 'deep' and roll the chewing gum with your tongue every now and then, to keep them from getting tangled up in the brace.

Aiya, you'll gte used to it in no time, and will decide for yourself what you can and can't do...

Good luck!

Daphne Ling said...

Hey Faridah,

You're msot welcome, and thank you too...

I thought the orthodontist/dentists and nurses deserved mention, so I just blogged about it...

As for the smile, wait lar...One day...;)

Daphne Ling said...

Hi Kak Diana,

Yeap, very long queue at the government clinic for braces, so if you're not in a hurry, why worry?

I waited for 5 years, but I was willing to wait, because I had heard from my neighbour (the dentist) that this Dr Lee was very good. And, hey, I saved a bomb on cost!

Orthodontics don't come cheap, after all...They range from around RM 3600-6000, I heard, depending on which city and how bad your teeth are...

Daphne Ling said...

Hi Aunty Ja,

Haha, 10 years old and already asking for braces? Are all her permanent teeth out yet? I think must wait for them to come out, right?

I think the so-called 'good' age to wear them is like 14 or 15, right?

Wait ar, wait ar, for the pictures...=)

Daphne Ling said...

Hi Uncle Jimmy,

Nah, I think she was nice to everyone. You can see that she is genuinely a bubbly, happy person...

As for the smile, wait! Soon lar, ok?

Daphne Ling said...

Hey Sheyna,

Aiyo, no lar, I won't beep...If I beep because of this brace/retainer thingy right, can you imagine what happens when all women with a brassiere-underwire walk through the scanner?

Hehe...

Anyway, you can also use the MRI machine with braces on, from what I hear...

Daphne Ling said...

Hey Kerp,

Nah, same smile lar...Same person what! Just less metallic and shiny, that's all ;)

Edward Skading said...

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Pi Bani said...

Daph,
Was thinking I want to belanja you makan-makan before you go off but have been busy these past few days before I go off for another break. Still going for Buddies Family Day tomorrow, and immediately after that going to KL as my mom needs to be admitted on Monday morning. New date of her knee op is on Wednesday.

So, I guess I will just have to wish you all the best and will wait for you to blog from Canada.

You go psycho 'em, girl!! :)

Nightwing said...

Way to go...ya..show us the lovely smile close up....:)

Thank you for showing the good side of some government service.

Ya..must mentioned the good ones too...they are the unsung heros.

Zawi said...

Daph,
Now the smile will be even sweeter. I am sorry I won't be able to see that sweet smile before you fly off.

Daphne Ling said...

Dear Mr Skading,

If there is one thing which ticks me off, is people who address others as 'Dear Blogger'.

You come on people's blog and ask for support, which alot of bloggers would gladly give (I would if I wasn't cheesed off). The least you could do is address the person by name. If the person has not left a name in the profile, a simple 'Hi', or 'Dear Friend' will do.

I see you have even left a comment in Raden Galoh's blog in her recent post. Don't you think you could be a bit more sensitive to her? She's undergoing treatment and is in pain, and you're asking her (again, 'Dear Blogger') to support you being hauled up to court by F&N? Not even a 'How are you?'...

Daphne Ling said...

Hi Kak Pi,

Adoi, no need lar. No need to go to all the trouble.

I read your comment a little too late. It's already Tuesday morning...Hope your mum is not too nervous about tomorrow's surgery...Or is she?

Send my regards to her, will ya?

*Hugs*

PS: Yeap, will go psycho 'em all (and myself too)...;)

Daphne Ling said...

Hi NightWing,

You're most welcome. I agree with you completely. We must remember (and tell others) of the unsung heroes in government service. Not all are bad...

As for smile, wait ler...When I post from Canada, ok? I will gatal to take pictures eventually...;)

Daphne Ling said...

Hey Pak Zawi,

Aww, no worries. I'm sure we'll meet in the future...By that time, the smile pun sudah kaput lar...Alot of people say the teeth always move back after braces =(

WP said...

Hehe, I like your dentist too! :P

kristina Andrew said...
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lilly martin said...
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