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Lifestyle & Inspiration Oral Health

How to take a smile-worthy “after” selfie

Huzzah! It’s the end of your smile journey with become and we know you’re super excited to share your new smile with the world – or at least with your followers on social media. We’ve got some selfie photography tips for you to celebrate your new smile with the perfect “after” photo. Check out these simple tips on how you can show off your gorgeous new smile!

Lights, camera, SMILE!

Good lighting is crucial for a good photo and ideally you would want to have your picture taken somewhere with lots of natural lighting to show off your pearly whites. Try standing in front of a window so the natural light is hitting your face and not from behind you which could cause a dark silhouette of your face in the photo. However, take note that lots of lighting could also be a bad thing! Having too much light can also cause your photos to be overexposed.

Keep it simple

Your background should ideally be simple and clean from any clutter or mess so it doesn’t distract from your face. We want your smile and face to be the center of attention so keep your background and composition simple!

Be yourself

This photo is all about you and for your personality to shine through! Wear your favourite clothes, add some accessories,  or have your location backdrop in a place you love. Your selfie is unique to YOU so have fun with it!

Have some handy props

Posing with items or even a pet can add a lot of personality to your photo (and also comes in handy when you’re feeling shy). Hold your favourite mug, hug your pet or even pose with your favourite plate of food!

Minimal filters

You have a new smile and you’re loving it. You feel super confident and ready to take on anything and we know it’s tempting to add a LOT of filters into your selfie. Keep your filters to a minimum for a more natural selfie that shows off your brand new smile and embrace your confident self! If you do have to edit, keep it minimal to add some exposure to your photos or add a small bit of colour saturation.

BONUS: Have a before and after selfie

Planning to show off your before and after transformation in a selfie? We recommend that you have both photos look consistent by framing them similarly with the same backdrop so your transformation can be seen clearly. You can also choose to have the same hairstyle and clothing in both your selfies too!

Finished your treatment with become? Send us your best after selfie to hello@become.my and we’ll feature it on our site! We love seeing our customers showing off their new grin.

If you’re looking to get that selfie-worthy smile, take our free 30s smile assessment to see if our become invisible braces treatment is right for you!

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Lifestyle & Inspiration Oral Health

How to maintain good oral hygiene

We all know that good oral hygiene is important in preventing tooth decay and gingivitis, but research has shown that poor oral care has also been linked to heart disease, dementia, respiratory infections and diabetes. While maintaining a healthy mouth is a lifelong commitment and might sound like a chore, it’s not that hard at all! 

Don’t Give It a Brush-off

Rinse your toothbrush thoroughly with tap water every time you use it. Let your toothbrush dry thoroughly between brushings. Don’t use toothbrush covers, which can create a moist enclosed breeding ground for bacteria.

What’s in Between

Nothing cleans in between the teeth better than floss or interdental brushes. A fine-bristle toothbrush just won’t cut it. Floss and interdental brushes work by removing food trapped between the teeth and removing plaque that forms there before it turns into tartar. They also clean under the gum line, which is an important step to prevent gum disease. 

Prevent Oral Injury

While it’s important to clean between the teeth, using toothpicks, fingernails or folded paper may cause friction, damaging the gum line, and not to mention unhygienic. Brushing too vigorously and not replacing your brush when the bristles start to lose their shape can also cause injury to the teeth and gums. Wear mask if you have habit of biting your nails.

Bittersweet Symphony

Snacking has been known as a major culprit in weight gain, but did you know that snacking also promotes the production of plaque acid in the mouth? This is because most snacks contain sugar. Your best bet is to cut down on sugary treats and aim to brush after every meal. The fact that it’s cumbersome to brush after every meal or snack should discourage you from snacking too often.

Pay a Visit, or Pay the Price

It’s important to visit your dentist regularly (recommended every 6 months) for checkups and monitoring. Your dentist can detect any problems at an early stage when they’re treatable and more affordable to take care of. Your dentist is also the best person to advise you on the best tools and techniques suited to you to keep your home oral care up to scratch.

Maintaining a good oral hygiene can be trickier for those wearing metal braces. Plaque and food particles have additional places to accumulate, flossing is only possible with super floss, and brushing takes more effort than ever. This is where invisible braces (teeth aligners) prove to be a better option – oral hygiene is easy since you can simply remove it to brush your teeth and floss as usual.

With become, you now can improve your smile with invisible braces, at a fraction of the clinic cost. Take our free 30s Smile Assessment to see if our invisible braces are a good fit for you!

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Tips & Tutorials

Invisible braces vs metal braces

When people think of straightening teeth, they often find themselves having to make a decision on choosing between invisible braces and traditional braces. Until this day, traditional metal braces have always been the most commonly used option to straighten teeth as they generally do fix most teeth cases from moderate to very severe. 

How traditional braces work is by using pressure to move your teeth into a desired position with metal brackets and archwires held by small elastics. Flexible arch wires are then attached to the brackets and apply constant pressure which helps to reposition the teeth based on the treatment plan. Technology has made arch wires more advanced, meaning that repositioning requires less time and patients experience less discomfort. Small elastic bands connect the wires to the brackets. Metal braces are a fixed appliance as the brackets are fixed onto your teeth during the treatment period.

But in reality, not many people know that there is an alternative to traditional metal braces when it comes to straightening their smile. Invisible braces (or also commonly known as clear aligners) can be just as effective as traditional metal braces with some additional benefits.

Clear aligners or invisible braces are a series of customized clear plastic trays that fit tightly on the teeth. It uses pressure to gently shift the teeth into a  desired position. They are usually worn for 22 hours a day and each pair is changed out every 2 weeks. You get a set of them, from 8 – 30 invisible braces pairs depending on how long your treatment period is and your teeth conditions.

Benefits of Invisible Braces

Invisible braces or clear aligners offer some benefits that metal braces don’t. As the name suggests, they are completely transparent and this helps conceal the fact that the patient is undergoing orthodontic treatment, which can be embarrassing for some adults. Invisible braces allow for easier brushing and flossing since they’re removed for cleaning and food doesn’t get trapped in them unlike traditional braces.

Unlike metal braces, invisible braces don’t have brackets or wires that can loosen. Which in turn means that they may require fewer repairs and fewer emergency visits to the orthodontist.

Cons of Invisible Braces

It is also important to note that there are some downsides when it comes to invisible braces. Unlike traditional metal braces, invisible braces may not be the right solution for severe teeth misalignment as they are designed for moderate teeth misalignment cases. Thus this may limit some patient’s from getting them if they have complex orthodontic cases.

In addition, the patient must be disciplined in wearing them for at least 22 hours a day. If not worn correctly, the treatment won’t produce the best results if the aligners aren’t worn as long. The major reason for invisible braces treatments failing primarily relates to lack of patient compliance with wearing the invisible braces as instructed.

Last but not least, another disadvantage that discourages patients for opting for invisible braces is the price. Invisalign is the most commonly used brand for invisible braces and the pricing for Invisalign can be very expensive ranging from 8,000 SGD to 11,000 SGD depending on teeth conditions. With this high price, many patients back out and opt for the more affordable traditional braces instead. However, there are many new direct-to-consumer brands that offer invisible braces for a fraction of the Invisalign price. A few to name are Smiledirectclub, Byte, Zenyum and become. These brands are revolutionising the invisible braces industry with teledentistry which allows for patients to get invisible braces treatments at home with remote orthodontist monitoring.

Which Is More Effective?

Metal braces tend to be more effective at adjusting teeth that have severe overcrowding and may also cost less than invisible braces. However, invisible braces may be more efficient in both treatment time and cost for several cases.

If you want to improve your smile but cringe at the thought of metal braces, take our free assessment here. Invisible braces might just be the solution for you.

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Lifestyle & Inspiration Oral Health

5 tips to keep your mouth healthy

Brushing, flossing and choosing the right dental products are the basics of oral health – but that will only take you so far. It takes much more than brushing twice a day to keep your mouth healthy. Here are 5 additional tips to improve your overall oral hygiene. 

Can the soda

Sodas are fun to drink and taste amazing but they are horrible for your teeth. They contain two acids – phosphoric acid and citric acid which adds that “punchiness” to it, but it also eats away your enamel (the surface of your teeth). Having the occasional soda is fine but having too much in a day softens your tooth enamel and encourages cavities to form. Opt to drink more water and if you need the flavour, add some lemon slices or fruit into the water instead!

Put that cigarette out

When you quit smoking, it has plenty of benefits for your health – and that includes your oral health. Nicotine and tar in cigarettes turn teeth into an unsightly shade of yellow AND ruins your gums too. Not only that, smoking fosters bacteria and plaque growth on your teeth and gum line. This in turn would also increase your risk of tooth loss. And the worst case scenario, chemicals in tobacco can lead to oral cancer.

Learn the right technique

Brushing your teeth twice a day does wonders for your oral health – but if you’re brushing incorrectly, it’s as if you’re not brushing your teeth at all! The proper technique to brushing is to hold your toothbrush at a 45-degree angle, pointed towards the gum line and using gentle, short, circular motion to brush your teeth. Do not overbrush your teeth as that could damage your gum line.

Pay your dentist a visit

Although your oral habits are flawless, it is still important to make an appointment with your dentist at least twice a year for checkups and professional cleaning. Dentists can not only remove hardened plaque on your teeth, they can also spot potential severe issues such as gum disease, tooth decay or oral cancer and offer treatments for it.

Now that your oral hygiene is on track, it’s time to get a more confident and straighter smile. Take our free 30 seconds smile assessment today to see if you’re eligible for our become invisible braces treatment!

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Lifestyle & Inspiration Oral Health

5 Self Care Things You Can Do To Feel Good

Self-care doesn’t always mean taking a bubble bath with slices of cucumber on your eyes. An act of self-care can be as simple as washing your face or making your bed – basically anything that makes you feel good.

At become, we believe everyone should feel good about themselves in order to live confidently so let’s get started with these 5 easy things that you should do for yourself every day.

Wash your face

Start your day right by having an easy skincare routine. You will just need 2 products – a cleanser and moisturizer – and less than 5 minutes twice a day to care for your skin. Even when you’re tired after a long day out, taking a few minutes to wash your face after you brush your teeth and pop in your invisible braces will always pay off. Your future self will thank you.

Have breakfast

We know it’s the cliche thing to say that breakfast is the most important meal but it really is! Whether it’s cooking a full breakfast meal or simply grabbing a cereal bar, it’s important to fuel your body to kickstart the day. Having breakfast will help your metabolism and increase your energy levels throughout the day.

Make your bed

It’s a simple act of the day but making your bed sets you up to have a productive day as it’s the first accomplishment of the day. Plus, it’s great to come home to a neat and tidy bed so you can hop in and sleep for the night! This habit is easy enough for anyone to just start immediately today.

Exercise

We’re not saying you have to work out 5–6 times a week to take care of your body – but moving your body with a short jog or swim session is a good enough start to take care of your body. It doesn’t matter what exercise you do as long as you do something to move your body each day. Plus, exercising releases endorphins which are also known as the happy hormone. You will definitely feel better physically and mentally after a workout session!

Create a nighttime routine

Ahh it’s the end of the day and it’s time to wind down before bed. Have a mug of chamomile tea before bed, read a book or even have a nighttime face mask routine. Creating a mini pre-bedtime ritual signals to your body it’s time to unwind and go to sleep. If you have become invisible braces, take this time to properly clean them and don’t forget to pop them in before you sleep! You’ll wake up feeling refreshed and ready to take on the day with a smile.

Taking care of your smile is also another act of self-care you can practice –  and we want you to feel confident with your smile! Take our free smile assessment today and see if you qualify for become invisible braces treatment.

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Tips & Tutorials Uncategorized

Crowded Teeth and the Problems They Cause

What are crowded teeth?

Crowded teeth (also known as malocclusion or crooked teeth) are teeth that are irregularly positioned, or teeth that are not aligned. 

What causes crowded teeth?

This condition is usually inherited but there are some conditions or habits that may change the shape and structure of the jaw such as prolonged use of bottle feeding and thumb sucking in early childhood, losing baby teeth or permanent teeth too early, and mouth breathing.

What are the problems crowded teeth cause?

Think appearance is the only thing affected by crowded teeth? Think again. Crowded teeth can adversely affect your health in ways that might surprise you – stretching beyond your mouth to the rest of your body and even your mind. Let’s explore the issues to understand why we should not ignore crowded teeth.

1. Low self-esteem

Having a crooked smile can really damage a person’s confidence. It can cause them to hide their smiles and feel uncomfortable speaking in public or meeting new people. This will have an impact on their ability to socialise and networking. 

2. Career choice

Whether we like it or not, we are frequently judged by our appearance, and this is even more so in certain industries. People with crowded teeth (or metal braces on) will find it almost impossible to land a job as a flight attendant, model, front desk receptionist or TV host. 

3. Oral health 

It’s hard to brush and floss thoroughly when you have crowded teeth. The challenge in maintaining oral health makes it easier for plaque, tartar and harmful bacteria to build up – and over time, cause tooth decay, gum disease and bad breath.

4. Risk of tooth wear and injuries

Crowded teeth often cause some of the bottom teeth to rub against your upper teeth. Over time, this can lead to undue wear of tooth enamel. Meanwhile, protruding upper teeth are more likely to chip or crack in the event of an accident.

5. Other health issue 

Not many people know this, but oral infections may lead to more serious ailments, including heart disease, stroke, diabetes and pneumonia. A misaligned bite won’t be able to perform vital functions and lead to other issues. It can cause stress headaches, neck and jaw pain, as well as increased clenching. 

So now you know the problems caused by crowded teeth. The good news is, it’s possible to improve the alignment of your teeth with become invisible braces! If you want to get your teeth straightened without having bulky brackets in your mouth, we have the solution at an affordable price. To determine if you are a good fit for become orthodontic treatment, answer this 5-question assessment.

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Lifestyle & Inspiration Oral Health Uncategorized

Chinese New Year Food and Dental Braces Care Guide

Just like any other festivals in Asia, Chinese New Year means hitting the pause button on your diet and indulging in mountains of goodies. Those who are on orthodontic treatments might be a little cautious and fear missing out on good food. 

Let’s discuss the common food we consume during Chinese New Year and whether it’s advisable for those who are getting their teeth straightened to indulge in them.

Pineapple tarts and nian gao (sticky rice cake or kuih bakul)

These delicious treats are must-haves during Chinese New Year, and both are sticky in nature. They stick on the surface of your teeth longer, and are more difficult for saliva to break down. 

If you are wearing traditional braces, it’s best to avoid sticky food as they can cause wire damage and loosen the brackets. For those wearing invisible braces, brush your teeth and floss carefully before putting them back in.

Juices and carbonated drinks

Beverages with bright colours that represent wealth are typically served during Chinese New Year. Sugar-laden and acidic, they are really bad for teeth. Frequent exposure to acidic drinks can result in the erosion of tooth enamel.

These drinks can stain your invisible braces so remember to take them out before eating and drinking, then brush your teeth before putting them back in. Regardless of the type of braces you’re using, wait at least 30 minutes after drinking to brush your teeth as we don’t want to damage the enamel while it’s in its weakened state.

Hard snacks 

Biting down on hard candies, solid chips, nuts or seeds can potentially crack the enamel and dental fillings. It might cause wire damage and loosen brackets too, so it’s best to avoid these snacks altogether if you are wearing traditional braces. For those using invisible braces, use your hands or tools to crack open nuts and seeds, and clean your teeth thoroughly after eating.

Chocolates, cookies and cakes

These 3C’s are sugary treats, hence when we consume them the bad bacteria in our mouth feeds on the sugars, creating acids that attack our tooth enamel. Over time, it will cause caries and tooth decay. So this Chinese New Year, opt for healthier options such as sugar free cookies and dark chocolates. Make it a point to rinse your mouth with water immediately after eating these sweets. If you are wearing traditional braces, remember to brush thoroughly to remove any remnants not just from your teeth, but from the wires, brackets and orthodontic adhesive as well.

Clearly, invisible braces are a great way to straighten your smile without limiting your food choices especially during festivals and special ocassion. become makes it easy for you to straighten your smile with invisible braces at 65% less than other methods. Take our free 30-second Smile Assessment to see if our invisible braces are a good fit for you!