The internet is abuzz over Filipino singing sensation Charice Pempengco admitting to receiving Botox to slim down her round face before making her debut on the television hit show ‘Glee’. Many have expressed dismay and outrage that she had undergone Botox at such a young age. Others condemn her behaviour as being vain and decadent. Unfortunately, most people have misconceptions the moment they see the word ‘Botox’. In truth, Botox for facial contouring is not new and it is a procedure for the young, not the old.
Botox: Not just for wrinkles
The round face: A common Asian problem
Many Asian men and women look fatter than we really are, especially in photos and on screen. Due to our high fibre diet, we generally chew more, resulting in hypertrophy, i.e. enlargement of the muscles responsible for chewing at the sides of our face called masseters.
Korean doctors discovered that when Botox is injected into these muscles, they shrink in size, making the face appear slimmer.
The procedure differs from Botox for wrinkles – because the aim of the treatment is to shrink muscles and not weaken small muscle movement, there is no alteration in the dynamic movements of the face. Facial expressions are not affected at all. The procedure is also most commonly performed on younger people. Results are long lasting, as the muscles are permanently smaller. Many celebrities undergo this contouring treatment.
A Great Solution for Teeth Grinding
Botox for the masseters have another important medical indication: nocturnal teeth grinding, or Bruxism. Sufferers of the common sleep disorder can have headaches, jaw pain, eventual wearing out of the teeth surface and fracturing of the teeth. Sufferers’ partners can also be affected by chronic lack of sleep. The loud noises made by noturnal teeth grinding have been likened to snoring, insects, and the angry punching on a telephone!
After Botox, the masseters become too weak mount the tremendous forces required for bruxing. The downside is that the treatment needs to be repeated every 6 months or so.
My Personal Experience
Botox for the masseters is a widely practised procedure worldwide, especially in Asia: hundreds of thousands of men and women have undergone it. The procedure is effective and very safe.
I suffer from Bruxism, and my dentists warned me that my molars were on their way to being ground down to a powdery paste. After trying mouth guards, I concluded that they work solely because they are so uncomfortable that you cannot even fall asleep with them on!
Years of grinding also meant that like Charice, I had a round face due to my huge masseters. Botox elegantly solved both my problems.
Lets face it. Nobody wants to look ‘fat’ onscreen. Charice did something admirable: she admitted to having a cosmetic procedure done to make herself look better. This is light years better than the other celebrities who obviously have work done, but lie through their teeth that they didn’t.
Its time the media and netizens give her a break!