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Braces & Invisalign Profile Image

Braces & Invisalign

Braces are used to straighten teeth, and improve bite, appearance, and overall dental health. Several versions include metal, lingual, clear aligners, or ceramic.

How braces work 

Braces work by putting pressure on your teeth to shift them into a more aligned and harmonious position. Arch wires are the most prominent part of conventional braces that exert pressure on teeth whereas many of the other parts are utilised to hold it in its place. To increase the pressure exerted, rubber parts are used.

These wires are adjusted regularly (usually every 4-8 weeks) during the course of your treatment.
Treatment times vary depending on the severity of your condition, with most patients completing within a period of two and a half years. 

Once the braces are removed, you will usually wear a retainer to keep your teeth from shifting. These retainers should be worn for at least a year to ensure that the effects of the braces are permanent and long-term.  

Types of braces

There are multiple types of braces. 

  1. Metal Braces - usually the most affordable option that can provide results in a shorter duration of time
  2. Ceramic Braces - a translucent color that allows them to blend in with the natural tooth color.
  3. Lingual Braces - braces on the hidden side of teeth 
  4. Invisalign - nearly invisible to the human eye, comfortable, and removable

Side effects of Braces

  • Discomfort - Since braces and Invisalign work by exerting pressure to shift your teeth and jaw, discomfort is inevitable. Headaches and tooth pain are the most common discomforts and can be resolved through painkillers. 
  • Irritation - The wires used in braces could result in slight irritation to the inside of your mouth. Although only patience and time can allow you to get used to the feeling, orthodontic wax is a tool to reduce the discomfort felt. 
  • Difficulty eating - This is one of the biggest complaints by people who braces as food usually gets stuck between the braces. There is also an additional chore of removing the Invisalign braces when eating and putting them back on after meals.

How Invisalign works

Invisalign aligners do not use any metal and are transparent -- one of the main reasons why many opt for it. The aligners also are custom made for the customer's set of teeth and are replaced every 2 weeks. Each set is adjusted so that straighter teeth are obtained progressively.

It is recommended that one wears the Invisalign aligners for more than 20-22 hours in a day. Some people decide to only wear them at night, but this is not recommended as it does not enable the aligners to do their job and causes delay in the process of straightening the teeth. 

Studies also show that Invisalign appears to work better than braces for some patients.

A Cosmetic Surgical Alternative to Braces 

Some people would rather not wait 6 months to 2 years to get their teeth straightened. There are multiple options for cosmetic surgery to the teeth such as teeth whitening, porcelain crowns, veneers and even dental implants. These options are relatively quick and painless, but can be more expensive depending on the case.

Woman with braces

Read this post for more information on braces treatment in Singapore.

Thank you for your question and it is indeed a valid one. Braces wires are not changed every visit due to 2 main reasons namely: 1) The teeth have not fully aligned to the shape of the current wire and more time is needed for the desired tooth movement to be achieved.Tooth moveme...
23 May 2019
It is great that you are thinking about correcting your bite. With skeletal issues such as a slanted jaw, surgery is indeed required in order to achieve a good stable bite. However depending on the degree of skeletal discrepancy (slanted jaw) braces / invisalign are still opti...
26 Jul 2018
Uprighting your upper 2nd premolars can be achieved with Invisalign or fixed (traditional) braces. If your tooth is very short on the palatal (side facing inward), then it may be more efficient to upright the tooth using fixed braces since the Invisalign aligner will have a smalle...
13 Aug 2018
Usually wisdom teeth are not aligned during Invisalign unless the teeth are fully erupted an in function (you are using it to chew). I do not routinely ask my patients to remove their wisdom teeth prior to Invisalign as we do not usually require the space that the wisdom teeth ...
13 Aug 2018
Braces and Invisalign are all tools an orthodontist uses to treat patients. There are many factors which may lead to the decision of selecting one system over the other, such as cost, complexity of case, preference of the dentist for one system over the other (based on experience)...
5 Sep 2018
As you have said, Zenyum is a very new clear aligner company. There is very little background information on the official website regarding the technology used for their treatment planning and aligner manufacturing. Zenyum appears to be a collaboration between local orthodontists ...
14 Nov 2018
Hi there and thank you for your question. Invisalign is an orthodontic appliance that works by contacting the surfaces of your teeth to nudge them to the next position. Invisalign is customised and designed to be as close-fitting as possible to your tooth surface to effect to...
14 Nov 2018
Thank you for your questions. Black triangles often appears after alignment in areas where there were previous overlapping of teeth, especially in adult patients. These black triangles can be minimized by doing some reshaping between teeth or what is commonly known as IPR (interpr...
13 Nov 2018
Of course you can always modify your treatment plan midway through Invisalign treatment. Good communication between your orthodontist/dentist is essential to successful treatment. There must be a reason for your clinician deciding on the final result of the clincheck. Overb...
11 Nov 2018
Hi there! Chewies are meant for you to bite whenever the aligners are placed back on your teeth. This is to allow better seating of the aligners to your teeth thus moving them in a more predictable and effective fashion. Chewies benefit most Invisalign patients. Do talk to your d...
10 May 2019
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