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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. To correct what is commonly termed as an "overbite", the increased distance between the upper front teeth and lower front teeth, space is needed to bring the upper teeth inwards. Interproximal reduction is a procedure where small spaces are created by sh...
17 Jun 2019
Black spaces that appear at the gums during braces treatment are termed black triangles. It appears black as you can see the darkness of the mouth behind the teeth through these gaps. It occurs as a consequence of straightening the previously crooked teeth. When teeth are crooked, t...
17 Jun 2019
Thank you for your question. Braces treatment combined with jaw surgery is usually indicated when the malocclusion (bad bite) is a result of malposition teeth and/or malposition jaws. You can read more about some of the common indications of jaw surgery in this article here: https...
17 Jun 2019
Thank you for your question and for including pictures of your smile. It appears to me that you may have had prior braces treatment with conventional braces and some of the teeth may have shifted such as the lower front teeth and the upper lateral incisors. The uploaded photo qua...
15 Jun 2019
Hi, Smile lines are also known as dynamic wrinkles that are caused by the over-activity of the muscles of facial expressions. I am not sure if the tooth extraction played a significant factor in worsening your smile lines. Depending on the location of smile lines and the...
15 Jun 2019
Thank you for your question. Sorry to hear that your teeth have relapsed and are not as straight as they were when you first took out your braces. Relapse is unfortunately an orthodontist's bugbear, it is the natural consequence of teeth desiring to return to its original position. The adverse ...
11 Jun 2019
Thank you for your question and for sending photos of your lovely little girl. From her profile photo, it does appear that her lower lip is slightly more in front of her upper lip and the lower jaw is also slightly more prominent on her frontal photo. You mentioned that she has a...
11 Jun 2019
Thank you for your question. Braces treatment does take time, on average 1-3 years, however for some complex cases it may sometimes take even longer. There may be some unforeseen circumstances where braces treatment may need to be terminated earlier. For example if the patient has more urgent medic...
11 Jun 2019
Thank you for your question. Invisalign treatment or any clear aligner treatment relies on an accurate dental impression in order to fabricate custom fitted plastic trays called aligners that will move teeth. PVS or polyvinyl siloxane is considered the most stable and accurate conventional impress...
6 Jun 2019
Thank you for your question. Clincheck is a proprietary software of Invisalign, it is a 3D visual interface that allows your doctor to assess the planned teeth movement, make adjustments to the teeth position as well as add or change the attachments to be bonded on the tooth. In Inv...
1 Jun 2019
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