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Orthodontics

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.

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Jaw Surgery

36 Answers | 41K Views

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I work in a multidisciplinary clinic and we see patients coming to visit us with lost teeth every day and looking for a solution and they also have some teeth alignment issues. It is important for these patients are examined by both the restorative dentist and orthodontist for the...
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Sorry to hear that your teeth have shifted since your previous orthodontic treatment. Unfortunately wearing retainers is an important part of maintaining teeth alignment as teeth are held by little ligaments and its position is influenced by the forces from the lips, tongue, and t...
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I can understand your concern as it may seem unnecessary to remove teeth that are not causing any trouble. Why mend what's not broken right? These are some of my thoughts about removing asymptomatic fully impacted wisdom teeth prior to wearing braces. Pros : Sometimes during b...
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Disclaimer: Any answers provided are for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice. If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your doctor immediately. Always seek the advice of your doctor before starting or changing treatment.

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Disclaimer: Any answers provided are for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice. If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your doctor immediately. Always seek the advice of your doctor before starting or changing treatment.

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