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Orthodontics Profile Image

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.

Sub-Topics

Jaw Surgery Profile Image
Jaw Surgery

32 Answers | 33K Views

View guide posts
Thank you for your question. You may be interested in this article that I had written previously about on jaw surgery in Singapore . Braces treatment is only able to correct the teeth position while jaw surgery corrects the bone/skeletal discrepancy. Many patients that I see do...
17 Jul 2019
Teeth gap or spacing can be due to a few reasons: 1) Generalised spacing or spacing spread out across a few teeth often as a result of a tongue habit or generalised small teeth (often these spaces appear at the front teeth region and is spread out across the front 4-6 teeth) 2...
17 Jul 2019
Conventional braces treatment sequence is divided into a few stages, the first stage is termed as levelling and alignment, followed often by space closure and finally a stage called finishing where final tooth movements are made to ensure an aesthetic and functional outcome. Duri...
17 Jul 2019
Dental implants are osseointegrated, meaning they are fused directing to bone and hence cannot be altered in position. Braces treatment involves moving teeth towards a final aesthetic and functional outcome. If braces treatment is done after dental implants, the treatment plan usual...
15 Jul 2019
Bruxism is characterised by grinding and clenching of teeth predominantly during sleep and occurs in about 31% of adults. In a recent review paper, bruxism's physiology and pathology have unknown causal associated factors, meaning that no one really knows for s...
15 Jul 2019
The biggest question that must be answered is what needs correction. If only simple alignment is required, then the implant would not pose a major issue. The implant crown may need remaking after the braces come off since the bite will be altered. If a more drastic correction ...
15 Jul 2019
Hi, Yes you can most certainly wear retainers after a crown lengthening surgery, as long as the retainer does not impinge on the affected gums and area. Your orthodontist will be able to adjust your retainers easily for you. On the other hand, it would be advisable ...
9 Jul 2019
Thank you for your question. There is a saying that goes 40s are the new 20s, people are embracing their age and living life without apologies. However, these are some of the differences I see in my practice that may differ between the 2 age groups. Gum support . Generally...
9 Jul 2019
Extraction of teeth is sometimes indicated for braces treatment to create space to correct dental crowding, protrusion of teeth or camouflage a bite problem. The teeth chosen for extraction will depend on the individual case needs, and a tooth that is weaker is usually the bette...
5 Jul 2019
Hi there, ClearPath is one of the aligner brands available in the market for orthodontic treatment. In general, aligner systems have their advantages and disadvantages compared to fixed braces to straighten your teeth. I have written an article comparing another bran...
4 Jul 2019
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