Braces are orthodontic tools that enable the aligning and straightening of malposed teeth. In some complicated cases, they may also be used after jaw surgery to correct bite mismatch. Braces are widely used in orthodontic treatment among adolescents and adults who desire a healthier bite.
There are several types of dental braces available in Singapore, each involving slightly different materials and procedures. In this article, we will introduce them as well as the treatment process.
Why should you consider braces?
There are several reasons people would consider braces. Not only do they help to improve oral health and bite, but they also help to align the teeth to the right position for a more confident and beautiful smile. Many studies have shown that people regard a beautiful smile as a key attribute for confidence and self-esteem.
- Improve bite: Malocclusions, such as overbites and underbites, are the misalignments of the teeth in the upper and lower jaws. They may result in the development of problems associated with chewing and biting.
Braces are often employed after corrective jaw surgery to ensure the teeth stay in the desired position. Orthodontic rubber bands are sometimes attached to the brackets to align the jaws slowly.
- Prevent dental problems and improve oral health: For individuals with crooked or overcrowded teeth, it can be challenging to clean the teeth thoroughly due to certain areas being harder to reach than others, resulting in the development of plaque which leads to an increased risk of tooth decay and gum disease. Additionally, misaligned teeth increase the chance of teeth grinding one another inappropriately, thereby wearing out the enamel. Braces help to prevent such dental issues by realigning the teeth.
How do braces work?
No matter what type of braces you are going for, they generally work by applying gentle, constant pressure to manipulate the position of your teeth gradually. Over a sufficient period of time, your teeth are shifted to the correct positions.
What are the treatment procedures like?
At BigSmile Dental Clinic, the initial session will be a consultation with our orthodontist to understand your dental condition and needs. It might involve an X-ray examination to help develop the necessary treatment plan. Subsequent visits will involve installing the braces, and depending on the type of braces used in your treatment, you might only need to come back every one to two months to adjust them.
Types of braces available
From classic metal braces to modern Invisalign, there are many dental treatment options available in Singapore. The key types of braces can generally be grouped into removable and fixed braces. Let us break down what BigSmile Dental Clinic offers.
These types of braces are attached to the teeth permanently throughout the course of the treatment. Fixed braces include traditional braces, lingual braces, and self-ligating braces:
- Traditional braces: Traditional braces consist of ceramic and metal braces. They employ the use of brackets which are then bonded to the front surfaces of your teeth, with an archwire running through a groove in the brackets. The whole installation is secured in place with elastic ties. During each visit, the orthodontist will adjust the tension on each bracket accordingly. The whole treatment process usually takes about 18 to 24 months.
- Lingual braces: Similar to traditional braces, but instead of the front, the metal brackets are attached to the back surfaces of the teeth. They are one of the more expensive types of braces due to the complexity of installing, cleaning, adjusting and dismantling them. However, they are also rather aesthetic as they cannot be seen. They are truly invisible braces.
- Self-ligating braces: These braces avoid the use of elastomeric ties, which may be excessively tight around the brackets, making them rather uncomfortable for the teeth. Instead, they rely on a passive sliding lock mechanism to hold the arch wires in place, allowing the teeth to move easily, freely and comfortably.
As its name suggests, these braces are not attached to your teeth and can be removed when you are eating or brushing your teeth. Removable braces include removable plates and Invisalign:
- Removable plates: These are hard plastic devices that utilise springs and wires to push the teeth towards the correct position. They are commonly used in developing children whose permanent teeth are still emerging and have minor issues, such as teeth crowding or protruded teeth.
- Invisalign:These are virtually invisible braces, made of clear plastic trays. They are one of the most popular dental treatment choices in Singapore. The treatment process requires the individual to wear custom-made trays for about 22 hours each day. They will be issued a new set of trays every two weeks, and they wear the trays sequentially. They are highly popular because they are nearly impossible to see at a social distance, and they are removable, making routine oral hygiene an easy process. Because they are customised to the user’s teeth and require more sophisticated laboratory equipment and software, Invisalign braces cost more than most fixed braces.
What happens after completing the orthodontic treatment process?
While braces help to adjust dental misalignment, the treatment process does not end there. Once the braces are removed, you have to wear retainers to maintain the positions of the teeth. Retainers should be worn at night to keep your teeth straight. They should be worn for as long as possible; otherwise, your teeth may drift out of position when they are not worn.
Every set of teeth is different and unique. If you are considering wearing braces, it is always best to visit an orthodontist to discuss your options.
At BigSmile Dental Clinic, we want to help you achieve a confident and beautiful smile. From braces to teeth whitening treatments, we provide a wide range of dental care procedures that are reliable and effective. Visit https://www.bigsmile.com.sg/ to find out more today!