Braces are wire-based devices
used help to correct crowded or misaligned teeth and or jaws. If you have gaps
between your teeth, braces can close the gaps. Besides an improved smile,
straight teeth also mean that brushing and flossing is more easy and efficient,
resulting in healthier teeth and gums. You will be able to chew better and
improve your facial profile.
What are the types of braces?
Metal Braces • Traditional metal braces comprise of
brackets that are affixed to teeth and wires that are threaded through slots in
the brackets. Some patients may also have metal bands encircling back teeth.
Wires are held to brackets by tiny rubber bands. Brackets are generally made of
stainless steel and the wires are made of metal alloys to deliver a constant, gentle
force to move teeth.
• Although not the most aesthetic type of
fixed braces treatment, metal braces are predictable, yield good results, and
it is the least less costly option.
• We also provide colourful braces where
you can choose the colour of the elastic ties that bind wires to the brackets.
You can even change the colour each time you visit the dentist.
• We have patients who change the colours
of their elastic ties according to the holiday season. For instance, opting for
red and green ties during Christmas. Wearing metal braces can be fun!
• Ceramic braces are tooth-coloured.
While not completely invisible, they are more subtle and less noticeable,
making them the more aesthetic option.
• Did you know that Tom Cruise wore
ceramic braces? If you were not aware of this, then it means that the ceramic
braces did a good job of being unnoticeable on this much-photographed Hollywood
• Similar to metal braces, ceramic braces
are affixed to teeth, and wires are threaded through slots in the brackets.
Wires are held to brackets by tiny rubber bands. The brackets are made of
ceramic and the wires made of metal alloys to deliver a constant, gentle force
to move teeth.
• Ceramic braces blend in with your teeth
and are less noticeable from a distance or in photographs.
• On the other hand, the professional
fees involved for ceramics braces are higher than traditional metal braces.
• The clear/white elastics also stain
easily if not cared for properly. The good news is that since your elastics are
changed regularly at your monthly orthodontic visits, the stained effect only
lasts until your next dental appointment.
• Instead of using wires or elastic
bands, self-ligating braces are designed with a tiny gate to hold on to the arch
wires gently. This means that treatment is more comfortable than metal and
ceramic braces. The entire treatment also takes a shorter timeframe, roughly an
average reduction of 4 months, to complete. The number of appointments to the
dental specialist/ dentist is reduced by an average of 4 visits as compared
with conventional metal or ceramic braces.
• In addition, oral hygiene is easier to
achieve as self-ligating brackets do not accumulate plaque as much as rubber
modules or wires. They do not easily stain since they do not contain rubber
parts. They are also strong and rarely break.
• Self-ligating braces are aesthetically
better compared with conventional metal braces as they do not need any
ligatures, elastic bands or wires to hold on to the arch wires
What is involved?
The Process Initial Consultation
For most patients, the best time to start braces is after all their milk teeth
have been replaced by permanent teeth. This is usually between the ages of 11
to 14 years old. Contrary to popular notion, adults can also reap the same
benefits as teenagers from braces treatment.
During the initial consultation, our dental specialist/ dentist will
find out the details of your medical and dental history, discuss concerns you
have with your teeth and advise the best form of orthodontic treatment to align
them. Clinical records such as X-rays, impressions and photos of the teeth will
be taken to help in an accurate diagnosis and planning of the treatment and
type of braces for you. Review Appointments
Subsequent appointments involve insertion and adjustment of the braces. Insertion
may take between 1 to 3 visits to complete depending on the type of braces.
After the braces are in the mouth, you will be reviewed, and your braces
adjusted every 4 to 8 weeks. You should avoid biting on large hard pieces of
food (e.g. biting into an apple) to prevent dislodgement of your braces.
Initially, there may be some discomfort and feeling of ‘tightness’. Your
teeth feel sore because they are moving into alignment. After a few days, the
discomfort should lessen.
Occasionally, the inner side of your cheeks or lips may get an ulcer
from rubbing against the braces. This can be quickly and easily relieved with
the application of dental wax. Retainers
Treatment with fixed braces usually takes between 2 to 3 years, although it may
sometimes be adjusted shorter and longer depending on the complexity of the
case. After your braces are removed, your dental specialist/ dentist will
provide you with removable or fixed retainers. Retainers need to be used
throughout your life. They are important as they hold your teeth in their
corrected positions after the braces have been removed. Follow-Up Care – Regular Reviews
You should see your dental specialist/ dentist about 1-3 months after your
retainers are fitted. Subsequently, you can arrange for your visit to coincide
with your routine 6-monthly dental check-up.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is orthodontics?
Orthodontics (also referred to as dentofacial orthopedics) is a specialized form of dentistry focusing on the diagnosis, prevention, and treatment of dental and facial abnormalities.
Who is an orthodontist?
An orthodontist is a dental specialist who has received two to three years of additional training and experience. Your orthodontist is able to straighten teeth, correct misaligned jaw structure, and improve the function of your smile.
What's the best age to visit the orthodontist?
If you want to improve the look and feel of your smile, then any age can be a great age to see the orthodontist. The American Association of Orthodontists recommends that children first visit an orthodontist around the age of seven; however, orthodontic treatment is not exclusive to children and teens, with about one in every five orthodontic patients being over the age of 21. Whether you're considering treatment for yourself or for a child, any time is a good time to visit the orthodontist.
How can I take care of my teeth if I'm wearing braces or a retainer?
remember to brush your teeth after every meal and floss at least once a
to use toothpaste that contains fluoride and ask your orthodontist or
family dentist if you need a fluoride rinse. This will help prevent
take out your retainer to eat, make sure you brush your teeth, floss, and
remember to keep it safe in its container so that it does not get lost or
retainer clean, too, by brushing it gently with a toothbrush and
toothpaste. You may also soak it in denture cleaner as instructed by your
orthodontist. Do not put your retainer in boiling water or in the
your treatment, try to avoid foods with a lot of sugar (sugar increases
the amount of bacteria that grows in your mouth, causing more plaque and
sticky and chewy foods (caramel, chewing gum, gummy bears), hard foods
(hard candy, nuts, ice cubes), or any foods that could possibly get stuck
in your braces (corn on the cob, soft bagels, ribs, taffy, etc.).
Be sure to
schedule your routine checkups with your family dentist. It is recommended
that you continue to visit the dentist every six months.
What are braces?
Braces are used by your
orthodontist to help you improve the look and feel of your smile. There are
several different types of braces to choose from, including:
If I get braces, how long do I have to wear them?
The amount of time spent in braces will vary depending on the individual patient, because every smile responds differently to treatment. Treatment times can take anywhere between 6 and 30 months, but most standard treatments take about 24 months.
Do braces hurt?
Braces do not often hurt though you may feel a small amount of discomfort for a couple days as your teeth, gums, cheeks, and mouth get used to your new braces.
Do I need to brush my teeth more often if I have braces?
With braces, you should brush your teeth at least three times a day to keep your teeth, gums, and mouth healthy and clean. Brushing regularly will help remove any food that may be caught between the braces. You should also floss daily to get in between your braces where your brush isn't able to reach. Your orthodontist can show you how to properly brush and floss once your braces are placed.
If I have braces, do I still need dental checkups every six months?
Yes! In fact, it's even more important that patients receiving orthodontic treatment visit their dentist regularly. With braces, food may be caught in places that your toothbrush can't reach. This causes bacteria to build up that can lead to cavities, gingivitis, and gum disease. Your dentist will work closely with your orthodontist to make sure that your teeth stay clean and healthy while wearing braces.
Will my braces interfere with my school activities like sports, playing an instrument, or singing?
Playing an instrument or a contact sport may require some adjustment when you first get your braces but wearing braces will not stop you from participating in any of your school activities. If you play a contact sport, it is recommended that you wear a mouthguard to protect your braces or appliance. We would be happy to supply you a free mouthguard at your next visit.
Why should an orthodontic specialist complete my treatment?
Teeth, and sometimes entire facial structures, are permanently changed by orthodontic treatment. It is important that the treatment be appropriate and properly completed. Orthodontic specialists have extensive and specialized training that enables them to provide their patients with professional, personalized treatments.
At what age should I schedule an appointment for an orthodontic screening?
We recommend an orthodontic screening at age 7. For most children, several permanent teeth have erupted by this age, allowing the orthodontist to effectively evaluate the patient’s orthodontic condition.
Will my teeth straighten out as I grow and get older?
No, they will not. The space available for the front teeth does not increase as you grow. In most people, after the permanent molars erupt, the space available for the front teeth decreases with age.
Is it too late to have braces if I’m already an adult?
No patient is "too old" to wear braces! A surprising percentage of our patients are adults. In fact, 25 percent of all orthodontic patients are adults. Health and happiness are vitally important to adults, and orthodontic treatment can increase your self-esteem at any age!
How often will I have an appointment?
Appointments are scheduled according to each patient's needs. Most patients in braces will be seen every five to 10 weeks. If there are specific situations that require more frequent monitoring, we will schedule appointments accordingly.
Do I need to see my general dentist while wearing braces?
Yes! Regular check-ups with your general dentist are important while in braces. Your dentist will determine the intervals between each cleaning appointment while you have your braces.
How often should I brush my teeth while I have braces?
Patients should brush their teeth at least four times each day – after each meal and before going to bed. We will also show you how to floss your teeth with braces, and we may provide a prescription for a special fluoride treatment, if necessary.
Are there any foods I cannot eat while I have braces?
Yes. Once treatment begins, we will explain our complete instructions and provide you with a comprehensive list of foods to avoid. Some of those foods include ice, hard candy, raw vegetables and all sticky foods (i.e. caramel and taffy). You can avoid most repair appointments by carefully following our instructions!