Braces straighten overcrowded or crooked teeth, as well as corrects orthodontic problems like over or underbites, tooth gaps, and incorrect jaw positions. Not only does it help your teeth look straighter, maintaining your dental health is also easier.
When Should I Get Braces?
While the ideal age to start wearing braces is usually between 10 to 13 years old, adults are also suitable, as long as they have a full set of permanent teeth, or do not have other dental conditions.
How Long Do I Have To Wear Braces?
It usually takes between 18 – 24 months for your teeth to be properly aligned.
What to Expect During Your Braces Treatment
During your initial consultation, your orthodontist will perform a thorough examination and diagnosis. After the evaluation, he or she will present the treatment options that are best suited for you. Depending on the dentist’s assessment and your preference, there are several types of braces you can choose from:
Conventional Metal Braces
The most common type of braces, conventional metal braces involves bonding small stainless steel brackets to the front of your teeth. An arch wire will be passed through these brackets, which exerts constant force on your teeth to align them to their desired positions.
At each review appointment, your orthodontist will make the necessary adjustments to the arch wires to align your teeth to their ideal positions. It usually takes between 18 – 24 months for your teeth to be properly aligned.
Ceramic braces offers a more aesthetically pleasant option compared to conventional metal braces, due to its ability to blend in with your teeth using clear ceramic brackets. Similar to conventional metal braces, an arch wire will be passed through the ceramic brackets, which exerts constant force on your teeth to align them to their desired positions.
During each review appointment, the orthodontist will make the necessary adjustments to the arch wires to align your teeth to their ideal positions. As with conventional metal braces, your teeth will take between 18 – 24 months to be properly aligned.
Invisalign is an alternative to conventional metal braces and ceramic braces. It involves using a series of clear plastic aligners that fit over your teeth to shift them. As you wear each set of aligners, your teeth will shift gently and gradually into place. However, Invisalign may not be suitable for everyone, as it can only realign your teeth and not correct your bite.
Invisalign-trained orthodontists are available at Raffles Dental
Comparison of Different Braces
|Conventional Metal Braces||Ceramic Braces||Invisalign|
|Description||Stainless steel brackets are bonded to the front of your teeth. Constant force is exerted by an arch wire that passes through the brackets to align your teeth.||Clear ceramic brackets are bonded to the front of your teeth. Constant force is exerted by an arch wire that passes through the brackets to align your teeth.||Uses a set of clear, removable plastic aligners that fit over your teeth. The aligners are changed frequently to move your teeth into position.|
|Visibility||Highly visible.||Less visible than conventional metal braces.||Virtually invisible.|
|Removability||Not removable.||Removable, but aligners should be worn for at least 20 – 22 hours to be effective.|
|Maintaining Oral Hygiene||More difficult to maintain due to the brackets on your teeth.||Aligners can be removed for normal brushing and flossing of your teeth.|
Wearing Retainers After Braces
After you have completed your orthodontic treatment and your braces are removed, you will need to wear retainers to hold your teeth in their new positions, and prevent them from shifting to their old positions. Depending on the condition of your teeth, your dentist will determine a suitable timeframe that you should be wearing your retainers.
About Raffles Dental
In Singapore, Raffles Dental provides a comprehensive range of services to prevent, diagnose and treat dental and oral diseases. Our dental clinics are conveniently located islandwide, and include Raffles Hospital, Holland Village, Woodlands, and Tampines. We are dedicated to providing the highest standard of professional care and service to our patients.