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A Complete Guide to Braces in Singapore: Types, Benefits, Prices & FAQs

Alt Text: Pink Braces - https://depositphotos.com/46945801/stock-photo-pink-braces.html

A beautiful smile is a lifelong investment that boosts self-esteem and overall well-being. But the journey to a perfect smile may seem daunting for those who struggle with crooked, crowded, or misaligned teeth. Luckily, braces offer a solution to these dental concerns. In this “guide to braces”, we’ll cover everything you need to know about braces in Singapore, including types, benefits, prices, and frequently asked questions.

Short Summary

  • Braces improve oral health, with components such as brackets, archwires and ligatures.
  • Types of braces are available in Singapore include metal, self-ligating ceramic and clear aligners.
  • The benefits of braces include improved aesthetics and speech. Prevention of dental issues and bone erosion. Plus, correction of misaligned bites for improved oral health.

What are braces?

Braces are designed to straighten teeth and correct bite issues. It applies gentle pressure on the teeth and gradually shifts them into the desired positions. Although some discomfort may be experienced initially, braces painful experiences are not typical.

To ensure the best results, follow the dietary recommendations provided by your dental clinic and abstain from certain foods, such as sticky or hard foods, that can hinder the treatment process.

Parts of Braces

Braces have three main components: the bracket, archwire, and ligature. These elements apply pressure and shift teeth into the desired position.

Parts of Braces

Bracket

Brackets are small ceramic or metal pieces attached to each tooth, serving as the foundation of the braces system. It can be made of metal, ceramic, and plastic. Metal brackets, made of stainless steel, are the most common type, while ceramic brackets, made of composite material, are less visible and often chosen for aesthetic reasons.

Ceramic brackets are more expensive but less likely to cause problems.

Arch Wire

The archwire is a slender wire that passes through each bracket, applying pressure and moving the teeth into the desired position. Available archwires include stainless steel, nickel-titanium, and beta-titanium, each serving to exert pressure on the brackets to move teeth.

Ligature

Ligatures are small rubber bands or wires that secure the archwire to the brackets in braces. It ensures that the braces function effectively by holding the archwire in place and facilitating the movement of teeth.

Types of braces

In Singapore, various types of braces are available to cater to different preferences and needs, including traditional metal braces, self-ligating braces, ceramic braces, lingual braces, and clear aligners. Each type offers its own set of advantages and disadvantages.

Traditional Metal Braces

Metal braces — https://depositphotos.com/6207772/stock-photo-teeth-with-braces.html

Traditional metal braces are the most prevalent and economical choice for orthodontic treatment. Made of high-quality stainless steel, they are highly proficient in rectifying misalignment.

However, these braces are also the most visible, which some individuals might find less appealing.

Self-ligating Braces (Damon Braces)

Self-ligating / Damon braces - https://depositphotos.com/57989065/stock-photo-side-view-of-dental-brackets.html

Self-ligating braces, often referred to as Damon Braces, use a sliding mechanism instead of ligatures, resulting in less friction and faster treatment. They are made of metal and are less noticeable than traditional metal braces, offering a more comfortable experience and requiring fewer adjustments.

Ceramic Braces

Ceramic Braces - https://depositphotos.com/184224144/stock-photo-side-view-picture-womans-smile.html

Ceramic braces, made of a transparent material, are less visible than traditional metal braces, offering a more discreet option for those prioritising aesthetics. However, they are more expensive than metal braces and are more prone to staining.

Lingual Braces

Lingual braces — https://depositphotos.com/31884671/stock-photo-close-up-of-lingual-braces.html

Lingual braces are placed behind the teeth. It makes them a popular option for those who prefer aesthetics in their orthodontic treatment. While lingual braces provide an aesthetic advantage, they may be more challenging to clean and maintain than other braces.

Regular brushing and using a floss threader are essential for keeping lingual braces clean and free of plaque.

Clear Aligners (Invisalign)

Clear aligners / Invisalign — https://depositphotos.com/9941603/stock-photo-teeth-with-whitening-tray.html

Clear aligners, such as Invisalign, are removable and nearly invisible, offering an aesthetically pleasing option for those who prefer a less noticeable orthodontic treatment.

However, patients with extreme teeth misalignment may not be suitable to use clear aligners for treatment, and these aligners are susceptible to staining and distortion.

What is the best age for braces?

Young Girls Faces — Stock Photo, Image

The best age for braces varies, but early teenage years are often the most effective, as treatment can take advantage of the growth and development occurring during this time.

Adults can also benefit from braces. It can rectify misaligned teeth, enhance the smile’s aesthetic, and decrease the likelihood of dental issues.

What Dental Problems Do Braces Address?

Braces address overbite, underbite, spacing, overcrowding, open bite, and crossbite. In the following subsections, we will delve into these dental issues. Usually, dental braces correct misaligned teeth and jaws.

Overbite

Overbite occurs when the upper teeth excessively extend beyond the lower teeth. It can be due to genetic factors, thumb-sucking, and improper swallowing habits.

Treatment options for overbite include braces, headgear, and surgery.

Underbite

The underbite is when the lower teeth protrude beyond the upper teeth to an excessive degree. It can be attributed to genetics, thumb-sucking, or jaw misalignment.

Treatment options for an underbite may include braces, surgery, or a combination.

Spacing

Spacing is defined as the presence of gaps between the teeth. Proper spacing is essential for optimal dental hygiene and a pleasant aesthetic. Braces, clear aligners, and other dental appliances can be utilised to achieve spacing.

These treatments can correct overcrowding, close gaps, and create a more even population.

Overcrowding

Overcrowding occurs when there is insufficient space for all the teeth in the mouth. It may be attributed to genetics, thumb-sucking, or an improperly aligned jaw.

Braces, expanders, and extractions are all potential treatment options for overcrowding.

Open Bite

The open bite occurs when the lower and upper teeth don’t make contact when the mouth is closed. An open bite may be attributed to various sources, such as thumb sucking, tongue thrusting, and genetics.

Treatment options for an open bite may include braces, clear aligners, and surgery.

Crossbite

A crossbite is a condition wherein the upper teeth are located within the lower teeth when the mouth is shut. Both dental and skeletal issues can cause it.

Braces or other orthodontic appliances are typically used to treat crossbites.

Benefits of braces

Braces offer numerous benefits that can significantly improve one’s quality of life, including enhanced appearance, tooth decay and gum disease prevention, bone erosion, bite correction, prevention of dental injuries, and improved speech.

We will discuss the benefits more in the following subsections.

Enhance Your Appearance

People seek orthodontic treatment to enhance their appearance. Braces can straighten crooked teeth, close gaps between teeth, correct overbites and underbites, and improve facial symmetry.

By addressing these issues, braces can provide a more youthful, professional, and attractive appearance, boosting your self-esteem and confidence.

Prevents Tooth Decay And Gum Disease

Straighter teeth are easy to clean, reducing the chance of tooth decay and gum disease. Braces, correcting misaligned teeth and bite issues, help prevent plaque buildup and tooth decay.

Prevent Bone Erosion

Braces correct bite issues that cause uneven pressure on the jawbone. It ensures correct teeth and jaw alignment, reducing jawbone strain and promoting better oral health.

Can Fix Your Bite

A misaligned bite can cause discomfort, difficulty chewing, and even speech impediments. Braces correct bite issues by repositioning the teeth and jaw into the proper alignment. It can facilitate improved chewing and clearer speech.

Braces apply gentle pressure to the teeth and jaw, gradually shifting them into the desired position.

Prevent Dental Injuries

Braces reposition protruding teeth into optimal positions, decreasing the possibility of injuries during physical activities or sports.

Can Improve Your Speech

Braces can improve speech by eliminating spaces caused by incorrect tooth or jaw alignment, allowing the tongue to establish a secure connection for articulate speech.

By realigning and repositioning the teeth and jaw, braces can help improve speech clarity and precision.

What is the braces treatment process like?

Dental Braces Treatment — https://depositphotos.com/200054124/stock-photo-close-picture-young-female-mouth.html

The braces treatment process consists of several stages: consultation/assessment, treatment, follow-up check-ups and adjustments, and post-braces care. Each stage is crucial for the treatment’s success and for achieving the desired results.

Consultation / Assessment

During the consultation stage, the dentist assesses the patient’s oral health, discusses concerns, and determines the most appropriate braces treatment. This stage establishes a personalised treatment plan that addresses the patient’s unique dental needs and goals.

Treatment

The treatment involves preparing the teeth for braces, which may involve dental cleanings, extractions, or other procedures to ensure the teeth are in optimal condition for braces placement. The braces are then placed, and regular adjustments ensure the braces work effectively and efficiently.

Regular adjustments are necessary to ensure the braces work properly and the teeth move in the right direction.

Process of putting on braces

  1. Cleaning – The teeth should be cleaned and polished before putting braces so the bracket won’t fall off during treatment.
  2. Glueing brackets – a bond material will be applied after cleaning. Then, dental cement sticks the brackets into your teeth, which will be set by blue light.
  3. The placing of archwire – traditional metal braces use modules to hold archwires in place, which colours can be customised. For self-ligating, doors are slid over the archwires for security. Excess wires are cut and cinched to avoid hurting your cheeks.

Follow-up check-up and Adjustments

Follow-up checks and adjustments are essential for monitoring progress and ensuring the braces function optimally. The orthodontist will evaluate the patient’s progress and make any necessary adjustments to the braces. It also addresses any concerns or questions the patient may have.

Post-braces Care

Post-brace care involves wearing a retainer to maintain the newly aligned tooth position and practising good oral hygiene. Retainers are custom-fitted mouthpieces that help preserve the alignment of teeth after removing braces.

Maintaining good oral hygiene is vital for dental issues prevention and long-term oral health.

Price of braces in Singapore

Braces’ costs in Singapore vary depending on the braces type. Traditional braces cost $3800 onwards, ceramic braces and self-ligating braces cost $4500 onwards.

Braces Care Tips

You must take care of your braces to maximise your treatment. It includes maintaining oral hygiene, brushing, flossing and avoiding certain foods.

How to Maintain a Good Oral Hygiene When Wearing Braces

Regular dental check-ups with your dentist for guidance and treatment monitoring are the keys to caring for your braces. Your dentist will also provide effective cleaning tools and techniques for braces.

How to brush?

Use a soft-bristled toothbrush and fluoride toothpaste. Clean every surface gently but thoroughly, including around brackets and wires.

How to floss?

Flossing is essential but can be challenging with braces. Use a floss threader underneath the archwire and in between teeth. Consider a water flosser for added convenience and effectiveness.

Foods to Avoid When Wearing Braces

Avoid sticky, hard, and crunchy foods that can damage your braces and make cleaning difficult.

Summary

In conclusion, braces offer a comprehensive solution for various dental concerns, helping individuals achieve a more radiant, confident smile. With the array of braces options available in Singapore, there is a suitable choice for everyone, whether seeking traditional metal braces or more discreet alternatives. Understanding the braces treatment process and the benefits of orthodontic care will help you decide on the path to your perfect smile.

FAQ before braces treatment

Why do I need braces?

Braces are needed for various reasons, including:
1. Correcting misaligned teeth for improved appearance and self-confidence.
2. Addressing bite issues such as overbite, underbite, crossbite, and open bite.
3. Making teeth easier to clean, reducing risks of cavities and gum disease.
4. Preventing bone erosion and promoting better jaw alignment.
5. Improving speech clarity by aligning teeth and jaws.
6. Treating spacing and crowding issues for optimal dental hygiene.
7. Enhancing overall well-being and quality of life.

What do I need to do before getting braces?

Before getting braces, you should:
1. Schedule an orthodontist consultation to discuss your concerns and treatment options.
2. Undergo a thorough dental examination to assess your oral health and determine the appropriate treatment plan.
3. Discuss any pre-existing dental issues or conditions with your orthodontist.
4. Follow any pre-treatment recommendations provided by your orthodontist, which may include dental cleanings, extractions, or other preparations to ensure your teeth are ready for braces.
5. Discuss the different types of braces available and their benefits with your orthodontist.
6. Address any questions or concerns about the braces treatment process, duration, cost, and aftercare.

What is a good age to start braces?

The ideal age for getting braces is typically between 9 and 14, when the baby teeth have fallen out, and most permanent teeth have grown. However, depending on the status of the teeth, some children can get braces as early as seven years old.

What is the most painful stage of braces?

The most painful stage of braces is on the first week after they are placed, when you may experience pressure and soreness of your teeth and gums, sores or pain on the insides of your checks and discomfort from the pulling force of the bowstring.

It is temporary and can be managed with over-the-counter pain medications. Follow your orthodontist's instructions for proper care and maintenance of your braces to ensure successful treatment.

What is the average time you have to wear braces?

Patients are expected to wear braces for 16 to 24 months, depending on the case's complexity and other factors. Adults may have a slightly longer treatment timeline than children and teens.

Are braces painful to wear?

Braces may cause some initial discomfort, but the sensation usually subsides within a few days, and most people get used to wearing them.

Can I still play musical instruments or sports with braces?

You can still play instruments and sports with braces, but taking some precautions is important. If you're involved in contact sports or activities with a chance of getting hit in the mouth, consider wearing a mouthguard to protect your braces and teeth. For playing musical instruments, it may take some time to adjust to the feeling of braces against your lips and cheeks, but with practice, you should be able to continue playing comfortably.

What foods should I avoid with braces?

It's recommended to avoid sticky, hard, crunchy, chewy foods that you need to bite directly to prevent damaging your braces and ensure the treatment goes smoothly.

Will braces affect my speech?

Initially, braces might affect your speech slightly as you get used to brackets and wires in your mouth. You might experience a slight lisp or other speech changes, but your speech will likely improve with practice as you adapt to the braces. Speaking slowly and practising pronunciation can help you adjust more quickly.

Will braces interfere with regular dental check-ups and cleanings?

Can Medisave be used for braces?

Medisave can be used to cover orthodontic treatment in some cases. You'll need to check with the Ministry of Health (MOH) or your orthodontist to determine if your braces treatment qualifies for Medisave coverage.

Can I claim dental insurance for braces?

Whether you can claim dental insurance for braces depends on your insurance policy. Some dental insurance plans may cover orthodontic treatment, at least partially. You should contact your insurance provider for the details of coverage and any requirements for claiming orthodontic treatment expenses.

FAQ during braces treatment

What not to do on the first day of braces?

On the first day of braces, you should avoid eating sticky and hard foods that might damage the braces and hinder treatment. It's also important to follow any specific dietary recommendations your dentist provides.

Will braces cause discomfort during the treatment?

Yes, there might be some discomfort during the initial stages of wearing braces, particularly within the first placement. You may experience pressure and soreness in your teeth and gums. It is temporary and can be managed with over-the-counter pain medications.

How often should I brush and floss my teeth with braces?

Brush your teeth every meal or snack using a soft-bristled toothbrush and fluoride toothpaste. Flossing should be done at least once a day, preferably before bedtime. Clean around brackets and wires thoroughly to prevent plaque buildup.

What do I do if a bracket or wire breaks?

If a bracket or wire breaks, contact your orthodontist to schedule a repair appointment as soon as possible. In the meantime, orthodontic wax can temporarily cover sharp or protruding parts to prevent irritation or discomfort.

How long will the treatment take, and can it change during the process?

On average, braces treatment typically lasts between 16 to 24 months. However, the duration may vary based on factors such as the complexity of your case and your body's response to treatment.

Is it normal to have sores in my mouth from braces?

Yes, it is common to experience some mouth sores or discomfort during the early stages of wearing braces. Your cheeks and gums may need some time to adjust. Orthodontic wax can be applied to braces or irritation to provide relief.

How should I handle dental emergencies during braces treatment?

In case of a dental emergency, such as a broken bracket or wire, contact your orthodontist immediately for guidance. They will provide instructions to manage the situation and schedule a repair appointment if necessary.

How do I take care of my braces when I travel?

Be sure to pack your essential oral hygiene tools, including a toothbrush, fluoride toothpaste, dental floss, and any other cleaning tools recommended by your orthodontist. Also, stick to your oral hygiene routine and avoid sticky or hard foods that might damage your braces.

Will I need to wear a retainer after wearing braces?

Yes, wearing a retainer after braces treatment is typically necessary to maintain the alignment of your teeth. Your orthodontist will give instructions on how to wear your retainer and for how long to ensure the long-term success of your treatment.

FAQ after braces treatment

What happens after my braces are removed?

After removing braces, your dentist thoroughly cleans your teeth to remove any remaining adhesive. You'll likely experience a new sensation as your lips and cheeks adjust to the absence of braces.

What to do and not to do after getting braces?

Do:
- Wear Retainers
- Maintain Oral Hygiene
- Attend Follow-Up Appointments
- Protect Your Smile
- Follow Dietary Restrictions
- Report Changes

Don't:
- Neglect Retainer Wear
- Ignore Oral Hygiene
- Miss Follow-Up Appointments
- Chew Inappropriate Items
- Disregard Changes
- Whiten Teeth Without Consultation

Do I need to wear retainers, and how often?

Yes, wearing retainers is usually necessary after braces treatment to prevent teeth from returning to their original positions. Your orthodontist will give specific instructions on how to wear your retainers. Initially, you may need to wear them full-time and then transition to nighttime wear.

What are the types of retainers available?

There are a few types of retainers available, including:

Hawley Retainers: These consist of a plastic base and metal wires. They are adjustable and can be customised.

Clear Retainers: These are made from clear plastic, which is less noticeable but may be less durable.

Fixed Retainers: Also known as bonded or permanent retainers, these are small wires that are glued to the back of your teeth.

Can my teeth shift after braces if I don't wear my retainers as instructed?

Yes, teeth return to their original positions if retainers are not worn as instructed. Consistent retainer wear is crucial for maintaining the results achieved with braces.

Can I whiten my teeth after braces treatment?

Yes, you can whiten teeth after braces treatment. However, waiting a few weeks after braces removal is advisable. It allows your teeth to settle into their new positions before pursuing teeth whitening. Consult your orthodontist before starting any whitening treatment.

Will I need any follow-up appointments after the braces are removed?

Yes, follow-up appointments are important after braces removal. Your orthodontist will want to monitor your teeth and ensure they maintain their new alignment. These appointments are an opportunity to address any concerns or changes you may have noticed.

What if I notice any changes in my bite or teeth position after removing the braces?

If you notice any changes in your bite or teeth alignment after removing braces, contact your orthodontist immediately. They can evaluate the situation and recommend any necessary adjustments or treatments.

How can I maintain my newly straightened smile?

Braces are not the end of achieving your perfect smile. Though straightened, things should be kept in mind for the beautiful result to last. It includes wearing and cleaning a retainer (if a retainer is recommended), a healthy diet, excellent oral hygiene, and following instructions from your dentist for every regular check-up.

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