If you’re considering a teeth-straightening treatment such as braces or Invisalign, you’re no doubt wondering which one is best for your situation. We ask Dr Bernard Siew, a dentist at Smilefocus, all there is to know about the different orthodontic treatments available in Singapore. So, read on for how to get your pearly whites straightened and aligned!
What are the different teeth straightening services available out there?
Orthodontics is the diagnosis, prevention and treatment of the misalignment of teeth and the jaws. Braces can be fixed to the front of teeth in metal or a more natural-looking ceramic, or fixed to the back of teeth (called lingual braces). Successful treatment can also be achieved using clear aligners like Invisalign, which is effective even for complex cases. Smilefocus has its own clear aligner system.
Cfast is a cosmetic orthodontic system used to straighten the front teeth. It won’t fix the bite but it will straighten the teeth quickly and is not as intrusive in the mouth as traditional orthodontics.
What are the benefits of orthodontics?
The benefits of orthodontics stretch far beyond just aesthetics. Proper alignment of the teeth is important for effective chewing and easy cleaning. Overcrowded teeth can contribute to periodontal (gum and bone) problems, and an unstable bite due to jaw or tooth misalignment can lead to joint or muscle problems, including headaches and poor sleep patterns. You’re never too old for braces; even those in their 80s can consider orthodontics to fix oral health problems.
What are the differences between Invisalign and braces?
Invisalign is a system of multiple clear, invisible aligners that can be removed when eating, making it much easier to keep the teeth clean. Each aligner is specifically made to achieve a particular movement of the tooth, so they are worn in a predetermined order, for a period of around two to three weeks each. Braces are a system of brackets fixed to the teeth with a wire running through them.They are particularly effective for treatments where very complex tooth and jaw alignment are necessary, and because they are fixed, treatment is less likely to be compromised by lost appliances or non-compliance.
Which is more painful, Invisalign or braces?
Any movement of the tooth through the jaw bone will cause some discomfort, but it usually only lasts for a day or two after each adjustment or change of aligner. Braces can be a little more painful because sometimes the brackets can cause ulcers on the sensitive insides of the cheek. A little bit of wax will solve this problem.
How should I care for my aligners or braces?
Caring for your aligners is easy. You can clean them with water and a clean toothbrush without toothpaste. It’s very important to ensure you clean your teeth regularly and thoroughly when wearing aligners. Retainer tablets once or twice a week also work well, as does a soak in white vinegar. When wearing traditional braces you certainly need to be mindful of what you eat. Hard or sharp-edged food can be harmful to your braces (you’d be surprised at the damage popcorn can do!) so it’s important to follow the advice you receive from your dentist.
Clean your teeth properly by using a small flossing brush to make sure you get around the braces as well as between the teeth. We also recommend rinsing your mouth with water after eating or drinking during the day. At night your cleaning routine should take two or more minutes when wearing braces – it’s worth the extra effort.
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