If you are considering teeth straightening treatments for your teeth or your children’s teeth, did you know that having straight teeth benefits not just your smile but also your overall health? Here are the benefits of straight teeth and where to go for Invisalign and braces in Singapore.
Straight teeth means healthier, cleaner gums
When teeth are too widely spaced or crowded, they often become inflamed and red. This is a sign of periodontal disease, an infection of the structures around the teeth, including the gums. Aligning your teeth helps the gums fit properly around them, and therefore creates the strongest possible protection against periodontal problems, which can range from mild redness, swelling of the gums (gingivitis) and bleeding when you brush, to complete damage to the support structure of a tooth, and eventual tooth loss.
Of course, straight teeth means better cleaning and flossing, too.
“With better oral hygiene and less food trapping, your gum health will improve. A beautiful and fresh smile will then follow,” says Dr Ariel Guo of Aesthete Smilestudio. This means better health, too!
A cleaner mouth benefits your overall health
The ability to practice effective dental hygiene means you can remove bacteria before it becomes problematic not just for your oral health but your overall health, too. After all, an infection in your mouth can pass through your blood stream. So, what goes on in your mouth can affect the rest of your body – and, what goes on in your body can also affect your mouth!
Not only is poorly controlled gum disease known to make it harder to manage diabetes mellitus but poorly controlled diabetes can also lead to worsening of gum disease. There is even increasing evidence that gum disease can increase the likelihood of developing heart disease.
What’s more, having straight teeth reduces bacteria accumulation, thus reducing the onset of gum disease.
Straight teeth can improve your mental health, too
A crucial component of your overall health is, of course, your mental health. Studies have shown that having a better smile not only increases how much you smile, but also improves your confidence and lowers your stress levels.
Proper alignment can help prevent abnormal tooth wear
Properly aligned teeth can also relieve the problems that stem from improper bite, speech or chewing difficulties, jaw problems and increased wear on the tooth enamel.
“Having straight teeth gives you more even distribution of biting forces,” says Dr Thean Tsin Piao of Aesthete Smilestudio. “The teeth will wear out more evenly. This prevents excessive wear of some teeth when the teeth are crooked.”
Straightening your teeth at any age
Orthodontic treatment can be successful at any age, as teeth can continue to be straightened in adulthood.
“While people most often associate orthodontic treatment with teenagers, orthodontists treat all ages,” says Dr Thushala Ubaya of Smilefocus. “There is no age limit for starting orthodontic treatment. Today’s orthodontic technologies ensure the most efficient and effective paths for orthodontic correction.”
And, with more aesthetically pleasing options like Invisalign, clear ceramic braces and lingual braces available, more and more adults are deciding to correct their smiles with Invisalign and braces in Singapore. Here’s what to know about the different types of straightening solutions.
“Clear aligners are a good alternative to wearing fixed braces. They are clear, removable appliances that sit over the teeth, like a mouthguard – but they’re specially engineered for each patient,” says Dr Ubaya. “Additionally, aligners are easy to wear and easy to keep clean, and are simple to replace if you lose them.”
Dr Thean Tsin Piao of Aesthete Smilestudio says Invisalign is especially popular among his patients. The clear, removable aligners are comfortable and predictable, and can be taken out before every meal. What’s more, Invisalign is discreet and invisible to the naked eye at arm’s length, he says. For these reasons, more and more of his adult and teen patients are favouring the clear aligners over traditional braces. In fact, Dr Thean says he finds that his Invisalign patients are more willing to be socially active, since their peers, colleagues, friends, clients and supervisors don’t know they’re having orthodontic treatment.
Even kids are experiencing the benefits of Invisalign, particularly the added confidence it brings. According to Dr Thean, a child can start as soon as most of their baby teeth have come out. He does caution, however, that starting the treatment too early can cause “treatment fatigue and a loss of motivation that can result from a too-long treatment process.” So, it’s best to consult your dentist to choose the solution that’s right for the individual child.
Children and teens: Invisalign or traditional braces?
So, what’s most popular among children and teens when it comes to Invisalign and braces in Singapore? It’s really a 50-50 split between braces and Invisalign, says Dr May Eide, a dentist with specialty training in orthodontics from the UK. At Skye Dental, she sees young patients will all kinds of jaw problems. And, the choice of type of appliance, she says, really depends on the nature of the problem and the best possible way to manage it.
“There are some clinical problems that are better suited to being treated with Invisalign, while others would benefit most from traditional braces.”
Things to consider when choosing between Invisalign and braces in Singapore
While many of her young patients who come for an orthodontic consultation are keen to explore Invisalign, Dr Eide says there are many pros and cons to consider for both types of appliance. Compliance, for instance, is a major consideration with Invisalign; a child or teen will need to remember to put it back in after eating.
“Invisalign treatment requires a lot of discipline and motivation,” says Dr Eide. “Some children are more forgetful and may lose their aligners more easily compared to others. Some also forget to put the aligners back in after lunchtime. This affects the total number of hours of daily wear, which, in turn, affects tooth movement.”
Not only can this result in increased treatment time, but it can also create increased frustration for both the parent and the child.
Comfort, of course, is another consideration. Invisalign may be more comfortable than fixed braces as no wires or sharp braces are bonded to the teeth.
Ultimately, Dr Eide says that the three main factors affecting the final choice of appliance tend to be:
- the suitability of the case;
- the child’s preferences (and the parent’s opinion!); and,
“Your orthodontist will be the best person to advise you as to what the pros and cons are of each appliance, as these choices can affect total treatment time, patient comfort, and the fees involved in the treatment.”
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