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Your Quick Guide on Dental Braces (Singapore Edition)

Medical Statistics say that in nearly 50 per cent of people, teeth are irregular, crooked or not aligned. With advances in the field of dentistry, particularly in the branch of orthodontics which deals with correction of irregularities in the teeth and jaws, the treatment of such teeth is not difficult. Straightening of irregular teeth in the past was limited to the use of removable plates with ugly looking steel wires and the treatment was almost always a compromised one and too lengthy and painful. Let’s find out more about dental braces.



Introduction to Dental Braces

Modern techniques are simple and painless and the treatment can be carried out in individuals of all age groups starting right form the age of three to four years and as late as 30-40 years, though the earlier the treatment is carried out, the better it is.

 

What are the types of dental braces?

These days, there are a number of choices available regarding the type of braces to be chosen. These are different techniques and braces available nowadays, including the new tooth colored invisible braces and visible metal braces. Newer types of braces are further divided into:

  1. Ceramic braces
  2. Invasalign braces
  3. Lingual braces
  4. Metal braces

Ceramic Braces

Ceramic Braces: Ceramic braces are made of tooth colored composite materials. They are strong and generally don’t stain. Adults like to choose ceramic because they ‘blend in and match’ with the natural teeth and are less noticeable to outsiders than metal braces. These are the type of braces Tom Curise had. The advantages are that they are virtually invisible, more comfortable and irritate gums less than the metal braces, but are more expensive and may require some extra sittings.


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Invasalign Braces

Invasalign Braces: With the advent of the Invisalign technology, straightening teeth has become quite convenient and more comfortable. This orthodontic treatment corrects bad bites and crooked teeth using a series of removable, “invisible” aligners, which are replaced about every two weeks. Great for people who do not have severe problems. The braces consist of strong plastic trays that are fabricated especially on individual basis. They are indeed invisible. One can get the teeth straightened without anyone seeing that one is wearing braces. Trays for treatment are computer fabricated by align technologies. They are absolutely invisible to the outsiders. The Invisalign system isn’t necessarily a more effective treatment than braces and it is not recommended for more complex type orthodontic cases. However, for most adults and many adolescents who want to straighten their teeth without the stigma of metal braces, Invisalign is a great alternative.



Lingual Braces

Lingual Braces: These are placed behind the teeth rather than the usual front portion of the teeth and are virtually invisible to others. Only few specially trained professional orthodontists carry out treatment with lingual braces. Lingual braces have the same components as conventional braces, but they’re fixed to the back of your teeth, on the tongue — or lingual — side of the teeth. Because they’re behind your teeth, they’re nearly invisible. A 2016 review of the research showed that lingual braces achieved the treatment goals patients and doctors had planned. But lingual braces aren’t right for everyone. Patients with very deep overbites, for example, might run into some trouble with brackets popping off more frequently.


Metal Braces

Metal Braces: Used for traditional orthodontics treatment. These are very strong and can withstand most types of treatment. At first, they may irritate the gums, but after a few weeks, get settled. Though less expensive, these are more noticeable than other types. Metal braces tend to move your teeth slightly faster than ceramic, through ceramic braces are faster than Invisalign. Generally speaking, metal braces are less expensive than ceramic. The average amount of time for braces is between 1 and 3 years. But you may need them for a shorter or longer amount of time depending on your circumstances.


Tips When Wearing Braces

Keeping your braces clean protects your teeth from plaque build-up and enamel deterioration. Learning these tips for wearing braces and how to care for your braces is paramount for success during treatment. The following tips can help you with your daily oral hygiene with braces. And now few tips you should follow to get best out of whichever treatment you choose to take up:

  1. Avoid fizzy drinks
  2. Chew your food
  3. Don’t take drugs
  4. Quit smoking
  5. Stay away from Bleaching
  6. Stop Biting nails

Foods to Skip When Wearing Braces

  • Ice: Don’t chew on ice, as ice can break your brackets! You can suck on ice all you want, but no chewing.
  • Caramel, taffy, and gummy bears: This candy is too sticky and gooey and it can take your brackets or wires right off. Avoid all candy that has this consistency.
  • Hard chips:  Avoid hard chips and taco shells–they will break your brackets.
  • Hard pretzels: These also break brackets
  • Raw veggies and fruits, such as hard carrots and apples: These can break off brackets and get stuck in your teeth very easily.
  • Hard candies: The tendency for most is to chew on the hard candies. Just avoid them altogether.
  • Nuts, seeds, popcorn: These foods are hard and can break brackets and wires, just like most things on this list. Be very careful if you do eat them, but it’s safer to avoid them altogether.
  • Corn on the cob: The very first bite will lodge a bunch of corn into your brackets. It’s best to cut the corn off first and then enjoy. Cut most fruits, vegetables, and meats into bite-size pieces to avoid food getting stuck in your braces. You will be thankful you did!
  • Beef jerky: This seems to be a bracket breaker as well, so beware! Stick to softer meats during your time with braces, and if you must eat beef jerky, cut it into bite-site pieces.
  • Soda: Usually soda is full of sugar and damages the health and look of your teeth. It can stain your teeth over time and deteriorate your teeth as bacteria is attracted to sugar and plaque buildup. If you do drink soda, make sure to brush your teeth right after.
  • Sugary treats: Sugary snacks all the time will not do you any favors with braces. Just like soda, bacteria loves sugar and too much too often will deteriorate your teeth. Make sure to limit or minimize your sugar intake and brush your teeth after eating sugary foods. Your teeth will thank you.

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