What are Dental Braces?
Getting braces can provide lifelong benefits to your oral health. Whether you’re looking at getting braces for child or for yourself, it’s important to understand the process before you move forward.
Dental braces are a form of orthodontic procedure used to straighten your teeth. In general, braces are used to treat two specific dental conditions:
These dental conditions can increase both the severity and likelihood of tooth decay, gum disease, speech anomalies, and jaw problems.
Dental professionals will often deem orthodontic treatment medically necessary if they feel you are at risk for these issues. While stainless steel braces have been in widespread use since the 1960s, modern technology has made the procedure more effective, efficient, and comfortable than ever.
Hence, it is important to get dental braces as a preventive orthodontic treatment. In general, there are 4 main types of dental braces available.
If you are interested in knowing the cost of getting braces in Singapore, here is our writeup on it! (Cost of Braces in Singapore)
How Do Dental Braces Work?
Braces work by applying a continuous pressure to the teeth throughout the treatment period. The treatment period is typically around one to two years. During which, your dentist will periodically adjust this pressure, controlling the rate of movement.
With traditional metal braces, this is accomplished by cementing a small stainless steel bracket to the centre of each tooth, and stringing a wire through each bracket. The wire has a natural elasticity, allowing it to put pressure on the teeth as it tries to return to its original form.
In complex scenarios, elastics, spacers, and palatal expanders can all be employed to push the teeth where they need to go.
Dental Braces: Initial Consultation
Before your treatment can be developed, you will need to book the initial appointment for a dental consultation. Your orthodontist will perform a complete oral examination.
Depending on the complexity of your alignment issues, x-rays or photographs may need to be scheduled. From this information, your dentist will be able to explain your options, and determine the cost and treatment length.
During the dental consultation, you can expect the following:
Next Step: Installing the Braces
Once your dentist is sure that your teeth are clean, he will begin to attach the brackets using bonding glue. Although you may notice a bit of taste, the glue is completely safe.
Once in place, the bonding process is completed with a short burst of intense ultraviolet light. A stainless wire will then be placed over the brackets and held in place with small elastics.
Depending on your needs, you may elect to take advantage of the comfort or cosmetic benefits offered by some styles of braces. To address cosmetic concerns, ceramic brackets blend in with your teeth and create a more natural look.
Alternately, specially formed brackets can be affixed to the back of your teeth, reducing visibility. For minor adjustments, clear acrylic trays can be specially manufactured to fit over top of your teeth. Eating, brushing, and flossing are much simpler with the tray, as it is easily removable.
What to Expect After Putting On Braces?
After the first day or two, you may begin to notice mild discomfort. Not to worry, as typically this will only last for the first week. Some people may find that the lips, cheek, and tongue can be irritated by your new braces.
Also, it is important to start a proper oral hygiene regime now that you have your braces attached.
Important to Start Young
Dental alignment issues often begin to present themselves between the ages of 8 and 14. Many dentists recommend beginning treatment early on, as minor adjustments during a child’s formative years can prevent serious issues later in life.
The prevalence of orthodontic treatment in youth has led to a common misconception that braces are only effective on children.
However, treatments are designed on a case-by-case basis. The severity of the issue and the age of the patient are not factors in the treatment’s success rate.
Simple corrections can often be performed by a general dentist, but advanced treatments are carried out by an orthodontic specialist. The average treatment length is approximately two years, but consulting with an orthodontic professional is necessary to understand your individual treatment process.
Towards a Perfectly Aligned Teeth
Although getting braces requires a bit of an adjustment period, you probably won’t even notice them after a few months. Living with braces is a learning process.
Your orthodontist in Singapore is there to guide you every step of the way. Take advantage of your monthly adjustments to bring up any concerns you may have.
Establishing a proper oral hygiene routine early on in the process will put you on the path towards the healthiest, most beautiful smile you’ve ever had.
PS: It's not over after removing your braces! You will still need to wear retainers as a form of preventive maintenance.
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