Orthodontics

Braces for Children:

Orthodontics is the branch of dentistry that specializes in the diagnosis, prevention and treatment of dental and facial irregularities. The technical term for these problems is “malocclusion,” which means “bad bite.”

In majority of cases, definitive orthodontic treatment is commenced when most or all of the permanent teeth have erupted. However, early treatment may sometimes be required in younger children. Early treatment is justifiable and indicated only when long-term results can be achieved with eliminating need or reducing complexity of future orthodontic treatment. In these situations, interceptive treatment carried out with removable appliances at the correct time may save the child from a more complicated treatment at later stage

What’s the right age for Orthodontic Treatment?

According to the American Association of Orthodontics, the best age to take your young child to the orthodontist for their first orthodontic evaluation is at the age of 7! This allows early identification of potential problems. Certain orthodontic conditions are also best treated at this age. Full braces are placed after most of the permanent teeth erupt, at around twelve years old.

These early warning signs may indicate that your child needs to have orthodontic treatment; it might be time to schedule an orthodontic exam.

  1. Early or late loss of baby teeth
  2. Difficulty chewing or biting
  3. Mouth breathing
  4. Finger sucking or other oral habits
  5. Crowding, misplaced or blocked-out teeth
  6. Jaws that shift, make sounds, protrude or are recessed
  7. Speech difficulty
  8. Biting the cheek or biting into the roof of the mouth
  9. Protruding teeth
  10. Teeth that meet in an abnormal way or don’t meet at all
  11. Facial imbalance or asymmetry
  12. Grinding or clinching of teeth

For a photo chart of possible malocclusions requiring early treatment, please visit the Association of Orthodontists (Singapore) website

A Guide for Parents

Braces for Adults

It’s never too late to say “YES!” to braces

Many feel that braces are only worn during the childhood or teenage years. Times have changed, and studies have shown that more and more adults are opting for orthodontic treatment to give them that great smile they have always wanted. Orthodontic treatment in adults have also increased in popularity as it offers them the benefit of getting a better bite, and aligning the teeth to allow ideal replacements of teeth that have been lost due to tooth decay or gum disease.

Adults are always hesitant to commence orthodontic treatment due to the appearance, inconvenience and the duration such treatment requires. However, with advances in technology, dental braces are smaller, lighter, and easier to clean, and they are much more comfortable. A whole new world of orthodontic materials that work better and faster is available to us. There are ceramic braces, invisible aligners, clear wires and many other choices for adults who want to improve their smile.

Adult orthodontic treatment is also more complex, with the presence of missing or drifted teeth, teeth with large fillings or crowns, or teeth that have been badly worn or broken down. Specialist treatment is advised to ensure that treatment goes smoothly and well.

At the Orthodontic Clinic, here are some of the aesthetic options available for our patients:

  1. Ceramic braces – Tooth coloured brackets made from composite material, generally stain resistant, however, the modules (rubber bands) used to tie the wire to the braces may be stained by curry, smoke, coffee, etc. The only drawback is that the steel wire can still be seen.
  2. Clear brackets, clear wires –The SimpliclearTM system offers ceramic brackets with clear plastic tooth coloured wires. New in the market and has been gaining popularity. However, the staining of modules by food and drinks is still unavoidable, and this system is more suitable for less complex cases.
  3. Self-ligating Ceramic braces – We use Damon Clear and In-Ovation C brackets at the Orthodontic Clinic. Both systems use tieless brackets and high technology wires to move teeth quickly and comfortably.
  4. Invisible aligners – InvisalignTM is  the company behind computer-fabricated plastic aligners made by Align Technologies. Treatment consists of several plastic trays custom made for you, which look virtually invisible. They are more suitable for less complex cases.
  5. Incognito Hidden braces – Fully customized braces, which are placed behind your teeth, completely hidden from view.

Temporary Anchorage Devices, also known as orthodontic microimplants or microscrews, also offer the benefits of reduced treatment time and the possibility of achieving successful results despite having insufficient teeth for support in adults who have lost several teeth.