People have their teeth
straightened for a variety of
reasons. These include:
- Improving facial appearance
- Improving speech and/or
- For dental health
Dental health is the most important
reason to have braces made as poorly
aligned or crooked teeth are difficult
to keep clean. They often give rise to
decay and gum problems. For most
people, orthodontic treatment with
braces is an elective procedure. It is
rare that teeth will be lost if treatment
has not started. There is no age limit
for orthodontic treatment – adults can
benefit from it too.
There are alternative solutions to
orthodontic problems. These are
prosthodontic treatments using tooth
veneers, crowns, bridges or dentures
or no treatment at all. The orthodontist
will discuss the risks and benefits of
each alternative with you.
There are many different types of
braces, each suited to a particular
type of problem. The best type of
brace for you will be advised by the
orthodontist depending on your teeth
and your personal needs.
1. Fixed Braces
Fixed braces are small attachments
called ‘brackets’ that are attached
to the front of each individual tooth
with a special adhesive, linked
together by orthodontic wires.
These attachments can be made of
metal or a tooth-coloured material
like porcelain (ceramic). Many
teenage patients choose vibrant
colours to customise their metal
Self-ligating braces incorporate
features (innovative ways of
holding the wire in place) to help
the teeth move more smoothly and
so make treatment quicker.
2. Invisible Aligners
Clear aligners are clear removable
braces which gradually straighten
teeth when worn all the time.
They are virtually unnoticeable
and are good for less severe cases.
These aligners are usually worn
full time and removed when
eating and brushing. The aligners
move your teeth gradually and are
changed every two weeks until its
3. Lingual Braces
Lingual braces are fixed braces
which are attached to the back
of the teeth rather than the front.
This means they are truly invisible
so you can continue to smile with
confidence throughout treatment.
As lingual braces are not visible,
they are ideal for adults or older
teenagers who are concerned
about the appearance of traditional
fixed braces. Lingual braces are
invisible when the patient smiles.
Your orthodontist is the best
person to recommend the bracing
system best suited to your lifestyle
Retainers After Treatment
After your orthodontic treatment is
finished, you will need retainers to
hold your teeth in their new positions.
Your orthodontist will prescribe the
retention plan that is best for you.
To avoid the risk of late crowding in
adult patients, it is often prescribed
that they usually sleep with their
retainers on for the rest of their lives,
if they want their teeth in perfect
Treatment : How Long
Does It Take?
Orthodontic treatment with
fixed braces generally takes
two to three years. The braces
are fixed permanently on the
teeth until the completion of
You need to visit your
orthodontist regularly (four
to eight weeks interval) for
For a successful outcome, you
need to maintain good oral
hygiene by brushing regularly,
especially after every meal and
snack. To do that, do remember
to bring a travel toothbrush with
you when you are not at home
and avoid eating hard, sticky