16 Questions answered

What should I do if my teeth are not moving even with braces? (photo)

It is very unusual for teeth to fail to move orthodontically. The best would be to go back to your dentist or orthodontist for a review. Possible reasons for non-moving teeth Maintaining punctual attendance is key to ensuring treatment proceeds smoothly. It is very unusual for teeth to fail to move orthodontically. Over time, elastic modules and chains lose elasticity. Your teeth may slow down or stop moving, or the wire may escape from the bracket causing unwanted tooth movement. This can prolong treatment unnecessarily.

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Answered By

Dr Jaclyn Toh

Dentist

How do our teeth move when power chains are attached?

Powerchain is a set of linked elastic bands that are used in a variety of ways to move teeth orthodontically. There are generally 2 types of powerchain: open and closed. Open chain: has a length of elastic separating the links Closed chain: has continuous links. Powerchain can be used to slide teeth along archwire to close spaces, to engage auxiliaries like power arms, temporary anchorage devices (TADs) or buttons; and even to tie in appliances like the arms of a mandibular advancement repositioning appliance (MARA).

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Answered By

Dr Jaclyn Toh

Dentist

Will the eruption of wisdom teeth cause crowding or teeth movement?

Actually, the full eruption of wisdom teeth is less of a concern. It is the non-eruption or partial eruption of a wisdom tooth that is important because they are there but we are unable to see it and they are not straight. So they can be impacted sideways, against the rest of the teeth. All in all, crowded teeth can be caused by so many different factors that this is just one of them. It is important to have it checked out and take an x-ray if needed or advised by your dentist.

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Answered By

Dr Hong Ping Pua

Dentist

Can teeth extraction and bonding for braces be done on the same day?

You can, but you can get very tired and it could be quite uncomfortable as you have to deal with pain from extraction and the pain from the bonding of brackets, which is the ulcer and all that. Subsequently, pain from the effect of teeth moving, it's almost having everything all at one go. Some people opt for that as they think that they would just take a few days off work and be done. We also know teenagers can cope with this a lot better, they tend to heal very well. To them, extraction is simpler so the recovery is less painful. It definitely does depend on the individual as well.

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Answered By

Dr Hong Ping Pua

Dentist

What happens if I get allergic to the braces that are already attached to my teeth?

For metal braces, people can be allergic to metal components such as nickel. However, they do have latex-free elastics for those with an allergy. For aligners, I have not seen anyone with a true allergy, a true allergy means you will be excluded from it and I believe you will be excluded from the clear aligners as well.

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Answered By

Dr Hong Ping Pua

Dentist

How are braces fitted on teeth?

The first step is to establish that your teeth are healthy. Because it is harder to put braces onto unhealthy teeth, any crown or implant. Once the teeth are healthy we will clean them and then we will use a chemical agent to clean the teeth and treat the surface to allow the cement from the braces to glue onto the teeth. Then we harden it with a blue light. Once it is on, it is very strong. Because it is cement, it is still subjected to deterioration over time and a very hard impact can still scrap it off.

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Answered By

Dr Hong Ping Pua

Dentist

Can I use teeth aligners with pre-existing restoration?

Sure no problem at all. Basically, when we do aligners we are doing a digital scan of your teeth so if you have existing restoration, we are scanning your teeth according to the shape of the restoration, so it should not be an issue at all. In fact, it is easier for my restorative dentist to fix maybe tooth decay and things like that, during the treatment, in the case where you develop tooth decay or something because there is nothing joining your teeth together so they can easily perform any restoration during the course of treatment with aligners.

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Answered By

Dr Enrica Sham

Orthodontist

How do you keep your teeth straight following orthodontic treatment?

Teeth alignment is maintained using retainers. There are 2 types of retainers: 1. Fixed retainers Fixed retainers are small lengths of wire glued to the back of the upper and lower front teeth separately to prevent them from moving. These can be custom made (for better access for cleaning) or made directly in the mouth. Fixed retainers are meant to stay on the teeth as long as the patient desires straight teeth. Fixed retainers should be inspected regularly for signs of damage.

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Answered By

Dr Jaclyn Toh

Dentist

Will braces solve the problem of loose teeth due to overcrowding?

I will assume usually you get loose teeth due to overcrowding in the sense that those teeth are really difficult to clean. So when teeth are not cleaned properly, you have plaque and calculus that goes beneath the gums and it will affect the attachment of the tooth in the bone. That causes loose teeth. That would be a separate problem from the overcrowding. But, over time when you realign the teeth, if you correct the overcrowding and you’re able to clean your teeth properly, then you will have a lower risk of having this loose teeth problem happen again.

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Answered By

Dr Shawna D'dharan

Dentist

Why is my child’s lip protruding even though braces have already straightened his teeth?

This comes down to the treatment plan, because in some cases we may see very mild crowding. That means that the teeth are not very overlapped, they are pretty straight. All you need to do is straighten them up and the case will look nice. But for a lot of our Asian population, it’s very normal to have protruding lips. So that means that from the side view, they come out, and they do stick out quite a bit. For some people, it’s a concern.

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Answered By

Dr Jaclyn Toh

Dentist

How do teeth aligners cause teeth movement?

Whether it is aligner or braces, it's all about force. We are applying force on the teeth to move the teeth in a certain direction, it is quite technical but aligners generally are good moving teeth backwards compared to braces which move teeth towards each other. That is why when you see an orthodontist for the treatment they say you need the wisdom teeth, we can use the wisdom teeth space to align your teeth to move it backwards.

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Answered By

Dr Enrica Sham

Orthodontist

What kind of teeth aligner is suitable for a root canal treated tooth?

Any tooth that has been root canal treated before, I think the most important thing is that we have to establish the status of teeth, whether it is a good tooth to keep. So if we assess the condition and this patient requires extraction for their treatment and if this root canal treated tooth is around the region where we normally consider for extraction, then maybe we can use braces and extract this tooth so that you do not need to bother this tooth anymore.

Photo of Dr Enrica Sham

Answered By

Dr Enrica Sham

Orthodontist

If I am not satisfied with the alignment that braces provide, can I go for an interdental reduction to correct teeth alignment?

Interproximal reduction (IPR) is just a way to make space, so the space requirements for the case should have been calculated before you start the treatment. If there’s still further retraction required, you want to push the teeth back, then the dentist will just do more IPR. Sometimes it’s not necessarily that there’s not enough space, but it may be that there might be slight rotations of the teeth, so in that case, you have to adjust the position of the bracket.

Photo of Dr Jaclyn Toh

Answered By

Dr Jaclyn Toh

Dentist

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* This profile has been last updated on January 8.