How braces work

Braces work by putting pressure on your teeth to shift them into a more aligned and harmonious position. Arch wires are the most prominent part of conventional braces that exert pressure on teeth whereas many of the other parts are utilised to hold it in its place. To increase the pressure exerted, rubber parts are used.

These wires are adjusted regularly (usually every 4-8 weeks) during the course of your treatment.
Treatment times vary depending on the severity of your condition, with most patients completing within a period of two and a half years.

Once the braces are removed, you will usually wear a retainer to keep your teeth from shifting. These retainers should be worn for at least a year to ensure that the effects of the braces are permanent and long-term.

Types of braces

There are multiple types of braces.

  1. Metal Braces - usually the most affordable option that can provide results in a shorter duration of time
  2. Ceramic Braces - a translucent color that allows them to blend in with the natural tooth color.
  3. Lingual Braces - braces on the hidden side of teeth
  4. Invisalign - nearly invisible to the human eye, comfortable, and removable

Side effects of Braces

  • Discomfort - Since braces and Invisalign work by exerting pressure to shift your teeth and jaw, discomfort is inevitable. Headaches and tooth pain are the most common discomforts and can be resolved through painkillers.
  • Irritation - The wires used in braces could result in slight irritation to the inside of your mouth. Although only patience and time can allow you to get used to the feeling, orthodontic wax is a tool to reduce the discomfort felt.
  • Difficulty eating - This is one of the biggest complaints by people who braces as food usually gets stuck between the braces. There is also an additional chore of removing the Invisalign braces when eating and putting them back on after meals.

How Invisalign works


Invisalign aligners do not use any metal and are transparent -- one of the main reasons why many opt for it. The aligners also are custom made for the customer's set of teeth and are replaced every 2 weeks. Each set is adjusted so that straighter teeth are obtained progressively.

It is recommended that one wears the Invisalign aligners for more than 20-22 hours in a day. Some people decide to only wear them at night, but this is not recommended as it does not enable the aligners to do their job and causes delay in the process of straightening the teeth.

Studies also show that Invisalign appears to work better than braces for some patients.

A Cosmetic Surgical Alternative to Braces


Some people would rather not wait 6 months to 2 years to get their teeth straightened. There are multiple options for cosmetic surgery to the teeth such as teeth whitening, porcelain crowns, veneers and even dental implants. These options are relatively quick and painless, but can be more expensive depending on the case.

Woman with braces

Read this post for more information on braces treatment in Singapore.

Recent Questions

Are removal orthodontics still in use?

So, the removable orthodontic appliance is for kids that can wear and remove. Usually, they are done to correct any sort of movement identified earlier. So, instead of having full-on braces, let's say if you have one tooth that is too far in, we ask you to wear this for maybe a couple of months to get the effect. It is actually similar to Invisalign, so yes it is still in use.

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Answered By

Dr Hong Ping Pua

Dentist

Should I wait for my wisdom teeth to fully develop before getting braces?

Wisdom teeth usually erupt between 15 to 21 years old. But you don't necessarily have to wait for the wisdom tooth to come out. In fact, before you have your wisdom tooth removed or any sort of teeth removed, or any extensive dental work, and you have the intention of doing braces. I would suggest you go see a dentist first to consult on the braces suitability. It's possible sometimes that we can extract the wisdom tooth or keep it as part of the braces treatment plan.

Photo of Dr Hong Ping Pua

Answered By

Dr Hong Ping Pua

Dentist

Recent Sessions

Teeth Alignment for Teenagers

Ended on May 30, 2020

Dr Enrica Sham completed her Bachelor of Dental Surgery (BDS) from National University of Singapore (NUS) and graduated with a Dean’s List. Subsequently, Dr Sham completed her specialist training in Orthodontics at NUS and went on to pursue her Masters in Dental Surgery (Orthodontics) and Diploma of Membership in Orthodontics with the Royal College of Surgeons, Edinburgh.

With over many years of experience, TLC Dental Centre boasts a friendly team that is well informed and genuinely pleased to help explain your treatment options and help you manage the cost of dental care. Their straightforward and honest treatment plans can help you manage the costs of your family dentistry. Their clinic has a peaceful and comfortable ambience with music, it doesn’t really feel like it’s a dental practice. They promise to treat all our patients with Tender, Loving, Care. We take dentistry seriously but have fun providing it.

Teeth Alignment in Adults

Ended on May 22, 2020

Dr Jaclyn Toh graduated with honours from the Dublin Dental School and Hospital of Trinity College Dublin, Ireland. She is a member of the Singapore Dental Association, the College of General Dental Practitioners Singapore and the Aesthetic Dentistry Society of Singapore. Dr Toh has been pursuing excellence from the start. Her passion is combining restorative and cosmetic dentistry with orthodontics, for comprehensive dentistry.

Dr Shawna D’dharan graduated from Saveetha Dental College, an institution recognised as among the leading private dental schools in India. As one of the college’s most promising graduates, Dr Shawna excelled in her clinical practice, emerging 2nd out of 100 students in her graduating class.

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