What is Orthodontics

What is orthodontics?

Orthodontics is one of the seven Dental Specialties recognized by the Singapore Dental Council. It is the specialty that deals with prevention, interception and correction of irregularly positioned teeth as well as skeletal disharmony between the upper and lower jaws. 

Who should seek orthodontic treatment?

Most patients seek orthodontic treatment to straighten their teeth. However, patients must be aware that an incorrect bite may sometimes compromise dental health and a course of orthodontic treatment may possibly play a role in preventing future dental problems. 

Some examples of common dental problems in Singapore that braces can correct are:

1. Buck teeth

2. Crooked teeth or spacing between teeth

3. Mismatched jaws (in combination with jaw surgery) and open bite

4. Deep bite with spacing of teeth

Why should one consider braces treatment?

Orthodontics can do wonders for your self-confidence. Straightening your teeth will improve your smile and make you feel good about yourself and your appearance. There will also be an overall improvement in your dental health as it is easier to brush teeth that are well-aligned as opposed to crooked and overlapping teeth. 

How do Orthodontic appliances move teeth?

Orthodontic appliances work by exerting gentle forces on the teeth, which in turn induces changes in the bone, allowing teeth to be moved to their desired positions.

Forces are delivered to the teeth by archwires and elastics in conventional braces- flexible wires align teeth, while elastic chains can be used to close spaces between teeth. With clear aligner systems, the forces are delivered by the plastic aligners which push the teeth into alignment. 

How long does orthodontic treatment take?

Orthodontic treatment time of an average case can vary between 6 months to 3 years. The reason for such a large variation is that treatment time is dependent on the complexity of the case; the more complex your case, the longer the treatment will be. Treatment that in-volves multiple disciplines i.e. orthodontic treatment with surgery can potentially take longer to treat as compared to a case with mild crowding of the teeth. 

Here are a few tips on how to keep your orthodontic treatment as short as possible:

  • Get your child screened by an orthodontist as young as 7-8 years old
  • Avoid breaking brackets during orthodontic treatment
  • Keep to regular adjustment appointments as indicated by your orthodontist
  • Maintain good oral hygiene