If you are suffering from misaligned, overcrowding or protruding teeth, braces help to align and straighten your teeth — to achieve that beautiful, confident smile that you’ve always been looking for.
Braces are used to correct malocclusions or misalignments of the teeth including overbite (also known as deep bite or closed bite), underbite (or reverse bite), crossbite, protruding teeth (overjet or “bugs bunny” teeth), lopsided jaw, crowding and spacing.
By ensuring that biting pressure is more evenly spread out across your teeth, braces reduce excessive wear and tear on your tooth enamel and gums. After treatment with braces, it is easier to clean and brush your teeth as the regular spacing reduces the number of hard-to-reach areas. Many people also use braces for aesthetic reasons, to improve the look of their smile.
Braces move your teeth by applying constant pressure to them for about 12 to 18 months. Afterwards, these changes need to be maintained by regular use of a retainer.
All braces are effective at straightening teeth. There are 4 main types of braces.
These “train tracks” are the most common kind of braces. Tiny metal brackets are attached to the front of each tooth using dental cement. An arch wire made of stainless steel, copper nickel titanium or nickel titanium is threaded through the slot of each bracket.
The dentist can tighten this to apply the correct pressure to each tooth in order to gradually adjust it into its desired position. Elastic bands or ligatures hold the arch wires in place and also apply pressure. You can choose the colour of the ligatures to add personality to your braces.
Also known as ‘invisible’ braces, these braces have the orthodontic brackets installed along the inside of teeth instead of the outside of the teeth, as with conventional braces.
These are generally more expensive and more uncomfortable than regular braces and are not suitable for everyone.
Similar to metal braces, ceramic braces use a
tooth-coloured material to hold the archwire, which makes the braces less noticeable.
These braces look almost identical to regular braces but in place of elastics or ligatures, the archwires are held in place by means of “sliding doors”.
Getting braces starts with an oral examination, scans and X-ray. Your treatment plan will be developed according to the information gathered from these records.
At your next appointment, the dentist will clean and polish your teeth, glue a bracket onto each tooth, insert the arch wire and secure it, using either ligatures (for traditional braces) or “sliding doors” (for self-ligating braces). Finally, the excess ends of the arch wires will be trimmed to prevent them from irritating your cheeks. It typically takes 1-2 hours to fit braces.
You will have a follow up appointment with the dentist every 4 to 8 weeks to check on your progress and to adjust the braces as needed.
You should never feel any unbearable pain while undergoing braces treatment. However, the tightness may feel strange and the wires can be uncomfortable especially just after braces have been fitted for the first time.
If the discomfort from your braces cannot be managed with over the counter painkillers, contact your dentist.
Braces move teeth. As your bite changes, so the shape of the soft tissue which surrounds it – your cheeks and lips – may adjust to conform to the new structure.
However, braces cannot change the underlying shape of your jaw, your cheekbones or chin position.
After being fitted with braces you should avoid sticky, crunchy or hard foods which could cause the wires to separate from the brackets. Sugary foods and drinks should also be limited because wearing braces makes it harder to clean your teeth properly, increasing the risk of plaque and tooth decay.
Practise chewing with you back teeth and stick to soft foods which will not damage your braces. If your teeth feel extra sensitive immediately after being fitted with braces, stay away from spicy, citrusy or cold foods for a few days.
Braces can feel expensive but the cost covers the entire treatment period of
12 to 18 months. As with all dental treatments, braces are customised to meet the patient’s needs. You can expect your braces to cost somewhere in the ranges shown below:
– Metal Braces: $3,500 – $6,500+
– Ceramic Braces: $5,000 -$6,500+
– Self Ligating Braces: $5,800 – $7,300+
– Lingual Braces: $5,000 – $13,000+
For more information about our prices as well as other services, you can refer to our comprehensive price list here.