Dental Braces

Specialists / Orthodontist

What is it

Braces are used to straighten crooked teeth, create sufficient space for tooth replacement or close gaps for teeth that are too far apart.

Fixing uneven, crowded or widely-spaced teeth doesn’t just improve your smile, but can improve your dental health as well. A well-aligned set of teeth can improve the fit of the upper and lower teeth so that chewing is more efficient, it also makes it easier to clean and maintain compared to crooked teeth.

Age suitable to have

In most cases, it is ideal to start braces treatment after the age of 12 when a child’s permanent teeth have all surfaced. However, the ideal age can vary depending on the type of dental malocclusion.

It is never too late to do braces treatment and adults can start braces treatment too, though it may be a bit longer compared to children and teenagers as the teeth have to move through denser bone structures.

Treatment Duration

On average, the treatment process ranges from 15 to 24 months, depending on the rate of tooth movement, the complexity of the case and the patient’s attendance and compliance.


Braces can be made from stainless steel, ceramic, clear plastic or a combination of materials. The types of braces fall under three categories:

  1. Traditional braces

Traditional braces consist of brackets, wire and elastic bands

  1. Self-ligating braces

Self-ligating braces involve only brackets and wire. They use a gate or clip to keep the wire within the brackets, removing the need for bands. These are costlier but cause less friction and are more comfortable to use

3. Clear aligner therapy

Clear aligner therapy uses clear plastic overlays instead of brackets or wires. These removable aligners are worn over the teeth and ‘grip’ them to gradually move teeth into the desired positions. These are the least visible and comfortable option and are also more expensive. They only work for moderate alignment issues and the treatment time is longer.

Care Tips

Made of wires and brackets, traditional and self-ligating braces act as traps for food and plaque. This means more care must be taken to protect teeth from stains and cavities.

1. Brush up on your brushing:

The brackets and wires can make brushing challenging. Brush at an angle to clean over and under the bracket or opt for a special toothbrush designed to clean around braces better.

2. Floss every day.

Flossing removes food particles from hard-to-reach places. Use a threader for your floss or a special brush-end toothpick called proxabrush to clean between the teeth and under the wires.

3. Say no to sticky and hard foods.

4. Avoid biting into hard foods such as whole apples, ice cubes, and corn on the cob. Cut hard foods into small pieces instead. Avoid sticky candy such as gum or caramels as they can be hard to remove.