14 June 2021
When it comes to crooked teeth or misaligned jaws, dental braces are a possible treatment for adults, teenagers – and even children as young as seven years old. A child’s crooked teeth can lead to more serious dental problems in the future, such as excess wear on teeth and gums, tooth decays, and gum disease – making it important to address misalignment early. With so many braces’ solutions available in Singapore today, we share the most important things you need to know about dental braces to help you make the best choices for your child.
There are several reasons why your kid’s teeth are misaligned, one of which is thumb or pacifier sucking. A common habit for children, thumb sucking can become a problem when permanent teeth start to grow, because the pressure that is exerted on the inner side of the teeth causes the teeth to protrude or simply move out of position. At the same time, it can cause changes to the roof of the mouth.
Another reason for dental misalignment is premature loss of baby teeth – when baby teeth fall out before the permanent teeth that should replace them are ready to grow. When this happens, the neighbouring baby teeth may fall into the space leaving no room for the permanent tooth to take the correct position. For some cases, teeth transposition may happen where two adjacent adult teeth interchange positions, or the permanent tooth erupts in a space that is occupied by a non-neighbouring tooth.
Crooked teeth can also be inherited, which is why your child may be experiencing dental problems even if they are not in the habit of thumb-sucking or have not lost their baby teeth prematurely.
Baby teeth are usually the main concern when it comes to braces treatment for children. The common mistake is to wait for the child’s baby teeth to fall out completely. The truth is, it is perfectly okay for a child to undergo braces treatment with baby teeth remaining. More importantly, you should get the orthodontist to examine your child’s teeth conditions and propose the best treatment options for them. Some dental problems can be treated at later stages, whereas others are best corrected as soon as possible to prevent bigger dental problems.
Read more: Telltale Signs that You or Your Child Needs Braces
Fixed metal braces and removable clear aligners are the two main types of treatment options available in Singapore:
Fixed braces are attached to the teeth permanently during the treatment period. The first generation fixed braces are often loved by kids because of their colourful rubber bands. At each monthly appointment, the orthodontist lets your child choose different coloured bands so that they get to enjoy a bright, new smile every time. Another great thing about fixed braces is that they cannot be removed; the treatment cannot be delayed by losing the braces and should be finished in time if patients visit the clinic every four weeks for braces adjustment.
With metal braces, children have to be diligent in maintaining good oral hygiene. Food gets easily trapped between wires and brackets, causing unsightly stains or even cavities if not cleaned properly. Aside from maintaining good oral hygiene, it is important to avoid eating certain foods. Hard and crunchy foods like popcorn, hard sweets, or even fried chicken wings can put too much pressure on the wires and cause them to snap. In some cases, children return to the orthodontist every two to three weeks to get the braces replaced. Children with busy schedules might also find it more difficult to keep up with the monthly appointments during treatment.
Invisalign clear aligners are smooth medical-grade plastic aligners that are capped over the teeth and completely removable. Children remove Invisalign aligners to have meals or snacks – including popcorn. That’s right, with Invisalign braces, children can keep eating their favourite foods, allowing them lots more wiggle room compared to fixed braces. As families in Singapore often have busy schedules, parents also often favour Invisalign for the fewer orthodontic visits required. Regular appointments are more spaced out compared to the monthly visits needed for fixed metal braces’ adjustments. You can rest assured that Invisalign braces are just as effective as metal braces, able to treat all common orthodontic issues including overbite, underbite, overcrowding, and overly spaced-out teeth.
Whilst there are various clear aligner brands available in Singapore, Invisalign is the premium and first brand to emerge in the market. Invisalign is supported by over 20 years of research and development and has successfully treated more than 10 million smiles worldwide. By using advanced 3D imaging technology to scan patients’ teeth, orthodontists are able to create accurate and detailed Invisalign treatment plans. For this reason, specialist braces clinics in Singapore such as MyBracesClinic only treat their patients with Invisalign clear aligners – for more precise treatment outcomes.
Dental braces treatment can be costly, which is where the Baby Bonus Scheme steps in to help. My Braces Clinic is an approved medical institution under Singapore’s Baby Bonus Scheme that allows your child or even their siblings to use funds from your child’s Child Development Account (CDA) to pay for their braces treatment. Bring the child’s and sibling’s NRIC and birth certificate to verify their relationship, as well as the child’s NETS-CDA card. Any balance fees can be paid with cash, credit card or NETS.
Find out more about how you can use Baby Bonus to pay for your child’s braces treatment at our clinic here, or ask our friendly front desk team on your child’s first visit at our clinic.
Overall, as your child begins to grow permanent teeth, observe for any crooked teeth or complaints of discomfort. Schedule your child for an orthodontic appointment as early as age seven, to prevent bigger dental issues in the future. Whether fixed braces or Invisalign aligners, talk to the doctor about your concerns, the services involved in the treatment, as well as how you can pay for the treatment. A healthy smile starts with early treatment, so make an appointment for your child today!
My Braces Clinic is a specialist braces orthodontic clinic in Singapore that offers interceptive braces treatment for kids as young as seven years old. Speak to our orthodontists to find the best treatment solutions for your child here!
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