Wearing Braces Doesn't Have To Be An Uncomfortable Process, Depending On The Type Of Braces You Choose And If You Follow Some Simple Instructions For Its Use.
Dr Ang Poh Kang is an orthodontist and a past wearer of braces, so he understands first-hand the pain points experienced by his patients. He offers insights into maximising comfort and minimising inconvenience and pain.
WHY WEAR BRACES?
Braces help to straighten crooked teeth so that balance between the teeth and the face is created. This gives an aesthetically pleasing smile and a healthy bite.
A straight set of teeth also instils greater confidence. Children with poorly aligned and unsightly teeth tend to be teased in school and may experience psychological, social and developmental problems which continue into adulthood.
For those with poor bite or mal-aligned teeth, orthodontic intervention will prevent complications, like early loss of teeth, gum problems, excessive tooth wear and jaw joint problems. As straightened teeth make cleaning and maintenance easier, braces will reduce tooth decay and gum problems in the long run.
“It is very common to meet people who are reluctant to smile because they have been self-conscious of their crooked teeth all their lives,” says Dr Ang.
“A beautiful smile showing wellaligned teeth is a big motivator for people to take better care of their oral health.”
ARE THE BRACES COMFORTABLE?
Damon Braces are probably the most comfortable for extended wear. Unlike conventional braces where the wire is held to the teeth by rubber bands, Damon Braces have a special bracket with a ‘sliding door’ to allow the archwire to move freely. Because there is less friction and binding, the pressure on the teeth and gums are reduced. Its unencumbered design also shifts teeth into correct alignment more quickly.
Young people who are selfconscious about wearing braces can opt for Damon Clear, which has colourless and barely visible components. Adults seeking to look younger should consider Damon System Bracelift, as this system moves teeth with the objective of enhancing facial balance and aesthetics.
DR ANG’S QUICK TIPS ON WEARING BRACES
- Expect some soreness and discomfort when first braced up or after an adjustment. Newer types need one to two days to acclimatise; while conventional braces take three to four days.
- Gum infection and inflammation add to the discomfort and slow the treatment process, so do brush after every meal for clean teeth and healthy gums.
- Braces or wires can irritate the inner lip or cheek and cause ulcers. Use relief wax to cover the sharp edges until you are used to it.
- If the discomfort is caused by extended braces wire, cover it with wax and return to the clinic to have it properly trimmed.
- If one of the braces drops off, use relief wax to stabilise the braces and then get it fixed back at the clinic.
- If you have an accident or injury to the mouth and teeth while wearing braces, go immediately to the nearest dentist or hospital emergency. Damages to the braces can be repaired later.
- For lost or poor-fitting retainers, replacements should be made as soon as possible to stop teeth from relapsing too much.