The dangers of DIY” Do It Your Own” Braces

Everyone desires to have straight, beautiful teeth. Often, the desire to have good things collides with the desire to save money. It is true that braces can be quite costly for many families, especially those with many kids. Full treatment can run into thousands of dollars.

This has led to the emergence of a new 'do-it-yourself' trend, with some videos on YouTube showing how it is done. The movement is popular especially with teens. While the videos make it look really easy, trying to move your teeth yourself is a risky affair. It can ruin your smile.

Although cheap DIY braces may sound rather tempting, they are really a bad idea. The risks far outweigh the benefits. Don't be fooled as you will end up having little to smile about.

A consumer alert warning has been issued by the American Academy of Orthodontics, the American Journal of Orthodontics, and Dentofacial Orthopedics against DIY dental solutions.

 "DIY remedies"

There are various techniques broadcast on YouTube plus other sites that claim to help people achieve professional outcomes with DIY remedies. These include:

●Elastic strings

●Plastic mold kits

●Rubber bands

Rubber bands or elastic strings may look rather harmless. However, they may slide up the tooth and end up lodging inside the gums hence cutting off the blood supply.

Plastic mold kits, also referred to as "braces by mail ", are poor quality devices offered by devious companies that can cause irreparable harm to teeth. In fact, they cannot be seen with the usual X-ray, and this will prolong the duration between diagnosis and treatment.

Beware of dangerous ideas

Beware of the internet; it is full of dangerous ideas on how to do everything by yourself – including performing your own medical procedures. Of late, different videos have been doing rounds about tips for straightening teeth. They claim to close gaps using hair bands plus other home goods. These techniques will not produce the result you desire, regardless of the promises made. Besides, they are dangerous and may do more harm than good. By experimenting with these techniques you risk permanent damage – or worse.This includes teeth loss, severe pain, or infection.

DIY tooth straightening poses many dangers which unfortunately some people don't seem to see. Moving teeth is actually a medical procedure that should be supervised personally by an orthodontist. Unsupervised procedures performed by inexperienced persons can lead to severe problems.

It is dangerous to try closing a gap or straightening your own teeth. As such, you will do yourself a lot of good by being cautious about any suggestions to move your teeth using any of those devices or other objects offered online.

DIY projects are best for home repairs or craft

DIY projects are best for simple things such as home repairs or craft projects – NOT braces. Remember, you only get a single set of adult teeth after your milk teeth fall out. That is why it is crucial to entrust their care to a professional orthodontist who has the necessary skills to protect your dental health, while giving you an attractive smile that you will always take pride in. 

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What are elastics and why are they important?

Why do orthodontists use elastics with braces? Rubber bands or orthodontic elastics are used for orthodontic treatment and have a very important role in bringing about optimum teeth movement.

 Types of elastics

There are two types of elastics primarily-

1.Ligatures- Braces are composed of brackets (that are stuck on the teeth) and archwires (that run between the brackets). Ligatures are tiny elastics that are placed by the orthodontist on the brackets to secure the archwires in their place.

2.
Inter-arch elastics- These rubber bands are slightly bigger when compared to ligatures. They can be placed in different patterns depending on the type of misalignment that is being treated. Mostly, they are placed extending from one arch to the other (upper to lower teeth). That is why they are called inter-arch elastics.

 Why are they important?

While the archwires and brackets perform their function of pulling the teeth into the desired position, elastics works on fixing the bite. Straight teeth are not enough. They should be aligned in a way that can set your bite right! Fixing the bite happens when rubber bands apply pressure on various points on the jaw. This is a lengthy procedure with no short-cuts and demands complete cooperation from the patients. This step of correcting the bite and fixing it in its new position determines the duration of the treatment. So, if the patient wears the elastics as directed by the orthodontist, he can take off his braces soon without undue delay!

Tips on how to wear elastics effectively

  • Wear them always. Not every case needs elastics. In the cases which require elastics to be worn, your orthodontist may ask you to wear them 24/7. This means that you are having your food with your elastics on. Your chewing movements help the elastics to align your teeth into a correct biting pattern.
  • Change them as instructed. You will be asked to change your elastics a couple of times every day. Remember to change them even if they are not broken as elastics lose their strength after few hours.
  • Never overdo it. Never place double elastics with the hopes of finishing the treatment fast.
  • Never stop wearing due to soreness. You may experience soreness due to the rubber bands during the initial days. That should never deter you from wearing them. The ache is due to the force that is applied by the elastics on your teeth. Pain is a sign that your teeth are moving to their new positions correctly.

Wearing elastics may appear tedious and cumbersome initially. Think of them as a routine form of exercise that will help you build a beautiful smile when done with sheer determination!

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Questions You Need to Ask an Orthodontist

An Orthodontist is a specialist who has received extra training to obtain skills in the diagnosis, correction and management of teeth alignment and occlusion. People have varying degrees of alignment and occlusion problems. You may be troubled by your crowded or crooked teeth. Perhaps, you are annoyed that your teeth have spaces in between or they are crossed in some areas.

With the help of this professional, you can get a more beautiful smile, usually through braces. Now if you are about to see an orthodontist, it is most likely that you have a lot of questions that you want to ask. It is important that you do, so that you can make an informed decision about it.

Here are some good questions:

  1. What are the different types of braces? There are different types of braces and if you are thinking of getting treated, then you need to choose the right path to go. You need to match your options with your preference and need. Standard or conventional braces are made of metal and they are adhered to the outer surface of the teeth. You can get ceramic braces that are tooth colored. Another option is the self-ligating braces. Also known as Damon braces, it comes with its own locks and does not need rubbers. You, even, have options like Invisalign wherein the aligners are practically invisible and difficult to be noticed when you have them on your teeth. Finally, you have the Incognito braces which are applied to the lingual or back surfaces of the teeth.Since Incognito are applied at the back of your teeth, this is the best path for true invisible braces.

  2. Is it going to be painful? A lot of people are worried about the negative experiences about braces and at the most, they worry about pain and discomfort. That's a common question and surely your orthodontist will explain how why this is part and parcel, by explaining the mechanism involved on moving teeth. Along with this, he will discuss certain remedies that should help you go through it.

  3. How long is the treatment going to take? The length of treatment varies per case and the type of treatment used. If you are working on definite time frame, knowing the time be important, so do not hesitate to ask about this.

  4. How will I clean my teeth? From teeth that are completely free, you now have teeth that are "caged" by brackets, wires and rubbers. It could be a suffocating sight and it is not going to be easy to clean them. Food can get stuck easily and they are harder to remove. Ask you orthodontist if you need special tools to properly tackle plaque, once you have braces, so that you can prepare for it.

  5. What cases are contraindicated with braces? This determines whether you will be a good candidate for braces or not. Maybe you have a dental or medical condition that renders you unfit to go through orthodontic treatment. If you are engaged in regular activities that may complicate the treatment, this needs to be dealt with, as well.

  6. How do I eat with braces? Eating will be slightly difficult for the first few days, but you will master the skills to chew food with your wired teeth in just about a week or so. You need to be careful when you bite into food because the brackets can dislodge easily if you make a mistake. The best thing for you is to avoid hard, sticky and tough foods. 

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What is the ideal bite?

The ideal smile is desired by almost every person, but not many people realize the importance of an ideal bite. You may be surprised to know how many people fail to realize that they have a problem with their bite. It's not until they develop a problem or are informed by an orthodontist about it, do they understand that their bite is off. So, what really is an ideal bite? An ideal bite may be described as a bite where the teeth of the upper jaw come in contact with those of the lower one at the same time when the mouth is closed. At the same time, the top teeth should only cover half of the lower ones at max.

There are a number of different types of abnormal bites that may be developed due to certain habits in young children or due to other dental manipulations. Here we describe the most common abnormal bites that a person can have.



  • A Deep bite, is one where the upper incisors cover the lower teeth too much when your mouth is closed.
  • An Open bite is one where the upper teeth just do not overlap with lower ones enough.
  • A Cross bite is a type of bite where the teeth cross over one another because the arch isn't perfect.
  • An overbite is where the upper teeth stick out in front of the lower ones. 


How do we develop poor bites?

There are multiple causes of these abnormal bites. Some can be caused due to damage to the teeth, or have been affected by trauma impacting jaw development. It's common to have misalignments after a dental procedure, but not treating that condition can lead to long-term problems for you. Sometimes, a common treatment like a dental filling or a root canal may shift your tooth into a misaligned position that disturbs your whole bite.

Another reason can be inflammation. The Jaw joints are susceptible to being inflamed, and any such process can lead to severe pain and inability to open or close the mouth. Also, some people have bad habits like grinding their teeth which can lead to bite defects.

A bite defect, although initially not of significance, can cause problems in the long run. They can cause discomfort on closing your teeth and can be cosmetically deforming. Also, any abnormal bite that is making a particular tooth touch the lower jaw first, will result in extra sensitivity and pain in that tooth. Besides this, an abnormal bite may cause severe wear of your teeth by constantly grinding against each other. This will make your enamel wear down at a much faster rate than normal to expose your teeth to harmful carious bacteria.

So, are there any ways that you can correct these problems?

As a matter of fact, there are. You can have that ideal bite, and the good thing is that it isn't complicated either. There are a number of ways that an orthodontist can assess a bad bite and treat it. Once the cause is identified, the orthodontist can improve the cosmetic appearance as well as the function by correcting the problematic tooth or teeth with manipulating your teeth and jaw. These procedures can help relieve the pain and discomfort during eating, talking or just closing your mouth, in general.All in all, we do know the importance of having the perfect smile, it's time we get that perfect bite too!  

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Benefits of early orthodontic treatment for your kids

Children between ages 7 to 10 is around the best age to allow an orthodontist to evaluate their teeth to see whether early treatment is required.

If some form of conditions is found, parents can begin their children on preventative treatments as it presents the opportunity for an orthodontist to have control over the development the children's permanent teeth. The benefit that comes in by addressing the shape of the jaw and the health of their teeth.

At the age of around 7 years, the mouth has grown and has enough sound structure to know how it's going to increase because it's when adult teeth will begin to emerge. It allows the orthodontist to predict their teeth's development.

It can be challenging to predict whether they require evaluation but if you see any characteristics or behavior below, then please talk to our team

  • Thumb Sucking
  • Facial Imbalance
  • Chewing difficulties
  • Teeth grinding and clenching
  • Speech Impediment
  • Breathing through the mouth
  • Early or late loss of baby teeth
  • Protruding front teeth

With early orthodontic treatment, the benefits to your children teeth health includes:

  • Guiding the growth of the jaw to promote facial symmetry
  • Create space for crowded teeth
  • Reduce bad oral habits
  • Prevent jaws/teeth development flaws leading to bad bites or TMJ (Temporomandibular Joint Disorder)
  • Reduce future treatment time when braces are required (Saves time and money)
  • Improves patient self-esteem
  • Proper chewing and biting

Early treatment is a preventive measure which sets the foundation for the development of healthy teeth and gums. Early intervention are often easier to correct (while the child's jaw bone is soft) than later in their life. Your children will thank you in the future (hopefully) with their beautiful and charming smiles. Book an appointment for your child's orthodontic evaluation at Perfect Smiles Orthodontics.

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What happens if I stop wearing my retainers?

This is a commonly asked question as patient are overjoyed when braces are removed at the end of their treatment plan.  So why do I have to wear a retainer right after?

Retainers are needed to hold your teeth into their new positions.  After your braces are removed, teeth position will creep out as there is nothing holding them in place anymore.  Your bone and teeth tissues need time stablised into their new position which takes up to a year.

Straight after treatment, you'll wear retainers, full-time every day for the first 6 months.  The first month is very important as you have a higher risk of relapse meaning it'll take more time to stablise after treatment and you'll have to wear your retainers for longer period of time.  After six months, retainers can be worn at night time for a few more years.

As with braces, it takes time to get used to your new retainers.  After a month, the discomfort and difficulty in speaking will pass by so don't get discouraged.

Will retainers last a lifetime?  No, but it can take a few years to 10 years depending on the type of retainer and the condition of your teeth/gums.  Keep in mind, as we grow older, our faces mature and the teeth will continue to push forward.   Adult patients tend to wear retainers for the rest of their life to keep their perfect smile.

So is it worth slacking in wearing your retainers?  No.  You've made the investment for a perfect smile and endured throughout the treatment plan.  Wear your retainers to keep the perfect smile that you've always wanted.  

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Braces for Adults - Are They Right for You?

Middle school was usually synonymous with getting braces (which might've also induced bullying among kids). However, the trend right now sees a growing number of adults getting braces with some even starting in their 60s or 70s!

If you are considering getting braces as an adult, fear not for you are not alone. According to Oral-B, around 20% of those getting their braces right now are adults and this trend is still likely to grow. Some of the reasons braces are gaining ground in the older age brackets are because it takes a shorter period of time to finish treatment and a lot of today's braces are more aesthetically pleasing.

Traditional/Metal Braces
Old school metal braces are still fairly popular and if you're not too concerned with having "metal mouths" these are the braces for you. These classic variants are no doubt more noticeable but they still do get the job done very well and if you are on a tighter budget or want to save more, they are more on the lower price ranges compared to let's say lingual braces of Invisalign. 

Lingual Braces
These are somewhat like the metal braces but they differ in where they are placed. The brackets are on the back of your teeth and are effectively out of sight when you smile. However, lingual braces may cause some discomfort since they do come in contact with the tongue often. Treatment completion can also be a little longer compared to metal braces and they are also at a relatively higher price point.

Ceramic Braces

If lingual or metal braces aren't up your alley, there's also tooth colored or clear brackets that are almost unnoticeable. The wires used for this brackets are still metallic and will make them seem like retainers from afar. These type of braces are also at higher price points (with some brackets made from synthetic sapphires!) but they are nonetheless more aesthetically pleasing. 

Invisalign

For those who absolutely do not want brackets on their teeth but still want braces, clear aligners like Invisalign are gaining widespread attention because of how invisible they seem in the mouth. This system uses multiple sets of what look like clear nightguards and are successively changed every few weeks. What's good about this type of braces is that it can be removed when you eat or drink which means easier cleaning of your teeth. Be reminded however, that you need to strictly change each set of aligners at the recommended time in order to get the desired results in a timely manner. 

Surprisingly, the cost of braces have gone cheaper. If getting braces when you were a kid was one of your frustrations, now is your chance to redeem yourself and experience brackets on your teeth. Health insurance schemes are available that cover partial or complete payment for braces and a lot of dental clinics can also accommodate a payment scheme that will not stretch your budget too much. >

Getting braces during adulthood might make you feel a little hesitant but what is a few years of awkward looking bracket-y smiles to decades of perfectly aligned teeth? If you feel like adult braces are for you, you can get a consult with an orthodontist (a specialist in the alignment of teeth) to help you with your questions.

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Do Braces Hurt?

Thinking about getting braces?  Most people's concern about braces (and most orthodontic procedures) is,  if it's going to hurt.  If you are considering getting braces, it will be helpful you can get an overview of what it will be like when you have them on,  so you won't get too surprised of how they will feel in your mouth.

Getting braces will admittedly be, not a walk in the park especially during the first few weeks.  However, the discomfort will lessen in time and before you know it, it'll feel as though you never have them in the first place.

So what can be expected during the first appointment?  Your orthodontist will initially clean your teeth and place the brackets with the arch wires (Invisalign an exception). The process usually last for about 1-2 hours and no pain or untoward sensation is expected.  However, you will most likely start to experience a dull ache/uncomfortable feeling a few hours after the braces have been placed.  This pain is due to the force exerted by the wires/brace on your teeth in order for them to start moving in their ideal positions.

Try pressing hard on your fingernail and this feeling will most likely be the same sensation you will start feeling on your mouth.  Take note however, that pain tolerance and pain sensation will be different for each person and if the pain gets a little too much, you can take pain medication provided they are of the correct dosage.  You will also be advised to go on a soft diet as your teeth might feel tender during the first few days.

Mouth sores can also be experienced in the next few days as your mouth is still adjusting to having brackets inside.  Patients are advised not to move their lips too much to avoid rubbing of the inside of the cheek against the brackets. Some surfaces of the brackets are not exactly smooth to the touch and the areas that contact these become sore - you can place orthodontic wax (to be given by your orthodontist) on the brackets to address this.

It can be tempting to pick on your brackets after they've been placed but try to fight the urge as you might further irritate the areas that rub against them (also, it could prolong treatment if brackets get dislodged).

Most of the uncomfortable feeling will be at its peak a few hours after placement of brackets but will expectedly taper off within the first month.

Every month, your braces will be adjusted by your orthodontist to continue moving your teeth to their desired position.  Unsurprisingly, you will feel some dull pain or discomfort afterwards but this sensation is relatively milder than when brackets and arch wires that were first placed.  Tension caused by tightening of the wires for each adjustment is the major culprit for the discomfort but rest assured, this is tolerable and will eventually disappear.

Ideally, braces are worn for about a year or two before they are removed and you can finally rejoice in knowing that no pain is expected during removal (hooray!).  If you're still squeamish about getting braces, just think about the payoff of a great smile once treatment is done and that will make it worth it.

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How much do braces cost?

So you're almost ready to invest in your smile and improve your confidence but how much do braces costs?

Prices can't be provided verbally because an orthodontist is unable to determine your treatment costs without a consultation. Here are some factors and reasons why:

  • Nature and the condition of your teeth:  The length of your treatment plan is affected by your teeth conditions and alignment

  • Dental Hygiene:  The current condition of your teeths hygiene and the maintenance during the course of your treatment will have an effect on the duration.  So healthy teeth and gums will help your treatment go according to plan.

  • Choice of brace type:  There are many orthodontic treatment options to choose from.You may not like the standard metal orthodontic appliance and go for Invisalign or Incognito to suit your lifestyle.  Keep in mind that each orthodontic appliances requires different level of skill and time therefore affecting the price of braces.

  • Treatment provider level of skill:  General dentist are starting to overstep their skill level by offering orthodontic treatment.They are normally cheaper at the beginning (can be more expensive in the long term to fix mistakes) but do you really want to trust a dentist who isn't specialised in orthodontic treatment, not to mention the health/appearance of your teeth?  Be assured that at Perfect Smiles Orthodontics, our specialist orthodontist "Dr Chin" has the experience and can provide you the range of treatment options to suit your needs.

Those with health insurance with extras, orthodontics may be covered as part of your plan so be sure to take advantage of it.

Your health and smile is a very important investment so it's best to request a consultation with our orthodontist.  By analysing the condition of your teeth and going through the treatment options, it is then that we can provide you with costs of your braces.

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Reasons why your braces are still on

The anticipation of having your braces off is very exciting. Our orthodontist develops an orthodontic treatment plan based on your condition of your teeth and treatment selected. If the given estimated treatment time is longer than advised, then you'll be wondering what is going on. 

Here are reasons why:

1.  Appointment Visits

Your orthodontist book regular appointments to check the progress and make changes to your treatment. Most of the orthodontic appliances require adjustments. So if you missed your appointment or reschedule regularly, you'll prolong the progress of your treatment.

2.  Poor Oral Hygiene

Healthy teeth and gums will make your treatment more successful. Foods are easily trapped in the orthodontic appliance causing plaque build-up on teeth and will lead gums to swell up. So it's important to take greater care of your teeth especially during orthodontic treatment. Be sure to brush and floss several times a day and after meals.

3. Treatment Problems

Breaking your orthodontic appliance such as broken wires and brackets will delay the treatment process. Be sure not to leave it too long and contact our clinic to get your orthodontic appliance repaired. Forgetting to wear your aligners with treatments that utilise it (Invisalign), over a long period of time will cause your teeth to shift. Removable aligners are convenient, such as sports or playing music but forgetting to put them back on will have a reversal effect on your treatment.

Summary

On your appointment visits, your orthodontist will let you know how your treatment is progressing and how close you are in getting them removed. Be assured that Dr Chin is passionate with orthodontics and wants your treatment to be successful so you can have the perfect smile.

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Invisalign Teen – Will your teens love it?

Ugly traditional braces are the things of the past. With Invisalign Teen, they can get that smile they always wanted. It's like having clear braces without the metal brackets and wires. Invisalign Teen are a series of custom clear aligners that effectively fixes misaligned teeth.


How does it work?

​See how Invisalign Works?

Treat a Broad Range of Dental Issues


What are the benefits?

  • ​They're clear. Virtually invisible. Avoid being embarrassed if appearance matters
  • Very comfortable. The aligners are made out of smooth custom made plastics. No wires poking your mouth causing irritations
  • Play sports or a musician? No problem, since they are removable take them off and keep enjoying your interests
  • Invisalign can treat a variety of teeth straightening issues such as crossbite, underbite, gapped and crowded teeth
  • Maintain good oral hygiene as you can brush your teeth and floss normally
  • Keep enjoying the foods you like. Normally you'll be cautious bent and broken brackets with traditional braces. Not with Invisalign Teen. :)

How can I convince my parents in getting Invisalign Teen?

We got you covered. Download the cheat sheet and prep yourself.

pdf
File Name: Invisalign-Teen-Cheat-Sheet.pdf
File Size: 157 kb
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Can I get Invisalign Teen?

Visit our qualified orthodontic at Perfect Smiles Orthodontic to see if the treatment is right for you. Patients are eligible if they have erupted or erupting dentition. Since many teens teeth are still developing, Invisalign Teen have specially designed indents that accommodate the natural growth of teeth.

Testomonials

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Adult Braces: Why more adults are getting braces

Braces are not just for children and teens so it's never too late to improve and enhance your smile. When your teeth are healthy, they can be moved at any age.

Here are great reasons why adults are getting braces: 

1) Everybody notices a beautiful smile. It changes the way how people interact with you in a positive way, improving your self-esteem significantly. This in turn can help you reflect and build confidence in life such as your education, career, relationships and socially.

2) As an adult, you'll be able to afford braces where your parents could not in the past. Your extra earnings as an adult can be put aside for braces. There's payment plans and dental health insurance coverage which will make your expenses easier to manage. As an adult you'll understand spending on your smile and health is very well worth while.  

3) Innovations in orthodontic technology. Traditional treatments involving direct bonding, ceramic brackets and tooth-coloured wires have discourage many adults who would not otherwise seek orthodontic treatment. Improved appliance placement techniques, latest developments like Lingual Braces, clear braces or Invisible braces such as Invisalign has made it more attractive for those concern with their appearance to seek out orthodontic treatment.

4) Associated health concerns when teeth are not straight or their bite is incorrect. This can contribute to headaches, migraines and stomach problems. Many start orthodontic treatment at a younger age to avoid surgery and extractions in the future issues that can cost a lot more to fix.  Those who undergo orthodontics treatment usually are more motivated to maintain their oral hygiene.  

The family dentist is now more aware of the problems of bite and the role of proper teeth alignment so they plays an important role in motivating adult patients by referring them to a orthodontist. 

Adult are also becoming more and more conscious about their esthetics as today there is greater awareness of health and appearance. With the ever changing times, more adults has awakened to the benefits of orthodontics.

How Did Age Affect Your Decision?

How did orthodontics improve your self esteem?

How Did Orthodontics Change Your Life?

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