A Complete Guide to Braces in Singapore: Types of Braces, Prices & FAQs

10th May 2021

Categories: Braces
Braces with blue rubber bands

What are braces?

Braces are used in orthodontic treatment to correct a series of dental conditions and improve overall dental health. It works by applying pressure to your teeth over an extended duration of time. This will help to shift your teeth to the desired location.

By correcting your bite, braces will also give you a straighter and brilliant-looking smile. Keep reading to find out more about this treatment below!

  • Boosts your confidence

    Braces will help to boost your confidence as you showcase your straight and beautiful smile to the world!

  • Prevents tooth decay and gum diseases

    Braces can help to decrease the likelihood of gum diseases and tooth decay resulting from crowded, overlapping teeth.

  • Eliminates speech problems

    Poor teeth alignment can cause speech problems. With the help of braces, you can effectively correct these speech issues!

  • Corrects your bite

    A misaligned bite can result in an uneven distribution of pressure on your teeth. This causes your teeth to wear down faster. Braces help to align your bite so you can avoid these issues!

Traditional metal braces are a type of fixed braces. They consist of 3 main components – elastic modules, metal brackets and an arch wire.

With traditional metal braces, you can customise your look with fun and exciting colours!

Pros
  • Affordable
  • Choice of modules (coloured rubber bands) available
  • No staining of brackets
Cons
  • Most noticeable type of braces
  • Less hygienic as it’s difficult to clean in between brackets
  • Wires and sharp ends of brackets can cause mouth ulcers

Like metal braces, traditional ceramic braces are a form of fixed braces. Instead of metal brackets, ceramic braces consist of clear or tooth-coloured brackets.

However, due to their material, the brackets are more susceptible to stains.

Pros
  • Less visible than traditional metal braces
  • Coloured rubber bands are available
Cons
  • Wires and rubber bands are still visible
  • Brackets can stain easily without proper care
  • Wires can cause mouth ulcers and irritation
  • Brackets are less durable than traditional metal braces
  • More costly than traditional metal braces

Self-ligating braces are another type of fixed braces. 

Unlike its traditional counterpart, rubber bands aren’t used in this treatment. Instead, the arch wire is held in place by the sliding doors on the brackets. This reduces the tension on the arch wire and eliminates any friction that would otherwise be caused by the rubber bands.

Pros
  • No staining of brackets
  • More hygienic than traditional metal braces as less food gets trapped between brackets
  • Requires fewer adjustments and follow up visits as compared to traditional metal braces
  • Has a shorter treatment time than traditional metal braces
Cons
  • More expensive than traditional metal braces
  • Wires and sharp ends of brackets can cause mouth ulcers and irritation

The brackets for self-ligating ceramic braces are tooth-coloured and less visible. Due to its material, the brackets are more prone to staining. They also tend to be less durable.

As with self-ligating metal braces, the sliding doors hold the arch wire in place with minimal tension, eliminating the need for rubber bands.

Pros
  • Less noticeable than self-ligating metal braces
  • Less food gets stuck between brackets as compared to traditional metal braces
  • Fewer follow up appointments and readjustments are required as compared to traditional metal braces
  • Requires a shorter treatment time as compared to traditional metal braces
Cons
  • Brackets can stain if not properly cared for
  • Wires are still visible
  • Wires can cause mouth ulcers and irritation
  • Brackets are less durable than self-ligating metal braces
  • More costly than self-ligating metal braces

Invisalign is a type of removable braces made of clear SmartTrack plastic. As such, it’s almost invisible. Your friends and family may not even notice your aligners!

Find out more about Invisalign through our guide here.

Pros
  • Promotes better oral hygiene as it allows you to continue brushing and flossing your teeth normally
  • Allows you to undergo treatment discreetly as it’s virtually invisible
  • Comfortable as there’s no irritation to the gums or surrounding tissues
  • Minimal interferences with your daily activities and diet as it’s removable
Cons
  • Costly
  • Requires discipline for treatment to be effective

Traditional metal braces are a type of fixed braces. They consist of 3 main components – elastic modules, metal brackets and an arch wire.

With traditional metal braces, you can customise your look with fun and exciting colours!

Pros
  • Affordable
  • Choice of modules (coloured rubber bands) available
  • No staining of brackets
Cons
  • Most noticeable type of braces
  • Less hygienic as it’s difficult to clean in between brackets
  • Wires and sharp ends of brackets can cause mouth ulcers

Like metal braces, traditional ceramic braces are a form of fixed braces. Instead of metal brackets, ceramic braces consist of clear or tooth-coloured brackets.

However, due to their material, the brackets are more susceptible to stains.

Pros
  • Less visible than traditional metal braces
  • Coloured rubber bands are available
Cons
  • Wires and rubber bands are still visible
  • Brackets can stain easily without proper care
  • Wires can cause mouth ulcers and irritation
  • Brackets are less durable than traditional metal braces
  • More costly than traditional metal braces

Self-ligating braces are another type of fixed braces. 

Unlike its traditional counterpart, rubber bands aren’t used in this treatment. Instead, the arch wire is held in place by the sliding doors on the brackets. This reduces the tension on the arch wire and eliminates any friction that would otherwise be caused by the rubber bands.

Pros
  • No staining of brackets
  • More hygienic than traditional metal braces as less food gets trapped between brackets
  • Requires fewer adjustments and follow up visits as compared to traditional metal braces
  • Has a shorter treatment time than traditional metal braces
Cons
  • More expensive than traditional metal braces
  • Wires and sharp ends of brackets can cause mouth ulcers and irritation

The brackets for self-ligating ceramic braces are tooth-coloured and less visible. Due to its material, the brackets are more prone to staining. They also tend to be less durable.

As with self-ligating metal braces, the sliding doors hold the arch wire in place with minimal tension, eliminating the need for rubber bands.

Pros
  • Less noticeable than self-ligating metal braces
  • Less food gets stuck between brackets as compared to traditional metal braces
  • Fewer follow up appointments and readjustments are required as compared to traditional metal braces
  • Requires a shorter treatment time as compared to traditional metal braces
Cons
  • Brackets can stain if not properly cared for
  • Wires are still visible
  • Wires can cause mouth ulcers and irritation
  • Brackets are less durable than self-ligating metal braces
  • More costly than self-ligating metal braces

Invisalign is a type of removable braces made of clear SmartTrack plastic. As such, it’s almost invisible. Your friends and family may not even notice your aligners!

Find out more about Invisalign through our guide here.

Pros
  • Promotes better oral hygiene as it allows you to continue brushing and flossing your teeth normally
  • Allows you to undergo treatment discreetly as it’s virtually invisible
  • Comfortable as there’s no irritation to the gums or surrounding tissues
  • Minimal interferences with your daily activities and diet as it’s removable
Cons
  • Costly
  • Requires discipline for treatment to be effective

While the best age to begin braces treatment is 10 to 14 years old, it’s recommended to have the first orthodontic assessment done by the age of 7.

This allows dentists to identify early signs of misalignment and guide the optimal growth of the teeth and dental arch. This is often extremely difficult or even impossible with older patients. Thus, this age group can reap the most benefits from early assessment and intervention.

Overall, the benefits of early orthodontic treatment include:

  • Achieving expansion of the dental arch 
  • Avoiding teeth extractions to gain space for teeth alignment
  • Identifying and intervening in underlying dental problems before beginning orthodontic treatment

These benefits lead to shorter, less invasive and less expensive treatments.

  • Dentist consultation

    Your braces treatment will begin with a consultation with your dentist.

    During the appointment, your dentist will conduct an oral examination and evaluate the condition of your teeth. 3D iTero scans and X-ray images will be taken for diagnostic records as well.

    You can also take this opportunity to find out more about your dental condition!

  • Braces treatment starts

    Once your dentist has analysed the records and designed a treatment plan, it’s up to you to decide whether to proceed.

    If you’re ready to kickstart your braces treatment, your dentist will go ahead to put the braces on for you!

    Afterwards, your dentist will share more about the steps to maintaining your braces and oral hygiene as well as some braces care tips.

  • Follow-up appointments

    To monitor your treatment progress, your dentist will schedule follow-up appointments every 4 to 8 weeks.

    If necessary, your dentist will also adjust your braces during the appointment.

  • Post-braces care

    Now that you’ve come to the end of the treatment, it’s time to remove your braces and showcase your new smile!

    To maintain your smile, you’ll need to wear retainers according to your dentist’s instructions. As there are different types of retainers, your dentist will recommend one that’s most suitable for you.

On average, fixed braces in Singapore can cost anywhere between $3,900 and $6,500 while Invisalign can cost between $3,500 and $8,800

The prices can vary depending on a number of factors including

  • the dental clinic you visit,
  • the complexity of your dental condition and
  • the type of braces / Invisalign plan that your dentist recommends.

Depending on the clinic chosen, instalment plans and student and NSF packages may also be available!

This is the price range for our respective braces treatments at i.DENTAL:

Traditional metal bracesTraditional ceramic bracesSelf-ligating metal bracesSelf-ligating ceramic bracesInvisalign
Price range
$3,900 – $4,400
$4,600 – $5,200
$5,100 – $5,700
$5,800 – $6,500
$3,500 – $8,800

FAQs

It may be necessary to extract some of your teeth to correct overcrowding and provide space for other teeth to shift to their ideal positions. This is especially so if a large amount of space is required for the movement of your teeth. 

However, extraction is not the only way to create space. Other methods include interproximal reduction (IPR) and dental arch expansion.

To reduce the likelihood of tooth extraction for braces, it’s advised to seek early orthodontic assessment and treatment!

You may experience some pain and discomfort at the beginning of your braces treatment due to the pressure exerted by the braces. This may also happen after your braces are being adjusted.

Furthermore, braces emergencies like loose brackets and wires may arise during the treatment process. In such situations, you may experience irritation and discomfort.

Braces are generally a safe form of orthodontic treatment. However, patients suffering from a severe nickel allergy* may be advised to avoid metal braces as the wires and brackets typically contain traces of nickel. You should consult your dentist for advice if you have such concerns.

Other problems that may result from braces include

  • Gum disease and tooth decay due to poor oral hygiene during the braces treatment process
  • Mouth ulcers or cuts due to irritation from braces or poking wires

*A sign that you may be allergic to nickel is irritation or rash that occurs from wearing earrings or jewellery.

Depending on the complexity of your dental condition, the treatment duration for braces can span over 1 to 3 years.

This is dependent on the complexity of your dental condition. Your dentist will provide you with an estimate of the treatment duration based on your case.

At the start of your treatment, you may have a lisp. However, it won’t be a problem over time as you begin to adapt to your braces.

MediSave cannot be used to claim for your braces or Invisalign treatment. It can only be used to claim for dental procedures that involve surgeries such as

Find out more about using MediSave for dental treatments here.

Patients typically cannot claim dental insurance for braces or Invisalign treatment as it’s classified as a cosmetic procedure.

FAQs

Fixed braces may affect your daily routines such as brushing and flossing your teeth. However, it’s crucial that you spend the extra time and effort to maintain your oral hygiene as poor oral care may result in gum disease and tooth decay.

Cleaning your teeth with fixed braces may be more challenging than before. You should pay attention to each tooth and its gum line and gently brush your teeth and braces with toothpaste. After which, rinse your mouth thoroughly with water.

You should also make sure to clean your braces and teeth after every meal to remove any food particles that may be caught in between your teeth or braces. 

Read this step-by-step guide on how to clean your teeth with braces on.

At the start of your treatment, it may be uncomfortable to sleep on your side as it will cause the braces to rub against the inside of your cheek. To prevent this discomfort, you should sleep on your back instead.

With removable braces, you face fewer restrictions with regard to your diet and daily activities. However, with fixed braces, you’ll have to watch your diet and take precautions when doing certain activities.

During contact sports, you’re advised to wear a special mouthguard to prevent your braces from cutting your mouth. Additionally, for the first few days after putting on your braces, you may need to keep to a soft food diet if you experience discomfort. 

You should also avoid certain types of food that could potentially damage your braces including

  • sticky and chewy food,
  • hard food,
  • sugary food, and
  • natural fruit juices and carbonated drinks.

Your follow-up appointments will take place every 4 to 8 weeks. During the appointment, your dentist will monitor your treatment progress and determine if adjustments are necessary.

FAQs

At the end of the treatment, your braces will be removed and your dentist will issue you a set of retainers along with instructions on how often to wear them.

You’ll have to wear your retainers for life to maintain your new smile!

There are 2 main types of retainers:

  • Fixed
  • Removeable: Hawley, Vivera and clear

As each type has its advantages and disadvantages, your dentist will advise you on the most suitable retainer for your situation.

If you go without wearing your retainers for an extended period of time, your teeth may begin to shift back to their original position.

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