If you’ve always been selfconscious about your smile or faced dental difficulties due to uneven and crooked teeth, consider straightening them. Though this process sounds daunting, it need not be intimidating. Here are ways you can make the transition smoothly, with minimal changes to your appearance and daily life.

Most contemporary braces cause only mild discomfort, although lingual braces may be more uncomfortable. This is because the same metal brackets and wires used in conventional braces are placed on the inside of the teeth, meaning they are closer to the tongue, thus affecting speech and mastication.

But if you’re looking for a more aesthetic solution, this discomfort can be tolerated as lingual braces remain completely hidden. Another aesthetic option is ceramic braces, which blend in with the teeth as they are translucent.
If you choose to straighten your teeth without braces, you can try clear aligners such as Invisalign, which are more comfortable. This consists of a series of clear plastic trays worn over the teeth. But it requires more work on the patient’s part as the clear trays have to be removed for meals and brushing.


Softer food is recommended for the first few days when your speech and mastication (chewing of food) are affected. Hard foods (nuts, bone, ice cubes) and chewing gum are not allowed. If you have to eat solids such as meat, slicing them into smaller pieces will make it easier for you to chew.

Spicy food, coloured drinks such as coffee and tea, and smoking generally cause staining of the teeth. So it is best to rinse the mouth vigorously or brush after consumption to prevent unsightly stains on teeth with braces or clear aligners.

To maintain your teeth, brush twice or three times daily, on top of interdental cleaning using an interdental brush or flossing. Regular appointments with the orthodontist at least once every six to eight weeks are important.

BDS, D Orth RCS (Edin), MSc
Embrace Dental Surgery
360 Orchard Road #01-14 International Building
Tel: 6235 6325