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Braces for Children

Every parent wants the best for their kids, and that includes a great smile. But if your child’s teeth aren’t coming in quite as straight as you’d like, you may be looking into braces for kids to understand the options for children’s orthodontia.

braces treatment for kids in Singapore

Guide to types of braces, cost of braces, pros & cons each type.

The first thing to know is that however misaligned your child’s teeth might be, there is most likely a way they can be treated and brought into proper alignment.

Early intervention orthodontics can help guide adult teeth as they grow, thereby avoiding the need for extensive braces treatment in the teenage years.

It’s also important to understand the different treatment options when it comes to braces for kids. For instance, those who wish to avoid traditional metal braces may consider Invisalign or lingual braces instead.

So, let’s take a look at the types of children’s braces available in Singapore, the pros and cons of each, and what they cost.

crooked teeth

What causes crooked teeth in kids?

You might be wondering if there is anything you can do to prevent your child’s teeth growing in crooked. Although many people end up with a less-than-perfect smile because of genetics, there are other factors which can cause a bad bite:

  • Thumb sucking
  • Using a pacifier past the age of 1
  • Tongue thrusting
  • Early tooth loss from trauma or decay

So, it will certainly help if you discourage these habits and take good care of your child’s oral health. But be reassured that crooked teeth in children aren’t necessarily a result of you doing anything wrong as a parent. They may just inherently have too little jaw space to accommodate all those teeth.

Ideal age for getting braces treatment

At what age should kids get braces?

Children’s orthodontic treatment usually begins around age 10-14, once most of the adult teeth have erupted. The jaw bone is still developing at this age, which makes tooth movement easier.

However, in some cases it’s beneficial to use early intervention orthodontics, which involves using a device as young as age 6 or 7 to guide tooth development. The Association of Orthodontists (Singapore) recommends that kids have an orthodontic assessment at age 7-8 to pick up on any problems which should be treated early.

At this age, treatment might involve a palate expander to create more room for erupting teeth, or other intervention to correct abnormal jaw growth causing a crossbite, overbite or open bite.

Possible benefits of early intervention include:Less drastic treatment needed later on

  • Wider range of treatment options
  • Better facial aesthetics as the jaw develops
  • Help with speech problems
  • Reduced chance of needing extraction

If your child is aged 6 or over, you are welcome to book an assessment to discuss any concerns you have.

What treatment options are available?

The next concern you may have as a parent is the level of discomfort and poor appearance associated with braces for kids. Although some regard them as a status symbol, nobody really wants to have pieces of metal glued to their teeth for 18-24 months – especially younger kids who may find it hard to appreciate the long-term benefits. 

Here’s an overview of the most common orthodontic treatments:

Female wearing braces in Singapore | Braces Singapore |

Metal Braces

Traditional fixed braces are still the first thing that most people think of when it comes to teeth straightening. They are effective and versatile, and in fact may be the only suitable treatment for more severe cases.

Pros

  • Affordable
  • Effective in all cases

Cons

  • Very noticeable
  • Brackets may cause mouth sores
  • Difficult to clean
  • Eating restrictions

There isn’t as much stigma around metal braces as there used to be, but some kids, teens and adults still feel self-conscious about wearing them.

Ceramic braces in Singapore | Ceramic braces treatment in Singapore

Ceramic Braces

These work in the same way as traditional metal braces. A wire connects a series of brackets fixed to the teeth, gradually pulling them into alignment. The big difference is that the brackets are made from clear or tooth-coloured ceramic, so they blend in with the teeth much better than metal. While they are still noticeable close-up, they are far less obvious from a distance.

Pros

  • Less obvious than metal
  • Effective for most cases

Cons

  • Still somewhat noticeable
  • Cost more than metal
  • Brackets may cause mouth sores
  • Difficult to clean
  • Eating restrictions

If your child would prefer to avoid metal braces but you think they may struggle with the compliance required for a removable device, clear fixed braces could be a good solution.

Invisalign fitting onto a dental mould

Invisalign (Clear Aligners)

Invisalign is becoming increasingly popular among both kids and adults. This clear aligner system is almost invisible, which is why they are also called ‘invisible braces’. 

Kids have two Invisalign treatment options: Invisalign First and Invisalign Teen. Invisalign First is a type of interceptive treatment, suitable for ages 6-10 while a mixture of baby and adult teeth are present. Invisalign Teen is for pre-teens and teens, usually commencing between ages 10 and 14 when most of the adult teeth have erupted.

Pros

  • Almost invisible
  • Effective for most cases
  • Removable
  • Clean teeth as normal
  • Eat anything you like
  • No brackets to cause mouth sores

 Cons

  • Cost more than metal
  • Require compliance with wear time
  • Must be removed to eat and drink (except water)
  • Can be lost or damaged
Singapore Lingual braces

Lingual Braces

Lingual braces use metal brackets and wires, but they are placed on the inner surface of the teeth, next to the tongue. This means they are more or less hidden – people will only see them from certain angles when the mouth is wide open. Since the brackets are custom made to fit each tooth, they are usually more expensive than any other type.

Pros

  • Hard to notice
  • Effective for many cases
  • No visible damage to teeth

Cons

  • Costly
  • Brackets may irritate the tongue
  • More likely to affect speech
  • Difficult to clean
  • Eating restrictions

young child wearing braces

What do braces for kids cost in Singapore?

Each child’s orthodontic treatment is unique, and as such there is no fixed treatment price. The best way to know the cost of Invisalign or braces for your child is to bring them in for a full assessment.

As a general guide, though, we can say that simple cases can cost as little as $3,500 whereas very complex cases may cost $6,500 or more.

The cost will also depend on the type of braces you choose for your child. Traditional metal braces are generally the cheapest, while ceramic brackets and clear aligners cost a little more. Custom lingual braces typically cost the most; you may pay $10,000 or more for a full set.

clear plastic retainers in Singapore

Wearing a retainer after braces

Kids’ braces will straighten up their teeth and correct their bite, but that’s really only the first part of the process. Once they have achieved their desired smile, they’ll need to wear a retainer to keep their teeth in position.

This can be one of the hardest parts for kids and teens, especially if they get a removable retainer. Even if they keep wearing it for several months or a year, if they eventually give up then there is a significant risk that their teeth will gradually become misaligned again.

Therefore, before your child begins any orthodontic work, you should ask their orthodontist what type of retainer will be offered after treatment. It’s possible to get a fixed retainer in the form of a wire bonded to the back of the teeth, but only once the adult teeth and the jaw are fully developed.

Until then, a removable retainer, either made from clear plastic or plastic and wire, will be needed. Discuss this with your child and make sure they understand that once their braces are off, they will still need to be committed to using a retainer.

Braces lady holding phone to her face taking selfie | Braces treatment in singapore

What are the best braces for kids?

It may be that the best braces for your child are not really braces at all, but clear aligners. Invisalign’s system is backed by extensive research and advanced patented technology, and it allows children to undergo orthodontic work without everyone knowing about it.

Treatment can begin as early as age 6 or 7 if needed, and this early intervention can make later treatment much more straightforward.

If you’re interested in Invisalign for your child, why not book an appointment with one of our accredited Invisalign dentists for a full assessment?

We would also be happy to discuss the alternatives so that you can make an informed decision about what’s best for your child’s future.

In Summary

If you’ve got more questions about braces treatment for kids in Singapore. You can read up more on our dedicated page on braces treatment in Singapore and Invisalign Treatment in Singapore, or you could contact us directly to speak to one of our accredited dentists.

We would suggest for you to speak to one of our dentists. Our dentists are experienced, ready to answer all your queries, and will discuss all the possible treatment options available for you.

At the end of the day, we believe that the right dentist for you is the one who will lay out all your treatment options on the table, allowing you to make informed decisions, while ensuring that your entire treatment process is as enjoyable, comfortable and hassle-free as possible.

Good communication between you and your dentist is the best way to ensure a smooth and successful treatment.

In addition, please only proceed with the treatment if you are fully comfortable with the treatment plan proposed by your Invisalign provider.

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