All You Need To Know About Dental Braces With Dr. Sylvia

Written by Eve Bandusena | Parents Avenue’s Editorial Assistant

Fake braces? Patient Intentions? Government clinics? Join us as we cover the fascinating A to Z’s of dental braces with Dr. Sylvia of Phi Dental.

What Is Dental Braces?

Dr. Sylvia starts at the top, “Dental braces are an appliance to realign the teeth. Nowadays, there are several types of appliances. There are fixed appliance, removable appliance, transparent appliance so they work together in different mechanical procedure to move your teeth into the ideal position.”


As for the length the dental braces need to applied, she estimates that it takes one and a half years to two years. “Of course, it all depends on the severity,” and after some thinking includes, “There are cases where it took three to three and a half years to complete because of very severe mouth alignment.”


Among the side-effects of dental braces are soreness and discomfort. But not to worry, Dr. Sylvia reassures as that it’s short term and will last for 1 to 2 weeks. However, a more serious issue that could arise is complications.

Functionality vs Aesthetic

Moving on, Dr. Sylvia firmly states 3 reasons why dental braces are mostly often sought after. Firstly, functionality, secondly, aesthetic and thirdly, hygiene. “If your teeth are not aligned, you’ll have difficulty chewing or speaking well.” 

She continues, “Most people will usually choose to apply dental braces for aesthetic but I have to emphasize that without a set of aligned teeth, it can affect your function as well. She goes on to expand that, over time when we’re chewing in a certain way we begin to adapt to it, and having crooked teeth disables yours from brushing well as some tooth is outside or hidden. 


No Age Limits Here!

When asked about the flow of Sabahan getting dental braces, she replies, “I see do a lot of teenagers and adult cases. Previously, people have this habit of thinking, ‘I’m old, I don’t need braces.’ However, more and more adults are accepting dental braces today compared to in the past. “There’s no age limit as long as you go for a proper check-up. If your case is ideal. It’ll take a longer time to straighten teeth in adults but it’s possible.” She adds. 

When Is It The Right Time To Get Dental Braces?

According to Dr. Sylvia, she presses on that each case is different. “Sometimes, we would delay a little to observe the growth of the children.” When it comes to correcting facial forms, she recommends starting young. “We can start from as early as 4 to 5 years old with the removable appliance, or even 1 to 2 years old.”    

 Life With Dental Braces

At every monthly review, the hygiene of the patient is checked and if it’s not satisfying, the dentist gets it cleaned for them. For anyone thinking of getting dental braces, a routine check-up is crucial, “We’ll monitor the patient’s hygiene and the great thing about this practice is that we have EMS and airflow machine where we can clean between the tooth very easily.” She says. 

Other than hygiene check-ups, monthly reviews are important in the process of progressing the duration of dental braces. “Coming monthly, fastens the process,” she explains, “in a month, sometimes you can move half an mm or one mm. Routine visits help because from there, we will know where to go.” However, delaying it and coming in once every six months can cause a lot of problems.


Image Source: Unsplash
Are There A Lot of Eating Restrictions? No, they aren’t!
To be honest, I bet there’s a lot of people who’ve always wondered… “Can you still eat normally with dental braces?” or, “do I have to skip a lot of my favorite food?” Dr. Sylvia answers our curiosities. 
“Firstly, No chewing gum! It’ll stick everywhere,” She laughs, “secondly, no sticky food. Soft drinks are also considered sticky food, it’ll get stuck in between the dental braces and it’ll be very hard to remove.” And, that’s why cleaning your dental braces properly is important, so that caries won’t form. 
Patient Intentions Must Be Clear 
“Sometimes, we have to understand whether it’s the children’s or parent’s intention to have braces. It’s also important for children to be self-motivated.” She tells me.
To paint a picture of what this meant, she relays a shocking true account that occurred with a younger patient.
“In my earlier practice, I put on braces on a child as requested by their parents and the child used nail clippers to cut away their wires.”
There are times where we must ask the children their intentions on whether they need their braces, or if they don’t want it then it isn’t time to start. “This is because if you put in braces and they cut it every month when they meet a dentist then it doesn’t progress.”
“So, children’s intention must be clear. As long as they know they need it, then they’ll comply with you but sometimes, if it’s the parent’s intention to want braces then it won’t work.”
Beware of the Trappings of Fake Braces

Nowadays, there are many fake braces available to us through Instagram, Shoppee and many other popular apps, and Dr. Sylvia isn’t condoning this trend.

“All this can bring great harm to the tooth because firstly, you don’t know what kind of material their placing in your mouth. Second thing is, you don’t know whether the environment they’re putting their braces in is hygienic or, whether the instrument is sterile. So, infectious diseases can be easily spread in those illegal dentists.” She asserts.
Furthermore, she adds that a lot of this is done in the name of fashion. “People get trapped into it easily and can spend hundreds to get their braces. As a byproduct of this, the root can be damaged and worn down by an excessive force that’s done by beauticians or fake dentists.” 
Lastly, she adds, “It’s dangerous when you’re not doing it correctly. So, we urge people not to fall into these traps.”
Getting Dental Braces at Government Clinics
“In Sabah, they accept cases below 17 years old. Government clinics here are very particular about good hygiene. They won’t start if you have plaque,” Dr. Sylvia points out.
Next, we ask her about the differences between private clinics and government clinics, “First of all, price! At the government, the charges are much lower but you have to queue for your turn but the material and treatment is the same.” 
Besides lower prices, the queue can be quite long. “It depends when the demand is high, and they look at the severity of the case. If it’s bad, or if your hygiene is good then you’ll be selected first.” She says.
However, Dr. Sylvia notes that if the hygiene is bad, they will send you back for the hygiene consultation again. “So, only when your hygiene is perfect then they’ll take you as a patient because they don’t want to risk any of your teeth.”
Image Source: Family Dental Group
Messages for Parents Avenue readers
“Bring your children to orthodontic consultation as young as 3 or 4 for proper assessment such as swallowing, breathing pattern and to check on these habits.” She expands, “There’s a lot of things behind that we need to consider, whether it’s a habit that’s different like, thumb-sucking, tongue-thrusting, or they chew on one side more that causes an imbalance muscle or, their tongue position isn’t at the mouth palate. When they’re younger, they don’t need braces to correct this. They just need to break the habit and the problem is solved.”
For more information, you may contact Dr. Sylvia at Phi Dental at 013-410-3103 or find them on Facebook via Phi Dental.

Disclaimer: This article is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any diseases. At Parents Avenue, we strongly recommend all our readers to seek medical advise from your local hospital or clinic. Thank you. 

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