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Invisible Braces Oral Health

DIY Teeth Straightening and Fake Braces are Bad Ideas. Here’s why.

What is DIY Teeth Straightening?

A growing trend in the teeth straightening space is do-it-yourself (DIY) methods – be it closing gaps by installing the wires by yourself around the lower incisors or by buying ready-made plastic braces that are NOT custom designed for your set of teeth. In this post, we will go into the serious consequences of moving them yourself, without having dental professionals designing your teeth straightening treatment. 

What are Fake Braces?

Fake braces are mouthpieces that look very similar to metal braces, but are not operative, and are traded through the black market. They are also known as fashion braces, as the target market includes teenagers who want to wear braces as accessories. Fake braces are sold online, or by individuals who do not have orthodontic certification or qualification a.k.a. fake dentists. These individuals offer the service of installing the fake braces for much lower prices than any dental clinics. 

Since the customers do not place the ‘braces’ on their teeth on their own, it didn’t occur to them that it’s fake. In fact, some of them were convinced that the individuals they paid to affix the fake braces on them are dental professionals. 

DIY Teeth Straightening and Fake Braces Can Have Serious Consequences

There’s an example from ABC News, where a man attempted to close a gap in his front teeth on his own by using rubber bands to tighten them at night. What he always found the next morning is that the rubber bands are gone but in fact they became embedded in his gums. Because of this he went on to lose his two front teeth, tens of thousands of dollars and seven years to repair the mess he made because it was “a lot cheaper.”

We get it – conventional metal braces, and in-office invisible braces can be far beyond affordable to most people. That’s the reason why some take matters into their own hands, buying fake braces hoping it can fix their misaligned teeth for less than a hundred dollars. 

Little did they know that attempts at implementing these teeth straightening “hacks” often lead to them spending more amounts of money and time at the dentist, which is something they were trying to avoid in the first place. The substandard orthodontic practices can cause damage to the teeth, gums, or even lips and supporting bones! There have been cases of teenangers who died after using fashion braces, due to the inferior material quality and toxic heavy metals content. 

As for the ready-made fake plastic braces known as ‘teeth trainers’ sold on e-commerce sites and social media, they are not the same with invisible braces. Everybody’s teeth and jaws are different, so any teeth-straightening devices need to be prescribed on a case-by-case basis. That’s why a proper smile makeover process must start with a dental scan, a teeth impression, and/or a dental X-ray. 

These ‘teeth trainers’ could adversely affect both the development of the jaw and the alignment of teeth. Since these products have not been tested by the authority, nothing is known about whether the material that they are made of is toxic.

Are become Invisible Braces a DIY Teeth Straightening Method?

It’s clear that DIY teeth straightening and fake braces are not safe nor advised by dental professionals. The good news is that metal braces and the super expensive clear aligners that you can get from the dental clinic are not the only option out there for those seeking a perfect smile.

Teledentistry has made it possible for become to offer invisible braces as an alternative for teeth straightening, at an affordable price. It’s a relatively new field that combines telecommunication technology and dental care. It can be used not only to increase access to dental care, but also for consultation, education and public awareness.

Teledentistry is not the same with DIY teeth straightening. become teeth straightening process includes a consultation and a dental scan at the partner dentists’ clinics, and our invisible braces are custom-designed to each customer’s case. The whole process is prescribed and monitored by dentists with at least 4 years of experience in prescribing invisible braces.

become

DIY Braces

Requires dental scan

Doesn’t require dental scan

There’s an initial consultation

No consultation

Only customers who are approved by the dentists can buy

Anyone can buy DIY braces

Treatment is designed on a case-by-case basis

All customers get the same mouthpiece

Designed, prescribed and overseen by experienced dentists

Zero involvement with a dentist

Made of medical grade plastic

Materials unknown

Bottom line is, take care of your oral health and speak to your dentist about your options. If you are budget-conscious, you can check out our flexible instalment plans and book a scan to get started!

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Lifestyle & Inspiration Oral Health

Working From Home Tips

The Circuit Breaker has resulted in most of us in Singapore working from home, attending work meetings in our sarong or shorts. Many of us describe working remotely as a double-edge sword — we get to stay home, we have all the flexibility when it comes to time and dress code – however it can be harder to focus on actually working. Plus, the isolation can quickly become a downer for those who enjoy socialising at work. 

Here we have some tips on how to stay productive yet happy and sane while working from home.

Leverage on technology

With access to the Internet, you won’t really run out of ideas or resources. There are apps that help to set your focus time, to remind you to take a break, to create polls etc.

Create a new-normal schedule

Accept the fact that we’re facing a new reality, and your usual routines might not work at home. In fact, trying to stick to your old schedule might make you feel more stressed out. 

Set the mood like you are going into the office

When working from home, do all the things you’d do to prepare for an office role: Set your alarm, make coffee, wear nice clothes. But we don’t mean you have to wear office attire or do your hair. Be comfortable!

Log out of social media

It’s easy to fall into the time-sucking rabbit hole of social media when you’re working from home. Logging out is a guarantee that you won’t be tempted into taking too many social breaks during the day.

Find a buddy

Find a colleague you can hit up when you’re feeling the need to chat with someone. Alternatively, buddy up with a friend who works elsewhere and is going through the same experience.

Stretching

Every hour or so, step back from your desk and spend five minutes doing stretches. It helps to keep you from overworking, plus makes you feel energised.

Smile

Make an effort to smile more! Be it taking 5 minutes to read the jokes section of the Reader’s Digest, or simply look out the window, count your blessings and smile at the world. 

Here’s one thing that can help you smile more: Give yourself the gift of a smile that you’ll love! Since you’re working from home, why not also transform your smile at home with become? Your treatment will be prescribed and monitored by our partner dentists. Take our free 30s Smile Assessment to see if our invisible braces are a good fit for you!

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Lifestyle & Inspiration Oral Health Tips & Tutorials

Your guide to teeth straightening options

Teeth straightening is a big step for most and there are plenty of options to choose from. Searching for teeth straightening options online results in an overwhelming number of choices, ranging from traditional metal braces, to ceramic or clear braces, to newer invisible braces that are prescribed at the orthodontic clinic.

But when it comes down to it, your options come in just two main types: conventional fixed appliances such as metal or ceramic braces, or removable invisible braces.

Traditional braces

The upside: Can treat most orthodontic issues, is easily accessible and affordable

The downside: They are a fixed appliance; which means they cannot be removed until after the treatment is complete, can irritate gums and cheeks, extra oral care is needed to prevent cavities and other oral problems.

Teeth-straightening duration: 1 year to 4 years

Cost: Between 3,500 SGD to 4,200 SGD

Traditional braces work by using pressure to move your teeth into a desired position. There’s a reason they are commonly used: they work for everything from fixing teeth that are crooked, crowded or spaced out to correcting an overbite or underbite. But braces aren’t all metal mouth and elastic bands anymore as what they were back then. There are now a number of braces options available in the market such as:

Metal braces: These are the traditional and most common braces — they consist of metal brackets with wires held by elastic ties.

Damon/Self-litigating braces: Like traditional metal braces, but they use a sliding device to hold the wire instead of elastic ties. They usually have a ceramic bracket option that are less visibly obvious compared to metal braces.

Ceramic braces: They are very similar to traditional braces except that they’re made of tooth-colored ceramic material. Hence they blend in with the teeth a little better.

It is important to note that there are certain cases that can be best treated with traditional braces, and there are some cases that are actually treated best with invisible braces.

Invisible braces

The upside:  For mild to moderate cases, invisible braces can be more affordable than traditional braces, less noticeable than traditional braces, removable – thus allowing eating, drinking and maintaining oral hygiene easier

The downside: Must be worn for a proper amount of time each day throughout the process to be effective at straightening teeth, may cost significantly more than traditional braces, as they are removable – may be easily misplaced.

Teeth-straightening duration: Varies by person; 6 months to 2 years

Cost: Between 2,999 SGD to 11,000 SGD

Invisalign introduced invisible braces to the market in 1997 and since then, over two dozen companies have followed. Invisible braces are plastic trays that are custom-made to be fitted to your teeth after a dentist either takes a mould of your teeth or conducts a 3D scan of your mouth. Each pair of invisible braces put pressure on your teeth, gradually moving them into their desired position. Invisible braces are removable when eating, drinking or brushing teeth but they will need to be worn for at least 22 hours a day in order to be effectively straightening teeth.

Most people have been discouraged from straightening their teeth as braces might not be the most ideal method, and invisible braces prescribed at the clinics are extremely costly and not easily accessible to most people. Today, direct-to-consumer brands are making it easier for everyone to straighten their teeth with customized invisible braces at affordable prices with minimal appointments.

How do I know what’s right for me?

The two options explained above work well for the cases they are intended to treat but for some, become invisible braces is just as effective as any teeth straightening options that are prescribed at the clinic. Want to find out if you are fit for become’s invisible braces? Take our free smile assessment now.

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Oral Health Tutorials

How to care for your invisible braces

Everyone needs a little TLC – and so do your invisible braces. As you’ll be wearing your invisible braces pretty much all the time, we’re here to give you some tips on how to take care of them so they stay clean, clear and comfortable to wear!

Rinse and Repeat

The only time you’ll remove your invisible braces is when you eat, drink and brush your teeth. Before putting your them back into your mouth, rinse your invisible braces with cold water to keep them clean. This will prevent dried saliva from building up on the invisible braces, which can cause bacteria to form. Keep your mouth healthy by keeping your invisible braces clean. However, avoid rinsing your invisible braces in hot water. The high heat can damage the plastic and ruin your invisible braces.

Brush & Floss before wearing

After you eat, make sure to brush and floss your teeth before putting your invisible braces back in. If you don’t, food particles can get trapped between your invisible braces and your teeth, which can lead to dental problems. Remember, a clean mouth is a happy mouth – plus you don’t want that piece of spinach stuck in your teeth for the world to see 😉

Clean with soap, not toothpaste.

To clean your invisible braces, remember to use clear antibacterial soap and not toothpaste. Toothpaste can be abrasive against the thermoplastic, which may scratch your invisible braces – and coloured antibacterial soaps may stain your invisible braces into a different colour. We know that invisible braces are favoured for their transparency and scratches can be easily visible when wearing them on your teeth. So keep them transparent and clear by cleaning them the proper way!

Keep it in

When you take your invisible braces off to eat and drink, remember to store them away in the storage capsule included with your invisible braces set. Leaving your invisible braces in the open exposes them to harmful germs and bacteria – and you also risk misplacing them by accident!

Invisible braces can be a great way to straighten your smile discreetly. Taking the time to properly clean and care for your invisible braces can help smoothen your smile journey to get the smile of your dreams. become makes it easy for you to straighten your smile with invisible braces at 65% less than other methods. Your treatment plan will be prescribed and monitored by our partner dentists so you’ll never have to worry. Take our free 30s Smile Assessment to see if our invisible braces are a good fit for you!

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Lifestyle & Inspiration Oral Health

How to take a smile-worthy “after” selfie

Huzzah! It’s the end of your smile journey with become and we know you’re super excited to share your new smile with the world – or at least with your followers on social media. We’ve got some selfie photography tips for you to celebrate your new smile with the perfect “after” photo. Check out these simple tips on how you can show off your gorgeous new smile!

Lights, camera, SMILE!

Good lighting is crucial for a good photo and ideally you would want to have your picture taken somewhere with lots of natural lighting to show off your pearly whites. Try standing in front of a window so the natural light is hitting your face and not from behind you which could cause a dark silhouette of your face in the photo. However, take note that lots of lighting could also be a bad thing! Having too much light can also cause your photos to be overexposed.

Keep it simple

Your background should ideally be simple and clean from any clutter or mess so it doesn’t distract from your face. We want your smile and face to be the center of attention so keep your background and composition simple!

Be yourself

This photo is all about you and for your personality to shine through! Wear your favourite clothes, add some accessories,  or have your location backdrop in a place you love. Your selfie is unique to YOU so have fun with it!

Have some handy props

Posing with items or even a pet can add a lot of personality to your photo (and also comes in handy when you’re feeling shy). Hold your favourite mug, hug your pet or even pose with your favourite plate of food!

Minimal filters

You have a new smile and you’re loving it. You feel super confident and ready to take on anything and we know it’s tempting to add a LOT of filters into your selfie. Keep your filters to a minimum for a more natural selfie that shows off your brand new smile and embrace your confident self! If you do have to edit, keep it minimal to add some exposure to your photos or add a small bit of colour saturation.

BONUS: Have a before and after selfie

Planning to show off your before and after transformation in a selfie? We recommend that you have both photos look consistent by framing them similarly with the same backdrop so your transformation can be seen clearly. You can also choose to have the same hairstyle and clothing in both your selfies too!

Finished your becomejourney with become? Send us your best after selfie to hello@become.sg and we’ll feature it on our site! We love seeing our customers showing off their new grin.

If you’re looking to get that selfie-worthy smile, take our free 30s smile assessment to see if our become invisible braces is right for you!

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Lifestyle & Inspiration Oral Health

How to maintain good oral hygiene

We all know that good oral hygiene is important in preventing tooth decay and gingivitis, but research has shown that poor oral care has also been linked to heart disease, dementia, respiratory infections and diabetes. While maintaining a healthy mouth is a lifelong commitment and might sound like a chore, it’s not that hard at all! 

Don’t Give It a Brush-off

Rinse your toothbrush thoroughly with tap water every time you use it. Let your toothbrush dry thoroughly between brushings. Don’t use toothbrush covers, which can create a moist enclosed breeding ground for bacteria.

What’s in Between

Nothing cleans in between the teeth better than floss or interdental brushes. A fine-bristle toothbrush just won’t cut it. Floss and interdental brushes work by removing food trapped between the teeth and removing plaque that forms there before it turns into tartar. They also clean under the gum line, which is an important step to prevent gum disease. 

Prevent Oral Injury

While it’s important to clean between the teeth, using toothpicks, fingernails or folded paper may cause friction, damaging the gum line, and not to mention unhygienic. Brushing too vigorously and not replacing your brush when the bristles start to lose their shape can also cause injury to the teeth and gums. Wear mask if you have habit of biting your nails.

Bittersweet Symphony

Snacking has been known as a major culprit in weight gain, but did you know that snacking also promotes the production of plaque acid in the mouth? This is because most snacks contain sugar. Your best bet is to cut down on sugary treats and aim to brush after every meal. The fact that it’s cumbersome to brush after every meal or snack should discourage you from snacking too often.

Pay a Visit, or Pay the Price

It’s important to visit your dentist regularly (recommended every 6 months) for checkups and monitoring. Your dentist can detect any problems at an early stage when they’re treatable and more affordable to take care of. Your dentist is also the best person to advise you on the best tools and techniques suited to you to keep your home oral care up to scratch.

Maintaining a good oral hygiene can be trickier for those wearing metal braces. Plaque and food particles have additional places to accumulate, flossing is only possible with super floss, and brushing takes more effort than ever. This is where invisible braces (teeth aligners) prove to be a better option – oral hygiene is easy since you can simply remove it to brush your teeth and floss as usual.

With become, you now can improve your smile with invisible braces, at a fraction of the clinic cost. Take our free 30s Smile Assessment to see if our invisible braces are a good fit for you!

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Lifestyle & Inspiration Oral Health

5 tips to keep your mouth healthy

Brushing, flossing and choosing the right dental products are the basics of oral health – but that will only take you so far. It takes much more than brushing twice a day to keep your mouth healthy. Here are 5 additional tips to improve your overall oral hygiene. 

Can the soda

Sodas are fun to drink and taste amazing but they are horrible for your teeth. They contain two acids – phosphoric acid and citric acid which adds that “punchiness” to it, but it also eats away your enamel (the surface of your teeth). Having the occasional soda is fine but having too much in a day softens your tooth enamel and encourages cavities to form. Opt to drink more water and if you need the flavour, add some lemon slices or fruit into the water instead!

Put that cigarette out

When you quit smoking, it has plenty of benefits for your health – and that includes your oral health. Nicotine and tar in cigarettes turn teeth into an unsightly shade of yellow AND ruins your gums too. Not only that, smoking fosters bacteria and plaque growth on your teeth and gum line. This in turn would also increase your risk of tooth loss. And the worst case scenario, chemicals in tobacco can lead to oral cancer.

Learn the right technique

Brushing your teeth twice a day does wonders for your oral health – but if you’re brushing incorrectly, it’s as if you’re not brushing your teeth at all! The proper technique to brushing is to hold your toothbrush at a 45-degree angle, pointed towards the gum line and using gentle, short, circular motion to brush your teeth. Do not overbrush your teeth as that could damage your gum line.

Pay your dentist a visit

Although your oral habits are flawless, it is still important to make an appointment with your dentist at least twice a year for checkups and professional cleaning. Dentists can not only remove hardened plaque on your teeth, they can also spot potential severe issues such as gum disease, tooth decay or oral cancer and offer treatments for it.

Now that your oral hygiene is on track, it’s time to get a more confident and straighter smile. Take our free 30 seconds smile assessment today to see if you’re eligible for our become invisible braces!

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Lifestyle & Inspiration Oral Health

5 Self Care Things You Can Do To Feel Good

Self-care doesn’t always mean taking a bubble bath with slices of cucumber on your eyes. An act of self-care can be as simple as washing your face or making your bed – basically anything that makes you feel good.

At become, we believe everyone should feel good about themselves in order to live confidently so let’s get started with these 5 easy things that you should do for yourself every day.

Wash your face

Start your day right by having an easy skincare routine. You will just need 2 products – a cleanser and moisturizer – and less than 5 minutes twice a day to care for your skin. Even when you’re tired after a long day out, taking a few minutes to wash your face after you brush your teeth and pop in your invisible braces will always pay off. Your future self will thank you.

Have breakfast

We know it’s the cliche thing to say that breakfast is the most important meal but it really is! Whether it’s cooking a full breakfast meal or simply grabbing a cereal bar, it’s important to fuel your body to kickstart the day. Having breakfast will help your metabolism and increase your energy levels throughout the day.

Make your bed

It’s a simple act of the day but making your bed sets you up to have a productive day as it’s the first accomplishment of the day. Plus, it’s great to come home to a neat and tidy bed so you can hop in and sleep for the night! This habit is easy enough for anyone to just start immediately today.

Exercise

We’re not saying you have to work out 5–6 times a week to take care of your body – but moving your body with a short jog or swim session is a good enough start to take care of your body. It doesn’t matter what exercise you do as long as you do something to move your body each day. Plus, exercising releases endorphins which are also known as the happy hormone. You will definitely feel better physically and mentally after a workout session!

Create a nighttime routine

Ahh it’s the end of the day and it’s time to wind down before bed. Have a mug of chamomile tea before bed, read a book or even have a nighttime face mask routine. Creating a mini pre-bedtime ritual signals to your body it’s time to unwind and go to sleep. If you have become invisible braces, take this time to properly clean them and don’t forget to pop them in before you sleep! You’ll wake up feeling refreshed and ready to take on the day with a smile.

Taking care of your smile is also another act of self-care you can practice –  and we want you to feel confident with your smile! Take our free smile assessment today and see if you qualify for become invisible braces.

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Lifestyle & Inspiration Oral Health

Chinese New Year Food and Dental Braces Care Guide

Just like any other festivals in Asia, Chinese New Year means hitting the pause button on your diet and indulging in mountains of goodies. Those who are on teeth straightening braces might be a little cautious and fear missing out on good food. 

Let’s discuss the common food we consume during Chinese New Year and whether it’s advisable for those who are getting their teeth straightened to indulge in them.

Pineapple tarts and nian gao (sticky rice cake or kuih bakul)

These delicious treats are must-haves during Chinese New Year, and both are sticky in nature. They stick on the surface of your teeth longer, and are more difficult for saliva to break down. 

If you are wearing traditional braces, it’s best to avoid sticky food as they can cause wire damage and loosen the brackets. For those wearing invisible braces, brush your teeth and floss carefully before putting them back in.

Juices and carbonated drinks

Beverages with bright colours that represent wealth are typically served during Chinese New Year. Sugar-laden and acidic, they are really bad for teeth. Frequent exposure to acidic drinks can result in the erosion of tooth enamel.

These drinks can stain your invisible braces so remember to take them out before eating and drinking, then brush your teeth before putting them back in. Regardless of the type of braces you’re using, wait at least 30 minutes after drinking to brush your teeth as we don’t want to damage the enamel while it’s in its weakened state.

Hard snacks 

Biting down on hard candies, solid chips, nuts or seeds can potentially crack the enamel and dental fillings. It might cause wire damage and loosen brackets too, so it’s best to avoid these snacks altogether if you are wearing traditional braces. For those using invisible braces, use your hands or tools to crack open nuts and seeds, and clean your teeth thoroughly after eating.

Chocolates, cookies and cakes

These 3C’s are sugary treats, hence when we consume them the bad bacteria in our mouth feeds on the sugars, creating acids that attack our tooth enamel. Over time, it will cause caries and tooth decay. So this Chinese New Year, opt for healthier options such as sugar free cookies and dark chocolates. Make it a point to rinse your mouth with water immediately after eating these sweets. If you are wearing traditional braces, remember to brush thoroughly to remove any remnants not just from your teeth, but from the wires, brackets and orthodontic adhesive as well.

Clearly, invisible braces are a great way to straighten your smile without limiting your food choices especially during festivals and special ocassion. become makes it easy for you to straighten your smile with invisible braces at 65% less than other methods. Take our free 30-second Smile Assessment to see if our invisible braces are a good fit for you!