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Thursday, December 1, 2022

Ask the Dentist: Can I benefit from orthodontic treatment?


Orthodontic treatment can help to:

  1. straighten misaligned teeth that are less attractive and improve one's self-esteem

  2. move significantly displaced teeth to make cleaning easier, and improve chewing, biting and speaking

  3. align severe jaw discrepancies associated with sleep-disordered breathing to improve quality of life.

Orthodontic problems may not always be obvious, especially in young children. Even in children with straight teeth, there may be subtle problems with jaw growth and developing teeth that only an orthodontist can detect. Early diagnosis and treatment can simplify correction of the problem and improve the treatment outcome. The American Association of Orthodontists (AAO) recommends getting a check-up with an orthodontic specialist when an orthodontic problem is first recognized, but no later than age 7. If your child is older than 7, it’s never too late for a check-up.

The orthodontic specialist will recommend you or your child the most appropriate treatment at the most appropriate timing. If you see any of the problems in you or your child, please seek advice from an orthodontist:

  • Jaws that shift to one side, are too far forward or backward

  • Protruding teeth

  • Deep bite – when the upper front teeth overlap the lower front teeth excessively

  • Underbite – when the lower front teeth are ahead of the upper front teeth

  • Crowded, misplaced teeth

  • Spaced teeth

  • Extra or missing teeth

  • Early or delayed loss of baby teeth

  • Teeth that don’t meet at all or meet in an abnormal way

  • Difficulty chewing or biting

  • Biting the cheek or gums at the roof of the mouth

  • Thumb-sucking or other oral habits

  • Inability to comfortably close the lips

There is no higher age limit to getting your teeth or jaws straightened. All adults and children deserve and can achieve a healthy and beautiful smile. Visit an orthodontist now for a consult.

Dr. Soh Shean Han is an orthodontist with Specialist Dental Group®. She received her specialty training in Orthodontics from the University of Washington-Health Sciences School of Dentistry, USA and is board-certified by the American Board of Orthodontics (ABO). She is an Adjunct Senior Lecturer with National University of Singapore and a Visiting Associate Consultant at National University Centre for Oral Health, Singapore. Dr Soh has a special interest in early orthodontic treatment in children and multi-disciplinary management of patients involving orthodontics.

www.specialistdentalgroup.com | (65) 6733 7883

Discover the great outdoors at CIS’s new kindergarten wing!


Outdoor play gives young children the opportunity to engage their senses as they explore the natural world around them. And Canadian International School (CIS)’s new state-of-the-art, purpose-built kindergarten wing and outdoor discovery centre, which opens in January 2023, definitely capitalises on this.

This new development emphasizes CIS’s focus on facilitating academic excellence in Kindergarten through play-based learning in environments that nurture creativity and exploration. The brand new 2,600 sq.m. outdoor discovery centre features an abundance of trees, a variety of gardens, water features that include still and moving water, natural tunnels, grassy hills, a play fort, a yoga and sound garden, a mud kitchen, adaptable creative play spaces, a bike and running track, and quiet areas intentionally designed to build minds and bodies, while nurturing strong connections with nature.

This new space offers young children the opportunity to engage in sights, sounds, tastes and textures unique to the outdoors. It is also designed to help children develop important social, gross motor, literacy, math, observation and science skills. Nursery teacher and grade level lead Samantha Mackie believes that the outdoors is perfect for nurturing every child’s curiosity and wonder.

“There’ll be a mud kitchen, sandpits and a yoga lawn, which will allow children to explore and connect with the natural environment through their senses,” she shares. “They say that classrooms are the third teacher. These facilities will definitely enhance the children’s learning opportunities.”

The Outdoor Discovery Centre connects to spacious ground-level classrooms and other facilities for all CIS students to enjoy. These include well-lit learning pods, an instructional bakery, a junior library, two new swimming pools, a junior competition sized gymnasium, black box theatre and more.

Learn more about what CIS’s new kindergarten wing has to offer.

Tuesday, November 1, 2022

Ask the Dentist: What is the best age to visit an Orthodontist?

A: The American Association of 
Orthodontists (AAO) recommends that every child should see an orthodontist when an orthodontic problem is first recognized, but no later than age 7.

A child would have sufficient permanent teeth then for the orthodontist to determine if a problem exists or is developing. While your child’s teeth may appear straight, there could be subtle problems with jaw growth and developing teeth that only an orthodontist can detect. Early detection allows for timely action to resolve the problem before they fully develop. 

There are three possible outcomes after your child sees an orthodontist namely:

1. No treatment needed

2. Regular monitoring for future treatment

3. Starting on early treatment

Besides achieving a nicer smile and better self-esteem, there can be other functional benefits to early orthodontic treatment:

1. Achieving alignment of the jaws 

2. Lowering risk of dental trauma to  protruded front teeth

3. Reducing damage to the gums from anomalies in the bite

4. Guiding adult teeth to emerge into more favourable positions

Some orthodontic problems are more effectively corrected at a young age when the jaws and teeth are still growing. This can minimize the need for more extensive and expensive treatment at a later age. 

Certain outcomes may be unachievable or less ideal if treatment is started after your child has stopped growing. 

Give your child the best opportunity at well-balanced jaws and a healthy, beautiful smile.  See an Orthodontist today to determine if your child can benefit from early orthodontic treatment.

Dr Soh Shean Han is an Orthodontist with Specialist Dental Group®. She received her specialty training in Orthodontics from University of Washington-Health Sciences School of Dentistry, USA. Dr Soh is a Diplomate of the American Board of Orthodontics. She is also an Adjunct Senior Lecturer with National University of Singapore and a Visiting Associate Consultant at National University Centre for Oral Health, Singapore. Dr Soh has a special interest in orthodontics and dental public health. 
http://www.specialistdentalgroup.com | (65) 6733 7883

What makes an effective bilingual programme?

Find out at the CIS French Carnaval on 23 Nov!

Learning a second language can open up a world of opportunities. As parents, how can one choose a programme that successfully educates children in becoming bilingual, biliterate, and bicultural global citizens? Dr Xiomara Cruz, Canadian International School’s (CIS) Primary Vice Principal and head of their French-English bilingual programme, shares her insights.

1. Speaking a language without understanding its cultural context has very 
little real-world value. When culture is integrated into learning, students can 
communicate from a place of understanding, not just say or repeat the words. For instance
on International Dot Day, our grade 6 students  learned about the spirit of kindness 
and French art history including the Pointillism technique, before describing a related artwork in French.

2. Purposeful learning experiences can help children better connect with and understand the language. Through hands-on activities like acting in plays, students get to learn beyond the classroom and apply real-world knowledge in authentic settings. One inquiry-based lesson saw grade 5 students read recipe 
instructions and communicate in French, while cooking up a storm at our learning kitchen!

3. Bilingual programmes can develop children holistically. At CIS, bilingual students experience true international education that not just develops their language skills, but also promotes their academic and social emotional development. Recently, our grade 5s produced audio postcards that introduced Singapore’s history and culture in French. They later exchanged the postcards with French-speaking students in France, Lebanon, and Tunisia, building on both their language skills and intercultural awareness.

Learn more about CIS’s bilingual programme at their French Carnaval on 23 November. You will meet Dr Xiomara and her expert team, and join French-inspired family-friendly activities run by their bilingual students, including a French café station and a crêpe tossing game!