Caring for your Child’s Teeth

Not sure what to do about your child’s teeth? Fret not, you are most likely not alone. Here are some common questions that parents usually have for us regarding their child.

1. When should my child see the dentist?

Seeing the dentist can be a terrifying experience even for an adult, much less a child.  Your child’s confidence in seeing the dentist can be built by starting early.  Once you start to notice a tooth growing in your child’s mouth, he or she is ready to start their journey to see the dentist!  Thereafter, do cultivate a good habit and routine of seeing the dentist regularly for your child.

2. Who should I bring my child to?

At Neo Smiles, our dentists are all trained and ready to treat children, especially for their very first dental visit.  It is essential to ensure their first dental visit is not a bad experience, so we always recommend to bring your child in early, before he or she starts to feel any pain in their teeth, as it could be a sign of a bad dental health.

In certain situations, the child may need to be referred to a pediatric dentist for specialist management.


scaling & polishing

3. Does my child need braces? When can my child start braces?

If your child’s teeth are not well aligned, braces treatment can be beneficial not only aesthetically, but also functionally and biologically. Braces treatment usually starts when your child has most of their adult teeth in the mouth. Visit our braces specialists to find out more!

4. Why is the adult tooth not growing for my child?

In general, the adult teeth will start showing at age 6-7 years old, starting with the lower back tooth (molar). At around ages 7-8 years old, the lower front teeth (incisor) start to show, followed closely by the upper front teeth. By ages 12-13, the full set of adult teeth should be in (excluding the wisdom teeth which usually show at around ages 17-25).

It is normal for some children to be early or late in their dental development. See your dentist to find out when an x-ray should be taken to check on your child’s dental development.


5. My child’s adult tooth is growing but the baby tooth has not dropped.

During the process of adult tooth eruption, the roots of the baby tooth will get broken down and will become increasingly shaky. Be patient! The baby tooth can take up to 1-2 years of the adult tooth showing before it drops. In some cases, it is normal for both the adult and baby tooth to be present at the same area. See your dentist to find out when an extraction is required.

6. How to care for my children’s teeth

Parents play an important role in helping to build good oral hygiene habits from a young age. This includes helping them with brushing the teeth twice daily with sufficiently fluoridated toothpaste (at least 1000ppm) and not to forget, flossing. Diet control is another important aspect of caring for your child’s teeth.

Intake of snacks and drinks high in sugar content (especially those which are sticky in nature) should be controlled. If you find these difficult, try alternative snacks like cheese, fresh fruits and yoghurt. The frequency of intake of sugar is also an important aspect to be controlled, try to combine their intake with mealtimes to reduce the number of times the teeth are subjected to the decay process!

Have any further queries? Visit any of our friendly dentists to find out more!

young girl with braces
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Braces & CHAS Subsidies

Thinking of getting braces or aligners? Beyond just putting on some wires or wearing aligners, there has to be a detailed treatment plan done together with your dentist to achieve your desired outcome. In your braces or Invisalign treatment plan, your dentist may indicate certain basic dental treatment first to ensure you have a solid foundation of teeth that are ready for movement in to their ideal alignment. While braces are not directly eligible for CHAS subsidies or Medisave, there are many associated dental treatments needed during your braces journey that can be subsidised under CHAS.

Here are some examples:


1. X-rays

Common dental X-rays that are taken in your braces treatment include the orthopantomogram (OPG) and lateral cephalogram (LC). These X-rays help the dentist to get a broad overview of your teeth and your jaw bones to help with planning out your braces treatment. Sometimes, smaller X-rays may be required to get a clearer picture of specific teeth.

Eligible Blue CHAS patients can claim a subsidy of $11.00 for an x-ray (orthopantomogram or OPG, but not for the lateral cephalogram or LC); up to 6 X-rays per calendar year.

2. Extractions

Extractions may be required in certain patients (not all the time!) to create space in the mouth for your teeth to align. The most common teeth to be indicated for extractions are your pre-molars (also known as the middle teeth between the front and back).

Eligible Blue CHAS patients can claim a subsidy of $28.50 for an extraction of anterior tooth and $68.50 for an extraction of posterior tooth; up to 4 extractions per calendar year.


3. Scaling and Polishing

Scaling and polishing before, during and after your braces treatment is essential to ensure your teeth and gums are kept in tip-top condition throughout their process of movement. It is more difficult to keep your teeth clean with braces as they create pockets for food trap and dental plaque to accumulate. If you neglect your oral hygiene, your braces treatment will worsen the situation and make you more prone to dental decay and gum disease.

Eligible Blue CHAS patients can claim a subsidy of $20.50 for polishing and $30.00 for scaling; up to 2 scaling and polishings per calendar year.

We all know that dental expenses can add up, hence it is important to plan financially for the treatment you need and be aware of subsidies that you may be entitled to as a Singapore Citizen. Here at Neo Smiles, we are a CHAS-accredited dental clinic.


CHAS Subsidies Eligibility

The Community Health Assist Scheme (CHAS) allows patients to receive subsidies for a wide range of dental procedures. There are 3 tiers to CHAS, which can be differentiated based on the color of cardholders.

i) Blue CHAS, Pioneer Generation (PG), Merdeka Generation (MG) cardholders are entitled to subsidies for basic dental treatment like scaling and polishing, topical fluoride application, fillings, and extractions (even miscellaneous fees like consultation and x-rays are subsidized); as well as advanced dental treatment like dentures, crowns and root canal treatments.
ii) Orange CHAS cardholders are only entitled to subsidies for advanced dental treatments.
iii) Green CHAS cardholders are not entitled to subsidies for dental services.
With the CHAS scheme, you may be eligible to receive subsidies that can help with the financial commitment that comes with starting your braces journey. Visit or call 1800-275-2427 for more information.

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Chinese New Year is here! Time to take care of your teeth so you can eat more!

Chinese New Year is fast approaching us. This year in 2023, it will be from 22 to 24 January. From changing fresh bank notes for red packets, to buying new clothes and spring-cleaning, the to-do lists are endless. Not to mention the amount of scrumptious food that awaits, the last thing that anybody wants is a toothache to ruin the festive mood.

Here are some things to be mindful of during the festive season to keep your teeth in check!

Pain Management

1. Sticky and sweet snacks

Many of our favorite CNY snacks are high in sugar content. There’s no better way to make them delicious and addictive! Dentists are also human beings; we also do indulge in the same way our patients do. However, for those who are more prone to getting dental diseases (including us dentists), be mindful of how much and how often you are snacking. Be especially careful of snacks that tend to stick on your teeth. Some examples include Ba Kwa, Nian Gao and pineapple tarts. If you have to, remember to rinse your mouth and floss afterwards to make sure they do not linger too long on your tooth surface!

2. Acidic Drinks

Have you ever wondered how tiny miniscule bacteria can cause such big holes and destruction to your teeth? The answer is acid. Apart from acid produced by bacteria, acidic drinks can likewise dissolve the outer layer (enamel) of your teeth. Unlike your bones, tooth structure cannot regenerate and repair itself. So, what is lost is forever gone! Try to choose non-acidic drinks when you’re spoilt for choice and if you really have to, use a straw to minimize contact with your teeth. Additionally, try not to brush your teeth immediately after consumption of food and drinks. Do wait for at least 30 minutes before brushing as the outer layer of teeth is more prone to breakdown from abrasive action after an acidic challenge.

3. Biting Hard Foods

Did you know that one of the jaw muscles (the masseter muscle) is the strongest muscle in the body? Although tooth enamel is the hardest tissue in the body, like many other brittle objects, they are not immune to cracks. A crack in any tooth spells disaster. The tooth will usually require protection in the form of a crown and sometimes the tooth cannot be saved at all! Some examples that come to mind are eating nuts and hard candy, using your teeth to open a beer bottle, cracking crab shells and chewing on ice. Please be careful!

4. Brush your teeth twice daily, remember to floss

At the start and end of every day, do not forget the most important dental habit. Remember that you only see us a few times every year. Every other time of the year, YOU are the next best person to care for your teeth! Shower them with love and care and they will serve you all the way. Like my mentor used to say: “Brush the teeth that you want to keep!”


5. See a dentist every 6 months

After the festive season is over, don’t forget to schedule your regular 6 monthly visit to the dentist. If you have not been to the dentist in a long time, now is the time!

Dr Shawn Tan

Schedule Your Dental Appointment with Neo Smiles

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Our new baby in Bishan!

Hi! Dr Neo here!

I have exciting news to share!

Following the requests of our patients to expand to better serve our patients in the north, we have now expanded into Bishan!

Neo Smiles Dental Studio Bishan is now open at Blk 501 Bishan St 11! And it’s great because it sort of coincides with my birthday, and it’s a birthday gift, not just for me, but more importantly, it’s for our wonderful and loyal patients. Thank you so much for your kind support and warmth.

This has been a journey of over 7 years since we first opened the doors to our Bedok branch back in May 2015. We started out with a personal mission to provide an authentic and truly sincere specialist orthodontic care for patients in the heartlands. Now, our mission remains unchanged and valid. We have new doctors joining our family. Each and every one having the same values and commitment to our patients that Neo Smiles is proud of. I thought really hard before expanding into Kovan/Serangoon 5 years back and now Bishan, because I wanted to be sure to maintain and even improve the highest service standards that matters so much to us. Now that the Bishan clinic renovations are finally done, and we are better positioned to serve our patient communities in the area, I can take a step back to say we are so proud of this journey with our patients and we truly couldn’t have done it without you all.

Just a few days back, one of my very first braces patients in Bedok, “M”, congratulated me on our Bishan expansion. I am really thanking him more, because when we first started, we didn’t know what was in store for us as a dentist-entrepreneur. Also, all my patients, especially those that has followed me since my post-graduate National Dental Centre days. You know who you are. I have so much gratitude for each and every one of you for trusting me, the clinic, and staying with us all these years. The journey is not easy but all of you have given me the confidence to carry on through all the heartaches, all the challenges, all the unknown unknowns so far.

In 2020, COVID-19 was a massive shock to us as well, as we adapted to the almost daily new MOH policies to cope with the pandemic. Circuit Breaker, Phase 1, 2, and back again, etc. This made us even more resilient, and more prepared, to face new challenges and ensure the best in patient quality care and safety.

Thank you so much once again for believing in the Neo Smiles mission. Thank you so much for believing in me. As a team, we promise to serve each and every one to the best of our capabilities, and to bring a smile to everyone we touch!

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Electric VS Manual Toothbrushes

Electric or manual toothbrush? Unsure which to use? In this blog post, we will cover the importance of brushing your teeth well as well as provide some information about the various toothbrushes.

Let’s take a look at the importance of brushing your teeth well:

What is plaque?

Plaque is a biofilm that contributes to diseases such as tooth decay. It occurs naturally due to the microorganisms in your mouth, Fortunately, it can be removed through regular brushing, as well as regular scaling and polishing at the dentist. 

What is calculus?

It is hardened plaque, which will form a hard crust over your teeth over time. If you notice calculus on your teeth, please do book an appointment with us! Leaving it alone can cause complications like gum disease, which will be more costly to treat in the future.

Tooth wear is becoming a greater issue as life expectancy is increasing and we use our teeth for a long period of time. We may not be conscious of it, but our teeth are hard at work whenever we eat or snack, helping to break down food into smaller bits.

Manual toothbrushes have always been the norm, so what about electrical toothbrushes?

Here are some benefits and disadvantages:


  1. Duration of brushing is fixed at 2-3 minutes and hence will be sufficient in removing plaque
  2. A rotatory motion so better to clean the grooves of teeth
  3. Good for people who are less mobile
  4. Better at removing extrinsic stains caused by coffee, tea, and tobacco



  1. Have to charge the toothbrush now and then
  2. Electric toothbrushes have built-in speed and strength, which prevents excessive abrasion against your gums. However, gum recession is still possible if your brushing technique is wrong.
  3. A more expensive alternative to manual toothbrushes 
  4. Bigger/ bulkier so more difficult to bring around if you want to brush after meals

So… should I switch to an electric toothbrush?

It varies for each person. If you feel like the manual toothbrush is insufficient to help you in maintaining good oral hygiene, there is no harm trying the electric toothbrush! Do check with our dentists as well as they can give more specific advice to your case.

Feel free to call any of our clinics (Kovan: 6386-0700 or Bedok: 6481-0800) or contact us through  9669-0789 (Whatsapp). We will be glad to answer any queries you have. 🙂


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Braces during COVID-19

Unsure if you need braces? Been wanting to get them for a long time but never got around to it? Now may just be the right time for such an investment as braces. It can go a long way in improving your overall well-being.

Why braces is a good investment during the current COVID-19 period:

  • As you embark on your journey with us, you can get used to the look and feel of braces faster. If you are worried about the look of metal braces, now is the perfect time as the face mask you wear would hide the more obvious looking braces.
  • As with current arrangements for staying at home for work or school, it is more convenient to maintain your oral hygiene with braces. If you are currently on a fixed braces plan, you will be able to brush your teeth more frequently (say goodbye to the fragments of food that get stuck between the wires!). If you are using clear aligners (i.e. Invisalign), you can also easily rinse your aligners after meals at home!
  • We will give you the full support you need during your treatment. Neo Smiles resumes dental treatments in Phase 2, so do drop by anytime if you experience discomfort (i.e. if the brackets drop or the wire irritates your cheeks).
  • In general, braces can go along way in improving your oral hygiene as well as how your smile appears. This investment in yourself will go a long way!

Safe distancing measures have been put in place so please be assured.

Do book an appointment with us and our orthodontist will advise you accordingly and create a personalized treatment plan for you during your first consult.

Feel free to call any of our clinics (Kovan: 6386-0700 or Bedok: 6481-0800) or contact us through  9669-0789 (Whatsapp). We will be glad to answer any queries you have. 🙂


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Traditional braces, Damon braces and Clear Aligners – which one should I choose?

When it comes to braces treatment, there are a wide variety of braces to choose from! There are mainly three different types that Neo Smiles Dental Studio offers – 1. Traditional braces, 2. Damon braces and 3. Clear Aligners. The Damon braces have became one of the most popular types of braces here in recent years.

Let us take a brief look at the different types:

1. Traditional bracket braces (metal/ceramic)

Foundation is made up of 3 parts:

  • Brackets – silver coloured (metal) or clear coloured (ceramic)
  • Arch wires
  • Rubber Bands (in many different colours/ transparent)

2. Damon braces (metal/ceramic)

Foundation is made up of 2 parts:

  • Brackets – silver coloured (metal) or clear coloured (ceramic)
  • Arch wires

Unlike traditional bracesno elastic or rubber bands or metal ties are used.  Instead, self-ligating braces use a ‘sliding door’ technique in which brackets are stuck onto the front of teeth, which allows the arch wire to slide back and forth. Learn more here.

3. Clear Aligners

Each set of aligner consists of a transparent mould of your teeth and each set differs slightly. On average, you may require 20-40 aligners throughout your treatment. You would be required to wear each retainer for 2 weeks, 20 hours per day for the best results. Through these minor adjustments with each aligner, your teeth will gradually shift and we achieve the desired alignment of your teeth. At Neo Dental Studio, we offer Invisalign.

Pros and Cons of each type of braces:

Traditional metal brackets/ Ceramic brackets


  • Cost effective 
  • Can begin treatment as soon as desired


  • Discomfort as it may incur ulcers as the wires and brackets are foreign objects in the mouth
  • The brackets may drop off if you eat hard foods, which means that teeth may not move as desired. While we would reattach the brackets for you, your treatment time may be prolonged slightly.
  • Extra care need to be taken when brushing your teeth as the brackets/ wires can trap food, increasing probability of decay

Clear Aligners


  • Can remove aligners temporarily for important events/ presentations
  • Virtually invisible
  • Higher level of comfort with less abrasion for cheeks and lips compared to bracket braces


  • Depending on your case, this may be pricier than the bracket type braces as each aligner is custom made for you
  • Require some waiting time initially as the aligners need to be shipped from overseas (for Invisalign)
  • Require self discipline as you need to wear the aligners 20 hours a day minimally for it to be effective

For those interested in Damon braces, do visit our website for more details. It is an option for people who are more inclined towards bracket-type braces.

Which should I choose?

After taking into account the pros and cons of these braces, we hope you have a better idea of which type of braces you are inclined towards. Most people will be eligible for all 3 types, but we would only be able to propose a treatment plan for you after our dentists at Neo Smiles Dental Studio see you for a consultation.

If you are interested in booking a braces appointment with us or have any other queries, do not hesitate to contact: 9669-0789 (Whatsapp) or give us a call. We look forward to seeing you!

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Teeth Extraction + How to care for my gums after extraction:

Here are some reminders for those who have recently undergone a teeth extraction at Neo Smiles Dental Studio!

How to care for your gums after extraction:


  • Bite on the gauze and allow the wound to heal and clot at least an hour after your extraction
  • Finish the full course of antibiotics
  • An ice pack can be used in 15 minute intervals during the day of extraction to reduce swelling (if any) on the face. This will only be effective for the first 24 hours after extraction
  • Eat softer food such as smoothies, porridge or soup to avoid dislodging the blood clot


  • Spitting, rinsing or drinking through a straw the first 24 hours after extraction
  • Consuming extremely hot or cold foods as you may not be able to detect the temperature of the food before the local anaesthesia wears off
  • Brushing your teeth in that area for the first 24 hours after extraction. Do continue brushing your other teeth in the other areas, being careful around the extraction site.
  • Smoking or alcohol
  • Strenuous exercise 


If there is excessive bleeding (more than 8-12 hours after extraction), do not hesitate to contact us at 9669-0789 (Whatsapp) or give us a call.

It is not unusual to feel sore in the area 3-7 days after extraction, so we recommend continue eating a soft food diet and taking extra care around the area until it has completely healed.



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Staying strong together through COVID-19

With the uncertainty that COVID-19 has brought into our lives, many of you may be concerned about your dental treatment. Neo Smiles Dental Studios want to reassure you that we would still be open during this period. As we do our part, we would defer all non-essential services such as scaling & polishing or extractions that are not causing pain. Not to worry, we would notify you of your new appointment date.

Braces review appointments will proceed as usual. Let’s all do our part to stay strong together through COVID-19.

However, please do not hesitate to contact us (Whatsapp: 9669-0789 or Email: and make an appointment if you have urgent or emergency dental issues. Please be assured that if you visit Neo Smiles Dental Studio, we have undertaken the necessary actions in creating a safe space for you. We frequently disinfect the doors and communal areas of the clinic.

List of urgent/ emergency dental issues:

  1. Severe toothache
  2. Excessive/ continuous bleeding in your mouth
  3. Swelling of cheeks or the mouth area

Anything I should take note if I visit during this period?

Do fill in the travel declaration form before entering. Call us to reschedule your appointment if you display the following symptoms: Fever, cough, shortness of breath. We thank you for your corporation with the additional measures during this period.

How do I maintain my oral hygiene?

For those who are at home this period, do keep up your oral hygiene! Brush your teeth twice a day and floss once a day. Avoid snacking or sugary drinks as they also cause plaque build up on your teeth.

We will see you soon! 🙂

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Travelling tips for our braces patients

Recently I had this patient planning for a climb at Mount Kilimanjaro. She was worried about keeping up with the 20-22 hours/day (almost full time wear) of her Invisalign aligners, and also the possibility of losing them during the tough climb. The good news is that aligners really have a minimal compromise on one’s lifestyle, if any at all! Although I must add, I love my patients for being so self-motivated in their braces journey with me, even when they are having fun travelling and doing things that they love.

Anyway, I got inspired by her to come up with this blog post to help our patients manage their braces and aligners better even when they are far away from home and Neo Smiles 🙂 Here are some tips for the traveller in you!

Inform your doctor!

This is especially so if you are travelling for longer periods of times. Sometimes my patients have to be away for a few months due to work or studies. On a case by case basis, I do give specific instructions for my patients to follow through and teach them how to monitor their own braces/aligners. In that way, there will still be progress in your treatment even while you are away.

For patients wearing aligners, informing the doctor is a real must! This is so that we can issue you the needed number of aligners to last you for your trip.

Pack an oral health kit

If you are having braces on, do get dental wax from us before you go on that holiday! Although all my braces patients know that they will eventually get used to all the ”metal and wires” in the mouth, sometimes we do need abit of quick relief just in case of any emergencies. So, prepare ahead and get that dental wax from us to help relieve any discomfort from any poking wires 🙂

Do not forget to pack your toothbrush, floss, and interdental brush! The interdental brush is a life savior for removing any food that can get stuck in your braces while you are on the go. Brushing with water alone is still better than not brushing at all to remove food debris. Of course, once you reach your destination, it is important to get a thorough clean up.

Eat correctly

Enjoy sweet and sugary splurges if you have to, but try to rinse after to reduce the pH load in your mouth. For patients with fixed braces on, it might be wise to avoid hard foods to prevent any emergencies from breaking your braces.

Patients with aligners have no real issues with eating, but do not forget to place your aligners in their proper casing each time you have a snack! A gentle reminder not to wrap your aligners with tissue on the go as you might really lose them unknowingly.

Plan your visit well

Seasoned patients will know, the initial soreness associated with the tightening of braces usually lasts only for the first few days to a week. You may want to schedule your dental appointment with us one week before you go for your holiday to enjoy all the good food overseas.

Have a good trip guys!

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