Brace yourself: Puresmile tells us all about orthodontics

An Interview With Dr. Chan, By Siobhan Brown




 For parents that are considering orthodontic work for their children (braces and wisdom teeth removal being the most common) this article has important information for you to consider. Orthodontists are specialists who correct alignment and straighten teeth and their work is essential to patients not only for their oral health but also so they can enjoy the aesthetics of a beautiful smile. Shanghai Mamas sat down with Dr. Chan, Founder of PureSmile and one of the first foreign trained orthodontists in Shanghai, to get some information about these and other procedures.


Dr. Chan can you tell us a little bit about your background?

I was originally born in Hong Kong and went to boarding school in the UK as a child, all the way through University. I then worked in the UK for a couple of years, at teaching hospitals including The Royal London Hospital and Bristol University, to get an all-around education. I always knew I wanted to be an orthodontist and I attended the Orthodontic Residency program at Rochester New York which is an ADA Accredited Post Graduate Program. I came to Shanghai in 1998 for a holiday, and in addition to feeling that Shanghai was a very interesting place, I saw the scale and the need for orthodontists in the city. At that time, I recall that Hong Qiao still had many paddy fields and farms in the surrounding areas, and looked nothing like the area it does today. That same year, I was asked to start the orthodontic program at World Link in Hong Qiao where I remained till 2006. In 2007 I became the first foreign trained and American board certified orthodontist in Shanghai and in 2008 I opened the first PureSmile clinic in Pudong. We now also have clinics to serve the communities in Hong Qiao and Min Hang.


Can you tell us what is involved in becoming an Orthodontist?

Becoming an orthodontist in the US requires four years of undergraduate study, four years in dental school training and an additional two to three years of residency. There are only about 10,000 orthodontists in the US and it’s important to know that only about 25 percent of all orthodontists in the US are board certified. What this means is that all our cases are reviewed to make sure we are providing the highest level of care and meeting stringent standards. For further information, please check the website


“A board certified orthodontist is committed to the highest level of patient care including a comprehensive treatment approach to ensure quality work.  And board certified orthodontists must re-new their certification every 10 years to demonstrate their continuous commitment to excellence.”


Why did you decide to start your own clinic and why is it so rewarding to you?

My goal and vision is to deliver the highest standards of care and to provide this to both the local and expat population in Shanghai. I find what I do so fulfilling because I’m meeting people from all around the world and I get to work with so many amazing kids and families every day. Sometimes it is a challenge as different cultures respond to treatment proposals very differently but we are here to bring joy and smiles to all cultures and races.

The most rewarding part of my job is when I’m able to help my patient achieve a healthy and beautiful smile bringing them much joy as well as great confidence for life. Something that is special about the way I treat my patients is I take into account their facial profile and shape. It takes many years of experience and specialist knowledge to appreciate what makes a face as beautiful as possible.


When should children first see an orthodontist of a checkup?

The American Association of Orthodontics suggests first seeing an orthodontics at the age of 6 or 7 to make sure there are no serious issues happening. At this time we are looking for things like habits (thumb sucking) functional shifts, anterior cross bites, premature early loss of some baby teeth. For children who are thumb sucking we have appliances such as a thumb crib that can help break the habit before damage is done that might result in crossbites or openbites.


When should children first see an orthodontist for braces?

If no early treatment is necessary at around age 7, then routine orthodontic braces treatment should typically be initiated around age 11.


When should wisdom teeth be removed?

Wisdom teeth generally do not normally need to be removed until around the age of 18, depending on the amount of space available in the jaws and also the position of the wisdom teeth. However, there are special cases when they may beed to be removed earlier around age 15.


What are the new trends in braces and what is an ideal age for this?

The trend is now towards the use of aligners which are clear plastic trays to straighten teeth. These are great for adults but can also be used in children subject to suitability and complexity of the case and compliance. This is a relatively new system and a new way to perform orthodontics but this field has improved tremendously over the past 20 years.





If you would like to know more, please contact Puresmile to arrange a consultation appointment. Details of the various clinics are below, and you can also find out more here


Jinqiao: +8621 6105 9400

No. 2- 4 Lane, 650 Biyun Road, Jinqiao, Pudong, Shanghai 201206

上海浦东新区金桥碧云路 650 2-4 邮编 201206Hongqiao: +8621 6237 6969


2268 Hongqiao Road, 2nd Floor, Unit 2P, Changning, Shanghai 200336

桥商务大厦 上海长宁区虹桥路 2268 2 P 邮编 200336Minhang: +8621 3490 9068


No. 569 Yunle Rd., Shop 111, Huacao Town, Minhang, Shanghai 201107

上海市闵行区运乐路569111 邮编 201107