Dental patients from throughout the Cedar Park, Texas area and all around the U.S. are fortunate enough to have a variety of orthodontic methods to choose from when it comes to having their teeth straightened. In addition to traditional metal braces, dental patients may also choose any one of several different products that involve wearing plastic aligner trays for a period of months. But one effective teeth-straightening method involves a combination of those two technologies: Six Month Smiles. While some people may refer to this method as the “Six Month Smile clear aligners,” the fact is that this treatment actually involves clear braces rather than aligner trays. In an effort to clear up some of the confusion surrounding the Six Month Smiles method, and to help our readers decide whether this is the right option for them, we’ve compiled the following information about the Six Month Smiles teeth straightening method.
What to Expect with Six Month Smiles
People who are good candidates for the method and choose Six Month Smiles as their teeth-straightening treatment can expect results in just 6 months. This is much faster than traditional metal braces (which typically require 18 to 24 months) or plastic aligner trays (which usually take about 12 months), Six Month Smiles patients achieve impressive results in a fraction of the time. And that is what appeals the most to patients.
Of course, the exact treatment period will vary somewhat depending on each patient’s needs and the condition of their teeth. Some people may see results in as little as 4 months, while others may have to wear their clear braces for 9 months. But generally speaking, the treatment is usually completed in 6 months.
The Process Involved with Six Month Smiles
We mentioned earlier that the Six Month Smiles method is a combination of traditional metal braces and clear plastic aligner technology. So it probably comes as no surprise that the procedure involved is very similar to traditional braces. During the patient’s first visit, the dentist or orthodontist will take X-rays in addition to impressions and intraoral photographs. Using this information, the dental provider will create a plan specifically designed to straighten that patient’s teeth in 6 months.
The next step in the process involves the dentist or orthodontist bonding custom-made, clear plastic brackets to the patient’s teeth and threading tooth-colored arch wire through each bracket.
The patient will need to visit the dental provider every few weeks throughout the treatment period to have the clear braces adjusted and tightened as needed. And, as is the case with traditional metal braces, the patient will need to wear a retainer afterwards to ensure that their teeth stay in their new, straighter positions.
Advantages of Six Month Smiles
We’ve already discussed what most people consider to be the biggest advantage of the Six Month Smiles system, which is the fact that it takes such a short period of time to complete the treatment. But there are other benefits as well, including:
- Six Month Smiles are less noticeable than traditional metal braces. Because each tooth bracket is made of clear plastic material, and the arch wires are tooth-colored, Six Month Smiles braces are barely noticeable by other people.
- Six Month Smiles are very effective for some patients who are deemed to be good candidates for this treatment. While it’s true that this method may not be the right choice for everyone, for patients with certain conditions, Six Month Smiles is every bit as effective as traditional metal braces.
- Six Month Smiles is less expensive. Due mostly to the fact that the treatment time is relatively short, Six Month Smiles is significantly less expensive than metal braces and usually less costly than clear plastic aligners as well.
Who Are Good Candidates for Six Month Smiles?
Six Month Smiles is a method that focuses on straightening the patient’s front teeth only, as opposed to other treatments that are designed to straighten all the teeth. So if you have any of the following issues with your front teeth, you may be a good candidate for Six Month Smiles:
- Crowded teeth
- Overlapping teeth
- Gaps in between teeth
- Off-center teeth
- Open bites
Although any of these conditions may be effectively treated with Six Month Smiles, it’s important to remember that this method is intended for people with minor to moderate conditions. If you have severe issues, or problems that affect all of your teeth rather than those in the front of your mouth, your dentist or orthodontist may recommend another treatment (such as aligner trays or traditional metal braces).
Caring for Six Month Smiles
People wearing Six Month Smiles clear braces will need to follow their dentist’s instructions after being fitted for their braces. That typically includes the following:
- Pain management – In much the same way that traditional braces can make the patient’s mouth a little sore for the first few weeks, Six Month Smiles can also be somewhat uncomfortable until the patient gets accustomed to wearing the braces. To manage that discomfort, the dentist may recommend over-the-counter pain medication and/or placing wax and those parts of the braces that are causing the greatest discomfort.
- Foods to avoid – Patients are usually told to avoid certain foods that may damage their braces, as well as foods that can stain the clear plastic. So it’s best to avoid hard or sticky foods and foods that have a high amount of pigment (such as coffee, berries, red sauces, etc.).
- Oral hygiene – It can be a challenge to keep your teeth clean with braces, so dentists typically recommend that their patients practice a consistent oral hygiene routine every day. This should include brushing three times a day and flossing at least once a day.
To find out more about Six Month Smiles, clear aligners, traditional metal braces, and the differences between these teeth-straightening methods, contact your Cedar Park, Texas dentist today and schedule an appointment. Depending on how severe your dental issues are, you might very well be enjoying all the benefits of a straighter, more beautiful smile in just six short months!