6 Month Smiles: Pros and Cons
Everyone loves a perfect smile. Some people are born with it while some must go through the process of wearing braces to achieve it.
People who don’t have a perfect smile usually seek help from an orthodontist. To achieve a straight smile, tooth alignment is important. Teeth can only be aligned by braces and there are various types of braces available out there. From the traditional metallic braces to the invisible Invisalign, braces have gone through advancements just like everything else. And these advancements have provided us with several options to choose from – ceramic braces, fast braces, self-ligating braces, lingual braces, etc.
The ones that we’re going to discuss today are called 6 Month Braces or Six Month Smiles. These braces are known to straighten a person’s smile in an average time of six months.
Lately if you’ve been searching about the types of braces and what kind would suit you, you may have come across Six Month Smiles. The name itself is self-explanatory; get a straighter smile in six months. While the treatment takes lesser time compared to other braces, the results are also different. It involves the use of clear braces while focusing primarily on the aesthetics of the smile, only straightening the teeth that are visible when smiling.
Also known as “fast orthodontics”, Six Month Braces can be ideal for people who are just looking to fix their smile and not their bad bite (malocclusion). Because the treatment promises to straighten teeth in an average period of six months, there is not enough time to fix the way in which the upper and lower teeth come together, also known as a “bite” in orthodontia.
As the beauty standards in our society have changed drastically, more and more patients are concerned about the aesthetics of their smile rather than achieving a proper occlusion (bite). Not only that, but they are also worried about the length of the treatment and if there is some discreet way to straighten their teeth. Plus, there is also the factor of money. People lead busy lives; they want to look their best and want to invest their hard-earned money in other places too. So, it becomes quite understandable why most of them would go for an option like Six Month Smiles – it’s easier, cheaper, and faster compared to most other teeth alignment solutions. No doubt, the program does sound appealing and who wouldn’t like a beautiful, bright smile in such a lesser amount of time?
But what exactly is Six Month Smiles (6MS)?
They claim to be the first and only company that can bring you straight teeth in about 6 months. Their website says that 6MS is ideal for people who are 16+ and are dealing with misaligned, spaced, or crooked teeth. They offer clear braces and invisible aligners for the treatment which in most cases can be carried out by a dentist rather than an orthodontist, because the patient cases here are generally simple and straightforward. The procedure involves your dentist taking impressions of your teeth and sending them to 6MS. Then 6 Month Smiles mails them back a “patient tray kit.” This kit is well prepped for the dentist to use right away – it has brackets that have been placed and set properly in bonding trays. Wires and ligatures are also included in this package.
But when it comes to Six Month Smiles, you can’t have the best of both worlds. Let us tell you why via these pros and cons.
Six Month Smiles: Pros
It’s Quick: Although 6MS has been proven to work, most people are surprised at the average amount of time the treatment takes – just six months. Remember though, 6 months is the average time, some cases can also take up to 9 months. The point to be noted here is that this method is not any faster than other orthodontic treatments. Because it just focuses on moving the frontal teeth (not including the roots) that show when you smile, is why it’s fast. These teeth are relatively easier to move compared to molars, thus it is possible to move them quickly while at the same time providing a better-looking smile.
It’s Discreet: Nobody likes the thought of their teeth being stuck with braces for a year or two. Besides, many people are uncomfortable while laughing and smiling if they’re wearing those old metal train tracks. But with Six Month Smiles you don’t have to worry about all that. These braces are clear, their brackets are made of clear plastic, and the wire that these brackets hold on to is tooth-colored, so there are minimal chances that these braces will stand out. They can often go unnoticeable unless you specially mention them.
It’s Affordable: Although there isn’t a huge difference between the cost of 6 Month Smiles and other orthodontic treatments, it’s still cheaper when compared to traditional orthodontics. The reason is the lesser time involved in the treatment. Conventional braces require more time to do their job, require adjustments and regular visits to an orthodontist, so obviously it turns out to be more expensive at the end. On the other hand, it’s because Six Month Smiles is a much shorter treatment, meaning it doesn’t require much time and effort from your dentist, hence it’s lower cost. But keep in mind they can only be used in cases where the adjustments are relatively minor.
Six Month Smiles: Cons
Results can be compromised: As mentioned above, these short term braces do not fix the bite or malocclusion, neither do they work on jaw alignment. Moving only specific teeth can worsen the bite in some cases, leading to discomfort while speaking and chewing. Such problems in the long run can cause the facial structure to change unexpectedly. If this happens, you will just end up spending more time and money on your orthodontic treatment than you had planned to in the first place.
Most people want to choose the shortest path to achieve the perfect smile, forgetting that with shortcuts come compromises too. And one must not compromise with their oral health. So, it’s always better to visit an orthodontist for problems of malocclusion and jaw alignment as they are experts in these fields and will advise just what’s right for you.
Better options are available: If your primary reason to choose 6MS is that they are inconspicuous, then there are much better options available in the market, like Invisalign. These aligners are custom designed to fit your mouth’s needs and are made of flexible plastic. They are also removable, which means you can take them out while eating and brushing. Then there are lingual braces that are fixed to the back of your teeth, so they are invisible in a way. Lingual braces also work as efficiently as traditional braces and can correct most bite issues. Ceramic braces also look like Six Month Smiles and have relatively more benefits.
Doesn’t always meet expectations: While the average time taken to straighten teeth via 6MS is generally 6 months, in some cases the time may be more. Also, many patients decide on the treatment without fully understanding all the pros and cons, only to wind up disappointed with the results.
Only caters to ages 16 and above: Six Month Smiles is only viable for people who are 16 plus, thus leaving out a major category of potential patients. Most children go for an orthodontic treatment between the ages of 10 to 15, so they won’t be able to go for 6MS even if they wanted to.
Six Month Smiles is only effective if the patients have minimal flaws, which is a rare case. Most probably, this option would be practical for someone who did go through a proper orthodontic treatment in the past, did not wear their retainers as instructed, felt a slight change in the alignment of their frontal teeth and now need a touch-up. This is a risky option for those who have never had an orthodontic treatment before. Just by looking at your teeth you might think that 6MS could solve the problem, but there could be an underlying issue with your bite. In such a case, moving only the frontal teeth can worsen the condition. That is why it is best to seek treatment from an orthodontist as they can diagnose, prevent, and correct misaligned bite patterns and mal-positioned teeth and jaws. They are trained to address such issues and plan treatments accordingly.
Not every patient needs an orthodontic treatment that lasts years, some just need it for a few months. At Georgian Dental we have a team of professional who can customize and monitor your orthodontic treatment. We also offer state-of-the-art iTero scanning to see what your treatment will end up looking like, along with all the latest braces options. With us you don’t have to worry about sacrificing quality and expertise. Trust us to come up with the perfect plan that caters to your lifestyle and budget, at the same time helping you achieve that perfect smile you’ve been wishing for.