This is the name given to a type of fixed brace which provides a short term solution to the problem of badly aligned or crooked teeth. This brace treats a wide range of orthodontic conditions and in a short amount of time – hence the name ‘6 months’.
What are 6 Month Smiles?
This brace consists of brackets and wires which are naturally coloured in order to match the rest of your teeth. They are not as discrete as Invisalign braces but they do have the advantage of giving a faster result than Invisalign and other types of braces.
What do 6 Month Smiles treat?
The 6 Month Smiles brace is worn to treat a range of orthodontic problems which include:
- Gaps between the teeth
- Crooked teeth
- Misaligned teeth
- Overcrowded teeth
- ‘Buck teeth’ (protruding front teeth)
They are designed to correct the only the front teeth which is the main reason for the shorter period of treatment. So, they are most effective when worn to correct problems such as crooked front teeth but not problems which affect other areas of the mouth or jaws.
Advantages of 6 Month Smiles
These braces are tooth coloured which means that they are more discrete than the traditional wire and metal braces. But they are not as unobtrusive as Invisalign.
These advantages are:
- Small, natural coloured wires
- Minimal discomfort
- Quicker treatment time
- Cheaper than many other types of braces (but still as effective).
The attraction of this brace for many patients is the fact that it straightens the teeth in half the time of other braces. But it is important to remember that this applies to the front teeth only.
Any disadvantages? This brace is not suitable for severe orthodontic problems and because it only treats the front teeth, may affect your ‘bite’. Plus it is more difficult to clean.
How do 6 Month Smiles work?
This brace helps to close the gap between teeth as well as realign teeth which have moved out of position. It is a fixed type of brace which means that it is designed to be worn all the time and is removed only by your orthodontist.
The brace is attached to your teeth via dental glue which secures it in place. Once the brace has been fitted it will start to move your teeth into the desired position. This is a quick process so expect results sooner rather than later.
The orthodontist will check this process every 6 weeks or so to ensure that it is progressing as expected. He/she will make any adjustments as and where necessary.
Treatment takes 6 months as stated in the name of this device. However, this applies to the front teeth only and not the entire upper or lower arch. Realignment of the upper/lower arch is a comprehensive form of treatment which requires another type of brace and a longer period of treatment.
Fitting a 6 Month Smiles brace
The process involves an examination of your teeth followed by X-rays and photographs. The orthodontist will then fit the brace over your teeth.
The orthodontist will explain the costs and timescales to you.
You will be asked to return to the clinic every 6 weeks to have the brace checked and any adjustments made.
This brace may causes some initial pain but this will disappear once you become used to wearing it. Take painkillers if necessary. You may also experience some difficulty with your speech but don’t worry this will quickly pass. Try practising certain words until you feel comfortable doing so and speak as normal.
You will be given a retainer to wear after the treatment has ended to help keep your teeth in their new position. This retainer is available as a temporary night time device or a permanent device fitted to the rear of the front teeth. This stops the teeth from regressing.