Do you want straighter teeth? Many people do! Thankfully, it’s easier than you think.
Gone are the days of suffering though years of pain and embarrassment from a “metal mouth” smile. Today, there are many options for straightening your teeth quickly and discreetly. The two options we recommend and offer are Six Month Smiles and Invisalign.
Why Six Month Smiles and Invisalign are better than traditional braces
There are two main reasons why our dentists recommend one of these teeth straightening options over traditional metal braces:
- No silver brackets or “metal mouth” look
- Much faster treatment period
We like to say that if traditional metal braces are like driving a bus across the country, then Six Month Smiles and Invisalign are like flying first-class in a private jet. You’ll reach your destination faster and more comfortably!
Both of these teeth straightening options can deliver amazing results. Even so, there are some major differences between these two orthodontic treatments. What might be right for one person, might not work for another.
To understand what smile straightening method is best for you, you need to talk to your dentist. You’ll also need to understand a bit more about these two options and what they involve.
What are Six Month Smiles?
Six Month Smiles are clear braces. Using clear, lightweight brackets and tooth colored wires, the Six Month Smiles system gently straightens and aligns your teeth in an average time of only 6 months. In fact, this system is considered one of the most precise and fastest teeth-straightening methods available.
The Six Month Smiles system is best for those who are 16 years or older and is great whether you have a mild straightening issues or more severe cosmetic problems.
Getting clear braces is simple. Your dentist will place your brackets and wires in about an hour. It might take a week or so to get truly accustomed to the feeling of your clear braces, but soon you’ll barely notice them. Even better, because these braces are clear and natural looking, they won’t distract from your smile!
You’ll start to see results and over the course of your treatment, you’ll visit your dentist for about 3-7 adjustments, depending on your needs.
What is Invisalign?
The Invisalign system uses a set of custom-made, virtually clear aligners to gently reposition your teeth. With 20 years of research behind it, Invisalign is the most advanced clear aligner system available.
You’ll wear these aligners like a removable retainer. With this in mind, you must be committed to wearing your aligners, otherwise the results will be much slower or inconsistent. However, when worn as intended, it takes most people between 12 to 18 months to complete treatment.
Getting started with Invisalign is very simple. Your dentist will take a 3D scan of your mouth to help create your custom aligners. You’ll even be able to preview what your new and improved smile will look like!
Once you have your aligners, you’ll need to wear them at least 22 hours a day, only removing to eat and brush/floss. You’ll also visit your dentist about once every 6 weeks for a check-in and to switch to a new set of aligners.
Comparing Six Month Smiles and Invisalign
|Six Month Smiles||Invisalign|
|Appearance||Clear to match your natural teeth, but more noticeable than an aligner||Virtually invisible|
|Best for||Mild to severe cosmetic issues, including large gaps and bite misalignment||Typically better for more mild cases, but can treat alignment issues too|
|Comfort||Made from comfortable materials. Can rub against cheek and cause some irritation when first starting out||Made from comfortable materials|
|Hygiene||Removable, allowing for easy cleaning of your aligners and your teeth||Requires special care to clean around the wires and brackets.|
|Time||As little as 6 months||12-18 months on average|
|Removable||No||Yes, but must be worn at least 22 hours a day|
|Cost||Known for being more affordable. Dental insurance may or may not cover treatment||Because it takes longer, it typically costs a bit more than Six Month Smiles. Dental insurance may or may not cover treatment|
Six Month Smiles or Invisalign: which is right for you?
Every smile is different. The best option for you will depend on your specific circumstances and goals. Your dentist will examine your teeth, gums, and bite to provide their recommendation. Ultimately, the decision is up to you.
All else being equal, in general we suggest…
- Invisalign if you don’t want to wear fixed braces and don’t mind a slightly longer treatment period
- Six Month Smiles if you want rapid results or have a more complex cosmetic issue
Tips for getting the best results
No matter which option you choose, there are a few best practices for getting the best result with your orthodontic treatment.
- Commit to your treatment. An orthodontic treatment is a lifestyle change. Whether you’re wearing clear aligners or clear braces, there are certain responsibilities you’ll need to take to ensure the best results. Whether it’s learning how to properly clean your teeth with braces on, wearing your aligners 22+ hours a day, or visiting the dentist for your check-in appointments, you must hold up your end of the bargain.
- Pay attention to your dental hygiene. Don’t neglect your regular dental health habits. Proper brushing and flossing is key. If you’re wearing aligners, you’ll also need to keep them clean.
- Partner with the right dentist. Always work with a dentist who has experience delivering your chosen orthodontic treatment. Ask to see a before/after gallery if you’d like! Additionally, make sure you feel comfortable with the dentist, staff, and environment. Working together with a dentist you trust and like will make the process that much easier!
Talk to us about how to straighten your teeth
If you’re interested in straightening your teeth and want to learn our treatment recommendation, we’re here to help. With offices in Brandon, Flowood, and Jackson, we make it easy to get the orthodontic treatment you need.
We offer both the Six Month Smiles system and Invisalign and have helped hundreds of patients transform their smiles. We’ll answer all your questions and help you understand what treatment is best for you.
A native of Yazoo City, Dr. Lee Gary received his degree from Mississippi College and his Doctor of Dental Medicine from The University of Mississippi Medical Center School of Dentistry. Dr. Gary is dedicated to not only cosmetic transformations but the overall health and well-being of his patients.