Metal braces are not the only way to straighten teeth anymore. There is a more convenient and comfortable solution with clear braces. Two of these treatment options are Six Month Smiles and Invisalign. While these two methods share many similarities, they also have distinguishing characteristics that may make one more suitable for you than the other.
The Six-Month Smile system utilizes brackets and wires to straighten the front teeth. Similar to traditional metal braces, this system is placed on the teeth for the duration of the treatment. Invisalign, on the other hand, uses a set of clear aligners that are removable and changed out approximately every two weeks as you progress through the treatment. Both methods are inconspicuous because the appliances used are clear, though Invisalign is less noticeable.
The Six-Month Smile treatment is so called because it takes only about six months to complete. This short time period happens because only the anterior, or front facing, teeth are treated. Overcrowding, gaps, or bite issues that only affect the anterior teeth can be treated with these wires and brackets. This system can also address minor to severe cosmetic problems of the front teeth. Invisalign aligners are usually used to move all of the teeth somewhat. They fit over the entire arch of teeth and are best suited for patients who have minor to moderate overcrowding or bite issues.
To keep teeth clean while undergoing a Six Month Smile Treatment, patients must brush around the brackets and thread floss through the wires to keep them clean. By comparison, Invisalign would seem much easier to maintain as they can be removed to brush and floss the teeth and need only a rinse to keep clean.
The Invisalign treatment usually takes about one year to complete. The actual length of treatment depends on how many aligners are needed and how diligently the patient wears them (it’s recommended that an aligner is worn 20 to 22 hours a day). Because the Six Month Smile treatment lasts for a shorter period of time and doesn’t require many aligners, it typically is cheaper than Invisalign.
Taking these factors into consideration, schedule an appointment with your dentist to discuss which option is best for you.