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6 Month Smile®

6 Month Smiles® are braces with clear brackets offered by general dentists, not orthodontic specialists, for aligning the front six teeth. They cost about £2150 and are suitable for simple cases of misalignment.

The term 6 Month Smile can be misleading because the dentist can choose to complete treatment in six months or less depending on how fast or slow the teeth move.

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Pros and cons of 6 Month Smile®

Like other dental and orthodontic treatments, 6 Month Smile® has pros and cons. The pros include:

  • Quick treatment, often completed within 2 – 9 months
  • Discreet brackets for an inconspicuous treatment
  • Discreet white wires
  • Inexpensive – the second cheapest treatment
  • Do not require a specialist orthodontist

The cons of 6 Month Smile® include the following;

  • Not faster than other short-term orthodontics, with an average treatment time of six months
  • Clear brackets are likely to remove the teeth, causing more problems
  • Suitable for only simple cases
  • The wires can discolour from brushing
  • Treatment can take longer than six months

What is short-term orthodontics (STO)?

Six-month smiles are a type of brace known as short-term orthodontics, which a general orthodontist can perform. The system is designed to allow non-specialist dentists to use it correctly for straightforward cases. This means that any type of dentist can use 6 Month Smile®.

You don’t need an orthodontist’s expertise. An orthodontist has no reason to use it because they can put this package together with their specialist skill. However, Invisalign is the removable system that general dentists and orthodontists offer.

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Benefits of 6 Month Smile®

  • The average treatment time is six months
  • The clear brackets and tooth-coloured wires are virtually invisible
  • Using the braces can give a predictable and the most conservative result
  • The kits ensure comfortable and fast appointments
  • The low force and short-term treatment time increase safety, hygiene and comfort
  • Less expensive than traditional braces, veneers or aligner therapy

6 Month Smile® treatment duration

The average treatment time is six months, which isn’t the maximum, unlike what many patients think. Some people can complete their treatment in two months, and others in ten months.

Research shows patients have a 50% chance of treatment extending past six months. If your case isn’t straightforward, you have a 0% of your treatment taking six months.

Teeth movement occurs gradually, and the rate of movement isn’t determined by the type of braces and the frequency of adjustment. Setting limited goals and opting for a less satisfactory result is important.

No magic technology can move your teeth faster. This is why simple cases take 6 Month Smile® an average of six months. The treatment duration is short because 6 Month Smile® move only the front teeth.

Several STOs are available, but they are for mild cases that don’t require bite adjustment and how the teeth come together. They usually correct the aesthetic appearance of the teeth without treating any underlying cause of the teeth misalignment.

These systems do not offer faster movement than other braces but correct mild issues that ordinarily require shorter treatment times.

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Clear brackets and tooth-coloured wires

6 Month Smile® is barely visible and less conspicuous than fixed braces. 6 Month Smile® is a type of ceramic or tooth-coloured bracket. Several other options are available, which may cost more if you want them as an added feature with your traditional braces.

Since they are made of plastic, they do not stick to the teeth as well as ceramic or metal brackets used for traditional braces. They can come off easily, which may be inconvenient for some people and interfere with treatment.

The tooth-coloured wires can lose their colour when you brush, and the white covering on the wire will also wear off. This causes tooth-coloured wires to have more friction with the brackets, making the brackets not move fast.

Other less obvious metal braces systems are the Inman Aligners with a clear bar on the front teeth and the lingual braces fitted at the back of the teeth, but they are more expensive because they are made from gold alloy.

Predictable and the most conservative result

Fixed braces give a better result than removable aligners or retainers. The treatment is conservative because there is only a small possibility that a patient suitable for 6 Month Smile® will need extraction.

Patient tray kits that ensure comfortable and fast appointments

The patient tray kit for 6 Month Smile® has some brace wax and other things the dentist needs to fit the braces.

Increased comfort, hygiene and safety

The shorter the treatment time, the less chances of complications. 6 Month Smile® work for straightforward cases, so treatment is unlikely to require more than low forces and 6 – 9 months. 6 Month Smile® and other STO move the teeth safely when used correctly.

However, all orthodontic treatments have certain risks, including root resorption. Root resorption may occur from too much force on the teeth.

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Less expensive than other options

6 Month Smile® is cheaper than many systems for teeth straightening. It is among the least expensive STO treatment.

Comparison of orthodontic treatments

Braces systems Invisible? Cost Speed (months) Cases (Simple – S Moderate – M Difficult – D)
6 Month Smile® Tooth-coloured From £2150 - £3250 6 – 9 S
Fastbraces® No From £2500 - £3500 8 – 24 S, M
Invisalign® Removable and discreet From £3500 - £5400 6 – 18 S, M, D
Cfast No From £2150 - £3250 6 – 9 S
Deltaforce No From £2000 - £3500 8 – 24 S, M
Traditional braces No From £1500 - £4000 6 - 24 S, M, D
Incognito® Invisible From £5000 - £8000 12 - 24 S, M, D
Inman aligners No, but removable From £1299 for only one arch 2 - 7 S

Who can get 6 Month Smile® and other STO?

Many people want 6 Month Smile® to straighten their crooked front teeth, but they also have crooked backed teeth. Undergoing treatment with 6 Month Smile® when for more complex orthodontic cases will only lead to unhappy outcomes.

Short-term orthodontics is only suitable for mild cases affecting only the front teeth. If you need a perfect result, you may want to consider other options besides STO.

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You need to visit a dentist who will assess your teeth to determine if STO is the best option for you.

Before choosing a treatment, ensure you choose a qualified dentist who offers other treatments besides STO. You also need a dental practice with specialist orthodontists to ensure you are getting adequate treatment.

You can book an appointment at McKennell Dental Practice to know if you are a suitable candidate for 6 Month Smile®. Visit us today or call 020 7834 8802 now to schedule an appointment.