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This article was originally published in the Daily Courier.

Have you noticed that your teeth are becoming crooked or crowded as you age? Do you find it becoming more difficult to keep them clean or notice yourself covering your mouth when smiling? If so, you’re not alone.

Some people think correcting crooked or crowded teeth with braces is just for kids. Or they may be resistant to treatment because they think treatment will take years to correct. Others just don’t want to have metal braces placed on their teeth for aesthetic reasons.

4 Benefits of Straightening

There are several reasons why an adult or young adult with progressively crooked or crowded teeth should consider braces as a preventive care measure which will benefit your health by:

Making brushing and flossing more effective between crowded or crooked teeth to prevent cavities

Improve bite balance to reduce the likelihood of enamel chipping, cracking, and tooth grinding

Help extend the life of your teeth

Improve your smile, self-esteem, self-confidence!

What’s New in Braces?

Today, you can have your beautiful smile back or get the smile you’ve been wanting for years in less time than conventional, metal braces. In certain cases, you can do so even with less time and cost when compared to clear braces choices, such as Invisalign®.

The most recently developed treatment option is called Six Month Smiles® and is designed for those looking for a resolution to crooked or crowded teeth in a short time span. The Six Month Smiles® system uses clear brackets and tooth colored wires to discreetly, yet efficiently move and straighten teeth for a more desirable smile. Since the system focuses on the cosmetic realignment of the teeth, the treatment times are reduced to an average between 6-9 months. Imagine having an improved smile before your next regularly scheduled cleaning!

Six Month Smiles® utilizes the same principles as conventional orthodontics but focuses on aesthetic improvements only. Since the focus is on cosmetic improvements this can often mean that only the front teeth are moved and therefore the patient is in braces for less time. After the teeth are straightened then a retainer is placed to maintain the new corrected smile.

How Braces Compare?

What are the differences between conventional orthodontics, clear brace alternatives, such as Invisalign®, and Six Month Smiles®?

Conventional braces often incorporate a full mouth repositioning that includes correcting jaw discrepancies and severe malocclusion or misalignment of the teeth. This results in a lengthened treatment process, often between 1.5-3 years.

Clear brace systems such as Invisalign® utilize a series of clear custom made plastic aligners that slowly move the teeth into better position and alignment. The aligner can be removed during meal times and brushing the teeth, although it should be in placed between 20-22 hours per day. If not, then the treatment time will lengthen. The Invisalign® system also can have a difficult time correcting rotated teeth.

Six Month Smiles® provides a more subtle teeth straightening solution compared to traditional orthodontics with faster treatment times and typically are less costly than Invisalign® systems.

While all three systems are good at correcting misaligned teeth, you and your dentist must decide which system would be the best fit for you. If you have a severe misalignment of your teeth, conventional braces might be best. If you don’t want any brackets on your teeth, then Invisalign® might be the system for you. If your interest is in getting straighter teeth more quickly, before your next big event, then Six Month Smiles® is the system for you.

Contact Dr. Rick Farnsworth at his office, Pro Solutions Dental Group – Family, Implant & Reconstructive Dentistry – Offices of Jason C. Campbell, D.D.S. at 928-776-1208. To submit your questions for future articles, email Dr. Rick Farnsworth, D.D.S. at