If you would like to get your teeth straightened, but have so far not done so because you can’t face the idea of having something on your teeth for years on end, you will be delighted to know that this may well not be the case.
At Wimbledon Dental Care, we use Six Month Smiles in Wimbledon to straighten the smiles of many of our adult patients.
This is a great system that takes the best of traditional braces treatments and applies them to the problems that most adults have with their teeth: the front six social teeth are mildly misaligned.
Yes, all that heavy-duty ironmongery that we tend to associate with wearing braces is really only needed for serious misalignments of the back teeth or to realign the bite.
If you have made it to adulthood without either, chances are that you don’t need to have ‘train track’ braces on your teeth for two or three years. Most people don’t, which is why Six Month Smiles braces were created.
They use the same pulling mechanics of traditional braces but they are working on teeth with fewer roots and milder misalignments, so the forces can be much gentler.
This means that the brackets can be smaller, and as a bonus, they are made of clear ceramic, which blends in with the teeth rather than dominating them. Also, the wires are thinner and made of tooth-coloured nickel titanium. The whole effect is more like smile jewellery than something a villain from James Bond would have.
Six Month Smiles take somewhere between four and nine months, with an average time of six months, to straighten your teeth. But, after they are in place, you will have to wear a retainer for about a year. This is because the teeth are not yet settled into place and needed to be kept still while the new bone around them hardens.
You can have a retainer bonded to the backs of your teeth, or you can wear one at night. If you’re not very disciplined with things like this, it’s best to opt for the fixed retainer.