Dental Tips Blog


When Will My Braces Start to Make a Difference in My Smile?

Posted in Orthodontics

On average, most orthodontic treatment takes about two years to complete. But a lot of people see a difference in their tooth alignment after just a couple of months with braces.

But don’t get too excited just yet – that figure varies widely.

Why Teeth Move Differently

Factors such as age, medication, oral habits and complexity will affect how quickly your teeth move.

Teens often enjoy more rapid tooth movement because they have a higher metabolism and their bone is still developing and “soft.” If you are taking a medication for your bones, then that might slow down your treatment a bit.

Do you have a habit of grinding or clenching your teeth? You could be putting resistance on your teeth that opposes the force of your braces.

Some factors you have a little more control over.

Can You Shorten Treatment?

You can keep your treatment time to the estimated minimum by following your dentist’s or orthodontist’s instructions. This means maintaining proper hygiene, wearing appliances as directed, and avoiding things that can break bands, wires, or brackets.

When it comes to braces, stronger or faster is NOT better. Forcing your teeth to move faster than they want to go is a sure way to damage them. Your orthodontist will know exactly how much sure and steady pressure is needed to get results.

In the meantime, take photos of your smile every few weeks to compare your progress. It can be discouraging if you don’t have some way to track the progress you are making. If you notice the tiniest difference, that can motivate you to stick with treatment until the end!

Posted on behalf of:
Pleasant Plains Dental
5850 W Hwy 74 #135
Indian Trail, NC 28079
(704) 815-5513


Get a Straighter Smile in 6 Months or Less

Posted in Braces

Does the idea of getting your dream smile within six months sound too good to be true?

In many cases, it’s actually a very realistic goal.

Think of where you see yourself six months from now. Maybe you’ll be interviewing for that job you’ve always wanted. Perhaps you’ll be planning your wedding.

Wouldn’t it be great to have a beautiful smile by that time?

Accelerated Orthodontic Treatment

Some dentists can offer their patients an abbreviated orthodontic session. This means wearing braces for an average of just six or even four months instead of a year or more.

These “fast braces” concentrate on only problem areas that show when you smile. This way, you’re not spending time in braces waiting for all your back teeth to come into alignment, as well.

Ask your dentist about a low-visibility and fast-working orthodontic procedure such as Six Month Smiles®.

Straighten Teeth With Cosmetic Dentistry

To get results that virtually come overnight, you could go the route that makes your teeth look like they’ve been straightened.

Cosmetic treatments help by covering up gaps and giving all the teeth in your smile a more uniform appearance. Within just a couple weeks, you could have a completely new look without having put the time into braces.

Procedures that can change a tooth’s appearance include:

  • Veneers
  • Bonding
  • Crowns

Keep in mind that if your case is serious enough, there could be no way around a year or two in regular braces. Schedule a consultation with your dentist to find out how long it’ll take to get the results you want to see in your smile.

Posted on behalf of:
Seven Hills Dentistry
1305 Cedarcrest Rd. #115
Dallas, GA 30132
(678) 257-7177


Invisalign or Six Month Smiles – Which Is Right for You?

Cosmetic orthodontic treatment is becoming more and more popular among teens and adults of all ages. If you’re ready to enjoy an improved smile today, then it’s time to talk with your dentist about the orthodontic options available to you.

To start with, consider how two popular orthodontic therapies – Invisalign and Six Month Smiles – compare with each other.

When Do You Want Results?

One big difference between Invisalign and Six Month Smiles is how treatment lasts. Invisalign can take over a year to give you results. As the name implies, Six Month Smiles takes an average of six months. You could see results in as few as four months or as much as eight, depending on your case.

What Results Do You Want?

Six Month Smiles addresses the front teeth. If your goal is to quickly fix only the teeth that show when you smile, then Six Month Smiles will likely get the job done.

Invisalign is the better choice if you want to adjust all of your teeth. It takes a little more time, but it’s more comprehensive.

Aesthetics and Maintenance

Six Month Smiles have actual brackets that are cemented to your teeth and held together with a wire. Brushing and flossing around braces can be a bit of a chore.

Invisalign tends to be easier to care for. Your removable trays clean easily outside the mouth and allow you to eat whatever you want. Invisalign is also less noticeable than braces.

The best way to decide on the teeth straightening procedure that’s right for your smile is to talk with your local dentist. A straighter and younger looking smile is just one consultation away!

Posted on behalf of:
Cosmetic Dentist of Hayward
27206 Calaroga Ave #216
Hayward, CA 94545
(510) 782-7821


Are Six Month Smiles Safe?

Posted in Orthodontics

Six Month Smiles are a “fast” form of orthodontics that make your smile look straight in less than 6 months. The treatment moves rapidly and most people see results within just a month or two of the treatment. But is it safe? After all – most comprehensive orthodontics take a year or more before the treatment is completed.

Yes. Six Month Smiles is perfectly safe, and here’s why: this type of braces focuses only on straightening the front teeth inside of your mouth. Other types of braces adjust all of the teeth, no matter how far back they are. This means the treatment takes longer, and some tooth movement needs must wait on other teeth to be repositioned before they can be addressed.

During Six Month Smiles, the primary concern is aesthetics, so that is what is addressed first. Only the teeth in the front of your smile are adjusted. They may have gaps, be crowded, or simply be out of alignment. Six Month Smiles works to quickly reposition those teeth into the desirable location, regardless of how the back teeth are positioned. Since it is a specific type of teeth straightening, patients complete their treatment much more quickly than other orthodontic clients.

The treatment isn’t right for everyone. After all, some people do have severe misalignment issues of the jaws and back teeth that may need to be improved for oral health purposes. However, Six Month Smiles is perfect for people that have suffered from gradual tooth movement or specific aesthetic needs of their front teeth. Ask your dentist if Six Month Smiles is right for you or your older teen.

Posted on behalf of:
Linda King, DDS MAGD
4146 Georgia 42
Locust Grove, GA 30248
(770) 898-8872


Six Month Smiles

Posted in Braces

Adults of this generation have access to orthodontic care that previous generations did not. In fact, a large percentage of orthodontic patients are now adults. There are a wide variety of braces to choose from, making it appealing to a variety of ages and backgrounds. When asked about whether or not they will consider braces, many adults still have a reservation about the treatment because of how much time may be involved in straightening their smile. Thankfully, there’s an option for that too: Six Month Smiles.

Six Month Smiles straightens the appearance of a person’s smile in just that…6 months! Unlike other types of orthodontic treatments, Six Month Smiles adult braces focuses on the teeth in the front of the mouth, not the ones in the back of the mouth. This frees up a lot of treatment time and movements, allowing the 6 month braces to reposition the front teeth into a straight alignment. After this short treatment span, patients have straight smiles that they’ll feel confident in, allowing them to smile in public as often as they like.

The braces also come in tooth colored shades, allowing them to be hidden from the view of other people that are around. A person would have to look very closely to be able to see the braces at all. Since the treatment span is so short, there are relatively few appointments needed compared to traditional braces.

Whether you’ve wanted to improve your smile for personal reasons, or simply want to catch that new promotion that’s coming up later this year, almost anyone can work Six Month Smiles into their busy routine!

Posted on behalf of Dr. Joyce Ma, Prime Dental Care



Braces For Adults

Posted in Braces

Adults who would like a straighter, more attractive smile have many alternatives available to them.  Your cosmetic dentist can help you explore the options that may be right for you, but in addition to dental veneers and caps, braces are a realistic alternative for many adults.  In the past, adults tended to avoid braces because they did not want to endure years of the “metal mouth” look.  Many people believed that having traditional metal braces could have an adverse effect on career advancement or could impact their social lives.

Fortunately, there are some excellent orthodontic alternatives that can give adults the straighter smile they seek while limiting or even eliminating the social stigma that comes with traditional metal braces.  Clear aligners such as Invisalign® or ClearCorrect™ are a popular alternative  for adult braces.

Clear aligners use the same principles of traditional braces.  They apply gentle pressure to slowly move teeth into the desired position.  Instead of using bands and wires to get the job done, clear aligners use a series of clear plastic aligners or trays that fit over the patient’s teeth.  Once in place, the aligners are almost invisible which makes them great for working adults.

Another option is six months braces such as the Six Months Smiles® system.  These systems focus on moving only the front teeth and can be completed in about six months. They do not address bite issues, but can be an excellent alternative to achieve a straighter smile in a short period of time.

Finally, there have been advances in traditional braces to help make them less noticeable.  Some traditional braces are made with tooth colored ceramic or plastic bands and wires that make them much less noticeable than metal colored braces.  If you want a straighter, more attractive smile, talk to your cosmetic dentist today!



Paying For Adult Braces

Posted in Braces

More and more adults are turning to orthodontics to help them achieve a more attractive smile.  Braces used to be almost exclusively limited to teenagers, but the number of adults with braces has increased rapidly in the past few years.  Part of the increase is likely due to the many new alternatives for invisible or less visible braces.

Invisible aligners such as Invisalign can correct moderately misaligned teeth in adults without unsightly metal bands and wires.  There are other less visible options including tooth colored braces and accelerated six month braces, an orthodontics system that gets the job done in about six months by focusing on straightening just the front teeth.

All these options give adults a lot of flexibility when it comes to adult braces, but paying for them continues to pose a challenge for many patients.  Cost varies depending on the patient’s needs and the type of braces, but expect to pay between $3,000 and $7,500 for a complete course of orthodontic treatment.

Unfortunately, most dental insurance plans don’t cover adult braces.  There are a few that cover it so if you have dental insurance, check your policy. Even if you are lucky enough to have a dental insurance policy that covers adult braces, it will probably only cover about half the cost. If you are among the majority without dental care insurance or whose insurance does not cover adult braces, consider using your flexible spending account (FSA) to pay for the braces.

Braces are an allowable expense for flexible spending accounts and by paying for your braces from your flexible spending account, you can reduce the cost by amount of your marginal tax rate.  If you are in the 20% tax bracket, that’s a 20% savings on your braces.

Most dentists accept payments during the course of treatment and most treatment plans take two or three years.  Consider contributing enough to your FSA each year to cover that year’s costs.  By spreading out the payments and paying through your FSA, the cost will be less of a burden and you can enjoy your straight new smile!


Adult Braces

Posted in Braces

If you are an adult and are unhappy with your smile, consider joining the millions of American adults who are using braces to get the smile they have always wanted.  Braces aren’t just for adolescents anymore.  In fact, almost half of orthodontic patients are adults and experts say age does not matter when it comes to using braces to get straighter teeth and a more attractive smile.

If concerns about that “metal mouth” look have been holding you back, you will be pleased to know that in the past 15 years braces have improved considerably.  These days there are many options available that are far less obtrusive than traditional full banded metal braces.

Ceramic braces are similar to traditional braces except that they are made from tooth colored ceramic material that blends in with your teeth.  Since they are not shiny metal, they are much less noticeable than traditional braces.

Another option is inside braces that attach to the back of the patient’s teeth instead of the front.  These are almost unnoticeable, but some patients have difficulty getting used to them.

Invisible braces are a great option for adults.  Instead of using brackets and bands affixed to the teeth, invisible braces use a series of clear removable “trays”  called aligners that fit over the patient’s teeth.  The aligners are computed designed so that each aligner applies gentle pressure to move the teeth a little further than the previous aligner.  An aligner is worn for two to three weeks and then replaced with the next one.  These are nearly invisible and can be removed for eating and cleaning.

Finally, consider six months braces.  This procedure uses clear or tooth colored braces and focuses on aligning just the patient’s front teeth.  Since the procedure does not attempt to address bite problems or severe misalignments, it is usually completed in six months.



Six Month Braces

Posted in Braces

Adults who want straighter, more attractive teeth but don’t want to endure years of unattractive metal braces have several alternatives to consider.  Porcelain veneers, invisible braces, and six month braces are some of the alternatives to traditional metal braces.

In some cases, your cosmetic dentist can achieve the look you desire with porcelain veneers.  These are thin porcelain wafers that are permanently bonded to the surface of your teeth and can result in an attractive smile without the discomfort and lengthy treatment time  associated with braces.

Invisible braces are another alternative.  There are different types of invisible braces such as clear plastic aligners like Invisalign, ceramic tooth colored braces that are less noticeable than conventional metal braces, and inside braces that attach to the back of the patient’s teeth and are hidden from view.  One of the primary drawbacks of these types of braces is that they all take at least a year or more.  Many cases will take more than two years for the complete treatment.

Six month braces such as the Six Month Smiles system are an attractive alternative for patients who want faster results without using veneers.  Six month braces focus on straightening just the front teeth without major bite corrections.  They work like traditional braces, but only take six months in most cases.  Also, six month braces typically use a tooth colored wire and brackets to make them less noticeable than traditional metal braces.

When you are ready for a straight, beautiful smile that will improve you confidence and self esteem, talk to your cosmetic dentist about your options to see if six month braces are a good alternative for you.

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