Six-month braces provide a faster and more affordable solution for crooked teeth in instances when minimal to no changes are necessary for the bite, so this treatment is typically used to improve the smile as opposed to changing the bite. Traditional braces, on the other hand, offer more comprehensive orthodontic work.
When the teeth and jaws of children and teenagers are still growing (until the age of about 16), it is best to seek comprehensive orthodontic treatment to perfect their bite. That said, six-month braces can be used to solve a specific range of issues, including crooked, overlapping and gappy front teeth.
Are six-month braces right for you?
There are some instances when dentists don’t recommend six-month braces for children. The key reason for this is that the treatment focuses on making minor adjustments to just the front teeth or the visible areas of your smile. Children who require more orthodontic work may need to consider a long-term, comprehensive treatment or alternative appliances that operate in a different way.
To determine if your child is a suitable candidate, follow these steps:
Step 1: First consultation visit
During the first appointment with your dentist, your child’s teeth will be assessed, at which time you can discuss the potential treatment options. You should disclose any medications your child may currently be taking , as well as any medical conditions that may exist. Depending on the severity of the problem, your child may require X-rays.
Step 2: Treatment planning
Your dentist will create a personalised treatment plan for your orthodontic needs depending on the diagnostic records obtained. These records are comprised of orthodontic X-rays, study models and diagnostic photographs.
Step 3: Schedule the orthodontic treatment
If your child is a suitable candidate for six-month braces, they can proceed with the treatment. If not, the dentist will recommend a more suitable treatment, including a referral to an orthodontist if necessary.
Before any orthodontic treatment, the dentist will ensure that any existing dental problems are addressed, including cavities. The gums and underlying bone must also be healthy and free of periodontal disease.
Step 4: Successive treatments
Six-month treatments are intended to be worn for a few short months, but the treatment can take longer than six months depending on the severity of the problem, the patient’s age, the degree of tooth movement and the patient’s cooperation.
During recovery it is important that you keep periodic visits so the dentist can check your child’s progress and adjust his/her braces. Also ensure that your child eats nutritiously, follows instructions, and practises good oral hygiene.
While young patients may be afraid to wear braces, these orthodontic appliances are unlikely to ruin their life. If you want to get your teeth fixed in the shortest time possible, just follow your dentist’s advice.