Even though Six Month Smiles has been available in th US for a while now, there isn't much information out there. I hope that in sharing my experience, I can 1) put more information out there 2) get over my pitty party and 3) track my own progress.
I am 32 years old and finally decided to do something about my smile. As a child i had a gap between my front teeth that resolved on its own, but my canines have always been rotated out, so that you can see the entire surface of them when i smile. I figured that I deserve to have a great smile, and heck, as you get older, you need to make tweaks here and there to stay attractive.
Yesterday I had the 6 month smiles (I'll abbreviate to 6MS) system installed.
Today I am wondering why the heck I signed up for this. My smile was cute! I'm already married! Who am i trying to impress? What was I thinking?!
A few short weeks ago, I had a consultation and was told I was a candidate for 6MS. "Awesome!". The cot would be $4,000, including teeth whitening, a cleaning, adjustments and retainers. I had just gotten an Invisalign quote for about $5,800, that would take 18 months. I thought this was great. I had a mold taken that day (a plastic liquid mold is put into a tray, you bite down, the plastic solidifies quickly and is peeled off). The molds were sent off and a bracket pattern was made especially for my teeth issues. 3 weeks later, I was back in the office, ready to go.
6MS only focuses on the teeth seen when you smile, room for adjustment is often made by shaving down some or all of these teeth. I needed some room, so a gritty file was used. The sawing motion is a little jarring at first, but eventually I just accepted it...it's not painful, just chilling. The brackets, which are clear, are then glued to your teeth (at a pre-determined location, depending on how the tooth needs to be moved) with a strong smelling apoxy, that is cured with a light. Then the teeth colored wires are put on, tightened and snipped. The installation process took less than an hour.
Due to the teeth shaving, I now have spaces between my front teeth, where I didn't before. I must admit that this is scary, because now, even if I wanted to take the braces off, I would be left with a smile worse that what I started with. However, the teeth look appropriately sized and shaped. I can see how they will fit together nicely in the future... The distant, distant 6 month future.
The pain isn't bad. I am taking ibuprofen 200mg-800mg every 6-8 hours as needed.
The worst part, truly, is that I have no bite anymore. The only teeth that can touch are my front 4... These teeth have very little surface area and are no good for chewing. My teeth in the back cannot touch. I love cooking, and eating and I wish I would have known that this was a possibility before getting the braces. The staff at the office told me that I would have to eat softer foods, but this is like - I need to be on a liquid diet or be okay with swallowing chunks of food -not okay. I will try to post my diet as much as possible to help others out with the same problem.
I feel nauseous today (there's nothing to stop all of that soft food from moving around!) and a little sad about how I look right now, but I know I will be happy with the results.
Stay tuned and good luck with your own dental improvements!