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By Dr. Saleh Al-Daghreer

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Topics: Orthodontics

Everyone wants their orthodontic treatment to be done as quickly as possible. When you get word from your orthodontist that you, your children, or your spouse are in need of braces, you immediately start dreaming of that day many months (and often years) in the future when they’ll be removed.

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This has caused many people to delight at hearing that six-month or twelve-month braces are available, but don’t let your desire for shorter orthodontic treatment affect your oral health. Often called “fast braces,” six- and twelve-month braces are quite misleading, and often cause more harm to your oral health than they fix.

Here are reasons why six-month and twelve-month braces are misleading, and why you should stick with high-quality treatment through your orthodontist.


Every Mouth Is Different

First, the very claim that anyone’s orthodontic treatment can be completed in six to twelve months before being seen by an orthodontist is unrealistic. Some people are lucky and will only require several months of braces to align their teeth; however, this is not the norm. On top of that, every person’s teeth and jaw shape are different, which is going to have a large impact on how long the treatment takes.

There’s no standard as every person’s mouth is different. An orthodontist needs to examine your teeth and jaw to decide what work should be done before a timeframe can even be considered. Advertising six- or twelve-month braces without even a consultation is erroneous (and in the worst cases, deceitful).

If you think you’re in need of teeth straightening, speak to your orthodontist first to determine what work you need and how long it is going to take.


The Costs “Saved” Are Negligible

One of the biggest selling points of “fast braces” is saving money. Six- and twelve-month braces often boast reduced costs; however, the short-term “savings” are often outweighed by the long-term costs.

If your braces are only in for six or twelve months, the likelihood is that your teeth will not be corrected properly in that time. Later, you may require more orthodontic treatment to fully correct them. At the same time, “fast braces” may in fact cause more harm to your teeth due to the rushed treatment process and require not only more orthodontic treatment, but more intense treatments, which in turn will cost even more.

There are better ways to save costs. Many dental offices have financing options, so ask your orthodontist how you can finance your braces.


More Damage Than Correction

By erroneously shortening your orthodontic treatment time, you’re likely not providing your teeth enough time to properly correct, which will require more treatment in the future. The worst-case scenario, however, is that you will cause more harm during this treatment time—which is common with six- and twelve-month braces.

By rushing the process that adjusts your teeth, you may actually cause damage to the roots, your sockets, or other important parts of your jaw. This can leave you with worse problems than misaligned teeth, which will affect your oral and overall health.

Braces may not be fun, but the technology has advanced in many important directions, making them more comfortable and less intrusive than ever before. There are plenty of different options for treatment; you can find the perfect one to match your lifestyle and budget.

Trust your orthodontist. He or she is a trained professional with many years of education and experience in the field of dentistry and orthodontics. A quick “fix” that costs less may seem like a good idea now, but later when you have spent even more on advanced treatments, you’ll wish you had stuck with the recommended treatment.


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Dr. Saleh Al-Daghreer

Dr. Saleh Al-Daghreer, BDS, PhD, FRCD (C), an Edmonton Orthodontist who is a registered specialist and a fellow of the Canadian Royal College of Dentists of Canada in the specialty of orthodontics and dentofacial orthopedics. He received his undergraduate degree in Dentistry in 2003 and his PhD in Orthodontics in 2012 from the University of Alberta. He founded City Orthodontics and Pediatric Dentistry to provide care in the City of Edmonton.

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