When most people think of orthodontics, they think of teenagers in metal braces or plastic retainers. But those aren’t the only ways to get a straighter smile.

Recent advances in the field of orthodontics make it easier, faster and more affordable than ever before to get the smile you deserve.

In honor of National Orthodontic Health Month, we’re here to debunk three common misconceptions about what it takes to improve your appearance and oral function. Take a look, and if you think that the expert staff here at Houston Uptown Dentists in Houston, TX, can help you, give us a call at 832-463-1021 to schedule your first orthodontic appointment.

Myth #1: It takes years to get a straighter smile.

While it can take several years to straighten teeth with traditional braces, other orthodontic options can give you the smile you desire in a matter of months.

Houston Uptown Dentists specializes in short-term alternatives, like Six Month Smiles, which moves your teeth in roughly half a year. You might think that because of the shortened period of time, short-term orthodontics means moving teeth more forcefully than traditional braces, but that’s actually not the case.

Six Month Smiles utilizes the same mechanism as traditional braces — clear brackets are affixed to your teeth, connected by tooth-colored wires — but concentrates more on the cosmetic alignment of your teeth, rather than making any large scale chances to the position of your bite. It’s gentle, and it’s safe for your teeth.

Our office also offers Invisalign, which uses a series of removable, custom-made trays to straighten your teeth. Though realignment of your teeth is gradual;, the treatment process only takes about 12 months on average.

If you’re looking for ways to accelerate your orthodontic treatment even further, we can help you with Propel Accelerated Orthodontics. This method involves using a pen-shaped medical device to stimulate mild inflammation and blood flow around the teeth you want to straighten. This ultimately encourages tooth movement, increasing the effectiveness of treatments like Invisalign.

Just think: you could have a straighter smile by the springtime! Give us a call today at 832-463-1021 to make an appointment with our orthodontic team.

Myth #2: Orthodontics are distracting to your appearance.

There was a time when having braces meant enduring a mouthful of metal, but that’s not the case anymore. Today’s teeth straightening options are more discreet than ever before, so they won’t distract from your smile even during the course of treatment.

Though the mechanism resembles traditional braces, Six Month Smiles uses clear brackets and wires that are the same color as your teeth — they’re barely visible!

With Invisalign, their appearance is built into the name. Though they’re worn for roughly 20 to 22 hours each day, they’re made of out a clear thermoplastic material, so they’re virtually invisible. And because each tray is custom-made for your mouth, they fit snugly around your teeth.

If you’ve been avoiding teeth straightening treatments because you’re worried they’ll interfere with life’s most important moments — graduations, weddings, milestone anniversaries — know that there are ways to improve your smile without traditional braces.

Myth #3: Only kids wear braces.

While traditional braces are typically associated with the awkward teenage years, there’s been a shift toward more and more adults seeking orthodontic work. In fact, one in five patients receiving some form of orthodontic treatment is over the age of 18, according to the American Association of Orthodontists, and many dentists have noticed in recent years that adults are the fastest growing market for traditional braces and other treatments.

That may be because dental health overall is improving. Adults who exercise proper oral care are keeping their teeth longer than ever before — meaning that they’re free to focus on the way their teeth look, rather than solely on how to combat decay.

Some adults who had braces as a kid find that their teeth have shifted in the years since, and both Six Month Smiles and Invisalign are great options for those wanting to return to a straighter smile without committing to traditional braces.

Plus, orthodontic work, no matter when in life you get it, can actually have benefits beyond cosmetic improvement. Because straight teeth are generally easier to brush and floss, orthodontics can lead to less decay and healthier gums. Research shows that one in four adults could benefit from some sort of teeth straightening treatment.

Think you could benefit from Six Month Smiles or Invisalign? During your first orthodontic appointment with us, we’ll use state-of-the-art technology to assess any issues with your teeth alignment and bite. Our caring staff will answer questions you have, and together, we’ll come up with a treatment plan that best fits your smile and your lifestyle. Give us a call at 832-463-1021 to schedule a visit.