What Are Your Orthodontic Alternatives? [BLOG]

tooth_bonding_3 | Dr. Jennifer Perkins, DDS

So you’ve decided to straighten your teeth, but you know metal braces aren’t for you. Maybe you’ve got a job where braces would be too distracting for clients or you’ve got a big occasion coming up and don’t want to sport a mouth full of metal in photos.

You may be aware that there are orthodontic alternatives to traditional braces. But you may not know there are multiple options to consider. At Jennifer Perkins, DDS we offer two popular orthodontics treatments: Invisalign and Six Month Smiles. The one that is right for you will depend on a number of factors, including the orthodontic issue you are trying to solve, your lifestyle, and your budget.

The best way to evaluate your orthodontic options is to visit our Huntsville, AL office for a consultation with Dr. Jennifer Perkins. She’ll examine you with tools like digital X-rays to get a comprehensive view of your mouth. Then she’ll explain your choices and answer any questions you have to help you decide whether Invisalign or Six Month Smiles is the best treatment for you.

Before she became a dentist, Dr. Perkins was a teacher. So she’s great at explaining dental treatments in easy-to-understand language and will make sure you understand everything you need to know.

To schedule your consultation, just call us at (256) 801-0002 or use our handy online form.

In the meantime, we’ve presented some of the factors you’ll want to consider when making your decision.


Both Invisalign and Six Month Smiles are far less conspicuous than metal braces. Invisalign uses clear plastic aligners instead of metal and wires to straighten teeth. Six Month Smiles utilizes the same kinds of wires and brackets as traditional braces, but they blend in easily with your smile because the materials are clear (brackets) and tooth-colored (wires).

We can show you photos of patients with both types of orthodontia, so you can see for yourself what they look like while being worn.

Orthodontics Issues

Six Month Smiles is used to make cosmetic corrections. It won’t solve problems such as an overbite or underbite. It focuses primarily on what we call the “social six,” the upper teeth in the front of your mouth that show when you smile. For issues involving your bite or teeth elsewhere in your mouth, Invisalign will be a better choice.

Treatment Time

Because it focuses primarily on cosmetic issues with your front teeth, you can complete Six Month Smiles treatment in a shorter amount of time. Depending on the problems you are trying to correct, treatment can usually be completed in three to nine months. The average is six months, which gives the product its name!

In contrast, the average Invisalign treatment time for adults is 12 months. We can often give you a good idea of exactly how long your Invisalign treatment time will take because we design a treatment plan for you ahead of time using special software. An Invisalign lab creates aligners for you based on the software models.


One of Invisalign’s key advantages is that you can remove your clear plastic aligners for meals. You won’t get food caught in your braces, and it’s easier to keep your teeth clean as you can brush and floss as usual. You can even take out your aligners for special occasions like a job interview or a social function!

The inverse of this is it can be tempting to not wear your aligners for the recommended 22 hours a day. Removing your aligners too frequently will result in a longer treatment time.

The other problem with removing aligners is that they are easy to misplace. (Remember, they are hard to see!) Like traditional braces, Six Month Smiles can only be removed by your dentist. So you can’t lose your orthodontia.

You Can Get Other Cosmetic Dental Treatments Too

Once you’ve straightened your teeth, you may want to further beautify them. Dr. Perkins has a special love for transforming smiles through cosmetic dentistry. She’s a member of the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry, and has performed countless smile makeovers in her 22 years as a dentist.

We can brighten dingy teeth, conceal flaws like chips or cracks, or even give you a more even gumline. Our cosmetic treatments include teeth whitening, dental veneers, tooth bonding, and teeth contouring. If your gums are the problem, we offer gum reshaping, gum grafts, and the Chao Pinhole Technique, a non-surgical procedure for fixing receding gums.

To find out more about orthodontic alternatives or any of our other cosmetic dentistry options, call us at (256) 801-0002.

Call Today to Make an Appointment

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