Health and Fitness

Can Invisalign Braces Widen A Smile?

Straightening the teeth with Invisalign braces can improve your smile, giving you the confidence you need to smile often and talk to people. Although Invisalign can improve the smile’s aesthetics, you may still be sceptical about using Invisalign to widen your smile.

Invisalign’s effectiveness in widening a smile depends on the teeth alignment problem. When you have crowded teeth, your smile will not appear as wide as it would if you had straight teeth. Some people have a naturally narrow smile called narrow maxillary dental arch, which arises from the shape of the person’s palate and bone structure, not how straight their teeth look.  Some of the dental issues causing a narrow smile are easier to correct than others, meaning Invisalign in Harley street may widen some people smile.

What is a narrow smile?

To know how wide your smile is, you can count the number of visible teeth when you smile. If only six or fewer teeth show when you smile, you have a narrow smile.  Having a narrow smile is common, and people with a narrow smile have a tapered-shaped upper jaw and palate than the average person’s mouth.

The maxillary arch formed by the upper teeth usually comes to a slight point at the front rather than having a gradually sloping curve. In extreme cases, it gives a V-shaped look. Some narrow smiles are heredity. Like facial features and eye colour, the shape of the jaw can be inherited.

Ageing also causes narrowing of the maxillary arch. Over time, the teeth begin to tip inward, making the space at the corners of the mouth, between the cheeks and teeth expand. These changes cause the back teeth to become shadowed, contributing to the narrowed look, making the jaw look narrower and giving the cheeks a sunken appearance.

In some extreme cases, the narrow smile makes an underbite, crossbite or overbite more obvious. It may also result in breathing problems if the person experiences difficulty closing the mouth. Some people may experience difficulty pronouncing some words and lisping, which makes correcting the issue a priority.

Many people with a narrow smile do not experience serious dental issues but opt to fix them for cosmetic reasons. Depending on how much widening you need, you can widen your smile with braces, Invisalign or other orthodontic devices.

Can I fix a narrow smile?

Children with a narrow smile can get palate expanders before using orthodontic devices such as braces. The dentist will attach the expander to the back of the child’s teeth and span the roof of the mouth. This gradually expands outward by turning a screw or small key, which widens the jaw bone.

Palate expanders are effective on children because their jaws are still developing. By age 13, the jawbones would have fully developed and permanently fused. On the other hand, adults will need an implant-supported device or surgery instead of a traditional palate expander.

The dentist can place small implants in the maxillary bone and attach an expander. Another treatment option is Surgically Assisted Rapid Palatal Expansion (SARPE), carried out under general anaesthesia. The surgeon will split the patient’s palate and surgically attach an expander. The implants and surgically implanted expanders get adjusted each day to move the jaw bone gradually, like the traditional expanders.

Using expanders effectively fix a narrow smile because it moves the bone and widens the dental arch. After the dental arch expansion, you can undergo teeth straightening treatment.

Widening a narrow smile with braces or Invisalign

If your arch is not narrow enough to use an expander or you’ve already used an expander, you can straighten your teeth to widen your smile. Invisalign and braces can correct different alignment issues, including widening your smile.

Note that widening a smile with braces or Invisalign does not widen your jaw bone. If you have a severely narrow maxillary arch, you may not have a noticeable change in your smile width without using an expander.

Orthodontic devices such as Invisalign and braces will only move the teeth into positions that make your smile appear wider. If you have crooked front teeth, straightening them makes them line up and face forward, making your smile look wider. The orthodontic device will move the teeth a few millimetres, which can have a noticeable effect.

Different factors make Invisalign a preferred option for straightening the teeth and making the smile appear wider. Invisalign aligners are removable, comfortable and discreet. However, they do not work for all dental issues. Before your treatment, you need to visit the dentist to know if Invisalign or braces are a better option.

Braces are better for correcting severe malocclusions and crooked teeth, while Invisalign can correct moderately crooked teeth, gaps and crowding.

What can Invisalign do to widen a smile?

If Invisalign treatment is a suitable option for you, you will get a series of clear plastic, custom-made aligner trays from 3D images of your teeth. You need to wear these aligners for about 22 hours every day and switch to the next set of aligners every two weeks.

Depending on the treatment plan created by your dentist, the aligners will gradually shift your teeth to the right position. If you have a narrow smile resulting from crooked teeth, the aligners will move your top front teeth towards the front and spread them apart if the teeth are crowded. When all your front teeth are in a straight line, your buccal corridors will appear smaller and your smile wider.

Braces usually apply more pressure to the teeth than Invisalign aligners, so they can move the teeth further than aligners. This makes braces preferable for more serious misalignments. However, the concept is similar – widening the teeth and making them even and widening your smile.

Invisalign aligners are available for correcting different orthodontic issues, including fixing a narrow smile. For more information, visit www.smileworksdental.co.uk or visit our clinic to consult our dentist on a suitable treatment to widen your smile.

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