If you have six or fewer teeth visible when you smile, dentists and orthodontists would consider your mouth narrow. You might see dark corridors at the edge of your mouth when smiling. Sometimes, your mouth might feel crowded as well, as if there is not enough room for your tongue or teeth.
A narrow smile can make you feel self-conscious about the way your teeth appear. But the overcrowding can also put your oral health in danger. Consult an orthodontist to learn the best way to make your smile wider.
If you do not know what to expect from this upcoming treatment, you might feel very nervous. You can alleviate dental fear if you read on and find responses to frequently asked questions from your orthodontist when it comes to treatment that will give you a wider smile.
Which Orthodontic Treatment Will Widen My Smile?
Your orthodontist will evaluate your existing dental alignment as well as your medical history to determine the best method of widening your smile. In mild cases, your orthodontist can use Invisalign to help you achieve the smile of your dreams.
Invisalign uses custom-made plastic trays worn the majority of the day to gradually push teeth into their desired alignment. Then you can see narrow teeth moving into a wider position where you can feel proud of your smile. This will fill those dark buccal corridors to enhance the appearance of your smile.
Braces can accomplish a similar goal in straightening the teeth to therefore make the mouth wider. Braces provide more pressure than Invisalign can, so your dentist might recommend them in more serious misalignment instances.
However, many instances of a narrow smile point to developmental concerns in the jaw or palate. These patients will need specific treatment to widen the palate, not just the teeth. The orthodontist will likely recommend an expander, an oral appliance fixed behind the arch of teeth that will push against the molars to widen the jaw.
After treatment with a palatal expander, a patient might start to see gaps between their teeth or crookedness due to the change in the jaw. Then they will need braces or Invisalign to straighten the dental alignment.
Will Smile Widening Treatment Hurt?
It may take several months or years to complete orthodontic treatment to widen your smile. During this time, you might worry about how Invisalign, braces, or oral appliances will feel in your mouth. In particular, you might feel concerned about pain as the devices push against your teeth.
Each of these treatments will apply pressure to your teeth and jaw to widen your smile. This may result in some soreness in your mouth, especially when you first begin the treatment or use a new device.
Your orthodontist can offer pain management advice if you have trouble tolerating this discomfort. You can relieve this pain at home, but if the pain becomes severe, make sure you let your orthodontist know.