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Narrow Smile

September 1, 2021

What is a Narrow Smile?

There is a simple test to determine whether or not someone has a narrow smile. When a person smiles naturally, and six or fewer teeth are visible, this suggests a narrow smile. The person’s palate and upper jaw might come to a slight point at the front rather than a gradually sloping curve. In extreme cases, the maxillary arch may look more like the letter V than the letter U.

Many people don’t experience any serious dental problems due to a narrow smile, but others might experience breathing issues if a patient has difficulty closing their mouth. Some people might even develop a lisp or have trouble pronouncing certain words. Rectifying issues like these should be a top priority.

Widening a smile with braces, Invisalign, or other methods might be possible at Inspired Orthodontics in Seattle, WA, and Bellevue, WA, depending on how much widening needs to be done.


Expanders effectively correct a narrow smile by moving the bones to widen the dental arch. Children with narrow smiles are often fitted with palatal expanders before other orthodontic treatments gradually expand and widen the upper jawbone. These expanders work well on children because the jaw hasn’t permanently fused.

However, by about the age of 13, the bones are fully grown and have started to fuse together. An adult will need an implant-supported device rather than the traditional palatal expander.

Invisalign or Braces

Inspired Orthodontics Invisalign

If the arch is not wide enough to require the use of an expander, the teeth may simply be straightened to make the smile appear wider. Invisalign or braces do not actually widen the jaw bone; they can move the teeth to give the appearance of a wider smile. Even moving teeth, a few millimeters can have a very noticeable impact.

If you suspect that you have a narrow smile, or have experienced some of the issues created by having a narrow maxillary arch, give Inspired Orthodontics of Seattle, WA, and Bellevue, WA a call today to discuss your options. We can have you flashing a wider, straighter smile in no time!

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At Inspired Orthodontics we love caring for our patients! Please contact us to make an appoinment with our orthodontists in Seattle and Bellevue.

We offer our patients in Seattle braces, Seattle orthodontic expansion, Seattle Invisalign, Seattle sleep apnea treatment, and Seattle surgical orthodontic treatment. We offer our patients in Bellevue braces, Bellevue orthodontic expansion, Bellevue Invisalign, Bellevue sleep apnea treatment, and Bellevue surgical orthodontic treatment.

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