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Crooked teeth illusion. How your teeth shape play a crucial role

teeth shape and the crooked teeth illusion

We all want a beautiful, straight, white confident smile. But how do we actually achieve it? What draws our eyes to someone’s teeth, and what makes us see them as healthy? It’s easy to assume that whiteness or orthodontic treatment would do all the work for you, but there’s actually much more to it. Teeth shape varies naturally, and that’s due to each tooth having different roles when it comes to chewing.

You can’t fix dental problems and imperfections until you know what causes them, so here’s our guide to colour, tooth position, and most importantly, teeth shape.

The 3 keys to a beautiful smile

1. Teeth Colour

The most obvious dental issue that everyone notices is the colour of the teeth. If they aren’t white, and they appear darker or more yellow, it’s an instant indication of teeth that have been neglected or stained.
Colour can be improved with teeth whitening treatments, polishing, and general improved dental hygiene. All three can make a huge difference to your smile, and everyone trying to get a nicer smile should start with these three essentials.

teeth whitening transformation

If you’re already on your Straight Teeth Journey, you can upgrade to the advanced teeth whitening gel by 360 Whitening. This is a fast and predictable tooth whitening system that whitens and brightens your teeth overnight from within. You can upgrade your smile at any point into aligner treatment with this dentist prescribed teeth whitening.

2. Teeth Position

The other obvious thing people notice is the straightness of teeth, particularly if they’re noticeably crooked, rotated out of position or alignment. Our eyes instantly recognise a straight and symmetrical smile as more beautiful.

Crooked teeth can be straightened with different orthodontic treatments including clear braces and invisible aligners. These help move the teeth into a more symmetrical arch shape so that they are all lined up in the same position.

3 Teeth Shape

Many people neglect to think about the shape of their teeth, instead focusing on alignment and colour, because they feel it’s the most obvious sign of a healthy and beautiful smile. Moving the teeth into a straight alignment isn’t the only thing to look at when you’re trying to get a beautiful smile, teeth shape plays a really crucial part.

The shape of the teeth can make the difference between a beautiful smile and a smile you’re ashamed of. Teeth Shape is that important and a much overlooked element. You’re now wondering “Can teeth still look crooked after braces?” Well…yes! Let’s look at an example where teeth are aligned in the right position and still look crooked as they are severely out of shape.

teeth shape illusion

We can see the lower incisor edges are uneven too. So let’s see the teeth during and after they’re straightened from a top down view.

arch expansion example

Now we can see that the lower teeth in an arch look much better from this view.

Let’s have a look at the process from the front view:

phases of cosmetic teeth bonding

As you can see the teeth still look like they’re not very straight, and the issue is individual tooth shapes. Teeth are worn down at different rates so they present different lengths. No amount of braces will solve this, the only solution would be cosmetic bonding. You can see the teeth haven’t been moved but tooth shapes have been improved, making a much more even smile.

How can a tooth be out of shape? 

  • Natural development.

    In nature, a flower might not have petals of all the same size, thickness, shape or height. This variation is normal, and the same thing happens to our teeth as they develop. If your front teeth are very thick and curved, but the side two teeth are thin and less curved, it can appear very uneven.

  • The teeth edges wore down at different rates and angles when the teeth were in their old position.

    In the previous position, teeth edges may have looked straight but the tooth would also be a lot shorter compared to its neighbours. When they are moved to the correct position, edges appear uneven despite the teeth being straight. This is due to the different levels of tooth wear, and can make straight teeth look extremely crooked.

The teeth which show the biggest shape variation are the lateral incisors – the two teeth next to your front teeth. A common variation is when the front two teeth are quite big and thick and the side two teeth are quite thin and small. This gives the illusion that the front teeth are sticking out. In fact, the real issue is the side teeth being too small. When the issue is the shape of teeth, no amount of braces, clear aligners or even brackets and wires will get you the smile that you really want. The solution here is to first move the teeth into the right position and then improve their shape.

How can you improve your teeth shape?

Straight Teeth Direct clear aligners move your teeth into their best, straightest possible position non-invasively. Teeth straightening is a part of cosmetic dentistry as it improves the teeth positions. There are however two additional important dimensions that may need improving if you are looking for the best smile possible. These include teeth shape and teeth colour. So If, after aligner treatment, your teeth still appear crooked it could actually be due to tooth shape. If you want to further improve the appearance of your smile, you may want to look into cosmetic bonding or contouring, depending on whether you would benefit from an additive or subtractive approach.

1. Cosmetic teeth bonding

Cosmetic bonding after teeth straigtening

If your teeth are too short, chipped or thin, cosmetic teeth bonding is a good solution: it’s a non-invasive way to give your teeth an even shape and size. It can be thought of as adding a layer of artificial enamel to your teeth.

Cosmetic bonding is an additive cosmetic enhancement. It works by applying a bonded tooth coloured material to your teeth that thickens and lengthens them, thus improving their shape. The tooth-coloured resin is shaped and smoothed to match your surrounding teeth, and then hardened under an ultraviolet light or laser treatment. 

As a final touch, your dentist will further shape and adjust the new tooth shape before polishing the surfaces. This is 100% non-invasive, so no anaesthetic is needed and 2-4 teeth can be transformed in only 45 minutes.

Now that you understand the process, here’s a real case scenario on how combining teeth straightening with aligners, cosmetic bonding, and professional teeth whitening helped achieve the desired results:

cosmetic bonding full smile transformation

2. Cosmetic contouring

If your teeth are too long, uneven or thick, cosmetic contouring can be used to reshape the tooth edges.

Cosmetic contouring is a subtractive procedure. A quick and relatively simple process to reshape and tidy your smile by removing a thin layer of enamel to smooth out minor chips, reshape pointy teeth or redefine teeth that have worn flat. Unlike cosmetic bonding, contouring is an invasive procedure and permanently changes your natural tooth shape.

Whether you need cosmetic teeth bonding or contouring, these small changes can have a big effect on your smile. Especially when combined with aligner treatment or teeth whitening. When performed correctly these finishing touches are a great way to achieve your dream smile! 

Have you ever thought how your teeth shape could impact how straight your smile could look? Complete your free e-consultation to find out!

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