Am I Suitable?

Do online aligners work only on the 6 front teeth?

online aligners

When we smile we see on average the front 8-12 teeth and some braces aim to straighten only the 6 front teeth when others can also move the back teeth so how does it work with Straight Teeth Direct’s online aligners?

Understanding your tooth structure

The front 2 teeth are the central incisors, the front side teeth are the upper lateral incisors and the pointy teeth are the corners are your canines. After there are two premolars on each side (first premolar and second premolar) , and then 2 molars (first molar and second molar). Then some people have their wisdom teeth.

This means when we smile we usually see from premolars to premolar but it could be from molar to molar. The amount of tooth display when we smile is governed by the smile line & lip mobility. The smile line is how high your lip is and thus if you have a hidden smile (lips cover the teeth) or a high smile line (teeth and gums all visible)
Lip mobility means how much the lip moves upwards and sidewards.

For some people we can see the first 8 teeth, but for others we can see the first 12 teeth, this means if they lost a tooth or had a black filling it would be immediately visible in your smile.

The same is true from your lower teeth, they are highly visible too. As we get older the jaw narrows and then teeth move out of position. The lower teeth over-erupt – this means they move upwards and thus are more visible sticking out of position.

The primary cosmetic objective of online aligners

If you are looking to improve your smile, it is important to address everything we can see.
At Straight Teeth Direct™ the aligners are focused on cosmetic smile improvement.
The primary goal is not to correct your bite or other functional concerns. That doesn’t necessarly mean online aligners cannot improve other things. However, changing your bite, for instance, is not the key objective of the aligners. So if that is your main concern you are better of looking into in-clinic options.

Beautifying your smile with online aligners

What are some of the key things people want in their smile to make it more beautiful?
They want their smile to be wider, teeth in line, teeth edges more even, and all teeth next to each other. So lets translate these items into the movements needed:

Online aligners to widen your smile

In order to get a wider smile, you need arch expansion. Typically our smile gets narrow as the masseter muscles in our jaw twitch.

Try this: clench your teeth together and put a finger on your cheek – can you feel that muscle twitch? That’s your masseter jaw muscles working. Every time they squeeze your teeth together it pushes your premolars and molars slightly inwards. As the muscle gets stronger the teeth tip in more and more. This means your arch is narrower, your front teeth get pushed out of the way and become crooked. Straight Teeth Direct aligners are programmed to optimise arch shape and smile width as much as possible. Keep in mind that our aligners act on your 6 front teeth – molar to molar.

Online aligners to level your smile

Teeth edges to be more even = Alignment
We generally want the teeth forming the smile on the left and right sides to be at the same height. Sometimes some teeth over-erupt (move downwards). If this is the case then the aligners are able to push those back into line and harmonise the smile. The advantage of aligners over fixed braces is that they can accurately and easily perform detailed movements to the mm. Fixed braces, on the other hand, are sometimes fitted with too much glue/in the wrong position. This can lead to uneven teeth. If some teeth are too high up perhaps an in-clinic treatment option can be considered.

Online aligners to shape your smile

All teeth next to each other = Round arch form
When we look at a photo of the upper set of teeth looking upwards – like a roof view, or all the lower teeth looking down, we can see they form an arch shape. Teeth have pointed edges which are called cusps. Aligners purpose is for all the cusps to be next to each other to form an arch shape. What’s important to understand is that teeth are all different thicknesses and our jaws also aren’t perfectly symmetrical so on a zoomed in view there may small variations of 0.5mm-1mm between the teeth, this is due to the tooth shapes and if that is something you wish to change you can adjust them with cosmetic contouring or if really looking for perfection – veneers following straightening could be a solution. Another important thing to consider is if very small natural variations are bothering you if you have some body dysmorphia then you should look into different solutions.

Aligners are able to improve your whole smile, the aligners can expand your arch, widen your smile, level the edges and bring all the teeth into line. They work as a minimum on the front 10-12 teeth. The online aligners are programmed to move the teeth needed to ensure a beautiful and ideal smile.

If you’re looking for a way to have a more beautiful smile why not start with your free e-consultation to find out if online aligners are the right solution for you.

Join us on social for more expert advice