Your smile evolves as you age. The smile you possessed at the age of 16 is not the smile you might possess at the age of 32. That's due to the natural changes that occur in your mouth over the years. A common change that occurs in many adult mouths is the narrowing of their smile. This narrowing occurs because teeth can gradually crowd together over the years due to a number of issues.
Mesial drift is a natural occurrence that causes the teeth at the back of your mouth to drift to the front. If you had a gappy smile as a teenager, those gaps may have closed over time due to mesial drift. Chewing forces, dental work and missing teeth can also cause your smile to narrow over time. Fortunately, there are several approaches to dealing with this problem.
If your smile has narrowed only slightly over the years, a course of orthodontic treatment might be sufficient to correct your problem. With traditional braces, which you can use to correct severe crowding, a dentist can apply enough pressure to push your teeth back into their former positions. Although the change might seem small, for minor cases, this is enough to widen your smile.
However, for some patients, this isn't enough. In that case, you can combine braces with cosmetic dentistry.
2. Braces Followed by Veneers
Once a course of braces has moved your teeth apart, if your smile still isn't wide enough, then you can opt to invest in porcelain veneers for your upper teeth. When you smile, your upper teeth are usually on show. But if your smile is still narrow — for instance, if your buccal corridors still show as darkness at the edges of your teeth — you can increase the width of your teeth with veneers.
By increasing the width of the top six teeth, from canine tooth to canine tooth, your buccal corridors will shrink. This will allow you to smile with more confidence.
3. Arch Expansion Aligners
For adults, without surgery, widening the dental arches is difficult. That's because the bone has already stopped growing. However, arch expansion aligners, which you can ask about at a dental clinic, can gently widen a narrow smile over a span of around 3-6 months. You can also combine this treatment method with veneers for best results.
Has your smile narrowed with age? Don't frown. With the right dental treatment, you can widen your smile and rebuild your confidence.
To learn more, contact a clinic that does orthodontics.